By Christina Tynan-Wood; Illustrations by Chris Arran
Finally in possession of the digital camera of my dreams, I now take so many pictures, my family refers to me as the paparazzi. I also have a ton of photos taken with older cams. It got to the point that there were so many images scattered around my computer that finding a particular snapshot was an all-day project. Not anymore. I downloaded Picasa 3, picasa.google.com, and it hunted all over my hard drive (while I enjoyed a cup of coffee) and created a visual catalog of every image. Now I just scroll through these thumbnail-size pics to find what I need. I also use Picasa to do quick fixes as warranted -- crop badly framed shots to make portraits and eliminate red-eye and blemishes.
I am so frugal that I flat-out refuse to pay for anything beyond the most basic-level cable service. My kids sometimes complain about this alleged injustice when they attempt to channel surf and there is literally nothing going on TV-wise. When that happens, I remind them we are geeks, hook up a laptop to the television and head to hulu.com. Suddenly there's plenty to watch: The Daily Show, Family Guy, Bones, Chuck, The Office, and lots of other good stuff along with full-length feature films and movie trailers. There are ads -- and no, Smarty, you can't fast-forward through them -- but you can search for the very thing you want to watch, like a certain show or actor, or more works by a specific director, or watch an entire series in sequence instead of tracking episodes being broadcast on the networks or cable stations. Provided you have broadband Internet, this is fab. As for the hilarious promos starring the incomparable Alec Baldwin -- well, consider them the icing on the cake.