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Get A Slice Of Raspberry Pi

9 Apr

Are you a Raspberry Pi fan? Their mission is to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world. You build a small and affordable computer that you can use to learn programming.

If you are interested getting in computer programming and want to have fun at the same time, then you should check out it. Raspberry Pi is perfect for Educators and Parents looking for something exciting to introduce to students. There are computing clubs in your area such as Code Club, CoderDojo, and Raspberry Jams – there isn’t a shortage of interactivity!

https://www.raspberrypi.org/

Get Ultimate Tips Working With Spreadsheets & More

24 Mar

Do you get stuck in Excel, Google Sheets, and Outlook? I found a blog that provides some great tips to make your work in spreadsheets more efficient and save time. Discover Excel tutorials, functions and advanced formula examples. The blog is sponsored by Ablebits, a software company that adds capabilities to spreadsheets, and they do a nice job offering free advice as a public service.

https://www.ablebits.com/office-addins-blog/

Graphic Artist Loves Open Source

29 Dec

Are you an starving artist looking for some affordable digital tools? We’ve posted before about open source software. However, I just have to jump in again and focus on Graphic Designing with Open Source. I work on a Mac, PC and even an Ubuntu Linux box. Professional Graphics Software isn’t cheap. So I let my Boss buy it for work. Adobe is great, and pricey. My heart is with the following software. All available for all platforms I use.

 

Inkscape (Illustrator equivalent)

Pros:

  • The Best Auto trace anywhere.
  • SVG native format- (one of Illustrators default save options)
  • PDF editing well underway- not fully implemented
  • Diagraming tool works great for planning websites

Cons:

  • Color Swatches are not currently able to be saved in direct manner. No Built in Pantone support ( but that is just a matter of specifying the proper Pantone number for printing)

 

Gimp (Photoshop equivalent)

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • Regularly updated with fixes and the latest features
  • Strong community
  • Runs smoothly on almost every platform
  • Customizable with plugins and scripts
  • Handles almost any format including: bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm

Cons:

  • Newest version can be buggy
  • No 16-bit per channel color support
  • Feature development is slow

 

Scribus (InDesign equivalent)

Pros:

  • It’s free
  • PDF compressing is quality
  • Works well on Windows
  • It is a lightweight program

Cons:

  • Lacks the “spell check”
  • Need to keep the pictures integrated in your document in the same location on your computer or you’ll lose them
  • Doesn’t look pleasant when switching fonts
  • Runs slow with multiple pages or large files
  • Navigation needs to be updated
  • Not enough intuitive
  • Documentation is incomplete

 

Blender (Maya equivalent)

The pros:

  • It’s free
  • Features animation, rigging, fluid simulations, UV mapping, and more
  • Export blender files to different file formats
  • Render with your gpu instead of cpu

The cons:

  • Slow viewport performance with high-poly scenes
  • Layers system is not intuitive at times

Figure Out How To Open Any File

15 Oct

Are you having problems opening a file? If you are clicking on a file and your computer says can’t find program to open it, then we’ve found a website to help. File.org displays the programs that can open, view, play or convert your files. You simply search for the program extension and it will points you to the correct program.

The site says, “it has a huge database of file extensions (file types) with detailed descriptions. They hand pick programs that we know can open or otherwise handle each specific type of file. The software listed on file.org is hosted and delivered directly by the manufacturers. It does not host downloads, but points you to the newest, original downloads.” If you need help opening a file, keep file.org at the top of your list.

http://file.org/

Ubuntu Equals Free OS

10 Jan

You’ve heard of Microsoft Windows, Apple’s El Capitan or Snow Leopard, but have your heard of Ubuntu? Ubuntu for the first time in global history produced a fully functional operating system (OS) which supports both desktop and mobile simultaneously. You can download Ubuntu desktop and replace your current operating system whether it’s Windows or Mac OS, or, run Ubuntu alongside it. Convergence is the future, and products like the Ubuntu Edge are paving the way. If you are using this OS, what do you think of it?

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Kids Watch Software Helps Limit Computer Time

16 Aug

Do you need a way to keep track of and limit what your kids do on your computer? The site sayds, “KidsWatch parental control software is your fastest and easiest solution to safeguard your children’s’ Internet experience and maximize the efficiency of the time they spend on the computer. Set computer usage time limits, by child, ensuring homework is a priority.” I tried it out recently and it work fairly well. There are two different versions, one that limits time and the other that can also restrict what your kids do on the computer. It’s only good on a PC and your purchase requires an annual renewal. I am fan of buying software once, but perhaps I’m just old school.

Kids Watch can limit:

  • Internet chats, including Instant messaging
  • YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Web Visits
  • Online Gaming and Gaming Software Downloads
  • Music Downloads

http://kidswatch.com/

See Your Seats In 3D

1 Jun

The next time you are heading to a sporting event why look up your seats on a standard map when you can get a 3D map? Check out Ballena Technologies award winning Seats3D product by looking up
your favorite sports arena. Whether you are an NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, MLS, or NASCAR fan this site may have your venue covered. The Flash browser plugin is required to load the maps.

http://www.seats3d.com/

Free Screen Capture Program

5 Jul

I found a great free screen capture program for both PC and Mac called TinyTake. The best part of the program is that it can not only capture pictures but it can also grab video. I was able to snag screenshots of a website for a report and get the entire scroll area. I was then able to zoom in on only sections of the screen too and export it in various formats.

http://tinytake.com/

Family photo via Skype?

1 Sep

How do you stay together? Are you a Skype user? I read in Parade Magazine that Skype, the free video message service, started a campaign called Skype Stay Together that asks you how you use their product to do just that. One interesting story focused on how the popular video service was used to create family portraits with members that were scattered across another continent.

Denis is from Uganda and connects with his family via Skype everyday. One day Denis attempted to arrange a physical family portrait but logistically could not schedule it. How do you snap that family portrait with everyone miles away? Why not use Skype?

How to take a family portrait with Skype:
1. Connect parties with Skype
2. Set up camera with timer on tripod
3. Setup projector against white surface / wall
4. Get family to leave a spot open for you in photo and stand in that spot
5. Snap photo

Denis teamed up with artist John Klang to capture pictures of him standing with his family via Skype. You can read more stories about what people do to stay connected. I just thought this was the most innovative one.

Is it real or is it Skype? Read more stories here.
http://skypestaytogether.com/

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Plaq Spotter

9 Apr

Prevent plagiarism with Plaq Spotter, a new free-to-use plagiarism checker. Simply type in a webpage and the site will scan it’s database and display results. If you are looking for a online tool to spot duplicate content sources, then you should try Plaq Spotter.

http://www.plagspotter.com/