Copy Stores Fail To See An Opportunity.

On April 18, 2019, a redacted version of the Mueller Report was released to the public. Within hours of the release, downloaded versions were available in .pdf format from a number of sources.  I personally like print.  I like to highlight and make margin notes.  I contacted my local Staples store and found out that each page would cost about 12 cents.  The report has something over 400 pages which comes out to be about $48.  Amazon shows that a book form will be out about April 30th for $9.20.   Any copy store like Staples has a brief window where they could offer to print the book at a really good price. This just might be a clever promotion to get customers into their stores, a loss leader.  Counter to that is that some right wing nuts might find this objectionable.  I tried to use Staples web site to share this view but of course they think they know every subject matter and failed to offer general open communication.

I am now printing out sections of the report using my home printer.

CAUTION:  There are some reports that the Kindle edition is flawed in some way.

 

Posted April 22, 2019

Learning Adobe Premier Pro CC

I would like to share with you my problems trying to learn Adobe Premier Pro CC.  This software has a lot of features and  a lot of apparent hidden tools.  In other words, it is a rather difficult software to fly.  I had just video taped a wedding and due to the complexity of the production assets, I could no longer use iMovie.  I had the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of software loaded on my laptop and just knew that Premier was going to work. Problem for me is that I had to learn the program fast.   Let me jump to the solution so you do not have to wade through this ratter long explanation.  Just go to https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/tutorials.html

If you are interested in reading my rather long quest for knowledge as to how to edit with Adobe Premier Pro CC, read on.

BOOKS

My son told me not to buy any books and just use the Internet to learn Premier.  I love books and can easily say that I am older than you.  My daughter would call me retro.

I wasted a day trying to buy a book at a local book store.  I even went to Fry’s because they no longer allowed you to call in and take to a person to check availability and price.  Their book section had practically vanished.  I predict that store will also vanish.

I spent hours trying to figure out what was the best book to buy on the Internet.  I had Premier Pro CC version 2015.  I did not want a book that was too old.  I was really intrigued with Premiere Pro CC: Visual QuickStart Guide by Jan Ozer. It showed being published Jun 27, 2013, seemingly a bit out of date.  I just love that format of book, quick outline and visual.

I settled upon Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release.  It seemed the best deal was to buy this book at Adobe Press.  Problem was that the release date for the book was the same day I was ordering it, September 16, 2015.  It would take a week to get the book.  I spotted a nifty deal where I could also buy the eBook too for a discounted price.  I got a hefty discount because the books had just been released or were about to be released.  Here is where my assumption that the eBook would arrive earlier was wrong.

Order Details
This order contains:
1 . Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release , 9780134309989 , Quantity: 1
2 . Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release , 9780134310176 , Quantity: 1
3 . Total Discount , ($49.19)
Grand Total  $63.93

The paper book was shipped the very next day, September 17, 2015.  By the way, the publisher customer service did not know the book was ready to ship.  I kept going to the publishers web site to download my e-book but nothing.  I could not figure out what was wrong.

I sent customer service an e-mail asking why I could not download the eBook.

I get this response:

“Thank you for placing your order with Adobe Press. We regret to inform you
that the following item(s) from your order #WEB325633094370
placed on 9/16/2015 5:32:05 PM EDT have been cancelled:
Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release, 9780134310176, Quantity: 1
We apologize that we were unable to fulfill your order within the time frame we originally indicated.
Your credit card has not been charged.
We encourage you to visit our website for further updates regarding the availability of this product.”

I looked at my bank account and indeed they lowered the charges to:
09/19/2015     AWL*Pearson Education ADOBE.PRESS NJ ONE L (-$45.35)

They did gave me a discount probably because I participated in an online survey.

But, I find this cancellation rather odd.  The publisher canceled part of my order.  I thought that should be my prerogative.  If an item can never be shipped then the publisher should cancel.  If the order is delayed, it would be nice to ask me, the customer, if I  still want delivery.

