Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!

Entries in bradtastic approved (8)

Monday
Aug012011

Inspiration

Created 2011 Brad Chin. Rights Reserved… don’t steal art!

Inspiration… where does it come from?

I have been asking myself that quite a bit over the past few days. Last week, I quite literally dreamt up an idea for a fictional story, something that I may turn into a novel or a screenplay, or a series — I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve never felt anything like that before, and I feel like I must share this story.

It doesn’t feel optional. I feel like if I even make an attempt to hold it back, it’ll tear through my brain, gush out my face and rip apart the remaining seams that hold my sanity together. No one wants that to happen. That would be amusing for some, but probably quite the mess for crime scene cleanup. 

The necessary tools.

Fortunately, I feel like I’m finally properly equipped. I feel like I have the tools to create the world; the brush, the paint, the canvas and the spirit. Reality has this mean reputation for shattering dreams; it takes some willpower to overcome boot camp, hell week — the rigorous tests that separate greatness from mediocrity — and the stigma against “creating art” for a living (instead of getting a “real” job). 

Recently, I sent an inquiry to the fine folks over at Literature & Latte. Long story short, I’m now using Scrivener to organize my writing projects, and I’m thrilled — because Scrivener is incredible. Bradtastic Approved. In my (excellent) opinion, Apple makes the finest computing equipment for creatives and has engineered a wonderful backbone for some of the most amazing software designed by the friendliest, most sincere, dedicated, and down-to-earth programmers in the world. If you have Mac OS X, check out Scrivener — also available in the Mac App Store.

Another crucial asset is ThinkBook by bitolithic. It’s just incredible; well-built, incredibly usable, powerful, intuitive… if you like to plan anything, you can benefit from ThinkBook. 

I’m still doing what I’m doing, trying to recover and heal, deal with my pain and reduce it as much as possible. I was thinking about how to go about sharing my recent eureka moment, and I created the image above in Sketchbook. I wasn’t going for anything in particular; I just let my muse guide me, and the colors, shapes and strokes above is the result.

What, or whom, inspires you?

Saturday
Jul102010

Why you shouldn't steal fonts.

Language, communication, and the beauty of words… in part, an introspective. Reader beware: the following may challenge your beliefs — prepare to throw out your incorrect assumptions.


Designed very quickly by Bradtastic Brad Chin on the iPad using Sketchbook Pro. Copyright © 2010 — don’t steal art… even bad stuff.

Typography represents language directly; it’s the art of setting type. Modern fonts are so convenient; even restricted to less than one dozen web fonts at the turn of the millenium, the average person could detect distinct differences between Times New Roman and Helvetica/Arial.

Fonts make words come alive.

Great text can sit on a page, dull and boring — distasteful even — and still have great power, meaning and purpose. The difference is, set properly, words on a page become more; attaining and almost ineffable quality, something similar to the magic that happens when a great script is given to an incredible actor.

Finding a font could be considered similar to finding an actor to play a part — the role remains even without a star. A stand-in could work just fine — laymen might not even notice. Art, however, demands more.

Writing as a tradition, a prime element of culture and history, even on a blog.

Reading The Cult of the Amateur changed my stance on blogs and blogging as a pastime for the masses. Publishing, due to its inherent cost, was limited before the computer revolution. Type was carefully set, text was proofread, words were carefully chosen and fonts were limited.

Our time now is one where free font making software can be downloaded by any amateur and a plethora of sub-par, incomplete and broken fonts can be purchased for next-to-nothing. Many fonts are given away — worse, many are stolen.

Piracy of any artistic endeavor diminishes our future. Artists need to make a living just like everyone else; when music is stolen, movies are torrented or fonts are downloaded and traded illegally, many creatives stop creating. The quality of art descends holistically. These damaging actions aren’t usually malicious or intentional, but the consequences remain.

