The Digital Workshop blog has moved

8 Jun

Thanks for visiting the ship’s website!  We haven’t shut down our blog operations, but rather we have moved all of our efforts into one main blog.  This is to ensure that the experience for you, the guest, is one that is slightly easier because of more frequent posts, fresher content, and knowing that everything is in one great place.  The URL for the new website is:

At this site you’ll find new content, great feedback from all of our Techsperts, as well as useful links like Handout Downloads, and great information from Windows.

Thank you all for your support and for following along with the Digital Workshop.


Right is Might

14 May

Hi! I’m Techspert John and I recently joined the Zuiderdam for a summer of beautiful cruises in Alaska.

Something I am always sure to mention in my Digital Workshop sessions is a reminder to use the right mouse button when using a Windows computer. It is one of the most overlooked, yet one of the most useful, features of Windows. (And it’s not available on Apple computers.)

The right mouse button is used to access a “context” menu. A context menu is a list of options specifically tailored to control the item on the screen at which you are pointing when you press the button. This works almost everywhere in Windows!

When you find yourself asking, “How to I do X with this item on the screen?”, try pointing to the item and pressing the right mouse button. For example, if you want to make a change to your desktop, point to a blank area and press the right button. The context menu that appears offers functions such as “Screen resolution” and “Personalize.” If you are working in a Microsoft Word document and want to perform a task on a portion of text, simply right-click, and you’ll find formatting options, synonym look-up and much more.

The right mouse button is especially useful with the Windows 7 task bar. If you use the right button on a program icon in the task bar, you’ll find a “jump list” of files recently used with that program as well as favorite files which you can pin there. For example, right click on the Microsoft Word task bar icon and see your favorite documents. Right click on the Internet Explorer icon and see your frequently-visited web sites.

You can’t go wrong with the right button!

Head Cam on the Zuiderdam

17 Apr

As I leave the Zuiderdam in the capable hands of our next Techspert, John Busey, I’d like to share with you the great experience I had while working with Holland America Line and the Digital Workshop powered by Windows. The passengers and I had a blast creating masterpieces from the photos and videos we took of the fantastic places we visited. We did this all in the Digital Workshop using FREE programs such as Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Movie Maker. We shared these experiences using Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail. Get these programs now at  so that you can create what you are about to see.

As a Techspert that wears a camera on his head, I’d like to leave you with this 10 minute movie made with Windows Live Movie Maker: 

Wear your head cam when you can!

I’ll see you in June on the Maasdam!

Techspert Trevor, signing off.

Big Bird Movie Stars!

10 Mar

Logo Ostrich

With the amazing combination of the  Digital Workshop, powered by Microsoft and the places that Holland America Line travels to passengers can use their pictures and videos to create fun presentations!

Here on the MS Zuiderdam, the guests and I visited an ostrich farm in Curacao. With the use of free programs like “Windows Live Photo Gallery”and“Windows Live Movie Maker” we put together a 3 minute movie that we hope you will like.

Regular pictures are for the birds! Edit them and give them the right “tweetment” with Windows Live Photo Gallery:

        Straighten Photos                  Remove Red Eye                     Crop & Enlargeedit strip

Don’t ruffle your feathers with complicated slide show programs and fowl play! Use Windows Live Movie Maker:

        Add Video                    Add Music             Add Transitions            Add Captions

video strip
Make a masterpiece with Windows Live Essentials 2011!

    From the digital nest on the Zuiderdam, this is Techspert Trevor reporting!

Ride em Next episode:
                  Day in the life of a Techspert who wears a camera on his head!

Scuba in Aruba

11 Feb

animated_scuba_fish_swimming_hg_wht[1]Like the Beach Boys Song “Aruba, Jamaica, ooooooo I want to take ya to” . . . . . . . . . . . . .the Digital Workshop here on the Zuiderdam! This workshop is powered by windows and we get creative with several free programs like Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail. These are all part of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 suite and you can download them at Did I mention that they were all FREE!

While in Aruba, the passengers have been having a blast taking underwater pictures and videos of a world not often seen while up here on the ship.

Did you know that there is an underwater box available for almost every digital camera? Well, there is!!!

Here are some examples. If you don’t want to take the plunge to purchase an underwater box you can always purchase an underwater bag for your camera:

Custom-Underwater-Camera-44577[1]      Under_Water_Digital_Camera[1]      8.40504_e[1]

There are even some digital cameras that you can strap to your head!

PICT2235  PICT2156  PICT2224  PICT2228
Here’s a bonus for you. In Half Moon Cay Bahamas a passenger took some below the scenes video footage with their camera while swimming with stingrays!

