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A calendar made from old family photos is a great gift for parents, grandparents, and similarly sentimental family members. And by old photos, we mean those printed from film and trapped in an album, envelope, or shoe box. It’s easy to upload newer, digital images to an online service to make all sorts of personalized gifts. But to do the same with truly old-fashioned photos, you’ll need to scan them.
Epson Perfection V550 scanner
A good rule of thumb as you embark upon this project is to stay calm. Memories are powerful, and even families who don’t consider themselves photo nuts likely have tons of old prints lying around. Focus on a select few albums and boxes, and limit the number of pictures for your calendar to 30 to 50 photos. From that group, pick the best of the lot: The brightest, clearest, sharpest, most colorful, and best-composed shots will make the most successful journey from paper to electronic file and back.Scanner and image setup
Make sure to clean your photos, your negatives, and your scanner bed for a dust- and lint-free scan.
It’s pretty simple to get your scanner in gear. If your hardware has been sitting around awhile, clean the glass bed to get rid of streaks and dust that will ruin your images. Glass cleaner or a specialty cleaner sprayed onto a soft cloth—not directly on the glass—works well.
Similarly, prep your photos and negatives. Clean everything with a lint-free photo cloth such as PEC-12 ($22) to remove dust, even from prints and negatives that have been resting safely in an album or in negative/slide sleeves. Or use a soft brush. Now you’re ready to scan.Scanner software
The most popular consumer scanning software comes from photo-oriented printer companies such as Canon, Epson, and HP. You’d be surprised at how much they can do; we’ll review the Epson Scan software as an example.
Epson’s scanner-utility interface in Windows 8
Epson Scan: Scanner companies typically release analogous PC and Mac versions of their scanner software. Epson’s scanning package gives you a choice of four modes: Full Auto, Home, Office, and Professional.
Load negatives into the tray, and the Epson software automatically recognizes that they are color transparencies. You can use Professional Mode to tweak the photo before scanning, but you can also use an image editor to fix the photos later.
Use VueScan for Windows or Mac with older scanners whose companies no longer update the drivers for specific models.Scanning tips
1. If your photo is black-and-white or sepia-toned, use the grayscale or color setting for your scan for more flexibility.
4. Scan in batches. Load as many images as will fit on the scanner bed. The software will break out each image into a separate file.
5. Some scanning software will enhance your photos automatically as you scan, unless you choose otherwise. If you’re planning to enhance photos in your own image editor, make sure that the scanning software is not duplicating the job.Making the calendar
Now you’re ready to organize your scanned images into a calendar. For this task, you can employ any of the popular online photo-sharing apps from Shutterfly or other services such as CafePress, MixBook, or Snapfish. We use Shutterfly as our example below.
Shutterfly calendar: The best way to get started is to create a free account, where you can upload and store the images you want for your calendar.
1. In the tab menu at the top of the homepage, you can choose from three calendar types: wall, desk, and poster. I chose the wall calendar; with that format, you can pick either a 12-by-12-inch calendar or an 8-by-11-inch calendar. You then set the number of months (12 or 18), the starting month, and the year.
Shutterfly lets you experiment with your page backgrounds and themes until you’re happy with the result. It’s hard to judge beforehand what’s going to look best.
2. Choose the calendar style. I chose the 12-by-12-inch wall calendar, for which I had 14 style choices. Textured patterns seemed like a nice backdrop for my previously scanned family photos.
3. The Next button takes you to the Edit screen, where you add images and customize the background and layout. The first page is actually the calendar’s cover, but you can go in any order you want. Alternatively, you can upload all the photos you want to use and let the service auto-fill the pages—with quick and pleasing results.
The Shutterfly storyboard tool lets you visualize where your images will go and how many will be on the page in each month.
5. As you place images, you can edit them by rotating them, cropping them, and adding effects such as color tone. You can make changes to your pages at any time, such as altering the number and layout of images on the page, or swapping out the background. Note that Shutterfly enhances your images automatically, so if you’ve already done corrections in another program such as iPhoto, you may want to check the box that tells Shutterfly not to enhance your photos.
6. Place your order and go to the shopping cart.
Create an iPhoto calendar on your desktop with uncompressed TIFF files.
1. Launch iPhoto, and assemble the photos you scanned into an album.
2. Under the Share menu, choose Calendar. You’ll see a tabletop motif with a carousel of calendar styles to choose from: Picture Calendar, Big Date, Colored Paper, Modern Lines, Classic, Travel, Vintage, Formal, Kids, and Seasons. Within each choice, you get a default preview of the pages. If you decide against the theme you selected, you can use the button at the upper left to go back. Navigate through the months with the arrow keys. Use the Navigator at the bottom left to adjust the size of the template in the canvas so that you can see exactly what you want to work on.
iPhoto lets you fix your photos, craft your holiday calendar, and then order it from Apple for delivery within 36 hours.
