Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advice to Future Students

     Ms. Belisle's EIT class has turned out to be one of the most useful classes I have ever taken. I have learned an incredible amount about how to use a computer to its fullest capabilities. I am so grateful for this class, especially going into such a technilogically advanced work world. Ms. Belisle really knows how to encourage her students  to work hard and learn in a hand on way!

     In order to be succesful in this class, you need to do all the work that is assigned! I know that sounds obvious but I truly cannot stress that enough. Make sure you do all assignments to the fullest and due it on time! Most importantly, open yourself up to learning all that you can and ask Ms. Belisle for help if you are confused about anything at all! She is extremely nice and willing to work with you until you understand, so take advantage of that. Have fun and enjoy this class and explore things about you and technology that you don't even know exist!

Study Abroad!

Please visit my website at www.cs.trinity.edu/~lkrummel

     To create my study abroad website I used Expressions Web 4. I orignially thought it was giong to be exteremely difficult to make a website but found that, with the help of Expression Web, it was actually quite fun! I had a great time picking the pictures and videos I wanted to use and loved making the colors of each individual page fit the page while keeping a theme to tie it all together. Although it still took me a long time to complete this website, I am very proud of the way it turned out. My favorite part about my website is how each page has three pictures at the top that highlights the country and I love the timelapse videos I added at the bottom of each screen. I really put a lot of thought and work into this website so I really am proud of the whole thing, considering I never thought I'd  be capable of making one in the first place! The only thing I would change about my project is maybe put a map on the home page and I can always add that on later. The biggest technical challenge I faced was trying to get the pictures in the table on each page roughly the same size and looking uniform. It also took me a while to make sure all my links and the nav bar led me to where I wanted to go!
     My website would be great to show other students who are trying to decide where to study abroad, just like myself. I think that at times the decision can seem so daunting and overwhelming but creating the website made me have fun with it instead. I will most difinitely make a website for future classes if it calls for it, as I had fun with it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Horrible Webpage

The contest to win "Worst Website" was a tough call for me. However, when I unfortunately stumbled across a religious website that supposedly leads you to Jesus Christ, I felt like I had just entered a very colorful Hell. The webpage, "Accept Jesus, Forever Forgiven," makes it incredibly difficult to look at for more than two seconds because of the rainbow background that continuously flashes across the screen. Along with the distraction from the background, there are many different fonts and shapes on the page that I felt lost immediately for there was no coherence at all. Notice the random black cat running about in the bottom left corner? After clicking the doorway to enter the website further, things got a lot more normal. However, this website still wins "Most Distracting Entrance Page." To see the site for yourself, click on the link and beware!  http://www.dokimos.org/ajff/

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pictures That Lie

     The director of photography for National Geographic, David Griffin, raises a valid concern that PhotoShop could make photojournalism (among other things) lose its integrity, but I believe there are positives that derive from photo manipulation as well. In light of the upcoming elections, I chose to alter a picture involving the two presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and Governor Romney.  They say a picture says a thousand words, and this doctored photo is no exception. Although the scene depicted in the picture did not actually happen, it still maintains validity because of its message.
      Currently, America suffers from extreme partisanship, where party lines are hard drawn and unalterable. Though parties have also been an influential and necessary political institution, I believe that the partisanship has increased exponentially over the last several years. This may be because I am becoming more politically aware as I grow up but I feel as though everyone is feeling the tension as I do. As I mentioned, political parties are absolutely necessary in a successful democracy but there comes a point where they begin to be detrimental, too, and we are at that point. The harsh, unnecessary bickering and child-like behavior displayed by both major parties, Democrats and Republicans, is depicted in the above picture.
      I purposefully chose to have Romney depicted as "winning" the physical battle, not because I think he will win the election or not, but because I see him as a more moderate politician than his Liberal counterpart. I came to this conclusion based on him being the Governor of a very Liberal state where he was not only elected by many Democrats but where he also had to work in a very bipartisan manner if he wanted to accomplish anything in office. However, both need to focus on what their people want instead of how to better insult the other for personal gain. After all, we should be fighting for America, not against one half and for the other.
      I achieved this effect by using PhotoShop. I began with a picture of Romney giving a speech in front of an American flag. I was immediately inspired to place Obama's head in between his hands for this assignment. I knew that I had to make this photo manipulation a little crazy in order to get the message across. Next, I brought in a picture of President Obama and used the quick selection tool to select everything surrounding Obama. Then I deleted everything else but him and used the move tool to drag and slightly rotate Obama's head into Romney's open arms. To get Romney's hands into position, I used the Puppet morph tool to bring them together. To make it appear seamless (at least as much as my skill allowed me), I used the clone stamp tool to color in the discolored or morphed areas. I also had to use the transform tool quite a bit to get them to be the same sizes. My last touch was to add the two catchphrases "No Socialism" and "No Selfishness" because I have observed a large number of these signs in people's front yards. Using the text tool, I typed them in. This further shows the huge gap not only between candidates but also our perception of what they stand for. I hope my PhotoShopped picture shows people that doctored photo's do not always have to be used for bad but can also teach a lesson by pointing out flaws in society. Hope you enjoyed!

