How Budding Designers Can Save the Planet, One Fewer Print Jobs at a Time
If you are a designer, then you already know about saving planets. As you design and advertise in a digital world, you’re also reducing the amount of paper you’re using.
What happens when you’re working with graphic design that needs to be physical and not in the online environment?
Bring your planet-saving techniques into the office to help make print jobs more environmentally friendly.
Want to show a co-worker your latest project or report? Try emailing them a screen shot instead of printing out the page. Cartridges and ink are definitely unfriendly for the environment, and printing also uses up paper. If you really must print something, conserve ink by using smaller fonts for words and by printing in black and white instead of color whenever possible. You can also use programs like Skype that will let you video chat and share your screen with others, which helps reduce printing jobs. Set up an electronic office network so you can reduce printing for office announcements.
Use Environmentally Friendly Printers
Although you might do your best to reduce your print jobs, there are times when you will have to use a printer. Try to use printers that are designed to help save energy and reduce ink. Some printers on the market are designed with the environment in mind. They use soy ink and allow for double-sided printing. Some will merge pages so you can print several pages of a report onto one piece of paper.
Of course, you can always consider scanning as an option for reducing print jobs. Instead of using ink, just scan an image or document, and then send it to a co-worker or client by email or through a social networking site. You can also use scans instead of faxes.
Consider using digital printing when you have to do a print job. Digital printing reduces waste since the ink won’t get absorbed by paper with a digital press. The print stays on the top of the paper.
Reduced Printing Can Save Energy
Help the environment by cutting down on the amount of energy you use. Turn your printer off until you need to print a specific project. You might find that this is just annoying enough that you will find reasons why you don’t need to print certain papers. This is a double-help since reducing print jobs reduces pollution. To make shut-downs and start-ups easier, consider plugging your computer and printer into power strips that you can shut off with the click of a button.
Reduce Paper Usage in Printing
When you use paper, make sure you use both sides of a page, and fill the pages up. Try to use recycled paper whenever possible, and when you purchase new paper, look for a lighter stock. Don’t forget to recycle your own papers when you have finished using them.
When you’re working in graphic design, you’re already a step ahead of most people. You know about strategic planning and proactive maneuvers. Take this information into your office to reduce print jobs. Develop strategies to minimize printer usage. Take your creativity and talent and put them to use in the office as you help save the planet.
Is U.S. Government Heading For A Shutdown?
It’s not exactly what anybody wants and it’s not the ideal situation for the American people, but it is looking more and more like there will be a government shutdown in the United States of America.
Online wagering fans have been betting back and forth over the last couple of weeks while keeping a close eye on the situation, but as of now, it looks like the two main parties of government can’t come to an agreement on the budget and there will be a shutdown.
Leaders in both Chambers of Congress spent the last few hours pointing fingers and trying to win a public relations battle rather than trying to settle the situation.
And with both sides offer different versions of the story, it’s unclear what is exactly happening amidst the talks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggests that the problem stems around ideology and claims that both sides have actually made plenty of progress as far as the actual budget is concerned. The Republicans, on the other hand, suggest that this is solely based around the numbers and they are trying their best to cut down the American debt, which is currently at $14 trillion.
In the mean time, it doesn’t look like a short term bill will be an option. President Obama has vowed to veto any such temporary solution, calling it a distraction from a long-term solution, which is obviously what is really needed to remedy this mess.
As it stands now, the government shutdown will begin at midnight Saturday – that is unless the two sides can agree on a budget for the rest of the year.
Stay tuned as the we are going to find out more about this situation very shortly. Hopefully cooler heads prevail but as of right now, it looks like both sides are too far apart to prevent a shutdown.
BS.Player Is Popular Around The Globe
In today’s exploding world of technological advances we have seen the development and introduction of so many different programs that can help us perform just about any computing need. These new programs can include digital photography, file sharing and video playback and editing.
Users around the world have seen many different digital formats introduced into their computing realms. It can be understandably confusing, and often times very frustrating. This seems especially prevalent in video players. It seems you just find a video play back program so you can watch that video that your brother sent you and then you receive another one that is in a completely different format and unfortunately your playback software can’t read that format.
Fortunately, open source software is free, and most of their media players, such as VLC player, KM player, and BS player have all the correct codecs in order to play most formats on a number of different platforms. As with any open source software, to download vlc or any of the other popular media players, there is no risk of corrupting any present files or your computer.
You should consider trying a program called BS.Player. BS.Player is considered to be one of the most popular multimedia players in the world. Within the computing world BS.Player has received numerous awards and accolades. In fact some 70 million users around the world use it. Its popularity globally could be due in part that the program has been translated into 90 different languages.
Other positives about BS.Player are that it is free and it doesn’t take a huge computing platform to work. It is free due to its open source background and the fact that it is part of the GNU General Public License. In addition, the player does not require large amounts of RAM or CPU space.
BS.Player will allow playback of just about every popular video format including:
BS.Player can also be used as an audio player as well. This great program also provides the capability of managing all of your multimedia content, and it can also make media compilations of your choosing.
