October 26, 2008

Google Sites

Wow, even Google is jumping on the Web site bandwagon! Google Sites is a new service that allows you to create your very own Web site. Plus, if you have your own domain, it lets you put your site on there too. Let's check it out, shall we?!

To get started with Google Sites, head on over to http://sites.google.com. branded cialis drugstore If you have a Google account, you’ll be asked to log in. (If you don't have an account, you'll need to create one before you can start using Google Sites).

When you're ready, click on Create Site.

You’ll then be taken to a form, so go ahead and enter in the information required. At this point, you can choose a title for your site as well. Also, just for your information, the URL is where you will access your site. If you’re hosting it on Google’s domain, it’ll look something like this: http://sites.google.com/site/namegoeshere.

When you’re all done, click on Create Site again.

You’ll then be taken to the site creator. To create a new page, click on Create New Page. To edit your site, click on Edit Page.

I know it's a little hard to see, but the page editor looks something like this:

Lastly, to save your site, click on Save. And you’re done. Happy Google Web site making!

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ChunkIt Toolbar

Have you ever been searching for something with a search engine and you just get too many results to handle? For example, today, I searched for "how to password protect a flash drive" and I got 401,000 results. I know one of those Web sites probably has what I'm looking for, but opening each one individually takes way too long!

So, because of that, I started looking for a better way to search. After awhile, I found a really cool add on for both Internet Explorer and Firefox. It's called the ChunkIt Toolbar and here's how it works.

First, install ChunkIt and you'll see the toolbar come up after you restart your Web browser. The toolbar will be at the top of your screen.

After it's installed, type what you're looking for into the ChunkIt search box. Then just click on the Chunk button.

Now, here's the best part! The ChunkIt Toolbar will perform your search with your favorite search engine. It will provide you with the regular search results on the right, but on the left, it will show you "chunks" of the actual information from the search results. Here's a sample picture of what it looks like:

The words are kind of small in the picture, but you can see what I mean. The actual content from the search results appear on the left hand side. All you need to do is browse through the results until you find what you're looking for. When you click on the "chunk" you want, you'll be taken to it on the actual Web page it came from.

I think this add on is really cool and I know I'll use it daily. If you ever find yourself buried brand cialis cheap order in search results, the ChunkIt Toolbar can help you too!

You can download the ChunkIt Toolbar for Internet Explorer right here. Or, if you're a Firefox user, download it here. Either way, enjoy!

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Vista Auto-Defrag

Are you a Windows Vista user? If so, have you run a defrag best price for cialis on your system lately? As you may remember, awhile back, I told you how to run a defrag with the Vista operating system and at that time, I failed to mention anything about the automatic defrag feature. So, I figured today would be as good a time as any to do so. As a Vista user, you may have run into a few of the functions that Microsoft has controlled for you, including the auto-defrag. I don't know about you, but I want my control back. Keep reading to find out how you can get it!

By default, the disk defrag feature in Vista is set up to defrag your system approximately every four times you restart your computer. It just starts on its own, no matter what you're working on or what you're doing on your computer at the time. As you can imagine, that slows your computer down quite a bit, let alone how annoying it becomes! So, if you'd like to speed your system back up by turning the auto-defrag feature off, here's how you can do it.

First, double click on the Computer icon on your desktop. Once there, right click on your C: drive and choose Properties. Next, hit the Tools tab and then select the option that says "Defragment Now." (I know that may sound like the opposite of what you should be doing, but stick with me. It will all work out in the end!) Lastly, uncheck the box that says "Run on a schedule." That will stop all the scheduled defrags from running and from here on out, you can run the defrag whenever it's convenient for you. Just don't forget to do it!

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Copy and Paste

Let's Refresh

Today's quick tip may seem a little basic for some of you, but I think a lot of you out there will appreciate this. I get e-mails and even phone calls all the time about such procedures like copy, paste and cut. Since I receive so many requests about those things, I thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and go over them one more time. So, if you ever have trouble doing those little tasks, listen up, because this tip is dedicated to you! We'll go over the basics of copying, pasting, cutting and maybe even a couple others. Here we go!

