Using this Book
Its always been important to know about the latest products. Before the Internet it was a lot harder.
One of the most exciting things about digital photography is how fast the technology is moving. The down side is that it's hard to keep a book up-to-date. To make this book as useful as possible, it focuses on important concepts and features. These remain relatively constant even as the way they are implemented changes from year to year. After learning the basic concepts discussed here, it's easier to keep up-to-date on specific products using sources on the Internet. The most useful of these sources are often found on-line at Web sites published by ShortCourses.com, manufacturers, digital photography organizations, and others.
Web Sites to Explore
- Short Courses (http://www.shortcourses.com) is the home of this book and is frequently updated with new content.
- Google (http://www.google.com) is the best search site on the Internet. You can search by product name, manufacturer, model number or key words.
- Google News (http://news.google.com) lets you search and browse 4,500 continuously updated news sources.
- Google News Alerts (http://www.google.com/newsalerts) let you specify key terms, companies, or even specific products to look for and when one of those is found in an on-line article, Google News sends you an e-mail with a link to the article in which it appears.
- Yahoo News! (http://news.yahoo.com) lets you search a number of news sources and also has a link you can click to have news alerts sent to you by e-mail.
- Dave Etchell's Imaging Resource (http://www.imaging-resource.com) features daily news on digital photography.
- Steve Sander's Steve's Digicams (http://www.steves-digicams.com) is wellknown for its daily news.
- C|Net (http://www.cnet.com) has become more like a gateway to products than a news site but there may be some useful information. Even the fawning articles seem to be written by the companies that make the products.
- Walt Mossberg (http://ptech.wsj.com) writes technology columns for the Wall Street Journal.
- Photo.net (http://www.photo.net) has one of the more interesting groups of forums on the Internet.
- Businesswire.com (http://www.businesswire.com) distributes news announcements from thousands of companies.
- PR Newswire (http://www.prnewswire.com) stores press releases that you can search by company or keyword.
Links to Sources
As you consider what you need to display and share digital photos, you'll often be choosing or using software and hardware devices from a variety of sources. To help get you started, we have listed "Sites to Visit" and "Google These" boxes with hundreds of links to Web sites. We suggest you read the book to see what each product category is designed to do, and consider the features and other issues that we discuss. Then, for more product-specific information, visit the listed sites or Google the terms we provide. Be sure to Google the terms in the Google News section also. There you'll find the most up-to-date information.
Searching on your Own
When using a search engine such as Google to find companies, products, or services, there are ways to isolate the information you want from the thousands of listings a search may generate:
- Search for multiple product names or keywords and you're more likely to find comparisons.
- Enclose phrases such as "digital frames" or multipart names such as "Electric Shoebox" in quotes.
- If you can think of a truly unique word to search for you are better off. For example, searching for "anaglyph" will yield sites on stereo photography while searching for the more general "stereo" will list a wide variety of sites.
Mining Company Sites
Manufacturer Web sites can be a great source of information. You can find descriptions and specifications in the product section or read press releases in the news or press section. Many companies even put product manuals on line in the support or download section. Before choosing a product, it helps to read at least parts of its manual because you get a much better idea of the
product's capabilities, features, and complexity than you will ever get from the same company's glossy marketing materials. If you have trouble finding something, see if the site has a site map.
A photo of a rock formation in the mountains of Santa Barbara superimposed over a photo of milkweed blossoms in a multiple exposure.