Categories
Resource/Misc

iStockPhoto – Independent Artists for Variety

iStockPhoto can take credit for revolutionizing royalty free images. They permit anyone to upload images (vs. contracted artists/photographers) and the artist receives a royalty whenever the image is purchased (vs. paying upfront fees to the contracted artists). The good is unbelievable variety, often outside the expected and norm (independent artists). The bad is anyone can add images, so not everything is professional and polished…

Raster/Photo images: Yes
Vector images: Yes
Video: Yes
Audio: Yes
Pay Per Image: Yes (average for “Medium” image $9 each)
Subscription Download: Sort Of

Test Search Results:
1. “Fast Car” = 11,605 results
2. “Medical Consultation” = 18,889 reults

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Shutterstock Photos – Lots of images, including vector!

Shutterstock Photos is one of the sites I have been using a lot lately. They offer a huge selection of images, all professional quaility, though some a bit dated and a great selection. One option I have made really good use of is the number and diversity of vector art, especially for developing template background images.

Raster/Photo images: Yes
Vector images: Yes
Video: Yes (optional with subscription)
Audio: No
Pay Per Image: Yes average $10 each)
Subscription Download: Yes (25 images per day for 1, 3, 6, 12 month durations)

Test Search Results:
1. “Fast Car” = 17,206 results
2. “Medical Consultation” = 3,696 results

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc Software/Add-Ins Tutorial

Use Nvidia Control Panel to Set Mirrored or Extended Desktop

PowerPoint presentations given to a live audience usually involve the computer being attached to a projector. And sometimes the technical issues of getting the computer and projector to cooperate are the downfall of the presenter…

Here is what I hear a lot:
– I have a great laptop!
– I hooked up the projector (via VGA or DVI cable).
– I clicked the Function + F4 keys.
– Nothing happened, my presentation would not show up!

It happens and there are technical complexities, but I run anywhere from 1 to 12 computers outputting to projectors for any given meeting. Here is my approach to assuring the presentation shows up on the projector (note: the following tutorial is based on the Nvidia Control Panel as most of show computers currently run their graphics cards).

1. First, I do not use the Function+F4 key. This is just a shortcut to the control panel that does not show me any of the real settings.

2. I open the graphic card control panel. My preferred method is to right-click the desktop and select “NVIDIA CONTROL PANEL”

3. This opens the Nvidia Control Panel. From here you can see and adjust every aspect of how images are put onto any monitor, or projector, connected to the computer/laptop.

4. I first go to CHANGE RESOLUTION. I can quickly see on the right if the computer ‘sees’ the 2nd monitor/projector by the two display icons.

5. If 2 icons are seen I go to #6. If only 1 icon is seen (the laptop monitor) I then have a few steps:
A. Check cable is plugged into computer.
B. Check cable is plugged into projector (or switcher).
C. Verify projector is powered on and set to correct input.
D. If using a docking station for the laptop (as I do), check docking station has power by checking power supply has light, is plugged into dock and dock has power lights (video out from all docks is not passive and will not work if dock does not have active power).
E. Run the RUN MULTIPLE DISPLAY WIZARD to force the graphics cards to identify and recognize the external monitor.

6. To setup a projector I go to the SETUP MULTIPLE DISPLAYS option.

7. On the right I can tell the computer how I want to use the projector.

1. Do not connect to projector
2. Mirror output to projector (most common setting)
3. Extend desktop to projector

8. Click APPLY.

9. Then go back to CHANGE RESOLUTION. Now the focus is on the resolution setting on lower part of the right side. This number has to be set to match the projector’s resolution.

– If the resolution is set to high, the projector may be unable to use it (and will display nothing).
– If the resolution is set to a widescreen format (as many laptop monitors are) and the projector is not widescreen it will either compress the image or add black letterbox bars (neither is a good option), so the resolution will need to be set to a 4×3 aspect ratio (eg. 1024×768 is the most common).

