Monday, January 17, 2011

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

Featured Workspace: John McMullen

Posted: 17 Jan 2011 04:23 PM PST

The Smple Office

This week brings a refreshing change – John has an attractive L=shaped desk without an Apple product in sight! His workspace is powered by a dual-screen Dell with a Wacom Intous 4 attached. He also has a HP laptop featuring a wallpaper drawn by his three-year-old son, and a Droid X sits at the left of the desk.

John comments:

The Smple Desk: This is the place where the “work” happens. The desk is from Office Max of all places. The letters on top spell out Smple (what I call my freelance company).

The device on the right is the most unusual piece of equipment in John’s workspace – a Sony record player. He obviously has a love for vinyl. His recently played albums can be seen on the top shelf.

Office Panorama

Here’s a panorama shot of John’s office. He uses a whiteboard for calendar and notes, and has a great spot on the left for mid-afternoon naps. I love the guitar. Shame on you, John – no Ovation deserves to be left on the wall. Get it down and play it from time to time!

Would you like your workspace featured on Envato Notes? Just upload it to Flickr, add an interesting description, and tag it with #envatonotesworkspaces. Each week we'll choose and publish a new photo. Check out the other entries here.


Win 1 of 2 Tickets to FITC Toronto 2011 – Worth $699!

Posted: 17 Jan 2011 08:30 AM PST

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ActiveDen and Activetuts+ are giving away 2 free tickets to FITC Toronto, worth $699 each! Even if you win, but can’t make it to the conference we’ll give you 1 year subscription to Tuts+ as well as $100 to spend on the Envato marketplaces instead!

How To Win

Winning is simple- all you have to do is post a comment on the ActiveDen or ActiveTuts (or both) Facebook wall post telling us why you think FITC is the coolest Flash conference around.

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Make sure you comment on an actual wall post, as indicated above — don't post your comment as a brand new wall post!

Head on over to Activetuts+ to read more about it..


Meet the Staff: Aaron Osteraas

Posted: 17 Jan 2011 12:45 AM PST

Every week we'll introduce you to an Envato staff member or team. This week we meet Aaron Osteraas (Oz), associate manager of the Tuts+ network.

What is it like working for Envato, and what are some of the jobs you’ve had with us?

Working for Envato is pretty neat, really. I was fortunate enough to be sent over to Chicago to meet all of the great people that I work with. I started in August 2009 in Support. After six or so months the Assistant Tuts+ Manager job was created and I applied. I had to demonstrate that I could write. I was so keen to get it that I took a day off, registered a domain, bought a WP theme and got writing. My work was torn to absolute shreds by Collis and Skellie, but they thought I had enough potential to be given a go.

So it has been a solid eight months of annoying the editors with emails about SEO mostly.

What sites and projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on all of the Tuts+ sites to try and improve our SEO, and so far so good. I have been working with a few of the editors trying different ideas on each site to see what works best. Trying to increase reader engagement is also on the task list. We’ve just been making some simple changes so far, such as allowing for a series of posts to be linked together easily, such as AS3 101 by Dru Kepple, helps make it easier to show readers what we’ve got on offer.

Describe your workspace.

Messy. I blame the size of the desk, I’ve never worked on such an enormous desk ever before. Now I just have way too much room to spread everything out and still have ample free space, I never need to pack anything away. There’s so much stuff that I just don’t use. 2 x 22″ monitors, four White Pages, a Keyboard that literally lost control, more paper from more places than I know about, including what Ryan throws at me, my MacBook Pro, Epic Sax Guy mug and more.

Even with all of this space I’m always putting my things on Tash’s filing cabinet, I forget it’s hers. I used to put a lot of things on the desk next to me, but Ryan has taken up residence there now, with this oversized WoW stein.

What does your average day look like?

Three work related email accounts, Skype, WordPress, Google Analytics, more WordPress, some more email and then time on the Tuts+ sites. Around certain times of the month I achieve oneness with Excel. But numbers are alright, so I don’t mind it so much. I’m probably the only person working for Envato who can’t code or design. Unless you want something in MS Paint, that I can do.

What do you do when you’re not working?

Food. Cooking and eating are my two favourite things. I love food and I could talk about it all day, any day. My family and friends have often had to deal with my going on and on about something I made, or something I ate somewhere, for many hours at a time. To their benefit they’re the ones that get to eat what I make, so I think it works out. Everyone’s always telling me that I should have been a chef.

I also play bass. I’ve got a few but by far my favourite is the Danelectro DC63 Shortscale. It’s hollow so it has a very unique sound. Being short scale it’s only slightly bigger than an electric guitar, so it feels like playing a toy. Best fun ever.

And I also play World of Warcraft. The biggest time sink I’ve ever come by, but I love it. If you have ever considered playing just remember this: Nobody ever quits, they just take breaks.

Otherwise I’m trying to fumble my way through another language, usually Cantonese. It’s a miracle that my Cantonese speaking friends haven’t stopped talking to me completely with all the questions that I ask them.

You can always find me on twitter as @aaron_osteraas telling anyone who will listen about my daily musings.


Marketplace Front Pages Now Have “New Item Filters”

Posted: 16 Jan 2011 09:52 PM PST

Our marketplaces received a new feature today. The “New Items” section on the front page of each marketplace now have filters that allow you to narrow in on the items you’re interested extra fast. Visit your favorite marketplace and give it a try. What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed the loading animation. It was the result of a mini competition run by Ian on the forums. If you’d like to check out the other excellent entries, you’ll find the long thread here.


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