Friday, May 30, 2008

Photoshop Tutorials

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most powerful image editing tools available. Many people stick with the tools they get with a digital camera, but if you have the money to spend, Photoshop is an incredibly versatile and potent tool.

The folks at Photoshop Roadmap have put together a list of free tutorials (training) for specific tasks you might want to perform - from the easy (removing red eye) to more difficult (removing wrinkles, changing a person's facial expression).

Here's the link...scroll down past the ads up top and you'll find tons of tutorials that might be of use!

Link to site

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Online Pizzas

The beauty of computing (as I think I said earlier this week) is that the applications of the technology are constantly evolving. One of the things that many people thought was silly as recently as two years ago was the idea of ordering pizzas online, but lo and behold, Papa John's Pizzeria is finding a lot of success in pizza ordering online.

It's certainly something that makes a lot of sense - you can create and save your favorite pizzas in your account and you don't have to worry about communication issues with the person answering the phones.

How well is it going? Papa John's has surpassed ONE BILLION dollars in total revenue from their online sales since they started in 2001.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Evolution of Web sites

One of the things I like about computers is that it is an industry that is still evolving. As I've grown, the technology has as well, and the technology has grown for the better.

A friend of mine sent me a link that shows how Web sites have evolved over the last 10 years, showing screen shots of how ugly sites used to be compared to the beauty of today. The problem 10 years ago was that the people skilled enough with computers often weren't skilled enough with art. Of course, graphic design type careers have evolved to cover Web site design as well.

The Evolution of Web Sites

Apple, Amazon, Adobe, CNN, Nike, and Yahoo are among the sites shown. I wonder what the future holds for all of us on the Web, it's exciting to consider!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Internet Sales Tax

In what will probably turn out to be something that affects all of on the Internet eventually, the State of New York passed a law requiring any items purchased by people who live in the state of New York to be taxed. This is something that everyone expected would come some day. New York will fight some battles on this, and if they win, you can be sure other states are going to follow suit:

Link to article

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mac Shortcuts

I realize that I am very PC-centric on this blog.

It's not because I dislike Macintosh - as a matter of fact, I worked with a place that used Mac exclusively, and also at one point gave up on Windows and ran Debian Linux on my home computer instead of Windows for a few years.

The Macintosh Web site has a lot of good stuff on it, including a list of shortcut keys (hotkeys). If there are any Mac users out there, you might find it of interest:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Funnies: Hardball Made Easy

Sometimes people just have brilliant ideas in advertising.

As a kid, I remember all sorts of videos for sale, promising to teach you baseball. The people teaching you were never the big name superstars, they were always some guy you had never heard of.

Easton (a company that makes baseball bats) but together a series of videos that are based on a fake former baseball player trying to teach baseball skills. As someone who enjoys baseball, these videos cracked me up. For example, here's a quote from one of the videos:

"Better that they learn about pain from us than a bitter ex-wife"

The videos do feature some real baseball players as "guest instructors". They feature Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs, Brad Hawpe of the Rockies, and Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier of the Dodgers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Never Try to Teach a Pig to Sing...

An author named Robert Heinlein once wrote:

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig."

I always was amused by that quote, but you know what, it makes sense.

A coworker emailed me the following link - it is along the same vein as the above quote. Basically, we need to always be aware of our strengths, and sometimes the hardest thing in this world is to recognize our weaknesses. Is it better to be well rounded, or excel in one area? I guess the answer depends on the person.

Animal School

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Funnies: College Humor

College Humor is an excellent site that allows people to post all sorts of bizarre things, it is definitely a site worth a visit if you are bored. People really have a lot of time on their hands...!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Brain Controlled Gaming Headset

When I was a graduate student at Montclair State, one of my professors brought in a former student who was working on a headset that would be controlled by brainwaves. The application that he had in mind was for users with physical disabilities who could not control a pointing device such as a mouse.

This was the sort of thing that I immediately thought would work great with gaming too, because as a child I dealt with a little pain in my thumbs after playing Nintendo for a while (we called it "Nintendo thumb").

Well, apparently some of the hardware developers had the same idea, as the world's first brain controlled gaming headset is available! Very cool stuff, with a price around $300.

Link to article (with pictures!)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Windows Command Line

The Windows command line (Click on Start, Click Run, and type CMD) is a useful utility if you know the names of the commands. The problem is, unless you grew up knowing them, you are not going to know that you have to type CD to change directory or dir to show contents of a folder.

For those of you who might be interested in harnessing the power of the command line, you can visit the following Web site for the commands you can use from the command line:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dealing with Stress

I know it's finals time and everyone is a little tired and feeling overworked.

One of the Web sites I have on my "read every day" list is Zen, of course, has its roots in Eastern philosophy and can kind of be summed up as trying to live life in the moment.

If you go back through the archives, there are a ton of great articles. One that I re-read this morning and really got something out of was called "The ABCs of Remaining Cool in a Crazy World". If you are feeling stressed, it's worth a read:

Link to article

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Funnies: Dave Barry

One of my favorite comedy authors is a guy named Dave Barry. He writes an amusing yet satirical style that just sort of works with my sense of humor.

I found a Web site featuring some things from one of his books. The link below features a list Dave put together called "Twenty-Five Things It Took Me Over 50 Years To Learn".

He's got a bunch of books out there and they are all worth a read, I think.

Click to visit

Windows XP Users Save it??

Microsoft has decided that Windows XP will no longer be available for purchase a little later this year, in an effort to move users towards their new version of the Windows operating system, Windows Vista.

It's just fascinating that Microsoft either doesn't seem to realize how many people don't like Vista, or how they just don't care.

XP is scheduled to come off of store shelves on June 30th, and Microsoft expects to shut down some support for it as soon as spring of next year.

Link to article