Diary of a Network Geek

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


Photographic Software Tips

Filed under: Art,Fun,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

The fourth post in this month’s themed series of useful photography information focuses on the big two photographic software programs; Photoshop and Lightroom.

So, while the information is free, the software isn’t.
Personally, I try to get as much right in the camera as I can. Photography is my hobby and I work on computers all day long, so I’m not particularly interested in spending a lot of time on using software to “fix” my pictures. Still, I don’t know where I’d be without the software I do use. Mostly, I work in Lightroom, with the occasional Alien Skin add-on, but I also know that Photoshop is the “gold standard” in the minds of many photographers and creative professionals. So, the first ling I’m sharing this Friday is Are you a Photoshop Master? Even you may not know these ten features! It’s a short video of some helpful, but lesser known, features in Photoshop. It seems like every big program like this has at least one hidden feature almost no one knows about, so it’s always cool to find some, even for software I don’t use a lot of the time.
On the other hand, I do use Lightroom after pretty much every photography session. And, lately, I’ve been very interested in printing my work for easy display around the house. Of course, I’m mostly going to send those to a specialty printing company, but I still want to proof them and, possibly, try them in a spot on the wall before committing to a more expensive print. Or, I may want to do a little more “pre-procesing” before sending my work to the printer. No matter my goal in regards to printing, the Photofocus tutorial on Mastering Lightroom Print Layout Styles will definitely help me save time. Honestly, it’s a feature in Lightroom that I haven’t used, but I hope to use more this year.

So, there you have it. Two tutorials in the most popular photographic software packages to round out the month.
See you next week!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.


Printing Advice

Filed under: Art,Fun,Ooo, shiny...,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Digital photographers almost never print their work, but they should.

Well, for one thing, while digital formats change, printed work stays the same pretty much forever.  Also, a nice print hangs on the wall a lot better than a digital image stored on a drive.
On a personal note, I know I don’t print enough of my own work.  When we were dating, my wife printed a shot I took of that year’s “super moon” and gave it to me in a…
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Extend your Kindle

Filed under: Fun,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:27 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

But, sadly, not for the software Kindle apps.

Okay so these two tools I’m going to share only work for the Kindle, and mostly rely on the ability to e-mail documents to your Kindle, but SendtoReader works with a Manual Delivery option, too.  SendtoReader is a web app that lets you send any webpage to your Kindle for later perusal.  Though, as I mentioned, you need to have an actual Kindle if you want to update it without synching via a PC first.
I have to admit, I was all excited about this web app, until I went to sign up for it and discovered that the Android app on my ColorNook wasn’t able to get e-mail directly from Amazon’s on-line document delivery service.  Still, if you’re using an actual Kindle, this would be a killer app.

And, ToDo list for Kindle is, well, a to do list that you can send to, and update, on your Kindle.  So, you know, pretty much what it seems like it would be from the title.

So, there you go.  Two free web apps to get more out of your Kindle, just in time for the weekend!


Fancy Jewelboxes

Filed under: Art,Fun Work,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:48 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Tired of boring CD cases for your self-produced work?

Try Jewelboxes.
They’re easy to assemble and fully customizable.  Not quite on par with the big-budget commercial printing runs that someone like Microsoft or Sony or someone like that would do, but a whole lot better than a Post-It and a Sharpie!
Seriously, they’re pretty cool, so check them out.


Attention Deficit

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal,Red Herrings,Rotten Apples,The Dark Side,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:34 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I have a dream.

It is a simple dream. No, not winning the lottery, or world peace, or the perpetual motion engine, or even a mythical trip to the Playboy Mansion. No, my dream is that I might get through an entire task without interruption, distraction, mishap, mayhem, or… Sorry, lost my train of thought because the dog started barking at something outside. Now, where was I?

Right, so, Monday, I started out with a few simple bullet items to accomplish. Easy, uncomplicated goals. Just configure a laptop and run a couple of cables out in the shop. Seems fairly straight-forward, doesn’t it? Sadly, those two simple, easy, straight-forward things are still not done, two days later.
Instead, I dealt with spy ware installed on a machine in Bellechasse. A machine that I personally cleaned of spy ware last week. In some cases, deleting, by hand, files and directories and Windows registry entries to kill the offending malware. Two full days I spent on this infernal machine, meticulously cleaning every last scrap of naughty code, only to have it completely reinfected not more than five minutes after it was powered on by the user. Why? Because, no matter how many times I tell my users not to click on any random link they get in e-mail from Bubba Mussolini or Archimedes Hirohito or Kwabena Mieles, no matter how fascinating their offer sounds. Nor should they click on any stupid web page that comes up in a search they can’t imagine would be a problem, no matter how personal it might be. And a guy who’s used AutoCAD for years asked me for help on printing. Me, who’s never so much as opened a drawing in the latest version of AutoCAD, much less tried to send it to a plotter. Naturally, I’ve got him printing in less than thirty minutes.
Then, at home, I made marinara which proceeded to find every piece of clothing I was wearing. That was followed by an attempt at a berry smoothie, made with frozen strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. A smoothie that was so thick and frozen it “poured” like a blender full of half-solid mud. The splash from that minor accident found the clothes that the marinara missed. But, before I could try to stop those stains from setting, I had to hurry and nail up some boards from the fence because my dog had tried to chase a squirrel through the rickety, old thing. Oh, and speaking of dogs, Hilda found something dead and nasty to roll in, after having had a bath Sunday. Now, even though I live far enough away from the city that I pass cows on the way to work, they’re still not in my backyard. Nor am I so close to the projects that she should have found a diaper in the backyard, so what she rolled in, I’m not sure, but, at least now, you have some idea what I was smelling while I tried to get it off her. Again.
(As an aside, I should note that Monday evening, while I was actually having fun installing a blog for a fellow blogger plagued by comment spam, I saw a gecko that was about the size of my pinky scurry across the floor. An hour later, I saw a cockroach by the back door that was at least twice the size of pinky. Who lost the bet with God that allowed roaches twice the size of their natural predator?)