The evening of September 22, 2015, just for kicks, I check Adobe Press web site and they announce that the book is ready the very next day, the very same day the print edition is due to arrive at my home.

“Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book (2015 release), Web Edition
By Maxim Jago
Published Sep 23, 2015 by Adobe Press”
Pricing as of September 22, 2015: available as a
Book $47.99
eBook $38.39
Web Edition $47.99

My point in all this is that you might think the electronic version might arrive before the print.  Don’t assume that if the publication is hot off the press or hot off the hard drive.  I actually finished the wedding portion of the movie project and have not yet received the book.

ON LINE TUTORIALS

YouTube
In desperation, I tried YouTube videos but they were all over the map for providing results.  Some were good but the curriculum, the step by step learning process that a classroom teacher should put together for the class was obviously missing.  I found I was bouncing around from one video that seemed to build to another video that failed.

lynda.com
I have access to lynda.com video tutorials and tried their Adobe Premier Pro lessons. It sort of failed for me.  The first lessons were an over view.  I want to jump in and start the process and not be shown a bunch of video overviews.  I wanted to know right away how to start.  Once I got into the meat, about lesson four, I began to become confused with all the prior lesson files and the new files the person was talking about.  I finally took notes as to the keyboard shortcuts that one needs to use and made notes.  This really helped.  The J, K, L, I and O keys are extremely important.  It took me a whole day to discover that on a Mac CMD and the left or right arrow will move your clip one frame.  I needed to line up an unlocked separate audio track to video with audio and the CMD and arrow keys allowed me to gain perfect synchronization.  If I had had a book, learning this would have not taken as much time.

The beginning of the main lynda.com lessons seemed to be clouded, not clear as to the beginning step by step process.  I got the impression that steps explained in the introduction, I should integrate into the whole.  Show me how to create a project and import my media from the beginning.  Instead I was jumping around.  I thus felt I was watching video’s that were less clear to me.  I did pick up vital bread crumb information which did helped me.

adobe.com tutorials
The best solution for me was actually free.  The  embarrassing part is that it was right in front of me.  Adobe offers terrific tutorials, better than lynda.com, in my opinion.  This was my primary learning method.  I guess my son was correct; don’t buy a book; use the Internet.

https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro.html

https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/tutorials.html

Good luck to you.  Adobe Premier Pro CC is a professional product and being so it may be a challenge to learn.  Do not give up.  I found that this program has a solution for every problem you will face. Finding that solution can be a challenge.

Book Review: Command Decisions

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Command Decision

Southern California, Yorba Linda Book Redux, a used book store, was closed because the proprietor decided to take a vacation without my permission.  My wife and I drove a short distance to the Yorba Linda Public Library used books store to shop their used books.  The prices are way cheaper than any used book store and the selections were pretty good.  I picked up about six books.  One book which I was not completely convinced I should buy was Command Decisions, published by the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Military, Washington, DC.   (A free version -pdf).  This book attempts to write the history of the U.S. Army in World War II.  During the next week I found that this  book hard to put down for some really unusual reasons.  On the one hand it was written in a dreary style and on the other it held a view that was very different and included information that was somewhat surprising.

Here are  some of the book’s style points:

  • The book was incredibly dry in the writing style.
  • The book was from a command management, top down, view.  The perspective is from the war planners, commanders and the reader seldom gets down to ground level to view the war action at unit level very much.  Because so many movies and books are written at ground level this book was, for me, an interesting approach and part of its attraction.
  • I noticed that books written near when I was born and prior were annoyingly wordy.  My father even lectured me in the same manner.  This book was published in1959 and followed this elder style of writing – too many words.
  • Every nuance of policy change seemed to be included which also added to the slow story pace.  The reader really gets an appreciation of top commanders and politicians daily workings to devise war policy because the reader is told about every policy process.  This, at times, minuscule examination seemed to really slow the progression of the war story but at the same time helps the reader to understand the duties of these top war managers.
  • What really captured my interest in the first chapter was some historical surprises.  Not one but one after another surprise showed up in the telling of this history.  The surprises varied by degree, as one would expect.  Every person naturally understands a historical occurrence differently for a whole host of reasons usually out of schooling and reading.  I will share with you each of my surprises that I find in this book in following posts.

