Our February DACS General Meeting was what we always hope for, good speaker, hot topic, bargain prices. On February 5, Richard Katz came to town and brought it all. He also spoke at our DACS meeting four years ago and a number of members remember him very well. They remember his presentation as being both entertaining and topical. He spoke about Quicken then, and those who took his message to heart have never regretted it.
Richard certainly has the credentials to speak at user group meetings. He was a principal at West Coast user groups for many years before he and Matt McCann started their business, McKatz Brothers Marketing. As much as any speaker we have had, Richard knows what user groups respond to and he knows how to deliver. As a speaker he is witty, sharp, and presents exactly the right level of technical detail. He is one of us and it comes across.
As the name of his company
states, his business is marketing. In the computer field, this
is a tricky endeavor. If you are marketing pizza or palaces,
you know the purchasing volume will be there and you go after
a little bigger chunk of it. With computer products, however,
the market may never develop for a new product, or it may explode.
Technical promise is not always a sure thing. Speech recognition
had all the promise anyone could imagine, but it never took off.
The Internet was only a modest extension of existing technological
capabilities and look what happened.
Richard brought three software packages from Ulead to the meeting. He started his presentation describing PhotoImpact 7 which edits and manipulates whatever graphic images you can get into your system. He queried the audience on who had digital cameras, scanners, camcorders, etc. and demonstrated the point that everybody has the equipment to get images into their computer. By playing with some of his own home images, he then demonstrated that it is feasible for any of us to get some pretty remarkable results from them. He emphasized that PhotoImpact 7 as well as the other Ulead programs are designed for non-professionals. He also emphasized that the products are right for the Web, home slide shows, and all the other non-professional uses that we would make of them.
His enthusiasm for what he could do with PhotoImpact 7 carried him away a bit and he spent more that half his allotted time on that product. He had to rush the next product, VideoStudio 6. The complications of editing digital video clips is an order of magnitude more than those of working on single graphic images and Richard had his problems getting his demo production working. The techniques available in VideoStudio6 are familiar to those who have used Adobes Premiere, but were probably too much for anyone else. He finally got his production working, however, and the message got across that it is now realistic for us to make movies, and burn them onto DVD disks or even CD-ROM disks.
The third Ulead product that Richard demonstrated was PhotoExplorer 7. This package provides for handling images and video clips. He showed us how to create a calendar, filter out red eye, make a slide show and other manipulation-type operations. It is a low price product and it is not obvious why these capabilities are not part of the other products. You really need this to be able to effectively use the others. It did feature a unique capability, Cool 360, of combining images into a 360 degree panorama. Richard did a very effective job of putting one together and showing us the effectiveness of it.
Richard donated a copy of each of the products that he demonstrated to the raffle and the lucky ones were delighted to win. After the meeting, Richard sold copies of each of them as well as copies of Quicken 2002 at special user group prices. A long line of DACS members quickly formed to take advantage of the opportunity. The line also bore testimony to the fact that Richards message came across; image and video editing has arrived and we can do it.
|Jack Corcoran is an old, retired computer programmer who enjoys playing with video and graphics projects. He can be contacted at email@example.com.|