Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

GIMP Resynthesizer

2010-07-14 Comments off

I’ve been pretty amused by the buzz about the new “Content Aware Crop” feature in PhotoShop. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t have that feature because I’ve used Open Source tools to do the same thing for years.

The bench really distracted from the composition of this image so I simply used the Resynthesizer plug-in for GIMP to remove it.

  • Free select tool to “lasso” the bench.
  • Filters -> Enhance -> Smart Remove Selection.
  • Done

Recent Portraits

I’ve been working on my photography quite a bit this year and feel like my images have progressed dramatically from what I’ve learned. I’m finding I enjoy doing portraits and have done a few shoots recently for friends and family. I hope you enjoy them.

They are an example of what can be achieved with only Open Source software. To achieve the same results using proprietary solutions would require spending well more than $1000 on software alone. Instead these and more are available in the standard Fedora repositories. All I had to do was click on “System -> Administration -> Add/Remove Software” and look through the “Graphics” packages. It couldn’t be any easier!

See the tools I use and more pictures after the jump!

2009-09-12 Durant Lake One

The red light from the setting sun over my right shoulder almost makes it look like the trees have already started changing colors. I shot this in RAW format using my old Canon Digital Rebel and then tonemapped it using the excellent qtpfsgui tool.

Categories: Pictures, Tools Tags: , , ,

Stitched photos of a Christmas tree in Dubai

2008-12-23 Comments off

A friend of mine recently took a trip to Dubai where he apparently ran across this gigantic Christmas tree in the mall.  He took a series of pictures I assume to show off both its grand size and its mad fiber optic color changing skills.

The set just screamed to me that it needed to be stitched together as a panorama, both do see the whole thing at once and just to see what Hugin would do with the color changes.  I assume the entire tree changes colors at once so the different levels just show the passage of time between the frames.

Its not up to my normal standards for panoramas but considering there’s no way he had this sort of thing in mind when he took the originals I think it turned out pretty well.  Especially for only a few minutes of work.

Categories: Pictures, Tools Tags: , , , ,

Dear Lazy Web, Blog Search Engine

Dear Lazy Web,
We have a bunch of internal blogs at work, or we will soon. Problem is that we have many different ways for people to blog. We’re working on an official solution but there are other ways to blog. For example, some of the wiki’s have blog like features, some groups have set up their own servers, and many of the “collaboration” products out there have similar features. It would be really nice to allow people to post in the solution they like best, yet still have a central location for people to see what’s going on in our “blogosphere” so to speak.

A traditional aggregation solution like planet or Feedjack isn’t going to work because they won’t scale to the number of feeds we’d need to track. After a certain number of feeds are configured in the system its going to spend almost as much time (if not more) crawling the feeds as it would displaying them. Especially when you consider most of those feeds won’t have been updated, crawling all of them each time isn’t very efficient. Its become very clear that a solution more like Technorati is the direction we’d want to go. By only indexing sites when they “ping” it to tell it they have been updated the content can remain up to date without wasting time crawling pages that haven’t been updated.

I’m somewhat surprised that I wasn’t able to just find something to accomplish this task very quickly. It seems like it should already exist and a simple search over a freshmeat should have turned up several options.. I think I’m looking for the wrong things though because I haven’t found anything yet that does what I’d like it to. So dear lazy web what should I be looking for instead? I know it must be out there…

Categories: Tools, Work Tags: , , ,

Citations and Wikipedia

2008-02-15 Comments off

[citation needed]I’ve been playing around with the excellent zotero Firefox extension lately. Which has me thinking about my sources and what is the proper way to cite them. Because I work with Open Source software every day I’m very conscious about giving credit for the work of others. Especially ever since I learned about the Creative Commons.

I’ve been doing a bunch of research at work lately, and even though I’m only posting it on internal wiki pages I wanted to make sure I was doing things correctly. I’d hate for something like this to happen to me. Whenever I need to learn how to do something properly I go look at what the “pros” are doing. So when I asked myself “What is the correct way to cite sources on a wiki page?” I went straight to the biggest wiki in the world. I knew they’d most likely have already tackled this question, and already had a policy to address it. I wasn’t disappointed.

The first thing I found was a new link in the toolbox section of the left column.  Its been there for years, I just hadn’t noticed it before. “Wikipedia – Cite this page” which takes me to a page that I guarantee will save many a school student’s paper grade. At the very top is a disclaimer warning that tertiary sources, such as encyclopedia articles and Wikipedia pages, aren’t considered as acceptable sources by most teachers. The Bibliographic details of the article are listed next. zotero detects these and imports them with a single click. Finally, ready for cutting and pasting, is the proper formating of the bibliography entry of the article for eight of the major style guides, BibTeX, and LaTeX. Now that’s helpful!

Oh, by the way, I did find what I was looking for. There’s extensive information on the proper way to cite sources. There’s a beginners guide, citation templates, examples, and much more. While there isn’t a set standard it apears the most popular method is to use APA style entries in the contents of footnotes.

Wikipedia gets better and better on every visit! Its an excellent research tool as a jumping off point, and I learn so much every time. Just be very carful to stay on topic or this might happen.

Categories: Tools Tags: , , ,

Firefox extension for taking screen shots

Screengrab!People keep sending me “screen shots” that turn out to be Microsoft Word documents with web pages pasted in them. Last time I checked screen shots were images not text documents. When I asked them why they didn’t send me an image instead they said $40 was to much to spend on an application just to take pictures once a month with it. Thankfully, there’s a Firefox extension that does this job quite well, works on all platforms, and its free!

Screengrab! is an extension for Firefox that makes it easy to save a web-page as an image. With it, you can save anything that you can see in a browser window – from a small selection, to a complete page.
Basically Screengrab! let’s you take what you want from a web-page: the entire scrollable document, just the visible bit, or a draggable selection. Screengrab will even save just the contents of an individual frame. — Screengrab! website

I use it to grab all my web page screen shots these days. It couldn’t be easier to use. Just click on the Screengrab icon in the bar at the bottom of Firefox, select save and you’re done. Go get it from the Firefox Add-ons site right now! You won’t regret it.

Screengrab! :: Firefox Add-ons

Categories: Linux, Tools Tags: , , ,