Book Information:
Command Decisions
,  Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Military, Washington, DC.   Numerous authors contributed to writing this book.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 59-60007
Original copy sold by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington 25, D.C.
Hard cover, 565 pages but included maps bound to the binding and one large map in a back pocket that can be removed.
A free download copy can be obtained from this web page: http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/070/70-7-1/CMH_Pub_70-7-1.pdf
The organization that is offering this book for free is the U.S. Army Center Of Military History

Book review: The Party Is Over. How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted by Mike Lofgren

Just prior to receiving my copy of The Party Is Over.  How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted by Mike Lofgren, Penguin Publishing.   I was having lunch with a friend, I will call Mike.  I asked him why the American public fails to change their view of the GOP.  Why do vast numbers of Americans still vote Republican?  He came back with what I calculate to be a very good answer.  He said that individuals want validation.  We had talked prior about how individuals held religious and political beliefs that were handed down to them by their parents.  We both recognize that beliefs are very hard to change.  It seems that once you have a belief, you look for validation that that belief is true.

The next day the book arrived and I started to read it.  I was shocked at what the author was telling the reader.  I found reading the book was a Oh My God moment.  The information in the book read like a history lesson of how we got into this mess, how bad it is, and how it is wrecking our nation.  I was, at the same time, somewhat embarrassed that I was reading a validation of my own beliefs.  I am always trying to find the truth.  I always try to reflect and ask myself, is what I know about this subject really the truth?  Was this book just a platform to accommodate a view that might not be correct to just make some money?  Is this book a unsubstantiated validation writing?  My conclusion is NO!  This is the real thing.   The author took great care to document many events, drew his conclusions as to what really transpired and then pointed to who was to blame.  He mainly blames the GOP but dishes out almost as much blame toward the Democrats.

If you want to be better informed prior to the next election, I really recommend that you read this book.  If you want to understand how this county is being mismanaged, I strongly recommend that you read this book.

 

Winner Take All Politics by Hacker & Pierson, a book review

Title: Winner-Take-All Politics
Authors: Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8870-2
List price: $15 (paperback)

Following is a book review that is in progress and as such may change at any moment.

How I chose this book to read:
I must confess that although I buy a lot of books, I seldom find the time to read any book  more than part way through.  Not enough time and not enough sustained interest may be my affliction.  So it was simply surprising to myself when I picked up a book that I anticipated would be tossed into the party read pile but instead it remained in my hands and I am drawn to it like a very sweet jelly doughnut.   Let me step back a moment and tell you of my concerns that draws me to a particular book.  I have longed wondered what was going wrong with my country.  I am simply amazed that I live in the United States of America and not some back water third world country where I would be destined to scratch out a living and not experience the level of happiness that is a great part of this country and what I experience with my current life.  This country is not perfect and I get a deep feeling that some corrective action is needed.   There are a lot of issues hanging in my mind that I could not understand or the why behind a number of issues: the political morass in Washington, the GOP vs Democratic feud that is so ungentlemanly, the economic troubles that seem to draw this county down, my friends and students not able to find jobs and this list goes on and on.  Almost by accident I picked up a book at Barnes and Noble one day on my way to pay for the one book that I had in my hand.  I really do not know why I looked down and was drawn to the book Winner-Take-All Politics but I did.  I do not believe in predestination but picking that book up really got me to think of how lucky I was that I made that decision.  It is important because after reading just over half the book I realize that it stands as a possible game changer for this country.  I truly believe that this book’s true value is on par with Silent Spring, The Prince, and The Medium is the Message.  This book will only matter if enough people read it and reflect upon its lessons and act appropriately.

