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ATPM 14.08
August 2008




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Photoshop: Speech/Thought Bubbles

If you press the “Shift” key as you draw each subsequent oval, it adds them to the same layer without cutting and pasting. Also, you can just select each layer that an oval is on and click the box next to the “eye” icon to “link” the layers. Once you have “chains” on all the layers you want to link, click the options area of the layer navigator and select “merge linked.” This will save a lot of time moving things around.

—Michael C. Prokop

Thanks, that’s a great tip!

—Lee Bennett

Performing a Video Extraction

Sylvester and Lee, many thanks for this article and comments. I can’t tell you how much time I have spent searching for information on how to convert MPEG 2 files for editing in iMovie 08. I already had the tools, but although MPEG Streamclip is a super handy tool, its help file is abysmal. Now I know what to do and I am about to do it—again—for the umpteenth time.

—Cliff Newman

Cliff encountered a few more issues. Please check out his questions and see if you can help.

Phaser 8200

I know that this article is a couple of years old now. But I thought it might be worth it to mention a workaround for maintenance kits expiring too soon. As a matter of fact, no matter how much copies you have printed, the Phaser 8200 will prompt you to change the kit after one year of use. The first time this happened to me was some months ago (I bought the printer last year—used). However, the printer reported that the maintenance kit still had a capacity of about 95%. So, I didn’t feel the need to spend half a fortune on a new kit. Why should I? The trick was to set back the date in the printer setup! I changed it from April 2008 to January 2008. That’s all. Just set back the internal date setting some months, and you will be able to use the maintenance kit to 100%.

—Frank Arensmeier


I love reading Cortland each month. I try to put it off as long as I can, but by the 5th of each month, I’ve already read it and now I’m impatiently waiting for next month’s strip.

—Grover Watson

Photoshop: When Reality Isn’t Real Enough

I very much resent these post-production changes to pictures. I’d much rather get the real picture even if it’s grainy or has reflections. Of course I make an exception for entertainment (such as movies), but for advertisements and for news photography please just give me the real thing.


Thank you for sharing your opinion. As a communication and journalism worker, I’m well aware of the potential issues with replacing portions of a photograph.

I should’ve been clear that I, also, do not condone photo manipulation for hard news. You are correct to imply that such manipulation distorts fact.

Manipulation for other purposes, however, can be OK. Obviously, people can do whatever they wish to personal photos.

In the case of my cover photo used in this month’s tutorial, that story, as well as most all stories in which I have a hand, are feature- and profile-oriented. What I generally hear from others in the business is that illustrative photos (with such manipulations) are acceptable if the story’s purpose is not to report hard news. Our goal was to show the man and a computer with his Web site, and not to show exactly how the site appeared on a computer screen at the time the photo was taken.

As for advertisements—well, wow, that’s a touchy one. We all know good and well that ads practically never use unaltered photos. People would probably never buy anything if they did. All it takes is a comparison of the food seen in an Olive Garden commercial to the food seen in a small restaurant’s commercial with a locally hired video team who came out to film actual plates the restaurant prepared. I actually helped make one of those commercials many years ago. The fact is, “real” food does not often look as appetizing as the spiffed-up food used in big-budget advertising.

The issue is a complex one. One might argue that if a digital photo was taken with the wrong white balance, and you color correct it, that’s manipulation. In fact, long before the photo gets to the computer, the photographer is doing a certain amount of manipulation just by how he or she frames the photo. The “facts” of the news seen in a photo can be entirely different based solely on whether the photographer chooses to keep a person standing off to the side in or out of the photo frame.

So, even hard news photos are always just a representation of the truth and may not be literal fact. Here’s what it comes down to: does the particular photo’s representation of truth aid or hinder understanding of what is being seen? If a manipulation truly aids understanding, then I’m in favor of it. For my photo, inserting a screen image at a later time does, in fact, aid understanding, especially since the image I inserted is the same image that would have been showing had we left the monitor turned on—albeit not as clearly.

—Lee Bennett

Wow, thanks for the reply. Apparently there is intelligent life out there in the Internet.

