Category Archives: Seen on the web

Seen on the web 2006-07-06

The PowerPoint® Blog: Troy’s Pre-Show Checklist
“…because nothing is worse than getting up to speak and having a technical issue…”
(tags: meetings powerpoint presentation technology tips)

Bad Language Blog: How to concentrate on writing
Although written about the process of writing, this list can apply to just about any work that needs to be accomplished in front of a computer.
(tags: howto productivity psychology tips)

PC Mag Article on HD Video

For those of you considering a move to HD video in your presentations check out a short and sweet piece in PC Mag “Are You Ready for HD?”  Besides the Sony HD camcorder referred to in the article, I also suggest a look at some offerings from JVC.  Ulead software has a plug in to work with HD content on your desktop but the article mentions the big problems using these gigantic files.  Those who worked with digital video years ago will think they’ve been down this road before.


I’ve always been interested in colour vision (yes, I’m in the UK, so US readers please translate: color); we have no way of really knowing how different people actually perceive differing hues. I once had an assistant who was extremely good at correcting colour casts when printing photographs, despite having a marked degree of red-green colour vision deficiency. I have a tendency to call green what others would describe as blue, and vice versa, but only in that rather ambiguous cyan/turquoise palette.

What we do know is that the way the cone sensors in our eyes work is fairly well-established and common to most people. We’ve all experienced afterimages after viewing a bright light source.

False Colour ImageThere is a rather more subtle example of the afterimage effect that results from over-stimulation of retinal cones on John Sadowski’s Blog. A description of how the false colour image is created is here and Wikipedia has a brief explanation of the phenomenon. A good example of why we should not always believe our eyes.

Early Visual & Popular Media

Early photography is always worth exploring – especially if you are a photographer – as you soon discover that most subjects and ideas have been covered by someone at some point during the long history of the medium.
When it comes to early use of visual media generally, both as an entertainment and as a communication tool, I had not seen very much historical material, either on the web or in print. This made my discovery of Thomas Weynants’ pages at A HISTORY of EARLY VISUAL & POPULAR MEDIA a particular delight.

Phantasmagoria projection

In this rather quaint but incredibly comprehensive Belgian site (quaint because the site design definitely falls into the ‘early web design’ category – you will not find fancy style sheets or Flash here!) there is a wealth of information and many examples of all kinds of extraordinary historical uses for visual media.

The thumbnail image above (click to enlarge) shows a Phantasmagoria projection (an animated multimedia projection technique from around the French Revolution period) – just goes to show that, before PowerPoint was even dreamt of, folk were after creating stunning – and in this case frightening – presentations.

The whole site is worth devoting some time to. It covers everything from early photography, through television, to early cinema, featuring ‘Conjuring Arts’ along the way.