Archive for ‘October, 2008’

Yes, we all know Windows task manager sucks. So I set out to find a decent replacement and that’s when I came across System Explorer. It’s FREE and it rocks. Here are the major features:

  • Detailed informations about Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Addons, Uninstallers, Windows, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files.
  • Easy check of suspicious files via VirusTotal or Jotti service.
  • Easy search details about file/process via online databases.
  • Security Extension for automatic check of processes,modules and selected files.
  • “New Task…” dialog with integrated AutoSearch and AutoCompletion.
  • Action History for monitoring processes activities.
  • Performance graphs for monitoring usage of system resources in time.
  • System Snapshots for easy finding of system changes.
  • System Report builds rich text report containing major informations about your System.
  • Multilanguage and Plugins Support.
  • Can be used as Task Manager replacement.

It’s the best one I’ve come across and it actually makes me a bit jelous — you know, not having it in OSX and all — so go grab it and let me know what you think. It comes in installer or portable version (for your USB stick) and as always, if you know of a better progy, send me a comment.

Seam Carving Gui….Resize images just like the new Photoshop CS4

datePosted on 20:42, October 29th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

So you’ve probably been hearing a lot lately about the new feature in Photoshop CS4 that allows you to resize an image in a way that the image will not get distorted. Dubbed Seam Carving (we covered it here, here and here), the new function is all the rage.Well, if that’s the only reason you’re going to upgrade to CS4, you might want to hang on and save a bit of $$$. You see, there is a opensource, free, standalone implementation of seam carving called Seam Carving GUI (which is itself a frontend GUI for CAIR…..Content Aware Image Resizer). It’s available for OSX, Windows and Linux so download it, read the manual and have fun saving $$$. Here is a example of what this little gem can do…..

Stretched/squeezed and black fish removed

Gbridge, a must have utility for MS Windows….

datePosted on 17:25, October 26th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Gbridge is a free software that lets you sync folders, share files, chat and VNC securely and easily. It extends Google’s gtalk service to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that connects all your computers directly and securely. No matter if they are behind Firewalls, NAT or anything else for that matter. Here are some of it’s main features:

  • Access your files cross your computers, e.g. instant mp3 play, securely and easily through SecureShare.
  • Use AutoSync to copy big files and sync folders between your computers.
  • Use EasyBackup to auto backup your important directory to another computer.
  • Remote control your computer easily and securely through DesktopShare (build-in VNC) or Microsoft Remote Desktop.

Gbridge automatically forms a VPN among your multiple PCs no matter where they are. You can also extend the VPN to include your Gtalk friend’s PCs if both sides allow.

  • Great extension of Google’s Gtalk infrastructure, self-forming, zero-config.
  • IPv4 level compatibility while providing authentication, encryption and mobility.
  • P2P direct network connection, excellent privacy and great performance.
  • Dynamic DNS and private IP, solve the real world naming and connectivity issues for almost all network applications.

So grab yourself a copy or two, and don’t forget to send the link to all your friends.

Synkron, because syncing can be such a pain….

datePosted on 17:12, October 26th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I know, rsync is the answer to all my prayers, at least as far as syncing data is concerned. I agree, BUT sometimes you just want a simple GUI (yes pointy/clicky) application to do the job. Well that’s were synkron comes in. A simple applications that does one thing and it does it well, synchronizing your files/folders. It’s multi platform and works really well. It uses tabs to setup multiple synching jobs. It supports 1-to-1 synching or what’s known as multi-sync were synkron synchronises the sources one by one with their representing folder in the destination. This can be used for backups for example. It also has a scheduler/filters/blacklist and the ability to restore as well. The analyze function is also very useful as it can tell you what will be backed up before its backed up. Oh, and it’s open source/free software, so no excuses :-).

FastCopy…..Lightning Fast….

datePosted on 16:43, October 26th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Just came across this program in my desperate search for a faster copying program. I recently purchased a “small” 4TB NAS from QNAP and I’ve been busily filling it up with my FLAC collection lately. The trouble with this is that it takes windows far too long to even start the copying process — let alone the actual file copy. Well that’s were FastCopy comes in handy, by bypassing MFC and only using Win32 API FastCopy is truly fast, even to a network device like QNAP. I’m now getting around 7.8-8.2 MB/s compared to 5-6 MB/s before FastCopy (this is on a 100 Mb/s connection). Don’t believe me, try it , it’s Free.