Book review:
We need to solve some important social and political problems in regard to the U.S.A. political process and to gain social results that improve this country.  We do have a personal responsibility to do what is right not just to ourselves but our family, our tribe, friends and everyone.   This book may help you to make the correct decisions.  It is based on a lot of research and covers a huge area of political landscape, almost exhaustive in its presentation and most impressive piece of writing.   The information comes at you at a mind numbing speed which may be why I liken it to eating a jelly doughnut, gives me a intellectual (not sugar) high.  I just love to immerse myself in truthful viewpoints as they are so darn hard to find.  It seems everyone wants to control your and my mind on important issues.  Everyone seems to be skewed to the point of being dishonest in their pronouncements.  I get a gut feeling that these writers found an array of important lessons and have laid the array out pretty well order that we can all follow the logic, follow the history, and may agree on where we are going if corrective action is not taken.  Most important to me is this seems to be a honest work.

Outliers The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.

My sister called me one day to tell me she was sending me a book by mail.  I got the book the very next day at around 11:30am.  I had completed three quarters of the book by the time I went to bed.  It has been years that I have had my hands on a book that read so quickly and was this compelling to read.  Before we get started with this review, I would like to flatly state that I most strongly recommend this book – it rocks!

When growing up, I would read biographies of famous people to see how they became successful.  Some of what I thought I knew is now dispelled after reading this book. This book rips apart, almost completely, what I thought makes people successful.  A lot of what I thought was truth appears to have been myth.

The book’s title is Outliers, The Story of Success.  The author is Malclom Gladwell who is a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine.  He has been able to some how dig into some pretty unusual social science research and recognize how some pretty far out factors, that most of us would completely miss, actually are very important in making some individuals quite successful.  Some factors are out of anyone’s control such as the year and month someone is born. What is most reassuring is some factors are still within our control.  The author fails to promote those factors that we can utilize, but he does not have to, they become most apparent while reading the book.  Anyone reading Outliers will realize what is within their grasp for attaining success.

This book seems important way beyond personal interest and gain.  This book should be of value for education planners as it makes a strong case for year round schooling.  For sports teams, this book flatly states that the culling process for finding the best athletes, in many sports, is flawed.  The book also explains the probable gaining or lessening chances of death, might be dependent upon which national airline one chooses, if an in flight emergency occurs.  The book is full of very interesting stories that reveal success factors that are not apparent.  Most important, this book would be a very valuable read for parents of school aged children.  There is a lot of pertinent information, in this book, for helping mom and dad decide what is important  for their  child’s schooling.

The author’s writing style is set for a brisk pace.  He has a  clean wording structure style that allows the reader very few hills that might interrupt the fast reading flow.  Most important, the story structure is like being taken to a theme park where you are taken on short wonderful rides where you have absolutely no idea where you are going and where you will end up. This makes each ride quite exciting and one can not wait for the next new ride.  Do not pass this book up.

Book Review: Marching Toward Hell by Michael Scheuer

Book Review: Marching Toward Hell
Author: Michael Scheurer

Analysis:

The book is all about the history of USA  war with radical Muslim warriors.

Patriotic to the core and is the author’s supreme measure for all things.
Brutal exploration of the subject giving no respect to anyone in and out of power.
Honest intent which is well delivered.
Insightful in a host of ways especially the author’s analysis of our problems fighting this war.
Compelling read because as one turns each page the reader might get the sense that it is now our tern to take action as things have gotten so bad.
Whining tone at times through the repeating over and over of the deficiencies of our political leadership.
Panders only to Reagan followers and seems to embrace a Republican view.
Simplistic at times.  The author presents a black and white analysis which most intelligent people will mark down because as we know complexity marks more intellectual skill and our current environments are complex.  Problem is, the subject is war and some times there are black and white issues and solutions.

This book comes to us in an outline form of writing spotted on occasionally with brief aside stories to support the bullet points the author is covering at that moment.  As the historical outline progresses, we are told about the incorrect decisions made by our political leaders.  Each foible our leaders make is explained to us as how it is an error with facts about Islam.  The author educates the reader about the sensitivities of the Muslim people and how these sensitivities have been violated over and over.  The author, toward the end of the book,  moves over to the side of the enemy telling us about ourselves from their point of view, a most clever approach.  The author, all the time, is giving the enemy very high scores for their actions and very low scores for our politicians and our military and for this he is brutal.

