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
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 part.
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
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 drive.
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 backas 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.
I'm starting to get together and 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
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