Haggart, Rob. "This Photo Is Lying To You." Outside 34.9 (2009): 20. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 31 Mar. 2012.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Web Is Keeping Us Closed Minded!

I use Google every single day. Although I have begun to use academic search engines, like JSTOR, now that my classes call for research, Google remains my trustee aid when navigating the internet. I always thought that when I searched a term, the million or so results I got back were completely random and only appeared because of matching terms. Thanks to Chris Nolan, I now know that I was so wrong! in fact, not only does Google customize results based upon my previous searches, it also customizes them based on where I am. This tool does prove useful when I search "Spurs," for example, and my server knows I am in San Antonio. However, I run into a dilemma when my searches become more serious.
Being a political science major, I find it rather disturbing that Google, Facebook, and the like can alter your search results and news feed based on what you've clicked on before. Say I usually tend to research conservative members of our government because I agree ideologically with them and want to see what they are up to. Well, come election time, if I search for information on the candidates I may only see Right-leaning blogs and opinion pieces instead of well rounded, unbiased information. This may seem like a small problem but when no body has their views challenged, we become a very closed minded society. Not only do we see things that are personalized just for us, but we don't see what's not just for us. That is where I see a problem.
Nolan did teach me some wonderful things about Google, too. For instance, he showed us how to turn off the personalization settings and reminded me that deleting all the cookies my computer stores will also help reset my computer. Furthermore, I was so pleased to learn more ways to narrow the results for a search. If you type in 'site: gov' then Google will only return .gov websites! Also, Nolan reminded me that the most popular items usually appear near the top, not always the most scholarly. If I want to make sure a website is legitimate, I need to look for an author, publisher, the intended audience, objectivity, substantiation of claims, and recency of information. With all the research I have to do here at Trinity, these tips are sure to save me time and help me get more relevant results, too!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

PowePoint Overload!

PowerPoint can be a very effective way to present information to an audience. However, there are so many things that can go wrong that makes PowerPoint go from good to very bad. One of my biggest pet peaves is when there are cheesy graphics that move around (to get my attention?) when really it only distracts me! Second, I hate when PowerPoints are only black and white and the speaker reads directly off of the slide, word for word. As a Political Science major, this happens in all of my classes and I have fallen asleep more than once. PowerPoints can also hold too much information and I feel like I'm reading a textbook instead of a review, which is very frustrating when taking notes! The last thing that drives me crazy about PowePoint is when there are an infinite number of slides and it seems to drag on forever. Bearing all this in mind, there are effective ways of creating a PowePoint! Use your spaces well, take off the last graphic you added (just like jewelry before you leave the house) and make it concise!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Experience with Excel

Microsoft Excel is a truly fascinating program. Almost everything that Excel is capable of is brand new to me since I had such little experience with it before. What I find to be really interesting is all the calculations it is capable of and how many different things it can be used for, like planning a wedding, tacking sales, or managing salaries. In the "real world" I see myself definitely using Excel to keep a running balance of my income and expenses, especially as a financially independent person or when I have a family to help care for. As for school, the uses are nearly unlimited but I am sure I'll be using Excel in the future business courses I take. I cannot find anything to complain about with Excel because it has so many helpful and time-saving tricks (like auto-fill) and if I can't figure out how to do something, I always have Lynda.com to help or I can always look around and find what it is I'm looking for. Microsoft Excel is extremely handy and I'm so glad I am learning how to take full advantage of the program.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Golden Rule

Global Ethic Bear
     The internet creates a place that can easily be depersonalized. This can lead to people saying harmful things to each other or about one another because the lack of personal interaction makes it seem less harmful when it is not. This same activity also occurs with people's copyrighted work and intellectual property because it is so much easier to steal, say a picture off of a web page, than to go to the artists home and physically take his or her work.
     That being said, there is an easy way to help solve these issues and that is The Golden Rule.The Golden Rule states that you should treat other's as you wish to be treated. If implemented while using the internet, problems of hurt feeling on Facebook all the way to legal violations could be minimized. Personally, I try to use this when on social media sites. If I have a picture at my disposal and I know it will hurt someone's feeling or harm their reputation, I will refrain from putting it up. Similarly, I don't use hurtful or provocative words over social media because many people have the opportunity to read the hateful things. In a perfect world, the Golden Rule would stand strong and no harm would befall anyone but it is not so we must be more aware of our words and actions!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Photo-Shopping Is Ugly

