Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BM Challenge #8: Photo Editing & Cropping

I do have a soft spot in my heart for Picnik. Its been that way for the last couple of years ever since I learned about it. So easy to use, and so much fun too! I like that, even though the premium version does give you more bells and whistles, the free version has some pretty cool features to play around with as well. I've gotten a lot of use out of Picnik for both work and for editing my own personal photos. Great tip to use it; it makes things a lot easier! You will see the photo of my original turtle below. I'll have to see what kind of creative tricks I can try to make him more dazzling.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

OCL Web Challenge 2009: #4

Thing #4 is all about the joys of RSS. I am already very much a fan of Google Reader. I used to use Bloglines, but I switched to Google Reader because I liked the look of it more, and I felt it was easier to use. So, this "thing" was a quick one for me since I already had an account set up and tons of feeds that I subscribe to. If it wasn't for the reader, I would never be able to keep up with all the blogs and other RSS feeds that I find interesting. Plus, if I miss checking things for a day or two, its all right there the next time I log into the reader.

RSS in itself is such an amazing piece of technology. When I think of Web 2.0, RSS is one of the first things that come to mind. The fact that we are now able to integrate that into our catalog and some different areas of the website is phenomenal. What a groundbreaking way to bring the information that people want right into their hands (or computer screens, as it may be). RSS has revolutionized the way that people get the information they desire.

Monday, November 9, 2009

OCL Web Challenge 2009: #3

The SEOmoz Web 2.0 Awards were really neat to look at. I am familiar with several of the "bigger" sites on the list, like Picnik, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc., so I stayed away from those and focused on a couple that I'd never heard of before.

The first site I looked into was the travel site Kayak. I have tried other travel booking sites before like Expedia and Priceline, but what is great about Kayak is that you can search those sites all at once. Essentially, you can plan your whole trip (airfare, hotel, car rental, etc) all from one website. Plus there are many different ways to limit your searches to exactly what you need. I would definitely use Kayak in planning upcoming vacations.

Swivel is the second site I explored. I had no idea that putting together a graph could be that much fun! You can input your data from an Excel file or by hand and then Swivel puts all that into the graph or chart of your choice. You can also search graphs that have been posted, which I think would be great for students looking for statistics as part of a report. That's because much of the data is being pulled from credible sources, such as the CDC or Standard & Poors. Very interesting concept!

Friday, October 30, 2009

BM Tech Challenge #7: Learning More About Outlook

The Outlook training course that I took was "File or Archive Your Email on Your Own Computer." I knew that those options were there in Outlook, but I never took advantage of them before. I was able to keep up with it when I worked at Brick. However, since becoming a branch manager, the amount of email that I receive is beginning to take on a mind of its own. It is a job in itself to constantly have to keep cleaning out the Inbox so you don't go over the space limit. Taking this Outlook course has opened my eyes to the beauty of auto-archiving and personal folders. The personal folders will probably be more my cup of tea for most items, but I think I am going to try using the auto-archiving for some things as well to see how I like it. I can't wait to put the steps that I learned in the course to good use. It will help me better organize my email, keep track of what I need longterm and get rid of the stuff that I'm hanging onto for no reason. Also, once I initially set up the folders and the archiving settings, keeping up with the emails won't feel like such a chore. I can't wait to start using the steps I learned about in the course.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

OCL Web Challenge 2009: Thing #1 & #2

I'm all set to jump into the 2009 Web Challenge! This was a smooth start for me since (A) I already have a gmail address and (B) I already have a blog. Right now I also use this blog to keep track of my "things" as part of the Branch Managers Tech Challenge. I'm looking forward to the Web Challenge as well and I'm just hoping I won't confuse the two too much along the way.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Challenge #6 - OCR Test Scan

This challenge was super quick and a lot of fun. I have used the OCR software on the PC Plus before, so I was familiar with the steps. The only strange thing that happened was that the page didn't scan once; it kept on scanning. I had walked away from the computer for a couple of minutes, and when I came back I realized that it had done 38 scans of the same page! I got it to stop and I deleted the extra pages, but I'm still unsure as to why that happened.

Anyway, once I had my one page, the editing was a breeze. No strange typos for me. The best part was editing it in Word. I think my creative writing background came in handy for this challenge! Good to be reminded that we have this software available for people want to scan something other than a picture. Though I do know from experience that it gets cranky with pages that are heavily formatted, like a resume. But mostly it is a useful software to have around.

Challenge #5 - Newspaper Search

Searching for newspaper articles comes up a lot when helping customers. The majority of the time, for me anyway, it seems to revolve around finding obituaries. This can be a scavenger hunt in itself depending on how much information the customer can provide you (and whether or not it is accurate). I enjoy fishing around for info, though; the hunt is what makes it fun.

I recently used America's Newspapers to do a search on my old high school, just to see if anything new and exciting was happening there. I graduated from a small private high school in Binghamton, NY and now that my parents have moved away from there as well, I've been out of the loop. Most of the articles that I found were sports-related. However, I did find out that the school is planning on doing rennovations, which I would definitely say are a good thing. I'll have to keep digging for some better gossip!