Simple Asset Management

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SIMP - Simple Asset Management

Simple Asset Management

When embarking a new ‘Asset Management’ software project, some key areas were looked at from the very start to ensure the end result adhered to three main points.

 

Ease of Use

All too often, the complexity of systems meant the software designed to solve a problem, became the problem itself. User interfaces became a minefield, the initial data per asset was too in-depth and often not even available.

The time taken to collate and input the initial key data had to be kept to a minimum, too complex and the same old result of missing and unreliable data meant unreliable output.

Much of the data per asset is common data, with each asset type having a set of common parameters that could be applied to many assets.  Ensuring as much of the common data is populated for each different asset type ensured the keystrokes required when adding assets were kept to a minimum.

By collating and entering data from the very start of an assets creation or purchase key dates, costs and other data could also be recorded. Ensuring these are correct in the purchase systems meant the share data could also be used for assets. It does not matter what the asset is, it could be a car, an image or a piece of machinery.

 

Tracking

It should be remembered we are looking at physical assets, a single item. The single item may be made of many parts, and these parts themselves may need to be recorded. The important part is that we should not lose track of the asset itself. A single entity that is uniquely recorded. It does not matter what location this unique asset is placed, what the asset is used for or who the asset is used by, as all of these are secondary and recorded as such.

If an asset moves, or is resold the asset itself still remains, the unique entity must not change because it is in location B instead of A.

Recording changeable information against an asset is the next important area. The information recorded could be anything from where it is located, a sale or rental price and period, or just that it has been maintained and checked. When developing new systems it should be considered where all key data is going to be recorded and utilise the sharing of common data where possible.

Again ease of use must be considered, the easier and clearer it is made to record data the cleaner and clearer the end result is.

 

Presenting the data

Ensuring clean and easy presentation of our data is crucial to the system being both accepted and used.

We have our assets and we have our recorded data against these assets. We have to make sure that the data can be found easily, and the results are clear.

Again there are many systems that present user interfaces and data in such a way, that the time it takes to actually find what you want becomes the downfall of the system. The majority of the time most of the data is irrelevant to the person enquiring about an asset, all they want is some small or basic information but instead are present with charts, data, and numbers cluttered onto a screen. Some of this data may be useful, but most will not.

By structuring the output and displaying only key information on initial result screens, it makes it easier for the user to identify the asset they want. Separating further data into key areas ensures that each page displayed is relevant to the users’ request.

It is also important to be able to extract the required data, whether this is required electronically or in printed format, the same applies, key relevant data that the user has requested, if this is the date due for the next MOT, then they do not need the last five years of repair data and similarly if a stock image of a red pepper is required, then those green peppers can be left where they are.

The user is key, they need to get the asset information they want from the system, quickly and easily, they only need relevant information and the need to be able to share, send, record and act on the information, ensuring this will also ensure the system is accepted and used to its full potential.

Capture One Pro – Getting the look you want

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Capture One Pro - Start Image - Andy Sears

Start Image – Unprocessed

Getting the look that you want for your images can be time-consuming with large image files and required processing power often dragging software down to a crawl. This was the main reason for the switch to Capture One Pro.

Processing multiple files and exporting images is fast with Capture One Pro, there appears to be no drag on the system and very little in the way of freezes and crashes. Cataloguing is fast and relatively simple (after the initial learning curve which actually isn’t that bad).

With you images captured you set about tweaking, getting the best out of your image. The first step after importing is getting rid of any junk, a quick flick through the images and I can easily see what to keep and what to get rid of, again this is quick with no lag.

For the adjustments, you can manually adjust exposure, clarity, shadows, brightness etc as well as a mass of other delicate settings. Cropping is easy and can be to a set constrained ratios or free. Adjusting colours, the temperature etc again is with a phenomenal amount of settings, some self-explanatory and some take a bit of working out. From the colour adjustment panel, you can also switch to black and white.

You can also add layers, to process local areas of an image using selection brushes and gradients to create masks.

You also have pre-defined styles which with a single click can create the entire look of your image including black and white, retro looks, portraiture and selective colours amongst the offerings. Other style packs are also available to suit various needs, some free and other to purchase.

Once you have your start image, you can process your basic settings and then clone as a variant so not having to start all over again for different looks. The variants can also be viewed side by side

 

Capture One Pro - Multiple image selection

 

As can be seen above multiple image variants can be viewed side by side to see the differences between your processes, with all your available imported files and variants on the right-hand side. The final images can be seen below.

So whether you want to give an image some punch, convert it to black and white or just do some subtle colour correction, it is worth giving Capture One Pro a try with the 30 day free trial.

Download Capture One Pro 10 here

Cosmos in vase - Andy Sears Garden Photography

Capture One Pro - Image Variants

The Google Nik Collection – Now Free

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Google Nik Collection for Free

The Google Nik Collection is now available for absolutely nothing, free, gratis.

Analog Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro and many more have been made available as a free download, to help you create artistic stunning images.

Available for both Mac & Windows, the Google Nik collection is a great way to bring you new and old photo images back to life.

Google Nik Collection for FREE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can download the collection here – www.google.com/nikcollection/

Free Focus for mac

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You can get a free copy of the clever macphun focus software for your mac, give your name and email and away you go.

The software allows you to try various blurring / focus effects, quickly and easily. Add vignetting, adjust contrast and saturation and more.

Choose your image and choose the effect you want macro, tilt shift, portrait  etc, and make your adjustments as required. You can use the software standalone or as a plugin for Photoshop etc.

Free macphun focus software

 

The software really is easy to use with a slick interface, I have found myself digging out some older images where pushing through Macphun focus gives them a  new lease of life with pretty good results. There are not many free offerings in life, but this is one worth having.

Have a look at focus and other offerings from Macphun and give your images a lift.

Get your free focus software here form Macphun.