Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Last meeting info and links

During our last meeting we touched on a lot of different topics: photo editing, QR codes, twitter, etc.

Paint Shop Pro 6.0
Paint Shop Pro is an award-winning image-editing tool that offers a robust set of painting and drawing tools and support for more than 40 image formats. Features include dockable toolbars, built-in special effects filters, RGB color separation, masking options, multilevel undo functionality, complete layer support, "picture tube" brushes, CMYK separation, pressure-sensitive tablet support, flexible painting and retouching brushes, and adjustable cropping and selection tools.Version 6.0 adds a multitude of new features, including editable text with character-level formatting, vector drawing tools, object manipulation and node editing, multiple color gradients, new image deformations, Digimarc watermarks, multilevel redo, and more.

QR Code generator
Generate printable QR mobile phone-readable 2D barcodes containing a website URL, an email address, a phone number, a pre-formatted SMS message or just plain text to use as paper prints, DIY stickers, temporary tattoos or iron-on T-shirt transfers.

Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".

Practical applications:

On Oct 8th, I attended Weird Al's Alpocalypse Tour, and ran into two CUGoL members!  They asked "How did I get such great seats and a VIP pass?".  Well that was because I follow Al on twitter, and I got an SMS message on my cell phone from Al's tweet about the Charlotte show and was able to buy VIP tickets as soon as they went on sale.

Paint Shop Pro 6:
When I create a website or a blog, I often use pictures that have different background colors than that of the web page, so instead of this:
I make the image background transparent with Paint Shop Pro 6, so it will look like this:

QR Codes:
They are those little 2D bar codes that are popping up everywhere these days. They were designed as a way to store information that could be read by an optical scanner or camera, like the camera there in your smart phone.  Once you load a QR code reader app to your phone, you can point your camera at a QR code, the app will read the information in it, usually a website address, and then take your Internet browser there without you doing all that typing.
This is the QR code for my blog site.

These codes can contain any information of course, they could be an address, phone number, contest entry, instructions for your phone or you. Maybe someday you will play a treasure hunting game using them. Or they might set a destination into your GPS enabled phone to take you to a restaurant, theater or shop.
School kids may use them as new way to pass notes to each other. The data in them is totally readable, but it could still be scrambled or encrypted.

I am still looking for ideas for next month. I have a few, but am always looking for input from you!
So send me an email:  ki4llf@gmail.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

Great deal at Denver Wal-mart!

The Wal-mart in Denver (16 & 73) currently has a great deal on a  Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 500 GB USB 3.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive only $49.

It is backward compatable with USB 2.0

Wal-mart has them sitting in the middle of the isle between the electronics dept and the office supplies. 

500GB - That's about 125,000 songs!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Replace your old harddrive

Last meeting (Aug 6th) we replaced an 80GB SATA drive with a Western Digital 2TB SATA (WD20EARS).  I stumbled a little as I was trying to recall the exact steps I took months ago. 
The drive purchased was a:
that I bought from Newegg.com for $76.
The software I used for the drive prep and cloning is available to everyone on the Western Digital webpage.
Advanced Format Software
Acronis True Image WD Edition
After preparing the blank hard drive with the Advanced Format Software we cloned the original hard drive to the new 2TB drive using the Acronis True Image WD Edition software. We shut the pc down, swapped drives and booted it up with 1.8TB more than we had 30 minutes before.
I usually label the old hard drive as an ARCHIVE with the date and keep it safe.
If you ever had to or wanted to restore your OS you could use that ARCHIVE image.

Don't forget to buy a SATA cable ($5), you will need one just for the prep and cloning operation, store it away with your ARCHIVE drive when done.
Next time I would like to show you a different method of doing the same thing, which is also good for making backups.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

CUGoL's NEW blog site

CUGoL - Computer Users Group of Lincolnton

Our new blog for our members and others to keep up with the discussions, Q&A, links and other stuff mentioned during our monthly meetings!