Tuesday, was more of the same, but spiced with visits from phone switch vendors trying to sell me things that I’ve been told I can’t buy. Instead, I have to explain, carefully, to these people that I have two choices for phone switches because a mysterious, invisible “consultant” of some kind, who I’ve never met or talked with, has convinced someone who matters in my company that those are the only two choices that matter. Oh, and the guys in the shop who’ve been waiting on that cable since last week asked about it. And the director of sales needs a photo editor for the Mac he doesn’t want to use, so he can resize pictures to send to clients. And, the engineering department has rehired a former employee, so I need to shuffle people around to get to a computer that has to be totally reconfigured by Monday. (Which is actually an improvement, since I normally get an hour or two’s notice before the guy starts.) And, a giant monitor went out and needed to be replaced. And I have to spec out PCs and a new server, which I’ll have to go install, for that Bellechasse office. And… I’m sorry, something shiny passed by my screen. Where was I?

Oh, right, I should be planning for … Something. Shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t I be planning projects? Planning to improve their IT infrastructure? Something? Who knows. And, what’s more, I don’t have time to worry about it because about the time I have more than two minutes to string together, something else will distract me.
Well, at least they’re still paying me!
But, on the upside, tomorrow night I go in for my last therapy appointment. My head-shrink has pronounced me well. Or, at least, well enough to be turned loose without a keeper, which is all anyone can really hope for, right?

Well, now, if you’ll pardon me, it’s time to head off to work, so I need to put my cup and mouth guard in before I pull on my stain-resistant body armor.
You know, it really didn’t seem like such a big, impossible dream when I got into this business. Ah, well, maybe next year.


Printer Sushi

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:03 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Oy, more sushi?
Oh, yes, more sushi. And, you know what? There’s more to come, too! This time, though, it’s “printer sushi“. Yep, that’s right, there’s a nut out there “printing” sushi. Actually, he’s printing things on the seaweed wrapper that makes the sushi, but still, it’s sushi that’s been printed out, or on, and served up. And, people seem to dig it! Oh, what a world.

I know, I know, it’s goofy, but it’s also Friday, so just click on the link!


Teach Yourself Linux in 10 Minutes

Filed under: Linux,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:44 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Well, 10 minutes per chapter, anyway.

I just finished Teach Yourself Linux in 10 Minutes last night and was fairly impressed. Of course, it was a review of Linux for me, not a true knowlege dump, but it was a good refresher. And, it gave me some new information that I hadn’t had before. I tend to learn things on the go, as I’m trying to accomplish a goal of some kind, so sometimes, I miss things. This was certainly the case with Linux. So, since I’d gotten this book some time ago and never read it, I decided it was time to fill in some gaps.
This is pretty basic stuff, but it’s a good introduction to Linux for someone that has never really used it before. It talks the reader through the basics, starting with logging in and going all the way through printing and basic shell-scripting. It’s fairly comprehensive, for an introductory book, and each chapter is broken down into managable chunks. And, yes, each chapter takes about 10 minutes to read.

All in all a good book and worth the money.


NetWare Keeps Me Sane

Filed under: Fun Work,Novell,Personal Archive,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is mid-afternoon or 3:40 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, I actually managed to do something technical and new this week. A friend of mine is a total Mac guy, who has worked on Windows machines, but doesn’t know anything about networking them together. He’s out of work and has been trying to beef up his skills on Dreamweaver for the PC, but has most of his graphics stuff on his Mac. He asked me for help and I couldn’t refuse. Besides, I had a spare hub and network cards, not to mention the spare time.
So, we’ve actually been trying to get this to work for some time now, but finally figured out that we needed more “stuff” than the standard networking junk that comes with Windows XP and Mac OS 8. After hunting around, we settled on PC MacLan, by Mirramar Systems. Quite frankly, we were told that it wasn’t the best solution, but it was what we could afford, so we made it work. Basically, what it does is install AppleTalk on Windows XP and then translates the data back and forth between Mac and Windows. We got the little eight port hub set up and the CAT5 cables snaked behind the furniture with no problems. Then, after a bit of a false start, we got it going in short order. We shared out several directories on his Mac and made shortcuts for them in My Network Places on his WindowsXP machine. But, that wasn’t good enough for us. No way! We weren’t satisfied until we could get the HP DeskJet 960C hooked up to the PC and were able to print from the Mac as well as Windows. So, we horsed the printer around to a place where the USB cable would reach the Windows PC and I ran the PC MacLAN print server wizard. It was really pretty easy, but there were some odd quirks. Mainly, it gives new warnings every time a new “session” is started and there’s no way to set it permanently. And, the printing is pretty slow from the Mac, but it does work. Besides, there are some extra steps going on. After all, technically, it is network printing.
It might not be Netware, but at least the stuff I learned while working on my CNE came in handy! Now, I need to really buckle down and work on my CCNA Certification. There have been several jobs that I’m pretty sure I would have had, if only I’d been Cisco Certified already. *sigh* Well, back to the old grindstone.
Oh, by the way, that friend of mine is still out of work. He’s a User Interface designer, but he’s worked in print, too. His name is Patrick McGee and you can find him at Pmcgee.net.

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