3. Once you’ve settled on a theme, use the Layout, Options, and Photos tabs to make adjustments to each page. For example, you can scale the size of a photo within a frame, change the background color or pattern, write a caption, change the number of images on a page, apply special effects to one or more photos, and view photos that you did not place in the layout. Just drag and drop any unused photos into the slot you want, and remove photos you’ve changed your mind about.
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Founded in 2003,Emerging Out of Challenges
“AnyChart technology has allowed us to significantly improve Oracle Application Express’s charting capabilities.” — Michael Hichwa, Vice President of Software Development, Oracle. “AnyChart’s powerful logarithmic charting allowed us to display complex acoustical data in an easy to understand interface.” — Erik Gundersen, Director Advanced Products, Rockford Corp. “AnyChart generates all our charts in our Health and Wellbeing Profiles. To have so many options has been brilliant! The range of charts available and the amount of customization is impressive. Also, the ability to add error bars was essential for us.” — Mark Painter, Community Intelligence Team, UK’s Devon County Council.AnyChart Never Stops
Already at the top position in the segment of data visualization software for business intelligence and analytics, AnyChart is aimed at further strengthening the company’s global leadership.
Instagram’s making it easy to turn your Stories Highlights into Reels. But how does that content perform compared to starting from scratch?
Much like Gretchen desperately attempted to get “Fetch” going in Mean Girls, Instagram is obsessed with trying to make Reels happen.
Instagram has rewarded Reels users with an algorithm boost, prioritized Reels on feeds and the explore page, and now, the platform has started what is essentially a recycling program, allowing users to easily repurpose Instagram Stories highlights into Reels with just a few taps.
But as we’ve learned from all sorts of shiny new social media features over the years (ahem, Twitter Fleets): Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should.
We’re honestly not convinced that reposting old Stories as Reels will do us any good. But here at Hootsuite Experiments, we let the data decide.
And so, once again, I’m donning my hard hat and am descending into the social media analytics mines to dig up some solid-gold proof about whether or not bending to Instagram’s will is worth it.
Does repurposing your Stories highlights to Reels actually work? Let’s find out.
Bonus: Download the free 10-Day Reels Challenge, a daily workbook of creative prompts that will help you get started with Instagram Reels, track your growth, and see results across your entire Instagram profile.
HypothesisReels made out of old stories don’t get as much engagement or reach as brand-new Reels
Sure, Instagram has made it incredibly easy to repurpose your old Instagram Stories as new Reels — it just takes a few taps to turn an old Story into ‘new’ content.
However, our theory is that brand new, original Reels will probably perform better and earn more engagement.
After all, Instagram’s goal is ultimately to create an entertaining, engaging content hub. (It’s what drives everything about the Instagram algorithm.) Rewarding users for recycling or rehashing old content doesn’t really seem in line with the platform’s grand vision.
But, hey, we’re happy to be proven wrong! It makes us feel alive! So I’m going to find out firsthand if repurposing your Stories as Reels is the best thing to do for Instagram engagement.
I decided to post some “fresh” Reels and some repurposed Stories and compare their reach and engagement.
To make my new Reels, I pulled some videos and photos from my camera roll, layered on a musical clip and some effects, and hit Publish. (New to Reels? Here are step-by-step instructions for how to make your own!)
For my repurposed Stories, I followed the instructions outlined in this Hootsuite Labs video. That meant looking back through my archived Stories and adding the ones I wanted to a new Highlight.
For this project, I created five different new Highlights. I opened each Highlight, tapped the three dots on the bottom right corner, and tapped Convert to Reel.
This then opened the Reels editor, where I was able to change the music or add any additional filters or stickers. I also had the option to delete scenes at this point.
I made my edits, added a quick caption to each, and then sent my babies out into the world.
In total, I published five new Reels and five repurposed-from-Stories Reels. Then, I waited a few days to see how they did.
TL;DR: My repurposed Reels did slightly worse than my original Reels in terms of reach. But overall, Reels that featured personal, authentic content made the biggest impact.
Type of ReelTotal ViewsTotal Likes
Repurposed From Highlight1204
Brand New Reels1417
My most popular Reels from this batch of experiments were ones that were authentic and personal: One of me having the best day of my life at a mascot festival, another of me performing comedy, and a reveal of my recent renovation.
