Ebooks by TCDavis

 

Double Exposure ebook cover
What might a Vietnam combat veteran discover about himself as he revisits the country he fought in forty two years ago? TCDavis, a pastor turned photographer, and former naval adviser to a South Vietnamese junk base, reveals his answer in Double Exposure: A Veteran Returns to Vietnam, an exciting and thought-provoking memoir of 22 photo-illustrated reflections.  See my video, Returning to Vietnam.
A reader wrote in her Amazon.com review:
“The book will be of interest to anyone who wishes to have a better understanding of the effects of war on the individual and the healing journey that comes after. I also found it interesting to read about the Vietnam that has emerged from all those years of war, a vibrant and prosperus place. I highly recommend this book.”

Kindle version here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008Y2FOS4.

Get other digital reader versions: for Nook, Sony, etc. at Smashwords.com.

How to Run SoundSlides Plus on Linux

winehq_logo_glassBy first installing Wine you can run Soundslides Plus on Linux.This CyberKenBlog post tells how to install SoundSlides Plus using Wine.

An Introduction to SoundSlides

First, a brief intro.  Soundslides has been a favorite software of photojournalists for at least a decade.  It allows them to quickly put together a short slideshow and perfectly synchronize the timing of each slide to shifts in music or narration by dragging the edges of each slide along the Soundslides timeline.  When a project is finished, Soundslides exports a flash show folder which can then be uploaded by FTP to the public html level of a server.  Internet viewers can then view the show in their web browsers by typing in the url of that folder.

Soundslides can be set to display slides at various sizes, even full screen if you’re adept at coding (not covered in this post.)  I like to set my shows large. This makes slides about half the area of my 14″ screen with a black border all around.

You can download SoundSlides Plus for Mac or Windows, but you’ll have to use Wine to run it on Linux.

Options for Installing Wine on Linux

Here are two options:

1. It’s best to use the software manager of your Linux distribution.

2. Or, type into your terminal window:

sudo su Then enter your password when prompted.
then type: add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa -y
then type: apt-get update
finally, type: apt-get install wine

Either method installs wine and all the files which it depends upon.

Configuring Wine on Linux

Next, you have to configue Wine to accept Windows program files.  Open a terminal window and type into it:  winecfg

This puts the folder, .wine, into your Linux home folder.  To make that .wine folder visible, double left click on your home folder in your file system and under the View menu select “show hidden files”.  This allows you to see all folders that begin with a dot.

Now double left click on the .wine folder unside your home folder.  Next, double left click on the drive_c folder, and then double left click on the Program Files folder.  Leave that window open.  Its path is:  /home/your user name/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/.

Now go to the SoundSlides official website and download a demo copy of SoundSlides for Windows.  You will receive in your Downloads folder a file named SoundslidesPlusinstaller.exe.  Put that file into the window you left open of the Program Files folder.

Right click on the Program Files folder, hover over the “open with” choice and select “Open with ‘Wine Windows Program Loader”.  Then follow the setup instructions.  It’s good to check the box entitled “Launch Soundslides” because otherwise it may be difficult for you to know how to launch it the first time.

Click on “install”.

How to Display a Soundslides Plus Show

If you have followed the above steps correctly, Soundslides should launch.  The demo copy will allow you to create and export a Soundslides show. When you export a soundslides show its folder always has the name, “publish to web”.  You will find that folder inside the Program Files folder in this path:  /home/your user name/.wine/drive_c/Program Files.

It’s a good idea to rename the “publish to web” folder, because subsequent Soundslides exports will also have that name, and you don’t want to get them mixed up.  When you rename, use all small letters, and add an underscore between words.  Try to keep the name short because it will be easier to remember.  When you have renamed the folder, upload it by FTP to the public_html level of your server.  Here’s an example:  http://cyberkenblog.com/returning_to_vietnam.

Registering Soundslides Plus

To register Soundslides Plus you will either need to buy your demo copy, or, if you have already registered a Windows copy of Soundslides, have Soundslides reset your registration key under the heading “Lost your licenses from a previous order?” on this page: http://support.soundslides.com/.

