About Jennifer Cisney

Kodak Chief Blogger & Social Media Manager

200 Patents and Counting for Kodak Alaris’ Joe Manico

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Joe Manico (Photo Credit: David B. Goldstein)

At the recent Personalized Imaging Global Town Meeting, Dennis Olbrich recognized one of the Kodak Alaris team members for achieving the milestone of acquiring his 200th United States Patent.  Joe Manico was surprised at the attention he received at the start of the meeting and was quoted as saying, “I had no idea, I’m just glad that I got to the meeting on time”.  Joe joined PI in November of 2012 as a Patent Engineer, but he has had a long history of innovation and intellectual property that started back in 1975.  Since then, Joe has come up with creative inventions and has acquired patents in areas of technology including; digital imaging, film and digital cameras, innovative digital displays, printers, and print finishing systems.

I asked Joe a few questions about being a Patent Engineer…

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Very Early Career: Joe a long time ago starting his career – circa 1975

Q: What is your background, your schooling for instance? How does one become a Patent Engineer?

A: “I have taken a very unconventional path and do not recommend it, to quote my High School Guidance Counselor after she learned that I had won a NYS Regents’ Scholarship, “We never thought you were slow or anything but we never expected this?” I didn’t expect it either. I was more interested in making rockets and models than school, except for the chemistry and physics labs.  I got lucky; over the years I’ve had a lot of different jobs in research and development which exposed me to some brilliant mentors, all kinds of new technologies, and engineering and scientific techniques and procedures.  These experiences provided me many opportunities to solve problems and to be creative.  It helped working in environments where there was more interest in the right solution than the right process or credentials.  I’ve always been drawn to work that involves innovation and creativity, and when that work involves technology that leads to intellectual property.”

"final stage" hydro-pneumatic powered video camera rocket

“final stage” hydro-pneumatic powered video camera rocket

Q: You must constantly be writing on the back of napkins or waking up in the middle of the night with ideas. What best practices do you have for maintaining focus, organization and process?

A: “Yes, many scraps of paper.  It’s critical to always write it down.  In whatever your preferred form, paper or digital, make a sketch, write a few sentences, anything to document the idea, even if at the time sounds funny or seems impractical.  The next step is to refine or expand the original scraps of paper or digital note into a more formal format.  For inventions, a simplified ‘Patent Application’ format works well for me; title, date, a brief abstract, and a few annotated sketches.  For product concepts, I like the ‘Print Ad’ format, which gives you one page to communicate the features and benefits of your idea to a potential customer. What’s nice about these forms of documentation is that they can help convey your ideas to a broader audience and by using these slightly more rigid formats it forces you to really think about your idea and solve potential problems with it or think about alternative approaches.  The same thing goes for a simple print ad; it forces you to think about it.  If you do this enough it becomes a habit.  As far as organization my natural way of thinking is to ‘compartmentalize’.  Everything related to an idea goes in the same labeled mental, hardcopy, and/or digital folder.

Kayak Dog: An attachment Joe made so his dog could go on Kayak rides.

Kayak Dog: An attachment Joe made so his dog could go on Kayak rides.

Q: Do you ever get “inventor’s block”, like “writer’s block”? After 200 patents, how do you keep coming up with fresh ideas?

A: “I wouldn’t call it a block, but sometimes you know there is a better solution that you just haven’t thought of yet.  All patents are solutions to problems.  If you like to think about problems you will have ideas.  The more you focus on a specific problem the more ideas you will have on how to solve it.  It’s about picking right problem to focus on.  The real key for me when managing your own ideas, or problem solutions, is to embrace and discard with the same enthusiasm.  If you are working on a problem, dump an idea as soon as you think of a better one.  It’s hard and counter-intuitive, but don’t get emotionally attached to your ideas.  It will help you have more ideas.”

Joe's now 26 year-old daughter Carley!  in "Action Photo" early prototype (Print from Video)

Joe’s now 26 year-old daughter Carley! in “Action Photo” early prototype (Print from Video)

Q: How does your team support one another in what would seem like a competitive environment?

