Friday, June 12, 2015

Goings on in the Sewing Cave

My old trustworthy computer finally died.  I loved that HP and had it for about six years.  I'd bought another one last year...opened the box and then never put it up cause the thought of putting together a new computer made me want to weep. I knew my trusty friend was on it's last legs cause the fan sounded terrible when I would start it.  So I've spent the evening setting up a new computer that has me befuddled because nothing works like my old one.

My new computer surrounded by all the junk 
on my computer desk

Anyway, one of the things I absolutely loved about my old computer is that I could download pictures from the SD card and then a program automatically popped up and I could crop, change the color or brighten or darken my pictures. It was the main reason that I bought it! The new computer doesn't have this program so I'm appealing to other bloggers to tell me what FREE photo editing software do you use?  And why?  Is it easy to use - a MUST!  If you don't use a free editing software - what do you use and cost?  Is it worth it to pay for it?  Any help you can provide would be helpful!

While I'm at it ~ my computer starts with this stupid microsoft screen:


Does anyone know how to change the setting so that my desktop comes up first.  There is a link on the toolbar of the laptop but I set that up so long ago that I can't remember where I found it.  My computer is an HP Pavilion 23 touchscreen. I can google the answer, I'm sure, but it would be nice if someone knew and could tell me in layman's words how to do it.

To say that I'm lost is an understatement!  I have to get all my links back and I can't get my back up to hook up to the new computer - stop I just got the back up and running! Sheesh! But the process to get my pictures and stuff back onto this computer is too much for this tired brain tonight.  Google has answered that question but I need a "fresh" brain to get that to work!

So the post that I was going to write about my next two projects will have to wait until I can figure some stuff out.  

...as always more later!



47 comments:

  1. On Windows 8, the desktop won't come up like it used to. You will need to add it to your "current" Start (app) screen and then click on it when you need it. After you access it, it should function like your old computer. If it is not currently on your Start screen, you will see a "down" arrow on the lower left of the screen. Click it and you should see "desktop" in an alpha list of apps. Right click on "desktop" and choose " Pin to Start" and it will appear on the start screen for your future access. Be patient and take your time as there is a bit of a learning curve from Windows XP/7 to Windows 8/8.1 Hope this helps!!

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    1. Thanks Carol - I can see Google Chrome on the start menu it's just a dumb extra step to me!

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  2. Before my computer died, I really liked Pixlr for editing photos. It was free, and you used to have the choices: Editor, Express, and Pixlr-O-Matic. Editor was similar to Photoshop and I was having a hard time with it, Pixlr-O-Matic was fun, but was more like Instagram. Express was my favorite (I think it's called Autodesk now). I could play with the images and even put text directly on the image (I used it to write poetry onto photos. ) It will not automatically download pictures from your card to your computer, but it is easy to use the browse function to find the picture you want. When my computer was functioning, I didn't have to download a program. To use it on my phone, I had to get the free app.

    I miss my comTV puter, so I can commiserate. :(

    Good luck with the new one.

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes...hope you can get a new computer soon.

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  3. I currently use Gimp and it is quite adequate for most photo editing. Lots of filters. http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

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    1. I will check it out! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. When I got my new computer it came with Windows 8 - just like yours, the man I had come out to set it up for me. ( I am totally a technophobe) talked to me for a bit beforehand and knew I wanted to go straight to the 'old fashioned' desktop' so as soon as he set it up he downloaded Windows 8.1. I don't know if once that is downloaded it automatically starts with the desktop or if there is anything else that has to be done but perhaps Google could answer that question. I do know that he said I would have to have the 8.1 for the desk top though. Not sure is that is much help but might point you in the right direction.

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    1. My windows 7 is on my back up and it's the same as we use at work so I didn't want to download new software, since I have the option of working from home!

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  5. I feel for you. I am so techno dumb that I hate getting a new computer. Did I say hate? YES! Just recently had to get a new one myself. I don't care that this new one can do so much more. Would much prefer to have the old one back and working.

