Archive for September, 2006

Drawbot (1.0)

September 20, 2006

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If you’re looking for a slow start you will be disappointed. Our first lesson on Monday morning was an introduction to Drawbot. This application will not frightened the veteran programmers. However, if like me you’re a complete novice you’ll regret not paying attention in math classes at school.

We are learning this application to introduce us to the programming language Python. This language is used in Fontlab and I guess it will be handy later when generating fonts. What’s good about Drawbot is the way you can easily generate graphics with a few lines of code. It’s a rewarding feeling for designers to be able to look at the result of their efforts. The graphics you generate with Drawbot can be exported in PDF and other standard formats or you can simply “drag & drop” in Illustrator. Drawbot is somehow quite limited, you can’t animate the graphics and you can’t generate 3D graphics. I shouldn’t worry about the limitations for moment since all I can do is turn it on and off.

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Presentation

September 18, 2006

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Finaly, it’s time to go to the academy and start the Type & Media course. First I met everyone in the cantine at ten. We are 9 in total which is 4 less then last year. This is good as we should get more time with our tutors.

At eleven we are shown the room where we will work the whole year. It’s rather tiny but there is enough room for everyone to feel fairly comfortable. Then we went around the school to look at all the workshops such as woodwork, silkscreen, photography, etc. Eventualy we went back to our room for the presentations. Everybody showed a short slide presentation with a beamer. It’s was nice to have an idea of what everybody made before coming to the academy. Some presentations were personal others where more about the work.

After the presentations we all had a well deserved drink in the backyard. It was a good time to ask Jan Willem Stas (director of Type & Media) all the questions we wanted to ask. I really wanted to ask him if he would let me write a blog about the course. As far as i know it’s ok for me to write a blog about Type & Media as long I don’t show or talk about poeple’s work without there consent. Since my intention is only to show my work I should not meet a lot of resistance.

Scheveningen

September 18, 2006

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What’s great about the Hague is the beach. It’s not a realy beautiful beach and of course the weather is not exactly great. But it’s nice to have the opportunity to get away from town. I am sure I will enjoy long realxing walks when I will be kerning type later this year.

Den Haag

September 12, 2006

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The Hague is a pretty relaxed town. It’s not too big and it’s big enough to feel like you can get most of what you need. I’ve heard a lot of English speakers around town. There is a “china town” which is always a good sign. You can find the usual large brand stores on the main commercial streets. But most importantly there is the beach. The beach is called Scheveningen, it is around 15 minutes on the tram from the centre. There are expensive “trendy” bars and restaurants along the beach but I would avoid them as much as possible. I think the beach is much nicer if you go off the track and venture a little bit further along the beach, away from all the tourists. But I haven’t had the time to do that yet.
When you settle in a new town there are millions of things to do. Obviously you must find a place to stay. Once you’ve found somewhere nice and not too expensive you must open a bank account so you can pay the rent and all the bills. I asked my renting agency to recommend a bank. I think they are all the same but I went to ABN-AMRO (Kneuterdijk) which is free for students. They are very friendly and if you’re from an EU country there shouldn’t be any hassle.
The most difficult for me is finding food. By that I mean food that will live up to my high expectations. I am very difficult about food and it takes me a while to get used to new things. I was told that I would find some very good products at Albert Heijn supermarket but I was very disappointed by the poor choice of greens and fruits. Good bread —that is to my standards— is hardly impossible to find. Most breads are soft and could be used as a pillow. By chance I’ve found an organic shop (Torenstraat) where I can find good vegetables, fruits and bread.
Next problem was to find an internet hotspot since haven’t got an ADSL connection yet. A lot of bars have WIFI but unfortunately it’s not free and it’s even rather expensive (T-Mobile). The only free hotspot I found was in the Apple store where the staff was kind enough to let me check my emails with the stores connection. There is also one at “Bagels and Beans” a café in the Passage.

Moving in

September 6, 2006

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Finally I am in The Hague. It was a lot of work moving here from Brussels. I wonder what it must be like when you come from the other side of the world. I am starting at KABK on the 14th of September. I am looking forward to get on with the course.

It is fairly difficult to find an accommodation in The Hague. I went to DUWO (student accommodations) and anti-squat organisation STROOM but they couldn’t really help me. I looked on websites such as studentenkamers.nl and others but their just wasn’t many things available. My best chance was to go through expensive housing agencies. Most agencies will ask you 2 months rent for fees. But via an ex-student I found A&N which will only charge you half a rent plus 200 euro.