Saturday, March 25, 2017

Organizing old photos and saving space

The older you get the more likely you are to have shoe boxes full of photos which take a lot of space.

It is probably also difficult to access those photos you happen to be looking for at any given time.

In the past digitizing photos solved the problem. Trouble is that digitizing took a lot of time with an older computer.

Nonetheless, I started digitizing my older shoe boxes using a PC and a printer scanner, the old tried-and-true method.

It did not take very long for me apprehend I would be working at it for months.

I did a search on the internet for a better method and found that a smartphone app might be an alternative. I still had my doubts.

It took me awhile to find anything that would have a chance of working for me. But finally I got to Google's own app.

Tap or click for it.

It was rather confusing to me as to know how to use it. But I persisted.

Using a bright light over a table, you hold the smartphone above the photo laid out below. There appear four mysterious circles.

You tap on one and an arrow appears to move your smartphone in the direction of another one.

When done you tap on a small circle after a brief delay and up comes a perfect likeness of the original.

You can then frame the photo.

After that, you can send the image to Google photos. There are you can do the editing.

Alternative general adjustments such as exposure are available at one tap. You can also adjust brightness and other effects.

Once I caught on to the process I suddenly found I had scanned through a whole box of photos in very short order.

So, another instance in which the smartphone did the job far better than an old computer.

It had only taken me half a day to evaluate all the alternatives and get well into the work of my photos.

During the process I received a phone call from a resident considering whether to replace his old computer. He asked me whether I needed to do so. Not surprisingly I said no, just get a smartphone.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What? Buy old Tech back?

I sold my Boombox and LP player years ago.

But just today I bought a new Boombox and LP player.


Why would anyone do that?

Well, the whole situation has changed again.

When I learned I could make CDs cheaply for the car, and realized I could not play them at home, it seemed reasonable to have a player at home since my laptops and tablets and smartphones do not have one.

Then I found that new CD player could be very small and portable and work also as a Bluetooth remote speaker.

Not only that, it could play datafiles as well as the typical CD audio file. That meant putting a lot more on a CD.

Actually I had created such CDs as backup for my entire music collection some years ago.

The player can also be programmed with a playlist.

And all this could be had for $40.

Even cheaper was a new LP player. My few remaining 78s could be recorded and digitized, too.

With with old LPs being widely discarded, it is easy to pick them up at little or no cost and even digitize them.

The two devices I used are Jensen products.

Monday, March 13, 2017

CDs Passe?

Nowadays it is easy enough to select and play your music with voice commands, either in your smartphone or computer.      Or use Alexa!

In most cars it's still probably easier, though, for most people just to play a CD.

So I picked up a stack of blank audio CD's the other day to make CDs from my already digitized music files.

(I digitized years ago from 78s and LPs.     That process is done with a turntable MP3 converter and PC software.    I used a turntable converter made by Ion, which I sold when I was done with the conversion, and ready to dispose of all my old 78s and LPs.

Nowadays LPS are a “dime a dozen” and it's nice to have such a device available just to listen to them, or even to convert them. Tap or click for a newer such device.

Tap or click for more on how it is done.    It is a bit labor-intensive.

Having done all that years ago, all I needed to do now, though, was to transfer my MP3 digital files to audio CDs in the audio CD format, (which is different from the MP3 format).

This process was a breeze.

Making the CDs, using Windows 10, I needed to first install the Windows Media Player, which had not come pre-installed with Windows.   Tap or click to download it.

Once installed, all I needed to do wss to start the Player, insert a blank CD, select audio format for it, and then drag and drop files from file manager over to the media player, and finally, click on burn CD.

Duck Soup!

This also gave me the capability of producing a physical CD from music bought on Amazon and in my Amazon Cloud Library.    I first downloaded that music in MP3 format for the purpose.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Upgrade Footnote

For those determined to stick with their old Windows PC, there is one way to upgrade it free.     You simply install the Zorin OS, a distribution of Linux designed to run on old hardware, look and work like Windows, and even run some Windows apps.    

Tap or click here for it.