Monday, 4 May 2015

Blogger and Google Drive photo problems solved (I hope!); update on pattern cutting and dressmaking techniques classes

Just to prove I can still add photos - but this is the only one here! Unless you want photos of apple blossom, tulips, snowy mespilus, grape hyacinths etc. The garden is awash with colour. Gorgeous!

One of the problems I had was that my photos disappeared from my blog. This followed computer problems after which I changed the location of the photos to organise them better (not realising the chaos this would cause).

A few months ago, I discovered that photos taken on my smartphone could be directly uploaded to Blogger. In the add photo box in blogger, taking directly from your phone was an option. This worked well and was very easy. The only issue was the lack of editing of the photo.

I think I changed the settings on my phone, however, as I didn't like that every photo I took was potentially going to be broadcast. This is only in retrospect I'm working this out, so I'm not sure. However, I think I changed the share/privacy settings a little (my photos were always private, anyway). Anyway, my phone photos stopped being available to blogger. I couldn't work out how to change it back. At the same time I cleared up the photos as my phone had lots of photos on it and any particular one was difficult to find - but found this meant I deleted them from blogger.

Fortunately, I was able to restore the photos, after finding out how by Google search, though I couldn't restore their links into my posts. I manually restored the links, or at least some of them. Others I decided could be missed off the post.

I now found that if I downloaded my phone photos onto Google Drive, I could upload them into blogger. Still no editing but that seemed to work for a little while. I shared the contents of Drive across all my platforms - by this time my laptop was long gone, so that meant PC, tablet and phone. I did some posts on my PC and some on my tablet. The tablet was easier as I could start working on a post when I had some spare time eg waiting for a class to start. My tablet did not have access to my PC hard drive where I stored photos and had editing software. I decided this was okay.

Although I shared Drive across all platforms, I found that if I changed Drive, I could not access the changes to Drive made after a particular post was started. This meant that the image of the Drive was outdated. Changes I had made didn't show. I had previously noted that not all photos I tried to put onto Drive got there. Anyway, I realised I couldn't just use my modified Drive to replace the photos.

After the problems with the computer, I tried to organise my photos in Drive as they were so very difficult to find. Not at all like the lovely folders of individual projects I had envisioned. However, I now found that my blog posts were full of empty photo frames, some with captions. Only so far back, though, as my use of Drive to get photos from my phone and onto Blogger was relatively recent.

I still had the photos in Google Drive but Blogger couldn't find them (the ones that I had taken from our shared drive were fine - these were the ones DH took on his camera). Okay, I thought - all I need to do is to copy them or move them onto my computer. No. Nothing that straightforward. I've solved it now, but if anyone has problems with this, please ask me and I'll give you more details how to manage the transfer.

Some of the photos downloaded okay (select, choose download, choose 'save as ' after message about zipped file appears and choose where you want them to go). They downloaded into a zipped folder, but I could choose the site of that. Getting the photos out of the zipped folder was fine except on a couple of occasions when my computer hung or something - saying it was going to take over 4 hours to copy 40 photos - something I achieved later in a few seconds.

After I was sure that all the photos had downloaded okay, I took them out of the zipped files and put them into the appropriate file. At this stage, I didn't then delete the photos from Drive - I may as well leave them there!

I started to go through the blog posts to try and replace the photos. I have replaced some but decided others didn't need to be there. I don't feel that it's worth a lot more of my time to sort them to the nth degree. I have the info in my physical learning log.

I have decided that my blog posts from now on will not use Drive as an intermediary unless it's simply to get a photo from my phone onto my PC. I can then call up the photo from the appropriate folder, edit it if necessary (I'll probably continue to use Photoshop Elements as I've used it before) and then get Blogger to download, I mean upload, the edited photo.

So my next posts should have appropriately edited and oriented photos, even if I take them in class on my phone! No photos in this post, though - I spent a long time getting photos back into my blog posts and I'm quite tired! I still have one post, that I know of, to update, but I can't find the photos anywhere!

Update on classes:
My pattern cutting class has restarted - we enrolled on Thursday past and the first official class is next week. We worked in the extra enrolment class on modifying the style of a quarter trouser block. Next class, we will start on our personal block.

The news isn't so good with the dressmaking techniques class (now called sewing techniques).

I have enrolled but the new person in charge wants to have so many students in the one class that it just won't work. Previously there was a class size of 12, with different classes on different nights divided into beginners, 2 or maybe 3 classes I believe (absolute beginners included and those who were starting course even though they had some experience), continuers and advanced. I did one term of beginners, where we learned some skirt making techniques, one term of continuation where we learned some trouser and jean making techniques and the third term you do your own project, with the tutor on hand to help as required.

