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Back in 2010, I got the bright idea to undertake the.largest.project.ever. Hubby’s grandma was turning 80 years young, and we were trying to come up with something to commemorate the event. My MIL had planned a big surprise party with family coming in from all over. We knew she didn’t need anymore “stuff” and would enjoy a more sentimental gift. So, we came up with the photo slideshow idea.

We have long talked about organizing all of our pictures. When we got married, we put together a slideshow of some of our favorites of us growing up. But, that just doesn’t begin to cover two families’ combined photo history. We dug up boxes from my in-laws’ and started scanning. We found some great memories and put together a slideshow 8 songs long. We had scanned a lot of photos.

Unfortunately, the quality just wasn’t up to par. We presented the gift with the promise to improve the image quality, and of course, add more pictures ☺ We researched, we tried new programs, and we just figured there had to be an easier way.

In the midst of the slideshow project, we were also in the process of backing up all of our photos. You know, the ones that we had scanned when we got married AND the ones that we had just spent hours upon hours over the previous year scanning. After sending back a malfunctioning external hard drive not once, but twice, we finally thought we were making progress. Until that horrible noise and the even more horrible screen. You know which one I’m talking about. The screen that all computer-users know. The Black Screen of Death. It happened all of a sudden, without any warning, and BEFORE the external hard drive was recognized. We took the computer to the store, and we were told there was no hope for an easy recovery. The computer was vintage. I mean, it was just about 7 years old. ANCIENT! We had to call in the pros. The Apple store recommended a company that could possibly extract the data from our hard drive, but it would be expensive. As in, the-cost-of-a-new-computer expensive. It was worth every penny! All of our irreplaceable memories saved. We did buy a new computer, too, and with it, I discovered that the Apple store gives workshops. For free. Finally, we could figure out this slideshow thing!

So, one Saturday morning, Hubby and I sat through the “introduction to mac” workshop. And, although a lot of the information covered was a review since we have been personal mac users for about 7 years, we did learn some new tricks. Plus, a lot changes in 7 years, so we learned that our new computer had some neat features that our “ancient” laptop did not.

All in all, it was informational and, being free, I would definitely recommend a workshop to anyone who just wants to take advantage of all that these computers have to offer.

On a side-note, I was relieved and a little annoyed to learn that with the updated iPhoto version now available, the slideshow project was much simpler than we had made it out to be. I did continue to spend a lot of time retouching scanned photos, but the actual exporting and burning to a DVD process through iDVD went smoothly AND image quality was retained.

Third Bucket List Item: Take an Apple Workshop. Check.

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