ideas + updates + distractions

Nov 19

IS THE P.C. BECOMING MORE IRRELEVANT?

There is much speculation that the death of the PC will soon be upon us. Before all the Windows fanboys out there have an aneurism, I’m talking about PCs (personal computers), which include Macs. With the rise of cloud storage, some experts are predicting that personal computers will be as irrelevant as cassette players. Sorry hipsters. What am I talking about when I say cloud storage? Imagine a giant warehouse full of data storage (seriously, lots of hard drives) that invites users to store their information in this warehouse. This way, people don’t have to have their files and information solely located on one device, and can be accessed, hypothetically, anywhere there is an internet connection and from a wide range of devices. Web users have already been using forms of cloud storage for many years in programs such as: Yahoo!, Gmail, and Hotmail; even Facebook and Flikr represent a form of cloud storage for everyone’s photos. The first question that comes to people’s minds is, generally: “So any schlub can hack into the these cumulus bodies of binary code and steal my passwords?!”. Well, not really. These companies rely on their reputation to protect their customers’ information, so obviously, security is a priority. Not only that, but these companies keep back-ups of your back-up’s back-ups, in a process very appropriately called “redundancy”. It’s like Inception through the eyes of a gigabyte. Many of the apps we use on our phones are cloud-reliant for their data storage and back-up to services such as iCloud or Dropbox. Whether we like it or not, it’s a practice that is becoming more and more common.

Tablets and mobile devices are the wave of…well, now. As tablets are growing more powerful and enjoy many of the same capabilities as PCs, we are starting to see PC sales declining. This makes sense since the average user rarely needs the hulkish capabilities that a PC can provide. Ironically, Steve Jobs who claimed that the PC is dying, left his company to see significant increases in PC sales contrary to many other leading PC companies. It’s fair to say that, while the PC sees a noticeable decline in sales, it’s not doomed, particularly in the business world. Businesses, such as ours, need the onsite power and capability of a PC in order to push forward with web development and creative design, not to mention, certain softwares are not available on a cloud system. The cloud relies heavily on internet speed, which means access to certain files and programs can be handicapped by the alleged “high-speed internet” that companies boast about. In addition, an abundance of screen real-estate is still an important asset available on stationary computers that tablets and mobile devices can’t exactly match at this time. Still, it appears that the average user is relatively complacent with the aptitude of tablets, which will ultimately determine the technological trend.

There will always be those who battle with the idea of conforming to the cloud as long as there are people who remain paranoid about theft or insist that their data be stored on their own devices. As our culture continues to pair “convenience” with technology, the cloud is certain to make a heavy push in the near future.

What are the pros and cons of a cloud-based future?

Pros:

Cons:

So, is the PC on its deathbed? Not necessarily. Will sales continue to decline? Probably. Will the average user care? Nah.

Nov 13

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Last week, we welcomed three new people to the Engine family. Drea is now the mother of twins — Catie and Joe. And Mike just welcomed his son Angelo into the world.

We’re very happy to report all three babies and their mothers are healthy and doing well. We couldn’t be happier for Drea and her family, and for Mike and his. And while we’re looking forward to having Mike and Drea rejoin us here at work, we’re sure they have plenty to keep them busy. 

Oct 23

A MAJOR AWWWARD!

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We love doing great work for our clients. Making something awesome that helps people build their brand and grow their business is what makes rushing to hit a deadline worth all the panic attacks. And while ultimately what we do is for our clients, it’s also nice to earn some praise from our peers in the design world.

That’s why we we’re a little bit giddy that the website we made for Ganau, a wine cork producer in Sonoma County, is a nominee for Site of the Day on AWWWARDS.com: The awards for design, creativity and innovation on the Internet.

You can check out our work and vote for it (or others’ work, if you want to be like that) right here. You’ll need to be a registered user to vote, but you should join—not only to cheer for us, but also to check out all the other kick-ass work on the site.

Congratulations to Ganau and to everyone on our team who worked on the project.

Oct 11

OH JON!

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It is with great pleasure that I introduce our marketing intern, Jon. A research fiend, account organizer extraordinaire, and all-around mover + shaker, Jon is a wildly productive member of our team. After sitting down with him to learn a little more, I quickly discovered that he has an outrageously wide range of passions and hobbies, from sushi and melodic metal to hiking and Shadow Hearts, as well as some hilarious stories to boot. A quick rundown of highlights:

Campside Caper
At the tender age of 7, Jon was locked in a campsite bathroom at Lake Mendocino. Although he was only trapped for 15 minutes, the trauma has led to a lifetime of public restroom phobia. What’s the upside? Superb bladder control. We haven’t witnessed a single incident to date. Really.

Not That Kind of Growler.
At the end of a busy day, Jon likes to unwind by screaming his lungs out to melodic metal. Which, as I found out, is technically referred to as “growling.” So if you see Jon red-faced and howling, don’t worry — he’s just, umm, relaxing.

<3 Shadow <3
When not bursting neck veins and vocal chords, Jon tries his hand at a video game or two. If given the chance, Jon would strap on a pair of knuckle-blades and live out the rest of his years following voices in his head as Yuri Volte Hyuga.

Favorite Chick Flick
Failure to Launch.

- Haley

Oct 02

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It’s true; starting next week I will be taking some time off to prepare for the arrival of my son and daughter. That’s right, I’ve got twin-sanity on the horizon and couldn’t be more excited. I am looking forward to the opportunity to take some time with my new little ones. Not to worry though, the return date is already on the calendar, so look out — I plan to blow back in the doors in early 2014. I’m excited to see what new work will be completed while I’m gone and to catch up with you all in the New Year.

So, what does a Drea-less Engine look like, you ask?…Well, while I’d like to think it will be a little less… what’s the word… awesome, in reality, it probably won’t be too different than what you have come to know and love already. There might be a few new faces and voices around the office, but all in all the transition should be smooth and painless and, as always, Chris will be here making sure everything keeps on trucking.

My husband and I are going to be first-time parents, and are diving in head-first with this whole twin thing. Any advice, books, or insight you have would be more than welcomed, I have a feeling we are going to need all the help we can get!

Here is wishing you all a very early happy new year, ‘till we chat again…

Drea