Let's begin with copying. There are a couple different ways you can copy something on your computer. Both are pretty easy to do, so you'll just have to decide which one you prefer. But, before you can do anything else, you have to figure out what you want to copy. Once you've done that, click your mouse button, hold it down and drag it over what you'd like to copy. It will then be highlighted. You can then best price cialis either right click and choose Copy or you can hit Ctrl + C on your keyboard. Next up is the paste function. It always comes after the copy, because you have to have something copied so that you can paste it. Go to where you'd like to paste your material (in an e-mail, a Word document, etc.) and click your mouse once. Then you can either right click and choose Paste or hit Ctrl + V on your keyboard. That's all there is to it!

Some of the other commands you all sometimes ask about are cut and undo. I promise both of those functions are rather simple too, so let's go over them right now. If you ever want to cut something out (a portion of text, a picture, etc.) of what you're working on, all you have to do is highlight it and then you can either right click and choose Cut or hit Ctrl + X on your keyboard. That part of your document will then disappear. Now, what if you're working on something and you make a mistake? You probably want to undo it, right? Well, the easiest way to do that is to hit Ctrl + Z on your keyboard. That combination will automatically undo what you just did. Cool, huh? Yep, just a couple mouse clicks or a few taps on your keyboard will take you a long way!

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Sharpening Up Your Photos

I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop for the better part of 15 years. When I was a beginner, Photoshop was like a beautiful girl who can’t get a date, because everyone is too intimidated to talk to her. I really wanted to try it, but I figured it was just too sophisticated and I’d strike out. Sound familiar?

Well, let’s work on boosting your confidence then! You see, Photoshop has an amazing set of out-of-the-package filters that will perform outstanding graphic conversions without you having to break a sweat. Today, I’m going to introduce you to Photoshop’s High Pass Filter. It's a must for anyone who wants to sharpen the look of any digital photo. Let's give it a try!

Let’s start with a digital photo that wasn’t shot with a high-end camera. When I say “high-end,” what I mean is a camera with a high megapixel rating. Most consumer digital cameras available today run anywhere from three megapixels to eight megapixels. The higher the number, the cleaner the shot. (You can read this tip for more information on that).

I’ll be using this photo of my dog, Pepper:

That photo was shot with my cell phone camera (not known for their clarity), so it’s a perfect example of how to take a “fuzzy” photo and sharpen it up almost instantly. You’re going to love this!

Start by opening your image in Photoshop.

As you may know, Photoshop allows you to work in layers, so you can make all your corrections on a new layer that’s separate from your original photo. How cool is that?!

Across the top of your screen in Photoshop, you’ll see a listing for “Windows.” That tells Photoshop what you want to see in your workspace and what you don’t. Click on the Windows tab and then scroll down through the list to Layers.

Click on Layers and a new window will open that shows you all the layers of your file.

So, now we’ll create a duplicate layer of Pepper by choosing Layer across the top and selecting Duplicate Layer. What you’ll end up with is an exact copy of your photo (see picture below):

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Your duplicate layer will be called Background Copy. That’s the one you’re going to apply the High Pass Filter to.

So, here’s the deal! Along the top of the page, select Filter and then scroll down to Other. Clicking on Other will reveal five more choices. Pick High Pass. At this point, the photo will turn gray, but don’t panic! Remember, we’re working on a new safe layer and your original image is underneath it.

A dialogue box will then appear. You can adjust the effect more or less to your liking when you have time to experiment, but for now, go ahead and click OK.

What the High Pass Filter does, essentially, is pay closer attention to the details of an image and it ignores the rest. It’s almost like throwing a piece of tracing paper over a picture and tracing the outline.

So, where’s your big result? Well, here we go!

In the Layers window, right above the little icons on your photo and its “copy,” you’ll see the word “Normal” with an arrow next to it. Click on the arrow and hold it to reveal a list of layer styles for you to choose from. Scroll down through the list and choose Overlay.

When you let go of your mouse, watch your photo!

The High Pass Filter has pumped up the detail areas, taking Pepper from “fuzzy” to “fantastic!”

Now, if you'd like, you can go to the little “eyeball” located next to your Background Copy image.

Clicking on the eyeball over and over will turn the High Pass Filter on and off so that you can see the before and after!

Pepper never looked so good. Try this with a photo of your best friend today!

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