10. Click APPLY, exit the control panel and get on with the presentation – yeah!

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

Delete a File That Refuses to Delete with “Unlocker”

I just wrapped up a quick project where I created a custom installer that created a folder, added presentations and videos, added shortcuts and an uninstaller. All pretty standard stuff, but I always test everything to make certain all works before a client distributes it. Well, I discovered an error with my coding. Actually all ran perfect except the uninstaller did not uninstall… hmmm, not good. I figured out the problem, edited the code and all worked perfect on my next test. Time to send to client – yeah!

Maybe it is because my main production computer is still running Windows XP (although there are several Vista Ultimate computers here and I am running Windows 7 on a my Office 2010 test computer), but the folder from my first test install (the one where the uninstaller errored out)would not delete. Every time I attempted to delete I ended up with some message like this:

Then I remembered this little (265k install) application that I installed long ago and is just waiting to be used. Unlocker does exactly what it says. It unlocks a file, or folder full of files this time, and allows me to delete it – yeah!

It is a handy utility that is a solution to otherwise frustrating occurrences. Oh, and it’s free (donation option). Here’s the Unlocker website.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Anoto – A Pen For Presentations

At last years PPTLive conference I spent some time talking with the Anoto people about their new product and how it could be used for presenters. Well the product has launched and I look forward to talking more with them about presentation solutions.

Anoto makes an ink pen that captures the writing and wirelessly (bluetooth) can make it show up onscreen.

For presentations, think of this as the ‘ink’ features on steriods. The idea is to print out your slides, then for each slide draw any notations on your printout and they show up onscreen – all without having to have a computer in front of you. You could be sitting with the audience with only a clipboard and your pen – as long as you are within range of the receiver.

The Boston Globe recently did a story on Anoto which has more information.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
PowerPoint Resource/Misc

PowerPoint Contest (by SlideBoom)

SlideBoom, the online presentation sharing site, has announced a new PowerPoint competition!

Here’s what they say:
This contest is a unique opportunity to reveal your creative potential and experience in creating PowerPoint presentation on Business,Education, Career or other interesting subject.

The top three winners will be awarded valuable prizes like SlideBoom Presentation Contest 2009 Winner Cup, a lifetime subscription for PRO account, advanced iSpring Presenter software and Gold Award badge.

Applicants are welcome to submit their works from 18 May to 21 June inclusive. Winners will be announced on 30 June 2009.

Learn more at the official contest page.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

Creativity Boost with MoodStream

Here is a nifty online tool for those days creativity is just not there (or if you have some time to stare at the computer and be entertained). Getty Images has MoodStream.

Pulling from its vast image and video libraries you can have a full screen never ending stream of images and video based on your parameters. Adjust the sliders or use a preset, click ‘Refresh Stream’ and watch.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins

Online Paint Program Sumo Paint

Don’t have Photoshop and want something a bit more feature rich than Paint? I spent some time experimenting with the online image editing program “Sumo Paint”.

Sumo Paint is flash based, so the only thing needed is the flash plugin. There are a number of youtube videos (some better than others) that demo some of the unique features like the Symetry brush. For an online application it worked virtually identical to an installed application, it is free and does lots of great stuff.

Head over to Sumo Paint here. Even if you do not need another paint program/image editor, it is worth a few minutes to play with Sumo Paint and see how feature rich the new generation of online applications are. Here is a quick image I created in 20 seconds using the symmetry tool and then a few filters.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Baaaad Slides

CIO.com has some really bad slides for all to see. Each has a little info about the origin of the slide. Not that I agree with all of the comments (I have seen worse), but it is a good use for 5 minutes of your day. Click here to see them all.

– Troy @ TLC

Categories
PowerPoint Resource/Misc

PPT Art – Captain Jack Sparrow

How is this PowerPoint art?

When it is created in PowerPoint with hundreds of autoshapes! Just the mustache is made up of what looks to be over 200 autoshapes (I stopped counting after 75)!

This incredible work by the UK’s Colin Neal can be downloaded from the PowerPointHeaven site. Look for the entry called “Captain Jack Sparrow.” Click here.

– Troy @ TLC