October 2002
Issue 10
Volume 7
 
 
 

In This Issue
Hybrid CD Creation Tips
Don't Be a Mug About Mug Shots
Grammar Trap: Transitive vs. Intransitive Verbs


Hybrid CD Creation Tips

Mac's and PC's are supposedly miles apart in terms of how they operate and display information. How could a CD possibly be able to work on both platforms without sacrificing functionality and compatibility? The professionals looking into this issue have coined the term "hybrid."

If your clients use both Mac and PC platforms, it's wise to accommodate both. One computer program that is capable of easily creating hybrid CDs is Roxio(tm) Toast®. Basically, the program will create two different CDs on one. You are instructed to make a folder with information for the PC side and a folder for the Mac side. Only the appropriate folder for that system will be visible when the user opens and runs the CD.

There are a few words of warning to remember when making a hybrid CD. You must include the extension on each file. For example, if you have a text document you created in Microsoft Word, you must have a ".doc" extension after the filename. This will make the file readable on the PC platform.

You also have to be sure the various programs or files on the CD can be read on both platforms. To ensure this, you should include a version of the file that has cross-platform capability. You may also have a version that is designed specifically for one platform in the PC folder and another in the Mac folder.

For example, say you have a video clip that you want to play. PCs usually have Windows Media Player installed on them, while most Macs don't. So you would want to include a QuickTime version on the CD to accommodate the Macintosh. Just tell your video producer that you would like to have the video provided to you in both formats.

It would also be wise to test your CD on multiple computers to ensure compatibility. Different Windows and Mac operating systems all work differently, so you won't know for sure exactly what type of computer all of your users have. Just because it works in Windows XP does not mean it will work in Windows 98 (sigh).

If you have CD-creation questions, please let me know. I may be able to answer them, and I'm always looking for "On Target" topics.

Chip Morrison


Don't Be a Mug About Mug Shots

They're called "head shots," "portraits," "thumbnails," and, most unflattering of all, "mug shots." They're the photographs that identify story subjects. While they may not all be worth a thousand words, they certainly can dress up a mundane story.

The first rule of mug shots is that if you are too far away to shake hands with the subject, you are too far away to shoot a good mug shot. Nobody cares what kind of shoes the person is wearing. In years to come, trendy clothes will only expose the subject to the ridicule of the fashion police. So concentrate on showing the person's face.

Move in.

Don't put the subject against a wall. While it may provide a clean backdrop, it also shows harsh shadows. Pull the subject a few feet from the wall to allow the shadow to fall behind the subject without leaving a "radiation" outline on the wall.

Resist the inclination to turn the camera sideways to shoot the photo in a vertical format. Yes, the head and shoulders photo you are making fills the frame better in the vertical format, but the flash is no longer on the top of the camera.

Designers put the flash on top of the camera for two reasons. First, it looks better. But the top location also best mimics the location of the sun or overhead lighting, thus creating a more natural lighting scenario for a photograph.

With the camera turned, the flash is no longer on the same axis as the lens. The light now comes from an unnatural location, resulting in an unnatural shadow at the side of the subject.

Shoot in the traditional horizontal mode, and crop the photo into a vertical later.

Always have the subject turn a shoulder toward you. The dead-on, head-on approach usually results in a photograph that looks like a prison booking photo. And simply having the subject bring one shoulder forward is a much more flattering angle.

Many people blink in anticipation of the camera flash. Here's a simple trick that almost always works on blinkers.

Ask subjects to close their eyes and smile. On the count of three, ask them to open their eyes. The trick is to shoot the photo as soon as they open their eyes.

Finally, always take a couple of shots. There's nothing worse than having to use a prison booking or blinking photo because you only took one shot.

Tom Campbell


Grammar Trap: Transitive vs. Intransitive Verbs

If you know the difference between transitive verbs and intransitive verbs, you shouldn't have much trouble with "raise vs. rise," "set vs. sit," or "lay vs. lie."

A transitive verb requires a direct object to complete its meaning. In other words, it requires an answer to the "what?" question. Raise what? Set what? Lay what?

Examples: He wants to raise money. She set the book on the table.

An intransitive verb does not require a direct object to complete its meaning.

Examples: The sun rises. Sit down, and tell me all about it.

For examples using "lay" and "lie," see my February 1996 "Grammar Trap".

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

Visit http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/ontarget/grammartrap/ for past "Grammar Traps."

Laura Hoelscher


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