Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Keep Your Images In A Specific Order

Reader Asks A Good Question..

Q:I have a folder with 200 pictures which I have arranged in a very specific order. I want to burn them to a CD, but when I try to burn them in Roxio they burn to a cd but not in the order that they are in the folder. Any help is appreciated. ”

A: The trick for resolving this puzzle is to understand that computers will do their own arranging (and assigning), using a pre-configured, rigid, logic — generally alphabetical order. So even though you have carefully nudged the icons representing (for human viewing) your photos (actually JPEG files) around into an arranged order of your liking, the machine will still think of the files in terms of IMG0001.JPG, followed by the “greater than” IMG0002.JPG (2 is “greater than” 1) which will be followed by the “greater than” IMG0003.JPG.
Etc.

So the answer is to rename the files , and do so in an order that matches your order.

If you had just a few files, you could manually rename the first image by giving it a name and adding a one. Repeating for the second image, but adding a 2. And, repeating for the third image, but adding a 3. As I did for this collection of screenshots that were going to be a slideshow (and needed a certain ‘order’)

But since you have so many, you need an easier way – what is called a “batch rename” by us Über Geeks.

1) Arrange the photos into the order you like.

2) Click on one of the images to turn it blue (aka “select it”)

3) Hold down the Ctrl key and press the “A” key (or Edit > Select All). This will turn all the images blue (all are now ‘selected’).

4) Right-click on the first image, and choose Rename from the context menu (the name of small side window that pops open).
Your cursor will now be blinking inside the file name ‘box’.

5) Type in a ‘name’ — preferably something related to your project, or the subject matter.
(This one might be “fishtrip”, for example.)

IMPORTANT  Do NOT add a number — this is done automatically during the rename process

Press Enter.

Note: If for some reason you are unhappy with the result.. say you made a mistake, you can Undo the rename you just did by pressing Ctrl+Z (or going to the Edit menu and choosing the top choice – “Undo rename”. (I love Ctrl + Z!)

Now that you have put your ordering in terms a computer cannot argue with, your CD burning software, or “import”-ing into PowerPoint, or whatnot, will respect and follow your arrangement.
Because “fishtrip (4).jpg” is ‘greater than’ (aka “alphabetical”) “fishtrip (3).jpg” … right? Right.

Remember folks, machines are kinda dumb: they can only “think” in binary (a 1 or a 0)(aka “true or false”, “on or off”). They cannot “see” your photo – they see C:\User Name\Pictures\IMAG0001.JPG.

Sorta related: Make Your Photos and Videos Automatically Fly From Your Camera to Your Computer

I spend much of my obsession for technology, by looking for the latest technology in computers and computer accessories on Amazon .. Today, I came across a technology that I did not know about that is just downright impressive.” Read more..

Today’s quote:A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.” ~ Bob Edwards

(There’s something about this quote.. something.. “off”, I think)

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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October 24, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Quick Tip: Digitally Document Your Possessions

Photographic Proof For Insurance (Included: a good “general tip”)

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say; but if you had a catastrophe and your insurance company refuted, or undervalued, your claim – a picture could be worth thousands of dollars.

If your house burned to the ground, and your insurance company disagreed with you about the contents of your home, or severely undervalued them, or both, how would you respond? I would open my email.

What did he say?

Step 1) (Takes an hour, or two, or so) Get a hold of a digital camera, or use your cell phone’s camera if you have no other option, and photograph all your rooms in a “panorama” type perspective. Also be sure to take good pictures of all your key (valuable) possessions – furniture, electronics, appliances, jewelry, artwork, vehicles, power tools, silverware, etc. Open your closets and snap some pics of their contents (your wardrobe); and also your cabinets with all your pots and pans and popcorn poppers. Create a “visual tour” of your home/garage/tool shed.

Step 2) Transfer the images to your PC into a folder you create named “Insurance” (or.. something similar). Then apply a “batch resizer” to the JPEGs (the pictures) you just took. Digital images from cameras usually are quite large (file size, I mean) and to complete the next step, you need to ‘shrink’ them down to a smaller (file) size — say, under 500 KB each. It is easy, don’t worry; scroll down for my reco on a “resizer” tool.

Step 3) Now import (or attach) the (smaller) images to an email and send the email to yourself.
This may be easiest if you use a “zip” utility (such as Windows’ Send to compressed folder).
Now, no matter what happens to your camera or computer, a copy of those photos will be stored on your email server – ready to show to your insurance claims adjuster should you ever need them. It may take more than one email to send yourself them all..
(And naturally, I hope we never do need them..!)

