Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Great, FREE (or great value) resources...

Somewhat off topic in this posting, but there are a bunch of fine resources that may help you as you look for tools to present your biblical insights. Did I mention that they are FREE or quite good values?

  • Don't have PowerPoint but wanting to do presentations, maybe even collaboratively? Check out this post linking to thirteen free online presentation apps.
  • I have posted before about resources for video or screencasting. Here is a post linking to 12 Screencasting Tools For Creating Video Tutorials. Some are free and some commercial. (Strangely, they neglect to mention TechSmith's Camtasia Studio which is a commercial program but quite nice.)
  • Here is a link to a FREE PDF download of Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive: A digital literacy guide for the information age by Mark Briggs. 132 pages that covers the basics for writing online including perspectives on tools and resources, how to report and blog, using audio, podcasting, digital photos, video, and more. It's an easy to read reference.
  • I have found Microsoft's FREE (at least for now in beta) FolderShare to be a very useful program. I've mentioned the FREE LogMeIn program before as a good way to work with other computers across the Internet (including using a PDA to run Logos or BibleWorks off your home computer), but FolderShare works a bit differently. It synchronizes your files across the Internet. I use it between home and school. I work on a file at school on my own system, but it is automatically synchronized on the FolderShare system. When I go to work on that file at home, it is automatically synched with the Internet version, so I always have a single up-to-date file. Where this can also help is that you can grant permission to others you specify to see designated files/folders, so it becomes a way of sharing pics and such. It takes a little bit of setup, but if you are using Logos or BibleWorks on two different systems, it provides a way for you to keep your programs in synch at both locations.
  • If you are a student and able to provide verification of student status (including having an .edu email), Microsoft's The Ultimate Steal is an incredible value. For $59.95, you can purchase Microsoft Ultimate Office 2007 which includes Access™ 2007, Accounting Express 2007, Excel® 2007, InfoPath® 2007, Groove 2007, OneNote® 2007, Outlook® 2007 with Business Contact Manager, PowerPoint® 2007, Publisher 2007, and Word 2007. The offer expires April 30, 2008. This is entirely legitimate and quite a deal.
    (My wife who is finishing a DMin at Drew was able to get one. Do make sure you are a student. If they check on you, and you aren't a verified student, you will have to pay the $679 retail price. BTW, my link to the page is an affiliate link, and if you buy, I get $1! Thanks!)
  • Big finish with the best for last: Again, if you are a student and can provide verification, you are eligible to take advantage of Microsoft's DreamSpark promotion. You can get, for FREE, Visual Studio 2008 or Windows Server Standard 2003 or xna Game Studio 2.0 or Expression Studio. These are professional developer and designer tools, so they might be more than you want to learn how to use, but if you have a web site, getting the Expression Studio might be quite valuable to you. There are a limited number of universities in the USA, UK, Canada, and 8 other countries directly connected to the program for now, but you are able to get the programs by following the directions and going through JourneyEd. (BTW, Expression Studio downloads as an ISO file. What's that? It's a format you need to burn to a CD as an image file. How to do that? Either use the FREE ISORecorder utility that adds right-click functionality in Windows Explorer or get the FREE CDBurnerXP program or the FREE BurnAwareFree Edition program.)
So, that's the truth, and it is FREE!

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