Piracy, specifically of fonts. (too broad a subject in general)

The completion of a proper, complete, well-crafted OpenType font (the best format, in my opinion) is quite an achievement. It takes careful craftsmanship, refinement, testing, modification… and finally it can be published. It might take a typographer one year to create a single font set — the letters and ligatures themselves are art. Using the font without paying for it is akin to stealing an image and using it, or relabeling a piece of music to claim ownership over another’s music, lyrics, and voice. It’s disheartening to see stolen art used for commercial purposes, and it’s absolutely pitiful that so many people are unaware of it.

Most people believe that they have the right to earn a living, especially here in America or in other major nations, but the anonymity of the Internet makes it easy to take from others for personal gain.

For the beauty of it.

I hope that others take a moment to appreciate language and the written word, especially in this age of video and high-fidelity audio. Keyboards are replacing pens, but when are keyboards going to be replaced? Eventually, we’ll speak to our computers to issue commands — beyond that, our thoughts alone will carry out machine functions. I cherish the opportunities I have to enjoy the beauty of a printed page, and I hope devices such as the Kindle encourage others to keep print from becoming a thing of the past. I have handwritten journals that will likely survive intact longer than the hard-drives of my current computers — there’s something wonderful about that. In its essence, typography represents our history as we want to remember it and present it.

American newspapers generally use serif fonts — European publications tend toward sans-serif. This simple difference of type-style represents large cultural differences… so elegantly.

Proper punctuation, spelling and grammar shouldn’t be cast aside. Our keyboard shortcuts, slang and 140-character limit “tweets” are changing English in ways difficult to predict. These trends will spread to other languages, and communication will adjust — it will advance, or dissolve. Language should adapt and change, but personally, I like a language with rules and etiquette.

A simple way to support type.


First, make sure you buy your fonts legally.

Obviously, don’t steal fonts. There are many ways to buy fonts, on-and-offline, but not all sources are legal. Buy from reputable sources. If you find a font discounted more than 40% — beware. If you’re looking for some really great stuff, check out Linotype and Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Also, a favorite of mine, Adobe offers an amazing collection called Font Folio 11. [all Bradtastic Approved!]

Don’t let others use your fonts.

Basically, don’t let other people steal fonts. Most fonts aren’t “purchased” — they’re licensed — meaning the creator or foundry maintains rights over the font, and when you “buy” it, you’re buying the rights to use the font. The license agreement will likely specify what you can and can’t do with the font.

Spread the love.

Share this with others; hopefully there are people out there who like writing and reading, and enjoy nice-looking type. Explain why it’s important to respect the rights and work of the typographers and artists who spend so much effort, energy and money to create these wondrous letters, and tell them what the rules are.

There’s also a great, simple way to share new and amazing fonts online — Typekit. I won’t go into too much detail here — there’s an about page — basically, the type designers are paid, and Typekit code allows splendid, unique fonts to display on most major browsers as highlightable, regular text. The days of using images for fancy fonts are over; they’re even figuring out how to get this tech to work on mobile browsers like the iPad and iPhone. For an example of Typekit in action, check out Bradtastic Defined, my very personal site. I need to re-familiarize myself with coding first, but I’m planning on implementing Typekit fonts on all of my sites. 

 

Please, share your thoughts; comment, ask questions…

and definitely share your favorite fonts with me!

 

Thursday
Jul012010

Marrakech Magic Experience, Design

The Marrakech Magic Theater featuring San Francisco Magician Peter Morrison

A wonderfully entertaining magical evening.

This show is seriously one-of-a-kind, and is Bradtastic Approved. I like it so much, that I’ve done all of the design work for Peter Morrison and the Marrakech Magic Theater.

I’m currently in the process of creating all new material, and I can safely say, it’ll be amongst the best printed material in SF.

Please let me know if you’d like to attend tomorrow, Friday July 2nd, 7:30pm (preshow, show starts at 8:30pm).

I hope you enjoy what’s coming!


 

Wednesday
Jun162010

Marrakech Magic Theater Grand Opening!

Looking for something fun to do in the SF bay area? Special entertainment for Father’s Day — a treat for dad.

