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MARCH 9, 2009   

Google, again

I use a lot of Google services, many of which I've discussed here previously. A few of my favorites are Google Maps, Alerts, Docs, and Notebook. I'm unhappy that Google has given up on Notebook, announcing that it will no longer support/develop this handy web-clipping scrapbook that I use daily.

The latest to win me over is Picasa, Google's image-editing and organizing application. I use Apple iPhoto to maintain my collection of 7,000+ photos and videos and have no interest in switching to something new. Picasa works for me because it works with iPhoto, cataloging the images but not disturbing their iPhoto organization. It give me the best of both worlds.

I first looked at Picasa a few days ago when I noticed that someone had embedded a nice little slideshow on Facebook. A small Picasa logo in the corner was the tipoff. There are many times when I'd like to put a slideshow online but don't want to invest the time and labor into creating my own in Flash. Picasa seems to be the answer.

Here's a slideshow of our visit to Hocking HIlls, made in a few minutes using Picasa. I had to use the online "Help" system a few times to get started, but most of the controls and processes are easy to understand.

But wait! There's more...

Collage created from slideshow imagesPicasa also has nice collage and movie-making features that you can use with the same photos to share them in different ways.

Here you see one of many collage styles available.The software creates a random arrangement, but you can move any image, change its size and/or tilt angle, and move it above or below surrounding images. Easily.

I recommend you look at Picasa as a way to get the most out of all those digital photos you probably have on your computer. If you already use iPhoto, they play nicely together. If you don't have photo management software, or you're not satisfied with what you're using, Picasa may be the answer you're looking for.

A picture worth a thousand words

Drawing of a man standing next to a small pile of billsNearly every day we've been hearing about humongous sums of money the government is throwing this way and that to try to stop the decline of the economy. Millions and billions won't do it, but a trillion might. What is a trillion dollars?

PageTutor.com decided to show us, starting with this illustration of a million dollars (the stacks of $100 bills on the ground near the man's feet). Each stack of 100 bills = $10,000. 100 stacks = $1,000,000.

Now imagine how many stacks it will take to equal a trillion dollars. Think you can picture it? Take a look and see (scroll to the bottom).

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2009 MARCH