A: “That’s a great question.  A diverse team can analyze a problem from many different perspectives and provides broader set of potential solutions.  If the team has a mutually agreed upon objective and includes many different disciplines and skills then your chances of success really increase.  We are fortunate to work in an environment where people are more than willing to share their ideas and opinions.  I think people realize that the more we work together the more we all will succeed.”

Joe's home work space and desk

Joe’s home work space and desk – with patent awards hanging on the wall

Q: Why are patents important to a company like Kodak Alaris?

A: “Generally speaking, patents are important to any company involved in innovation that leads to new products and services. Companies need to protect their efforts and investments in research and development and patents provide that protection.”

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Rotor Kite: Home made high wind rotor kite

Q: Do you think you will make it to 300 patents?

A: “Well, if I do I’ll make it to Wikipedia, that’s their prolific inventor threshold.  I don’t really have numeric goals like that; I get satisfaction out of the process.  I like to invent things, file patents, and see inventions in products.  But, just like with cats; they chase things, they kill things, and they eat things but each of these activities provides its own rewards or there would be no multi-billion dollar cat toy industry.  You have to learn that every idea will not become a patent or make it to the market, but you can’t win if you don’t play.”

Homemade "Sea Crocks"

Homemade “Sea Crocks”

Q: If you weren’t a Patent Engineer at Kodak Alaris what do you think you would be doing?

A: “I’m not sure but I think it would involve working on inventions in some form.  I’ve always liked making things, drawing, and writing but my current role provides the resources and opportunities that are very rare to come by so I really appreciate the work and do my best to make the most of it.”

Photo Projects for a Memorable Valentine’s Day

When it comes to crafting and holidays, Valentine’s Day is right up there for me. It’s all hearts and pink and glitter! I got pretty excited when we started working on some photo projects to share this season on the Kodak Tips and Projects Center. We love adding photos to Valentine’s decorations, cards and gifts because it adds a personal touch. Here are some of the fun ideas we came up with…

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My co-worker, Patricia made this adorable frame with an inexpensive frame, a hot glue gun, and real candy hearts. Bonus? It smells delicious!

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This is the world’s tiniest Valentine’s photo project! Mini-prints at Kodak Picture Kiosk are perfect for making this secret message clothespin.

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You can make this cute heart garland with photos and patterned paper for hanging in your house or even embellishing a gift.

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Hand out treats in these photo tubes. Super easy to make.

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This is where the glitter comes in. After you make a card at Kodak Picture Kiosk, make it extra fancy with glue, glitter, sequins or anything else cute you find in the crafting aisle. Right now all cards at Kodak Picture Kiosk are 33% off.

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We have had this project around for awhile but it’s a favorite. After you eat all the chocolate from your heart shaped candy box, turn it into a picture frame!

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Here is something for the photo adventurous. We have instructions for making heart shaped bokeh.

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Do you have kids that are exchanging Valentines at school? You can make photo cards at Kodak Picture Kiosk with their pictures on them. Get creative with the photo to personalize the cards even more. It helps that all cards are now 33% off for Valentine’s Day.

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This is an idea that really pops. Make prints and add a lollipop for a really cute card/gift.

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We have lots of ideas for taking photos that are perfect for making fun cards and photo books in the Tips and Projects Center. I hope these have inspired you to make this Valentine’s Day a memorable one! We had fun coming up with them for you. Any day you get to use a hot glue gun in the office is a good one!

Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk near you.

Get organized with the Kodak Rapid Scanner II

On the list of top10 New Years resolutions, “Getting Organized” is number two. Was it on your list this year?

The end of January is when a lot of people have either given up on their resolutions or they are taking steps to reach their goals. If you had “Getting Organized” on your list here is something you can do and be able to cross something off!

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Gather up all your loose prints and shoeboxes of photos and head to a Kodak Picture Kiosk with a Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II. A Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II can scan your prints and turn them into digital files that you can use create photo products or Archive DVDs.

The Scanners are so easy to use that you can do it without the help of a sales assistant. They are fast too. You can feed the scanner stacks of 20 pictures at a time and it scans FIFTY 4×6 photos in about a MINUTE! You can also be assured that you will get great image clarity and color from the Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II.

