Thinking Outside The Box car
"Video Killed the Radio Star"--The first music video played on MTV
Picture this: You pick up a
client in your newly cleaned car to drive them to lunch and discuss a
big project that also means big bucks. As the client puts on her seat
belt and settles into the passenger seat, you turn on your Sony Xplod
car audio system to play her favorite CD or listen to tunes from a local
radio station. After just about the second note, she sits bolt upright
and asks, "What are those pictures on your radio?"
One of my American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association colleagues suggested I take a look at the Pioneer AVX-P7300DVD (www.pioneerelectronics.com), too. It provides an in-dash CD/DVD with pop-up 7" LCD screen--just like Business Class on a 777--that lets you display images much, much larger. Since the storage media is DVD, instead of the lower capacity Memory Stick, you can create presentations that mix video, sound, and your still images and be able to play them inside your car. All this coolness is not cheap. The Sony Xplod MEX-5D1 costs just short of $1000 and the Pioneer unit is $1850.
Plug-In Of The Month
Sharp-eyed readers will, by now, have begun to notice some similarities to Applied Science Fiction's own scanner software for controlling grain and enhancing color, and indeed SilverFast 6.0 provides a way to add these functions to your own film or flat-bed scanner. But wait--as they say on TV--there's more. The plug-in, which for the first time is now a stand-alone application (on the same disc), includes a color cast removal tool that can eliminate problems caused by mixed light sources. There's also a selective Color to Gray feature that lets you tweak gray scale conversion of color images by controlling which shade of gray the color will be converted to. You gotta see it to believe how this works. All of the old good stuff is still there and the plug-in/application provides a three-part histogram (CMY) that shows the 16-bit color space work being done internally so that no scanner information is lost. LaserSoft's SilverFast 6.0 is compatible with Mac OS X (with Aqua interface), OS 9.2, and Microsoft Windows.
Digital Albums With A Difference
Here's all you need to
do: Select a folder that has images you want to appear in the album/presentation.
I used a folder of JPEG files that were just 400 pixels high and under
30K in size, yet viewing the presentation on a 15" LCD monitor it
looked amazingly good. The albums are built so fast you can click the
Preview button and almost instantly compile and preview the presentation.
This means it doesn't take long to compare those that work better
than others with your specific collection of photographs. You control
many of the variables within the parameters of the chosen interface, including
how long each image is displayed and the kind of musical accompaniment.
When you're satisfied with how the album looks, click Build to assemble
the final presentation. Output options make it easy to distribute the
finished album by CD or Internet upload, although some of the files with
music and lots of photos might be a bit large for non-broadband use. Nevertheless,
you can turn the finished album into HTML pages, a ZIP file, or self-expandable
You'll Wonder Where
The Yellow Went
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