Sample a foretaste – The Prologue

22 Nov

Sample a foretaste – The Prologue.

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Sample a foretaste – The Prologue

22 Nov

Sample a foretaste – The Prologue.

The Tablet Excels as a Virtual Stamp Album

25 Nov

In the beginning was the clay tablet. And the word suddenly became magic. The venerable scribes were imbued with the power of writing so that words were “spelled”. Civilization would never be the same again.

The book replaced the clay tablet.  But it retained and even enhanced the great power of writing.

Now today the tablet has returned, in electronic format, with a built-in keyboard as its stylus. The magic has gone full circle. Quo vadis “the word”?

Somewhere between the book and the electronic tablet came the postage stamp, which often landed up in a book which was called an album. Then along came Facebook, which took the world (and its albums) to a new a level of understanding. Cyberspace would never be the same again. Everyone became a virtual scribe. And many more albums were created online. “It’s  really magic“,  the people said.

The stamp album tagged along, virtually!
So when the new TABLET arrived, the magic rose to heights never before known to man.

For it was then that the humble postage stamp reached its destiny …

… when the electronic tabletthe iPad, the Kindle, the Galaxy Tab … etc., became the new VIRTUAL STAMP ALBUM.

Follow this blog to find out more about the magic of collecting virtual stamps on your tablet phone or device …  a new kind of application with the good old human touch!

How I illustrated my poem with virtual stamps

7 Aug

The Greatest Show on Earth

performing seals

Watch closely now
The passing parade of life and how
The various performers take their bow

circus clown

The clowns are easiest to spot
They make us laugh, embarrassed, hot
More often than we admit, or not

Then come tamers of the lion
Their charges caged in bars of iron
Cracking whips, make others whine

Jugglers wearing crowns of kings
Skilled at throwing balls and rings
Manipulate so many things


Trapeze artists who make us fret
It’s life itself they dare to bet
Without a line or safety net

Conjurers whose amazing tricks
Make money vanish and, for kicks,
Your golden rings, and building bricks

Escape artists: masters of illusion
Rely on alibi, timing and confusion
To add to your life’s great delusion

The acrobats of great ability
Do mental flick-flacks with agility
To question your mind’s own fertility

Now who is left, come let us see
The watching crowd. It’s you and me
By far the great majority

We need entertainment for the day
To get our money’s worth we say
But there’s a certain price we pay

If we won’t get our own feet wet
Someone else will put up posters yet
The show goes on – that you can bet.

Bruce Kilgour

Best reason to become a virtual philatelist

26 Jul
The following poem was shared by Mark L. Hamburg at
philatelic@philatelic.com

STAMP COLLECTOR

My worldly wealth I hoard in albums three,
My life collection of rare postage stamps;
My room is cold and bare as you can see,
My coat is old and shabby as a tramp's;
Yet more to me than balances in banks,
My albums three are worth a million francs.

I keep them in that box beside my bed,
For who would dream such treasures it could hold;
But every day I take them out and spread
Each page, to gloat like miser o'er his gold.
Dearer to me than could be child or wife,
I would defend them with my very life.

They are my very life, for every night
Over my catalogues I pore and pore;
I recognize rare items with delight,
Nothing I read but philatelic lore;
And when some specimen of choice I buy,
In the world there's none more glad than I.

Behold my gem, my British Penny Black;
To pay it's price I starved myself a year;
And many a night my dinner I would lack,
But when I bought it, oh, what radiant cheer!
Hitler made war that day, I did not care,
So long as my collection he would spare.

Look - my triangular Cape of Good Hope.
To purchase it I had to sell my car.
Now in my pocket for some cents I grope
To pay my bus fare when home is far,
And I am cold and hungry and footsore,
In haste to add some beauty to my store.

This very day, ah, what a joy was mine,
When in a dingy dealer's shop I found
This franc vermilion, eighteen forty-nine...
How painfully my heart began to pound!
(It's weak they say), I paid the modest price
And tremblingly I vanished in a trice.

