Saturday, January 13, 2007


This vacation, I've been trying out software and online services.

As I reported earlier, I've found Picasa useful and straightforward for improve and resizing digital images.

My new external DVD writer remains a source of anxiety: Habibi managed to convert one of my mini DV tapes to DVD without too much trouble. I also managed one, but not before wanting to scream and cry and throw everything out the window in the face of my apparent stupidity. Sigh. I shall try it again soon, because I still have six summer tapes, all last year's kabuki, and some entertaining Merry Wives backstage material to convert, and there will be more to come in our last months here. So I will learn how to do this calmly and efficiently.

A friend invited me to join Facebook, where we have a common interest group. I'm disinclined to launch personal info into cyberspace (says the blogger!) but I did my homework on Facebook's history and practices, and I'm happy to use it for sharing photos of groups and events with the other people involved. Previously I was emailing massive files that took time to go, and then might be rejected if sent to a work email account with an upper limit on file sizes. Useful. But I'm not going down the news and chat route.

I belong to a large family but you know what it's like when everyone's scattered all over the planet and busy with day-to-day life; and this year Mrs Organised here did not actually get around to posting all those really nice local Christmas cards she had written by December 5th to be sure of them getting to Europe by the 25th. Oh help. So I went looking for one of those private network websites I'd heard about, and found the most appealing. I've taken advantage of the month's free trial to gauge interest, but in the meantime I've gone ahead and uploaded pics from family holidays and get-togethers over the past few years. I didn't resize them, so they've taken up a great deal of the allotted storage space, but this way I thought that everyone could download print quality files of their favourites, and then I'd have a cull in a few months, and resize the ones I leave up. That way there's plenty of room for everyone else's!

So far only one of my brothers has posted photos, but my sister and one of my sisters-in-law are up for it, and I'm hoping my dad's going to post some of his cache of black and whites and sepias. (Dad! Hint!) Mother has still not been persuaded to log on to my blog (or anything else) at the library, but I've sent her a MyFamily invite, and one of my brothers is going up for a visit this month, so you never know!

By the way, Google offers its own version of the family site, with the advantage of a direct link with Picasa so you can upload directly, but with my blog on Google's Blogger, and the fact that when I moved from the Beta version they made my Gmail account log-in my blog log-in, plus the appearance of sidebar links relating to the content of my gmails, I'm beginning to feel a bit antsy about Google. It's everywhere. Big Google is Watching Me.

Of course, with Armageddon and the End of Oil approaching, this will all soon be academic, so maybe I'd better just Print Everything, or else burn CD back-ups of everything, in the hope that, with the combined efforts of our future goat, house cow, chickens and ducks, and possibly pig, plus a little ingenuity, we can learn to run a computer on methane.

Oh yes, and I have sent my first e-cards. I used to think they were a feeble substitute for 'real' cards, until my friend Cathy started sending me totally wack singing ecards for my birthday and at Christmas. I just love them! I play them over and over! So I thought I'd try to make up for my Christmas card failure with some New Year e-cards. An 'ecard' search took me to the Cirque du Soleil website, of all places. They're here this month, doing Quidam, which I've seen on video, so I was curious. Fab. The only possible hitch is that they might not get past some spam filters. Hey ho, what to do?

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