After you close SoundSlides Plus how do you find its .exe file to launch it again?  Go back to the Program Files folder in this path:  /home/your user name/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/.  You will find the SoundSlidesPlus.exe file there.  By double clicking on it you can Launch SoundSlides Plus.  My Mint installation of Wine automatically placed a shortcut to SoundSlidesPlus in my start menu when I installed Wine.  Maybe your distribution of Linux will do the same.  At any rate, you can place an alius of that .exe file wherever you find it most convenient.

 

FocusWriter, a Free Cross-Platform Editor for Writers

focuswriter_thumbnail

 

Clear your writing space and perhaps your mind too, with FocusWriter, a free cross-platform editor for writers.

FocusWriter works on Mac, Windows, and Linux.  I recommend this video tutorial explaining its features.

Don’t be discouraged by the small display size of text in FocusWriter.  That’s the default setting, but you can change it.  Here’s how:

  • Hover your cursor at the top of the screen and click on “settings.”
  • Then click on Themes, then Modify, then Text.
  • On that Text page you can select the font, the font size, and color.  By clicking on the background tab you can choose the color of the background on which the text displays.  You can also upload a photograph to serve as your writing background.  I’m using a black and white photo I took on a foggy day walking in the park.

I had to dig a little to discover how to use the scenes list window which appears on the left of your screen when you hover your cursor there.  The scenes list is for finding your way around quickly in a long document, instead of scrolling.  Let’s say you’re writing a long document and you want to place some markers within it to which you can return with one click.  To place a marker just hit the return key and then type ## and hit the return key again.  Every time you type ## you place a bookmark in the long text.  Those bookmarks include a few lines of following text, so that you can those lines in the scenes list window.  By clicking on any of those brief line excerpts you will immediately be taken to that place in your long text.  No scrolling required!

If you once used a typewriter and you miss the sound of the tapping keys and the carriage return, you can simulate that with FocusWriter under Preferences.   You’ll find other useful features there, like setting a timer, and getting a word count for your page, and saving what you’re working on in a session so that you can easily return to it later.

Although I have several other ways to put words on a page, I really like FocusWriter for my special writing projects.  Hope you do too!

 

How to Use YouTube Editor to Make Narrated Slideshows

youtube_logoThis CyberKen post explains how to use YouTube Editor to make narrated slideshows. YouTube Editor, found at www.youtube.com/editor, serves as an excellent free, cross-platform video editing resource. No matter what kind of computer students own they will be able to learn  basics of video editing with YouTube Editor.

To make a narrated slideshow you will need an image track, consisting of your selection of still images to tell a story, and a narration track which is synchronized to the flow of images.  Here’s how to produce each:

Preparing a slideshow video track with YouTube

To convert image files into a slideshow using YouTube:

  • Visit the upload page on YouTube
  • Click “Create” under “Photo Slideshow
  • Upload photos from your computer, or select photos from an existing Google+ photo album, and click “Select”
  • Drag and drop the photos to rearrange them. When you’re done, click “Next” and proceed to render this as a video without a soundtrack.  (You will add the sound track later by following the steps below.

Recording a narration for an online slideshow

This CyberKen blog post explains how to record a narration synchronized for an online slideshow using Movie Maker:

http://cyberkenblog.com/how-to-synchronize-a-narration-track-with-slides-using-windows-movie-maker/

(A similar process can be followed using other video editors besides Movie Maker.)

Please Note: In order to place a narration sound file into your YouTube Editor’s audio library you have to make a video with it (consisting of an image file and a sound file, because YouTube won’t recognize just a sound file alone. You can use Movie Maker, iMovie, or another video editor to make your narration video. Just use a still photo for the visual track and your recorded narration for the sound track. Render this as a .WMV or .MOV or .MP4 video and upload it to YouTube. It willl then become accessible in the YouTube Editor library.  Make sure to remember what you called it, because you will have to search by the title to find it in your YouTube Editor’s audio library. From there you can drag it onto the audio track in the YouTube Editor.