But oh, my dream is that someday I'll glow,
When I might discover a Mauritius blue,
Poking among the stamp bins of a show;
Who knows! They say there are but two;
Yet if a third one I should spy,
I think - God help me! I should faint and die...

Poor mister ------, he's cold and dead,
One of those stamp collecting cranks.
His garret held no crust of bread.
But albums worth a million francs.
On them his income he would spend,
By philatelic frenzy driven;
What did it profit in the end...
You can't take stamps to heaven.

Robert W. Service 

Virtual philately definitely has an advantage - and you can bequeath your virtual albums to ALL.
 
Ready for conversion

Now scan them!

 Join CyberStamp Club today!
http://www.cyberstampclub.co.za

Digital Stamp Albums

22 Jun

Here’s good news for Virtual Stamp Collectors. You can use many existing Software products to accommodate your hobby. Put these programs to work as amazingly fast and efficient Virtual Stamp Albums. Here’s how:

THINK PHOTOGRAPH … THINK PHOTO ALBUM … THINK STAMP ALBUM.
Most Scanner support incorporates this form of photo software.
Not only can you customize your favorite photo sorter into a highly organized, chronological stamp stock book or album – you get the added benefit of the program’s on-board viewer facilities …. several levels of magnification up to 400% … and a slide show format comes with most. This is when the phrase “SEEING IS BELIEVING” takes on a whole new meaning for people who are serious about stamp collecting.

If you haven’t tried it, you have no idea how much pleasure you can get from building your own electronic or digital stamp album (Virtual stamp album). It is just a matter of time before the stamp collecting world at large wakes up to see what it has been missing!

Several Facebook members can attest to the satisfaction,  and meaningful interaction they experience building their virtual stamp collections on their own profile albums. Fun to do as it is, FB albums are restricted, not only in their limitation of 200 images per album,  they are also difficult to rearrange and slow to operate compared to on-board computer album programs. Nevertheless, the following themes are already to be found on Facebook albums … extensions to their creators’ personality profiles:

Horses

Polar regions

Rabbits

Tigers

Police

Bats

Wolves

Bears

Dolphins

Sea Horses

Ships

Fire fighting

Flags

Dogs

Birds

Christmas

Books

Entertainment

Albums can be quite magical

The hobby is catching on fast and the list of topical themes is growing … also on Flickr and MyPhilately.com

Also, the source of reasonable stamp material is growing – we look for larger, quality stamp images that show all details clearly – preferably “mounted” on a black “stamp mount” background.

I recently became an affiliate of FlipAlbum.com – a dynamic, easy-to use digital album which I recommend. Not only is there a free standard version available but the fully functional, more versatile version (Vista) can be obtained at a special discount by utilizing the Cyberstamp Club discount code – making it an extremely attractive proposition. It can be used for distributing commercial brochures and other e-based projects, in addition to serving as the ideal digital stamp album or personal photo album.

Screenshots, discount code, and links available here:

http://www.cyberstampclub.co.za/flipalbum.htm

I hope you will all have as much fun as I do, managing and viewing my own growing collections. Something I can one day bequeath to as many friends as I like …. virtually.

Bruce Kilgour

Your “Virtualstampman”

Some thoughts on Virtual Philately

14 Jun

When the first stamps were designed, their images were intended to be reproduced en masse  thus designers and artists were assured of mass scale promotion of their artworks. Such mass public scrutiny demanded that meticulous reproduction techniques be employed to remain faithful to the specially selected miniature artworks – mini ambassadors for the countries they represented.

In this respect not much has changed … stamp art enjoys large scale public recognition. When an issue runs low, a few million images are often added to the stock (reprinted), broadening the exposure of that particular work of stamp art significantly.

However, the scale of operation has increased dramatically over the decades.  The proliferation of postage stamps has reached such proportions that modern day stamp collectors are hard-pressed to keep up with developments, even for a single country. And eccentrics have also been known to wallpaper their homes with postage stamps!

The stamp collecting fraternity has provided further impetus to the phenomenon of free (self perpetuating) stamp art “advertising”. Through storing, cataloging, and exhibiting, stamps have enjoyed more free advertising exposure (for their countries, stamp artists, and causes) than could ever be dreamed of when the humble postage stamp first made its debut on postal stationery. An entire industry, “Philately”, grew in the wake of all this. Stamp enterprises such as Stanley Gibbons have now become household names.

