Posted by: Leslie Sigal Javorek • Date: Fri, Oct 23, 2009 12:09 am
Back around 1986 when I was playing around with my beloved Mac-Plus (that I had just upgraded to have 4 whole MB of ram!) and a 2400 baud modem (think of “Inch Worm” to get an idea of that connection speed), I came across a website that had some monochrome desktop pictures that could be downloaded for free. This was one of my very first encounters with the generosity of the early software and digital graphics pioneers. Not only were they offering the fruit of their labors for free to anyone stumbling upon their site but they would share with you their tricks and techniques, brainstorm with you on a new concept of your own, and introduce you to others with similar interests who may be of help. While I grew up in a family of extremely successful entrepreneurs going back several generations and consider myself to be a deeply ingrained capitalist at heart, my parents also taught me by example, how important it is to share your knowledge and skills as well as the fruits of your labors with those first starting out and hungry to learn and with those who simply have no where else to turn. So while the sentiment of the early freeware-shareware movement wasn’t foreign to me personally, it was a bit of an anomaly among the rest of the Me Generation when, according to the media, “everyone” was out for themselves and “Greed is Good” was their motto. I think this is one of the major reasons that I am proud to be a Geek. If it were not for this generous community, I would never have had the opportunity to learn as much as I have over the years nor have been encouraged to try my hand at skills that others outside of that online community told me were beyond my ability and that it was ridiculous to even try.
So, back to that first website I mentioned. It was one of those hosted by CompuServe(one of the earliest portals for us mere mortals with personal computers and not mainframes) and there was a desktop picture I came across that I thought was the most creative, clever concepts ever that was an Art Parody which merged the work of M.C. Escher and the popular toy by Ohio Art, the Etch-A-Sketch. While it was executed quite expertly, because of the state of the technology I owned at that time (limited to 2-bit graphics) it was incredibly crude compared to what can be done these days with 32 or even 64-bit graphics and millions of colors. Unfortunately, I cannot recall who had originated the concept of the “Escher-Sketch” to give him or her their proper due (if any of you knows, please put it in a comment to this post!). In honor of that anonymous wizard, I’ve created an updated version which makes a perfect backdrop for my Chiquita Series of icons. So without further ado, here’s tonight’s late night snack,..
Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day
Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1600px X 1200px)
Escher Sketch Desktop (Resolution: 1920px X 1200px)
When you go to an online forum, chatroom, or read comments on blogs, you’ve probably noticed that some people use what appears to be their real name or perhaps the nickname they’re called by friends and family while many more use a screen name they reserve just for use online. Screen Names allow a person to have some level of anonymity which can offer a sense of emotional security, if not real security, and it’s that subtle sense of separateness from one’s “real world” self that often allows people to explore new sides of their personality, to speak their minds, to share their emotions without fear of retaliation, rejection, being laughed at, or ignored. The ways in which people go about selecting a screen name I’m sure varies a great deal and I’ve often found myself wondering where some of the names come from and why they were selected – did the user simply just like the sound of the syllables? Had they selected the name of a favorite character from a book, movie, or game? Were they trying to project a specific image of themselves that they believe will be attractive to certain people they’d like more attention from? Does the name reflect how they think of themselves – or how they’d like to think of themselves? Certainly, some people just randomly select a screen name because they are required to but I have a hunch that most people actually put some thought into it.
If I were a sociologist, I think it’d make a very interesting study, the choice of screen names, and of course along with that would be the Avatar that people select for themselves, as well. And does it say anything about the person who doesn’t have a personalized avatar? Does it mean they’re just not technically savvy enough to know how to go about it (whether in creating their own or finding one they like online and either registering it to a website like Gravatar so it gets automatically associated with their name when responding to blog posts or uploading it to their account at a specific forum) – or does it mean they’re anti-social or snobs – or just have no personality to begin with? Could be any or all of those reasons or some other reason entirely. Maybe I’m just nosy or have too much time on my hands, but I’m curious and think about things like this. It kinda goes along with my idea about creating as a new scientific field, forensic desktop reading. 😉
If you’d like to have your own custom avatar but just haven’t found one you like yet, perhaps one of these will tickle your fancy.
Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day