Friday, March 28, 2008

Image Editing Online

I've covered this topic before on another blog, Learning 2.1, but a new entry has joined the field of candidates and I think it deserves mention. I will also be giving an update to one I mentioned before.

First of all, I want to do the update. I mentioned Fauxto before as a great online image editor. They have changed names and can be found at Splashup This one is a really high-end image editor that gives Photoshop Elements a run for it's money, even offering layers and filters similar to Photoshop. Surprisingly they manage to offer a Photoshop like experience and look in a Flash based environment. I highly recommend checking it out.

In other news Adobe has finally launched Photoshop Express. It's offering for online image editing and storage of images. Express is no where near as powerful as Photoshop or even Photoshop Elements but it's a start. The biggest drawback however is the need to have the latest Flash player installed, not surprising from Adobe however. It has a clean interface that is easy to understand and use. Basic and some intermediate features are available but it is limited in scope.

I am glad to see this available but will stick with SplashUp and Picnik for online editing and GIMP for the serious stuff.

Monday, March 24, 2008


The library system I work for in undergoing a major re-organization. A former leader in our library, Helene Blowers now in Ohio, posted the following blog post over the weekend and it seemed to me as very profound and appropriate to consider as we move forward.

LibraryBytes: Growing the Org Chart

Helene really hit a chord with me. I like the idea of likening an organization to a garden, perhaps inspired by Spring getting going but it made total sense to me. In her description the leaders are the "dirt" that fertilizes and supports the organization. If you continue that analogy, I as a front-line worker might be like the worker bees who pollinate the garden and help it be fruitful. I am there to facilitate the customer experience and help them accomplish their goals. I doubt it will make any major difference as I feel I have always striven to provide the best possible service. However, it may give me a new way of looking at how I provide that service and as a gardener, I enjoy the analogy.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Recovery and Ravelry

it's been a while since I've posted. From November through January I spent most of my time learning Final Cut and preparing for foot surgery. On Jan 24th the surgery took place and I couldn't do anything for a couple weeks. During that time my oldest announced her impending wedding and, in anticipation of grandkids, I decided to check out Ravelry. I believe Jamie has already done something on this and this is my discovery posting on it.

Since she wrote about it Jamie and Lydia of IS at PLCMC, have set up a PLCMC group for our Stitch-Ins, Main, North County, and Mint Hill. We are still a small group of people but we can now see what books we all have, for sharing patterns, ideas, etc. You can see any user's projects and are able to set them to favorites easily to pick out your next project. Projects are tagged so you can search for a project type. They give you pretty good links to patterns and many free patterns with a place to save pdf's so you don't have to print them all out until you are ready to start the project. I really like the Queue where you can set up a set of projects you intend to start soon, I have 2 for yarns I found on sale recently. Moving to the projects is as easy as clicking "cast on". You can also keep up with your progress on the project. If you put it on the back burner set it to hibernating, and if you rip it out set it to frogged. You can also post photos of your work.

As a result I now know that the afghan, lovingly dubbed the "forever afghan," that I have been working on for 35 years was in hibernation, however, it is now finished thanks to 6 weeks of inactivity and the need for a wedding gift and no money.

Music downloading

Thanks for this one Jennifer! I can't think how often our patrons ask for just this.

What I liked was that there is only downloading the music so the only limits in the library would be getting the computer to recognize the player or have a CD burner available if that is their choice. Of course not all the most popular songs will show up and I noticed that the first song listed was rated as explicit, so parents still might want to be aware when allowing their teens there to download.