Thursday, February 05, 2009
  Prezi: Powerpoint killer
Prezi looks like it could (at last ;) be a Powerpoint killer or at least real alternative. Open Office offers Powerpoint-like presentations for free, but Prezi (to judge from their demo) offers ways to make different more intuitive and visually interesting presentations. It is based round the metaphor of doodling on a tablecloth to explain something to friends. This could be a MUCH bigger breakthrough in presentations for teaching than it sounds. It could be enough to get me actually using the projector for more than photos and videos!

Being in Flash it is all done with vectors, so you can swoop in very very close to the detail that's invisible on this screenshot, can include pictures and stuff as well as shapes and words... great for explaining ideas and their relationship in ways that let your students pan out to see the "big picture" and fit things in context.

But it is in private beta and I don't have a login :( If anyone knows how to get inside the magic castle please let me know - they say they will only let the filthy rich and venture capitalists inside, but surely they want potential users (especially those in the top 50 bibliobloggers) to try, demonstrate and generally rave about how wonderful their tool is? Don't they? Haven't they heard of Web 2.0???

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009
  Screencasting without an install
I'm delighted with Camtasia, it is easy to use, and gives me loads of control. Brilliant for making screencasts and online presentations. BUT, I'm a geek, I like playing with computers and tweeking settings... most of my colleagues don't :( That's where Screentoaster (HT Jane Hart again) seems ideal, it runs from your browser, no FTP uploads, just use the "embed" code to add the 'cast to a blog or course... Has anyone tried it?

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Friday, July 25, 2008
  Graphics programs again
I posted the other day about Gimp (which I was using because my Fireworks install CD is stuffed) in the comments friends helped me sort out the minor gripes I had with Gimp, the current version is nothing short of brilliant.

Stephen also commented:
For quick and dirty format conversions, resizing and cropping I use IrfanView. Does the trick for most simple tasks and is quick to start up.
IrfanView is also brilliant, a fast viewer that also does many of the most commonly needed editing tasks. I have not yet tried out any of the plugins, so up to now I cannot comment on video in IrfanView, but for graphics it is great!

If anyone has tried the video plugins please comment about how well they work - is this program a substitute for Windows Media Player as well?

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Monday, July 21, 2008
  Graphics software
I've been setting up a new laptop (Martin's old one, that I inherited when the screen on mine died, is also dying) and my trusty FireworksMX install CD seems to have decayed with time and is no longer readable. So, I installed Gimp, it is a few years (as the MX designation on my Macromedia - remember them? - software may hint) since I last tried Gimp. It has improved beyond recognition, back then it was ugly, difficult to use and crashed the machine often - in short, no advert for open source software. Now it is good looking, stable, and most tasks (once I began to learn different menu structure and keystrokes) are fairly easy. Brilliant!

I just wish I could find a good way to export a picture as JPG, but then Gimp is not designed as a Fireworks replacement, but one for Photoshop, I guess... Does anybody know a better freeware way to adjust photos and export them for the web? Or a quick way to export JPG and GIF from Gimp?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008
  Curing MS Bloat
MS Word 2007 makes files that are unreadable to users of other wordprocessing programs that's one of the "advantages"TM of MS Software BloatTM. If you are the recipient of such files see my post: Dealing with MS Office 2007 documents there is now also a cure (not for the disease, that is probably incurable) but this particular symptom, if you are unlucky enough to be stuck with Word 2007 and for some reason do not want to change to OO, then there IS a fix, Native Winds of Montana have a little program that can undo the bloat and make your files readable again just download it Docx2RTF is free!


Thursday, June 28, 2007
  When good WORD(s) fail
This MS ClipArt seems to represent the situation described below ;)

OK, we've all done it - even those who don't admit it - overwritten the version we need of some vital document and lost hours of work. Barbara suffered this just the other day, from the dreaded "­­I saved the attachment when I finished editing it" syndrome (which is also my most common cause). I am not bad at finding the backup copies that Word scatters liberally round one's hard-drive, but I've bookmarked "How to recover lost Word files"? from EaseUs software people (even if it does advertise their shareware products) because it suggests some wrinkles I did not know or often forget... (HT to the usually interesting LifeHacker for the tip.)


Friday, March 23, 2007
  On the move?

» PortableApps

Stephen emailed me this link, looks neat "carry your favorite computer programs along with all of your bookmarks, settings, email and more with you."


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