Tuesday, August 23, 2011

software manuals stink

Indulge me, it's pet peeve time again.

Have you ever purchased a software program that was accompanied by a manual (now likely a pdf)? The manuals are almost always glossy things telling you how wonderful the program is and tantalizing you with all the things you will be able to do with it.

Unfortunately, they rarely tell you how to do what you need to do, so you end up on the hunt for one of the many third party books that are actually written to teach you to use the software to achieve your goals. There are many series available (one of my favorite publishers is PeachPit Press) and now there are many wonderful video sites you can learn from as well. lynda.com has great selections on their site that you can access with a variety of subscription options. Check it out here: http://www.lynda.com

Put our knowledge and expertise to work for your business— visit our webpage and then contact Canzani Graphics today! All content ©2011Canzani Graphics

Sunday, August 21, 2011

word processing styles

As I posted about a month ago, I am editing and formatting a book. I mention this because a conversation with the author reminded me that most people who know how to use a program on their computer, do not understand why it works the way it does. I need to import the manuscript into a publishing program, but when I tried it, it would only get part of the way and then stop. I realized I would have to go back into the (dreaded) word processing program and check out the formatting. The result was my reformatting the entire manuscript.

We have to remember that computers don't think, they are just programmed to react to input. Because of this, ALL input, even the 'space' character that you can't really see, corresponds to a digits- a combination of zeros and ones, the basis of binary code. A computer sees a space character as 00100000! Most word processing programs have "styles" which can be applied to your text, telling the program what font you want, what size the font should be, whether or not the text is indented (all or just the first line), and the amount of spacing you'd like appiled to it. Setting up styles can take a few minutes, but will save you trying to figure out why your document is printing oddly when it refuses to cooperate.

If you use a recurring format, you can set it up once and save it as a template so it's ready to go next time you need to recreate that type of document. Taking the time to pay attention to this aspect of your text documents will save you time later; if you decide a section needs a different size font or a 
different typeface, making a quick change to the style will change all the instances in your document where that style applies. It saves you time and aggravation in the long run and your designer will both very impressed and very grateful. It also saves you money since your designer can make changes quickly and easily and you won't have to pay them to reformat your document. So please, don't indent your text by typing a bunch of spaces. Someone is just going to have to hunt them all down and take them out.

Put our knowledge and expertise to work for your business— visit our webpage and then contact Canzani Graphics today! All content ©2011Canzani Graphics

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why am I not connected?

Why am I not connected? I can see that I have a signal!

If you connect to the internet via wi-fi, you must understand that there are two components to your connectivity. First, your modem must be connected to the internet, and then your device must be picking up the wireless signal your modem is broadcasting. If you can see the symbol that says you are connected, but you can't get online, it usually means that your device can see your modem, but your modem has lost its connection to the internet. The fix is often as simple as turning off your modem, waiting 10 seconds, and turning it on again. If this doesn't work, but you haven't changed any settings since the last time you connected, try rebooting your device. Because systems/setups vary so greatly, if neither of these correct the problem, you may need to contact your administrator or Internet provider.

Put our knowledge and expertise to work for your business— visit our webpage and then contact Canzani Graphics today! All content ©2011Canzani Graphics

Friday, August 5, 2011

tuning up your mac

I am a mac person I find windows machines unnecessarily complicated, as those who switch to macs quickly realize. But no personal computer is so carefree that you can run it forever without have performance degrade over time. Each time you save to your computer’s hard drive, the system has to find a place for that data. Imagine throwing the inventory of a toy store into a store room, willy-nilly. Not in boxes, mind you, just piece by piece. You’d have chaos, right?

Now imagine trying to find a matching pair of doll shoes in that mess. Ugh, what an ordeal! Well as much as your drive tries to store things in some kind of order, over time it may not find there’s enough room to store matching data in one place, so it breaks it up, fitting each bit in to the cracks and corners that it finds available. That makes retrieving data a slow and tedious process. For optimum performance, at least 30% of your hard drive space should always remain free to give the computer space to move things around when it’s reorganizing. If your hard drive is almost full, performance will slow to a crawl.

To completely defragment your drive, you’d have to copy all your data to a backup, reformat your drive and then copy your data back to it, or use a third-party defragmention utility. But there are options you can try first that just might clean things up and get you on your way.

First, go to Applications—> Utilities—>Disk Utility. Start Disk Utility and select your hard drive in the left hand column, then click "Repair Permissions." Run this over and over until there are no permissions left to repair. 

Next, find your system disk and insert it into your cd drive. Restart your computer, holding down the "C" key while you do it. In the Mac OS X Installer window, click OK on the first screen, then from the top menus, choose Utilities—>Open Disk Utility. Select the startup disk you want to repair in the list of disks and volumes, then click “First Aid” tab. Click “Repair Disk.” When it says the disk repair is complete, quit Disk Utility, then quit the install disk- you will be given the option to restart.

Put our knowledge and expertise to work for your business— visit our webpage and then contact Canzani Graphics today!
All content ©2011Canzani Graphics