Beautiful Creatures . . . . .you can feed them squid too!

This is Techspert Trevor reporting while wearing my water wings,



Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

14 Jan

As we set our targets high on the MS Zuiderdam,
our adventures take us to Half Moon Cay Bahamas!

The Digital Workshop, powered by Microsoft, is packed with creative students and armed with free Windows Live Essentials programs such as
Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows live Movie Maker.

The combination of these two programs are dangerous!

Hold on tight as one of our passengers presents to you their digital creation of an equestrian ride through the beautiful waters of Half Moon Cay.

Until the next wild ride, this is Techspert Trevor:

                                                      “Head ’em up, move ’em out!”


It’s Holiday “Panomania” on the Zuiderdam!

22 Dec

Santa HatsOur passengers have gone completely overboard with creating beautiful panoramic photos of our ports of call: Oranjestad,Aruba; Willemstad,Curacao; Panama Canal ; Puerto Limon Costa Rica!
Panorama 377
The holiday “ panomania” starts in the onboard, Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft. We use the program, “Windows Live Photo Gallery”, to create our maniacal, masterpieces. This program is part of Windows Live Essentials 2011 which can be downloaded at: .com.     It’s free! It’s free! It’s free!

YOU can become a “Panomaniac” too by using the panoramic feature in Windows Live Photo Gallery and you don’t need a fancy camera!

Here’s how to start the panomania:
Take consecutive, overlapping pictures, in a row, of a wide landscape scene:

Pano start flat

Connect your camera to the computer either by one of three ways: by
using the cable that came with the camera or by taking out the memory card from the camera and inserting it into the memory card reader on your computer or by buying an external memory card reader for about $15.

cord or card or external 

Open Windows Live Photo Gallery
and import the series of photos from your camera  by clicking the “Import Button”.Then select the folder with your photos for the panoramic, name the folder, and click “Import”.

import   Import Photos and Videos

On the left hand side click on “My Pictures Folder”, see the folder that you named and click on it. Now, Select all the photos

Click the “Create” tab, click the “Panorama button” and watch the stitching progress bar go!          It’s crazy, crazy, crazy!

create pan stich
Congratulations! You are now a Panomaniac!

ship panorama

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Techspert from the Zuiderdam,

HestonThey’re maniacs
I tell you!  Panomaniacs!

Avast Ye Red Eyes!

30 Nov

Ahoy There Mateys!

This is newly embarked Techspert, Trevor, reporting for duty on the beautiful MS Zuiderdam. While we set our adventures through the Carribbean and onto Panama, there’s a digital buzz in the air! It’s an exciting time right now for the Digital Workshop powered by Windows as the newly released version of Windows Live Essentials is here! The guests and I are having a blast, arming ourselves with these fantastic free programs such as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker, and Windows Live Messenger. These treasures can be downloaded at

Allow me to introduce to you to a great feature in this gem of a program: Windows Live Photo Gallery

As we capture splendid photos of our family and friends on our cruise adventure, we may not notice until  later, while viewing our photos,

“Shiver me timbers!  Me family’s got the dreaded red eyes!”

Well, don’t chuck your photos of yer red eyed buckos into Davy Jones’s locker yet!  Use the “Red Eye Removal Tool” in Window’s Live Photo Gallery!  Let me show you how it’s done:

Here’s the Red Eye Removal Tool:




Step 1. Identify red eyes in your photo

Step 2. Click the “Red Eye button” and draw a box around the red eyes

Step 3. Let go of the mouse and . . . .Red Eyes be gone!

It’s so easy, even a pirate can do it!

This is Techspert Trevor signing off until out next adventure with Windows Live Essentials.

Last week as the Techspert on the ms Zuiderdam!

6 Nov

Hi all!

Anna Laura, the ms Zuiderdam Techspert, here!

I wanted to write and say that this will be my last week as the Techspert on the ms Zuiderdam as my contract is coming to an end. It has been a fabulous time here!

We are currently exploring some amazing ports: Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, Panama, and Costa Rica!

Thank you for attending the Digital Workshop! It has been an amazing experience!

ms Zuiderdam Techspert,

Anna Laura

Willemstad, Curaçao Panorama

19 Oct
Hi all!
This is Anna Laura, the Techspert on the ms Zuiderdam at the Holland America Digital Workshop powered by Windows.
Yesterday, we ported in Willemstad, Curaçao, and I wanted to share the below panorama of the lovely buildings there!
This panorama was beautifully stitched together by Windows Live Photo Gallery!
ms Zuiderdam Techspert,
Anna Laura