Loose Ends

As 2010 prepares to bow out it’s time to look in the nooks and crannies of the office and see what I’ve missed. Every year a few things I intend to write about invariably fall through the cracks. There’s no underlying organizing principle here, but I’m tossing in a bulleted list so it’ll look like there is.

  • Big Disappointment Dept. FLO-TV, which won Zoom Street’s Best Product award  is going out of business in March, 2011. I’ll miss being able to watch MSNBC when I’m in line at the post office. But the idea of “personal TV” has made its way into smartphones, so all is not lost.
  • Genuine Fractals from onOne Software has a new (and less esoteric) name: Perfect Resize. It’s part of their new bundle of apps called Perfect Photo Suite 5.5. If you’ve ever had to upscale an image and preserve its quality, then you probably use Fractals and will move over to Resize.
  • A very handy plug-in for Adobe InDesign is PDF2ID. It allows one to open a PDF file inside InDesign so it’s completely editable—Mission Impossible without this plug-in from Recosoft.
  • Zoom Street doesn’t have a Best Books of the Year feature, but here are my top ten picks for that nonexistent honor: Murder City by Charles Bowden; C Street by Jeff Sharlet; Charlie Chan by Yunte Huang; The Last Boy  by Jane Leavy;  Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim; Fraulein by Ellen Von Unwerth; Star Island by Carl Hiassen; Noir by Robert Coover; The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry;and Sleepless by Charlie Huston. Note there’s only one photography book on the list. Although there were several published this year that I’ve enjoyed, Ellen’s is the one I’ll keep returning to—even if it’s only a PDF edition. The book retails for about $1,000.
  • Despite all the new models gushing out of the Nikon pipeline, I still find myself reaching for my old D90… it remains the most comfortable camera I’ve ever held. Sure I’m tempted by the D7000, but it still seems like  an interim model in the realm of DSLR video capability. When Nikon speeds up the autofocus in Live View, that’s when I’ll jump.
  • And just so there’s one photo in this post… an image called “(e)rose” by Norman Conquest for the writer Harold Jaffe.