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Sean Sanderson

Achievement Unlocked :: Dad

 

August 23rd at 12:53 p.m. will be a block in time I will never forgot. At a tiny 6lbs, 12 oz my daughter Sophie was born and the newest Sanderson family member was added!

 

The past 2 weeks are a blur. I saved my "summer holiday" for when she was born so I have been out of the office for almost 2 weeks.

 

In those days I have learned a lot already. Everyday is a little different and aside from the sleep deprivation its been pretty smooth! ( knock on wood )

 

Everyday we would have visitors through our house to see the little one and it was so great to see everyone meet her. It was so crazy to see how content she was in everyones arms.

 

Today was my first day back in the office and the first time I have really been away from home. I'm already counting down the minutes until I am able to race home and hold her again!

 

 

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Ryan Covert

Do You YouTube?

 

Admittedly, I spend a lot of time watching videos on YouTube.  Being a "gamer", I especially enjoy the comedy team of VanossGaming, H20 Delirious, Luis Calibre, Daithi De Nogla and their various friends. If you're looking for some hilarious moments in gaming, where goofing off in-game takes precedence over playing the actual game, then look no further. It's an instant comedy fix.

 

Of course, for the more serious moments, I frequent channels such as VSauce, Numberphile, MinutePhysics, Smarter Every Day and Big History Project. There is no shortage of intelligence-fueled commentary on YouTube. You can literally learn about new topics in science every single day.

 

On the topic of YouTube from REM's perspective, it is interesting to note just how easy it is to embed videos in WebWiz@rd.  The design of our content management system allows you to place all sorts of multimedia content within your website for visitors to consume.  Here's a simple example of a video embedded within this blog post:

 

 

If you'd like to learn more about embedding YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing site's videos on your WebWiz@rd powered website, feel free to contact our support team any time!

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Jamie McBurney

Am I Vulnerable To The Bash Bug?

 
No.

 

To put my answer into context, REM's proprietary content management platform does not use any technology that is vulnerable to the Bash bug.

 

If you have any questions about our SaaS platform and the security protection that our independent and unique solution provides, give me a shout.

 

 

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Joe Labrie

Technology as a Fitness Tool

 

I have always loved running. I played competitive soccer as a youth, I was on my high school cross country team and also ran the 2500m for my school's track and field team. Of course as life progresses we get busy with other things (work, kids, leisure time) which puts us off track of hobbies and in some cases even consideration of our health.

 

So, after I hit 40 (I still can't believe it!) I thought it was time to start getting back in shape and it has taken a long time! It all started with the purchase of a treadmill where I struggled for several months to try and be able to run 5k all in one shot. The treadmill was a great way to get my confidence up so when the weather improved I was able to start running outdoors.

 

The only problem I had was that I didn't have any way to track my pace/progress until I discovered software called Runkeeper that works both with my iPhone and my Pebble watch. I am able to track my pace, top speed, distance, etc. and see whether I am improving over time. I have now gotten to the point where I am averaging under 7:30/mile for 5k (3.2 miles) at a comfortable pace (which is a vast improvement over the 10 minutes per mile I was doing when I started).

 

So, no more cheating! Also when someone tells me to "pick up the pace" I am able to actually track whether I am or not!

 

 

 

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Jillian McBurney

Breaking the Menu Mold

 

Everyone is familiar with this type of menu.

 

 

Straight forward, predictable and traditional; some might say, a bit boring.

 

The wording within your website's menu doesn't have to be the same old, same old.  The menu, along with the rest of your website, should reflect your company's personality and style.

 

If your company is more relaxed, forward thinking and approachable, consider updating your menu to echo those traits!

 

 

This new wording is still self-explanatory and as a user you know where to go to find the information that you need.  (In my example the Home link has been completely removed.  It is quite common for company logos to be the link to the Home page.)

 

Some may think that this wording is too relaxed and that perhaps they couldn't take a company seriously after reading a menu such as this.

 

I disagree.  Provided your website content is accurate, thorough, well written and well displayed, your site will still convey professionalism.

 

Two Blonde Chicks has taken a slightly different slant to what I'm suggesting.  Although their menu is still relatively traditional, the lighthearted images at the top of each of their pages, oozes creativity and fun.  After reading their content and seeing their portfolio you can tell that they are qualified and professional.

 

I can admit that not all industries are suited for this approach; industries such as insurance, accounting, medicine and law.  A lighthearted menu on a criminal law website would be inappropriate and insensitive.

 

However, if you are in an industry that can break tradition and your company is fresh, friendly and a bit quirky, why not try being a bit more creative with your website's menu?

 

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Jamie McBurney

Responsive WYSIWYG CMS - And You Said It Couldn't Be Done!

 

One of the biggest strategic decisions I've had to make at REM in the last 6 months was whether to pioneer a new responsive framework for customers that wanted true WYSIWYG editor capabilities or to strip many of my favourite WebWiz@rd features to give customers a set of tools that more closely resembled our biggest rivals in the CMS space.

