Archive for the 'Presentation Stuff' Category

Jul 30 2012

Say “Night, Night” to Long Installation Sessions with Ninite

A new computer is a popular high school graduation gift, and a great one at that! However, getting all your favorite applications and software isn’t as exciting, and can be a very time-consuming process. Luckily, Patrick Swieskowski and Sascha Kuzins–two awesome people at Secure by Design, Inc–have created a way to streamline that process for us!

Click here to visit Ninite, a website with a long list of popular software that you can download in a single bundle.

Ninite Software Options

What would you like to download?

Check the software you want on your machine–Ninite (which takes suggestions of what apps to include) offers a multitude of selections in categories such as browsers, imaging, media, developer, and documents.

This is great if you are (as we hope you are) a devout user of Firefox and Chrome, because your average Windows machine, for instance, comes only with Internet Explorer. How about another free favorite of ours, the imaging app Gimp? Yup! It’s there too.

Ninite's Installer

Easy to download the bundle!

After you’ve made your selections, download the installer and treat it like a dot exe file–execute it! All the programs you want will quickly download. It’s as easy as that!

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Jun 12 2009

Create & Collaborate

This latest cool stuff was pointed out to me by Patrick Murray-John who once again has found a rockin’ tool. Creately is an online tool that lets you create diagrams and designs and collaborate with others on said stuff. This is one of the best programs I have seen for diagram and design collaboration because not only is it intuitive but it also comes jam-packed with lots of useful features and lots of granular control.

Creately Screenshot

The objects are smart and have features that only appear when you need them to by clicking on them. The tool has hundreds of features but does not overwhelm you with a myriad of menus and buttons. The toolbar is simple and elegant too. Images can be stretched, skewed, and inverted. You can change colors, size, font and there is an infinite undo and redo button (yay!). The tool saves revisions so you can revert back (like wikipedia) if necessary. There are lots more features I could talk about but it is better if you go there and try it out for yourself. Creately is a powerful tool and most importantly (to this site at least) it is free!

Collaboration is made easy by clicking the share button in the upper-right hand corner and sending it off to your fellow collaborators. You can also leave comments to discuss the diagram/design and Creately allows you to intelligently point to a specific piece within the diagram/design so other people know exactly what you are talking about. There is little confusion when using this tool, it is really user friendly. Another great feature that is simple but important is the ability to export what you have created. There is the option of creating an image, PDF, XML, or to send it off in an e-mail. You’d be surprised how many tools that work great don’t have great options for exporting what you create, for this Creately gets extra bonus points.

As of today (6/12/09) it is in private beta but, I got an account easily enough and within half an hour I was playing around with Creately. So next time you have a group project that requires designing or diagramming I expect you will enlighten your group about this awesome tool. And go ahead and take the glory for making the group project much easier through your “discovery” of this cool tool, I won’t tell them where you heard about it.

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Mar 27 2009

Spice Up Your Prezintations!

Yes, I know how to spell presentations in case you were wondering. Prezintation is just my bad attempt at a pun in order to turn your attention to

If you somehow missed it, by clicking the little image above you can get a preview of what Prezi does. So click now, I can wait.

Now that you are back you are probably wondering how exactly you can make a sweet presentation like that. Well the first step is to sign up for a free account. The one current drawback is that it is still in private beta, but don’t let that stop you from trying out this cool app.

Next you can check out the learn tab and see how easy it is to create visually appealing presentations. The website says it the best, “Prezi is the ultimate tool for the creative, the child-like, those who want to impress their audience, and those who like shiny objects. It might look scary and confusing first, but it is, in fact, self-explanatory and easy to use”. If you think you fall into one of those catgeories (or many like I do) than Prezi just the tool for you.

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Mar 27 2009

The P Word

Let’s say your professor (as professors often do) has asked you to give a presentation in class. Let’s also say that every other student is using PowerPoint, but you want to do something different. (You creative thinker, you.) Luckily, SfSS has just what you need.

