Friday, October 20, 2023

Rabbit Holes With Randy - All the Best Laid Plans ...

This rabbit hole was very frustrating because I was on a hard deadline to get it done, and I failed. But we found a way... several times!

I thought it would be a good idea to make a slide show of our married life for the Anniversary Party on Saturday, 14 October. First, I updated my LibreOffice software to version on my desktop computer (I don't pay for Microsoft 365 or Powerpoint). I worked for a week on adding photos and captioning them on the slides - and included 203 slides.  It worked fine on my desktop computer. I set it up to change slides automagically every 10 seconds.

I needed to transfer the file to the laptop and update LibreOffice on the laptop to the latest version. I used my flash drive and the file transferred - 146 mb. Hmm, pretty big. I updated LibreOffice on the laptop. This was the night before the party.

Um. No. The menus in the updated LibreOffice file are blacked out. I guessed how to open the file, and it opened. All of the images are not there in living color - place holders instead. I Googled to figure out why the menus are blacked out - I may need to close Open GL using Alt-F12. There is no Open GL on the list of options using Alt-F12.  I really think that this LibreOffice version was not compatible with my laptop for some reason.
What alternatives are there? Maybe if I use Google Slides. I uploaded the file to Google Drive, and tried to open it in Slides. Nope. It's probably too big for Google Slides. Google tells me it has a 100 mb file size limit.  I could delete or resize a number of photos, but now I had a time crunch.

How about if I save it as a PDF on the desktop and transfer it to the laptop? That worked on the laptop. I can advance slides manually but not timed (which I really wanted to use). That's not going to work - I need to be available at the party and not tied down advancing slides.

Aha! A backup plan - how about if I make a Zoom video of the slides and show the video at the party. I will have to start it off and then restart it occasionally.

I made the Zoom video without sound, and self-timed the slides, manually advancing the slides every 6-8 seconds. It took about 20 minutes to make the Zoom video. I downloaded, renamed and transferred the file to the laptop and it worked! Whew.

My only jobs for the party were to make the slide show, get it showing on the projection screen, and get Linda to the party in a wheelchair on time. We used a medical transport service, which got us to the church at 10:50 a.m. for an 11:30 start time.

The pastor was there to help with the connection to the projector. The church computer is a Mac and they didn't have an HDMI cable dongle to connect to my laptop. I did, but their cable end was different than my dongle - I don't know why. Aha - can we transfer my Zoom .mp4 file to the church computer? I left my flash drive at home. The pastor had a flash drive in the office. She retrieved it, and I put the video file on the flash drive using my laptop, then put the flash drive in the church computer, and it worked. The pastor restarted it several times during the party.

While this was happening, my daughters, my grandchildren and the kitchen staff were putting out the food and decorating the church fellowship hall with a Hawaii theme. Linda was greeted by the attendees at her table in her wheelchair assisted by my daughter Tami.

Did I mention that daughter Lori had arranged for an "Elvis" impersonator to entertain our party attendees? He was pretty good, and sang and kibitzed for 90 minutes. Many folks were singing along with our Elvis. He sang to Linda and myself, and finished up with the Happy Anniversary song. The slide show played in back of the stage all during his performance. Here is a photo of "Elvis" with the slide show on the screen:

My thanks to our pastor for her patience and thoughtfulness in helping make the slide show a success. My thanks to my daughters and grandchildren for their help and support through all of this.

We had a good time and I think the attendees did too. Elvis was "our music" back in the 1950s and 1960s, and Linda loved it!


Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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