Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thing 29 was Scrapblog!

which I've only played with about a million times now. I'm not sure why I love Scrapblogging so much, but I wish I could somehow make it my full-time job. I really enjoyed discovering new things that the platform could do and new ways to display my pictures/design my pages.

However, the primary Scrapblog I put together was for my grandfather's 90th birthday party in mid-June, and it got so large and unwieldy that it eventually broke. I think I will take the opportunity of doing the write-up here to go back and fix that, since I'm supposed to be putting it on DVDs and sharing it with assorted family members.

While I'm at it, maybe I'll embed my other Scrapblogs here too.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Thing 29! I still have to do Thing 29!

Now what was Thing 29 again?

Xdrive Slide Show

Created a slide show to cheer me up 'cause it's Monday, but apparently it isn't embeddable, so here's a link instead.

Dear Xdrive, make it embeddable! Thank you, the end.

Thing 32: Online file storage

Last summer, I needed to send someone a really large PDF. Too large for email, actually. Too large for just about anything. I thought about sending it through the regular mail on a CD, but I needed it there sooner than international mail could deliver it.

After much searching, I found several virtual drive sites. Most of them were difficult to use, or required paying a fee, or both. I eventually used Box.net, which was one of the few free options, but I was never fully satisfied with that as a solution. It was difficult to upload the file, and even more difficult for my friend to download it.

I'm glad Julia decided to address virtual drives, because not even a full 12 months later, the situation is very different. Box.net is a lot easier to use than it once was, but there are several other virtual drive websites to consider as well.

Box.net and Omnidrive each offer you 1 gig of file storage; Omnidrive has partnered with Zoho (which seems to be debuting new stuff every day) and Snipshot to make it easy for you to edit your documents or photos online. Box.net has a really handy widget you can add to a blog or website (or anywhere else you can use widgets) to make it easy for someone else to grab a file. I really like that widget!

The third contender, for me anyway, is an underdog because it's too popular - in other words, it's from AOL and the Internet snob in me thought I'd hate it. Actually, I love it. Xdrive offers 5 gig of storage, and works with the AOL log-in I already have. (See, I'm not that much of an Internet snob - I already had an AOL account. It's a perfect learning environment, and they are trying hard to be relevant again.) As a nice bonus, Xdrive lets you arrange your photos into easily-shared slideshows, and you can listen to any uploaded music files using a built-in player. They claim to offer the ability to fax an uploaded document as well, but I was never able to successfully send a fax this way.

All of the virtual drive services I looked at offer a download component that installs on your computer and makes it even easier to save files at their site. I didn't install any of these, although thinking about I think I downloaded the files to install the Xdrive add-ons.

So, it came down to a choice between Box.net and their cool widget, Omnidrive and their ease of editing and Xdrive and their 5g of storage. Xdrive won, simply because I detest worrying about file space.

Thing 31: Plaxo

You know, we've done an array of things in wildly varying categories as part of Learning 2.0 and Learning 2.1. Plaxo is my favorite, hands down.

I've played around with online to-do lists before, and even signed for a paid account at Backpack, but none of them has been nearly as useful to me as Plaxo. After less than one month, I rely on seeing all my calendar entries (even the supplementary calendars from my Google Calendar) on one screen now - in fact, I enabled Internet browsing on my cell phone last week so I can get to Plaxo there to schedule appointments, check shopping lists, etc. And on Friday, when I had three appointments to get to and a lot of errands to run in between, I used Plaxo on my mobile phone all day. (I'm late blogging about activity #31, but I did the rest of assignment some time ago. Before it was posted, actually, since Julia sits right beside me and gave me a bit of a heads up.)

There are still a few things in Backpack that I wish were part of Plaxo - the task/to-do section in Plaxo could do with some enhancement (I can't figure out how to edit a task once it's been added, for example), and I love the way Backpack lets me set up an individual page for anything I need to make lists or notes about, and save files and pictures on that same page. In other words, I'm still using my paid Backpack account, but not as much as I did, and I have completely abandoned the Backpack calendar function.

I just really wish the two could be more integrated, somehow. If I could access my Backpack pages from within Plaxo, maybe, or even if just the to-do list from one carried over to the other ... I might be able to do that somehow using RSS feeds, but I'd rather have a slightly more elegant solution.

But beggars can't be choosers, and I love Plaxo! Thanks for introducing me to it, Julia.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thing 33: Out of order, but oh well

So, Online Art.

I played a bit. I'll post some videos at Ning.

Here's a picture, actually. Some String Art.

I'm having all kinds of blogger trouble today - Now I've got my string art pic out of proportion and can't get it back. Oh well, guess I'll just die over it or something else equally tragic. ;-)

BTW, my favorite online art site is JacksonPollock.org. Draw with your mouse; the color changes when you click. The color schemes are adapted from Pollock paintings.

So I'm going to upload a Pollock piece as well.
Why is it that every time I add pictures I wind up with extra spaces between my paragraphs?

Friday, July 20, 2007

And as a slide show - much better this way!

Harry Potter, from Photobucket. Yes, I'm a bit obsessed today.

Photobucket Album

Thing 27: Photobucket

Posting a Photobucket album ... Well, see my next post for that. It's Harry Potter day, people! And the books are in the building!

Thing 26: Widgets

One of my Discovery Exercises, so I won't say much about it, but I will pop in some widgets!

For more widgets please visit www.bestweekever.tv/widgets

For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com

For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com

For more widgets please visit www.yourminis.com

I'm jaie22!


This is the 3D me.
Make your own,
and we both get Coinz!

Make a Meez

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thing 28: Magazine Covers

Well, I think I stopped updating here along about Thing 26, Widgets. That's 'cause I was the guest discoverer on Explore ... Discover ... Play for the month of June, and didn't blog here about my own discoveries.

There was one June discovery, however, that wasn't mine, and that was Helene's wonderful Thing 28, magazine cover generators. What fun!

I can never find pictures of myself that look right for these things, so I played around with using Meez avatars to create some covers, and I was really pleased with how they turned out. They look quite natural, especially "on the cover of the Rolling Stone" which often uses illustrations.

As you can see, I got a little carried away with my "Ain't-your-granny's-blue-hair" librarian.

As frivolous as it seems, I could see tons of ways these magazine covers could be very useful. For one thing, patrons would love 'em! What a neat thing to do with the pictures from a scanning class! They'd also be good for creating promotional materials, although in that regard I'd be happier if I had a little more control over the text - as it is, you only control two lines, and I might not always want something about upcoming summer tours on my publicity piece.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Template woes

Back to the boring old template again, since Blogger is giving me some kind of message about the photo at the top taking up too much bandwidth. It was a template I found elsewhere, and I loved it but don't know what I can do about reducing the file size ... Especially today, when I just don't have time to figure it out.

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