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

 

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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Your Knowledge Can Pay You Extra Retirement Income

Is there a topic that you have become particularly knowledgeable about? Have you had particular challenges in your life that you had to overcome? Do you have a hobby or a craft that you have a compelling interest in? Perhaps, you perfected a skill in a particularly technical area during your career. Did you ever think that you knew a better way to accomplish something, if only you had the chance?

All of us have some area of our lives that we have focused on enough to develop a particular set of skills in or knowledge about. We have come to take our experience, knowledge and skills for granted as we approach or reach retirement age.

What if there was a way that you could set up an “Information Stand” on your own street and have a stream of people arrive at your information stand each and every day. Heck, they each would even pay you a small fee to have their questions on your topic answered! Do you think that this might provide a little extra cash to supplement your retirement income? You bet it would.

Remember your childhood. Did you ever have a lemonade stand on your street on a hot Summer day? Yeah, it was great. Adults would pay 5 cents per cup (some would even pay more) and when you ran out of lemonade, you would simply make up another batch. You could do this until all of the adults had their thirst quenched and then sales would drop off.

Well, you can easily set up an “Information Stand” on the Internet at which to provide answers on the topic of your passion. There are some interesting characteristics of your “Information Stand” that make it better than a lemonade stand:

1. Unlike lemonade, you never run out of Information. In fact, you even gain more and better information as a result of the dialogue and the research that you do in building your Information Stand.

2. You become known as an expert. That’s right, the more activity that you have at your stand, the better you become known as a reliable source of information on your topic. In fact, when this occurs and the perception of your information becomes more valuable, people will be willing to pay more for your information.

3. Unlike the lemonade stand, you can sell the information without you having to be there. You can even sell information while you are asleep or out playing with the other ‘kids’!

4. As word spreads like a virus about your information stand, the sheer number of people coming to your stand will increase exponentially.

5. Instead of being limited to just your street, you can have your Information Stand on the biggest Information superhighway of them all – the Internet!

6. Unlike the lemonade stand, the line of people coming to your Information Stand never ends. In fact, as the word of your Information Stand gets out like a virus on the Internet, you will have an increasing number of people coming to you for answers to their questions. People from all over the world will be coming to your Information Stand all hours of the day and night! If you build it, they will come!

The very best news is that the technology now exists for you to establish your Information Stand on the Internet for an investment of less than $30 and a bit of your time. The software necessary to do this can be downloaded free of charge and the remaining components can be purchased inexpensively (Domain name – $12,  Autoresponder – $20). You can visit my website to view video tutorials that show you exactly how to set up your Information Stand. It could not be easier!

Claim your place on the Internet today. Leverage your experience and knowledge into a stream of supplemental retirement income. You already have the knowledge needed, just carve out your niche and get going. It does not have to be perfect. In fact, it has been said that “Imperfect action is more productive than perfect inaction!” Take your first step today.

 

 

Promote Your Home Business

Use the same marketing tools as a standard brick and mortar business, to promote your at home venture.

Advertising your service or product, is just as important, if not more, when you work from the home. It is important that the public knows how to find you and that your business exists. In order to find success in running your own home business, you must be totally comfortable promoting yourself.

As the owner of a home business, you will need to talk up your business to a large number of potential customers. You have to be able to make your customers feel that your business and products are of the highest quality. Learning to successfully self-promote, is one of the keys to making big time profits.

Participate in trade shows that focus on your particular product or service. Trade shows provide a great way to network with others in your industry. It is also an effective way to promote your business to many potential customers by providing you with a setting to demonstrate your product or service.

Create a mailing list for your home business. This can either be through snail mail or the internet. Let others know about any special deals you are offering or just promote your business.

You can also send out small updates or newsletters to your customers to let them know what has been going on. This will increase traffic to your web site.

Examine all of the ways your home business appears in the marketplace and be sure you have a consistent message and presentation.

Whether it is your business cards, web site or social media business page, keeping your messaging professional and synchronized helps you promote your business appropriately and clearly across multiple channels.

Having a home business does not mean you have to stay home.

Get out of the house to network and promote your home business.

Promoting your business will help make your business grow and in turn make you more money.

Being active in the community will help to spread the word of your business. Business cards are a great way to promote your home based business and get your name out to the community.

Search for free business cards online and then distribute them wherever you go, including grocery stores, dentist offices and your children's schools.

Set up an advertising and promotional item budget for your home business and make sure you stick to it.

Advertising, free products, printing and more can add up quickly.

When you stick within your allotted budget, you help your business stay on track. Your budget will grow over time and you will be able to spend more money to promote your business down the line.

Promote your home business by offering a coupon for a free sample or a discount for your services. People are attracted to free offers, so this is a good way to bring in new customers. People are more willing to try a new business if they do not have to risk their own money to try it.

If you are caught by what is being called the "latest recession" and you are  wondering, "How is my family going to get by?", see if some of these ideas and helpful tips can help you survive and improve your financial situation.

5 Home Business Success Tips

A lot of people avoid having a home based business for various reasons.

Some do not wish to have the responsibility associated with one and others are just simply clueless on how or where to start. This article focuses on some help in getting you started with a home based business and getting you on your way to success.