      The title on the August 1989 edition of TV Guide Magazine does not ask who the most beautiful or who the skinniest woman on TV is, it asks who is the richest. However,  the editor of the magazine made sure Oprah looked thin by giving her the body of actress Ann-Margaret, whose picture was taken ten years previous. Neither of the two women knew about the photo-shopped madness until the actress' fashion designer recognized the dress and shot as Ann-Margaret's. Although I find the fact that neither woman knew this happened and Oprah wound up with someone else's body to be disturbing within itself, for personal reasons one both sides, the message this photograph sends is worse.
      When a woman, black or white, picks up this magazine to see Oprah on the cover looking thin as ever, the message she receives is that Oprah did not get her money by being intelligent and ground-breaking in her field, but instead reached success by being the ideal form of beauty. Oprah is seen as a role model to women across the world because she has a rags-to-riches story and worked hard to get where she is, being the richest woman on TV, not because she has a model thin body. I chose to write about this picture because it infuriates me how media turns attention away from real achievements by women and turns it into another out-of-reach role model for young girls to look up to. These kinds of non achievable role models in society harm the younger generations and morph their healthy body image into self-critique. The editor of this picture probably did it because the more beautiful the woman on the cover, the more people want to pick up your magazine. However, this does not make it okay or right! This video displays celebrities before and after they are photo-shopped.
     The video below shows perfect examples of women who are transformed digitally to appear outlandishly beautiful because they are famous. One must think of the impact these photographs have on young men and women who think this is the "norm" when really it's not even possible to achieve that sort of perfection in real life. The added body image pressure added by the media is unnecessary and harmful.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Man Loses Job Over Facebook Picture

    Computer ethics is quickly evolving into one of the most prevalent topics in today's technologically based society. At any given moment you can get onto a social media site and "post" pictures at  your whim. However, when does this ease of use become a threat? For one young man, a recent college grad, a simple picture on Facebook cost him a job at a prestigious law firm. With a quick search on the computer, his possible employers found a picture of him using illegal substances in college and just like that his future dramatically changed for the worse. 
Photo courtesy of Office.com
     Although the grad claims that he had no knowledge of the pictures existence, nonetheless it's existence on Facebook, he has no legal claims against his friend who posted the picture. According to the Copyright code, the person who takes the photograph is the owner of his/her intellectual property, not the subjects within the photo. However, according to the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics, "Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people." With this in consideration, the young man affected by the photo could address his friend and tell him the harm it has caused him and ask him to take it down. Being a friend, the picture will most likely be taken down so as not to cause further harm and the young man can progress towards a better future. Whether or not it was ethical for his friend to post the picture is not as clear. However, the young man may have been aware at the time of the picture that he was being photographed. We must also consider the fact that our world is so interwoven with technology that we must always watch our actions because it could always end up on film or in a photo.
     The law firm in question had every right to search the background of the grad they are considering for hire. They are hiring him to represent their business and do not want any liabilities on their hands if they knowingly hire a man with questionable character. That being said, I also think that the young man's friend who worked at the law firm was also in the right when he told him why he did not get hired. His intentions were good in that he wanted his friend to be aware of his mistake so that he may address the problem and not have it happen again.
      As for the young man himself, he should immediately address his friend and have all pictures that could harm his future career taken off the internet. He should use this as a learning experience and avoid situations in which there is a camera that could take unflattering pictures of his character or simply avoid the illegal, unflattering behavior in the first place!! Then there would be no problem to address.

Computer Ethics Institute. Web. 27 Sept. 2012.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Microsoft Excel

With the aide of Lynda.com, I was able to learn some pretty amazing things Microsoft Excel is capable of. I have not had a need for extensive Microsoft Excel use in the past so the tutorials were especially eye opening for me. The Microsoft Excel is capable of doing it all: math, charts, calendars, budgeting, floor plans, you name it. One of my favorite things about M.E. is the auto-fill capability. Not only can it fill in the days of the week but it can also auto-fill math problems by rewriting the original equation to follow the pattern. I am also surprised with how easy it is to use this program and how many shortcuts there are to speed along your work and eliminate the tedium that often accompanies charts and math. That being said, there are so many shortcuts and cool things to use Excel for that I'm afraid I won't remember them all! All in all, I am so impressed by the program and I cannot wait until I have to use it for a class or making a plan of some sort. I feel very fortunate to have the help of Lynda.com and Mrs. Belisle to further my knowledge about this complex program.
Last tutorial on Microsoft Excel 2010 Essential Training videos

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Copyright and Creative Commons

