Software & Hardware For Your Inner Photographer; Black & White And Read All Over Page 2

Home Office Network Storage
If you have a network in your office or home, you need some kind of network storage peripheral, preferably RAID-based, now. With its easy set up and small footprint, Western Digital’s (www.wdc.com) WD ShareSpace brings all the benefits of a large company’s IT storage capability to small offices. The four-bay storage system has a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interface and provides up to 4TB of storage capacity with multiple RAID configurations that can be accessed within the network and remotely via WD’s remote web access service. iPod users will like the bundled iTunes server capability that allows users to play their music on any Mac OS or Windows computer using iTunes. You can plug a USB drive—think portable—into the front-mounted USB 2.0 port and push a button to automatically transfer all the data on the WD ShareSpace system. Backing up data is important for office or home users and the system’s high capacity, along with the WD Anywhere software, lets you choose specific files or folders for back up. Any changes or additions made to those files or folders will be automatically updated and backed up. WD ShareSpace systems are available in 2TB and 4TB capacities for $699.99 and $999.99, respectively. It’s really cheap peace of mind.

The Bunny Strikes Again
Energizer’s (www.energizer.com) Advanced Lithium batteries are just what you need for those battery chewing, shoe-mounted accessory electronic flash units. They weigh 33 percent less than standard alkaline batteries and the Bunny told me they should last up to four times longer than alkalines when used in digital cameras and perform well in extreme temperatures from 140? to -40?F. (Smile all you penguins!) I’ve been using them in my Canon 550EX flash and their performance has lived up to the Energizer reputation. A four-pack of Energizer Advanced Lithium batteries has a suggested retail price of $7.99. Get a couple of packs for your camera bag.

Comics Effect Action
Panos Efstathiadis (www.panosfx.com) often brings Shutterbug readers free or downright inexpensive interesting Photoshop Actions. His new Comics Action follows the path of the free Out of Bounds plus Action introduced last month in this column in that it’s more complex than just “click the button and Panos does the rest.” PanosFX Comics is like a guided tutorial merged with an addictive Action that’s as much fun to do as it’s easy to follow. It uses some of Photoshop CS3’s latest features, including Smart Filters and Smart Objects, and I tested it using the final Mac OS beta of Photoshop CS4 and it worked perfectly. Some of the dialogs look a little different and better than CS3 but everything worked perfectly. Comics is a suite that also includes text balloons and borders Actions and his website offers a tutorial that after one viewing will make you an expert. What I liked most about PanosFX Comics is how much better it performs than expensive comic emulation software that I tried from other sources. The Action is available for Mac OS and Windows versions of Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3 and Elements for 19.90 euros or about $30 as of this writing.

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