Two good things

People often ask me about good ways to create and share a slideshow. Here’s my recommendation for that, and a pointer to a useful Windows 8 app that aggregates your online calendars.


Create a slideshow without using PowerPoint

PowerPoint is the component of Microsoft Office designed to create a presentation of separate pages or slides. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. PowerPoint was launched in 1990 and has become more complicated and frustrating ever since.

If you work in the corporate world, you will encounter PowerPoint. At some time in your career you will either sit through endless presentations, or you will be called upon to create a presentation.

Good luck with that.

If, on the other hand, you are just a regular person who would like to assemble a slideshow of your vacation, family reunion, bike ride or some such event, PowerPoint might not be your best choice. Maybe you want to set this slideshow to music. Maybe you want to burn it to a CD or upload it to YouTube or Facebook. There are good alternatives to PowerPoint, and several of them are free.

My go-to program for creating slide shows is called Slideshow Creator. (Why can I never remember that name when someone asks me?) OK, well its full name is Free Bolide Slideshow Creator, and it’s available here: http://slideshow-creator.com/.

This thing just works. Essentially, you drag your photos into the program, arrange them the way you want, and add any transitions you want. Now you have a slideshow. It is incredibly easy to add music, and with two clicks you can tell Slideshow Creator to time your slides and transitions to come out even with the music. Once you’re satisfied with the result you can save it to a flash drive, burn it to a DVD, or upload it to Facebook, YouTube, GoogleDrive, Dropbox, etc.

This program, downloaded from the Free Bolide Slideshow Creator website, is free of viruses, malware, adware, and toolbars. It works beautifully on all versions of Windows from XP to 8.1.

An alternative to Free Bolide Slideshow Creator, also free, is DVD Slideshow GUI. This program comes highly recommended, but I have not tried it. It’s available here: http://download.videohelp.com/tin2tin/index.html. DVD Slideshow GUI offers many of the same features as Free Bolide Slideshow Creator and one more, which is the ability to include video clips in your slideshow. (There is a paid program from Bolide that will do that: http://movie-creator.com/.) It appears that the developer is no longer maintaining the DVD Slideshow GUI program, because the “instructional videos” no longer exist. That put me off a little. In contrast, the Free Bolide Slideshow Creator site has several helpful videos and all the links seem to work properly.

View and manage your online calendars from OneCalendar on Windows 8

If you are using Windows 8, there’s a useful app that will let you see your stuff from multiple online calendars all in one place. OneCalandar handles your Google Calendar, Windows Live, Outlook.com, Exchange, Office 365, and Facebook calendars very nicely. It offers Day, Week, Month, and Year views, and the ability to add, update and delete appointments on your calendars. Color-code your calendars to keep things straight.

OneCalendar is here: http://www.onecalendar.nl/#/onecalendar/overview. A link from that site will take you to the Windows Store where you can download and install it.

Adding your calendars to OneCalendar is very straightforward. Once you’ve set up your OneCalendar, you can add it as a Live Tile to your Start Screen. You can also choose to display in on your lock screen.

I had a question about OneCalendar, and sent an email to the developer. Within a day I had a clear, correct answer from half way around the world. So I like the support, too! OneCalendar is an excellent replacement for the very weak built-in calendar app in Windows 8.1.


Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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