 

I've poured over hundreds of case studies, white papers, debates and discussions regarding the many benefits of responsive design, but most of discussions discounted what I think to be one of the most important parts of a CMS which is to make content creation and manipulation SIMPLE TO PERFORM but POWERFUL IN RESULTS!

 

When I submit to random debates that my customers want to use tables to layout their content and my customers don't want their pictures to scale under all scenarios and my customers don't want 3MB page files to download onto mobile devices I get the same response, "Tell your customer they are wrong because reasons, and teach them to be right because reasons".

 

Long story short, as a customer focused company, REM offers guidance and advice but never forces our customers into situations that make them feel uncomfortable.  That's not our job.  Our job is to make a fantastic set of tools that put our customers in control of creating great looking content.

 

Going back to my first paragraph though, I ultimately decided that the newly emerging tools and frameworks out in the wild were not appropriate for the segment of users that need more control over their content layout and style.  So for the last month I have been designing a perfect hybrid solution that allows our customers the ability to fully - as in FULLY - control their content position, size, style etc... for big screens and mobile devices alike!

 

After putting in the leg work to prove that my technology and approach works, it almost appears that the other framework makers were more interested in philosophical and theoretical perfection and didn't take into account the power that had been removed from the end users of the CMS.

 

Anyway - I can't wait to reveal some of this stuff.... 

 

 

Photo provided by George Hodan

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Rob Matlow

I Love Roller Coasters

 

If there is one thing I love, its roller coasters.  I have always enjoyed it.  When I was a young child my father would tell me about the Comet at Crystal Beach on the shores of Lake Erie.  It was a wooden coaster built in 1948.  When I was about 9 years old he took my sister and I to Crystal Beach so I could finally ride the Comet.  He had built it up so much that I could hardly wait.

 

The time had come and we ended up in line at the Comet.  I waited in line until we got to the very front when the ride operator decided to check and see if I was tall enough to ride the Comet.  I was devastated to find out I wasn't.  I think my dad was almost more upset then I was for building it up to much.  He grabbed some cups from the garbage and stuffed them into my shoes to prop me up just enough.  I continued to walk through the line like I was walking on stilts, clearly wobbling around.  I finally ended up again at the front of the line when the same ride operator clearly recognized me, laughed and then said go ahead. 

 

It was great!

 

Fast forward over 30 years and my, 10 year old son Andrew is as much as a roller coaster fan now as I am.  After getting through every coaster at Wonderland this past year we decided to make a trip to the next level.  Cedar Point.  A few weeks ago, Andrew, Brad (one of my other sons) and I went to Sandusky for a few days of fun at Great Wolf Lodge and a fun filled day at the Roller Coaster Capital of the world Cedar Point.

 

The Comet was a great ride and was amazingly large when I was 9 years old.  Times have certainly changed as the rides like Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster are at a whole new level.

 

 

Cedar Point Enterance

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Laura Renner

Labour Day 2014

 

REM Web Solutions will be closed on Monday, September 1, 2014 for the Labour Day holiday.

 

We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

 

We wish everyone a safe and happy long weekend!

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Sean Sanderson

Design Quotes

 

Sometimes when I'm in a design rut I like to look at some inspiring quotes. Design quotes can make you think outside the box and even inspire you with ideas.

 

Below are just some of my favorites. 

 

“Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”

- Paul Rand

 

"The Secret to CREATIVITY is knowing how to hide your SOURCES."

- Albert Einstein

 

"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well."

- Brian Reed

 

"Design should never say, Look at me.? It should always say, Look at this."

- David Craib

 

"Being a famous designer is like being a famous dentist."

- Noreen Morioka

 

"Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs."

- Frank Chimero

 

I hope some of these can inspire and can even make you laugh. They sure do for me.

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Ryan Covert

Music To Code To

Disclaimer: For those of you who know me personally, this will not come as a surprise.  However, most of you will probably get a good chuckle while reading this blog post.

 

I personally love music.  I know that sounds very cliché, but it's true!  I listen to many genres of music, but my favourites tend to lean into the electronic and orchestral arrangements.  I'm one of those odd ducks who, while trudging through an 8 hour marathon of work, will load up my favourite audio player on my PC (WinAmp ftw!) and I'll put on a play list of orchestrated movie or game soundtracks.

 

That's right!  My work day tends to be filled with emotionally charged music of epic proportions. I can't seem to get enough of it!

 

Here are a few examples of albums I've been listening to lately, along with links to download them from iTunes if you are so inclined!

 

Music To Code To:

  • Oblivion - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - iTunes Link
     
  • Pompeii - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - iTunes Link
     
  • Evil Dead - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - iTunes Link
  • Dead Space 3 - Original Video Game Soundtrack - iTunes Link

I hope you enjoyed this list!  Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.  I always enjoy discovering new music to code to.  Let me know what you listen to!

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2014

October
Achievement Unlocked :: Dad
September
Do You YouTube?
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Technology as a Fitness Tool
Breaking the Menu Mold
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I Love Roller Coasters
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October
Choosing Conceptual Images For ...
REM Staff Bio - Laura Renner
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Rapid Release Cycles
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Let Music Help You Design
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REM Web Solutions closed on Mo ...
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Textures in Web Design
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