Tekzilla #3: Morgan, Nero 8, Free Photo Editing, Killing A Bad PC

Posted in Operating Systems, Graphics, Podcasts on November 11, 2008

Morgan Webb talks about the pitfalls of launching a video blog. Free photo editing software. Installing a Graphics Card. HappyMedia, Nero 8, Blu-ray vs. HD DVD, easy e-mail backup. Plus we kill a PC.

Morgan Webb our buddy from Xplay drops in to talk about Five Things You Didn't Know Would Be So Hard About Video Blogging... she's learned a few things putting together WebbAlert!

$200 to install a graphics card? They better include the card at that price! Jessica and Patrick show you how to upgrade your graphics card: it's really easy. Top tip: uninstall the drivers and related software before removing the old card and installing the new card... it can make things a lot easier.

HappyMedian: a useful site for anyone that fancies the idea of meeting halfway. Enter in the ZIP code or city name of up to four places, and HappyMedian will choose the city (or cities) most equal distant from your locations.

Free photo editing software! Photoshop CS3 is epic... but for most of us, it's total overkill. (It also costs a fortune.) Paint.net runs on Windows, but it's a nifty free tool that includes layers, blending, transparancy, a long list of special effects, plugins (to add new file support or special effects). It's pretty slick... and it started as a student project... how cool is that? GIMP, aka the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an open source alternative to Photoshop that runs on Unix, Windows and OS X. Some find the interface clunky, but we find it no harder than Photoshop, and it also features tons of tools, alpha channels, photo layers, editable text layers... just tons of photo tweaking toys you should check out.

The free photo editing software was inspired by Patrick's search for a decent Irfanview style photo preview tool for OS X... cause he can't stand Preview. Got a suggestion? Email tekzilla@revision3.com!

Killing an evil PC: Some PCs die and deserve a noble burial. This PC deserved an ugly death.

Adam from Richmond, VA asked us to check out Nero 8... he was especially curious how well its streaming media features work with the Xbox 360. Frankly, we think streaming video thru Nero is easier than using Media Center.

"Please do a small short on the latest HD DVD vs Blu-ray... just a quickie, nothing too long!" OK, Homer: both HD DVD and Blu-ray look great, but we want a single standard, so we don't have to buy two players, or LG's (mediocre) BH100 Super Blu Player.

Easy E-Mail Backup! Brandon and all his co-workers "have all their work e-mail forwarded to a separate Gmail account. Gmail lets you reply using a different email address. A great -free- email backup!" Good plan, just make sure you put a good password on that Gmail account!

Alex, David and George wrote in to tell Patrick that you -can- stream to more than one Airport Express using iTunes: "in the dropdown box where you choose which speaker to send your music to, just select 'multiple speakers' and choose which you want to use." Thanks for the heads up!

Dawid found some new Topo maps from Garmin: BTW, thanks to Dawid for forwarding the info on MapSource TOPO US 2008. Hopefully they work on Fria's GPS receiver! (And shop around: most places have the software for $116, but we've seen it for as little as $60.)

A half scale 21 foot long rocket powered X Wing? Designed to open its wings mid flight? Epic! Our condolences go out to Andy Woerner and the rest of the crew that built the thing... it blew up mid flight but looked amazing up till then. Thanks to Brian Lam at Gizmodo for letting us use the video and James Lee for getting it on camera down in Plaster City, CA!

Got a tech question, a product you'd like to see reviewed, an event you think we should cover? Email us: tekzilla@revision3.com!

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Tags: OS, Windows, MacOS, Photoshop, Design, Hardware, GIMP, Revision3, Tekzilla, Tekzilla Weekly