Vodka….Yummm :-)

datePosted on 16:12, October 26th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou
Absolut Vodka 2

So yesterday I went back to the old studio again and did some shots of…VODKA. Oh, and I also drank a bit of it…..hehehe :-) Next week — or later on today — Finlandia….Yumm. Full flickr set is here .

Absolut Vodka 5
Danzka Vodka 4
Danzka Vodka 2

YES….You will buy one of these for your DSLR too!!!

datePosted on 15:27, October 26th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

So I’ve been hearing a lot of whining about the new Canon 5D MKII’s being used as 35 mm cinema cameras. Everything from “Where is the fast auto focus?” — and here I thought 35 mm film gear was all about manual focus and adjustments — to “So how do I add filters/mattebox and such?”. Well fear not, Redrock Micro is here to save the day . Their new product “cinematization kit” — specifically designed to 5D MKII — is destined to ship November 1, ahead of the Canon camera.

Redrock accessories for Canon 5D MKII transforms the DSLR into production-ready cinema solutions by providing:

  • Rock-solid 15mm support system
  • Follow focus for accurate and repeatable focusing
  • Swing-away mattebox for light management and easy access to changing lenses
  • Shoulder mount and handgrips for steady handheld use
  • Support cage for enhanced stability and low angle shot

So start saving those pennies, you got two more days before the cage is released online.

Command line Backup/Cloning/Imaging for OSX

datePosted on 14:48, October 26th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Okay so where do we start……yeah good old cpio and tar might be good enough for the true old timers who still back up to tape, but a lot of people these days backup to live Online/Nearline media such as disks. Here is a quick (and platform specific) reference to four backup commands that you should always carry in your back pocket when backing up OSX machines.

  1. Ditto is a command line util that comes with OSX. It’s a neat little application since it can preserve permissions, resource forks and extended attributes of OSX files when run as root. There are several ways of running ditto, but if you just want to clone your system using ditto here is the command:sudo ditto -X / /Volumes/Backup
  2. Rsync is the grand daddy of file syncing/backup utils out there and it comes with OSX as well. You can also use rsync to create a bootable clone of your system. sudo rsync -xrlptgoEv --progress --delete / /Volumes/BackupIn addition to basic copying, rsync can also sync the remote and local targets — ie: if a file gets deleted on the source it gets deleted on remote as well. In this mode rsync only copies files that have changed on the source, so after the initial backup, all subsequent “sync” operations will run very fast. In the above command the -E option is special for OSX, it tells rsync to copy extended attributes for the files being copied.
  3. Next is hdutil which allows you to create a image of your drive in a single file. Although the image is not bootable, it has the advantage of being contained in a nice/neat file. Here is the command to create a compressed disk image of your drive:sudo hdiutil create /Volumes/Backup/mymachinesimage.dmg -format UDZO -nocrossdev -srcdir /
  4. Last but not least is asr, the drive cloning util. This one works similar to ditto in creating a bootable clone of your drive, but it does this in block mode. Every block in the source drive is copied 1-to-1 to the destination drive. To clone your drive using asr use the following command:sudo asr -source / -target /Volumes/Backup -erase -noprompt Note that since your using asr in block copy mode you need to be able to unmount both the source and destination drives. So you can’t really use this command to clone your boot partition/volume. You can boot from a OSX DVD/CD and use this command from the command line.

That’s it…..Have fun backing-up……and do it often :-).

Amsterdam in black and white….

datePosted on 20:20, October 19th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou
These shots were taken during a trip to Amsterdam this past September. I was attending the IBC conference and had a chance to photograph this european jewel again. This time I decided that I wouldn’t do the touristy thing. I decided to minimize my shots of famous landmarks and instead take a tour of Amsterdams famous Hofje’s (Inner courtyards) and back streets.
The Black and White idea came to me after picking up Taschen’s Eugene Atget – Paris book. In it Atget photographs the everyday Paris (No Eiffel tower in this book :-)). I love this book so much, I’ve been reading it everyday and it’s literally taken me three months to go through the first half of the book. In fact the book has had such an effect on me that I decided to “try” to follow in its footsteps, changing only the subject city. Now I’m not claiming that any of these pics are even remotely comparable to Atget’s work, but I guess you can think of this set of photographs as my bad imitation of Eugene Atget.

Aarrrrgoosss…and now for some CFL fun

datePosted on 19:38, October 19th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Attended a Toronto Argonauts football game yesterday at the Rogers Centre. It was fun and chilly. The Argos were playing against Montreal Alouettes and did pretty good for a while, but at the end the Alouettes were just playing better. Here are some of the shots from the game. All done using Canon’s 70-200 mm F4 Lens. Complete set can be found on flickr .