Thank You South Africa!

What an amazing week I just had in South Africa! Johannesburg and Cape Town were the last two international stops of our Adobe CS6 and Creative Cloud World Tour and I must say that South Africa pulled out all the stops.

Flying over Johannesburg!

Kicking the week off with a special Nikon V.I.P. event at the Nikon South Africa Headquarters!

The crowds were great in both Johannesburg and Cape Town!

As you can see, they really got into Adobe CS6 :-)

Both cities offered a FULL DAY event and there was very little drop off by the end of the day.

Jason, Paul and I not only enjoyed our time presenting, but it was great to interact with you all live via social media.

Of course free t-shirts are always fun to toss out at random.

I gave my Nikon D4 a work out here in South Africa and this beast really performs.

It’s always great when fans come up and ask us questions.

I must say that Jason was really getting into it. He’s is crowd activated and the South African crowds got him going. The hair came down and the spontaneous singing began. Good thing he’s a musician too :-)

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Who Owns The Shot?

Image compliments of iStockphoto.com

Nothing sparks passion and debate like a good ole’ fashion copyright discussion. I’m sure this question has been asked before and probably answered, but I thought I’d ask it here and see what my readers feel…

If someone picks up your camera and snaps a photo, who owns it?

Yes technically it’s your camera and you physically have possession of the shot, but whose copyright is it? Does it matter if you gave permission to use your camera or not?

Sound off in the comment section…

Monoprice: So much more than low cost cables

 

Over the years I’ve published posts about spending too much money on cables. When you go to retail store to buy your electronics those stores typically lower the cost of the gadgets themselves to remain competitive (otherwise you’d just buy online or down the street). However, they tend to recoup that lost revenue in other areas and services such as cables. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen a sells rep bring out a $100+ Monster HDMI cable explaining to the customer how much they really need a “quality” cable. I agree! You should have a quality cable. The problem is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I’ve got some really low cost HDMI and Ethernet cables over the years that are still in operation to this day without any problems.

Whenever I bring up the topic of low cost cables, someone enviably calls out monoprice.com. Monoprice has become my goto source for low cost/high quality cables of all types. Especially HDMI, USB and Ethernet. The prices are almost too good to be true and the quality of the cables is outstanding!

The point of today’s post is that Monoprice is more than just cables. I wanted to mount a 32″ HDTV on the wall in my office. What I didn’t want to do was pay an arm and a leg for the mounting bracket. This is another source of revenue for retailers. These brackets can easily cost $100 or more. A quick search on Monoprice.com revealed that not only could I get the bracket I needed a fraction of the cost, but it even offered a nifty built-in level. I ordered my bracket, installed my HDTV and I couldn’t be happier. It came with everything to mount the bracket to the wall/studs as well as the necessary screws to attach the TV to the bracket. It came with a variety of different screws for all kinds of wall materials and different TVs.

 

The next time you want to save money on cables and accessories, check them out!

 

Review: The 2012 AirPort Express – I love it, I hate it!

One of my favorite road warrior gadgets is the AirPort Express. I have several of them for AirPlay streaming around the house and studio as well as at least one with me at all times when I travel (it lives in my bag). See “What’s In My Laptop Bag.” I never had an issue with the design of it. I actually appreciated the simplicity of it being a compact self-contained router with flip out prongs to plug it into a wall outlet for power. It was fast, easy to setup and it just worked. Now that I not only have to demo cloud services for living, but also mobile Apps, I really appreciate being able to setup my own WiFi network on stage as well as my hotel rooms. The previous generation AirPort Express had 802.11n support as well as AirPlay and supported up to 10 devices simultaneously connected. It even supports connecting a USB printer for easy wireless printing. Yep, it was just about perfect what it was.

 

Apple changed it!

The new AirPort Express on top now comes with a freakin’ cord! Noooooooooo!

 

Apple quietly introduced a brand new AirPort Express model on Monday at the WWDC (along with new MacBooks and iOS 6 – yeah there was a speed bump to the Mac Pro too – sad that it’s virtually the same chassis as the Power Mac G5 and got no Thunderbolt or USB 3 love…). Although I was most excited about the new MacBook line up, I was quick to take a look at the New AirPort Express too. While the specs looked great, I cringed when I saw the back of it. Apple has gone away from the all-in-one design to one that is almost identical of the Apple TV. By that I mean that it now requires a power cord. This may not seem like a big deal and maybe it isn’t (I’ll be on the road with it next week), but I certainly will miss just flipping out the prongs and plugging it in!

