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PowerPoint and Presenting Blog: September 2006

Thoughts and impressions of whatever is happening in the world of PowerPoint

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Newtek TriCaster: Conversation with Paul Lara

Saturday, September 30, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 2:47 PM IST

Paul Lara is a 20-year veteran broadcaster, covering all aspects of television from reporter, producer and news director to coordinating video PR for a major teaching hospital. As NewTek's video evangelist, Paul is now responsible for NewTek training and demonstrations of NewTek video products: TriCaster, TriCaster PRO, VT[4] and soon-to-be-released SpeedEDIT video editor.

In this conversation, Paul tells us more about the changes taking place in presentations because of affordable appliances like NewTek TriCaster.

Geetesh: Tell us more about TriCaster and TriCaster PRO.

Paul: At $4,995, NewTek TriCaster brings the power of professional broadcasting and web streaming to more people than was ever before possible. TriCaster brings all the key elements of a TV live truck (live switching of 3 cameras, titles, clip playback and more) into an appliance that is the size of a shoe-box and just weighs 10 pounds. TriCaster also comes with iVGA, a revolutionary software client that allows any computer running PowerPoint to be included as a live TriCaster input, along with cameras and videos. While TriCaster is showing your presentation with live cameras and video clips, it can be sent out as a live Windows Media stream to your audience. TriCaster gives you the ability to record your presentation as a broadcast-quality digital video clip for later broadcast or streaming. Find out why TriCaster has garnered more than 13 industry awards at

TriCaster PRO, at $6,995 adds critical features requested by professional broadcasters, such as component video, balanced audio, push streaming, and simultaneous video recording while streaming to the Internet. You can see a comparative feature list at .

Geetesh: How can everyday presenters get cost benefits by using TriCaster.

Paul: TriCaster becomes an insurance policy on your intellectual property. It is not, after all, the PowerPoint presentation that is the key ingredient, it is your elaboration and passion that makes the presentation important. PowerPoint is simply an outline for later audience support. TriCaster lets you capture important presentations to stream live to the world or to share later with a targeted audience either as a web stream or video.

Categories: projector, powerpoint, interviews


posted by Geetesh on 10:30 AM IST

An unpatched flaw in Microsoft's PowerPoint slideshow software has left both Windows and Mac PowerPoint users vulnerable to a "zero day" attack. In a security advisory posted online, Microsoft said it was investigating reports of "limited 'zero day' attacks" that exploited a vulnerability in its PowerPoint 2000, PowerPoint 2003, PowerPoint 2004 for Mac and PowerPoint v.X for Mac.

More on the Australian IT site...

Categories: powerpoint


posted by Geetesh on 10:15 AM IST

"America needs a PowerPoint intervention. It feels like half of my work life is spent reading PowerPoints, sitting through PowerPoints, or writing PowerPoints. My point? I think we're just about PowerPointed to death, and I'm not the only one who feels this way. According to Thomas Ricks, Washington Post Pentagon correspondent and author of the book Fiasco, the U.S. military has also jumped onto the PowerPoint bandwagon."

Read more on the Watercooler Confidential blog...

Categories: case_studies, powerpoint


posted by Geetesh on 10:02 AM IST

Today's free template is Australia Flag 06 - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


Friday, September 29, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 11:26 AM IST

authorPOINT, the PowerPoint to Flash converter product from authorGEN has been updated to v.3.7 -- new features include:

  • Pointer Tool available during capture process.
  • VU meter on authorPOINT launch window to verify the receptivity of your mic.
  • Content Manager improvements, including a Package to SCORM option
  • ADA compliant Flash player.
More on the authorGEN site...

Categories: add-in, powerpoint, powerpoint_flash


posted by Geetesh on 11:23 AM IST

Today's free template is Australia Flag 05 - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


Thursday, September 28, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 11:15 AM IST

Today's free template is Blooms 09 - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


Wednesday, September 27, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 5:49 AM IST

Today's free template is Textured 14 - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


Tuesday, September 26, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 12:00 PM IST

Today's free template is Circle Emboss - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


Monday, September 18, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 9:28 PM IST

What do you do when you insert a movie in a PowerPoint slide that refuses to play? There could be any number of reasons for it not to play -- but more often than not, it has more to do with a missing codec than anything else!

