Testing CanvaKala Plugin

Canvakala is a new plugin that is getting rave reviews


The recently released plugin (special launch price $17) aims to give word-press users a replacement for the inadequate image handling that is built-in. Some people claimed it had the power of photoshop while being a lot easier to use, so I thought that I would try out.

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Here’s the link if you want to check it out (this is a direct link not one that would earn me a commission)

Claims:

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Find Royalty-free Images 

Easily Find images from sites like pixabay, flickr, openclipart & instagram, ALL from your WP dashboard!
YES, it did that but you have to have active accounts at Flickr & Pixabay first, so be prepared to upload some photos there first if you don’t have active accounts there already (at Pixabay at least)

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Manage & Edit Images EASILY 

Once you’ve picked an image you can resize/crop to any size you want or to built-in size suggestion like for FB ads, cover etc.

Yes, this feature is excellent
 

Choose from 20 Automatic Special Effects also apply Instagram like filters to your image


Make your image UNIQUES and STANDOUT with some WOW effects!  – 

 

Lots of effects but of limited use in my opinion

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Insert Your Image Easily To Your Blog Post or Download it for other purposes!

After you finish designing or editing your image you can easily use it for whatever you want!

Yes, that can be done easily too.

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Adds a Full Photoshop like Editor to your site –

Well, it does add some features found in photoshop but the plugin is not designed to replace photoshop any more that a Mini would replace a Rolls, but they both will get you from one place to another in their own way.
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Some of the features advertised are only available in the Pro version (OTO1 – $27 at time of launch)> If you have a lot of WordPress sites, want to have more choice that people who only bought the regular edition or if price is not an issue for you, then the pro edition gives you a heap more choices.

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I’ve only tried it on two sites so far – but does the editor does not open to search for images on the other site. I’ll be sending a support ticket to see if there are any known incompatibilities with other plugins or themes.

Would I recommend it? Yes if your time is more valuable than the cost. It certainly made the finding & posting of the image above very easy, but I have many sources for graphics asn other good programs to edit them, so did not buy the upgrade (was very tempted though – I am one of those impulse buyers sellers love!)

 

Best wishes
Trish

 

Top 10 Business Opportunities to Make Money in 2014

Money-in-wallet

We all want to make extra money to supplement our income these days,

but the question is, what is the best way to go? What opportunities are legitimate and realistic for ordinary people without a big budget?

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To give you an opinion other than mine, I went searching for sites with that seemed to me to provide good advice and found this one that gives a top ten list.

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Don’t expect everything on the list to suit your circumstances, but there are some good suggestions there and maybe the hardest choice will be which one to try first.

money_5Top 10 Ways to Earn Extra Money Online
http://www.australianbusinesstimes.com Sat, 01 Feb 2014 10:38:53 GMT

Everything from self-publishing e-books to entering online tournaments has the potential to bring in an extra wage. The following are ten top ways to earn an income online. One – Self-Publish an eBook: Self-publishing books …
Read more …

Now, some of these ideas would not do for me at all, such as online poker tournaments or forex trading, but the list includes others that do appeal, such as self-publishing or doing this as a service for clients, online freelancing (and another site not mentioned in the article that I use is People per Hour) or setting up a consultant site.

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Whatever you decide to do, just pick one method and give it a good go. Too many people try one thing for a short time but give up before that idea has a chance to bring in any money

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Best wishes
Trish

 

The Humble Computer Mouse

The choice of computer mouse is a very individual thing and depends on many factors:

  • How many hours a day you work at your computer?
  • Is your primary computer a desktop, a laptop or notebook or even a tablet; but you won’t be needing a mouse if it is a tablet, will you?
  • How big your hands are.
  • Do you want/need to use wired, wireless or bluetooth?
  • Whether you use the scroll function or not.
  • Do you suffer from wrist pain?

