Kraftsims's Recent Posts
Oh how I miss this program, having updated to a new mac book pro. I loved Final Cut Express. Perfect for me. I got to where iMovie was too limited, needed more tracks and audio capabilities and such. FCX was perfect. A little pricey, but it did everything I needed as a home guy that made some fun videos and a few decent ones considering all things... I'm thinking of eventually making the break to the new FCPX. Just waiting for the overall reviews to improve and features to get settled in.
Well, what does one say about "an industry standard?" I only call it that as it seems ubiquitous as the defacto word processor. I have grown used to Word over the years and gotten comfortable with it. Not saying much though. My primary usage came through work I did as an educator. I wrote papers, exams, published newsletters, articles, teaching notes, etc. Honestly, I got about as frustrated at the strange indentation (all would jump or never go, or so it seemed) and Word is simply not a test writing program. That was a bummer for me personally. Always a struggle with numbering, indentation, and so forth. There possibly could have been some training that might have resolved it, but I went to the manual and couldn't ever quite grasp those concepts. When it comes to simple letter writing, it is more than sufficient. A bit bloated and slow, but nice for letters and notes. The cost, though, is prohibitive. Ugh. Way too expensive. They keep adding features. Each update drove me nuts. They would change so much to only really keep most of the essentials the same, if that makes sense. Move things around, regroup, new menu orders, new looks, graphics, and all the autocorrects that I would try to stop, turn off, dismantle, then eventually learned to keep my styrofoam brick by the computer just in case....well, ok, that was a poor attempt at humor. I am recommending Word if you have the money and are already familiar with it. I do believe Pages to be a better and more affordable option, at least for my needs.
I've used Photomatix for a while now. I have found it to be a great all around program for HDR. I found CS4 lacking terribly in that category, so Photomatix fit the bill. I purchased the primary program and the add on for Aperture to compare the two, not much difference really. I do find the stand alone to possibly be a little quicker and more robust, but not by much. I would recommend this programs. Stable, has many options for retouching, getting rid of hues and glows, nice program overall.
Quicken is quicken for the most part. If you've used any version, you can adapt to this version. If feels a bit too stripped down for me, though I've had trouble identifying any exact feature I want. Somehow, it doesn't have that feel that gets me to enjoy using the charts, graphs, yearly averages, and that side of the program as much as I have in windows versions in the past. I did have trouble with one feature, how to change many items at once, say a category. I wanted to find all of my gas charges, label them all auto:gas in one shot. I couldn't find the option, the manual didn't have it. The documentation is rather poor, to be honest. I have this habit of digging through manuals and reading forums for answers. I never could get my answer through the manual or forums. Both were confusing or poorly laid out. I eventually contacted customer support. Friendly nice people with hard to understand accents answered the phone. Very friendly. I have had the fortune in my job to work with many people from varying cultures and countries. I felt sorry for this lady trying to help me. She couldn't understand my question: "How do I change multiple categories of the same vendor at once," or something to that effect. I felt sorry for her as she kept having to repeat the same programmed answer over and over. The answer wasn't even close to the question. I kept repeating my question in varying ways, hoping she would finally get it. She never did, after about 6 attempts and I could hear fear entering her voice. Having worked with foreigners, I realize many (but certainly not all) live in countries with expectations that you never fail and you have a positive customer interaction quickly and always - or you might lose your job or have some kind of retribution against you. I hesitated, but finally decided to ask for a supervisor. I wasn't unhappy, but just wanted an answer. The supervisor came on the phone and it took her almost one hour to solve my question. She didn't know the answer either. All were kind. I suspect Intuit is outsourcing such help, a practice becoming more and more common. I really don't mind in most respects, but I do want answers, especially when the question is fairly easy. I would recommend this program if you want a simple home program to balance the budget. I don't care for the monthly charge. Well, actually, don't mind paying a monthly charge to get the auto link to my banks and credit cards, but feel it is a bit steep for a recurring charge. The reconcile feature is a bit confusing for me. I did finally figure out how to reconcile the bank accounts and credit cards, but it was and is a bit odd to me for some reason. I can't get my finger on it, but it isn't intuitive to me. Might be me, who knows.
I like pages. I have both the latest versions of microsoft office and pages. I use both. Word is slow to load and a bit cumbersome, but I am familiar with it due to years of using it. Pages threw me off for a short while. It is more of a word processor crossed with a desktop publisher in my estimation. I have grown more accustomed to this and found it to be very handy. I like being able to throw pictures in quickly, put outlines, shadows, effects, all with quick clicks. They aren't anchored in a sentence, but rather, positioned on a page. Easily. The learning curve wasn't that hard to be honest, but it is a learning curve. I'm not the biggest fan of all the boxes appearing to the side with the tools and options, but hey, it works and I'm getting more used to it. Also learning to use short cuts where available and menu options on the top of the menu bar. I think the value is outstanding, especially for what all you get. Compared with Word, the price can't be beat. I'm not crazy how it will auto reload every last project. I'm sure there is a way to turn that off, but haven't taken the time to do that yet. I suppose I will when it drives me nuts enough. I do recommend pages, purchased it for my daughters instead of word (mostly price, but also the desktop publishing side of it). Good program, affordable, recommended, and family friendly, whatever that might mean ;)
I like the program. Started with Ap2 on a G5 dual running Leopard. Worked good until I got 75,000 plus pics. Started having challenges with the library being so bloated and my computer was slowing down after all...PowerPC in the year 2011 wasn't being updated any longer. I took the leap and expense (choke) and got a new Macbook Pro 17" decked out. Got Ap3, library updated, and it ran alright overall. I was very pleased with new features of Ap3 such as brushes and the depth of subtle changes that could be applied. Found myself not opening Photoshop CS5 extended as much. I considered that a plus. Not because of anything to do with PS, but because it is one less step in the whole workflow. I did have one issue with the spinning ball. For having the hottest MBP there is, seemed odd that the program would be sluggish. Then an update came out and that seemed to solve most of the problems. The library still bloats big time. I do have a huge library. I suppose I could break it into smaller libraries, but have read about those who have done such and why they did it, not sure it will achieve what I'm looking for. I like the one stop shop approach myself. I did recently figure out about referencing, that helped tremendously. Then I figured out about previews. Most of my bloat in my current hard drive as relates to Ap3 is about previews. I deleted them all, almost 200g worth of previews. Going to take a whole different approach there and try different things. The program sped up a bit, I now have a lot more disk space free, and I'm a happy man for the moment. I've read extensively about the LR V Ap debate. I've thought about defecting to LR since Photoshop is such a fine program. Yet I'm convinced after all I've read that Apple is serious about making Ap3 a better overall experience for the person who doesn't have extensive editing needs (3D, layers, etc). I'm not as much loyal to a company as to a product that does what I want. So far I'm happy with Ap3. Very happy with the price reduction. If only Apple would do that now with their hardware (choke). Upgrading to thunderbolt display and Promise 12Tb storage was exceptionally expensive. But it is blazing fast and solved my storage needs.