Friday, September 26th, 2008

Movie Maker Beta goes Live

In the spirit of making key applications available online rather than as standalone programs on your desktop, Microsoft has launched Windows Movie Maker Beta live.

Find and download it from:

It’s a long time since Windows Movie Maker was updated – in computer terms it’s almost geriatric! It will be good to see it given a makeover and some added functionality.

Helen Bradley

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Return to your Photoshop tool defaults

One issue with tools like the Photoshop Type tool is that it remembers the settings from last time you used it. Sometimes this is a good thing, most often it is not.

If you need to reset the tool or its associated Character or Paragraph palette options, click the tool or palette and from the appropriate flyout menu (the Type tool’s flyout menu is in the top right corner of the Tool Presets dialog), choose Reset Tool.

Make sure you don’t have a text layer selected when you do this if you don’t want its settings changed to match the reset options.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Seriously weird stuff

I know how to convert acres to hectares, I know how to convert feet and inches to centimetres and even centimeters but this site is scary weird with what it can convert:

It can convert things I never heard of and certainly can’t spell. And who knew there were such things as Barns and Bunders (hint: they are units of measure), or Labors, Hundreds, Homesteads and Hides?

If you’re ignorant of the finer measures in life, head over to this site and check it out. It’s deliciously retro in design with a Matrix colour scheme of blindingly monochromatic CP/M green and black.

On the practical side, you can convert currency, shoe sizes, liquids and land – just about anything and everything is covered here.

If you’re just a helpless geek like me, check out the wonderful world of units of measure – it’s way more riveting a dinner party conversation than what’s on TV this week. Oh, and as an aside, if you’re at one of my dinner parties, please don’t get me started on the shipwreck they’re making of the US adaptation of the award winning Australian TV series Kath and Kim.

Hint: Check out the original Oz version and plan to clean your bathroom on Oct 7 – it’ll be much more fun!

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I ♥ Twitterkeys

I love Twitter – I love staying in touch with everyone I am following and I love to see what they’re doing. I’m also getting lots of cool information from Twitter folk – cool recommendations and contacts. In fact I’m about to start guest posting on Digital Photography School blog courtesy of a contact made with Darren Rouse through Twitter – how cool is that?

Today, CraftyChica had a note saying thank you to someone for some cute Twitterkeys she was using. Twitterkeys? What are they I asked myself?

The answer can be found if you cruise over here to and grab yourself a link to them. It’s a small window you open (and leave open) which gives you some cool icons to use in your Twitter tweets. And which work in blog posts too!

I ♥ Twitterkeys.

If you’re looking for me at Twitter, you’ll find me by searching for HelenBradley – call by and say hi!

Helen Bradley

Monday, September 15th, 2008

How many megapixels do you need to print at…?

It’s a confusing question for new camera buyers. You think you want to print at 8 x 10 inches but just what do you need to do this? Well, as a rough rule of thumb, to print at 300 ppi you need 10 x 300 pixels in one direction and 8 x 300 in the other.

Ok, so you need an image around 3,000 x 2,400 but what is that in megapixels? Frankly this is about where my mind fogs over. It’s time to go search the web for someone who can do the math for me so I can go back to doing much more fun stuff like Photoshop layer masks 🙂

The site to go visit is the Megapixel Calculator here you simply type in the measurements you’re interested in and it will tell you how many megapixels you need (7.2 in case you were curious).

The site also has heaps of other information about a camera which shoots at that resolution including how many pictures you’d fit on various size cards, compressed file size values etc.. But don’t just take it from me, head over there and check out how useful it is.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

What a Star! Photoshop World videos

I’ve just come back from Photoshop World in Las Vegas. My head hurts so bad with things I’ve learned.

One fun thing that happened amongst everything else is that I got interviewed by Dave Cross’ daughter and the clip was used in the conference closing video – second time it’s happened to me – must be the red hair!

So, it’s now up on YouTube and here’s the link (I’m the red head – duh! 19 seconds into the video) how cool is that?

I will be posting some tips and tricks I’ve learned in my Photoshop blog real soon.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Tags in Twitter – why and how to use hashtags

One issue with Twitter is that there can be things happening in Tweets that you’d be interested in reading but which you may not know about. So, for example, people you don’t follow may be talking about subjects of interest to you or, as happened to me this week, I was at Photoshop World and I wanted to read other people’s tweets from the conference although I may not choose to follow those folk on a more permanent basis.

So, when you want to share information relating to a particular and discrete topic you can use hashtags. Hashtags were, so far as I can understand, first supported via a website called Provided you add hashtags to your Twitter posts and you Follow hashtags on Twitter, tracks the tweets that you post that have hashtags in them and makes them easy to find. A hashtag is simply the hash character (#) put in front of a tag name.

So, for example, at Photoshop World in Las Vegas, the tag #psworld was used to discuss things relating to the conference by attendees using Twitter. By following hashtags, any posts that you created that had the #psworld tag in them would be tracked automatically by and could be viewed on that site or followed using an RSS feed. However, it seems that although this should work in theory, it didn’t in practice and still the #psworld tag doesn’t appear in hashtags.

The simpler solution is to use Twitter itself to show you the tags. Simply visit and in the search field type the tag you want to follow, for example #psworld and click Search. Now you’ll see all the tweets which include that tag. You can also grab a RSS feed for this query by clicking the RSS button in the search window.

When you track the hashtag information on either Twitter or you can read tweets posted by anyone using that tag whether or not they are someone you typically follow. Of course, if you find someone posting regularly using a tag that you’re interested in then you can click their icon to see who they are and to follow them if desired.

So, here’s what I suggest:

1 Follow hashtags on Twitter (optional since its performance seems to be erratic)

2 Add #tag_name to your Twitter posts

3 Use to find and read other’s posts on a particular topic.

4 If you’re attending a conference or tradeshow, try to find the hashtags used by other attendees so you can keep in touch with what’s happening.

Helen Bradley