In some of these instances, the cheaper type mouse that comes with your computer will serve your needs adequately, but if you, like me work for about eight hours every day, the comfort and functions of your mouse are particularly important.
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On the left below is a photo of the first mouse I paid in excess of $60 for and never regretted it at all. It was comfortable in my largish hands and I didn’t ever suffer any wrist pain even though I worked at my PC sometimes up to 12 hours in a day. The day I dropped it on the tiled floor and broke it was a very sad day for me.
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Luckily I was able to buy another different model  but with the same profile within a couple of days. That one too has died lately so I’m looking for a new one, the Kensington mouse on the right below might well be the one since I have had a word in Santa’s ear!
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The logitech 2nd from left has served as my laptop mouse for a couple of years – it does look a bit battered, doesn’t it? Very similar profile and quite comfortable. The third photo shows my big hands – imagine my right hand wrapped around one of these tiny mobile models! However, I do carry a retractable one around in my laptop bag, as a backup and the occasions when an extra mouse is needed to test someone’s computer.

 History of the computer mouse

Tracking Technology

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Did you know that the name mouse is derived from “Manually Operated User Select Equipment”? This makes the argument about whether more than one computer mouse should be called computer mouses or computer mice (as we do for the rodent variety). It seems there has been no absolute ruling and generally computer companies avoid the issue by calling them mouse devices. Probably mouses is technically correct, but it sounds awkward and people tend to use mice for the plural form.
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The original design for a mouse was mechanical; the mouse had a ball in a compartment underneath and embedded around the edge were some little rollers. These would clog up from the dust and dirt from the user’s desk and needed cleaning to keep the mouse running smoothly (I did this countless times when clients or friends complained that their mouse wasn’t working properly). There were also four sliding type feet that clogged up as well, but these devices were a boon when the alternative was just keyboard shortcuts.
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Along came optical technology and made our lives so much easier. A small LED on the bottom of the mouse translates the movement of your hand into movement of the mouse pointer. Laser mouse devices work the same way, but using a laser instead af the LED. Laser mice have a higher dpi (dots per inch) which means they are more sensitive. For general users this extra sensitivity is not really needed, but graphic designers and gamers often appreciate the difference and make a laser mouse their choice.

Wired Connectors

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The early mice (see above) had a serial connector plug, see picture below. Serial ports were the original standard for interfacing any device with any other device on a computer. Later, a smaller 6 pin Mini Din was introduced by IBM on their PS/2 personal computer and this led to the connector type being called PS/2. For many years PC’s had PS/2 connectors for both keyboard and mouse.
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Some computers still come with two PS/2 ports, but more commonly they just have one, the USB (Universal Serial Bus) being the most common type of interface on all computers, whether PC or Mac. All USB ports look the same, but there is the original USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 which allows much faster (almost 40x as fast) or increased delivery capabilities. The ports are backwards compatible, so you can plug an old USB 1.1 device into a 2.2 port and it will still go.

Wireless

Originally the mouse device was connected to the computer by a cable using one of the technologies above, but nowadays you have the choice (an increasingly common one), to go with wireless. The early hassles of wireless connections seem to have been ironed out and wireless usually works very easily on any platform. Yay! So much more freedom.

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wireless.
Radio Frequency – this is the most common type of wireless interface. A generic mouse operates on th 27MHz frequency and the mouse is powered by batteries. More expensive models can come with rechargeable batteries or charging docks for the mouse. They may use higher frequencies and have a longer range.
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bluetooth.
Bluetooth was useful for lower speed devices like a mouse and was common on early laptops. They are also battery powered and use the 2.4GHz radio frequency to communicate with a receiver/charger supplied with the package or some other Bluetooth adapter...
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RFIDRFID (Rapid Frequency Identification) technology uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data to automatically identify and track tags, which for a mouse is movement. Developed by a company called A4Tech, the mouse must be used in conjunction with the included mose pad, but the advantage is that it is wireless and no batteries are needed.
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Wheels and Buttons

Nearly all mouse devices nowadays have three buttons, with the middle button also being a scroll-wheel. This scroll wheel is essential in my opinion to navigate up and down your screen and on web pages. Any other buttons, typically on the left hand side for a right handed mouse or on the RHS for a left handed mouse, can be programmed by the user to carry out different functions.

