Using google docs for presentations

November 25, 2007 at 12:38 am | In housekeeping | 7 Comments

Here’s a technical question that I need answered by …oh, early tomorrow. Lunchtime at the latest.  On Monday morning I’m supposed to do a technical dry-run for a talk I’m presenting on Wednesday. There are some logistics involved, in terms of equipment. I don’t have a projector, and the organizer of the venue is kind enough to arrange one for me. I have a laptop. And I’m putting my presentation together using google docs‘s “Presentation Editor,” which is a real joy to use. Very easy.

But now I wonder if I haven’t dug myself a big hole.

I realized this afternoon that I can’t save this presentation as, say, a PowerPoint. I can save it as a compressed file to my computer, but when I open it, it opens in Firefox.

So …does that mean I need wifi at the venue? Like, do I need internet access to “play” my slide show?

Do any of my 2 or 3 readers have any idea if there’s a work-around for Google Docs “presentation editor,” to save it to one’s computer, open it, but not need internet access to play it?

Otherwise I will be spending tomorrow not just finishing the presentation, but transferring every single slide by hand (pictures and some text) to that clunker PowerPoint format, which I know I can save to my computer and open without benefit of wifi access….


October 22, 2007 at 12:04 pm | In facebook, housekeeping | Comments Off on Updates

I spend too much time on a local forum, where I post many items, and I spend quite a bit of time on Facebook, to which I also post interesting items I come across. Between those two opportunities, plus the minimally paid work (writing) I do, I find that my poor blog is being neglected.

Well, here’s the deal: until I get around to writing longer posts here, I’m going to use my diigo account to blog the same items I post to my other digital playgrounds. That way, the old place will at least have some semblance of life!

More updates soon…

October 4, 2007 at 10:06 am | In arts, canada, cities, housekeeping, social_critique | Comments Off on More updates soon…

Too many things on the agenda, and a looming computer-allergy as a result: the combined effect is that I’m once again behind on my “hope to do/ blue sky” list.

One of those to-do items includes posting more of my FOCUS Magazine articles (in PDF) to the link here, just above my about page (see sidebar) . Well, October’s article about the Belleville Street Terminal “renovation” is out, and I do plan to add it later today — and also add some of the earlier months still outstanding.

Meanwhile, I sent my first-ever letter to the National Post, and it was published! Slightly abbreviated, but still. The article I responded to was by Robert Fulford, entitled To the Turnstiles! (Oct. 2) — great article that leads with the question, “Should the public pay to visit museums? It’s a question rarely asked in Canada…” Go read the whole thing. The next day, the National Post published J. Kelly Nestruck’s Price To Peep At Pepys? Pfffft!, a good follow-up.

My letter is on this page in today’s National Post, and it reads:


Museums: an invaluable part of our national fabric


National Post

Published: Thursday, October 04, 2007

I moved back to Victoria some years ago and was shocked to realize that the Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM) now charges a hefty admission fee. When I lived here as a kid 30 years ago, the museum was free, which meant that I was free to wander into its galleries regularly to indulge my interests. I didn’t need to make a “special day” of it or cajole my parents into spending money they didn’t have, and consequently, the threshold for culture was level with my day-to-day life. It wasn’t something I had difficulty crossing.

Curiously, I ended up earning a PhD in art history at Harvard. I won’t say it was because of the RBCM, but I can’t help wondering how many Canadian kids today are cut out of the experience of culture because we keep it hidden behind a turnstile. By charging admission to collections that effectively already belong to us, museums are double-dipping into the public’s purse.

Yule Heibel, Victoria.

The editor took out a couple of sentences, for the sake of brevity. Understandable, but I’ll add them here:

After the first paragraph (which ends with the word “crossing”), I wrote: “I didn’t need to rely exclusively on a peer culture for entertainment, or hang out at the mall. Unhurried, I could go to the museum, and take my time absorbing its offerings.” What I meant by that I had a free venue that was public, but in which I could be an oddball (a museum-goer, gasp!). I didn’t need to be part of a group, or herd.

After the last bit in the published letter, I added my concerns around infrastructure funding. What I wrote was this: “…museums are also double-dipping into the public’s purse. I guess this is what ‘downloading’ is all about, with Joe or Jane Public at the very bottom of that particular food chain. But as Fulford notes, maybe it’s time to call the politicians to heel and impress upon them that free admission should be the norm.”

