Archive for the 'Tools' Category

Model Release App : Easy Release

Getting model releases signed and organized has always been a hassle for photographers and videographers especially when they ‘re on the move. Now “there’s an app for that” too!

Now photographers can use their tablet or smart phones to get the releases signed and even translated on the go! Then you can have the Getty Images-ready release e-mailed to you in jpeg or PDF form ready for archiving. The releases even include a ID image so you can visually match the shoot to your images later on!

What a great idea! I’d love to try this one out

Easy Release by ApplicationGap replaces inconvenient paper release forms with a slick, streamlined model release app designed by professional photographers for professional photographers.

via Model Release App : Easy Release by ApplicationGap : HOME.

Helpful codes for Tigo in Guatemala

Tigo logo

Here are some of the cellphone codes that I use regularly with my Tigo phone:

Check Voice Mail

Dial *77  to check messages (Press 3 to delete messages, 7 to listen again, and 5 to save the message for later)

Check Your Balance

Dial *256 to check your balance (You’ll hear three balances: 1) Your total balance. 2) Your principal balance (actual money you have on your account, and 3) Your promotional balance.  Then you’ll hear the date that your promotional balance will expire unless you add money to your account.) Continue reading ‘Helpful codes for Tigo in Guatemala’

La impresora instantánea Polaroid Pogo

Cuando me enteré de la cantidad de gente de otros países que disfrutamos de conseguir una impresión real de sí mismos, decidí que yo quería de una manera rápida y sencilla de imprimir imágenes cuando estoy de viaje o en un mercado. La impresora instantánea Polaroid Pogo es una gran y divertida manera para hacer copias de tus fotos favoritas cuando estás en el camino.

Con algunos ajustes, ajusto mi iPhone 3GS para imprimir imágenes directamente desde la cámara a mi Pogo. Aquí hay un enlace sobre cómo hacer que su iPhone imprima en el POGO utilizando una cuenta gratuita de Dropbox. Personalmente yo uso iBlueNova o el programa de Celeste Bluetooth File Sharing para obtener una conexión Bluetooth directamente desde mi iPhone a mi impresora Pogo. No puedo imprimir desde cualquier programa de foto, pero cuando lo guardo en el rollo de la cámara parece que funciona bastante bien.

Pogo printer

Por  18 a 23 centavos cada uno, las impresiones de  2″x 3″ (se doblan como calcomanías tambien) no son baratos, pero la movilidad de estas copias sin-tinta son bastante buenas. El papel ZINK dice que caduca, pero he leído comentarios suficientes de que no parece hacer mucha diferencia si es nuevo o viejo.

Tengo muchas ganas de utilizar mi impresora Pogo para obtener algunas impresiones agradables para repartir en Guatemala. En primer lugar, tengo que encontrar algunas buenas ofertas del Papel  Polaroid Zink para que pueda mantener esta fantástica herramienta en mi bolsa para la cámara!

Nota: Esta es una entrada en la forma que he estado usando mi impresora en Guatemala en una escuela para niños especiales!

Drop It To Me Tool for Dropbox

Dropbox logo

I like Dropbox.

I can automatically have files backedup on line, share them with specific customers or friends, and still maintain at least a  level of security.

Lately I ran across a need to have a easy way of letting other people send files to me when I headed up a t-shirt design contest. I needed some way for contestants to turn in their entries. That’s when I met dropitto.me, an add on for Dropbox that gives an easy entry point for people to send me files.

dropitto.me

I found dropitto.me and discovered exactly what I was looking for. I can give people my Drop It To Me URL and they can send in their files directly to a folder in my Dropbox. I even get an e-mail notification when files are dropped off!

Ahh! The joys of apps and companion programs that play well together on the internet…for free!!!!

Kids and the Polaroid Pogo Printer

Demonstrating the Polaroid Pogo Printer

I was invited to talk about computer technologies with a special needs school for children in Chichicastenango, Guatemala recently so I took my Polaroid Pogo printer with me and some extra paper. Using my iPhone 3gs, I snapped photos of the kids.

Getting the pictures with my iPhone

I use Camera+ because I like the features it has for editing then I transferred the photos over to the standard photo album by saving them and from Apple’s photo album, I sent them to the Polaroid  printer. (I jailbroke my iphone and use Cydia’s Celeste Bluetooth File Sharing to connect with the Pogo via Bluetooth.)

The kids liked hearing the quiet hum of the Pogo Printer as their faces appeared from inside this little box.

The prints made for a nice gift and a handy way to show the kids how technology can be fun!

 

Miguelito

 

Making a smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GPS maps for Guatemala

Driving in Guatemala with my GPS in action.

Getting around in Guatemala can be tough. Finding a good road map of the capital or this nation that is roughly the size of Tennessee is difficult as well. That’s where Global Positioning Systems (GPS) come in handy.
We have a Garmin Nuvi 1350 that has great maps of the U.S. but a very rough and, frankly, inaccurate base map that shows some highways in Guatemala but when I drive the highways the basemap proves to be , the highway . So, I went in search of GPS maps that I can download and I found a few options:

 

Guatemala Screen shot from GPSWORLDNET

I found a number of negative comments on GPS Travel Maps so I had to go with another option…GPS World Net and I’m very glad I did. They have maps for all of Central America, (though I have only tested the Guatemalan one). I have found GPS World Net’s GPS maps to be accurate and very useful in the field. Not only that, I once had a Garmin Nuvi that I had loaded the GPS World Net maps on but it disappeared.  I had downloaded my points to  Garmin’s Road Trip so I was able to save those!