First, if you do have PowerPoint slides but want to spice them up, try slideshare. Once you upload your slides, you can access them from any computer. This means that you won’t have to worry anymore about your PowerPoint file working on the classroom computer! Even better, slideshare lets you add audio to your slides so you can record your own commentary. You can also embed your presentation on a website or blog. It’s even possible for other students (or your professor) to download your slides or tag them. Now isn’t that better than a static PowerPoint presentation? EXAMPLE:

Next up is VoiceThread. This is a super cool website that lets you create a presentation from images, documents, and videos, then add comments. But not just your standard typed comments– you can also record spoken and video comments. This is a great resource for group presentations, because it allows you to collaborate in several ways to create a beautiful final product. As with slideshare, these can be embedded on an external website or downloaded. EXAMPLE:

As usual, we saved the best for last. Looking for a different kind of presentation? Something that is visually appealing without being restricted to a simple series of slides? Try Prezi! Prezi gives you a nonlinear way to design your presentation. Navigate through images, key words, diagrams, and video in a completely new way. In their own words,

Prezi allows anyone who can sketch an idea on a napkin to create and perform stunning non-linear presentations with relations, zooming into details, and adjusting to the time left without the need to skip slides.


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Feb 17 2009

A Spoken Word Is Not A Sparrow…

…Once it flies out, you can’t catch it.

But we are not talking about just any spoken word, we are talking about and this is the kind of stuff that we don’t mind slipping out.

So, what is I am glad you asked because it is a number of things.

First of all it is a directory for audio and video spoken-word recordings. So instead of hitting up google (and we do love google) hit up SpokenWord and you’ll find a plethora of just recordings that can satisfy your audio desires. SpokenWord also has the added benefit of being a user-generated content community. So if you know of some good recordings out there (hey free PR, baby!) you can submit it to the site and get mad Internet-props for not just being a consumer.

Now here is where SpokenWord takes it up a notch. While SpokenWord does not actually host any of the recordings (again just a directory) you can create ‘collections’ and subscribe (like an iTunes podcast) to those audio recordings you dig. SpokenWord can do this through an RSS feed of the recordings and if you aren’t familiar with RSS this quick video is a great way to learn. In addition, you can subscribe to your own collection or others users collections in iTunes (or whatever feed reader you choose). I know you are asking, how will I find other people’s collections or more importantly how will people find my awesome collection of audio recordings? Simple, you can tag your collection with various key terms that will help you find what you are looking for and help people find you.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up, contribute, and share – the wheels of the web don’t run if users like you don’t move.

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Jan 07 2009

Posters That Can Do More Than Hang on a Wall

Binder clip poster hanging

This kind of poster is nice, too.

These days, when we think about giving a presentation it’s tempting to just fire up PowerPoint, throw together a few slides, and call it a day. Well, for those of you hankering for a different way to present your stuff, we give you Glogster.

Glogster, an entirely online service, bills itself as “a revolutionary way of expressing your mood, feelings and ideas.” In a nutshell, it allows you to create an online poster, into which you can embed photos, video, and audio. The service also provides you with a bunch of stylized text containers, image widgets, photo frames, and background to deck your poster out.

All of your editing is done entirely through the Web browser, using some simple but slick toolbars. Once you’re done, you just give your poster a name and save it. If you want, you can make it private; otherwise, sharing it is as simple as giving people the URL. Glogster also has built in tools to share your posters onĀ  social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. If your poster is just composed of images and text, you can even print it out from within Glogster. (In fact, we recommend doing this or printing your poster to a PDF file so that you’ve got a copy of it. Free Web services are awesome, but you should always try and keep a copy of your stuff, just in case.)

While Glogster really imagines itself more as a service for sharing your personal lives, we think there’s a great opportunity to use it for class presentations, science posters, and other academic assignments. In fact, Glogster has recently put up a site aimed just at the educational sector. You might want to browse other students’ posters there.

As always, we think you should get in there and use Glogster to really see what it is all about. And then come back and tell us what you think.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Dano

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