October 2009


Motivational Poster - Travel - Leaving your worry behind, and your email to pile up.

Black border. Large eye-catching photo. Large white text. Smaller white sub-text.

If you are like most readers, you will have already read all four posters before you looped back to the top of this article. That’s ok, because I designed it to happen just like that. As I designed the layout, I realized this column’s regular text would have far less impact than usual. As a writer that’s a tad depressing. As a designer I loved it!

Motivational Poster - Mashup - The platypus of web development.

This column is not the history of motivational posters. Nor is it the effect of motivational posters on lazy folks. Apparently the motivational poster’s impact on taking the stairs versus an escalator was so compelling it was funded numerous times over multiple continents. We get it. Enough already!

I created these unique Techlife posters in just a few minutes, using Big Huge Labs: Motivator, to create my own motivational poster. It was easy. Here’s how to build your own motivational poster or de-motivational poster in 3 easy steps.

Motivational Poster - Read Techlife - Where the crossroads of Technology and Life intersect.

1. Select a masterpiece - The photo should be eye catching and keep your attention long enough to draw you in.  After you have your photo you click Browse and attach the photo.  You also should review the photo’s focus area, as most likely it will get cropped.  Motivator allows you to designate one of three areas which might be best to keep visible.  You also get to choose a landscape or portait orientation for your photo.

2. Channel your inner Shakespeare - Penning the perfect word and sub-text is no easy task.  Are you trying to be funny or serious?  Will your words live forever or be forgotten quickly?  You may even find yourself selecting a new photo for the ultimate fit with your perfect prose. Perfection is personal.

3. Click and Share – Hit the big blue “Create” button.  A few seconds later your motivation masterpiece is rendered.  After reviewing how you will change the world you can edit, save, upload, email, share and even get a high-resolution version of your image by clicking the associated button.

Motivational Poster - Creative - Where genius goes to relax.

Techlife Challenge – Motivation is powerful.  Parody is funny.  De-motivation is a form of expression too.  For this challenge share with us your favorite self-created poster.  We’ll see about getting some prizes, but until then we’ll award the famous Techlife Points!  213 for each entry with the best in each category getting 4002.  Judging purely subjective and nonsense.

Note:  The posters shown here are meant to motivate you to read past Techlife articles.  MASHUP for the “Flash Earth – Ultimate Maps Mashup.”  TRAVEL for “Travelistic.com, YouTube with a Purpose.”  CREATIVE for the “Alan Becker’s Animator vs. Animation.”

Christmas present by lawerence

It’s already here!  Time to start thinking about what your favorite syndicated columnist wants this holiday season.  Peace?  Goodwill?  If you can deliver them, by all means.  My guess is that you might be a few credits shy of making that one happen.

So a quick reminder how this works.  I make a list of cool, affordable awesome. (That’s right, awesome is a noun too.)  Readers race to purchase said awesome and deliver it to me. The first reader to deliver each item earns points. (The points are new for 2009! Creative, right?)  Wait a second, have you never read this before?  If not, the idea behind “My” Techlife Gift Guide are things that I want.  Self-serving?  Yes.  So let’s begin!


I loved the book Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.  Their newest economic’s masterpiece, Super Freakonomics (yeah I said it) arrives just in time for the “big economic season.”  How fitting! I can’t wait to read it. (First delivery = 1001 points)


Call me old school, but look who’s back. Mario. Make that New Super Mario Bros. for Wii. Think back to the side scrolling days from NES, Super NES, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Gameboy, DS….hmm I guess these guys must have Levitt’s Freakonomics. Give the masses more of what they crave, economics 101. This newest installment has our favorite plumber able to play in 4 player mode. Let’s go rescue the Princess, together! (First Delivery = 3029 points)


Our world relies heavily on power. Laptops, games, phones are power hungry. Batteries are great, but sometimes it would be nice to use the solar power staring me in the face. I want the Brunton 26 Watt Foldable Solar Array. First off, I’m not a solar expert so I need something easy.  With more than 15 reviews and 12 5 star reviews at Amazon, it seems like a great option for keeping me powered up. And hey this one benefits the buyer too, it means more Techlife can be written and delivered. No more “my power went out” excuses. (First Delivery = 8359 points)


Finally, here’s something that each reader can get me. A Pix-Star digital picture frame with FotoConnect. Why this specific model? Because if offers the chance for each frame to be able to receive new photos without a PC! With just an internet connection, it can share photos, be addressed via email, pull up photos from Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Windows Live, Smugmug, Photobucket, Shutterfly, MobileMe, and more. It means you can update your gift to me with new photos whenever you like. How cool is that? And the kicker, no monthly fees to boot. (Each Delivery = 1304 points + bonus 293 points per photo sent)

These gifts give you a great idea of what I am looking for this holiday season. Please be generous and give your favorite writer something they can’t live without.