The Reels with the worst success rate were impersonal travel videos I had thrown together. I guess it’s flattering to know people care about me more than they care about endangered elephants or beautiful beaches?
Overall, there didn’t seem to be a distinct benefit to publishing Reels from your Stories Highlights. It was the content that mattered, not the method I used to build the Reel.
What do the results mean?
Am I humiliated that no one cared at all about my chill beach-scape Reel? Of course. But from the pain of this experiment came some important lessons and reflections.Authenticity is the ultimate algorithm hack
While Instagram often rewards users for taking a chance on a new feature with an algorithmic boost, it ultimately comes back to this: Great content is the not-so-secret secret to success.
Content your followers find compelling will earn engagement more than any algorithmic boost ever could. So focus on creating engaging, value-driven posts, Stories and Reels to get the most out of Instagram.You can’t get Insights from Highlights… but you can get Insights from Reels
While you can see the number of views and likes of an individual Instagram Story, it’s currently not possible to see how many views your Highlights get.
That means there’s one benefit of creating a Reel out of Highlights: You can actually measure how much reach or engagement that particular combination of Stories get.Highlights can be a helpful compilation tool
Using your Highlights to gather content over a long period of time could actually be helpful as well.
For instance, I spent 22 long weeks working on my apartment renovation last year and was adding all of my reno-related posts to one Highlight. Instead of digging around in my camera roll to make a dramatic Reel about the experience, I could easily convert all that sweet drywall-encrusted content into one neat-and-tidy Reel with a few taps. (Studies have shown that setting your construction trauma to music can soften the pain.)
All right, that’s enough out of me! It’s time to stop looking for shortcuts to Instagram success and start making amazing Reels that reflect your brand voice and delight your audience. Dig into our tutorial for making winning Reels, and you may never feel tempted to hack the system ever again.
Easily schedule and manage Reels alongside all your other content from Hootsuite’s super simple dashboard. Schedule Reels to go live while you’re OOO, post at the best possible time (even if you’re fast asleep), and monitor your reach, likes, shares, and more.
Save time and stress less with easy Reels scheduling and performance monitoring from Hootsuite. Trust us, it’s reely easy.
Editor’s Note: Now that Apple’s third-generation has arrived in stores, that means a lot of earlier models of Apple’s tablet could find themselves looking for work. If you’re upgrading to a new iPad, you don’t necessarily have to sell your old tablet or give it away. This is the first in a series of articles in which we look at ways to give your old iPad a new purpose. In this installment, we focus on the iPad’s potential as a dedicated kitchen companion.
The App Store is stuffed with apps for planning out meals, organizing grocery lists, and discovering new recipes. So it’s little wonder that so many home cooks consider the iPad as indispensible a kitchen tool as a good chef’s knife. So why not take the next logical step and turn that aging iPad into a dedicated kitchen tablet? All it takes is a little bit of planning to find the hardware and software to fit your specific culinary needs.Flexible or permanent placement
There are plenty of gadgets for cooking with the iPad, from portable stands to wall-mounted systems. If you tend to move around a lot in your kitchen and want the iPad to move with you, Belkin’s $40 Chef Stand and Stylus is a good option to consider. Since the stand comes with a stylus, you won’t need to use any greasy fingers to navigate your kitchen iPad.
There’s a drawback to portable stands, though: They tend to keep your iPad in the splash zone, where they’re suscpetible to splatter from whatever you’ve got cooking. You can always waterproof your iPad with other accessories (more on that below). And Belkin’s $50 Kitchen Cabinet Mount is another moveable option that will hang from your cabinets, above the counter mess.
If you know exactly where you want your iPad to live in your kitchen, there are screw-in wall or cabinet mounts that will give your iPad a sleek look while you’re mixing ingredients and frying up your latest meal. This is a good option if you want to use your iPad to play music or videos while you’re cooking, or you’re the type of person who doesn’t need to constantly look at a recipe while baking or cooking (like I do).
Vogel’s RingO Holder and Wall Mount ($70 for the iPad 2 and $60 for the original iPad) offer a protective backing for your iPad that clips onto a raised, o-shaped wall mount, giving the iPad a cool, floating look. If you don’t have much wall space, permanent cabinet mounts like the $26 Original Kitchen iPad Rack, are a good way to give your iPad a permanent, but safe spot. The great thing about this rack is that while its placement is permanent, the actual iPad tray lifts out of the screwed-in brackets so you can stick it in a drawer when you’re not using it. Like Vogel’s wall mount, The Original Kitchen iPad Rack also gives your iPad a cool floating look because it’s made of clear plastic.