1) Advertising is always the most important aspect of any business. Even if your business is not home based, you still spend a significant amount of money on advertising. Since a home based business does not have a store front or a public office where they can advertise themselves, you must invest money in getting the word out to the world about your company. Consider internet marketing as a way for your business to expand in the world as well as advertising in local newspapers, billboards, and newsletters.

2) It takes time to develop clientele and make a significant amount of money through any business and this is not any different when it comes to a home based business. It is important to keep in mind not to get discouraged because your first few months are tough. Every business out there started somehow and many of them did not grow to be an overnight success. Keep at your business regardless how bleak it may seem at first, and you will eventually build your own trusted clientele and following.

3) Consider what types of equipment you need to purchase to run your business even if it is just a new printer or computer. It is important to shop around for the cheapest prices possible and opt to purchase what you can second hand. Make sure what you need is something that you have budgeted for.

4) It is important to understand the different tax laws and regulations associated with your business. Some businesses need permits as well as tax forms filed before even starting. You need to have a basic idea of how taxes work before starting your business so you ensure you will not lose any money when it comes to filing your taxes for the next year. Many items you purchase to start your business are considered tax deductible and it is in your best interest to research as much as possible to save money.

5) Come up with your own business plan. The most important thing that you can do for your home based business is to come up with a one year plan and what you hope to accomplish in that time frame. Make sure that you keep notes and ideas separate from your actual home information. Reserve a space for yourself within your house where you can work by yourself undisturbed. If you treat your business with dedication and as an actual business, you will more likely succeed.

Although starting up a home based business is a lot of responsibility and can be time consuming, you will find that the time will be worth it. Knowing what to do will provide you more success. It is important to take your time and plan things out and then take the plan and put it into action.

2-Minute Rule to Success

Life is a series of minutes. When a person looks at life in minutes versus hours, days, weeks, and years it is easier to make progress. As a society, we believe we must have large blocks of time to get anything done, yet, what is true is that finding things that can be done in two minutes actually is a very freeing activity; very empowering. 

So, what is the 2-Minute Rule? The 2-Minute Rule is a highly effective method that anyone can use anytime – anywhere.

The 2-Minute rule, in effect, is looking at things that can be done in two minutes. People have a tendency to let these two minute opportunities pass them by because they believe that two minutes are not enough time to get anything done.

Here's the challenge – look around when you have a two minutes as you are waiting to make a scheduled phone call, go pick the kids up from school, finishing cooking dinner – you get the idea – what do you see that you could do that would take only two minutes?

Tasks such as: sort the mail, unload the dishwasher, put a load of clothes in the washer, sweep the front porch, call the groomer for an appointment for your dogs, file, pay a bill or two, clean out a kitchen drawer, listen to a YouTube video on setting up a Twitter account, etc. You get the picture – right?

Getting in the habit of using this 2-Minute Rule is so empowering, energizing, and quickly and easily helps you become organized and productive. As you go through your day, ask yourself "is there anything I could do with this block of time"? If so, do it.

Sometimes the two minutes can become five minutes – that is okay. You can also set a timer if you only have a few minutes and do not want to forget to get on a scheduled call or pick up the kids from soccer practice.

The more you use this 2-Minute Rule (more or less), the more excited you will become about being more organized, having less clutter, having less distractions, etc. Our minds are always nagging us about things that need to get done, fretting about keys that are lost, worrying, and feeling guilty.

When you incorporate the 2-Minute Rule you will hear less mind chatter. People have a tendency to discount the power of this little 2-Minute Rule – believing that doing something for two minutes cannot possibly make a difference in their lives and how they feel. Word to the wise – "try it, you will like it."

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

Computer Hardware – Info for Beginners

There is more to your  computer than the monitor, the keyboard and the mouse, though most of the other components are hidden away.

In that big box that you often complain about being too bulky, lies the heart of the computer.

It houses all the vital parts that make your computer fully functioning.

Get to know some of these parts.

  1. The processor or CPU (Central Processing Unit) determines how fast your PC will be & is perhaps one of the vital parts of a computer, if not the most vital. Having a fast processor will allow your computer to convert data faster

    Read more

Send your free Earth Day ecard now!

Frederikke and Timothy from ojolie.com have added a new card called “Blue Planet” to their selection of  animated ecards just in time for Earth Day on 22nd April.  The wildlife in the card, especially the dolphins, our intelligent counterparts below water, have an important message to deliver.

Earth Day, held on April 22 each year, marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970 and is  now celebrated around the world.

Earth Day 2009 will herald the beginning of the “Green Generation Campaign”; a two-year project culminating with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010. The Green Generation’s core principles are:

1.  A carbon-free future based on renewable energy that will end dependency on fossil fuels, including coal.

2.  A commitment to responsible, sustainable consumption on an individual level

3.  Creation of a new green economy that addresses poverty by creating millions of quality green jobs and sees the global education system transform into a green one.

For those of you who missed helping to save energy during Earth Hour on March 28th, here is another chance to spread the word about helping our environment by sending Frederikke’s delightful card to your friends.

Best wishes
Trish