My first experience with photo editing was inking a mustache on a picture of the Mona Lisa. All the average graphics novice needed then was a scrapbook, a pair of scissors, some glue, and a lot of patience to manage a family photo album. Most photos ended up in dusty stacks in a drawer or a box in the attic.
Now, all thats changed. Digital photography and computer graphics have made every home PC a virtual production studio. Bit-mapping has enabled the PC user to manipulate images at the subatomic level of individual pixels. Special digital tools give us the power to fix old or damaged photos, adjust contrast and resolution, erase wrinkles, or create whole new identities. And when finished, images are uploaded and stored in virtual albums on family Web pages. Although the output may still be no more imaginative than a mustachioed Mona Lisa, the sheer variety of inane things one can do has increased exponentially, along with the technology needed to actually do it right.
At our next General meeting on September 5, representatives from Ixla, an Australian graphics developer with roots in the Danbury area, will show us how to do it right and do it easily. Ixla has plunged into the photo editing software market with an array of digital home photography products. Whether youre a graphics guru, or are new to digital editing, it should be an entertaining evening.
Design your own Web page
The Web Site Design SIG will be back in operation soon. Matthew Greger, a local small business consultant and DACS member, has agreed to chair the group, with a tentative start-up date of Wednesday, September 13. See more in SIG Notes inside.
Graff on Graphics
Last Spring, I announced plans for a class, to be taught by Graphics SIG director, Ken Graff. About 25 members have expressed an interest, and we will soon begin scheduling a time and setting proposed fees. If you would like to be part of this class, contact Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk with me at the next meeting.
Try our tireless teller
Cant make it to the meetings to get your computer questions answered? Submit them directly to our Q&A moderator, Bruce Preston, via e-mail at email@example.com Questions that have a ready solution will be answered with all deliberate speed; others will be brought up during the next Random Access for ideas from the floor.
A little dash will do it
An e-mail arrived in the DACS Web masters box recently, alerting us that we were infringing on a legal trademark. It seems that our newsletter archives section header, combined with the first word of the title of an archived article, spelled out the name of a Web search engine, causing Internet surfers to be diverted to our Web site. The prescription was straight to the point: remove the infringing language, or face legal action.
After some initial huffing and hyperventilating, a straightforward solution presented itself: simply add two words to the title. Although the complaint was settled, the brief engagement left us with a more sober appreciation for the issue of freedom of speech on the Web. As more private interests begin to set up stakes on the Internet, the free passage of information and ideas we have become accustomed to has increasingly been impeded by barbed wire.
You can find out more on this issue
by clicking on the Blue Ribbon Campaign for Free Speech Online
icon at the bottom of the DACS Web site, or by visiting Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.
Is this the subject of a future column in dacs.doc? Virtual Jack