Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Save the Bandwidth

I am sure that most who read this blog are just like us in that they love getting all the joke emails that make the rounds every day. There is something you can do to make the process much more efficient for the large files that contain a video.

When you get an email with an attachment that contains a video, you have probably noticed that the file size is huge, often running 5-10 MB. Even on a fast connection, these take some time to download. And, when you pass them on, they take even longer to send since nearly everyone's lousy ISP throttles their uploads. (I understand Verizon has started a synchronous service in a few cities - can't wait till it gets to Austin.)

Not only are these files time consuming but, many people have limited storage space on their mail server and these files can cause your friends to miss important emails that are rejected due to a full mail box. If someone on your distribution list has a dial up connection, forget about it!

Here is the solution: When you get an email containing a video file, instead of just forwarding it, go to and do a simple search to find the movie. I have been doing this for months and have not gotten one yet that was not easily found on youtube. When you locate the movie on youtube, select "Send link by email" from your browser's menu and send to anyone you like. The file size will be at least one whole order of magnitude smaller and will go in the blink of an eye. And your recipient will appreciate your sending a 5 KB file with a link instead of a 5 MB file with an attachment.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Make Simpson Characters of Yourself

Here is a fun site for the rabid Simpson's fans like ourselves: Simpsonize Yourself. Have you always wondered what you would look like with yellow skin, blue hair, blue pants, three hairs on your head, and three fingers? Click the link and find out.

A little preparation is in order. Have a fairly high resolution photo of yourself, taken looking directly into the camera, and crop it pretty close to your face. Here is our result with a little tweaking:

Simpson Characters
Lloyd Morris and Peggy Morris

So sit back with a large box of multi-colored donuts and have fun. If you make a mistake while customizing your character, just give it a big "Dohhh!" and hit undo. Notice I added what has been my daily uniform for the last couple years (black t-shirt) and Peggy's funky, retro glasses.

I recommend that, if you what to get the true Homer Simpson experience from this, you should do this at work on your office computer. Then, take a good long nap after you finish.