 

I had already paid the $80 for the map specifically for my first Nuvi. I thought I’d have to re-purchase the map, but when I contacted GPS World Net they graciously provided me with the download of the map for my new Nuvi and it’s working great! Two thumbs up to GPSWorldNet.

 

Here are key reasons I like my Guatemalan GPS map:

  • Accurate maps of Guatemala City, Villages, and local roads.
  • Lots of local points already loaded (though more pool halls than I could ever want!)
  • Easy functionality with Garmin devices. (Just follow the simple instructions to load the map on the device!)
  • Maps function for Windows Symbian and Android as well as Garmin devices.

 

If you’re looking for a good map I recommend GPSWorldNet for all of Central America.

 

Camera+ App for iPhone

Camera+ logo

Camera+ is my new favorite App for the iPhone. ($1.99)

I’ve been using the standard camera option on my iPhone 3GS. It was handy but nothing fancy and with pretty much no options or editing capabilities. Camera+ has so many options, filters and editing tools built right in that it turns your iPhone camera into a photo machine that gives you customized images that look awesome!

Summary

Fresh bean dip

Easy to use and great additional features for your iPhone camera including zoom, filters, self-timer, and more! Many options are available without paying more than the basic 99 cents. (There are additional features available for additional costs but they’re just more filters.)

Things I love about it:

  • Quick button response — The Camera+ App provides quick response times. When you push the shutter button…the photo is taken. What a concept!
  • Timer — Want a photo of yourself? Camera+ includes a self timer with audible warning. There are 5 second, 15 second and 30 second timers available.
  • Cropping — Get just the good stuff when you crop down the image as you desire. Options allow you to keep a variety of ratios or crop freestyle.
  • Borders/Frames — This option really makes your presentation look good before you post your images out to your friends. Includes a variety of options to choose from
  • Filters — One of my favorite things… I really like the options that are provided. From antique looks to HDR and limited depth of field , cross processing and more, this App provides a wide selection of filter effects that can be expanded (paid service).
  • Sharing –  With Camera+ it’s easy to share your favorite images via Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, or by emailing the image size of your choice to your friends. Continue reading ‘Camera+ App for iPhone’

Send your messages in Morse Code

Want extra security for your e-mail messages? Write your text then paste it in to this Morse Code Translator and voila! your text becomes unsearchable by normal means! For added security you can play the Morse Code audibly and record it to your computer. Then send the audio to your recipient! You can send them a Morse code alphabet so they can transcribe it back to the original message!

It also makes you feel a little bit like the US/Russian spies of the 50s & 60s with their special encoder machines! To bad they didn’t have internet and a handy Morse Code Translator back then!

Just let the recipient know what you’re doing or it will be pretty useless to them also!

Accessing Apple’s Time Machine files with a PC

I like Macs…I really do, but when my video card went out on my MacBook Pro I wished I had purchased a backup to keep on hand.

My screen was blank and I found myself with all my information on my computer or on my Time Machine backup hard drive with no way to access it. Oh, and I”m living in Guatemala where the nearest Apple repair center is about five hours away. Sadly, my only working computer is my wife’s PC.

Not only can I not access all my wonderful media and information, I also can’t read the Time Machine backup because PCs don’t play well with Apple’s Time Machine format. I plugged in my hard drive and had access to nothing!

After several days of trying to get my going again and praying for it to work (literally!) I found out about MacDrive.

From MediaFour's MacDrive

MacDrive didn’t give me my computer back, but it gave me access to the backup drive so I can see the files, copy them to my wife’s PC and get what I need until my Mac can be fixed. I tried out MacDrive’s trial copy and probably will buy this handy software unless I end up getting my Mac fixed in the next week or so.

Here’s my review of MacDrive:

I like it because it’s simple. Just load the software. Restart. Plug in your Mac formatted drive or Time Machine Backup drive and, voila! you’re ready to access your files!

I don’t like how you have to copy the files to your PC instead of accessing them straight from the drive, but this probably is a good safety check to keep from messing up my backups for when my Mac is up and running again.

If you’re having trouble with your Mac. You have a backup drive and your only computer is a PC…go for it. Try out MacDrive and get easy access to your files…at least until you can get your Mac back from Apple repair!

Doxie scanner review

Product image from Amazon.com

We’re moving out of the country and tax season is fast approaching. After a conversation with my CPA, I realized that I’m going to need a way to easily scan in documents for e-mailing and such.

After searching the internet, visiting the local Best Buy, Staples and box stores, I finally found what I was looking for in a scanner. My criteria…:

  1. Must be small in size so I can pack it in wherever I go.
  2. Must be easy to use
  3. Must be able to generate quality scans
  4. Must play well with Macs
  5. Must be a space-saving device for travel

When I came across the amazing Doxie scanner for documents I decided that I’d give it a try despite it’s cutsie pink hearts. Besides, I had two days  before my flight and didn’t have any better options. Thankfully, I’ve not been disappointed.

I ordered the Doxie on Amazon.com and had it shipped overnight to my hotel so it was waiting for me when I arrived. The creative packaging and easy setup were impressive. Here’s my review:

Simple Startup

Easy instructions make Doxie an easy scanner to setup. Just download the application and install. There is a quick calibration with provided calibration sheet then you’re ready to scan your own color or black and white documents at up to 600 dpi resolution. Continue reading ‘Doxie scanner review’