The new one is slightly wider, but also slightly thinner.

On the plus side Apple added a second Ethernet jack so that you can connect not only the ethernet cable to your internet connection, but also plug in a device via ethernet for speed. Sadly though these still aren’t gigabit ethernet ports. Not sure how much I’ll need that second port on the road, but it’s nice to have. The new AirPort Express is also dual band (like the AirPort Extreme) simultaneously supporting 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz WiFi connected devices. It still has AirPlay and a USB port for printers as well as support now for up to 50 devices. It’s that last one that pushed me over the edge. While I personally don’t need more than 10 connections on the road, there are times when I’m using the AirPort Express on stage and sharing it with other presenters and perhaps a colleague or two in the audience. With laptops, tablets and phones connecting to it, it’s much easier to go past 10 devices than it was back in the day.

Setup

The setup is a piece of cake as usual with the AirPort Utility. You can even do the setup from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the iOS version of the AirPort Utility. Now you can even setup a guest network like you can on the AirPort Extreme granting those users just internet access instead of access to your entire network.

AirPort Utility - Apple

The Bottom Line

New AirPort Express on the Left, Old AirPort Express on the right.

The 2012 AirPort Express is overall a nice upgrade at the same price as the old one. It’s about the same size as the old one being a little thinner, but a little bigger overall. I wished they had kept an all-in-one design as I don’t want to have to have one more cord to carry, but I’m sure I’ll be able to adjust. If you have a recent 802.11n model then there probably isn’t much of a reason to upgrade. However, if you’re on an older 802.11b/g model or you use one at home as your primary router, then you’ll want the new stuff in this one.

You can get it here for $99 or here for about $99.

 

UPDATE

Leave it to my buddy Scott Diussa from Nikon to give me an option. Apparently the plug adapter for the Nikon D7000 battery charger will fit the New AirPort Express and work in a pinch. It’s not elegant. It’s not pretty, but it does work. Now if it were only white. :)

Update #2 While the Nikon plug does fit (so does the original Apple one), it slightly blocks the WAN port making it a non-starter. :(

iStockphoto Integrates with Adobe Creative Suite 6

iStockphoto panel showing in InDesign CS6 and a drag and drop of a comp image right into the layout.

I use images (and now video and audio) from iStockphoto all the time. In many cases the images I’m using are for blog posts, however there are times when I’ll use stock photography for layouts too. iStockphoto is my service of choice and needless to say I couldn’t be more excited to find out that they now have plug-ins/Extensions for both Photoshop and InDesign.

With the iStockphoto Extension installed I can do searches right inside Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign for the images I may want to use. I can even drag and drop comps right from the panel into my documents. Since I’m logged in with my same iStockphoto account I can keep a check on my available credits as well as buy royalty free images right there on the spot to use.

There is no charge for the Extension. You can download it here. Once you install it, you can grab the panel from the Window-Extensions menu in either Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign.

Thanks iStockphoto for making the design process a little easier!

CS6 Tour: Thank You Buenos Aires, Santiago and Lima!

Last week we wrapped up the South America leg of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Tour. We kicked things off in Buenos Aires with a slightly smaller crowd, but the CS6 enthusiasm was in the air nonetheless.

Then we moved on to Santiago Chile for a capacity crowd and probably one of the best stage setups that I’ve seen on the tour to date!

This giant projection wall accommodated multiple projectors for a seamless video wall experience.

The last stop in South America was Lima Peru. The first thought that came to mind was “we’re gonna need a bigger boat”.

I was overwhelmed by the attendance at this venue. Not only was the main presentation room full to capacity, but even the overflow room was shoulder to shoulder.

Lima is a beautiful city as well as Santiago and Buenos Aires! Can’t wait to go back…

Thanks everyone for attending and I hope to see you again soon! You can follow the tour here at the CS6 Tour Site (built with Adobe Muse).