 

Buying a computer mouse

A quick search on eBay will show just what a variety of choice there for buying a new mouse – some are fun, some are fancy, some for serious gamers and some ergonomic models for users like me. So how do you choose?

Narrow down the options with these requirements:

  • Do you want wired or wireless?
  • Do you need laser or will Optical suit your needs?
  • What size – full-sized, medium or small (also called compact,  mini, mobile, laptop etc)
  • PS/2 or USB? USB is more common but if your computer does not have many USB ports, but does have PS/2 ports, using a PS/2 mouse (or keyboard) will leave an extra USB port available for other peripherals.
  • Scrolling – do you need left and right as well as up and down?
  • Buttons – does your work (or play) require advanced features?

A great place to see what is available is on eBay, even when you want to shop locally. The wide variety of mouse devices listed there will give you a good idea of all the functions and help you narrow down your choice.
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I have a mouse collection on eBay, just for the fun of it – see some of my pics

See my Collection here http://www.ebay.com/cln/plfbus/Fun-Fancy-Mouse-Collection/66866785015

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Keeping your Brain Active

Free Gift Membership to “Learning to Earn” see below.

If you’re approaching retirement age and wondering what you can do to enjoy a long and healthy life in your golden years then consider adopting the attitude of a lifelong learner. Most people think of lifelong learning as being confined to academic endeavors however the lifelong learning approach covers all areas of life including spiritual, social, academic and physical.

Lifelong learning is based on an attitude of constantly growing and evolving in various areas of your life. The old saying that whenever anything is not growing it is decaying could be just as true for us as humans. No matter what a person’s age there are great benefits to be gained by challenging yourself in the different areas of your life, physical, mental and self-deveopment.

Physical challenges must be appropriate for your level of fitness, but regular exercise of some kind will leep your body healthier and your brain healthier too. Mental challenges do not have to be academic study, they can be a new hobby or interest, a new caring or chrity venture, more involvement with family. The most growth in personal development will come when you take on something that is currently outside your comfort zone (nasty words those, aren’t they? How we love to stay in our comfort zone, even when it isn’t all that comfortable really).

Lifelong learners live by the motto “you’re never too old to learn” and this attitude is a big part of the reason that people who approach life with this mindset are seen to perhaps live longer but definitely enjoy a better quality of life – is the so-called law of nature known as the “use it or lose it” true?

It does seem to be the case that those who are considerably inactive develop mobility problems as they age, whereas those who are quite active do not develop these mobility problems. A similar effect takes place with anyone who takes no part in any mentally challenging activity or pursuit. After years of mental inactivity

Read more

Brain Training Can Improve Your Memory

banner_brainAll of us, in a certain point of our lives, experienced memory loss. It could be forgetting where we put the keys, if we have locked the door, etc. As we grow older, it is natural for some of our brain cells to age and die which would cause some problems with memory. Over the years, research on brain training showed that it could help in decreasing memory loss.

Dementia is one of the biggest health issues that the older generation is facing. Currently, about 24 million people are suffering from dementia. By 2040, the number could reach about 84 million of sufferers, making us one of the possible patients of dementia.

The same goes for Alzheimer’s disease which is affecting about five million Americans. Health experts project that Alzheimer patients could reach about 16 million by 2050. That is until the current generation would do something to avoid such problems with memory loss.

How does brain training help us in enhancing our memory?

Read more

Starting Your Own Blog

What is a blog and why would you want to start your own?

Firstly, a blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person’s own life and what is happening on the web. It is usually in the form of  a  frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles on other Web sites. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects,  there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.

Blogging is part of the general trend of putting everything on the web, regardless of whether we are talking about business, hobbies or personal stuff. It can just be a means of communicating with friends, with others who share your hobbies or interests, or it can be a business tool. Of course it can also be a combination of these things.