Once you have your photos scanned and digitized you can create a photo book that organizes them however you please. An Archive DVD is a good way to store your photos and transfer them to your computer. You could even cross some other items off your to-do list and use your photos to make thank you cards or photo gifts like calendars.

Kodak Picture Kiosk and the Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II can take care of your printed photo collection so quickly it will assist you in the #10 top New Years resolution for 2014… Spend More Time with Family.

Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk with a Kodak Rapid Print Scanner II using this store locator.

New Year’s Resolution: Do more with your photos

Twitter and Facebook has been full of posts about New Year’s resolutions. I was reading a friend’s blog post about goals for 2014 and noticed that “Take more pictures and do something with them” was on the list.

It might seem like we are taking more photos than ever with our mobile phone cameras always on hand along with Instagram and Facebook making it super easy to share them. But what do we do with all those photos?

At the beginning of the New Year I looked back over a lot of pictures from 2013 to write a recap post on my blog, make slideshows to post to Facebook and see how I did on my New Year’s goals. I think everyone would agree it’s a lot of fun to look at pictures whether they are from the past year or twenty years ago.

Do you have lots of photos that are buried on your hard drive? Trapped on your mobile phone? Why not set them free where you can enjoy them every day?

Display Your Pictures

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What better way to enjoy your photos than to put them on display in your home where you can see them all the time? There are so many options. Perhaps a formal wall arrangement where you can match the frames and photos or maybe create an eclectic arrangement.

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You don’t have to go with typical frames in a wall presentation. Try something like placing photos in an old window frame, tying them to a tree branch in a vase or clipping them to a wire strung across two nails. Not only is it a fun way to display photos but it makes it super easy to swap the photos out and refresh them each season or holiday.

Check out some of the home photo display ideas and projects featured on the Kodak Tips and Projects Center.

Tell a Story with Your Pictures

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Shoeboxes filled with photos have been replaced by computer folders full of jpegs. There really is no substitute for flipping through a real physical album of photos. You can tell a story with your photos and captions in a photo book and then it’s there on your book shelf or coffee table ready to relive at any moment.

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Your stories don’t have to be grand adventures either. It’s not just vacations and weddings that can be recorded in a photo book. Something as simple as the season for your garden or your child’s baseball team can make a great subject for a photo book.

Here are some tips for telling stories through photo books to help get you started.

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A really easy and quick way to tell a story with your photos is with a collage. There are so many ways you can enjoy a collage print of a collection of photos from a party, outing or just an afternoon outside. Hang it on your fridge or brighten a wall at the office.

Use Your Pictures

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Put your pictures to work and then you get to appreciate them every time you use them. Like with these photo bottle cap magnets. Bills and reminders are so much more pleasant when they are being held up by a smiling family member’s photo.

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Get creative with your photos. Use them for napkin rings, cupcake toppers, or gift tags.

Check out some of the fun ways you can be using your photos here.

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Do you stand in the card aisle looking for just the right card with just the right message? Why not make your own? Nothing is more personal than a photo card with your OWN picture and message. Not only for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day but consider using your photos for thank you cards, invitations and congratulations.

Don’t forget about giving photos as gifts. Whether it’s a photo book or a framed print, it’s a gift your friends and family will love and look at for years to come.

Hopefully these ideas get your mind going.

Kodak Picture Kiosk, the My Kodak Moments mobile app, and My Kodak Moments Facebook app are there to help you reach your photo resolutions for 2014!

Halloween photo projects

Did you know that the day after Halloween is one of the biggest photo sharing days of the year on Facebook? So we know you are taking lots of pictures on Halloween. Here are some ideas for using them!     spider-frame

A pack of plastic spiders, a glue gun and a plain picture frame is all you need to make a creepy, crawly display for your favorite photos.spider-clip

Those spiders can also be glued to clothespins painted black and go on to have many uses.

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They can hold photos and stand alone…

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Or be clipped to a string for a festive Halloween photo banner.