Review: Gear4 AirZone Series 1 AirPlay Speaker

I’m a fan of AirPlay Speaker Systems. To date my favorites are the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air and the iHome AW1. Just recently the Gear4 AirZone Series 1 crossed my desk. I decided to give it a try. I grade AirPlay speakers on 3 criteria: Ease of setup, No skipping and of course sound quality. Let’s get started:

The out of the box experience

The AirZone Series 1 offers a decent out of the box experience. Much easier than the Zeppelin Air, but not nearly as easy as the iHome’s Setup App. With the AirZone you simply turn it on and navigate to the WiFi menu using the wireless remote. From there you can scroll through the available networks and then hit the enter button on the one you want to connect to. Sadly to enter your network password you have to scroll through the alphabet letter by letter like many game console onscreen setups. Fortunately this is the most difficult part of the setup. After I entered my password, the AirZone connected to my WiFi network and showed up immediately on my iDevices and iTunes.

No Skipping

So far, I haven’t had a single skip. The music has been continuous. This is probably due to the fact that the AirZone has a physical external antenna for the WiFi connection. I hate AirPlay speakers that skip or have dropouts due to weak connections.

Sound

The sound is as good as the iHome iW1, but not as good as the more expensive Zeppelin Air. In other words you get what you pay for. I do however appreciate the fact that the AirZone does have a built-in EQ.

The Bottom Line

The AirZone offers decent competition in this $200-$300 range of AirPlay speakers. It also offers a built-in dock, AM-FM radio and Audio In port so that you can listen to other sources besides those on AirPlay.  I also appreciate the fact that the AirZone displays the name of the current track on the LCD.

You can get the Gear4 AirZone Series 1 AirPlay Speaker here.

Innergie 3-in-1 Magic Cable: The only USB Cable You’ll Need In Your Bag

Because I travel for a living, I’m always looking for ways to consolidate and have smaller peripherals and gadgets. I carry a bunch of cables because I never know what I might need. This also includes a variety of USB cables. I carry iOS Device Sync/Charge Cables, USB Micro cables for charging things like my Jawbone BT headset and a USB mini cable for connecting hard drives.

The Innergie 3-in-1 Cable does it all

This one cable allows me to connect or charge the vast majority of devices that I carry. I can use it to charge/sync my iPhone or iPad. I can use it to connect a USB hard drive and I can use it to charge a variety of my USB peripherals such as my Logitech Ultrathin iPad Keyboard, Jawbone BT Era Headset or Jambox. The design is pretty cool. All 3 connectors are available by simply unplugging down to the one you need. If you need the iDevice 30 pin connector, then simply plug all 3 together. If you need one either the USB micro or mini just unplug the connector above it and pivot out the one you need.

My only complaint with this cable is that it’s very short (20cm). It’s fine for connecting to your computer, but if you’re going to plug something into a wall charger then you’re probably going to want it to be longer. You can use an extension cable like this one. The only other downside is that you can only use one type of connector at a time. This means that you’ll still need to carry multiple cables if you want to charge multiple devices at once.

I got a couple of these to keep in each of my bags. Now I know I’ll always have the right USB cable.

You can get the Innergie 3-in-1 Cable here.

Play LevelUp for Photoshop and win!

Download a Photoshop extension that not only makes it fun to learn image editing but may even earn you Amazon gift cards or a year’s subscription to the Creative Cloud.

LevelUp for Photoshop is a game of missions that help you learn basic Adobe Photoshop skills. You complete missions to get points and badges. The more you interact with the game and learn about Photoshop, the more points you earn!

Starting on June 15, 2012, every 400 points gives you an entry in a weekly drawing to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card. One lucky person will win our grand prize, a year’s subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

You can download the extension here. The contest will run from June 15 through July 15, 2012.

Playing the Game

Once you download LevelUp for Photoshop and install it, go to Window>Extension>Level Up for Photoshop to launch the game panel. The game begins with a mission to correct red eye. You can use the supplied image or one of your own. Accomplish the task in fewer steps to rack up higher points. You also earn points by sharing your progress on Facebook and Twitter, passing quizzes, and more.

There are many other missions, including removing unwanted objects, turning a photo into an oil painting, and replacing colors.

You’ll need Photoshop CS6 or CS6 to play. If you don’t own CS6, you can download the free trial version here .

For more about the contest, see the game’s Facebook page and the game’s microsite. The LevelUp for Photoshop hashtag is #levelupforPS.

 

How To Create Photo Slideshows for Your Website With Adobe Muse

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast Terry White shows How to Create A Photo Slideshow For Your Website With Adobe Muse. Whether you’re a photographer or just someone who wants to put a photo gallery on the web, it couldn’t be easier than the steps you’ll see in this tutorial.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

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