Good Help – Easy to Find

It only makes me feel worse to look at it -this plain brown box of mine. It's about the size of a toaster oven. For a while I kept it out in plain sight, wide open, before I closed the top and pushed it aside -against my bedroom wall. It sure looked out of place. One small box you want to avoid can make an entire room seem cluttered.

After a long hands-on-hips stare at my box of shame, I shoved it under my bed. I told myself that I had shoved the box there for safe keeping, when, in reality I simply wanted to avoid its constant reminder of my failure.

The box is stuffed with old family photos. My parents loaned them to me during what must have been a temporarily lapse in my judgment when I probably offered time I don't have to scan the hundreds of photos I've never seen of ancestors I don't know. I want to be a good son, keep my word and do it, but even if I scan, crop, retouch and save one photo every couple of minutes, we're talking about a project that will take me days or weeks. Sure, I could look up a photo scanning service to do it for me, but I'd feel even lazier and if something bad happened to the photos, well, I'm not ready to consider that scenario.

Some of the photo folders that already exist on my computer are just as neglected and disorganized as my box of shame. They are strewn across my hard drive with whatever name and in whatever location felt right when I saved them. Indeed, now they are my computer folders of shame.

I wish there was a software program that would scan my entire computer, find all my photos, organize them by date or name or size and then just keep organizing any new photos I add anywhere on the computer. I'd like a program that could also show me a timeline of all my photos and automatically resize any photo for email without me having to do anything. And I want the program to have powerful yet easy retouch tools (like removing red eye) and cool photo effects (like sepia tone) applied with no more than one or two clicks of my mouse. I want the program to also let me click any photo and add it to my very own web site that it creates for me so I can publish a full gigabyte's worth (thousands) of my photos for family and friends. I want my site's visitors to be able to see and order prints of their favorite photos right from my web site. Oh, one other thing... I want this program to be completely free.

Take a look at picasa.com. It's another Google toy.

I might hire a scanning service for my box of shame after all. Then I'll let Picasa make me into the son I was trying to be!

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