The Task of Writing

2nd Draft Manuscript
2nd Draft Manuscript

Writing a book is an arduous process. Anyone who says otherwise probably hasn’t written a book, or if they have, it likely hasn’t been published. As I wrote in my blog entry
What it Takes to be a Published Author, writing is harder than most people think. Sure it is sometimes easy to sit down and put words on paper, but almost 100% of the time, those words are crap. While the mechanics of writing are different for everyone, I thought some might be interested in how I approach the task of writing a book. (more…)

Today is Lauren’s Birthday

Lauren
Lauren

Today is my wife, Lauren’s birthday. On this, her special day, I am at a client’s site in North Carolina while she stays home. She was home alone for most of the day until the kids got home from school. She tells me that she did have lunch with her friend Sandra, so at least she had some fun.

Due to a perfect storm of events, I was unable to buy her a special gift for her birthday. Yes – I suck. Since I’m not there, I can’t even take her out to dinner.  I decided to do something a little different for my lovely wife’s birthday. I decided to write this for the world to see. (more…)

What it Takes to be a Published Author

Being a published author, I am constantly told what an amazing achievement it is. I agree, but I’ve accomplished other things in my life that were much more difficult. I have a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do for example. Still, there is something mystical to most people about being published that transcends other accomplishments. Perhaps we all lust for fame. Though I’m far from famous, if you google my name, my webpage or book will come up first. I guess I’m the most famous Gary A. Donahue on the Internet today. All because I’m a published author.

So what does it take to be a published author? It takes more than being a writer. A writer is someone who writes. Anyone can be a writer. To be a published author, you need to, well, be published. In my experience, here are some of the reasons that I’m published: (more…)

What You Should Capture, and Why

GAD's Dad & GAD
GAD's Dad & GAD in 1970

I have a family page that is private and only shared with family and friends. It contains images dating back to 1964. This site has taken me many hours of design, coding and other miscellaneous work over the years. I first made the site in 1999 so that my mother could see photos of my kids as they grew without having to wait for me to mail them. This was a great idea because I never mailed photos. The site has grown to a 40,000 image archive of my life, and the lives of my family. It is now a cherished heirloom.

The images contained in the site from the 60’s and 70’s are, for the most part, scanned from 30-40 year old slides. Many have deteriorated over time. I have endeavored to “fix” them as much as possible, but for many the damage of years of storage is too great to overcome. It gives me great solace to think that they will now be archived as digital replicas, thus progressing my father’s early photographic visions into the age of computers. He would have been absolutely thrilled at the idea. (more…)

GAD’s Digital Photo Management Scheme

1dsmarkii_586x225
Canon 1Ds Mark 2

I take the archiving of my digital photos seriously. My photos are the archived memories of my family. I have developed over the years, a means whereby I sort, store, and archive them. I’ve been asked repeatedly how I do this, so I thought I would write it up once and for all.

I use a Canon 1Ds Mark II camera which is 16.7 Megapixels. I also shoot exclusively in Raw with the DSLR, which yields files that range in size between 13 and 22 megabytes each. Each of thes .CR2 raw files must be “developed” using special software. The resulting .jpg images create an additional file of about  two to four megabytes. Then I may crop or alter the file, making a new copy of the full-sized .jpg. Then there are the web-sized versions and the thumbnails which are only 100k or so. After all my editing, each single image capture from my camera might consume a total of 25 megabytes of disk space with all copies considered – more if there are many versions. (more…)

Migrating from XP to OSX

Having recently bought a Mac Powerbook Pro, I had to come to grips with using a new operating system. I have used Windows XP since it was a beta in 2001. This being the end of summer in 2009, you could say that I’m a tad set in my ways when it comes to my computing tasks.

The original Macintosh
The original Macintosh

The Mac Powerbook Pro was so enticing a piece of hardware though, that I was willing to look at Mac OSX. I was no stranger to Macs having used them since my roommate bought an original Macintosh back before time began. Though at the time I liked my Tandy 1000 better, the Mac was pretty darn cool too.

Still, having one around and using one as my primary mobile computing platform were two different issues. I’m a working consultant, so I need my laptop to work – period. I also need to not be trying to figure out how to use my computer while charging my client by the hour. That’s just bad form. (more…)

Why I Bought a Mac

Apple Macbook Pro
Apple Macbook Pro

I hate laptops. In fact I have a statement that I repeat whenever anyone asks me to recommend a laptop:

“All laptops suck – buy what you like”

The purists will note that we haven’t seen a laptop in the market for over 10 years. Laptops were huge beastly things that harken back to the days of floppy disks and orange plasma screens. What we’re talking about of course, are notebook computers. The word laptop just rolls of the tongue better than notebook does, so I, like most people, will continue to misuse the word. Besides, I use it on my lap all the time. Thanks, I feel better.

At any rate, I found myself recently needing a laptop because my HP widescreen laptop blew a hard drive and developed an LCD problem that I couldn’t live with. I fixed it up as best as I could, and donated it to my youngest daughter who now uses it exclusively for important tasks like surfing Webkinz.com. (more…)