Getting All Your IM Contacts Onto One Platform
There are millions of users who use their internet connections for communication — whether it be emails or instant messaging or both. In the past few years we have experienced an explosion of instant messaging, not only on our computers but our mobile devices as well. We enjoy that “instant” communication. We login and start chatting away — we could be communicating personal information and happenings or even conducting business transactions.
Many users start out by choosing a single instant messaging platform such as Yahoo or MSN Messenger or Google Talk. All of these platforms generally do not allow other users on other services communicate. This means that if a user has many friends and family on disparate services and networks, he or she may have several different chat clients installed. And imagine if that person wants to communicate with different people on different networks simultaneously? It’s a frustrating and time consuming process.
However because of two Open Source instant message platforms, these contacts and services can be brought together on one single application.
Miranda IM and Pidgin IM are two Open Source programs available to users to bring all their separate messaging contacts onto one easy-to-use platform. Not only are these two programs easy to use, they are free to download and use. Both Miranda and Pidgin are part of the Open Source initiative and as such, are licensed under the GNU General Public License. Both programs were developed by a group of like-minded programmers and developers who want to produce strong software programs for Open Source users. These programs are easy to download and install. They will both collect the current contact and chat buddy information and consolidate them into one easy to navigate list.
But chatting isn’t where the sharing has to stop. Aside from all the current social networking sites, businesses and their clients or friends and their family can share music, videos, files, photos, and more using another open source program called Ares Galaxy. This program helps you share and unshared only what you select over a secure, virus free platform. Between the multi-chat platform and a single program that can help you securely transfer multi-media business as we know it could evolve to internet dependent.
Using FTP to Market Through Media
It’s become a core part of web marketing to use media — whether that’s audio, image, or video media — to spread word about your group. From bands spreading album preview to mega-corporations releasing made-for-web advertisements, this new arena is both plainly visible and obviously important. However, many new companies will have trouble breaching the media marketing front, in part because of an inability to effectively spread large media files. FileZilla is one of the best FTP solutions to this problem.
There are multiple ways to resolve the media sharing issue. The first, and most common, is to send out videos through video sharing sites like YouTube, audio through audio preview widgets like Podcast Player, images through Flickr or Picasa, and so forth. However: users who aren’t especially web-savvy won’t be able to easily download the file for later use, and won’t be able to access the media at all while offline; advertisements may well be shown alongside or even over-top of your media; and, of course, you lose almost all control over distribution.
FileZilla provides an alternative for direct distribution of larger files, but it requires neither heavy investment nor advanced learning. As an FTP program, FileZilla will allow its users to upload large files — up to hundreds of megabytes in size — to a single web location, allowing users to download the file just by visiting the appropriate destination URL. Since this program is open source, it’s completely free to use. All you will need is a domain name and a web host that lets you store files on the server, and provides bandwidth for your uploads and downloads.
The exact directions will be different for each specific instance, but the basic summary of this procedure is: download File Zilla, upload your file to a web server, and provide the URL to anyone who you want to have access the media file.
Using Audacity With a Computer Network
A computer network involves using connections, whether wireless or cable-based, to connect different devices. You can make a computer network in a variety of ways, depending on the devices you want to connect to each other. In some cases, the Internet can act as the connection point, making it possible to link devices thousands of miles apart.
If you have a computer network in place, you can incorporate Audacity into it. Since Audacity is an open source project, you can download the audio editor on any computer in your system. The program also works on a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Mac, and Windows. Having the same program available no matter what operating system you use can be beneficial.
Another way to use Audacity with a computer network is to save your files in an Internet-based storage system. This will allow you to work on the file from any computer in your network. You can save your changes, and they will be available the next time you open the file.
Some people don’t want to mess with downloading a program onto every computer in the network, so they include a server that stores both applications and files. If you have this type of system, you can add Audacity to the server. It’s also possible to set up remote access to a computer. This can be an option for a person who wants to network applications without using a server. By logging in to the computer that is acting as the remote client, you can see and use the tools and files on that computer from another one.
Setting up a computer connection can be easier than many individuals believe the process to be. Having access to your favorite programs, including Audacity, from any point in the network may be the incentive you need to install a network today.
Don’t Get Caught in the Past: Embrace Windows 7
When it comes to the lifespan of an operating system, Vista has one of the shortest ones in the Window’s family. If you’ve been holding onto Vista for dear life, consider making the swtich.
Windows 7 Improves Vista
As with most systems and programs, upgrades often fix problems with previous versions. When it comes to 7, it enhances elements introduced in Vista. Many find the user interface to be a major improvement, and 7 works with all the same programs you used on Vista. That means you can download and install your favorite peer-to-peer client, like Cabos, without any issues. Security is also an improvement. The settings correct problems with Vista’s security and offer user account options.
