Geeks on Tour Newsletter 8/18/07: Blogs, Cut/Copy/Paste, Tips for Digital Photographers

Published: Sat, 08/18/07

Geeks On Tour Newsletter      Subscribe to this Newsletter        August 17, 2007


Every RVer Needs a Blog!

Chris teaches 'Every RVer Needs a Blog' at the FMCA conventionWe just completed our week of presenting seminars at the FMCA Convention in Redmond, Oregon. We had a great time. You can see more pictures and stories on our blog at This photo is of me (Chris) giving the 'Every RVer Needs a Blog' seminar. We had about 350 people in our audience, and many of them came up to me later in the week and said they had started their own blog with the instructions I gave them! It is just so easy. You go to and click on the button to 'Create a Blog now'. In less than 5 minutes you will have your own 'instant publishing' system for posting stories and photos on the web on your very own website (blog). The Blogger software will handle keeping your entries in date order and making monthly archives. All you have to do is write, upload photos, and click 'Publish.' It's all free, compliments of Google.

If you're interested in RVing in Alaska there are two of my past students' blogs that you just gotta see. Both of them spent this summer in Alaska. Gundyville is still there! I spent 7 years in Alaska as a kid and I didn't see half of what they've shown on their blog this summer. The Gundy's are soaking up every nook and cranny of that state and wringing out more fun than most people have in a lifetime! JimandKellisGreatEscape completed their Alaska trip and they were at the FMCA convention. Kelli found me and gave me a great big hug, thanking me for getting her started in blogging and answering all her questions. My Pleasure!

If you want to learn how to make your own blog, our seminar handout is available for download on the Geeks On Tour articles page. You can also watch the tutorial videos online, or purchase the CD.

Cut, Copy, Paste

During one of our seminars, we mentioned that you could cut text by using Ctrl-X, then move somewhere else and paste it using Ctrl-V. A *lot* of people raised their hands and asked that we repeat what we had just said. It reminded me that not everyone knows some of these things that we consider 'essential' computer skills. If this is you, please take a look at our Computer Essentials tutorial videos! Meanwhile, here's the scoop on Cut, Copy and Paste:

Cut - select the text or object you want to remove and use Ctrl-X (or right-click and select 'Cut')

Copy - select the text you want to duplicate and use Ctrl-C (or right-click and select 'Copy')

Paste - position your cursor where you want the cut or copied text to appear and use Ctrl-V (or right-click and select 'Paste')

You may be saying, 'OK, the X for cut and the C for copy kinda make sense, but where did they come up with the V for paste?' The answer lies in looking at your keyboard. See how the X and the C are next to each other? And, what's the next letter over? Aha! That's where the V comes from. It doesn't stand for anything, it's just the next key on the keyboard after X and C.

Tips for the Digital Photographer

I'm no expert, but I do get a lot of compliments on my photos and I'd like to pass along a few of the things I've learned over the last few years.

1. Keep your camera on the highest setting.  I know the files are huge - but that's what you want.  Someday, you might want each and every one of those pixels!  The first two years we were on the road, I used a medium setting.  There's one photo I took that I actually wanted to submit in a contest - but the contest rules specified that the entries had to have a certain number of pixels and mine wasn't big enough!

2. Rename your photos.  Don't leave them at the simple numbers assigned by your camera.  Come up with some system that works for you.  My system revolves around dates. Whatever selection of photographs I collect, I like to be able to see them in date order. The easiest way to do that is to have the filename start with a sortable date. 8-15-07 is not sortable, 20070815 is sortable. Using Picasa, I select all the photos I took on one day, press F2 for rename, enter 20070815_.  Picasa will rename all the photos starting with the 20070815_ and then adding it's own sequential number ... 20070815_1, 20070815_2, 20070815_3 etc.  Then, for special photos, you can add individual names like 20070815_fmca-odie.jpg.  It's work in the beginning, but you will LOVE yourself later when you have thousands of photos and you can find all the photos of Odie by searching!  You may want every photo primarily identified by state rather than date. Select all the photos, press F2 and enter Oregon. They will be named Oregon-1, Oregon-2 etc.

3. Sharpen.  Almost all digital photos can be sharpened and look more in focus.  In Picasa, it's on the Effects tab.  I select all my photos and use Picasa's Picture/Batch Edit/Sharpen - to sharpen them all at once.

4. Play with Picasa's editing features - they're so much fun, they're completely undo-able, and they can really improve a photo. Picasa features that I use all the time include: Sharpen, Crop, I'm Feeling Lucky, Fill Light, Straighten, Color Temperature (for skintones), Saturation (for more brilliant colors), Graduated Tint (for blue sky). Most of these are subtle changes but they add up to a better picture.

Before editing in Picasa After editing in Picasa


That's all for now. We're headed south. Crater Lake is on our agenda for tomorrow. Then it's south thru California down to San Diego area where we'll be giving our seminars at a Thousand Trails Park called Pio Pico. We always keep our seminar schedule up to date on our website home page.

Thanks for reading. Your next issue will be in a couple weeks. Any questions, please email us.

Chris Guld