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.

FocusWriter, a Free Cross-Platform Editor for Writers

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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.

 

Three Free Internet Time Saving Tools

If you visit a lot of websites in your daily work you might like to try these three free internet time saving tools:

  • Instapaper
  • Last Pass
  • Now Do This

Instapaper

clockInstapeper is a free service that instantly copies the content of a webpage you are viewing and pastes that content into a running list of saves at your Instapepr account.  After you have opened your Instapaper account, install the Instapaper extension for your internet browser.

For Firefox use these instructions:  https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/instaright-social-bookmarks/.

For the Safari browser, use these:  http://safariextensions.tumblr.com/post/679928743/instafari-06-09-10.

For the Chrome browser go here:  https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/instapaper/ldjkgaaoikpmhmkelcgkgacicjfbofhh.

For Kindle:  A service similar to Instapaper can be set up using these instructions:  http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/browser_extension_week_send_kindle.

Last Pass

Logging into websites can take a lot of time, especially if you can’t remember where you recorded your password or user name.  Last Pass is a free online password vault which keeps a secure record of your user name and password for whatever websites you want it to remember.  Not only that, when you decide to change a password or user name at any site already in your vault, Last Pass asks whether you want to record the change.  Last Pass provides an option of logging you in automatically as soon as you visit a site.  This saves lots of time!  Skeptics may wonder whether keeping passwords in the cloud is safe. To be as safe as I can be I change my Last Pass password every two weeks and sporadically change other passwords and record the changes in LastPass. With Last Pass you need remember only one password:  your Last Pass one which gives you access to all the others.  MAKE SURE TO WRITE THAT MASTER PASSWORD DOWN and keep the paper in a safe place, because Last Pass does not provide master password retrieval.

Some pointers in crafting your LastPass password:

Don’t use any dictionary words.  These can be easily hacked by powerful computers which run through options exceedingly fast.

Don’t use a password or part of a password from another website. 

Don’t use a password containing your name or your user name. 

Use a short phrase or sentence as a memory aid.  I find that an excellent way to craft a secure password that’s easy for me to remember is to make up a sentence or phrase of about eight to ten words which relates to something very personal, something which no one else is likely to know.  I use the first letter of each word in this sentence or phrase for my password.  Then, I throw in a number, a punctuation mark, and capitalize at least one of the letters.  Then, of course, I write down the password on paper, and also write down the sentence or phrase.  Very soon, by remembering that sentence or phrase I commit my master password to memory.  I repeat this procedure every two weeks to insure that I have done as much as I can to make Last Pass very secure.  I might also mention that I do not use Last Pass to log into any site involving money transactions.  If I get hacked, I don’t want my pocket picked!

Now Do This

Nowdothis.com is a website where you enter to-do items in a window.  As you accomplish an item you click “done” and it comes off the list, showing you the next thing to do in the stack.  Very quick, very easy.  Now Do This works well for me when I pin its tab in my browser (accomplished in Firefox by right clicking on its tab and selecting “pin tab”).  This reduces the width of the tab, and prevents my accidentally closing the tab.  I slide my pinned tabs to the left where I can click on them to see their content.  If I want to close a pinned tab, I right click on it and select “unpin tab.” Then I can close that tab in the usual fashion.