Articles in the Technology Category
Digital Media Lab, Kids Tech, Technology »
Digital Media Lab, Technology »
Windows just released it’s first major update to Windows 8. In the post I will go over some of the new features of Windows 8.1!
Updating to Windows 8.1 | Before updating be sure to back up your files. Even though the files will be transferred automatically, it’s a good idea to make sure they are backed up. Just in case. Once you’re ready to update go to the Start screen and click the ‘Store’ tile. In the Store click Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 RT update. Click download.
The New Features….
Better Organization and Customization | The Start screen has a few improvements. There are new sizes for the tiles so users are able to configure the start screen more similar to the Windows Phone 8. You’re also able to select and group specific tiles. Also, now you are able to view the apps by category, most used and by date installed as opposed to only alphabetically as before.
The Start Button | The Start button is back. However, it wont’t show you the Start menu as it did in previous versions but it will bring up the Start screen. Not a huge change but a convenient one for those who miss clicking the button in the bottom left corner.
SkyDrive Integration | Good news for SkyDrive users. Now you can save your files to SkyDrive by default and keep them in sync. It is also integrated with File Explorer (formerly known as Windows Explorer). You’ll see a SkyDrive option in the left sidebar. This doesn’t automatically store all your SkyDrive files locally—instead, you can open any SkyDrive-stored file right from this section when you’re online, or right-click to save an offline version.
Tutorials | One of the biggest issues with Windows 8 was the completely redesigned interface with no explanation. Not anymore! When you log in for the first time, huge pop ups will explain the basic importatant features of Windows 8.1. Microsoft has also added a Helps & Tips app that teaches the user about the new features in a straight forward way.
@ Your Library, advice, Apps, awesome, Equipment, Featured, Fun Stuff, Gaming, Hardware, Movies, Music, and Games, Technology, xbox »
In the gaming world, there are new consoles and technology coming out every year. The main power houses in the gaming world today are primarily the Playstation4 and the Xbox One. These two systems offer so many great features that many users, like myself, often don’t know which one to buy. These systems are called the “Next-Gen,” or next generation consoles, that offer amazing graphics and features. Sony and Microsoft are fierce competitors that try to out duel one another, leading to amazing innovation and technology. This leads me to my question for all of you, which system reigns supreme? With help from spec’s from both Sony and Microsoft, hopefully I can help you decide on your next gaming console. Lets start off with the playstation4.
The Playstation4 is a great console with many great features with it. PS4 has lots of features but we’re going to stick to the main ones. Sony really went all out on the “sharing” aspect of gaming. You can play a game and let all of your friends know any achievements/trophies that you have earned. This year’s version of the dualshock4 controller is the mainstream to all that PS4 has to offer. The controller itself has been revamped from prior versions to make a complete “Next-Gen” controller. Some of the updates on the controller include; an all new touch pad on the center of the controller, a sensitive six-axis sensor that senses movement and also an all new “Share” button which allows you to share things you’ve done. Also, the PS4 has many great featured games including, “killzone,”"Destiny” and “Call of Duty:Ghosts.” The PS4 was designed to be a 1-on-1 gaming console for all gamers. Next up is the Xbox One.
The Xbox One also many great features to offer, as does its competitor. Now you might say that, However, Microsoft has taken gaming on the Xbox further with many all new features that are not seen on the PS4. The Xbox One is equipped with an upgraded “Kinnect.” The Kinnect is a camera that detects you and your heartbeat. It has voice and facial recognition. It is more responsive and smarter than its predecessor. The all new Xbox One controller is also revamped by Microsoft adding impulse triggers that provide precise feedback to the user. On top of all the upgrades to the controller, the Kinnect will automatically pair your controller to the Xbox for effortless syncing. Xbox one offers a vast variety of entertainment to choose from, all with the sound of your voice. TV, Skype, NFL and much more. One primary example of the TV feature is how you can watch live TV and snap an internet explorer page off to the side. You can watch TV and search the web side by side, which is really cool. For all sports fanatics out there, you can watch live NFL games and have your fantasy team stats updated in live time! Microsoft’s “Next-Gen” Xbox One system is primarily focused on being a gaming system however, it also has the ability to be your all in one home entertainment system. Which one to get? It comes down to what suites you best as a gamer. If you like more 1-on-1 gaming, meaning you only want to play games and share any content you’ve earned, then you have to go PS4. If you’re like me and you like to have everything all on one system, then Xbox One is the way to go. Whether you like PS4 or Xbox One, each system has its own perks and features. Game on!
