Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Free Photo Watermark Apps

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:04 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Who says I don’t listen to my readers?

So, one of my readers wanted to know about watermark applications to protect her photos before uploading them. Well, I’ll be honest, I haven’t worried about that too much, so I didn’t have a ready answer. But, a little Googling and a little experimentation turned up three freebies:

PicMarkr is free, but limited in number of files you can upload and total size of all the files.  As well as being free, another plus is that it integrates with Flickr pretty well, or seems to, at any rate.  And, as is the usual case with these free apps, there is a “Pro” version which they sell that has more features, including the ability to work with larger files and have fewer restrictions in general.

Watermark.WS is again, free and has more options than PicMarkr, but is still limited.  They do have a “Pro” version for sale with more and better options, for instance, the ability to watermark larger photos with no size limits, the ability to upload as many photos as you want and “400% faster batch processing”, whatever they mean by that.

Watermarktool.com: free, easy to use, limited options, but not bad for basic watermarking.  It also seems to be the only one that doesn’t have a more advanced version for sale.

So, there you are, gentle readers, three free watermarking tools, per your request!


Flickering Fantasies

Filed under: Art,Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Movies,News and Current Events,Personal,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rat which is in the wee hours or 12:53 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I love movies.

I saw Public Enemies and The Proposal this weekend. The best part of Public Enemies, I’m afraid was the bits of Chicago architecture and the fight that broke out in the theater which required security.

Now, in spite of the critics panning it, I enjoyed The Proposal. Of course, that’s because I am a great, girly, romantic at heart. You see, The Proposal was a romantic comedy and well worth enduring the hawk-like stares of the angry women who could not seem to get their men to go with them to see it. Also, it was quite funny. Not a movie filled with surprises or twists and turns, but very satisfying in that it gave you just what you went in looking to find; namely, romance and comedy.

I saw another romantic comedy that was a little heavier on romance on DVD from Netflix, as well, this weekend called Lucky Seven. That was even sappier than The Proposal. It was about a young woman who’s mother dies when she’s young and gives her a time-line that has her marrying the seventh man with whom she has a long-term relationship. She thinks she’s found her “lucky seven”, but he’s number six, so she quickly finds a replacement six, with whom she promptly falls in love.

Now, you might wonder what these movies all have in common. You might wonder why I find movies, especially romantic comedies when I’m single, appealing. Well, the answer is surprisingly simple and straight-forward. They are all fantasies in which I indulge myself when things are going in ways other than how I’d wish.
Perhaps unrealistically, I think of myself as a mostly practical man. A trait I come by honestly from my parents and their parents before them. It’s not the only trait which seems to run through our family, however. On my mother’s side, my grandfather was quite an accomplished painter and my mother, his daughter, inherited that artistic talent from him. On my father’s side, well, they had the more practical talent of story telling and facility with language. All modesty aside, I do believe I inherited more than a fair portion of that. Though I am in many ways quite shy, I do seem to have my father’s ability to perform in front of a crowd. I know, as he would say, how to work a room. But, I never really followed through on most of those creative talents.

I’ve always wanted to draw, and never really seemed to find the time to work on it enough for anything to come of it. My writing has likewise been replaced by more immediately lucrative pursuits. Paying bills took precedence over “indulging” in my artistic leanings. Photography has been the most artistic thing I’ve done, outside of this blog, in more years than I care to count. And, some days, that seems to go better than others.
But, that latent, dreamy quality of escape that I found once in writing and occasionally still find in photography, comes to a full head in movies. Especially when things are going in ways other than how I might wish. I imagine, I’m not the only one seeking escape in movies these days, what with the economy going the way it has been. I remember the stories my paternal grandmother and my father told me about people going to the movies during the Great Depression. In fact, movies and the long gone Biograph Theater in Chicago figure prominently in Public Enemies, which is the story of John Dillinger. My grandmother was there shortly after he was shot, as it turns out, and provided me with one of the most vivid mental images of my childhood when she described people soaking up his blood with their handkerchiefs to sell later as souvenirs.
I don’t know what drives anyone else to go see movies, but I can tell you that the momentary fantasy and escape is one of the biggest attractions for me. Even a bad movie can provide a few moments of fantastic denial of my personal reality. A minute or two not thinking about I have bills to pay and work to do or how big my empty house is with no one to fill it but me and my dog.

As I do not expect to see many more rapid improvements in the economy, I hope that the rest of this Summer’s movies improve. I suspect I won’t be the only one who needs escape from both the Summer’s heat and the pressures it will bring.
So, how about you, gentle readers? Are there any movies you’re looking forward to for escape this Summer? Are there any favorites you like to use for an escape?


Fireworks Photography Tips

Filed under: Art,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:09 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

This seemed timely…

Okay, I love night photography, though, from my photos you may not know it.  Frankly, I think the whole Flickr 365 Days self-portrait project is starting to wear on me.  But, you know, I committed to it, so I’m, well, committed to it!

Anyway, like I was writing before I got sidetracked, I love night photography and there is an outside chance that some of my readers will have the opportunity to take some photos of fireworks this weekend.  I know, I know, it’s a wild, crazy idea, but, since it will be Independence Day on Saturday, I thought I’d link to the Wired HowTo Wiki article on HowTo Photograph Fireworks.  The nice thing about this article over some others I’ve seen is that it covers all kinds of cameras, not just the digital SLRs.  So, even if you’re using a “point-and-shoot” or an iPhone, there are tips there for you, too.

And, with that said, in all seriousness, have a happy, safe, Fourth of July weekend.


EXIF Date Changer

Filed under: Art,GUI Center,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:09 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Kind of a specialty item.

Oh, if I only had a nickel for every time I heard that!
No, seriously, though, this is useful, but only in a limited way.  I know I’ve had photos get pulled from my camera and had the time and date wrong for whatever reason on them and wished I could change them to the right time.  Now, sure, I could just use a file utility and that would update it, but that won’t change the information deep, deep in the photograph that, among other things, is displayed on Flickr.  So, what to do?  Well, from now on, I’ll be using EXIF Date Changer to fix it.

Thanks internet!

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