Note: this process applies to Windows-based computers. I am running Windows 8, but it should also work on Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
I sell a lot of random things on Craigslist and eBay, and sometimes I take a bunch of pictures to go with my for-sale item. Usually, the pictures are way too large (3+ MB) to be Web-safe, so they need some shrinking. Since I'm lazy, and resizing pictures one-by-one is annoying, I use a free program called IrfanView to do my image-related dirty work. Here's how I do it. This process looks long but it seriously takes me a minute or less, but if you're impatient, you can skip to my screenshots below.
- Make sure your photos are downloaded from your camera or phone onto your computer.
- Download and install IrfanView. It's free and really lightweight, so this step should be quick.
- Fire up IrfanView, and click File, then Batch Conversion/Rename.
- On the top right, under the Look in area, browse to the directory where your pictures are stored. Click the Add all button. Or, pick and choose which images you want to add to the batch by selecting them; then click Add.
- On the left, under Work as, I usually choose Batch conversion - rename results files. If you want to keep your photos' original file names, just choose Batch rename.
- (Optional) You can mess with the Output format and the Options button if you want to, but I usually leave them at the defaults.
- Check the box that says Use advanced options (for bulk resize...).
- Click the Advanced button.
- Check RESIZE. Tick the option that says Set new size as percentage of original. Also check Preserve aspect ratio (proportional) and Use Resample function (better image quality). Enter a percentage in the width box. I usually do between 30% and 50%. Click OK or proceed to optional Step #10.
- (Optional) Still in the Advanced settings, you can check Overwrite existing files if you want to overwrite the original pictures (does not apply if you chose the Rename results files in step #5). Click OK when you're finished.
- (Optional) If you chose the Rename results files option in step #5, enter something in the Name pattern box, like my example twill-couch##. A pound (#) signs indicate a number starting with one, so my converted files will be twill-couch01.jpg, twill-couch02.jpg, twill-couch03.jpg, etc.
- Under Output directory for results files, choose an output directory by either clicking the Use current ('look in') directory button, or browsing to a location of your choosing.
- Click Start Batch. Your images should convert very quickly, and then you can return to the batch to do more tweaking, or you can exit the batch if you are happy with the results.
Note: there's another tool that puts a "Resize Pictures" option in your Windows right-click context menu. It has fewer options but might be less intimidating. It's called the Image Resizer for Windows, and I think it works on Windows Vista, 7, and 8. Windows XP users (are there any of you left?) can download the Image Resizer Power Toy.
Should links open in the same tab/window or a new one? Several readers answered that very question here.
I wrote a post on my company's blog about if links should open in the same tab or open in a new tab. My conclusion: links should always open in the same tab, even if they're exit links. If you're curious about my rationale, check out the post in its entirety on blog.hanleywoodmarketing.com.
Synopsis: The combination of Windows 8 and my ASUS P8P67 Pro has caused two weird issues related to sleep mode. The solution is a BIOS update to #3602, which I'll show you how to do below. As a bonus, the P8P67 Pro will support Ivy Bridge CPUs when you're done.
My custom-built PC at home has an ASUS P8P67 Pro motherboard in it. I semi-recently installed Windows 8 on this machine, and since then I've had two issues:
- Sometimes when the computer wakes up from sleeping, all the lights come back on, the computer starts whirring again, but the displays don't come back on. The only way to fix this is to hard reboot the machine.
- Also after resuming from sleep, my mouse cursor sometimes loses the ability to move. I can still right-click, but moving the mouse doesn't move the cursor. Unplugging the mouse and then plugging it back in fixes this one. But it's annoying!
My BIOS was about a year old, so I decided to install the latest BIOS from ASUS (as of this writing, the newest BIOS is 3602). This has corrected my sleep-related issues so far.
Here are the steps to update the P8P67 Pro's BIOS to 3602. (Warning! BIOS updating always carries some risk. Unless you're actually experiencing a problem, it's best to leave it alone.)
- Download the 3602 BIOS from ASUS (search for P8P67 Pro, then download the latest BIOS).
- Extract / unzip the BIOS somewhere on your computer.
- Grab a USB Flash drive and make sure it's formatted to FAT32 (right-click > Format... > Choose FAT32).
- Copy the BIOS to your Flash drive (make sure you've extracted the file as stated in #2 and are NOT copying the ZIP file, but the actual BIOS file).
- Reboot your PC.
- Go into your BIOS by hitting the Delete key as the initial POST screens come up.
- (Optional) I've heard people in forums say to reset all settings to their defaults before updating the BIOS. To be honest, I never do it, but you may want to (I've never had any ill-effects from not doing so).
- Once in the BIOS, go into Advanced mode if you're not already.
- Go to the "Tool" menu and select "ASUS EZ Flash Utility." Use the Tab key and the arrows to get to your drive and BIOS file. Update the BIOS (the computer should reboot on its own but reboot manually if it does not).
- (Important!) For some reason this particular BIOS needs to be flashed twice. So do #9 again, and then move on to #11.
- You're done. Any custom settings in the BIOS will be gone, so if you want to tweak stuff, now's the time to do it. Boot back into Windows when you're done fiddling.
As I said, this took care of the weird issues I was experiencing related to sleep. And look, a bonus item! Updating to BIOS 3602 also enables the P8P67 Pro to support Ivy Bridge CPUs.
In the hyper-paced world of digital, it is inevitable that terms will be used interchangeably/incorrectly. This usually occurs for two reasons:
- Marketers like to use terms that sound impressive or trendy
- There isn't a governing body deciding exactly what things mean in this space
I think we've all been guilty of #1 from time to time, but let's digress.
Within the mobile universe, we often hear about mobile-ready, mobile-friendly, and mobile-optimized...and the semi-related term responsive. Based on conversations we've observed, there's a great deal of confusion surrounding these terms. But the key to clarity is not to have a textbook-perfect definition of these terms (as if one exists, anyway).
Rather, the key to clarity is to have everyone at your organization speak the same language. Here's how we like to define these mobile-related terms to our clients:
Mobile-ready: Remember TVs that were “HD ready”? What it basically meant was that the TV could receive an HD signal. All you needed was an HD tuner! In the same vein, mobile-readiness talks more about a site’s potential (or lack thereof) to serve a mobile audience. There are a lot of sites that will look at a site to determine it’s “mobile readiness,” like this one. In my opinion, mobile-ready is the oddball of the bunch, and I’d shy away from it if you can.
Mobile-friendly: Simply put, a website will work on a mobile device. The user will be able to see something, type stuff, and hopefully get to something. In our definition, mobile-friendly typically means that a site was designed for desktop users, but will work acceptably for the mobile crowd.
Mobile-optimized: This is a site that was designed “from the ground” up for mobile, and will differ significantly from its desktop counterparts (if a desktop version exists at all). Mobile-optimized sites are designed for small screens, usually feature a single column layout, have simple navigation, and tend to reduce clutter. They often contain far fewer features than the desktop version.
Responsive: As the name suggests, a responsively-designed site is one that “responds” to the device it’s being viewed on by showing a different layout, but the same theme. For example, check this out (re-size your browser window and you’ll see that the layout shifts to accommodate the viewing size of the screen).
Again, these mobile terms aren't necessarily perfect. There are variations and different interpretations of what they mean and how they should be used. However, as an organization, it's critical that the language and terminology presented to clients is consistent. Present a unified front!