Monthly Archives: July 2009

Print Shop Deluxe Review

The Print Shop Deluxe is an exceptional tool for desktop publishing, personalized gift making, web design, scrapbooking and other crafts.

Although I am not a technology-centric person, I do use a computer on a daily basis. The skills needed to install, run and use this program are extremely user friendly for those of us who aren’t tech savvy, but have comfortable, everyday computer knowledge. With software to help the user upload personal photos, one can easily create greeting cards, place cards, stationary, scrapbook pages, brochures, flyers, business cards and other printed material. In the past, software programs have been extremely limited in their scope and capabilities, or the graphics have been far too basic and minimal.

Print Shop Deluxe allows you to change from a wide range of graphics, and enables you to download more, if needed. You can also use your own personal photos and graphics integrated into this program. This gives the user a vast range of images from which to choose. I have used this program to create brochures and business cards for my Yoga business, as well to make personalized gift tags, holiday cards and personalized scrapbook pages for albums. The high quality of this program makes it very usable for even those lacking in creativity or artistic expression.
Print Shop Deluxe helps guide you through your choices to create a high quality product. I’m very pleased with this program, and would recommend it to anyone interested in publishing their own print materials.

Is GoToMeeting effective for telecommuting?

I work for a company based in Idaho but I live in Texas. This type of work situation is not totally new to our day and age, but it is quickly becoming more common.

This is because of the influx of new tools that make telecommuting more effective and easier. GoToMeeting, an online meeting tool is one such tool. It allows the parties to interact over the phone and for the project instructor to access the other parties computer, or for the other party to view the presenters screen. This can be a very effective tool in a business or teaching environment. With my current job I teach a lot of people how to use various websites, like eBay etc. The customers often have a very limited understanding of how to use technology, so this allows me to first show them exactly how the technology works, and then watch them while they repeat my instructions. The only quibble I have with this software is that the teleconferencing tools are not very well designed. The price is pretty reasonable for small operations, and you can have presentations of up to fifteen people for the plan I employ, but the teleconferencing is often a problem for my customers. Overall a good product though.

You First Programming Language

Programming Languages and their Compilers.

The first challenge for anyone who is new to programming is to make a choice between the various compilers available for a particular language. This post aims to guide you to the world of compilers, so that you can make your choice easily.

1. C++: Microsoft Visual C++ Express Edition. Free & Fast + Great debugging support.

2. Python: The Python Official Compiler. Available and supported for multiple platforms.

3. Java: The official Sun Java JDK (Java Development Kit), + Multi platform.

4. Visual Basic/C# and the .NET platform: All express editions are free and best suited for anyone who is new to programming.

5. Pascal: The official Pascal compiler, supported.

CCCP: Combined Community Codec Pack

I watch a lot of anime. And at first, when it came to watching downloaded files that were in FLV or AVI format (settle down, I only download them when they haven’t come out in English yet), my computer didn’t know what to do with them, until I found the CCCP.

CCCP stands for Combined Community Codec Pack. putting this on your computer guarantees you’ll be ready for just about every file type and compression ratio that people can throw your way. it’s a small, bare-bones player, which is good for me. I don’t need a playlist or to know how many times I’ve watched something or even the artist–I put most of that in the filename.I do, however, need something that won’t freeze up my computer or take up the entire screen when I play a file. The best part is that the CCCP is FREE and available in a single download from their website. Also, if you’ve ever had problems playing media files on other programs on your computer, I’ve learned by accident that sometimes applications like Windows Media Player can borrow/steal codecs from CCCP, meaning that it’ll be able to play all sorts of video types too.

Using PSP As A Skype Phone

Recently I have been short a cell phone and have been using my PlayStation Portable (PSP) 3000 model as a Skype phone.

The service is cheap and effective, though some precautions that I did not know may be useful for anyone else sporting the idea. The PSP 3000 model comes well equipped for this type of service with a built in microphone and fairly decent speakers that make for instant, out of the box use. Out of the box the PSP 3000 can connect to Skype and–after a simple, free, account creation–can call anyone else on Skype, no matter where they are for free provided you have access to a WiFi network. However, given you make a phone like me you can also subscribe or pay for credits from Skype to make it a bit more useful. You can actually call regular phones anywhere in a given area for a relatively low price. I spent eight dollars on a three month contract that allows me to call anyone in the Canada-US range. Impressive. Less efficiently one can alternatively buy individual credits like minutes and use them, but I have yet to take that venue. Now, there are cons to using this cheap and effective service. One is that it requires a WiFi connection, making the viability of receiving calls or replacing a current main phone out of the question, though you can arrange to buy a phone number for your Skype. The other con is that Voice over IP (voice over internet, or VOIP), even through a reliable service like Skype, has an echo effect for the one receiving the call on a normal phone that is aggravating and halting. After all is said I find I only use my new phone on close friends and family, choosing carefully who I inflict this echo-y goodness on. Users be warned and informed.