June 2001
Issue 6
Volume 6
  Photo Crunching in PowerPoint
Two-Way Videoconferencing: Newer, Faster, Better
Grammar Trap: Each Other vs. One Another

Photo Crunching in PowerPoint

PowerPoint is great. It allows us to show our audience details that we'd otherwise just talk about. But some educators and specialists have run into problems because lots of photos can mean bulky PowerPoint files. Some have used 30 or more photos, each of which is 1 megabyte or more, and they wind up with 40-70 MG files. That will inevitably cause the computer to freeze at some point during the presentation.

That's no fun for anyone.

You can keep those file sizes down by "crunching" the photos. Here are three ways.

Microsoft Photo Editor

Use Microsoft Photo Editor, which may already be installed on your machine. Open your photo in Photo Editor. Go to "File," and select "Save As." In the dialogue box, click on "More." Use the sliding scale at the bottom to decrease the "size and quality" of the file. If you are using a 1-MG file, you have a lot of room for adjustment, and the photo will still look fine in PowerPoint. With a little practice, you will be able to adjust photos fairly quickly.

The problem with this process is that Microsoft Photo Editor doesn't do the best job of crunching while maintaining the quality of the photo.

Cyber ID

Another method I like that really does a good job of crunching and maintaining quality is located at a Web site. I use Cyber ID . You can crunch photos and most graphics. Just go to the Web site, read the instructions on that page carefully, and go to work.

The upside is that photo quality is well maintained. The downside is that if you are doing this work through a slow connection, it will take a few minutes per photo.

Photo-Crunching Software

You can purchase photo-crunching software for your machine. Commercial software is often available with digital cameras and/or CD "recordables." Software such as any Adobe graphics packages, any Macromedia graphics packages, and even Corel graphics packages can achieve the same goal. If you don't want to spend the money to buy a commercial software package, check out this shareware Web site .

Steve Cain < cain@purdue.edu >


Two-Way Videoconferencing: Newer, Faster, Better

Two-way videoconferencing is the ability to link up two or more sites to allow the participants at each site to see and hear one another. In the past, most two-way videoconferencing was accomplished by using high-speed phone lines called "ISDN lines." These lines had a cost prohibitive per minute charge.

But innovators in the industry have worked to send video signals over the Internet using a transmission method called "IP video." ("IP" stands for Internet protocol.) While early versions could only transmit a few frames per second and were fraught with problems like poor image quality and compatibility problems between units, these new units offer a more acceptable image quality.

However, even with the improvement in image quality, the units don't provide enough detail to deliver complex images or graphics. Thus, they are best suited for informal communications such as meetings or in-house, train-the-trainer events. In situations like these, the information is conveyed primarily via the audio portion of the message, but being able to see fellow participants enhances the information (and the experience).

Currently, there are several two-way videoconferencing units located on the Purdue campus for faculty and staff use. Extension has seven two-way units located around the state that are connected to the IHETS two-way videoconferencing network and can be accessed via the campus facilities.

You can also use videoconferencing to talk across the nation or even the world. If there are experts or colleagues whom you want to talk to in another state or country that has access to an IP videoconferencing unit, you might want to consider seeing as well as hearing them. Contact me at the e-mail address below if you're interested in arranging for two-way videoconferencing.

Randy Spears


Grammar Trap: Each Other vs. One Another

The difference here is really a simple one.

Use "each other" if only two individuals are involved.

Example: John and his sister often tease each other.

Use "one another" if more than two individuals are involved.

Example: The group decided to use two-way videoconferencing so that the participants could see as well as hear one another.

If there's a grammar (or usage) trap you'd like to see discussed, or if you have a tip that will help the rest of us avoid one, please let me know.

Visit ../grammartrap/index.html for past "Grammar Traps."

Laura Hoelscher < lah@purdue.edu >