Friday, February 20, 2009

WordPress & Picasa


WordPress is the most popular web blogging software because it provides:

- Ease of use. WordPress is suitable for just about anybody - from the absolute novice to the advanced programmer.

- Feature-rich interface. WordPress has a rich text editor with advanced multimedia support;

- Expandable. WordPress's community distributes a large number of modules for almost any popular website feature;

- It is Open Source. This means it is free to install, use and distribute Wordpress on your site.


Picasa is a free photo organization and editing tool from Google, and for a free program, it really has a lot to offer. Picasa is desktop software that runs on Windows, and it can be downloaded from

After you install Picasa, it asks you if you'd like to scan your entire computer or if you'd like to scan just the desktop, my photos, and my documents folders. I'd really suggest restricting your search to just those folders, unless you've got more than one hard drive or you've been storing photos in odd locations.

When Picasa scans your entire computer, you'll get cached Internet files, graphics from computer programs, and other images that you probably don't need in your photo album. You can remove files later, but it's easier not to import them in the first place.

You can also import photos directly from a digital camera, which is a handy way to keep them organized from the start.

Organize Your Photos

Picasa will organize your photos by date and initially retains the same file structure as your hard drive. The main area shows thumbnails of the images, and along the right side is a scroll bar to navigate. Thumbnails in the library are grouped by folder, but they're all displayed (with some scrolling.) This means that you don't have to repeatedly click to navigate to a new folder, which is a nice touch.

You can move thumbnails from folder to folder directly from Picasa, and it will confirm and then move the corresponding file on your hard drive. This makes it much easier to organize albums.

By double clicking on a photo, you can enter an editing room to crop, fix red eye, straighten photos, adjust color, and apply special effects like film grain or soft focus. The editing room even has an I'm Feeling Lucky button, just like the Google search engine, which automatically applies recommended effects.

Overall, the effects are pretty advanced for a free software program. You don't get as much control as you would in an advanced photo-editing package like Adobe Photoshop, of course, but the options and controls for photo editing are still really nice.

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