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Monday, September 7, 2015

Font-Journal: Exclusive Original Fonts and Site Update

As many of you know, I am the fontmaster at Font-Journal.  Over the past year I have been pretty busy trying to save my work from disappearing completely.  I create a lot of freeware (and some shareware) graphics, website templates and fonts.  But, a rash of hard disk drive errors over the past year has thrown me for a loop.

A year ago, I had to recover from my first hard disk drive crash.  Although devastating, I seemed to be able to recover almost everything from backups on an external hard drive.  I even purchased a network attached storage drive device to help automate the backup process.

But six months afterwards (just over six months ago), the 1 TB hybrid 2.5" Seagate SSHD I used to replace the old failed Seagate 750 GB hard drive that crashed, failed without warning in a very hard crash.  Seagate has already replaced the hybrid drive that failed (as it was still under warranty), but I am still digging through old SDCards, MicroSDCards, Memory Stricks, Compact Flash, Flash Jump Drives and external hard drives trying to recover my files and data.  You see, I could never get that WD My Cloud NAS (newtwork attached storage) drive device to work right.

There was no way to recover the Seagate files and data.  I used all sorts of tools carefully trying to recover my data.  I even considered using a forensics lab to recover my work.  But I knew that I had just about everything up to 6, or now 7 months ago.

I am missing all of my font projects, but I do have all of my last distributed freeware/shareware font projects.  I am missing some photos and video here and there, but have most of it.  Some of my older video is missing the audio, though.

As for the rest, I am missing the work I did on websites and graphics for that 6 month time frame.  I seem to have all my music, though.

Losing my font and art projects was kind of a blow, though.  I had some pretty important (to me) projects that were much further along.  Now I have to restart them.

I now have the WD My Cloud NAS drive device working, but it is completely unreliable.  A tech walked me through recovering it and resetting it to factory specs, but it still falls off the network.  I added two USB 3 hard drives to the router, but I cannot access them through the network (I will be calling the tech about the new AC router, as well).

Clearly, technology isn't improving.  It is breaking easier and more quickly.  Heck, none of this stuff is even making it to the warranty expiration period.  And if a product is replaced, you get someone else's repaired device that some tech may or may not have fixed (and usually not, these things usually have multiple issues and the tech only addressed one because of time quotas on the job).

I laid-out some extra bucks for a 500 GB Samsung SSD 850 Pro.  I have spent 6 of the past 7 months recovering files.  I have setup backup options that still aren't working because of hardware and/or software failures.  I am completely exhausted from reorganizing my files, backing up files and images, yet it is NOT even done until I have a NAS solution that works.

In the past 3 months I quit my regular 'part time' job in order to attend more to my website and graphic design venture.  Which, of course, was complicated by all these hard drive failures.  So, I am busy just trying to get a little work together so that I can put some meat on the table every once in a while.

However, I have been trying to keep the Font-Journal updated with new fonts.  Lately, I have been adding a lot of web fonts that are ok for commercial use from Vernon Adams (view the entire catalog of available Vernon Adam fonts available at Font-Journal).  I do have more to add, and I will be doing so as time permits.  There are a few freeware fonts that are OK for commercial use by other designers, too.

I am also interested in starting some new font projects.  I am actually looking into doing some more professional freeware web fonts (OK for commercial use) that I will distribute exclusively through the Font-Journal PC TrueType font repository and catalog.  However, in order to do so, I have to look into crowd funding of the project, because now my spare time is getting scarce.  Let me know if you are interested.  I will detail possible projects in a few posts at a later date.

Font-Journal already does have some freeware fonts that I created which are distributed exclusively through the website.  But I am looking to sort of grow my personal font creations catalog into a font foundry of my own like Ray Larabie or Vernon Adams.  In order to do that, I need more professional software than the free tools I have been using.

I have already purchased some Fontlab products and I am looking to get a more professional editor now, like Fontographer.  I have already produced some freeware fonts, and my catalog is available at

But I will have to use crowd funding in order to do more projects.  Still, as I have been using free tools online previously, the quality of my typography definitely suffers due to the limitations of these free tools.  Is my portfolio even good enough to ask for crowd source funding, now that I have lost my last few projects that I was hoping would put me over the top?