Design, Digital Media Lab, dvd burning, imovie, Technology, Video, video editing »
Since Apple discontinued iDVD, a separate program is needed to burn your completed iMovie project to disc. These are the steps for burning a DVD in Toast 11 Titanium (which we have on DML computers 1, 3, and 4).
Have your exported iMovie video file ready. Open Toast Titanium and click the Video tab.
Select DVD-Video (unless you are burning a Blu-ray disc, then select that specific option).
Drag and drop your video file into the open area.
Most of the default settings can be left alone. You can fill in a title in the field at the top (Fantastic Elk Movie). If you want to add chapter markers to your movie, click on the Edit button next to your movie.
Then click the Chapters tab, select Automatic and click on the drop down menu to select how often chapter markers will be placed, then click ok.
You can also adjust some of the settings such as Quality, Auto-play etc. if you want. When you are done, click the red Burn button. You’ll be prompted to insert a DVD.
The Bliptronic 5000 is coming soon!
We have two of these super addicting LED 8-bit musical synthesizers. With one or two of these anybody can create music. They are perfect for get-togethers, children, musicians, classes, etc.
It will soon be available at the Tech. Help Desk on the 2nd floor of the Library for 7 day checkouts. Please share your electronic blip masterpieces with us!
Design, Digital Media Lab, Technology »
Good news Chrome users!
Did you know you could download a free photo editing app from the Chrome store to use right in your browser? One such app is called Pixlr Editor. Its a full featured photo editor and best of all — its free!
Some of the tools included are, red eye reduction, spot heal tool, drawing tools, clone tools, sharpen and blur tools and many more! One of the best features is that you can actually open PSD files, which is the format of Adobe Photoshop files.
In my opinion, it’s a pretty good program that is so easily available. If you use Google Chrome you can download Pixlr Editor here.
Digital Media Lab, Music, Technology, Video »
Are you looking for music for your latest video editing project? Well YouTube might be able to help you out with that. They have just launched an audio library. The audio library contains more than 150 royalty free tracks and the best part is that you can download and use them for free! You can use them for whatever you’d like – not just YouTube videos.
The search option for tracks offers multiple filters making it super easy to find just what you are looking for. You can search for tracks by:
- Genre – choose from ambient, classical, hip hop & rap, etc.
- Mood – moods range from angry to sad to dramatic.
- Instrument – choose from drums, piano, trumpet, etc.
- Duration – anywhere from 1 minute to 25 minutes.
Get started using this new tool here.
Digital Media Lab, Featured, Technology »
You may know that we teach individual hands-on classes on computer basics such as using the internet, Microsoft Word, email, and the mouse, but did you know we also teach much more advanced classes?
For example we teach the basics of:
- Google Drive
- Google Calendar
- Windows 8
- eBook readers
- iOS (iPad/iPhone)
- Kindle Fire
- Mac basics
- Photoshop beginner and intermediate
- Adobe Illustrator
- Digitization (images, audio, video)
- Final Cut X basics
We are also happy to help out with other topics such as Twitter which are not listed as they are not often requested.
Digital Media Lab, Technology, Video »
You are putting together a 1.5 hour or longer video in the DML using iMovie. You perform all the edits, add title sequences, effects and music. Now it is time to export the movie using the Share menu item and the pop-up box states “Time remaining: 8 hours”!
8 hours?! Nobody has 8 hours to spend waiting for a movie to be ready to be burned to a DVD (which can take another few hours). What to do, what to do?
The best option is to use a lower resolution when producing the video. If you are producing it at HD then it is going to take much longer than if you are producing it at “large”, probably at least twice as long. Really, the video will look nearly as good at large on most screens.
I do understand if you want to use the highest resolution possible, and if that is case talk to somebody at the Tech. Help Desk (where you got the DML key). We can produce the video for you. Drop off your hard drive and discs and we will use one of our computers and do the best we can.
camera, digital cameras, Digital Media Lab, Digitization, Equipment, Featured, Fun Stuff, Gadgets, Mobile, Online, Photography, Technology, Video »
Some cool things about this camera:
- 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor to take pictures and videos in just about any light even without a flash
- 12x optical zoom len allows wide-angle landscapes to telephoto close-ups
- Built-in wi-fi which enables S6500 to be connected to a smart device such as a tablet or a phone to help you get the pictures online faster
- Full HD video 1080p with full stereo sound
- Optical VR image stabilization minimizes camera shake
- Fire up to 7 continuous picture shots per second
You can check out Coolpix S6500 for a week at the Tech Help Desk on the 2nd floor and start taking pictures.