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Computing With Bifocals
by Nancy Carroll Gravley

A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....




Creating Logos & Instant Messaging In OS X
May 22nd, 2002

I'm at a point in my life where I can count the time before I retire in weeks rather than years. This is a very good thing. I have greatly enjoyed my career and if I may be a bit immodest for a moment, I know that I have contributed a great deal to my field, and to the well being of the disabled individuals with whom I have worked.

However, I want to sleep late, stay up late, paint, travel, spend more time with my children, and take this column back to once a week. Oh yes, how can I forget – I want to spend more time on my Mac and hope that I never, ever have to use a Windows machine again. With this goal in mind I have realized that I am way past due on getting some new games and software. Naturally, I have felt compelled to do some research.

The LogoCreator 2.5

If you have, or plan to have, a small business or an Internet business, this software may be a great asset to you. It will help you create a logo for your business using a template and graphics. It is extremely easy to use and the end results can be very professional looking for a modest investment of US$ 79.95. This application is a product of LaughingBird.com and was primarily designed for use when creating Web pages for a small business. However, the product easily transfers to other uses such as invoices, stationary, packing slips etc. There is an on-line tutorial available from the LaughingBird Web site.

Macintosh System Requirements:

Power Macintosh 250+ MHz
OS 8.1 or later
64 MB or more of installed RAM
30 MB of available disk space
16bit-color monitor (1000s of colors)
capable of 800x600 resolution


The Logo Creator Start Page

The company offers two Editions. Each is a separate purchase, but you can download a trial of each and check out the templates before deciding which you want to purchase. When you click on "Corporate Edition 1" you will see the template choices.

The following images demonstrate how I used the application. This first thumb print is of one of the templates. The second is the text changes I quickly made to personalize it using the option buttons on the right. The third thumbnail shows how I changed the image.

My changes in the LogoCreator Templates.
(To view a larger image click on the appropriate thumbnail.)

I can personally attest to good technical support and quick responses to questions from Marc Sylvester, one of the owners of the company. Mr. Sylvester even offered to walk me through the steps necessary to modify my logo so that I can add it to the postage meter I use for my eBay business. Come September I will take him up on that offer. Meanwhile, Marc has offered a special price just for Computing With Bifocals readers. You can get a US $20 discount if you use this link to place your order.

Adium (OS X) 1.6


The "Awake" Adium Icon (When the application is closed the eyes of the icon close as well

Adium is an Instant Message client (for OS X.1 or greater only) that allows users to use AOL Instant Messenger (or AIM) capabilities without having to use AOL or the AIM branded application. When two or more individuals are signed on to the Internet at the same time and their ID information has been included in each other's personal Adium "Buddy List," those individuals can carry on real-time chat conversations. The application is free and can be downloaded from Download.com. (For more information about downloading please see the Computing With Bifocals Index. Choose "How Do I" and scroll down to Downloading.) It is the product of Adam Iser and only works with OS X. Follow the instructions to install the application. Here are just a few of the windows that you will use to personalize your application (notes on each screen shot are included below the image).


Your Buddy List will look similar to mine.


Use this window to configure your version of Adium as you choose,
using the options on the left side of the window.


This window allows you to add all the screen names of people you want to include on your Buddy List.


Using this window, you can block any unwanted persons so that they can not contact you.


This feature is important if you leave your computer on all the time
with your Adium application active. It allows you to leave a message
that will let your buddies know you are not ignoring them
if they try to send you a message.

This is an excellent application for new users, because it is easy to do and lets you experiment with several options. If you are still a bit unsure about OS X, this is a good way to practice. I also recommend it to adult children who are encouraging their parents to use Macs. Once it is set up (do it for them if you have to), most people will appreciate the fact that there is instant communication and that one does not have to bother with using e-mail. There are far fewer steps to follow.

Perhaps at some future time we can discuss the whole irony thing of thinking about e-mail systems as being slow and cumbersome.

If you have any questions, comments, or tips, let me know and I may include them in a future column.


Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions  for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping.   To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.


Post your comments below.
Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!

A Capacious Catalog Of Computer Tips

Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color, covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.

Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.


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