Then came the internet ……

And not a moment too soon. The power of the computer to sort, classify, cost and visually record stamp collections once again empowers collectors to KEEP UP. And if not entirely materially, at least virtually. In the last decade alone, this tremendous electronic aid has improved by leaps and bounds. On-line storage for images, trading through social media such as Facebook, high speed image transfer, quality imaging techniques, larger bandwidth, mobile phones etc. all go to making the budding hobby of virtual philately, virtually unbeatable.

No longer are internet stamp images confined to tiny blurs for the sake of minimal visual recognition. There are countless millions of such stamps depicted digitally on the web. We decided to add a touch of class to the act and show stamps off as their designers and makers would once again be proud to behold. It was then that we realized that you could have just as much fun collecting these quality images (virtual stamps) in electronic albums (photo organizers) as you do with real paper stamp collections, the latter now being far more limited in application, by comparison.

So the impressions are set to multiply once more – no longer confined to the usual print order quantities of millions – but virtually infinitely … something beyond the wildest hopes and dreams of their originators and commissioners since 1842.

Long live virtual philately!

Virtual philately is here to stay

8 Jun Virtual Philately - for stamp funatics
Virtual Philately - for stamp funatics

Collecting stamps on computer is called virtual philately

Computer technology now provides an innovative boost to the age-old hobby of stamp collecting. Swapping virtual stamp images electronically, pasting them into digital albums and stamping your outgoing e-mail letters and MMS’s are all part of the fun.

It had to happen sometime. With an explosion in the world’s virtual reality markets, where not even the dearly departed can escape without a virtual funeral service, CyberStamp Club has launched a major initiative in the philatelic field. Now you can collect stamps on your own PC, or on your mobile phone, as an attractive extension to more traditional philatelic pursuits.D

Virtual or cyber stamps are defined as “quality digital images of genuine postage stamps, in mint or used condition, which are scanned and transferred between collectors electronically. They are collected for exactly the same reasons as normal stamps in as far as their non-physical form will allow.” They appear onscreen as mildly magnified images – easy on the eye – showing all pertinent print details clearly.

The home site http://www.cyberstampclub.co.za is primarily directed at the vast philatelic market, as a complimentary aid to modern stamp collecting. It proclaims: “Virtual stamp collecting is a rewarding computer hobby that has everything to do with the appreciation of postage stamps and not much to do with old-fashioned rules.” This refreshing approach launches an age-old pastime dynamically into the new millennium … and cyberspace, stimulating renewed interest in all aspects of the world’s number one hobby. Within a few months of going live, Cyberstamp Club signed up hundreds of pioneer members of all age groups from around the world.

Interest in virtual stamps, or quality-scanned images of actual postage stamps, does not lie with stamp collectors alone. Because of the vast universe of commemorative stamp material, which has been issued throughout the world over for over 150 years, no group is unable to make practical use of the CyberStamp Club images: Researchers, historians, bird watchers, animal lovers, artists, etc. … all will find these miniature art depictions invaluable as visual or illustrative aids in their own particular field of interest.

There is a growing culture of virtual services on the internet … from virtual dating to virtual banking. It is within this established culture that the virtual stamp-collecting concept thrives. Already, people from dozens of countries around the world have subscribed to the club’s free membership – more recently via the Virtual Philately group on Facebook. (Also the Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/virtualstampman )

Bruce Kilgour, founder, foresees a time when many a bored secretary, hospital convalescent, tired business or home executive will trade their favourite computer game or puzzle for the absorbing pastime of theme stamp collecting on computer or cellphone.

With virtual stamp collectors trading directly through http://http://www.cyberstampclub.co.za  and other social networking sites such as MyPhilately, Facebook and Flickr, and amongst each other, virtual philately is set to take off around the world like a virtual hula-hoop.

As the club’s motto says: “Virtual Philately is the most fun you can have with your computer on”.