 

Peter Morrison — magician, and friend of mine — is opening his new magic theater this week in San Francisco! The already world-famous Marrakech Moroccan restaurant, located in the theater district, one block away from Union Square, now offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience. 

What you need to know.

This show is Bradtastic Approved. I’ll be there tomorrow night! But if you can’t make that show, don’t fret or weep (at least not too much) — just visit sanfranciscomagictheater.com and get yourself a ticket. If you let Peter Morrison know that you’re a friend of mine, he may even do something extra-special for you and yours.

Also, be sure to let him know that you LOVE the marketing material, door poster, and all theater-related graphic design. That stuff isn’t just Bradtastic Approved, it’s Bradtastic DESIGNED. If you know me, you know that my stamp of approval doesn’t get placed everywhere or on just anything.

Tickets are $55, and you can purchase at the door. (If you want to order by phone, dial 800-838-3006 and reference “Marrakech Magic Theater” or “Peter Morrison”)

For questions or general information: (877) 624-4264

Saturday
Feb132010

App Review and Efficiency: Breakthrough?

Yesterday afternoon, I had a positive meeting; one filled with revitalizing ideas and confirmations, and I’ve decided to post some things here instead of keeping it private.

iPhone screenshot: Momento [Software — iTunes Apps]

I’ve been testing and reviewing iPhone apps since the App Store’s launch with the intent of sharing my findings. I even thought about adding a new category here — then and again, today. However, for now, I’d like to keep it simple and concise — after all, this post was composed on my iPhone 3GS using the Squarespace application (finishing touches applied at my desktop — as the screenshot shows… I was running toward low-battery). 

My first pick, and a bit about the post.

I downloaded Momento just-barely over one-week ago, and it’s already one of my most-used — and frequented apps. It’s a referral tool, a tracker, and a calendar… or rather, a journal — in condensed form.

I’m rather pleased with this app as my first-pick — Bradtastic Superfluous isn’t going to turn into a “review blog,” much-less one restricted-to, or focused-on, iPhone apps. It’s far-too restricting, limiting my outlet and output, but beyond that and significantly — there are tons of review sites out there. Some of them are even okay!

If you’re looking for iPhone apps on a regular basis…

I recommend following the Twitter trends and iPhone blogs. Better yet, follow the recommendations of people that you trust, or blogs about your industry or interests. Check back here — I will write about what works for me.

Back to Momento.

Momento is a great tool for busy people. Writers, thinkers, researchers, readers… just about anyone can benefit from this app. Additionally, the more time one spends away from the computer — primarily desktops — the more useful this app becomes. As a writer choosing to devote time and energy to pen-and-paper over keyboard and screen, much of my output isn’t searchable — at least not in the functional, tech-way — databased, tagged, indexed and hyperlinked.

Momento brilliantly indexes and displays what I’ve decided to call my “dynamic quickies;” despite what the perverse might think. (I don’t actually use that term… I just made it up) Basically, I can display my Twitter feed; my personal posts, separate from everyone else’s crap and clutter. Twitter users should have a separate app for their favorites anyway — why double-up and duplicate — there’s no reason to have two apps for one category. Beyond the feeds, Momento has a simplistic, clean interface designed for adding short entries. For those so-inclined, photos can be added as well. (I use Evernote for that, but I’ll get into that separately… Evernote certainly deserves its own review. Many exist out there already; if you aren’t using Evernote during your daily ritual, you should look into it.)

Momento’s “something special,” usable… about tagging.

If Momento just displayed external feeds (from Facebook, Last.fm, Twitter, etc) and allowed for additional entries, it wouldn’t be that special. I’m sure I’d still like it; it’s attractive, well-designed with clever artwork and graphics, but it’d lack a key element: usability. The added special ingredient: tags. And not just Plain Jane, one-dimensional, single-facet tagging; Momento offers sub-categories: tagging people, places, events, and whatever else you can think of as “extras.”

