Local (San Fernando Valley) Volunteering Positions

CreateNow is a non-profit organization partnering with The Phoenix House in order to create a 12-week program to help at-risk youth to develop the skills that they need in order to succeed after their treatment is complete.

Come in twice a week for four weeks to teach our kids how to design their artwork digitally, and help them along their path to recovery.

They currently have a need for Graphic Design Mentor, a Web Design Mentor, and possibly a Job Readiness (Business) Mentor during the months of April, May, and June respectively.

This is a great cause, and I heartily endorse your consideration of filling one of these positions.

Visit http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp816114.jsp for more information on the Graphic Design position (I’d fill it, but my schedule won’t allow it currently.

 

New, Unwanted, but Necessary Captcha

See that image of letters at the bottom of the commenting space at the bottom of every post? That’s called a Captcha, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.

I know, they’re a pain in certain body parts, but they appear to be necessary. Despite my best efforts at trying to keep spam posts off my blog (All comments have had to go through me, before they’d show on the site), I’d started getting dozens of spam comments showing up daily – and I’m pretty sure the people reading my site aren’t interested in what they’re selling! 😉

So, apologies for the inconvenience, but this seems a necessary action to take, to ensure that those of you who want to post a legitimate comment, or ask a legitimate question gets heard.

I encourage you to use the comments area to post questions or requests, regarding computer training, specific programs, technical issues, and whatever else you want to say. Just, please be a person, and please don’t try to sell anybody any enhancements, any business deals, or any other bothersome stuff. I’m still watching…

 

Excellent Article on Mac OSX Password Security

I get a lot of phone calls from Mac users who’ve forgotten their system password, or bought a computer for which they can’t reset the password. The security level for Mac password protection is good, but as with all computers, not unbreakable. There’s always a way…

This article explains some of the workarounds, and some of the best password security choices and strategies:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20047345-263.html

Making Selections with the Pen Tool in Photoshop

From PhotoshopEssentials.com, a clear (if not lengthy) tutorial on using the insanely powerful pen tool.
http://www.photoshopessentials.com/basics/pen-tool-selections/

Don’t fear the Pen Tool!!!

If you find it too complicated, let me know, and I’ll make a little video tutorial or two to ease it up a bit.

Great Black and White in Photoshop

I’m often asked how to turn a color photograph into a Black & White image. Some people use the Black & White setting on their digital camera (and some use Tri-X film – often using manual filters!). The problem with traditional Black and White settings is that the resulting images lack dynamics, but with Photoshop, we can control the dynamics and contrast in an image, with a lot of power and ease.

In this Tutorial, you’ll learn about the power of the Black and White Adjustment Layer, and how do perform some cool special effects using this very simple and powerful tool.