And finally, you can mount your iPad onto the refrigerator with one of the many available fridge mounts, such as Belkin’s $40 Fridge Mount or the $50 FridgePad Magnetic Refrigerator Mount.Keep it protected
The kitchen can be one of the messiest places in the house, especially while you’re actively chopping and stirring. While many of the iPad mounts and stands can keep your iPad further away from the counter, there’s still a high chance you’ll accidentally splash water or oil or worse onto your shiny tablet. Plus, touching your iPad’s screen with dirty fingers isn’t good for the iPad screen. Luckily, there are a few ways to protect your kitchen iPad from liquid terror and grease marks.
Protective sleeves like the Chef Sleeve, CleverWraps, and Locksaks fit tightly around your iPad while waterproofing the device. (For $20 you can get a 25 pack of Chef Sleeves, $15 gets you five CleverWraps, and a three pack of Locksaks costs $9.) All of these are fairly thin sleeves, so they don’t obstruct your iPad in most stands and mounts. Looking for a quick and cheap DIY option? Just stick your iPad into an appropriately sized plastic baggie, like Ziploc.Reset and load up on food (apps)
Like with any dedicated use of an iPad, it’s best to clear the device of anything that won’t be useful to you in that particular setting. For kitchen use, you might consider clearing out your email settings, games, and non-food related media and apps. You’ll be able to focus on exactly what you need from your iPad while you’re in the kitchen.
There are plenty of visually pleasing and interactive cookbook apps, such as Allrecipes, The Photo Cookbook, and Food Network’s In the Kitchen. The original 20 Minute Meals app for the iPhone featuring celebrity chef Jamie Oliver won an Apple Design Award for its meticulous organization two years ago, and the iPad-optimized follow-up—Jamie’s Recipes—is available as a free download. (You buy content packs of recipes through an in-app purchase.) Appetites also has an eye for the visual: The free app features video recipes, so you can see exactly how a dish should be prepared. (Again, you purchase recipe packs from within the app.) Martha Stewart Cookies, recently updated for the new iPad’s Retina display, is a must-have for anyone who enjoys baking. But iCookbook may take the most clever approach for a dedicated kitchen iPad: It features simple voice controls for navigating through recipes, so you don’t have to worry about dirtying up your touchscreen interface when working with raw food.
Interactive book publisher Inkling also offers a full-length interactive iPad ebook of The Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute of America, packed with instructional videos, images, and note-sharing capabilities. While the $50 price tag is a lot steeper than cookbook apps, the book’s 36 chapters cover everything from nutrition basics to braising and stewing to charcuterie.
Beyond cookbooks, there are plenty of iOS offerings that can help you manage your food, shopping lists, and personal recipes. If you find that you’re fridge and pantry get overstocked with old produce and snacks, both the Fridge Police and StillTasty apps can help you keep track of when you need to toss out your food. (Both of these apps are iPhone apps that run on the iPad, though they will not be optimized for the tablet’s screen.)
For keeping track of your grocery list, ShopShop – Shopping List and Shopping List are both excellent apps that can sync across all of your iOS devices. (The latter Shopping List, however, is not optimized for the iPad’s screen.) I tend to remember when I need when I’m in the kitchen and realize it’s not there, so entering your grocery list onto your iPad and opening it back up on your iPad while in the store is really useful.
Of course, just because you turn your iPad into a dedicated kitchen tablet doesn’t mean you can’t use it elsewhere. Most of the stands and mounts mentioned above make it easy to attach and remove your iPad. But using your old iPad as your go-to tool to access all of your favorite recipes, cooking videos, and more right in the kitchen will certainly give the tablet a new and useful life.
[Alexandra Chang is a Macworld staff editor.]
The new year is almost upon us, but nothing may change in your portfolio if you don’t take some necessary steps. Optimizing your portfolio with profitable crypto assets is the most important step, which could help improve your wealth, and develop your portfolio to the next step.
Big Eyes (BIG) and Ethereum (ETH) are two altcoins that are likely to be profitable, as experts believe their current market price is a good point to buy, with hopes of good returns if they experience an upward rally.
The altcoins are of contrasting nature. Big Eyes (BIG) is a new meme coin still on presale, while Ethereum (ETH) is a prominent existing utility token on the Ethereum network. Both crypto assets share a thing in common: their high probability of bringing holders gains in the coming months. We look into these two promising cryptocurrencies below.Big Eyes Coin (BIG): A Meme Coin With Varied Utilities
The Big Eyes Coin (BIG) could surprisingly be one of the top performers in the coming year. It is still a presale token but could end its presale a few months from now. The new meme project has already raised a substantial amount as its presale nears the end. Big Eyes (BIG) has the potential to be a top crypto asset, for a number of reasons.
