Welcome to our Tech Blog.  Here you will find a valid attempt made by me to provide valuable information related to photography, smartphones, and other high-tech things that come in black boxes that causes use to spend our hard earned dollars to obtain and improve our lives.  So thanks for coming over and hanging out.

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26 Aug 2010 - EST!

My first online review!  EPE (Event Photo Emailer) Program.  Created by Adrian Hood!

Hmm, where do I start with this info review? Ahh, the heck with it, I'll just jump right in and spill the beans.

EPE!  Event Photo Emailer!!  For those not in the know. EPE is a program developed by Adrian1906 (a fellow DarkRoom user of the Express Digital User's Group).  Adrian hasn't posted on the board in a while because he has been very diligently improving his emailer program.  I now digress to what EPE is and what it can do.

EPE is a program that allows you to email a raster print output to a designated email address. That's it in its basic form. The only thing you need is an internet connection. The connection can be that of dial-up, cable, HotSpot, or via a smartphone modem of which I use. Once you set everything up
and save to your "Defaults", you only need to do what I call is an "EPE action".  That is, you press the "Windows Key and the Z key",...this causes an EPE macro to open the "Properties" window of the active photo in the workshop.  Adrian has written the macro to auto fill the word "email", so all you have to do is type the outgoing email address.  Okay,...now hold your wireless mouses,...cause you're probably thinking.  What if I want to send a copy of the image to myself for reference?  No problem, Adrian has you covered there.  Okay, so what if I want to send the photo to more than one email address. Onnnk! Adrian has you covered there too. More on those later.

The EPE download and install is fast and easy.  There's only a few things to go over in the setup and for those that have configured MS Outlook as their mail client, then they have all of the necessary "server" data required to get EPE up and working.  You will need MS Net.Frames,...but you more than likely have that installed already.

What is EPE good for?  Well, there's this one guy here that had a large job where he needed to mail out tons of images to event attendees.  EPE enabled him to do this right within DarkRoom.  Plus Another benefit of EPE is that it can provide some spark to a slow event or even become the spark of an event.  As for me, I mainly use EPE to enhance onsite orders. I also sometimes add it as a freebie to a customer that just spent say,...$100 at my station.  From an enhancement point of view, an EPE action adds $5 to an order.  However, from a freebie point of view, I often
ask the person if they have a smartphone.  This way I can count on them showing the image to their friends when they receive it on their cellphone within the next few minutes.  I simply capture and image as normal, press the Windows/Z keys and ask for their email address.  I then select the "EPE 5x7 Print" item from the order list and press "Place Order" just like normal.

Now, since Adrian is 1)smart and 2)smarter than me.  He has covered the bases when it comes to what a user should get or expect from EPE.  First, EPE monitors an "Image HotFolder",...whenever new images are printed (read: sent/output to) this folder, EPE will begin the process of emailing the images. That is, if you "checked" the Auto-Send box.  Also, EPE even now monitors the internet connection and lets you know when it's in "STANDBY" mode waiting for more images. Additionally, by checking the "Confirmation" box, EPE will send a copy of the email and image to the EPE users email address. This way, if for some reason Jamie calls and say he didn't get his image, you can just forward him a copy using the "Confirmation copy" sitting in your inbox.  But wait, before that happens, EPE will even let you know when an image 1)doesn't have an email address attached or 2)the email address failed.

Also, this is where it really gets good.  In the event you need to send a given image to multiple email addresses, no problem.  You only need to add the second email address - separated by the deliminator " ! ". Here's a sample of what I mean. If I type the following in the Win/Z pop-up window within Darkroom (
jmd.mep@comcast.net!myeasyphoto@comcast.net), an email with the attached image will be sent to two separate email addresses.  Whoa! Hold up!! Did I mention Adrian was smart'er.  Well he is, I say this because customers won't just receive a blank email with a jpeg attached.  You see, Adrian has designed EPE to auto attach a custom body of text within your email.  The text within the body of the email is customizable to anything you would like to say about you or your business.  Lastly, EPE even creates a log file of actions processed so you can review for future reference.  Now!  Get this,...everything is done behind the scenes - EPE simply works and is well work the small fee charged for the program.  You set it up once and EPE takes care of everything. Now, that's what I'm talk'n about!

Moving on.  Now before you ask, does EPE replace your regular print requirements?  Heck no it doesn't! The main thing you want to use EPE for is to "enhance" the photo capturing/receiving experience during an event.  As for me, I've added the EPE Action as a line item on my order form and it's listed as a "Facebook, Twitter or MySpace" print quality line item.  That said, you don't want to use EPE to send large jpeg files. This is especially true if you're on a cellphone dial-up connection.  Now, as 4G cellphone technology rolls out,...I say do what you will - and make that $money$!

Wow!  I've said a lot, so please allow me to briefly summarize.

-EPE - What is it? EPE is a program that works with Darkroom Pro that enables a user to send email output jpegs to an email address as entered in the "Properties" area of a image file in Darkroom.

-Can I use EPE to enhance my onsite printing business? - You bet it can.

-Will customers purchase an EPE action item?  They most definitely will.  I sell EPE actions at every event I work.  Just be sure to let folks know that the image is for use on their Cph, FB, Twitter, or MySpace.  The image will not be of print quality!  I have a separate item for that,..which cost more than $5-buck$.

-Is EPE stable? Yes, EPE is very stable. I often have the following programs running at once: DarkRoom, Photoshop, ITP Pro, EPE and ConnectiFy and have no performance issues.

For those interested, here is a TBYB link,..."Try Before You Buy" link:  www.hoodandson.com/EPEv3.zip

Enjoy...Done!

JMD

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