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    1. Garnet128 - one of my friends told me that I had held onto the computer too long! That technology changes so fast and that it was obsolete. Well I know that's true - I do change iPads every 2 years - but there was nothing wrong with it and it worked just fine! Anyway, it's done so now I have to learn a new one.

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  6. Your DSLR should have come with us own editing software... At least mine did. Sometimes I use that to edit photos and sometimes I use Picasa because it interfaces straight to blogger (it's a Google product). Hope you get it all figured out quickly!

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    1. Alicia - you're right and I've been lazy! I will download it and see what happens!

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  7. Picasa is free and easy, I use it for quick crops and adjustments. It does quite a bit, including changing pic size for internet posting. I use PhotoShop for serious adjustments (equine photographer stuff), but Picasa has become my go to program for daily stuff, especially cell phone pics. Has anyone mentioned downloading a program to put the start button back on your desktop view?

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  8. Carolyn, you totally crack me up. There is no way I could have a new electronic device in my house and not start to use it as soon as I sign the UPS slip. I remember when you got your SLR camera. I don't remember if you waited to start using it. I can't *wait* to rip open something new and start using it. Pure feelings of joy!!

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    1. Gaylen was horrified when she was here cause we had to move the computer box around to clean the sewing cave for visitors! And yes, it took me a minute to use the camera AND my new Janome sewing machine too! It's that initial learning curve that I have to get over!

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  9. I like PicMonkey - very easy and intuitive, and free

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    1. When I googled I saw pic monkey and thought I'd heard about it! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  10. Even though I have (somewhat older) Photoshop Elements software, I use Picasa for most of my basic photo editing/blogging. Most of the time, at least for my blog photos, the basic lighting adjustments/"I'm Feeling Lucky" fix does the trick!

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  11. I have a very similar HP touchscreen computer running Windows 7 nearly 6 years old, which has threatened to die a few times recently but has been resuscitated each time so far! I bought a laptop using Windows 8 and find it much less intuitive. I have Photoshop Elements on Pc but not laptop, but after looking through suggestions, I'm going to start using Picasa. Obviously, I can't recommend it to you since I haven't tried it yet - but loads of recommendations and it's the programme that blogger uses to store photos.

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    1. Anne - I'm convinced that the computer geeks think that they are making it easier because it makes sense to them but unless it's blinking and staring me in the face, ummmmm yeah not easier!

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  12. I use Windows Photo Gallery. It took help from one of our sons to be able to use it with Windows 8 since you're right--it used to just pop up when you inserted the SD card. Obviously Microsoft didn't take ease of photo editing into account for those of use with limited skill or inclination.

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    1. Claire - YouTube is my friend. I've found I'm more a visual learner than reading and I found a video that let me get to the photo gallery and save it. I'm good now. I think it's just not knowing where to go to find what you once had!

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  13. Gimp is great, but easy it's not. Not compared with the other suggestions.

    Regarding the OS, have you considered Linux Ubuntu? As a web developer, I need the interoperability with web servers, but for some time shied away from working with Linux due to the clunky look and feel. But that is long gone, now Linux is not only pretty, but also easy to use. And if you are learning a new system anyway ...
    One caveat: printer and other devices can be incompatible, although with older ones there is a better chance there is a matching Linux driver. So you have to look into that in advance.

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    1. I've located my windows photo gallery and got it pinned to the taskbar so I'm good. Thanks for your suggestion, it is appreciated!

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  14. Not sure what version operating system you are using but the following info is copied from the Windows 8.1 site. Hope it helps.
    Choosing where to go when you sign in
    By default, most people will open the desktop when they sign in to their PC, but no matter what kind of device you use, you can choose to see either the desktop, the Start screen, or the Apps view when you sign in to your PC.

    First, open Taskbar and Navigation properties by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Taskbar in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Taskbar and Navigation in the results.

    Do one of the following:

    To boot to Start
    Tap or click the Navigation tab, and then clear the When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start check box. Tap or click OK. The next time you sign in to your PC, you'll see the Start screen instead of the desktop.