I thought I knew all about copyright before Jason Hardin came into speak to us. As it turns out, not only did I not know about the many ways I could infringe on coprights I also had no idea what Creative Commons were! I had a lot to learn. In our modern day and age it is so easy to infringe on copyrights and to plagarise without intent. In order to help others out, I would like to share what I learned so that others are less likely to fall into a bad situation! First, copyright protection deals with creative works just like patents work for devvices. There are two key parts to copyrights: it allows me to control the distribution of my work and entitles me to profit from it. I used to wonder why people would even go to the trouble to copyright anything but copyright actually has an extremely important role in society. If every one was free to use, alter, or sell the work of others (work that potentially took a very long time) then no one would have the drive to create! Where would we be if no one created anything? A very dark age, indeed.
Creative Commons is a form of copyright but achieves a slightly different end. If I create something that I want to share, like an essay or a photograph, and I don't mind if others copy, share, or make money off of it, then I can put a Creative Commons license on my work. I am still the owner of my intellectual property, I am just willing to share it with the public to serve a greater good. There are also options that allow sharing but not profit. Although it seems like there are a lot of rules and a lot of ways to get into trouble, it's not that hard to stay away from problems with copyright. If you have any questions about whether something is legal or not, look up the terms of the copyright or just don't use it. Staying on the conservative side is an easy way to avoid legal issues and keep your internet experience stress-free! Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Using Lynda.com

Watching the video tutorials on Lynda.com was far more enlightening than I had expected. I wish I had watched the video on SmartArt last week when I randomly decided to use SmartArt without knowing all of the helpful and awesome tricks I could have used along with it. I really enjoyed using Lynda.com and only had minor issues in finding the videos but it really posed no serious problems whatsoever. The slower pace and more detailed introduction to Microsoft Word played to a student like myself who has no real experience being creative with MS Word. I am certain I will use Lynda.com regularly throughout my academic career and beyond simply because of the ease of use and extraordinary depth of information available. As I previously mentioned, I enjoyed learning more about SmartArt and cannot wait to use it more effectively in the future. I also gained a lot of knowledge from the video clip about MS Excel and being able to alter the data of a chart in Word. As a Political Science major, my research papers will benefit exponentially because of this relatively short tutorial. Beyond that, I found the "screen clipping" and "screen shot" segment to be very helpful and I'm sure I'll save time using the previously unknown "screen shot" tab. Lynda.com is now one of my go-to resources here at Trinity and I am so glad I am able to take advantage of it!! I'll be sure to spread the word to my fellow classmates.

My last video tutorial, Word Art, was very informative.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CLT and Self-Portrait

Our class trip to CLT (Center for Learning and Design) was awesome. I never even knew Trinity had such impresive technology that students could take advantage of. I am very interested in trying out the conference room and the Smart Board. I also am excited to write my next research paper down here becuase the dual screens would be so helpful when I need an abundance of sources up while trying to type! The atmosphere inspires deep concentration, as well, something a college student needs and sometimes cannot find. Thanks to Greg Longoria, the tech guy, I know a lot more about the amazing technology that Trinity offers her students.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Trinity Network Diagram

Picture credit to web.trinity.edu and 

I really enjoyed the tour in Halsell because the complex structure of Trinity's network is almost impossible to imagine without seeing it. The diagram furthered my knowledge by being able to see the connections visually. I feel much more knowledgeable about Trinity's technology and how it functions thanks to Jared Pack! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Network Server Diagram

The Trinity Network Server works for both students and professors by allowing both to have an individual file as well as a shared file, making learning and grading material easy and efficient for both parties.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Best Tech Tip

Ender's Survival Skills talk was very enlightening! Although I got lost a bit in the technical terms, I am so glad to know to uninstall my McAfee anti-virus software before installing the one for Trinity. That would have caused major problem for me and I would have undoubtedly ended up in Winn with the tech guys. Thank you Ender for helping me avert a disaster!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Intro to Lauren

Hi there, my name is Lauren Krummel. I am a sophomore here at Trinity University. I came here originally because I was recruited to play on the women's soccer team. I enjoyed playing here my first year but decided to venture into other areas this year! I am a new Student Ambassador to TU and love being involved with campus life. At the end of last year I rushed Spurs Sorority and became a member later that year, but we all know how that turned out. As for now, I am enjoying the new semester of new classes and meeting new people as well as seeing my friends I made last year. You might see me walking around campus with Jacob Hall, my boyfriend, and his roommate Anh-Viet who always has a camera around his neck. Overall I am a very friendly person and I love to make new friends. Some people think it's funny that when I get really scared really fast, my big toes will ache for a few minutes! I hate computers and advanced technology almost as much as it hates me but I am ready and willing to start building a healthy relationship between us. I know how to use Microsoft Word and Excel (I think) but am still shabby on even the basics, such as PowerPoint. I can't wait to work on my tech skills so I can use them in my other classes and advance into the twenty-first century. If you think you can help me out, contact me at lkrummel@trinity.edu!