This app could’ve just been something cute and somewhat-clever; a place to dump thoughts and record daily on-goings, but tags makes the information usable. I can refer back to my entries… mostly, because I can find them. Not everything that I write is going to be relevant all of the time — some of it won’t ever be critically valuable — but I don’t want to be presented with every thought I’ve ever had when I’m trying to find just one. It doesn’t even matter how much time I have to search — it’s not pleasant. If I happen to be pressed… I’ll develop a headache. Apps should not add stress.

Bottom Line: 9 of 10.

If you don’t use your computer regularly — for whatever reasons — you should seriously consider this app. If you don’t have an iPhone… as Gordon Ramsay might say, “you’re mad.” However, seriously think about what your daily processes are before committing to a new system of any kind. Don’t use this app (or any) just because I use it — or because someone special uses it. Don’t waste your time; as a 21st-century human, time is valuable and finite — you probably won’t have forever.

Youth is fleeting and important; with so much to get done in twenty-four hour days and 168 hour weeks, maximizing your peek-efficiency and minimizing lulls is crucial. Simplifying your tools eliminates waste and makes for a life with fewer moving-parts — fewer points of failure. Consider each addition critically; positive or negative, every extra thing that you do is a complication.

While success certainly requires some intricacy, finesse is often more about what isn’t done, isn’t needed.

Coherence is order.

I hope this helped — more to come. If you do start using this app, please comment… let me know what you think.
Monday
Dec212009

Bradtastic Premier 2010

From the desk and TabletPC of Brad Chin: “Bradtastic 2010” Premier site logo, rough draft. Like I’d really let you see the final thing!

Superfluous? I don’t think so. 

This is to let everyone get a glimpse of some of what’s coming. I’m going to move Bradtastic… however, I don’t know what to do with all of that old content. There’s a lot of it that I’d like to keep — but I also like the idea of starting over, fresh, since so much is different. 

What do you think?

Please… let me know. Also, please leave a link if you happen to know of a high-quality questionnaire/polling system online. I liked that Livejournal had a system built in; but for many reasons, I’m not going to go back to LJ. Unless they paid me… I suppose a free permanent account would suffice. 

 

About the art and one of my obsessions

I’ve been trying to utilize my Tablet technology as much as possible. Unfortunately, my device is more than five years old now; the battery-life is less than 35 minutes with full-conservation settings, it’s bulky and hot.

My inkblogging has garnered more attention than expected, and I’d like to continue with the format. I think it’s a perfect medium for discussing writing instruments and paper as well. I even have the perfect domain name for such a review site!

I’m still compiling my thoughts on the Levenger Ledgerdomain notebook… I think that it’d be pretty cool to start-off a paper and pens review site with a “Bradtastic Approved Notebooks” feature! (Or is it, “featurrette?”

 

Meanwhile… some real-life wondrousness!

In digital-life form — Check out (and add or bookmark) Bradtastic Antipresto for links and images. I post iPhone art, skyline shots, funny stories, and sketchbook glimpses on a regular basis. [Note: if you’re not particularly fond of Antipresto’s DISQUS comments handling and style/theme, rest-assured, neither am I. My tumblr will be modified — improved.]

 

Sunday
Sep272009

Bradtastic — Art, Design and Ink.

I want to expand this website, beyond this blog…

I’ve mentioned at Facebook and my Twitter (@bradtastic) that I’m trying to inkblog again, like I did at my first decent inkblog, bradchin.com. My progress was halted — incidentally after winning an Ink Blot Award — because my Tablet PC, bloated with viruses and junkware, stopped connecting to the Internet… and then stopped functioning altogether.

Work and recovery stood in the way of progress — but I never stopped writing. I never stopped dreaming about books and blogging — changing the world by changing one mind — contributing to the ever-growing collective…

With ink, I wanted to share what Montblanc calls the art of writing; with computers and typesetting so available, handwriting has become a dying art. People neglect it — it’s not being taught in schools, and it’s as if it’s just not that important. True — no one is openly graded on it, graphology is a pseudo-science, but I believe in its importance — the importance of the image of writing.

I look at classic documents of incalculable value — The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and Bill of Rights — I look at the penmanship displayed on these documents and think, “would these documents hold so much value if they were chicken-scratched?”

