Friday, January 06, 2017

I am a Geek

I think being a Geek means obsessively loving what you do.

I spent the last few days creating our monthly newsletter.  I've done this every month for ten years. It can be a chore when I'm juggling multiple tasks and just need to get the newsletter out - now! But mostly it is a labor of love.

  • I love that I have an outlet for my passion. 
  • I love that I have readers who ask questions that lead me to discoveries. 
  • I love that I have a partner in this geekdom who indulges me in conversation about all things technology. 
  • I love that I have tools that continually improve and give me new things to learn and new ways to be creative.

Not a Creative

I can't draw to save my life.
A stick figure is a challenge.
I have been known to use this fact to say that I didn't have a creative bone in my body. I've come to realize that creativity isn't just about art.  These last few days of writing the newsletter I've felt like I was bubbling over with creativity.

The weather has been gorgeous, a friend suggested we go kayaking, but I wanted to sit at my computer and play with my photos, using Google photos; create graphic images using Canva, and create green screen videos using Camtasia. The newsletter gives me an excuse to play with all this stuff. There was nothing on the calendar this week so I had time to wallow in my technology.

One article I wrote was about using a USB drive in an iPad. Let me tell you how it came about ...
One of our geeks on tour members recently purchased our learning library on USB drive. it contains hundreds of tutorial videos and lots of documents. Actually lots of people bought these last month because we ran a special :-) but this one member wrote to ask how she could play the videos on her iPad.
How (and where)  can I transfer the tutorials from the flash drive so that they can be viewed on my iPad?  Is this even going to be possible? 
She's not the first person to ask us this. The first one was over a year ago and we just said no, you need a computer for the usb port. The next person to ask was someone last summer after we had just done our weekly button show all about wireless thumb drives. We told them they could buy one of those for about $30, copy everything over and then use that with their iPad. Cool. Jim and I even considered stocking some of those, but we never did.

Third time is a charm. This time we took the question to the hot tub. You know we're getting serious about finding a solution when a question becomes a hot tub conversation! A wireless thumb drive is nice, but isn't there some wireless way to use the drive they already bought from us? How about that HooToo device that we taught about on our show 2 years ago? At the time we used it to backup photos from our phones to a usb drive. Could we stick the thumb drive in there and access it with an iPad?

The idea got us so excited, we cut our hot tub session short in order to try it out. Just kidding, we never cut our hot tub soaks short!

When we did get out and dried off, we started hunting for the HooToo. We turned it on, plugged in our thumb drive, connected an iPad, and played a video. Cool! Now we can tell people Yes! you can play our videos from the thumb drive to your iPad. And not just our thumb drive, whatever you got.
Why had we not thought of this before?

Whatever ... Now it's time to tell the world. So I started writing the article for the newsletter. This really needs a video ... Show Me.

With nothing on the calendar this week, and since we're at home where Jim had set up our always-ready recording studio, I decided to take the time to learn more about how Camtasia works with green screen. It took a day and a half to get the video done, a couple of takes and a lot of editing, but I enjoyed every minute.

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