Luckily, that's one of the easiest problems to solve -- and I don't want you to download every single codec one after the other -- not when you can download and install a pack of popular and some not-so-popular codecs at one go using the K-Lite Codec Pac that you can download free from the free-codecs site...

As the screenshot above shows, the installation routine even allows you to choose which codecs you want to install.

Thanks to Mike for this tip!

Categories: movies, sounds, powerpoint


posted by Geetesh on 9:11 PM IST

Day 1 is Sunday -- and it starts at 12:30 with Echo Swinford's session on animation -- two other sessions follow with Rick Altman and Peggy Duncan.

The registration began half an hour ago -- and all attendees are given a T-shirt that's got an Indezine logo.

The Help Center was busy later -- Bruce, Steve, and Bill set up all the hardware and software -- the patrons are here with all their questions -- and it's great to answer their queries -- even better to see the many ways in which people use PowerPoint.

Categories: powerpointlive, powerpoint


posted by Geetesh on 9:08 PM IST

Today's free template is Ripple Frames - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


Saturday, September 16, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 10:26 PM IST

In this and the following posts, I'll give you a small report on PowerPoint Live in San Diego, where I am now at the DoubleTree Mission Valley hotel.

I took the Amtrak from Irvine in Orange County to San Diego -- a wonderful journey in itself with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from the window seat of the Business Class coach. A taxi from the San Diego Amtrak station got me to the hotel -- the taxi driver was from Eritrea but he was more conversant with Bollywood and Hindi movies than I am -- which is surprising, since I'm from India!

In the hotel, it's great to see familiar faces, and new ones. The Help Center is all set up, the registration desk is done, and Rick Altman seems happy -- and absolutely ready for Day 1 on Sunday.

More about PowerPoint Live in subsequent posts!

Categories: powerpointlive, powerpoint


posted by Geetesh on 10:10 PM IST

Glenna Shaw is an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for PowerPoint -- she works for the US government -- she is also very involved with accessibility aspects for PowerPoint. In another avatar, she creates games in PowerPoint. Some time ago, she started using Crystal Xcelsius -- in this conversation, she tells us more about the program.

Geetesh: Tell us about yourself and your technology interests.

Glenna: I originally got into technology because there weren't many career opportunities as a Mental Health Therapist when I got out of the Navy in the early 1980s. I happened to be in the right place at the right time to get in on microcomputers and local area networking when the technology was in it's infancy and for the last 20 years I've led a large variety of simple and complex IT projects. I'm currently a project management professional (PMP) with the U.S. Federal Government and I really love it. What I like best is that since I work on different projects my job never gets stale. Each new project is like a new job and a new challenge.

Geetesh: Tell us more about how you use Crystal Xcelsius and what you think about the product.

Glenna: Over the years I have learned that I am a very visual person. It's part of what got me interested in PowerPoint and Accessibility and helped me get recognized as a PowerPoint MVP. I just process information more easily when it's presented in a visual format. What I love about Crystal Xcelsius is that it allows you to do that beautifully. The agency that I work for uses Excel models a lot because we work with finances and economics. Xcelsius allows me to really enhance those models.

When I first saw the software I realized right away the potential it had for use with Project Management. I was able to use Crystal Xcelsius to create a variety of models for use with standard Project Management practices. I really love that I can allow for what-if scenarios that can be demonstrated in real time to decision makers. It's extremely effective when you're trying to make a business case for a project or even just make a point about cost or risk on a project. I've made the models freely available on my web site they can be used on-line or downloaded. I'd welcome any ideas for new models/tools. I really like the challenge of creating new tools with Xcelsius, especially since the end result always looks so good even if you're not a great designer.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, xcelsius, add-in


posted by Geetesh on 6:16 PM IST

Today's free template is Textured 13 - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


Friday, September 15, 2006
posted by Geetesh on 2:09 PM IST

Today's free template is Grass Checks - download here...

Categories: templates, powerpoint


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