Of course, these documents will always be important — crappy handwriting wouldn’t change that — but I think that if they weren’t written so beautifully, with a combination of perfect word and perfect handwriting, we’d look today at reprints… rewritten or typed.

The blessing of the computer is a bane to handwriting.

The abundance and availability of free fonts and the ease of stealing fonts makes almost every computer user an amateur typesetter. Software such as Microsoft Word allows an untrained, unskilled user to create beautifully organized and set documents — legible documents.

It’s time to take a stand!

In defiance of this trend, I’d decided to share my art, illustrations, design and writing. I try to keep my personality vibrant and loud, but paradoxically, I prefer to keep much of my “art” private — including my handwriting styles — but shortly after I started inkblogging, I received positive feedback, genuine comments and interest.

I was contacted by other inkbloggers, enthusiastic and energetic. Their comments were positive, their words —
encouraging. I felt that I could represent the format in a strong way, drawing fresh eyes and attention to Tablet PCs and WACOM Penabled technologies. 

A new beginning.

Tablet PCs have generally been thought of as the business tools for doctors, contractors, engineers and the military… but this is changing. For consumers, “the pen” has been a nuisance; with Palm devices and PDAs, it’s just another piece to misplace or break. The iPhone has bridged the gap in a beautiful way; integrating multi-touch technology with incredible usability and consumer-friendliness.

New devices are looming. Apple might release a Tablet-type computer next year. Many netbook manufacturers are adding touch-screen technology to their lineups.

Handwriting, to make a comeback?

Devices like the Livescribe Pulse Pen make evident the convenience and occasional necessity of writing by hand. To “jot” something down — a phone number, address, take-out order — it’s much easier (and quicker) writing with a pen… especially compared to thumb-typing on a handheld or worse — stylus keyboard input.

The tech-world is changing, and I’m part of it. Perhaps I can inspire more people to enhance their lives. I’ve already done so with tools like HighriseHQ, BackpackIT and products like Moleskine notebooks and websites like jetpens.com.

Hopefully I can continue changing the game and setting trends. For more information on the  Bradtastic Approved© check out bradloves.us/links or contact me or one of my associates. You can also just leave a comment or message at my guestbook.

Please let me know if you can help with inkblogging — you can also help by simply spreading the word, “Superfloo.us!

Thursday
Sep242009

The Blog, Bradtastic

I’m trying to find some balance in life — not always an easy thing to do. In many ways, things are so much better than they were just one-year ago, but there are complications. I’d like to write more, and I’d like to try and make this blog more exciting, and perhaps, more personal.

I often try to avoid writing directly about my thoughts and feelings; when I write about my life, it tends to be about circumstances and happenings. I’d like to post more images and artwork — even if it’s just a doodle or something. I’d also like to start inkblogging again.

The problem is, when I stumble upon free time, I chose to read and relax. My shoulder hurts so much — so much of the time — when I have free moments… I just think, lie down. Not conducive to blogging.

It certainly doesn’t help that I like video games, either… even though I do consider that type of entertainment important.

Well, at least there’s technology.

There’s a lot of new technology — and we’re on the brink of revolutionary changes in computing and entertainment. Glass-less and goggle-free 3D movies, games and TV is right’round the corner — in space time, mere moments away! There are too many mobile phones (this, I don’t understand… iPhone, anyone? Enough said, moving on), tons of portable gaming options… hundreds of notebook computers, desktops and ultra-super-tiny tech toys.

Some of these devices and products are useful — importantthe rest are clutter. I’ve been asked about several things in-particular, so I’ll start organizing my thoughts, opinions and ideas into something bloggable to soon share with y’all.

I’m also organizing a few interviews and guest articles about supernatural phenomena, science and magic. At the forefront of my list: hypnosis. Interesting, right?

The “Bradtastic Approved” stamp is about to land on a few more deserving items. I’m still looking into moving Bradtastic Premier and redesigning this site. I’m even considering looking at TypePad again. Last, if you have something interesting to share, let me know. I’m always curious.