Aby-a-Day – 14 & 15 November 2020: Learning curve (Serious Saturday and Sunday)

Okay, so the new laptop arrived on Friday. I spent the rest of the day and part of yesterday transferring data from the old MacBook Pro to the new one.

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Problem is, I had to upgrade the system. I don’t have a choice; there’s a Magic Keyboard that I don’t think will work with the older software. However, I must say, the thing is wicked cool. The functions you have change depending on which application you’re using. In Facebook, you get predictive text like on the iPhone. Listening to music on iTunes, you have the play, pause and skip functions. And in photo apps, you get controls for whatever you’re doing.

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Also, no need for passwords; there’s a Touch ID button so you can log into everything with your index finger.

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However…I am absolutely bereft without Photoshop. I did everything I could find to work around it…to no avail. I have been using Photoshop since…1997, I think. I can do everything so reflexively…Why, Adobe, why?!

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Well, I absolutely do NOT want to pay $20.99 a month for a subscription. So I’ve been investigating other apps that have very high ratings. I’ve downloaded a couple of trial apps. The first one I tried was Acorn. It is highly rated, especially for Macs, and it’s only $29.99. It’s pretty nice…but I couldn’t figure out how to do simple tone, colour and contrast corrections (the things that are so easy to do in Photoshop). I’ll go back later and play with it. The other one I am trying is Affinity Photo, which is a LOT easier to figure out. It’s much more similar to Photoshop, and it can open .psd files. I can also import all my special brushes into both Acorn and Affinity, which is awesome. It’s $49.99…but it seems worth it (and, okay, it’s a lot less expensive than Photoshop was).

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As a bonus, in learning about these two apps (and another one, Affinity Designer, which looks interesting), I discovered I can also import my brushes into Procreate. That means no more having to finish drawings in Photoshop…I may just be able to do everything on the iPad now.

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Still, I really want Photoshop back. I have a lot of work and research to do in the next ten days.

Aby-a-Day – February 3: Wordless Wednesday (Facetime with Björn)

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Aby-a-Day – June 24: Wordless Wednesday (Abys live on Petcube!)

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Aby-a-Day – January 31: “Cube” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Cube.”

I got in on the Petcube Kickstarter back in September 2013, and it arrived just before the holidays. The original delivery date was supposed to have been May, but I liked getting it as a Christmas gift.

It’s a pretty nifty little toy. I can see the cats from anywhere, and I can talk to them and play the red dot game with them using a built-in laser pointer.

Jake may be too smart for it, though…he’s more interested in looking for me inside the Petcube than he is in playing with the laser.

I also tried it in the art room. You can see me in this shot, testing it out. This was the cube on the windowsill.

I moved it to the bookshelf, since that gave a better view of the room.

You can also capture any naughtiness happening while you’re away. Jake, stop biting my laptop cable!

Okay, now you’re too close! (You can see the laser pointer dot on his neck, though.)

This is one afternoon at work. Jake’s napping on the big cat bed.

Or was he just waiting for me to talk to him through the cube again?

Tessie is the only one who isn’t intrigued by the Petcube. I managed to capture Angel on it. She looked at the laser for about two seconds, and then jumped up to sit on the nce warm cable box, just out of camera range.

Kylie also thinks it’s very interesting.

Especially the laser pointer!

Abyssinian QR Codes

This is really cool: the CFA just released QR Codes for all recognised breeds.

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The article in the CFA newsletter, submitted by Kris Willison, said, “QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional bar code) first designed for the automotive industry in Japan. Recently, the QR Code system has become popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.” ~Wikipedia

Last December a friend brought a QR Breed Tag from another registry to a local show with the suggestion that they might make a nice exhibitor handout at the upcoming Houston Cat Club Diamond Jubilee. A QR Code can be read by any smart phone to deliver additional information, such as the URL for that breed’s profile or standard. The tag was shown to the HCC club president and I volunteered for the project.

The next day I used the QR Code Generator to create and download the codes for each of CFA’s 42 recognized breeds.

The next step was shopping to determine the most economical way to complete the project. I found the best price for business cards at Sam’s Club. The other supplies I purchased online at Amazon.com

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Inkjet or Laser Printer Business Cards, 2″ x 3.5″
5 Mil Luggage Tag Slotted Laminator Pockets 2.5″ x 4.25″
Metal Badge Clips with Clear Vinyl Straps

Using the BREED SUMMARY for counts, business cards were printed front and back then laminated and badge clips added. I used an exhibitor listing that included breed of cat(s) entered to generate address labels to sort and bag the tags for pickup at check-in.

Exhibitors were thrilled and there have been emails from all over. With a little help from CFA Publications I have since created a MS Office 2010 Publisher file that can be made available to the clubs for printing the breed tags. Here are QR Codes for each breed.”

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TICA has their own set of QR codes, too! Click here to download the PDF file with all the breed QR codes.

Pretty nifty, eh? What will they come up with next?