The President's Message

December 2002

Andy Toth

The perfect software application, myth or reality. I am currently on that quest, or maybe I've always been on that quest. A few of the vendor presentations discussing digital image processing included Microsoft Digital Image Pro (Picture It), MGI Photosuite, and Adobe Photoshop Elements. Each of these has its pros, cons, and gee whiz tool. Do any of them do exactly what I want to do? Hard to say -- I am not sure of exactly what I want to do. Some things I did not realize could be done. After seeing the capability, I start to envision how I could use this tool. Before I even understand how to use it I am searching for a better or the best way to do it.

Image processing is but one arena of software applications. I am bombarded daily by software that improves something I did not know existed in the first place. There may be something out there that is perfect for me, but I will probably never find it. What I have decided is to select software I will use and learn how to use it before I search for the "Holy Grail" of that type of application. The CIPCUG TOE articles and SIGs have helped me decide on a product set to learn and to help me add new tools to my tool box. I find that I am barely scratching the surface of what is capable. It takes time and effort. Where is this going?

CIPCUG gets a number of requests each month on software to review. Maybe one of these is the perfect one. I plan on having these posted on the Web site. With 300+ members, that diamond in the rough can be found. If each member of the club reviewed a piece of software each year that they used/tried, the TOE would be a new newslwetter. It could even be freeware that was downloaded. I realize that writing an article can be intimidating. It can be a very simple one: Where did it come from, what was it expected to do, did it do it, what did you like or dislike, and, will it continue to be used? Simply put, nothing more than explaining it to someone else. Maybe another member will see that diamond or just want to try it. Think about it. I joined to learn, and learn I have. Each club member has talents and tools that add to and complement the whole, and that is what makes CIPCUG.

I am looking at changing the format of the SIGs. I would to have two of the monthly SIGs be a sequence of three to six months. It does not necessarily have to be the same moderator. The sequence on XP the OS by Rick is well attended. The StarOffice/OpenOffice ended in November with its tenth offering. I am looking for ideas and moderators. One sequence to put together might start with creating a digital photo album, include some digital editing, maybe a little HTML, and end with creating a DVD that friends and relatives could view on their TVs. Sound ambitious. Not for the members of CIPCUG.