So perhaps instead of asking why you would want to have your own blog, ask instead if you want to, or have a need to communicate with others. The great advantage of social media is that you don’t need to know people personally to communicate with them and for this reason it is ideal for bringing interaction with others into the lives of folk who may otherwise feel isolated.

Is this you or somebody you know? Don’t think that it would be too hard to learn how to blog, because it is in fact quite simple and there are dozens of free videos and help pages to show you exactly what to do. There is no need to have fancy looking pages, but if that is what you would like, you could soon learn how to spice them up a bit.

Generally speaking blogs tend to have a few things in common:

  • A main content area with articles listed from the lates backwards.
  • Articles are usually organized into categories.
  • There is an archive of older articles.
  • There is a way for people to leave comments about the articles.
  • A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll” is often included.
  • There can also be one or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files. (A Feedreader accesses other sites automatically looking for new content and then posts updates about that new content to another site).

Blogs can be stand-alone (self-hosted) or externally hosted. If you wish to host your own blog, you will be able to choose your own domain name, but you will be up for the cost of that domain name and your hosting at a minimum.

Externally hosted blogs are usually free but will often have limitations on what content and customisation you can have and perhaps also whether you can monetise it so if you want your blog to make some money, it is best to start out hosting your own. It is possible to change platforms later, but you would probably have to change the blog domain and that might lose you some readers. (For a more extensive discussion on the choice of blog platforms, go to  blogger.com

Some of the most popular free hosted blogs are listed below. All are very easy to set up and get you going quickly. Have a look at each one to see if it does what you want your blog to do, for example upload photos, videos, podcasts, run discussion boards etc.

wordpress.com
thoughts.com (as distinct from wordpress.org which supplies the platform for self-hosting)
weebly
yahoo 360
Windows Live

Problogger – Tips for Beginners

If you sign up to my blog this month you will get access to free ebooks about blogging (if you are already subscribed, you’ll be sent the link).

For more information, check outbecomeablogger.comProblogger – Tips for Beginners & becomeablogger.com for free video tutorials on how to create your own blog.

Blogging is an easy and economical way to share with family, friends and busuness associates alike. Make it fun!

For e-Cards with a difference try Ojolie.com

If you are looking for some high-quality, imaginatively clever eCards, take a look at ojolie.com. Their moving works of art capture the sentimentality and creativity so often missing from the free eCards that abound on the net. Although they don’t have as wide a range of cards as the free sites do, the quality more than makes up for that.

Ojolie is pronounced as O-Jolee. The name “Jolie”, as in Angelina Jolie, means cheerful and pretty in English and beautiful in French. The site is run by Frederikke Tu, the Artist and her husband Timothy Tu, the IT guy. Their e-cards are artistic and moving with very tasteful music. Frederikke says “the inspiration for my animated e-cards is largely drawn from my passion for wildlife and the abundant beauty of nature”.

Of the cards I have viewed so far, my favourite is called “Love Dance” which is based on the graceful dance of the Japanese Red Crowned Cranes. It is a great choice for weddings, valentines, anniversaries or simply to say “I love you”. If I had to pick a second best, it would probably be ” Paper Snowflake” from the Christmas/Winter collection, but there are so many excellent cards that choosing any kind of “best” is not an easy task.

This is a membership site but very affordable at US$10 for a year’s worth of access to high quality cards. Alternatively, you can save with a two year subscription for US$15. With Christmas approaching, you might consider giving a membership to Ojolie.com as a gift with a difference – one that is sure to be appreciated all year long.

eCards are easier and cheaper than buying cards at the store and they help the environment by reducing paper waste, but the real reason to go to Ojolie.com is because their cards are different from the usual run of the mill freebies and certainly well worth taking a look.

To give you an extra incentive to visit, Timothy has very kindly offered one year’s free membership to the first five subscribers to this blog who sign up for membership using a special promotion code.

Just go to http://www.ojolie.com click on membership, join now and enter the coupon code 2008FINDLAY (it is case sensitive) at the top, complete your details and if you are one of the lucky first five to claim the bonus membership, the total will come to zero.

Happy eCard viewing!