And let’s face it; if we had to sit down and write out a list from memory.. how many things would we forget without that visual reminder?

(Optional Step 4) “Burn” a copy of the original “Insurance” folder to a CD/DVD (the large size images) and put the disc in your safety deposit box (or give it to a friend to keep for you.)

Walking through with a video camera is a great thing to do too. But be sure to store the ‘tape’ somewhere else.

And YES, folks: you have to do this before the tornado (or hurricane, or earthquake, or..) strikes.

Today’s free download: Batch Image resizing made easy. Fotosizer is a free batch photo/image resizer tool. It lets you resize hundreds of photos in a matter of minutes in a quick and easy way.

(The tip here can be good to know just for “GP”. You never know when you might want to email a large number of photos..)

Related: Home Inventory: How to Document Your Personal Property (there is also a link to two videos at the bottom..)

Not directly related: Back to School 2011: ‘What to buy your kid for college’ guide

“Back to School 2011: College is an investment, not just for those who go, but for parents too. Give your kid a helping hand with these tech essentials. Read more…

Today’s quote:My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit.”  ~ Phyllis Diller

Yes. I'd say so.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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August 1, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital camera, Digital Images, e-mail, how to, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Beauty #43 | Gifts for grads under $100

When I typed the title for today’s post.. the number (43) jumped out at me (for some reason). Forty-three weeks… well, here you go — a pretty picture for your Sunday. My Canadian friends have been on my mind, so today’s image comes from Canada’s western mountains..

Avalanche Lake, Canada

Click on image to see more by this artist

“Avalanche Lake” by nateeag, courtesy of Flickr Commons.

BONUS: A quote for your day:Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”  ~ Marcus Aurelius

Folks, HP has a “Gifts for Grads Sale” going I thought you might be interested in… as they are under $100. To see their ad, click here.
It seems we have a new Class of 2011 running loose.. Congratulations Graduates!

Enjoy the day, folks, and let’s be safe out there.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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May 22, 2011 Posted by | Digital Images | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Beauty XVII

I am not so sure that this photo is, by itself, .. award winning. But the idea it represents wins a Blue Ribbon in my book..

Click on image to see more photos by artist

Photo by Bjarke Svendsen. Courtesy of Flickr Commons.

November 14, 2010 Posted by | Digital Images | , , | Leave a comment

How To Copy From (Or Save) A Web Page

Working With Web Pages

Whether you want to share information you have found on the web with others, or keep a copy for reference at a later date, knowing how to “work with webpages” and copy online text and images are handy skills.

The first thing to understand is that “online” material – such as webpages – are stored elsewhere, and “served” to your computer, where they are assembled and “viewed” by your web browser — through the use of HTTP and HTML ‘coding’ (which is not visible to you).

The typical webpage will have many sources for what you “see”: the HTML code, and the page’s text are probably on one “web server”, the logos and other images may come from another “server”, or servers, and the advertisements from yet other servers. These various items can be “dynamic” (changing), so that a farmer in Minnesota won’t see the exact same web page as Florida retiree (at least, not the same ads..).

Short version: a webpage is not a simple file you can Save, Edit, or Delete, like Word document or Excel spreadsheet you have created “locally” on your own machine.

Sharing Web pages with others:
The easiest way to share a web page with others is to simply send them the URL. A “URL” is the “http://blah.blahblah.com/blah.htm&#8221; (found in the “address bar”) and the easiest way to send it is to Copy > Paste.
AddrssBr

The easiest way to Copy a URL is to click – once – anywhere on the web page, and then click – once – inside the address bar. That will ‘highlight’ (turn blue.. aka “select”) the whole, entire URL.
* Click on Edit > Copy, or press the Ctrl + C keys, to copy the selection.

* You can now move to Email “compose” window, or Chat “send message” window, and click on Edit > Paste, or press Ctrl + V, which will paste the URL in, and you can…

* Now Send the recipient(s) the exact web page URL you want them to see. (Mind you, web pages are often dynamic, and your recipient might not see exactly what you see..)

Another easy method will fix the “dynamic” webpage, and turn it into a simple file (which you will have stored “locally”, aka “onboard”) which you can then “attach” to an e-mail and send – as you would a Word document or Excel spreadsheet – only it will be a PDF file, and the images will be “embedded” for you.

Fellow tech blogger Rick Robinette wrote a nice article on this method here, Easily Convert Web Pages to a PDF File, so I will let you read that instead of re-inventing the wheel. Trust me, it’s something you’ll want to know about. (And you may find out why his site is one of my daily reads.
[update: Rick posted a review today of a free program you can install for turning web pages into PDF’s. Please see Nitro – A PDF Reader that is a Whole Lot More.]

