Fireworks, It seems I never knew ye

Okay that title may be a little hyperbolic or at least overly dramatic. I knew Fireworks. KNOW Fireworks. The zippy little vector image editor that started as a Macromedia product. So many people misunderstood¬†Fireworks through the years. Why another vector editor when Illustrator was the industry standard and photoshop had pretty robust save-for-web capabilities? I’ll try to be brief, but Fireworks was truly the standard for creating web and other digitally-output graphics. Though drawn with vector tools like in Illustrator, the vector graphics are rasterized on the fly to show a constantly up-to-date idea of what the optimized, output graphics will look like in the browser or device. There are easier, more flexible slice tools than what photoshop offers, pages AND layers (as opposed to just layers in Photoshop and Illustrator) to organize comps, and a quick little “preview” button to see not only what rasterized images will look like, but raster images at certain optimizations, like a 70% quality JPG, or a 32-color GIF. I’ll stop there, since it’s not going to bring my old friend back.

After quite a bit of reading, I learned that sure enough the application went into “Feature Freeze” back in 2013. I guess that explains why last time I had Creative Cloud, which was right around that time, I installed the older, CS6 version of the app without even really knowing it was on its last leg. And where the “quite a bit” of reading part comes in: It took me forever to find a good link to download (i.e. actually install through the Creative Cloud Installer) and install the CS6 or 12.0 version of Fireworks. There are many inactivated links to Adobe’s old trials of the software, and lots of links pointing to CC and with long language about how important it is to

The link to download CS6 for the intrepid who still want it:

We’ll see how long it’s good for. I guess the replacement tool is supposed to be Adobe’s “Experience Design”, and while I already don’t like the name, I also don’t like the idea that this program that appears to specialize in interactive wireframes, is also Adobe’s answer to web graphics creation. I WILL install and use it, I will check it out for certain, but I’m not holding my breath that it will be some kind of web-world-wunderkind like Fireworks once was. There I go, getting all dramatic again.

The Adobe Experience Design website >>

Office Space

I started thinking the other day about all of the offices that I’ve worked in. I made a list (below) and included the one “real” job in my field in college, but no other college jobs. These are the places I’ve worked at for the 14 some-odd years I’ve been doing what I’m doing. Some of them were contract, some full-time.

It’s interesting now how they’ve blurred together somewhat. Some of them I remember details of with sharp, exacting contrast, some I feel like I barely remember at all, I wonder about how the clarity of my recall has been affected by my mind state at the time. Dating and moving in with my to-be fiance, learning to live with someone like a spouse and be an adult, coming to terms with depression and substance use, trial periods with myriad anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, counselling, drinking and exercise… I grew up and back at these places. I think I’ll try to write a little about each one of them.

1. GPS Tracking Startup: Big Rapids, MI
2. “Big 12” Accounting Firm: Grand Rapids, MI
3. Local Microsoft project office
3. “Boutique” web and digital design practice, Grand Rapids, MI
4. Web and digital design practice owned by a large offset printer
5. Fortune 500 Medical Device Manufacturer
6. Forex Trading Startup
7. Automotive Electronics Engineering Facility
8. Fortune 500 Materials Handling Company


I keep spending more and more time, as I grow older, thinking about the state of work, productivity, and “earning our keep” in our society today. I go back and forth on my problem du jour that I am certain is the root of all that drives us nuts in ever-greater numbers year by year. (¬†But our capitalist system, reducing us to profit providers, resources on a balance sheet, shackled to a system bent only on growth, profit, and productivity above all else… that one’s been on my shit list for a while.

So I started this manifesto the other day:

  1. Producing more, year after year, is not our purpose.
  2. It is okay to have downtime.
  3. We all need times of quiet reflection, meditation and contemplation: this shouldn’t be construed as laziness.
  4. We are not defined by our profit potential.
  5. We are not defined by the labor we can provide to industry.
  6. We are not defined by our earning potential.

Where now? Let’s ramble.

OK. This little test of WP as a blog engine – its original intended purpose – as opposed to a content management system didn’t go anywhere very fast. I tested a couple of things, I guess, but just like in the case of learning WordPress itself, I didn’t get around to serious learning until I was forced to, with a real, paying client looking to use a good ol’ fashioned blog as opposed to a website with WP behind the scenes. So, learning learned. Now I cast my eyes back on this install and think about making this my rambling blog. Fiction, rants about the government, deep-ish musings about life. All the things I poured daily into a Xanga blog back in the 00’s, which I haven’t had a good place for since.

I tried Blogger, I played with Tumblr, I dabbled in… did Yahoo have one? Whatever other flavor of the month service. None stuck for whatever reason. Oh, one reason: none had just the right balance of the social aspect covered like Xanga used to. And the Xanga folks: all in a Facebook group now.

So: I’ll try this out in WordPress. Now I’ve grown to DEEPLY love, nay, ADORE WordPress as a CMS for websites big and small, it only makes sense I try to work more consistently in WordPress, as a blog.