Categories
Resource/Misc Software/Add-Ins

What Version of Flash is Installed On My Computer?

Flash is still a major component of many projects. On a recent presentation that integrated Flash elements, I ran into a need to know exactly what version of the Flash Player was installed on each computer.

I use this website to instantly tell me exactly what version is installed (Click here to open):

Note: Firefox and Internet Explorer (IE) use separate installs of the Flash player. If you use Firefox as the default browser but a Flash app does not work, be sure to update Flash player through IE too as most applications access the IE player (like PowerPoint).

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Free PowerPoint Files.com Review

The Free PowerPoint Files website is a collection of PowerPoint templates. It looks to be a companion site to the “PowerPoint Styles” website I reviewed back in June offering the same template designs. Free PowerPoint Files offers several hundred PowerPoint templates that are image based with stock images for the background and text placeholders formatted to coordinate with the background image.

The templates are all the legacy .ppt format. But they are free. What you download is a nice background image, but not a very functional template. The images used for the template backgrounds are very modern and work well for templates. When I opened the template I downloaded it looked good from the thumbnail view with multiple layouts and PowerPoint placeholders positioned well on the background image.

But the Title slide (viewed in edit view, not master slide view) showed a single text box vs. separate text boxes for the title and subtitle text, which have different formatting. And the background was a placed .jpg (eg. not from a preset master slide).

The Master Slides revealed no formatting, just a placed .jpg for the background. No text placeholders, named master, title slide master, etc.

If you are familiar with the basics of setting up templates with default placeholders, color scheme and transitions the PowerPoint Styles templates offer nice backgrounds to start with.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

PPTStyles Templates Review

The PowerPoint Styles website had over 200 PowerPoint templates when I reviewed it recently. The templates are image based with stock images for the background and text placeholders formatted to coordinate with the background image.

I have not yet reviewed a stock template resource that I have found worth the expense. In this case all templates are free – and that gives you a nice background image, but not a very functional template (you get what you pay for). The images used for the template backgrounds are very nice, modern and work well for templates. I also appreciated that each image has a credit to its source/photographer. All templates I looked at where the legacy .ppt format.

When I first opened the template I downloaded, all looked good from the thumbnail view. Multiple layouts, PowerPoint placeholders positioned well within the background image, etc.

But the Title slide (viewed in edit view, not master slide view) showed a single text box vs. separate text boxes for the title and subtitle text, which have different formatting. And the background was a placed .jpg (eg. not from a preset master slide).

The Master Slides revealed no formatting, just a placed .jpg for the background. No text placeholders, named master, title slide master, etc.

If you are familiar with the basics of setting up templates with default placeholders, color scheme and transitions the PowerPoint Styles templates offer nice backgrounds to start with.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Facebook and Office Files with Docs.com

Well it has happened. The first application I have seen that takes advantage of the new Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps launched Wednesday. Docs.com lets you upload Office docs (PowerPoint, Word, Excel) either on your computer or using the MS Web Apps and then share them with your Facebook friends.

It was easy to start using. I opened Facebook and logged in. Then opened a new tab and went to docs.com and was automatically setup with the Facebook connector. It is a beta, so get on the waiting list.

And if you have not seen the MS Web Apps in action, just click on any of the available docs and it will open in the MS Web App. Here is one of the PowerPoint decks viewed in the MS Web App on Docs.com

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

PowerPointMaps.com

This is another option for adding a map to a presentation. Reviewing the PowerPointMaps.com website virtually every country/region is represented.

The site offers 2 types of downloads; free and premium. To download a free version you need to register first. I downloaded a few free maps to review the quality. Unfortunately the free version is unusable as it is a flat .jpg image with the website name watermarked across the middle. Here is one of my free map download of the United States, which has an ad for the premium version with a .jpg of the map (I added the red outline to highlight the .jpg)

The premium maps are vector based with each state/region as separate elements which is very usable. Each premium map is 49euros (approx. $66 U.S.) and is definitely a premium price. You can search for “map” to find reviews of other options.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

NewsMap for Presentation ‘Statistic’ Graphics

I recently made use of NewsMap for some great visual images to visually show the trends being talked about by the presenter. NewsMap is actually an old web based application that has had some big improvements recently.

NewsMap visually shows any topic from the Google News aggregator in a treemap. The treemap shows the topic in bands and sized boxes that show patterns in news the reporting at that moment.

Of note – the newsmap images change quickly as the news changes. So my sample Newsmap of “Microsoft” will have a different layout when you create it for the same topic.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Google DocVerse

DocVerse is a company Google purchased last week that aims at making its online Google Apps more appealing to MS Office users. DocVerse is ironically a startup founded by two former Microsoft key employees.

Colaboration (having multiple people work on a document seamlessly) and cloud computing are what 2010 is going to be all about. DocVerse is an add-in to Office 2007/2010 that adds great colloboration tools to PowerPoint, Word and Excel. While they are really good, starting in June these features are going to be a part of the upcoming Office 2010.

Google is all about cloud computing and while DocVerse does not add any new features to its apps directly, what is does do is allow MS Office users to upload their MS documents into the Google cloud and work with them, colloborate on them and enter the Google app world without changing them from the MS format. It seems to me, this is acknowledgement that every company, even Google, needs to integrate working with MS document. And second, the full featured desktop application is still superior to cloud based versions.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Need to Access a Mac Hard Drive ?

We live in a cross platform work environment with Windows computers and Mac computers. But they do not necessarily work together 100%.

Mac sytems do not like Windows NTFS hard drive format. They can read, but cannot write to them.

Windows systems do not like the Mac ‘macdrive’ format. It cannot read or write to them… And this is a problem when someone hands you a USB drive and says “My presentation is on this.

MacDrive by MediaFour is a Windows computer best friend in this situation. It seamlessly recognizes macdrive formatted hard drives and they work just as any other drive, all accessed from Windows Explorer.

Just one of those software items needed to be ready for everything.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Real Presentations From Your SmartPhone

RIM (Research In Motion / Blackberry cell phones) announced at CES their new “Blackberry Presenter”. This small standalone box connects to the projector via VGA or TV via s-video and your Blackberry connects to it by Blue Tooth.

So this is not a mini projector, but a graphics card to connect to a real projector for real meetings.

– Supports PPT 2003 and PPT 2007
– Supports almost all animations and transitions (no multimedia)
– 1024×768 resolution (no High Def shows yet)
– AND is open to third party developers to work with other phones

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

WOW – 76 MB Per Second!

Last week I posted about SpeedTest.net (Dec. 12 Post). I was just on a project in Las Vegas at the Mirage (coordinating presentations for 50 physicians) and checked my internet connection. First test was 76 megabytes per second! I ran the test again later in the day (eg. not 6am when no one was on the network) and still came up with an impressive 62 MB connection. Even more impressive (but less used) was the 30+ MB upload connection.

Needless to say, pushing 8 GB files across the network to various ballrooms, listening to Pandora and IM’ing was no problem!

– Troy @ TLC