Extracting selected web page items:
Sometimes all you want from a web page is just a small section of text, or a single picture — perhaps as reference material, or just a really quotable Quotable Quote. Or a recipe.

For pictures and images, all you need to do is right– click on the image, and select Save image as. ¹ This will ‘download’ a copy of the image file to your PC, which you can then “attach” to an e-mail and send. (That wasn’t so hard, was it?) Text is a little trickier.

Q: How do I copy the text on a webpage into my document?

“There are actually a couple of different ways to do this, including the old “print-to-file” method that DOS users remember. The trick is to get just the text and information you want, and not all the advertising and hyperlinks and graphics/logos that most webpages incorporate…”

As the blurb states, there are a few methods, and I am running long. Good thing I wrote out the How To steps a while back and posted them in this article, How To Extract Text From Web Pages*!

So there you have it. Some basics, and two additional How To’s. Have a great weekend, folks.

¹ Addenda: Readers have chimed in with more tips; please see comments below.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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June 4, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, MS Word | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Beginner Customizing – Slideshow Screensavers

Show off your best photos with a screensaver “slideshow”

If you have seen someone’s computer showing a changing display of pretty pictures and thought to yourself, “that’s neat…I wonder how they did that?” then this post is for you. The trick is in using Windows’ built-in slideshow feature, and it is a straight-forward and easy adjustment to make. (And.. it does away with that boring black Microsoft logo screen…)

Tip of the day: To create a custom screensaver slideshow, all you have to do is, basically, turn it on. It will by default show a slideshow of the pictures contained in your “My Pictures” folder (just “Pictures” in Vista), but you can point it to any folder which contains images — and here’s where the customization comes into play.

To get started, let’s assume that all you want to do is display your My Pictures folder. This will allow me to demonstrate the first step: turning on a screensaver slideshow. First, right-click on any blank area of your desktop and select “Properties” (in Vista, “Personalize” >”screensaver”). This will open the Display Properties window.
Next click on the “Screen Saver” tab. Now go down to the drop-down arrow box labeled Screen saver and click on the down arrow to open your list of choices. Select “My Pictures slideshow” (“Photos” in Vista). Now instead of the boring black background with a moving XP logo, the screensaver will be your pictures. In XP, click the Preview button to see what it will look like.
SS_props3

While we’re here, let’s take a look at some of the other settings. Here is where you can set how long a period of idle time elapses before the screensaver kicks in. To redirect the slideshow to a different folder, and to modify your slideshow’s variables (such as how long each picture displays), click the Settings button. You should get a screen like the one pictured below.

ScreenSaverChangePictures

As you can see, you can “tweak” your slideshow quite a bit here, and even add transitions between slides. Again, use the previous screen’s Preview button to see how these adjustments will actually play out. If you’re happy, you can quit here and click the “Apply” button. But if you don’t want to display your whole My Pictures folder — but instead, only a subset — or want to use a different folder of pictures, keep reading.

First, open your My Pictures folder (Start >My Documents >My Pictures) and right-click on any blank area. On the menu that opens, select New, and then folder. Give your new folder a name like “slideshow”. Now fill this folder with copies of the pictures you want to display, by right-click + dragging them into the “slideshow” folder, letting go, and selecting “Copy here”. Repeat this until you have your selections all copied into the “slideshow” folder. (Called “drag and drop”)

Now that you have your slideshow folder all set up, return to the My Screen Saver Properties window (the one pictured above) and click the “…Browse” button. Double-click on the “slideshow” folder (you may have to navigate to it: do so by clicking My Documents >My Pictures >slideshow), and you’re done. Again, you can use the Preview button to see how it will look.

To make your PC more immune to casual browsing while you’re away from your desk, go back to Display Properties’ (right-click any blank area on your Desktop and select Properties) Screen Saver tab and put a check in the checkbox labeled “On resume, display Welcome screen.” If you’ve followed my advice from earlier posts, this will require your user password to log in.

Today’s free link: I don’t have my screensaver displaying my own photo’s, I have it set to display a series of “Demotivators” (free for personal use) — an amusing and ironic play on the “motivational” posters that Executive-types love to hang in work areas. If you haven’t seen the Demotivators (and their often spectacular photography) yet, do yourself a favor and click here. And be sure to browse the different categories.

*Original posting:6/26/07

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 20, 2009 Posted by | computers, Digital Images, how to, PC, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments