I haven't been podcasting for a while now for several very good reason
and a few not so good reasons. I'm sort of easing back into it now.
The big hold up was THE BOOK! With 70 odd podcasts out there with
transcripts I found that turning this into a book and learning Adobe
InDesign, putting this up on Lulu.com and getting the printed copies
then finding there were lots and lots of typos was hard work and it
took time. I printed a 2nd edition and found there were more undiscovered
typos. I don't know where these darn things come from.
In Stage 3 now and working at it bit by bit but it's not the enormous
task of putting it all together. On the other hard I'm starting another
book, based on my mother's memoirs and family photographs. Sooner
than putting it together in InDesign and all that, I'm going to try
authoring a CD. That way I can put all the pictures on it and they
can look at it as a slideshow. My family can then view it any way
they wish, with a bit of this and a bit of that, like roaming about
on the web. One thing reminds you of another, so you look and you
pull that in. This is how we read and look nowadays. Speaking for
myself, it's become difficult for me to just sit down and read a book.
I'm so used to multi-tasking. This is partly from my former job with
the government, where we were always putting out fires and jumping
from one thing to another. I can just do something for maybe half
an hour, then I have to switch to something else. I have to! However,
that's another story. Bottom line is I've been too busy darting around
to focus on podcasting.
On the other hand I have become quite involved in learning graphics,
first in Photoshop and now I have become embroiled in learning Paint
Shop Pro. My friend, Joan, in England got involved in a ridiculous
email program called Incredimail. With Incredimail you can add all
kinds of doodads - graphics and sound and animations and what have
you. It goes on and on. I interested in learning how people could
get involved in creating this graphical mish mash. I found a nice
One on One group on Yahoo and I started to learn Paint Shop Pro, which
is a very clever program. Incredimail 'stationery' tends to emphasize
nubile maidens, artfully misted, and ensconced in flowers with fancy
frames and fancy effects and masks and what not. It's also big on
cute animals and cartoons. While all these plugins and effects make
it very glamorous, it's not top tier stuff as far as the underlying
material in concerned.
Learning these manipulations, I'm starting to cross over into Photoshop
to find how the same effect is created there. I guess I'm a masochist.
It's been interesting. As I wrote this, I was on Lesson 82 of 100
Paint Shop Pro lessons. My teacher sends me a tutorial with masks
and plugins that are needed and a picture to start out with. You do
the tutorial and are graded on it as a pass or a fail.. Most of mine
have been passes. I've had a couple of fails. It's like having a lovely
puzzle to do every day. I get greedy and try to send them in as fast
as I can, so I can have more puzzles, more puzzles. I like the puzzle
The other thing that happened - Oh Lord have mercy on us poor
sinners - was a double hard drive crash. First
of all I had a flaky little C: drive. It wasn't very big and it was
gobbling material from someplace and I would have a Gig less space
every morning. My gradually disappearing C:\ drive was a problem.
I decided it just wasn't big enough so my solution was to go overboard.
I bought a Seagate Barracuda one Terabyte drive. Unfortunately, a
small run of these one terabyte drives had a problem. The drive would
fail suddenly. The files were still there on it but the system couldn't
read the drive. I had installed Windows on the one terabyte drive
and wiped it off the little drive which had been eating its own young,
by which I mean the disappearing space problem. Windows ran fine on
the Seagate Barracuda one terabyte drive until one day it just failed.
It totally failed.
Fortunately, I keep my 'one generation back' computer in pretty good
condition. All I have to do is switch my cable modem on to it and
I'm in business with a smaller monitor and somewhat older software,
but I'm still truckin'. I worked that way for a while as I thought
about the problem. A friend had warned me about the Seagate drive
problem so I knew why the big drive had failed.
I had a nice fellow come by who had helped me before and he took
way the terabyte drive. He installed a 250 gigabyte drive in addition
to my existing little drive which was wiped. We put C:\ back on the
little drive, which seemed to be o.k. now. I think it had been a software
thing that caused the original space-eating behavior. All my files
had been backed up on two external USB drives. I decided to take a
friend's advice to use the C:\ drive only for the Windows system and
whenever possible I installed programs on the new 250 gig drive. So,
now I have Windows on the little drive and programs on the 250 gig
drive plus my USB drives and I sort of didn't even need or want the
one terabyte drive back as I was scared of having more trouble. Seagate
had come up with a firmware patch. My favourite dealer applied the
firmware update and my man came an reinstalled the one terabyte drive
which I determined to use just for backup storage.
I had, therefore, a little system drive, the 250 gig drive where
all my programs were, two pretty large USB drives and, off in the
distance, my enormous one terabyte. No matter how much stuff I put
on it this enormous drive seems to be saying "Feed me!" There's always
more space because it's so huge. (this was back in 2009)
I'm starting to get together an idea of how to proceed, not in case
there is another crash, but with the certainty that there will be,
at some point in time, another crash. I'm going to build several CDs
called essentials. All the things that I absolutely have to have like
my Snagit program that captures graphics for me and my password program
and my extended clipboard program. My Palm Pilot software was too
old and I had to go online to their site to get newer software and
futz about until I could load all my stuff back in from backups. There
were over 400 entries in there and I used it mainly for the desktop
because my little Palm Pilot eats batteries even when turned off.
I needed but could not find a program that converts the palm ABA file
into a plain DBF file that I can port straight into a database, so
that if everything goes "Bang!" again, I'm not stuck.
A friend suggested getting a couple of flash or thumb drives for
the core essential stuff and I'm doing that too.
I've been busy but I'm starting to see daylight again