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IM ink Newsletter July/August. This issue will cover: domain names and registration, curling and an introduction to GIMP for image manipulation.

Your Domain is Your Kingdom, and You are its Ruler

by Administrator Kevin Weslaski

What does it mean to own your own domain name? It means that for a small price, you can take ownership of a tiny portion of the Internet. Having a domain name means you own a location or address on the Internet. More importantly, it provides global visibility via the World Wide Web.

The terms URL (Uniform Resource Locator), IP address or, simply, website address, are synonymous with domain name. Therefore, when someone asks you what your web address is, they are asking for your primary domain name primary in the fact that you can own more than one domain name that directs visitors to the same website. For example, Image Management owns several domain names, including imagemanagement.com, .net, .ws, and imagemanagementracine.com. All of these addresses point to the same website, where imagemanagement.com is the primary domain name.

When we meet with prospective website clients, one of the first questions on our 'Website Creation Form' is, “Do you have a domain name?” Usually, the answer is no. This initiates working with the client to define a domain name that is practical for their business or company, and also make sure it is available. A good place to see if a domain name is available is through www.domains.com; sometimes the .com domain you are searching for is taken, but not the .net.

Your domain name should reflect the name of your business, company, or product, and is an important factor for search engines. Google, Bing, Yahoo! Search, etc. all recognize your domain name as a key component allowing users to find your website on the Internet.

Domains are inexpensive. Image Management charges $35/year to register a domain on behalf of clients. If prospective clients are not ready to invest in a website, but have a business, product, or service that warrants a site, we suggest reserving a domain name and positioning an 'Under Construction' placeholder on the Internet for that particular domain.

A good website starts with a good domain name and your business deserves both. So, take another look at your domain(s). Would your “brand” benefit from adding more domains or another domain name? Remember, your domain is your kingdom and you are its ruler!

The Sport
     of Curling

by Designer Derek Kilps

As for many, winter days dragged on while never being long enough. I needed something to occupy my free time as outdoor activities became more and more limited. How about curling? I attended an open house at the Racine Curling Club. Some skepticism remained; nonetheless, I signed up for my first league. At the time, I didn't even fully grasp the scoring system, so winning a single game that season would've been a surprise. Still, what began as something of a joke turned into an appreciation for an enjoyable and competitive sport.

Curling is a sport of sliding rocks towards a circular goal on an icy surface called the 'sheet.' It was first played on frozen lochs and ponds back in 16th-century Scotland and carried over to Canada and the U.S. by immigrants. Innovations of the 20th century created the modern variant that is played indoors. Today, it is an Olympic medal sport with over a million players of all ages and skill ranges throughout the world.

As a game of strategy and skill, curling stands as one of the most demanding. Teams consist of four players, known as the 'Lead', 'Second', 'Third (Vice-Skip)', and 'Skip'. The Skip is the captain and strategist. As the 42-pound granite stone slides its way down a 138' by 14' path, sweepers can alter the distance and rotation of the path by sweeping the ice. Because of this and the game's method of scoring, the game takes on a much greater depth than just aiming for the goal. Points are scored only for stones closer to the center than your opposing team's closest stone. Teams will employ guards, draws and takeouts to score the most points. Each player alternates delivering two stones per 'end' (an inning). Games usually consist of 8 ends – a repetition of deliveries followed by scoring – which takes about two hours to play.

Curling turned out to be one of the most enjoyable sports in which I have participated. An additional element of excitement: dashing from the Sunday matches in time to catch the Packers’ run to the Super Bowl!

610 Main St. • Racine, WI • 53403
Phone: 262-898-9136

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Being One
    With GIMP

by Web Programmer
Richard S. Joswick

If you're reading this newsletter, you likely have a computer. Image manipulation is a common task performed on computers, and being able to do so is increasingly important in the age of digital cameras, social networking and personal websites. Many people immediately think hundred-dollar investments and specialized knowledge to modify photos. This article cuts through this myth and seeks to empower adventurous readers via the GIMP.

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It may not be Adobe® Photoshop®, but it offers amazing value professional quality software at a price anyone can afford: free.

GIMP's home on the web is www.gimp.org. Windows-compatible binary installation files can be found on SourceForge, accessible via the GIMP homepage by following the 'Downloads' link. Install and launch it just like any other program.

A standard lexicon accompanies image manipulation. Some of the rudimentary terms are explained to help ensure a common level of understanding. Scaling (to scale) describes changing the display size of an image. Cropping is trimming off the edge of an image to create a smaller image. Color mode describes how the computer interprets the behind-the-scenes numbers into color information. Common color modes are RGB (red-green-blue), an additive color mode most often associated with screen display (ex. websites), and CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black), a subtractive color mode that ensures color fidelity for print applications (ex. brochures, business cards). Resolution refers to the number of dots (units) per inch. Screen resolution is typically 72 dpi. High-quality prints are 300 dpi or more.

Some of the most common tasks associated with web graphics are scaling an image so it fits on a web page, cropping the image so that the focus of the photograph is correctly centered, and saving the image in a web-compatible image format such as JPEG (“lossy” compression ideal for photographs) and PNG (lossless compression ideal for graphical elements and logos.) GIMP handles these simple tasks with finesse. Tutorials and instructions are beyond a newsletter's scope, but the beginner tutorials here are concise and well-written.

There are many free image manipulation tools available. GIMP may be the most popular but for some, its full-featured interface might be intimidating. Other alternatives are available: check out this article, “15 Great and Free Photoshop Alternatives,” for a brief description of viable programs.

Latest Clients Showcase

Here are a few of our latest web masterpieces.

Lazzeroni Art

Racine Sign Shop

Harbor Campus

Young Professionals of Racine

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