Have you ever been in a meeting where some manager is given a small bit of incorrect information in a report and thus dismisses the whole report?  I am thus concerned that if I put to you any perceived deficiencies, I see for this book, that you might condemn the book in total.  I, therefore, recommend this book as  being most important for all people in the United States to read.  But, to be honest, I did detect a few things that bothered me about his book.

One. The author just might have missed a much larger story, the dark side factors that are at play in American politics.  The author comes up with the following reasons, stupidity, historical ignorance and moral cowardliness as reasons why American policy has not met the challenge but has been a failure.  This might be true but could not there be another possibility?  Not to consider this is not surprising as the CIA could not detect moles in its organization for decades.  The author does a wonderful job of taking intelligence and turning it back upon us with the author’s analysis which serves us greatly.  This is what he was trained to do and now does it for us.  He seems incapable at going behind the elite politicians to see what scripts they were being handed and by who(m).  I hope another book covers this aspect because its telling just might reveal treason of the highest order and what a great read that would be.

Two.  The author does cover one more immense problem for the USA, the huge and mounting budget deficit.  Because this is toward the end of the book, and because it is wrapped into a seemingly larger issue of war, it takes a back seat.  Too bad because the deficit is so compelling and more upon us  that it may rival the war with Islam.

Three.   The writing style is most strident in its telling and for the sensitivities of many Americans, this book just might strike some as being way off base because it is an unhappy book and reads harsh, almost raspy.  This is a serious man’s and women’s  book, not for the pink dress and latte crowd which might diminish sales.

I recommend that the author read Elite Deviance as he just might get the message that there is a dark hand behind our politicians decisions which is the reason for us loosing this war.

We recommend this book.

Review of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 by Garrick Chow

Review of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 by Garrick Chow

I have been working on web sites for over five years. My first training was at a state university extension class. It was a great introduction but I quickly realized that web site design would require a lot more effort, a lot more books for me to read. Over time, I was amazed at how web site development has changed and for anyone not making a good effort at keeping current; your efforts will be out of date in a short time. Training needs to be done more quickly with our fast-pasted living and the web is changing way too fast to easily keep up. Finding the time to read books to keep up with these changes is a luxury for some. I thought I had almost every good book on Dreamweaver ever written until I found Adobe Dreamweaver CS3: Video Training Book. I had heard of Lynda. com training materials and some times enjoyed their free offerings in some of the web design magazines. When I found this book, I thought that a new dimension might be brought back, namely classroom instruction. I had really enjoyed the classroom instruction I received at the state college. The college instructor was top notch. I guess I was looking for the next college class to take. Well I found it in this “book”. The instruction is extremely well plotted out. The dialog is amazing in its clarity and precision. Even when I think a point is extraneous at a particular moment becomes obviously important a few seconds later. Someone spent a lot of time story boarding this tutorial out. The video follows nicely but at times a bit quickly so I had to rewind the movie some times to get the point being conveyed. I was amazed that with all the years reading how to work with web design and Dreamweaver, I had missed some basic techniques, actually made some minor mistakes in my web design. This approach to learning is simply wonderful for some of us. I cannot imagine who would not benefit greatly from this one on one teaching approach. I just wish there was more chapters to the “book”. I sincerely recommend this “book” and give it a maximum score.

Overview of some web technology I use.

I will attempt to outline some of the devices, and methods that are used to construct my web sites, of which there are four. Also I have included some recommendations, some training aids. Please keep in mind that I am a Macintosh person. “If you want to get it done, do it on a Mac”. Thus, the advice below will refer to Macintosh solutions.

Sites: There are five sites I am involved in as follows:

Site 1: This blog site you are currently viewing is probably the least expensive to run and operate. It requires no special software. I do not use Dreamweaver. The interface software is only a web browser and WordPress. WordPress comes free and is installed on the web host company server. I access this software from my home machine using any web browser. Well that is not exactly true. Safari falls apart for WordPress. Firefox is my browser of choice when connecting to WordPress because the WordPress menu shows up properly when using Firefox.

