Sunday, 19 October 2008

Gismos and Gadgets

Yeah, I've not posted in a while. I could say let's blame it on the Australian invaders, but the truth is I miss my camera. This is because the batteries are dead. I can't recharge the batteries because in getting ready for company we rearranged a couple of rooms (read: shovelled a bunch of STUFF into different locations) and I put the charger away in a place which is now a mystery. So, today we walked into the next village and bought another, which is shameful, but I couldn't see another short term solution. I'm prepared to think about long term solutions for a lot of things to avoid spending money, but this just wasn't one of them. So, when we find the old battery charger, well, I can re-charge twice as many batteries in the same time, right?

Anyhow, I've been meaning to tell you about several things I've discovered on the internet that I think are really cool.
If you love to read as much as I do it's fun to discover new authors. For a while at the library I browsed the fiction starting at the beginning of the alphabet (authors' names beginning with 'A') considering only books where the author had at least two book titles on the shelf. I dismissed the obvious chick lit -- easy to overdose on that -- and gave further consideration to books that appeared to have some historical content or were set in a different culture than the usual US/British stuff. I found some good books that way. Then I happened to use the library's internet access and found they had links to the Whichbook website.

I've only used it a few times; I have plenty of books here that I own and I've lately gone through a non-fiction (how to) and biographical phase (women only) so I've not needed to find new authors lately. I did, however, find John Connolly this way, which was excellent. Have a look at this, it is quite amusing.

You may or may not have noticed that the quality of the photos here have been improving a bit. If so, this is entirely attributable to this website which allows you to 'fix' pictures. It is streets ahead of any other similar websites I've found because it lets you
straighten pictures, that is rotate them only by a view degrees to make them more parallel. It may not be a big problem for you, but many of my family photos were printed by my photographer parents and they didn't seem to worry too much how straight they cut the photos that were for themselves, so that when they are scanned they go every which way. Also, many of my photos seem lopsided to me and I find that when the lines in the photo -- be they columns on a building or the back of a chair or the picture rail on a wall -- are straight, the picture looks much better.

The site also allows for exposure and colour correction, cropping, sharpening, etc. No membership or login even required if you are happy to do one picture at a time. In fact, I tried to log in and had no luck... Brilliant website, nevertheless.

If you are a blog addict like me, you can spend your life loading up blogs only to find there are no new posts. Set up your blog list on this website though, and it only shows you blogs with new posts so you can keep up with a LOT more blogs...which may or may not be a good thing, mind.

Finally -- and this is just for fun, unless you are looking for a new name for your baby (dog, cat, hamster?). NameVoyager has this totally amazing area graph that seems to float as it looks up names. The whole blog has lots of stuff about names, of course, but this time machine is fascinating. Not sure what this might be like for people on dial up, but see what happens.

I'll be back soon with pictures!

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