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Fill a jar with water, red food coloring and some plastic eyeballs for a really gross Halloween photo display. Yes! You can submerge prints from Kodak Picture Kiosk into water and they will last! “Prints made at our self-service kiosks are also waterproof and stain resistant. They are protected with KODAK XTRALIFE Coating that makes them incredibly durable—they are even wipeable!” – thus being able to add them to a jar of water.

You can make prints at your local Kodak Picture Kiosk for all of these projects and more over on our Kodak Tips and Projects Center.

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Not only can you make fun photo projects to decorate for Halloween with prints from Kodak Picture Kiosk but you can make other products to help share and remember all your best Halloween memories.

Create a cute Halloween collage from your photos to hang on the fridge or to send to friends and family.

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Collect all your Halloween photos either from this year’s party or from all Halloween’s past in a photo book that you can enjoy for years to come.

Find a Kodak Picture Kiosk near you to get started!

Twitter Chat with FILM photographers Aug 20

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UPDATE! THE CHAT TIME HAS BEEN MOVED TO 4PM EST, TUESDAY, AUG 20TH. 

We have some exciting news! Remember last March when we first featured the {F} Network here on 1000Words? Well, it’s almost time for the new season. To help everyone get ready, next Tuesday, August 20th at 5pm EST 4pm EST (NOTE UPDATED TIME!), we’re teaming up with the awesome photographers from FILM! Season 2 for a Twitter Chat. That’s right – the group behind [F} Network show’s popular educational and inspirational FILM! Season 2 will join us on  Twitter to talk about their experiences and give us a sneak peak of what we can expect in the new season. Wondering when Season 2 starts? They’ll tell us that, too.

Oh, and at the end of the chat… wait for it… there will be a Kodak film giveaway!

So next Tuesday at 5pm, fire up TweetDeck, TwitterChat or your Twitter app of choice, and follow the hashtag #KFchat to catch the conversation. Include #KFchat in your tweets so we can see what you have to share.

No doubt  we’ll all have lots to share after a day of picture taking on World Photography Day, the day before the chat!

Here are the photographers from FILM that will be participating so be sure to follow them on Twitter:

Tanja Lippert @tanjaLippert

Jonas Peterson @jonaspeterson

Ryan Muirhead @rnmphotography

Jan Scholz  @micmojo

And follow me @KodakCB for chat instructions, information, conversation starters and yes… the film giveaway and the schedule for FILM! Season 2.

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My Kodak Moment Social Prints Display Project

When I went to Hawaii last summer I took hundreds of photos. Some were on my DSLR, some on Kodak film and some on my iPhone.

The pictures taken with my DSLR and film camera were blown up, printed, framed and made into photo books.

The pictures taken on my iPhone were posted to Facebook and that was the last anyone saw of them. I recently went back to my Facebook album and realized there were shots I got with my iPhone, because it was handy, that I didn’t otherwise capture.

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Not wanting to forget those moments, I used the My Kodak Moments app for Facebook to make Social Prints of those shots. As you can see above I have ordered prints of my Facebook photos using the My Kodak Moments app before… it works really well with square photos like those that come from Instagram.

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You can access all your photo albums on Facebook to choose your photos. If your friends have given you permission, you can even print photos from their albums.

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There are several alternatives to choose from for your prints. You can change the background color/pattern and the orientation.

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You can even do a “mini-collage” print with three photos.

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Lots of combos to choose from!

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The app pulls in any comments that were posted to that photo onto your print. If you want to edit it or delete it just click “Edit Caption”

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I wanted a fun way to display these prints at home so I took an old frame and converted it into a photo display that I can easily update occasionally.

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It was pretty easy. I took out the glass and wrapped the board inside the frame with an old map. I thought the map would make a nice background for travel photos.

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Then I nailed small nails into the back of the frame, stretched wire across the front of the frame and wrapped it around the nails.

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I like to use little wee clothespins to attach the prints to the wire. They are so cute. You can also hang other memorabilia with the pictures like postcards, business cards, tickets and menus.

I love how looking at it brings back the entire trip for me!

You can try the My Kodak Moments app for Facebook here –> http://kodak.ly/MKMFBApp