Site 2: This next site is a community group site that I am encouraged to begin to input stories into. The site creator had to back away from being involved for personal reasons. This is most unusual in that I did not create this web site but I have to step in and start to use it. I had to download the whole site into my laptop and then dissect it to figure out how it worked. This is very time consuming but instructional.

Site 3: This web site is unpublished. It has been in beta testing for close to one year. I am paying for the site name registration and web hosting all this time but have not made it public yet. It will be a cascading style sheet type web site.

Software used:
Web site construction is performed using Dreamweaver CS3. This program is very professional. Actually, I think it is awesome. It has a difficult learning curve associated with it but the payoff is worth it. Another very popular web site creation program is Microsoft’s Frontpage, which has a reputation of putting up messy html code. If your intent is to become more proficient at being a web master, do not choose Frontpage. If all you want to do is put up a quick web site, then Frontpage might work for you. Go Live by Adobe has a good reputation.

Tip: if anyone in your family goes to school, look into the possibility of obtaining an educational discount price. Some college bookstores do sell educational priced software at significant savings.

A neat little utility I use from time to time is Free Ruler. I use this to measure how many pixels to make a particular image or format text fields while measuring a web page. This is a free utility.
The Apple software comes with a utility that I seem to use a lot. It is called Grab and can be found in the “Utilities” folder. Any image that appears on my computer screen can be cut up and used with this program.

The photo blog software is part of the typical web-hosting package that comes “free” with the hosting subscription. Fantastico De Luxe found in the web site administrator’s control panel (C-Panel) offers a large number of open source programs. The photo blog uses two packages and one utility.

WordPress was chosen for the blog because it is free, easy to use and has a lot of features and very well thought out software package.

YAPB (Yet Another Photo Blog) is a WordPress plug in which improves the WordPress experience by making a lot of the difficult chores, simple. It too is free.

JView is not a C-Panel program but a free Internet utility offering, which I use to look at each photo image in a large format so I can write a good description for each image. I have Adobe Bridge and Aperture software programs but they utterly fall apart for this simple task. This utility is also free.

Hardware Used:

The computer is a Macintosh laptop, 2.5 GHz Intel Dual Core 2 Duo with 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM and running version 10.5.4 software.

I use a Microsoft laptop mouse model 1054. It is ok for text and graphics but totally unacceptable for gaming.  I use the Microsoft mouse when out of my office.  For gaming and in office work, I use Logitech G9 Laser.

I have a couple of finger drives. My favorite is a 2-gig unit that lights up, made by Sandisk.

I have an external hard drive made by Siig, model FW800 + USB 2.0 HDD kit. The drive offers both Firewire (800 & 400) ports along with USB. An 800 Firewire port is only needed for video editing. This drive is used to back up my laptop using TimeMachine.

Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station with Gigabit Ethernet is expensive but gives us added features such as flawless wireless, wireless hard drive storage (added this ourselves), and wireless printer capability (we added to the USB connector).

Cable TV, (Time Warner) Internet cable box interfaces with the above-mentioned Apple Airport Extreme Base Station. We had the AT&T two wire which was pretty bad, dropped connections frequently. A modem connection is ok if you are just starting at becoming involved in web development. If you do use a modem for web site connection to your host, bring your favorite newspaper or magazine or even a novel, as your upload times will be significant.

Web Hosting Service:

LinkSky was chosen as the web host after quite a bit of research. I searched for web host companies using the words “web host recommendations” and “best web host companies”. I soon found some web sites made recommendations that actual users found to be deficient. I suspected that some form of payment might be part of the equation for some companies getting good reviews from some popular web sites. I got lucky when one of the troop parents recommended his web hosting company, LinkSky. I went on to the Internet and did a reputation search. What I found out was that no one made any claim that LinkSky performed poorly. I had found a winner. I have been with LinkSky for a couple of years. I now have four sites with that company and they have not caused me any difficulty. When I have a problem, I get a quick and complete satisfactory response. The company is based in Northern California but I have been told that the Unix servers are in Texas. In case of a huge California earthquake the web site data should be safe. If there were any huge catastrophe in Texas, my laptop would be the backup.