Windows 7 Speeds Up Processes
The design of Windows 7 works well for people who don’t want to waste time. You can use the taskbar to load the programs you want to see on your desktop. The scrolling function of the taskbar eliminates desktop clutter and provides instant access to your customized selections. With 7, you can access your music downloader with one click.
Another productivity increasing feature is the jump list. Users can see a list of recently opened files from the desktop’s “Start” menu. You can access an open office document, an Excel spreadsheet, or even the last Ares music file you played from the jump list.
Windows 7 also increases the speed of your computer. If you only download an occasional program, this may not be as attractive to you as it is to others; however, those who download large files on a regular basis will notice the increased speed.
Move Into the Future
Many consider Windows 7 to be the best operating system from the manufacturer to date. If you are clinging to Vista for insubstantial reasons, stop. Take advantage of the improvements you can get with Windows 7.
5 Great (and Free) Tools for Web Developers
Developing a website is a task that can take time and planning, especially if you decide to add animation or other eye-catching graphics to it. Most designers have an arsenal of tools they rely on to help make the process easier. If you’ve been thinking about creating a website, consider these five great tools.
1. Photo-Editing Software
To create visually stunning graphics, you’ll probably need a photo-editing program. GIMP is a free and open source program that can do everything from whitening teeth to removing background images. You can use the program to create logos and other raster graphics.
2. A 3D-Animation Editor
Moving graphics tend to grab attention faster than still photos, and you can render 3D images using a 3D-animation editor. Blender is a free program that designers used to make portions of the Oscar-nominated film “The Secret of Kells.”
3. Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is a free shareware program. It allows you to incorporate your animation into your website quickly. You can also use it to incorporate slideshows.
The more pages you add to your website, the more beneficial cascading style sheets become. This coding language relies on one master sheet to make changes across an entire website. It’s a great time saver for making universal changes, and it has other benefits, as well. Designers can use CSS to create a better layout for a webpage than they can when they use HTML.
5. An FTP Client
Regardless of the elements you’re incorporating into your website, you still need a way to transfer all your multi-media files to your web server. Most designers use an FTP client, like FileZilla, for this.
Website design doesn’t have to be a difficult or expensive endeavor. With these five free tools, you can create a dynamic website that is sure to catch attention.
Don’t Lose Your Precious Files: Backup Your Computer
Creating documents, whether you make a word-processing document in Open Office or a full-blown mind map in FreeMind, takes time. Some of your work will track a variety of resources and data that you incorporate into the documents you create. Sadly, you may be among the many individuals who will lose their precious work because they didn’t back up their home computers.
If you’ve ever known a couple who lost every childhood photo they took of their child because of a computer crash, you may have some understanding of the tragedy losing your hard drive can create. Thankfully, you do have an option. You can backup your digital files in a variety of ways to protect your important ones.
People who struggle to organize their daily, weekly, or monthly routines may want to use a program that will perform the backup automatically. These programs will record a copy of data based on a set schedule. With automatic programs, you’ll never worry about whether the plot for your new novel or your company’s business model saved the last changes during backup.
If you can handle managing your routines a bit better, you might opt for a program that allows you the opportunity to backup your files at will. You can do this on thumb drives, external hard drives, or an online storage system.
Individuals who want additional protection may want to use an Internet-based backup program, which can protect your files from household tragedies, such as fire or flood. Most natural disasters can destroy computers, thumb drives, and external hard drives, but an off-site program will be safe from the devastation destroying your home.
You have enough things to worry about on a daily basis, but backing up your computer documents doesn’t have to be something that causes stress. Find the type of system that will work best for you and protect the files you created.
Three Signs You’re Addicted to an MMORPG
A massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG, can connect a person to an online community where people of similar interests can enjoy recreational activities, help an individual develop strategic skills, or improve cognitive skills through academic challenges. Some people, however, take fun to the extreme, creating an addiction. Here are three signs you might have an MMORPG addiction.
1. You’ve replaced real friends with virtual ones.
As the online world expands, psychologists have started to examine how virtual relationships affect individuals. So far, studies indicate that online interaction does not produce the same benefits as physical interaction. If you’ve been too busy playing your game to hang out with friends, then you may be becoming addicted to your game. Examine your relationships with friends and loved ones and make sure you aren’t neglecting them.
2. You can’t stop playing the game, even at work.
Tower Defense can be a fun game to play, but if you can’t stop attacking creeps to get your work done, then you could be putting yourself at financial risk. If your MMORPG is affecting your promptness or your performance, it may be time to give the game a break. You shouldn’t be scurrying to hide the game any time you see your supervisor heading your direction.
3. The pizza boxes have become permanent in your living room.
Recreational activities are an important part of life, but they shouldn’t overpower your responsibilities. Most people would rather kick back and enjoy a pizza while playing a game or having fun, but if you can’t stop building towers long enough to throw out the trash, then you have most likely entered into the realm of an addiction.
An MMORPG, like Tower Defense, can be fun, but you don’t want to put your relationships, your job, or your health in jeopardy because you can’t stop playing. Have fun — and always remember to download in moderation.