Stefano’s Stuffs

Xinorbis – Disk Analyzer

One of the most interesting software I discovered in these days is probably the best disk analyzer ever made for Windows: Xinorbis by Paul Alan Freshney. It’s incredible rich of features and it’s exactly what I was looking for: it can analyze every local or lan disk and return a lot of information, also in a graphic way: file type chart, dimensions, folders…Perfect for show you useless files on your pc and display/print reports.

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December 29, 2009 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Little HDR guide for beginners

Wow, another HDR guide?Yes, because a lot of people everyday start to enjoy HDR and because my friend Hector , a very talented digital photographer always ready to learn interesting things, asked to me in the past about it. The difference between this very little guide and the others on the Web is probably the software I used: Dynamic Photo HDR for Win or OSX, not the really famous Photomatix; I found the one from Mediachance really fantastic, please buy it if you want to create wonderful HDR (Photomatix is good too, but I think it’s more difficult to get good results at first time, I tried it after some practice).

First of all we need an image: IMHO not every image is good for HDR and the most important thing is to choose the right image to process. We need something with lights and shadows, maybe taken during the day (night HDR is really complicated and often useless) and with clouds. You have two possibilities: take various shots of the same thing at different exposures (at least 3: one with nice exp, one underexp and one overexp; a lot of people uses 5 images, with two different underexp and two different overexp) or take a single, hi-quality image (the best your camera can) and modify by using a photo editing software (you know, Photoshop/Photoshop Elements is the right choice if you can, but you can also use the lovely Gimp or others:-)) for create and save other files with different exposures (for example in Photoshop the command is “Image->Adjustments->Exposure”; at this point create 2 files from the original, one with -2 and one with +2 exp and save them in the same directory of your photo).

Open Dynamic Photo HDR and click on the menu to create a new HDRI:

createnew

In the next step, click on “Add images” in the window and select your 3 files; remember to choose the right exposure for each of them (-2, 0, +2 like before) , deselect “Align files in next step” and click “OK”.

addimages

After some seconds the HDR image is produced, but we need immediately to “Tone Map” it to obtain a good result.

tonemap

This is the funniest part and the creative one: in this menu you can choose some templates: the perfect one for the “wonderful HDR images you can see everywhere on Flickr” is “Ultra-Contrast”:-). Now start to play with settings, pump up “Natural/Saturated” and “Vivid Colours” and eventually increase/decrease the “Dramatic” ones (it depends by the image). Probably you need to turn off the “3D filter” and add “NR” (Noise Reduction) for a good job.

ultracontrast

After clicking “Process & Edit” you’ll see a window with your final image and some buttons for little editing: click on the upper left menu and select “Save as”; choose always the maximum quality.
Now you’ll have a nice image, but it’ll be probably full of horrible pixels, especially in the sky and in the most luminous parts.

skypixels

Let’s come back to your photo editor, open your HDR image and apply some “Blur” filter to those parts. For example in Photoshop select the affected zones with “Magic Wand” or some “Marquee Tool” (better, because with Magic Wand you often cannot select the 100% of pixels)and apply a “Gaussian Blur” filter with a 3,o/4,0 pixels radius. You can now try to increase/decrease saturation and other settings  inside your photo editor like a normal image and also apply a dark canvas to maximize dramatic effect. Voilà!

August 8, 2009 Posted by | computer, Photo | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

KeyHoleTV

Oh God. I’ve waited for this software at least 20 years;-) It’s a very simple program that stream japanese tv channels via P2P…And there are FujiTV, Asahi, TBS…..The video quality is really poor (and the audio is worse)even with a fast connection but it’s a dream comes true, it’s a door that is finally open!On the internet there are Linux and Osx versions, too…Hope about an HD version in the future!:-))

immagine

March 21, 2009 Posted by | computer, Japan, TV | , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer is a good season for eating Apples…

I’m celebrating a nice event: after years of turning around, after 20 years spent on dos/win operating systems and 10 on Linux, I’ve decided to deeply use OSX Leopard too!What an event!

This OS is so simple to use (maybe too much…I missed the hard SCIM configuration for input japanese in some distros…;-)) and it’s generally fast. It’s fast to boot, fast to shutdown and fast to open dedicated intel applications.The graphic is good and clear, there are a lot of colours, wonderful icons and nice widgets (but a full customization of Compiz-Fusion is SO superior;-)). The terminal is often useless, but eventually give you the power to manage some hardcore situations.

As an addicted Linux user one of my fears was about the lack of osx freeware software for my work but after some hours I found (near) everything I need without using Vmware software or Bootcamp. Here some examples:

Fugu is a nice ftp-sftp-ssh frontend which also includes a console.A must; I also discovered macports, an intersting way to use open-source X11 or Aqua based software and in the list I saw…Putty!My old friend, please follow me even in the Mac universe:-)

 

 

Ooooooh…..Microsoft did it??A native osx remote desktop client for connecting to windows machines??

 

 

Simpyburns does the hard job of burning cd/dvd for free. Very light and useful. For audio cd you can obiouvsly use ITunes, that works good even if it’s a little “heavy” software.

 

 

Free office application. Neooffice is sincerely not fast as the last Open Office, but it’s full of osx native stuffs since its born and for example I’ve no problem input japanese and other languages in this software. 

 

More to comes….As graphic editor the right choice coud be Gimp for osx, that works good with after the X11 install as you can read in the help section of the community.

July 25, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My OS panel

I like minimalism (sometime) and after years I’ve reached the right panel for my Ubuntu 8.04 at work…There are all the things I need:-)

From the left:

1 – Firefox 3.0

2 – Gftp (a very useful ftp and especially ssh client)

3 – Putty (remote terminal on the servers I need)

4 – Krdc (remote access on client/servers, very useful for windows ones)

5 – OpenOffice 2.4 Writer

6 – OpenOffice 2.4 Calc

7 – Skype (last version for Linux is good enough)

8 – Gnome terminal, the most useful software:-)

9 – A smile, that means a link to Vmware Player with a 4.7gb (wow!fit on a dvd-r, a dream for a good backup) virtual winxp machine very well configured for everything that need it (for example the Lotus Domino Administrator…)

10 – Gimp or similiar photo/graphic editor

11 – K3b (burn cd/dvd)

12 – Serpentine (burn audio cds better than its brothers)

13 – Power off…

June 10, 2008 Posted by | computer | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment