The Digital Photo Guy

More Pin-Ups and a Cool Windows Utility

by on Sep.01, 2011, under Lightroom, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photoshop CS2/4, Photoshop Elements, Webcast, Workshops

Last Pin-Up Model Shoots

Since the Monday Morning Tip about the reader who unsubscribed due to, “Too many under-dressed female models…” I’ve had a huge spike in hits on this site. Today is the last of the series for a while because one can only photograph underdressed female models so many times. 😉

The 2012 Cuties for a Cause Calendar launch party is Friday, October 14 at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego. It’s only $10 so I encourage all my readers to attend if you can and, at least, buy a calendar. Proceeds go to the San Diego Animal Support Foundation, helping to improve the welfare of animals.

The following photos were made at the Lafayette Hotel which was featured in the movie Top Gun. The famous clamshell stage will be the backdrop for a fashion/swim suit show.

Arriving in Style   Toast of the Clamshell   Sweet Gloria

Are We Ready for a Dip   Dinner at 8   Join us at the Lafayette 0n Oct 14

I also did a Cuties shoot at a private residential pool in Escondido, surrounded by tropical palms and ferns. Here are some of the best. The last photo is Melissa, the 2nd shooter/assistant at both shoots. Her photo of Tina number 7 (ignore my signature.)

Chief Cutie   Celeste   Melanie

Cuties   Celestina   Melissa


Computers as Modern Necessary Evils

I started my life in computer engineering. This was back before geek was chic. Geeks wore white shirts, black ties, crew cuts and carried slide rules. In case you’ve never heard of a slide rule, here’s my original student slide rule (top) and my “professional” slide rule.

Last week, my HDR Webinar crashed and burned when the Screen Sharing plug-in died. For the first time in a long time, I had to cancel a webinar due to technical issues. The webinar service shrugged and said, “Stuff happens.” Just as there are no ex-Marines, there are no ex-geeks. I discovered a workaround but that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to fix the problem, not just add a patch like an old British sports car.

In the process, I found a tool that appealed to my inner geek. TweakNow PowerPack (TNPP) is like the Swiss Army Knife of PC utilities. Like a Swiss Army Knife, it is small and elegantly designed. Like a Swiss Army Knife, it is full of surprisingly useful tools and accessories. Like a Swiss Army Knife, you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful.

The main tools I needed were a registry scanner/cleaner and a temporary Internet files remover. Think of registry files as recipe cards. As you use them, they become splattered with tomato paste, Worcestshire sauce and canola oil. It becomes harder to decipher and errors creep in. Eventually, the cards need to be cleaned or replaced. In a PC, the registry becomes cluttered with info about old programs that you’ve removed, upgraded or somehow changed. In most cases, you never even realized the registry was modified. Eventually, the registry is too damaged and something fails.

Repairing the registry is not for the faint of heart. One slip of the keys and your PC can be rendered deader than the proverbial doorknob. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of registry cleaners that claim to make your PC well again. Some are outright scams while others are ineffective. Good ones tend to be expensive for a tool that does just one thing. TNPP is amazingly effective (based on my short tests) and, best of all, it’s free. I thought it was good enough that I donated $50 via the donate button on the TNPP site.

TNPP will clear out all sorts of accumulated junk and, in general, help make your PC run faster using fewer resources. But (you knew there had to be a catch,) I seriously recommend users stick with the default settings. DO NOT adjust settings like you might increase or decrease amounts in a recipe. If removing 10GB of junk is good, don’t assume removing 20GB is twice as good.

If your PC is more than 2-3 years old and your grandmother can add 2 + 2 faster, it might be useful to download TNPP and give it a whirl. After all, it’s free and can’t hurt as long as you don’t get stupid.


4 Comments for this entry

  • Dianne A

    Forgot to ask my question. Have you used cCleaner (also free) and, if so, how do you compare the two?

    • Lee

      Hi Dianne,
      Thanks for reading. I haven’t used cCleaner because I try to stay away from these types of utilities in general. A minor “Oops!” can quickly turn into a week long ordeal of wiping the HD and reinstalling Windows.

      BTW, I hired one of the first girl geeks at Digital Equipment Corp. I liked girl geeks because they weren’t out to prove their manhood, they just wanted to do a good job!

  • Dianne A

    I keep my slide rule handy (still in it’s big leather case) just to remind me how good PCs actually are when I’m cursing and tearing my hair out about some malfunction. There weren’t a lot of girl geeks back then either.

  • Andy Kliss

    Sigh. I wish I would have kept my student slide rule from days gone by…

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