If you are new to web site design let me offer you as much encouragement as possible. Web site design is a quite a large ocean of knowledge. Do not let its vastness dissuade you. It is very easy to build and put up a simple web site. The more you learn, the better and more professional the results. Please realize that there are good practices that you should search out to make a more pleasing site. Books and magazines are out there to make you aware of these practices. If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford the expense to buy a lot of books and magazines, use the Internet to learn.

Tip: Go to iTunes and peruse the free pod casts available. There are some pretty good video tutorials that take you step by step through using software.

Recommended Training:

Dreamweaver training an excellent start is to take a class at a junior college or an extension class at a local university. This is how I started to learn web design. A friend and I took the class and we each had our web sites blow up a couple of times caused by us not understanding how to make links work properly. By the end of the class we were humbled quite a bit and realized that this type of work was not going to be all that easy.

Dreamweaver CS3, The Missing Manual, Pogue Press O’Reilly, © 2007, by David Sawyer McFarland is intimidating in cost ($44.99), size (995 pages), and content. I have quite a large selection of Dreamweaver “how to” books so I think I do have some credentials for rating these types of books. I am not endorsing The Missing Manual series right now, just this particular book. It is an excellent book on the subject, in my humble opinion. It does an admirable job of explaining cascading style sheets, which is a difficult part of web design to understand.

A very recent “book” has come out called Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 with Garrick Chow. It is Peachpit Press video training book associated with lynda.com. The cost lists for $49.99 but I found that Borders Book Store had a 30% discount on all computer books. It requires that you use a computer to view the html lessons that are on a CD and have QuickTime loaded as an application so you can view the movies. What is neat about this “book” is it serves as your private classroom trainer, like being in college with a perfect teacher. The explanations are well laid out, dialog and screen presentation is always on target. When I discovered this “book” I thought only a few chapters would be interesting but I started at the beginning and went through each lesson in order. I was amazed at how much I had missed while self-teaching myself using books. I am really impressed with this video training method.

Tip: The disk for Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 is mildly protected so you are required to insert the disk to view the lessons. I prefer not to work off a CD. I chose to make a disk image copy using a program called Toast into my computer so I could see all the files, even the hidden ones and copy them to a folder. I then dragged the file “dreamweavercs3.html” to my desktop or application dock so I could readily find it and launch the training. In this way, I could eject the disk and view the training using only the computer.

Astronomy book by Ian Ridpath, (out of print)

I then went to a used book store in Yorba Linda called Books Redux and purchased a wonderful astronomy book by Ian Ridpath. It was a American Nature Guide series called Astronomy and Gallery Books is the publisher. The cost was $4.00 and some change for the state tax. The book was copywrited 1990 but most astronomy books do not go out of date that quickly. The book is terrific. The explanations are concise and explained very well. The page material is almost cardboard thick. The binding is spiral so the book lays flat which is really neat for the star charts. The star charts are quite good, done by Wil Tirion. The printing is color and black and white and very good quality. I did find the star charts a bit hard to see with the star chart size being so small and resulting print size so small. I would carry a magnifying lens to view the star charts. The moon feature part of the book is simply terrific. I have not seen many books that offer both moon features and star charts under one cover. The instrument and observing chapter is a bit thin but the rest of the book is simply all there. The size is not that large, about 5″ and 7 1/2″, not shirt pocket but small enough to throw in the tripod bag. The weight is not back pack friendly, if you are looking for a book to take while camping out (Collins gem Stars should be considered instead, same authors as above). I do recommend this book to be used with your telescope. It is worth keeping an eye out for at book sales and garage sales. Also, check Internet sales.

I really recommend that this book be updated and released again with the same wonderful features.