I am an engineering student. Please help me to construct a GIF file using PowerPoint. For simple animations, could I combine several pictures in a single GIF file?
The latest version of PowerPoint should handle animated GIFs properly. Older versions will show only the first frame of the GIF file.
The easiest way to construct an animated GIF, in my opinion, is to get a copy of GIFBuilder and then paste or import each frame, one by one. GIFBuilder lets you configure every aspect of the animation and even has some great filters for fading in and out, or between frames. It’s very easy to use and gives you good results. —Evan Trent
I recently purchased the DPP-SV55 but I haven’t used it. I was going to return it because the DPI is 403x403. I have an HP DeskJet with 2400x1200; wouldn’t it make better prints?
The DPI values can be deceiving…you can’t compare them directly, because the DPP-SV55 is a dye sub printer and your HP is an inkjet. Of course I don’t know how your DeskJet’s output looks (I have an 870cxi, which is nowhere near the quality of the DPP-SV55), but the DPP-SV55 output is indistinguishable from a print of a film photograph. Also inkjet output tends to fade/discolor over relatively short stretches of time. What your DeskJet can do, however, is print larger prints; the DPP-SV55 maxes out at 4x6. —Paul Fatula
How does it feel typing for prolonged periods? Isn’t the angle of the Coolpad, in effect, tilting against the angle that you’re supposed to be typing at? Looks like a great investment; I just want to be sure I’m keeping the carpal tunnel syndrome demons at bay. :-)
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Many people just turn the Podium CoolPad 180 degrees so they have a negative keyboard tilt. Then just adjust the height to suit you. You can see a picture of this.
Does anyone have more experience with the Datahand? Especially those with severe RSI and who have used Datahand much longer than one month.
Datahand’s site has some testimonials which may be of interest to you. Click on Testimonials, where there are not only soundbites but also a downloadable 95-page (!) PDF containing extensive commentary from a number of users. In a few cases, contact information for a commenter is given. Full names and company names are given as well. One user (pp. 10-11) started off with “so much pain his ability to do his job was severely affected” and reports after four months that while his pain is not gone, he can “type as much as I want.” —Paul Fatula
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Did you follow up on any of the four-year-old information on the company’s home page, particularly the reports about Sarah Lee company using these keyboards? Are there any more recent reports? Any research citations that you can find? (I can’t; the company’s page mentions names and institutions but not journal cites.)
I was able to read Datahand’s page from a Macintosh with iCab, but not with a Wintel PC with Microsoft Explorer 5 later the same day—the latter hangs at their “detect.html” page on which the only active link leads directly to the ATPM review, rather circular.
I’m using a Kinesis after failed carpal tunnel surgery left me in pretty bad shape. I like it OK but am getting more pain as the months go by, and would like to know more about the Datahand—both for Mac and for Intel/PC.
On the Datahand page, if you click “Studies” it shows only a “brief summary,” but in the frame above that, there are links (“Health and comfort,” “speed and fatigue,” etc.) with more extensive information about particular studies and links to the full text of the studies. I’m not sure why you couldn’t access their site with MS IE; I’d guess their site was just down at the time. I don’t have a Windows machine to test from, but I’d be pretty shocked if their site was inaccessible by design from the most popular browser on the most popular platform! —Paul Fatula
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A Google advanced search for “ergonomic keyboard” turned up this site. It has links to ergonomic articles, including one from December of last year from MSNBC that quotes Datahand as saying they’d have an inexpensive, $400-range home user model sometime in 2001.
The Keybowl itself is taking preorders at that price for their no-fingers-at-all input device, which looks very interesting.
The keybowl does look cool; I heard about it a few months back, but alas the Mac version (was then and still) is forthcoming. I can’t find the reference on their page now, but if memory serves when I first checked out their site it said typing speed maxes out at 20-30wpm. If I’m remembering that correctly, that would mean a pretty heavy productivity hit, as opposed to Datahand which studies found offers productivity gains (and which at least in my experience, doesn’t offer any productivity hit after a month of use). I haven’t heard anything about a home user model of Datahand, but I’d really love to see one; I’ll see what I can find out and if I learn anything substantive I’ll post it here. —Paul Fatula
Today was my first experience with ATPM, and your columns have been the most enjoyable aspect. I particularly connected with the “Tidings of Comfort & Joy” and laughed my head off reading “Cast Off Your Vote.”
The first is simply too true, and unfortunately a sign of our times. Common courtesy is considered weak, ineffective, and unnecessary in a culture focused on entitlement for a generation of the ungrateful, selfish, and immature. The latter goes to show why speech writers are paid so well! Most politicians—most people—don’t converse in complete sentences and have difficulty completing a thought, never mind articulating it. It’s entertaining when someone takes the time to assemble these gems into one article.
I’m not surprised that a few people didn’t get it and resorted to profanity. I’ll never forget what Mrs. Kerr, my 7th grade English teacher once said—“Swearing is a sign of a limited vocabulary.” It’s probably not original with her, but for me, she’s the source. That comment has reminded me for over 20 years to be careful with my words. God help me if I ever go into politics (unlikely)!
Congratulations on hitting the 50-column milestone in your writing career! I look forward to catching up on some of the other earlier works, as well as those you turn out in the future.
Thanks for writing! It’s always great to get feedback from our readers, and—hey—when it’s positive, it makes it that much better. I’m glad to see that you like the Cider columns, and, of course, I encourage you to read the whole series. You’ll also be pleased to know that ATPM is just jammed full of product reviews, a guide to interesting Web sites, and other columnists whose views are a lot more understandable than mine.
You might be interested in what I do for my ‘real world’ job—I write speeches for elected officials, and I get a first-hand education in just how our community leaders sound so intelligent…Thanks again for your e-mail, and I look forward to counting you among my loyal readers (I think I might be up to three—or is it four?) —Tom Iovino