Edited (in the loosest sense on the word) by Gary W. Priester
ISSUE 18 •  October 15, 2000

In this issue:

Xara X is Coming! One Can Hope
In our last edition, your editor wrote, "Well, I sure hope it's coming". September has obviously come and gone and still no Xara X. To their credit, Xara Ltd. have steadfastly refused to release Xara X until it is ready to be released. Unlike some software companies your editor could reference, but won't because the lawyers at [CENSORED] would be all over him in a minute.

The good news is Xara Ltd. and i/us have made a free Public Beta version of Xara X available for downloading. The beta is good through the end of the month when hopefully the full release version will be available. Click Here to download your copy from i/us.

Now that the public beta is available my Xara X Online Manual should make more sense. This month's installment will pretty much cover old ground for most of us, but I'm hopeful it will prove useful to all you new users and should serve as a refresher for us longtime users. This month, we will explore the Pen Tool, The Rectangle and the Ellipse Tools. If I have time and space, I'll try to address the Quick Shapes Tool as well. If not, we'll get to it next month. I've tried to include as much information as I can. If I left something out, or if something is not clear, use the form on Page 7 to contact me.

You're a Winner!

The winner of auto f/x's Photo/Graphic Edges 10,000+ edition is Brad Bissey who nailed the exact moment at which your editor, his wife, the five cats, canary and finch pulled into the driveway of their new, New Mexico home. 3:45 PM.

I wrote to Brad and asked if he had employed a spy satellite or other tracking device as he was right on the minute. He responded, "It's strange, I've noticed during the past couple of years that I'm pretty good at guessing things—like Olympic scores (before they appear on the screen) or scores in beauty pageants, and answers on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" somehow an answer just pops in my head and I seem to be right about 85% of the time!" Maybe Brad would like to accompany your editor on a little trip to Las Vegas?

We had originally planned to rent a commercial delivery van to move the five cats, birds, and a small amount of household items, coffee pot, bean grinder—the important stuff, to New Mexico to tide us over until the movers arrived with the furniture. However the rental van turned out to be in very questionable shape and would most likely have broken down in the Mojave Desert, or worse, Barstow or Needles! So, at the last minute we changed plans and rented two regualr cars. Mary drove two cats and the two birds in one car and I took the other three cats in my car. The cats had been given a small sedative at the vetranarian's just before we left which worked fine for Baxter, Beanie and Blossom, who snoozed most of the 1,100 mile journey. The Mook and Barnaby for some reason, resisted the tranquilizers and yowled much of the trip.

We spent one night in Kingman, Arizona, a little better than half way to Albuquerque and let the cats out of their carriers for the night. In the morning, we had to tear the kind-sized bed apart to retrieve three of the cats who had decided not to make the rest of the journey, preferring the splendor of a Best Western motel instead. They had lodged themselves as far under the box springs as possible. But the big people had the brains and brawn, and all the cats are now safely ensconced in their new home. A bit bored perhaps, as they must now either be inside cats, or cats inside coyotes. The house is beautiful, and the views spectacular. I'll try to post pictures soon. Thanks for all the messages and well wishes.

Brad's prize, Photo/Graphic Edges 10,000+ is a collection of a whole bunch of photographic edges. Also included in the box: Edge effects for Images, Sepia Tones and Mezzotints, Shadows, Glows and Bevels (use this until Xara X comes out), Burned Edges, Lightning, and Texture Mattes and More. Sounds pretty swell to me.

Insider Information

The Featured Artist for October is former British Merchant Navyman, Eric Bramwell, who calls himself Egg, and has a fine eye for detail. It's hard to believe when Eric says he has received no formal art training. Eric's work is quite extraordinary.

The October Trompe L'Oeil Room was inspired by the yellow traffic signs encountered on the journey to New Mexico. A similar image was created several years ago for the cover of my wife Mary's book Electronic Highway Robbery. The symbol in this traffic sign is not a copyright symbol but a balloon. Why a balloon? Hmmmm?

The XaraXone News— Do you want to be informed of all changes in the world of Xara. CLICK HERE to add your name to the XaraXone News e-mailing list. Once you subscribe to the list you'll be notified of all matters relating to Xara, the Trompe L'Oeil Room tutorials, the Xealot and the XaraXone. Subscribe now before you forget.

The End of the WebXealot and the XaraXone?

As some of you might by now know, i/us was sold to EyeWire.com in February. It was hoped that the sale would bring in the money needed to expand i/us and make it an even better content site. I'm sad to announce the new owners do not share this dream. As of December 31, the WebXealot and XaraXone will be without a home. This is true of all the content areas of i/us, and for all I know, i/us itself.

It is not for me to speculate why EyeWire.com would purchase i/us if they only intended to put it out of business. But EyeWire.com's gain is our loss.

I am hoping to find a new home for the Webxealot and the XaraXone but given the current climate of Web sites offering content (they're disappearing like dinosaurs!) I'm not confident this will happen. Xara, Ltd. has agreed to continue to sponsor the Trompe L'Oeil Room tutorials and will most likely be hosting them on their site.

One possible way to continue the WebXealot is by subscription. I posted a poll in the Xara X conference asking if people would be willing to subscribe to the WebXealot and for how much per month. About 60 persons have responded thus far and the amount they are willing to pay is $5.00 US per month. Unfortunately this is not enough to provide your editor with money needed to run the household and feed the cats. I'm hoping there will be an additional 60 or more Xealot readers (who have not already responded to the Xara X conference poll) to agree to subscribe.

Even if we get the number of persons to agree to subscribe, I'm not sure how I will handle the subscriptions, but I would think by credit card and by 6 month periods would work best. I'm currently investigating how to make this happen. So, if you'd like the WebXealot to continue, please take a moment to let me know by filling out the form on the last page. CLICK HERE to send feedback and suggestions.

I know there is a lot of disappointment and bad feelings being directed at i/us. I would just like to point out that Chris and Arlen have provided free content for over five years. It was not their intention to see i/us, and all its fabulous content areas and conferences go away and they feel as bad about this change of events as any of us.

My hope is if enough people stay the course, and purchase Xara X from i/us when it officially goes on sale later this month, that EyeWire.com will realize the large and devoted following Xara has and reconsider dropping support for this fine product. And if EyeWire.com gets behind Xara and agressively markets it on their Web site, Xara may finally get the exposure it needs to move up into the top ranks where it so justly belongs.

©2000 Gary W. Priester , All rights reserved. No portion of this publication, including the illustrations contained within, may be reproduced in any way without the express written permission of the author.