However, new guy wants to have 20 students, mixed levels (as he says we are all starting at the beginning of a BTec.) and they have 20 enrolled in the fulltime college course, during the day - but during the day, at any one time, some are doing research, some are doing fabric painting, some are ...etc so there is never a situation of 20 trying to sit and sew.  There isn't the power supply for 20 sewing machines, certainly not safely.The room might physically hold 20 students. The new guy has been told repeatedly that a mixed class of 20 won't work - we are adults there for 2 hours per week to learn how to sew, not students there for several hours a day over a college year.

At this stage, I still don't know what's happening - I believe new guy is prepared to have 2 classes if the number of students is 24+, but at the moment , due to all the chaos around this - people being enrolled for the wrong course, wrong night, wrong fee, being told class was full when it wasn't, turning up for enrolment and finding no-one there, giving up because they don't like fee increase or want to do a course etc, the numbers have not reached 24 (last term there were 50+). D is trying to chase up the 35 students who told her last term they wanted to continue but who haven't enrolled.

So I'm going back next Monday (today is a bank holiday here) and don't know whether this will be a class of 12 which would be tolerable or a class of 20 - meaning that in 2 hours my maximum share of tutor input would be 6 minutes - but then there's all the whole class stuff, admin, course related work etc taking time away from hands on sewing. A lot of us who were together last term are very unhappy and it's possible that we'll withdraw altogether, but only as a very last resort. If that happens, D and R have said they'll do extra classes in their studio (they currently only have one night work each per week - previously they each worked 3 or 4 nights, so their income has plunged). That's great for me as their studio is only 20 minutes from my house - the college is an hour, but not so great for those students who live closer to the college.

I actually quite like the idea of a course as it keeps things more structured. Extra sessions would be a sewing bee and not provide me with the basic foundations of technique that I am seeking. So I'll be at college to the bitter end, whatever that end might be!!

4 comments:

  1. Oh dear - feel for you with all the hassle over photos. I am not computer literate at all but number one son has installed 'Dropbox'. Any photos taken on my phone then arrive in the dropbox on my pc...then I can move them to my sadly neglected blog if need be....I have to ask him tomorrow evening to update my dropbox as it's full - no doubt this will cost money if I can't delete some of the unnecessary photos there.
    As you say a tablet is not a pc.....it sits where I sit when I feel I have to show my face in the living room and if we need to know something I'll google it there...pick up mail etc....speak to son on 'hangouts' (quicker than texting) etc....

    Gosh that class sounds like it would be a nightmare. I used to teach calligraphy in the local technical college and I would never have wanted more than 12 in my class. At the beginning there might have been more if I was pushed but I knew that some would fall by the wayside when they realised there was hard work involved and letters were not going to jump from the pen perfectly without determination....some wanted to write their daughter's wedding invitations after 6 weeks.....I pointed out that you don't learn to play the piano in 6 weeks! It would be mayhem if you had those bigger numbers and what are you paying for 6 mins of his time? Not on. I once went to an art class and left because the pushy people there commandeered the tutor's time and what's more she seemed to allow herself to be commandeered. When I taught I watched exactly the amount of time I spent with each student for fairness sake....and made it clear to all of them that they would get equal amounts of my time.
    The thought of others painting and whatever while you folk were sewing it a no, no.....paint on your fabric?? Sounds like you will be better off with the former tutors in their studios...
    I hope it all works out for you.
    I'm glad you are back again.

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    Replies
    1. I actually have Dropbox but have never used it properly. Perhaps I'll think about it again as it is well reviewed. It came as standard on my new laptop. Thanks for the reminder.
      The tutors try to divide their time fairly but as you say there are pushy students; one tutor is a bit of a conflict avoider and complained of one particular student (whom I don't know) she can't handle well. I don't mind if someone takes longer because they have a particular problem or need; it all works out in the end, it could be me next week - but not if they're just pushy. Of course absolute beginners would need more help - that's only right - so a mixed class would leave even less time for me.
      Thanks for your good wishes.

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  2. I love how to solve computer problems with Google -- you'd be surprise at how helpful YouTube is also!

    I highly recommend Dropbox -- I back up all my PDF patterns and pictures here. Plus, it is easier for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I will look into using Dropbox. I had originally thought that there was no need to use it because Google Drive is also across all my platforms. My phone and tablet are Android, so Drive is native to them.

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