    To boot to the desktop
    Tap or click the Navigation tab, and then select the When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start check box. Tap or click OK. The next time you sign in to your PC, you'll see the desktop.


    To boot to Apps view
    Tap or click the Navigation tab, and then clear the When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start check box.
    Then, select the Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start check box. Tap or click OK. The next time you sign in to your PC, you'll see the Apps view. (Any of the other commands that typically take you to Start will now take you to the Apps view too.)

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write out those very detailed instructions! You are tooooo kind! Ummm, lost you after the second paragraph but went to my computer and sat down then some of what you wrote made sense. I have a better idea of what to do with the computer now and I even found the power off button! *LOL*

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    2. No problem. Sorry.. I copied directly from the Windows site. The first point that probably needs clarification is whether you are using a mouse or is it a touch screen. That's part of the problem with Windows 8 and later--it functions as if you were using a touchscreen, like you ipad. That takes a little practice when you're using or are used to using a mouse. So...search do a search for "taskbar and navigation" . When that window opens, select the tab that says "navigation". Select the option under start screen that allows you to select the desktop as your opening screen. Really hope this helps. I'm sure you'll be just as kind when I am struggling through my first FBA.

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  15. I switched completely over from PC to Mac, but my mom found David Pogue's Windows usability tips useful.
    https://redmondmag.com/articles/2013/03/01/20-windows-8-tips.aspx

    On the PC, I like Picasa for photo editing and creating "albums" as a way to organize my photos.
    https://picasa.google.com

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    1. You know after I bought my first HP Touchscreen computer, I said that my next computer would be a Mac...yeah right! Here I sit in front of a new HP wondering why I didn't go the Mac route since I love my iPad and I'm more intuitive with Apple products.

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    2. I use Picasa as well. Its easy to use and very versatile.

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  16. Okay, deep breath. Done? Good. Windows 8 is wacko for a while, but you will most likely get used to it eventually. :) Honestly, the very, very best thing I bought when I got my Windows 8 machine was this cute little (and super inexpensive program) Start8 (http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/) It gives you back your start button and loads you to the desktop and then everything once again looks like Win7 and Bjorn Hammerhock's your uncle. :)

    Beyond that, I use photoshop elements to do my photo editing. It snags the pics off my smart card and away we go much like what you were using before. It can be a smidge pricey though, running around $50 depending on where you find it.

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    1. Thanks for the deep breath reminder! Cause last night I was freakin' OUT!!! Today I've been clicking the apps and reading stuff and then I went to my buddy you tube and found a video (in Spanish) that following the pictures I found my photo gallery, pinned it to my task bar and I'm on my way picture wise! Shew!

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  17. I use Picasa for photo editing. Free and easy and does everything I need it to do. Finds all your photos and organizes them by date.

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  18. I understand what a pain in the *&%! it is to get used to a new computer. However, I am sure you will get used to it in time with practice and patience. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Tomasa! I have to admit that I'm not as freaked out today as I was last night.

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  19. getting a new computer is such a pain, but hopefully worthwhile. On a different note - I am looking forward to your new direction in sewing business casual for work. I'll bet you find some fun new paths to take your wardrobe. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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    1. Thanks Beth - a new work wardrobe is presenting an interesting sewing challenge for sure!

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  20. I have my PC set up to start on the desktop but can not remember how I managed it, however I found this blog with an how to, go to the part How to start in desktop mode.
    http://www.techlicious.com/how-to/how-to-stay-in-desktop-on-windows-8-pc/
    I have no link to this blog just hope it helps you.

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  21. I run on Windows 8 and I downloaded the Photoshop Express app for free. I love it! It is super easy to use.

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  22. I totally agree with you about the start-up screen. For pictures I've used Picasa ever since it came out and never even looked at anything else. It's great for organizing and really easy for editing. I'm so behind on reading this you're probably up and running already!

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  23. Not sure if you check comments on old posts, but effective July 29th all Windows 8 users can upgrade to Windows 10 for free. I downloaded it today and it's marvelous! Goodbye horrible start screen and welcome back familiar start menu! Good luck!

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