I agree that the facts that a picture represents have already been altered, or at least chosen, long before the light hits the film (or sensor). I don’t have a solution for that, other than for everything that happens anywhere to be recorded and be available for replay (kind of like a video version of Google Street View).

Given three types of photos (ads, news, entertainment), I can accept manipulation for entertainment. But for ads, I’m tired of continually being forced to filter everything I see. When I see a print ad for a TV or a computer, I know that the screen has been superimposed. It’s easier just to not believe anything in any advertisement than it is to examine every ad and re-calibrate it to reality.


It’s definitely something that can be problematic in advertising. Sometimes, the manipulation is done in a believable manner. But, when I see things like a Mac OS X screen superimposed on an Acer laptop computer (yes, I’ve actually seen that), then it’s getting pretty ridiculous.

I get some kicks out of the entries posted to the Photoshop Disasters Web site—manipulations that definitely distort facts…literally!

—Lee Bennett

Wii Transfer 2.5.2

Thanks for the review! One quick comment about navigation. You can use the Wii remote directional pad arrows to go back and to click through menus. I realize this isn’t obvious, so I hope to do a better job of exposing the feature in a future version.

—Manton Reece

Thank you for pointing out this navigation tip. I failed to give the navigations buttons on the remote a try.

—Lee Bennett

EyeTV 3.0.2 (3953)

Thank you for a well-tested review. I agree with your conclusions whole-heartedly after testing the new software and going back to EyeTV 2.5. The editing window is a disaster.

As an owner with both EyeTV Hybrid and Turbo.264, I have noticed a marked trend in their software. I feel there are fewer options and less control than what should be available, especially when compared to previous versions. Turbo.264 has been my biggest disappointment, with EyeTV 3.x being my second—especially since during the previous five years I was happy with Elgato’s other products, including hardware and software.

One thing you might not have experienced is Elgato’s “new” support system based on forums. It is basically a PR exercise, since any topic replies from Elgato staff spin any issue to their advantage (such as mentioning other features) and avoiding the topic subject. Of course, there are many other companies that have turned this way for tech support…but in my opinion it is not a good trend.

Elgato was once one of my favorite companies because I could trust their hardware and software to be top quality. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been my experience in the last year.

—Andrew Kator

• • •

I agree with many of the comments the reviewer makes of EyeTV 3.0.2, but I’ve been using EyeTV 3.0.2 for a while under 10.4.11 and have never experienced a program crash necessitating a restart. It’s been totally stable.

There is one other niggle, and that is that the audio by default will be set to stereo, bleeding for example a commentary for the blind into the mix, even though mono was selected before closing the program. Stereo audio also sounds echoing on some channels without additional audio on a sub-channel. I’ve reported this to Elgato, and they acknowledged it and are working on the audio.

—Stuart Hertzog

• • •

You can reorder favorite channels.

In the list view for the Favorite Channel list, click on the small leftmost column header. It has no label until selected, then shows a triangle. Once selected, you can drag and drop the channels.


Thanks! Yes, that works. I never noticed that you could change a Favorite Channel list to list view; the view icons are at the bottom right of the window, rather than at the top as they are for playlists. (In fact, this isn’t even a new feature in 3.0; channels can be re-ordered in list view in 2.5 as well!)

—Paul Fatula

• • •

As a largely happy version 2.5 user I am dismayed by the frequent “upgrade to 3” pop-up windows which completely cover the television we happen to be watching.

To dismiss these ads I must get up from the couch and hit Esc on the attached keyboard (it took me a while to figure this out).

Unchecking the preference in EyeTV to look for updates did nothing to stop these infuriating windows.

This is a problem makes me feel resentful towards the thought that I could fix this by actually upgrading. What assurance do I have that version 3 will not do this when version 4 comes out?

Thanks Paul for drawing attention to the problems relating to recording what you are watching with a delay. For a reference of the expected behavior take careful note of how iTunes handles playing a CD while you are ripping it into your digital collection.

—Ollie B

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