More times than I can recall club members have ask to shared their digital media with the club at the regular meeting or during social observing nights. Many of items are photographs they have taken; a few are documents they have discovered on the Internet. Usually the photographs are on a directory of a USB memory stick, which are displayed with one of the Imaging software program on the observatory computer. I have seen many great photographs presented in this fashion. It was not always a good presentation method. A better way would have been by using digital slide show software. By using one of these programs text information could have been added to the slide and the photos could be shared with all of the members during the meetings.
The software Impress, part of the Open Office suite of programs, is a free slide show program that is a well suited this purpose. For my slide shows I use an old version of Microsoft PowerPoint, which is not free and very expensive. As with any software learning how to use it takes time. Often the supplied Tutorials are long-winded, and sometimes hard to follow. I find the HELP functions often are more insightful.
Remember now that I have spend a lot of my working years in the Information Technology field, reading many software manuals and documenting procedures for “In House” developed software. I realized how much of a task it could be to learn new software. I have often seen software documentation focus on minor details and impressive features, while burying basic features inside the manual. To that end I have documented the steps to guide the user in creating a basic slide show. Assuming the user knows what a toolbar is and drop down menus are and how to navigate using a mouse. This is all covered in one or two page document. Not all of the step procedure I write will make sense to everyone. Need more information, search the software Help files for details.
So here they are for you to download and follow. First you must download and install the Open Office software suite for the Impress slide show from this web page. http://www.openoffice.org/ You can use the custom install to load only the Impress on your computer or load all of the programs.
Then download my (very) basic documents:
How to make a slide show using Open Office Impress. Text Version .txt
How to make a slide show using Open Office Impress. WordPad Version .rtf
If you have Microsoft Office suite then use this one:
How to make a slide show using Microsoft PowerPoint. Text Version .txt
How to make a slide show using Microsoft PowerPoint. WordPad Version .rtf
Now if you really get the hang of this and share your photos at the club meetings, you can use you newfound skills by making any number of different informative presentations. One such example is the Konstellation Klouseup show, that former President Joe Kamichitus many years ago. An informative slide show of the deep sky objects of interest in a Constellation that can be observed with a telescope from your backyard. Need reference material to create a Konstellation Kloseup show? Well you’re in luck, for the club’s library is stocked with many observing books well suited for this. Download this list of books in the library and other resource available online.
Observational books in the LAS library and online resources. Text Version .txt
John D Sabia