That last bit references a key concern of mine at present: municipal infrastructure funding. Perhaps more on that later, but let me just say that I also believe that the arts are part of a society’s — and particularly a city’s — infrastructure. All municipal infrastructure needs proper funding.

Deadlines — mirages for control freaks prior to hitting the caravansarai

September 9, 2007 at 9:38 pm | In housekeeping, just_so, scenes_victoria | Comments Off on Deadlines — mirages for control freaks prior to hitting the caravansarai

I guess I’m happy — in that slightly dazed, exhausted kind of way. I missed my usual deadline for my FOCUS Magazine article, juggled half a dozen balls while writing when my hands were free, and now finished at last. But the article turned out to be about something I hadn’t expected to write about, which somewhat accounts for the deadline extension, and I’m now pretty certain I can’t leave it where it is, and that what I wrote is really just Part One of what has to be a two-part series. I have no idea if the editor will agree, and so I’m not really sure if I’m actually done.

Does this make sense?

On another note: I have a hot new garden! It isn’t finished yet — that’s another deadline that came & went without being met — but it’s so gorgeous already, I can hardly believe it. Our miserably overcast, sometimes rainy summer was a blessing in disguise as it prevented my old garden from dying of drought (drought being the typical pattern here in summer), and now summer seems to be returning in some late guise, ready to drench my new garden with sun.

If I ever get a laptop again, I can take it to that new garden and make my personal caravansarai right there.

Got blank page?

July 28, 2007 at 11:33 pm | In housekeeping | Comments Off on Got blank page?

As anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time knows, I’m not especially adventurous when it comes to changing its “skin.” This isn’t because of a special sense of attachment I feel for whatever template I’m using — I just fall into a rut, and I don’t have the confidence to customize.

Did I say confidence? Who am I kidding? I meant skills….

This evening, driven by some madcap desire for adventure [sic], I surfed to the admin pages and clicked on another theme, thinking I could preview it. There is no skill in clicking and choosing a template.

To my surprise, however, the costume wasn’t part of a dress rehearsal: my blog was immediately redressed. And so I clicked through almost every theme on offer, forcing this blog through costume changes that would make a seasoned Cirque du Soleil performer dizzy.

In the end, I returned twice, thrice, finally again to this theme, “white as milk.”

Its minimal look somewhat reflects my minimal enthusiasm for posting these days, no? But maybe its milky whiteness will challenge me to write here more often: that blank page, just waiting to be marked up…!

Flickr’ing off, the back-up is complete

March 14, 2007 at 1:55 am | In housekeeping, media, social_critique, web | Comments Off on Flickr’ing off, the back-up is complete

Except for buying a CD or two to back up what I backed up to my hard drive, I am ready to let my flickr account go into the garbage bin of internet cool (for my thoughts on the matter, check out my new “buddy icon” on my flickr page, which I guess will be up for all of 1 day…?). It’s from this article, and even though I’m against the gratuitous depiction of the swastika, I find the simple yet acute eloquence of the icon too irresistible…

One more update

February 17, 2007 at 2:15 pm | In housekeeping, web | 2 Comments

Hal at Harvard Weblogs kindly set my default setting for comments and pings to “off.” Daryl (see PS to previous entry) was correct when he advised me that the spam flood was coming through trackbacks (pings), hence turning trackback off for the whole blog solved the problem.

You’ll note that this entry and the previous two have open comments (and trackbacks, too). I’m keeping the default at “off,” but from now on, I’ll do regular maintenance on this blog. For eg., every Friday (well, ok, sometimes Saturday), I do “housekeeping” on my computer(s): I run AdAware, C-Cleaner, AVG, and Spybot. That’s for Windows. For Mac there’s Macjanitor and CacheX. From now on, I’ll expand my vigilance to the blog, closing comments and pings every second Friday on the entries I’ve written that month, and so forth. That will mean that at any given time, there won’t be more than two weeks’ worth of entries with open comments or trackbacks (and given my sporadic writing here, that could mean very few entries indeed), which should keep the spammers at bay.

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