Let me know, guys and gals.  Thanks!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Long Time...

It's been a long time since I posted...

For the past 7 months or so, I've been recovering my files, photos, graphics and websites from old hard drives, an ailing WDMyCloud, microSD cards, SD cards, and Memory Sticks.

I am fortunate that I have recovered nearly all of my photos and video except for my cousin's wedding videos, my photos and video from our Disney World trip when Max was in the national MathCounts competition (and photos from around that time), a favorite AVI from when Max was young, the audio to all my older AVIs from when Max was young (who the heck thought it was a good idea to put the audio in a separate .THM file, anyway?), and all of the current font projects I had been working on.  On top of that, reorganizing all the file backups into an organized system has been a challenge (as I copied multiple copies of files over and had to sort through everything).

I did lose any graphics, logos, fonts, and website changes that I had made in the 6 months or so prior to the hard drive crash a month (or two) ago.  I will never buy another Seagate hybrid (SSD + HDD) drive ever again.

I still have the distribution archive of the 20 or so fonts that I have been distributing (some exclusively) through my freeware/shareware TrueType Font-Journal font repository website, but I also have to update the font management software script that Font-Journal runs on, as soon as I can.

I have also quit my stupid menial labor, minimum wage job at Kohl's.  Kohl's neither treated me fairly, nor offered any challenges, nor paid well (at all), nor had decent benefits, nor was encouraging (actually management was extremely discouraging) about career opportunities, nor complied with my personal interpretation of OSHA labor force guidelines (nor tried).  That said, it was only intended to be a step up to a permanent design/art position at the corporate headquarters in Wisconsin.  But after how I was treated after getting injured and permanently partially disabled because of Kohl's unsafe safety equipment, I don't want to work for a company that treats its employees so poorly.

I am still busy trying to sort a few things on my hard drive, plus I am still looking for a few missing files (especially the photos and video) that I am missing.  I have gone through almost all of my older boot hard drives and portable backup hard drives, as well as all the (micro)SD cards and Memory Sticks, but I still have to check if I can recover anything from online services such as Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa.

I am still worried about my backups.  The WD My Cloud I was using as my NAS backup drive device was sick when I was recovering the files I had previously copied there (which was probably why I couldn't get an actual backup program to work).  We did a a factory reset and it seemed fine for a while, but now that I have backed up my system and it is at least half full, it is having difficulty scanning the content and telling me how much free storage is left.  WD Quick View has stopped reporting its used size, status, temperature and the attached backup drive (again).

Without a job I went through my savings pretty quickly buying a new Samsung SSD 850 Pro boot drive and an external portable drive I use for the graphic/photo/video/files archive since the SSD is half the size of the old hybrid drive.  Seagate is sending a replacement drive (as it was under warranty), and I sorely need it.  But with my WD My Cloud starting to act up again, I still need a new 2 or 3 TB backup hard drive to cover it if it fails.

Therefore, I won't be able to focus on free software such as my freeware fonts, graphics, cartoons, animation, video or photos for a while.  The website client I was counting on isn't providing the content/materials/links I need in order to start a new project for her, and so that means I need to start looking for work as I don't actually have an income source without her projects.

If you have ever looked for work before, you know that it is an 80 to 120 hour a week job (that I hate) and I am paid absolutely nothing for it.

I don't want to work for a soulless corporation with no moral compass like Google, Verizon, or GE that don't pay billions in their fair share taxes owed to the US Federal Governement, though.  In fact, I have to figure out how to distance myself from these companies, which means that I need to stop using them altogether.  Which also means I have to find a new alternative to gmail and blogger, check whether Apple or Microsoft pay taxes fairly before moving off my Android smart phones and tablets, finding a different and more responsible 4G LTE  carrier, stop buying GE light bulbs, etc...

But what I intend to do as soon as possible is to blog about the fonts that I have already done and are currently available for distribution.  There are at least 20 of them that are publicly available.  Then, eventually I can get caught-up and sorted-out and start creating new fonts and updating some older ones.