The new cryptocurrency boasts utility in DeFi and the NFTs market, making it a wealth-creation opportunity for users. Beyond Big Eyes’ financial benefits, the crypto project will provide users with knowledge about DeFi, ensuring more people adopt it. An increase in DeFi adoption will drive more wealth to the sector, increasing its profitability and benefits to crypto users.
The Big Eyes Coin (BIG) will deviate from the usual dog-theme trend and enter the market as a cute cat with great utility. The cat-theme token will attract adopters with its uniqueness, features, and rewarding nature. Big Eyes is a community-focused project, and it provides its community with optimum fun, growth, and financial opportunities. The Ethereum-built crypto project has a native token, BIG, a crypto asset with a high tendency to experience a good run.
Big Eyes is a secure DeFi blockchain ecosystem that has undergone necessary smart contract audits to identify and rectify loopholes. It is also certified anti-rug, making it safe and secure for users. Big Eyes allocates 5% of its treasury to charity funding, and enthusiasts who care about society, particularly ocean safety and aquatic life, can contribute their quota by leveraging Big Eyes.Ethereum (ETH): The Altcoin Giant
Ethereum is the largest smart contract and dApp building network. The blockchain hosts several top crypto projects, including the new Big Eyes (BIG). The platform developers are relentless in their efforts to make Ethereum a highly functional platform, and lots of upgrades have been lined up to ensure this.
The highly adopted network recently transitioned from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, making it more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. After this upgrade, the network is billed for a sharding update which will improve its scalability. The continuous improvement of the Ethereum network will see the value of its native currency, Ether (ETH), rise exponentially.
Ether (ETH) is currently the top crypto asset by market capitalization after Bitcoin (BTC). It has made many crypto enthusiasts top gainers in recent times, especially during the last bull run when it reached a peak price. While Ethereum didn’t escape the general crypto price crash, it’s one of the crypto assets showing strong resilience and great efforts toward a recovery run. It looks set for a good run, making it a good purchase.Find the link below to join the presale: Join the presale and learn more about Big Eyes Coin:
Bang & Olufsen DIY device gives new life to old speakers
It’s time to head to the ol’ swap meet to find a few vintage speakers – they’re about to get wicked sweet again. Bang & Olufsen teamed up with HiFiBerry this week to reveal the Beocreate 4 Channel Amplifier. This piece of equipment can be installed in any old B&O speaker to enable wireless features. As such, your father can finally say “I told you so” for keeping his ancient box speakers sitting in your parents’ basement for the last several decades.
This is what’s called “upcycling”, and it’s great for the environment. Great because that’ll be one fewer set of speakers in a landfill, and great because that’s one fewer big fat monster set of speakers that needs to be produced in the near future. The product the user will buy is relatively tiny and fits into a wide variety of products.
“Beocreate 4 channel amplifier” is this product’s name, and high-quality music playback is its game. This product is is a DSP/DAC/amplifier combination board, and it requires your dad’s old loudspeaker to work. Specs for this board are as follows.
• Up to 180W output power (2x30W, 2x60W)
• Capable of driving up to four 4-8 Ohm speakers (the two 60W
channels can drive 2 Ohm speakers)
• Sample rates up to 192kHz
• 4 channel digital-analog conversion included
• Speakers can be connected via screw terminals
• Weight: 200g
• Dimensions: 18 x 14 x 3cm
This board can be used as-is as a digital amplifier with all the specs included above. In addition, this board can be combined with a Raspberry Pi miniature computer to expand its abilities beyond the basics.
• Fully controllable from the Raspberry Pi
• Plug-and-play with Raspberry Pi board
• Fully programmable from the Raspberry Pi
This collaboration gives HiFiBerry to reach a larger audience, too. They make more products than this one – and they’re more than ready to hit the whole world with upcycling audio energy. “Our company has always been dedicated to high quality DIY audio,” said HiFiBerry founder Daniel Matuscheck. “Working in cooperation with Bang & Olufsen is not only a huge pleasure, it also gives us the possibility to implement our hardware to design classics we love. Seeing a company opening up for the idea of DIY audio and upcycling is more than exciting and we are very proud to be part of this process.”
If your dad is ADAMANT about keeping his old speakers but wants to move on into the future at the same time, the Beocreate 4 Channel Amplifier is available starting this week through HiFiBerry online. This board costs a cool $189 USD.
*I say dad several times in this article because my own father has a set of box speakers in his basement, but anyone could, really. Actually, come to think of it, I probably have a set in the garage right now. Your aunt Peggy probably has a set of body-blasting box speakers in her basement too – just ask!
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