Archive for ‘Technology’ Category

Super Ubuntu save you time….

datePosted on 19:02, January 11th, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

If you’ve ever installed Ubuntu and started cursing right after because some piece of software you thought was in there wasn’t, then Super Ubuntu might be for you. It’s basically Ubuntu with a bunch of useful applications pre-installed. You even update through the standard Ubuntu methods. The only downside is that the distro is 32-bit only for now. Below you’ll find a list of pre-installed additional software you get with Super Ubuntu:

So head on over and grab the ISO file.

XREZ: Megapixel is for kids….time to upgrade to Gigapixel….

datePosted on 15:31, December 29th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Yep, throw out your punny megapixel this and that camera. Time to check out Gigapixel. Head over to Xres.com and check out their gigapixel panorama’s from around the world. They are absolutely mind blowing. The two images above should give you an idea what we’re talking about. The amount of detail is astounishing. If you’re really impressed and want to do your own gigapixel images, you can. Gigapansystems.com is trying to democtratize this field by providing a cheap ($279) robotic paning head that would allow you to produce these type images. I ordered mine today :-).

Google introduces textures to 3D buildings….

datePosted on 22:59, December 21st, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Wow, have a look at the picture of Manhattan above. It’s of a new function google introduced yesterday on it’s Google Earth platform, full textures for the 3D buildings. It only works for New York for now, but pretty soon all you need would be google earth and a link from your computer to your visual cortex and no more touristy trips for you :-).

Augmented Reality on the Road….

datePosted on 17:24, November 30th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I’ve been a fan of the potential of augmented reality for some time, but the limitation of having to print out and use those funky registration images has always been there. A lot of people are working on solving/helping this problem. One of the groups that has come up with a novel approach is Mobilizy a small team based in Austria.

Mobilizy have developed one of the hottest applications available for the new Android G-1 Phone, called Wikitude. You see instead of using registration images for pattern recognition and image substitution, they use the GPS, Digital Compass and camera on the G-1 to deliver one of the first really practical augmented reality applications, excellent for travel and tourism.

In what mobilizy has dubbed “CamView” mode, users may hold the phone’s camera against a spectacular mountain range and see the names and heights displayed as overlay mapped with the mountains in the camera. Users may look out of an airplane window to see what is down there. Users may walk through a city like Seville, Spain, holding the phone’s camera against a building and Wikitude tells what it is.

Check out the demo video below for more detail/clearification.

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.

Sandisk Sansa Fuze….Finally a portable FLAC player that works

datePosted on 13:11, October 11th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I admit up ’til a couple of days ago I was a IPOD fan. I personally own 4 Ipods (30 GB 3rd gen, 80 GB 5.5 gen, 16 GB Touch and a 2GB Shuffle). I generally like their sounds quality, build and their user interface. I have also tried a bunch of other MP3 players in the past (Archos, Lexar, Nokia N95, PSP, RCA MC2020). The one thing I’ve always wanted was a expandable, small, solid state, good sounding player that would also play FLAC files. I’m a sucker for good sound and short of ordering a COWON player from US there was no real choice in this market.

That was until Sandisks surprise firmware upgrade for their Fuze and Clip player last week. They’ve added amongst other things, support for OGG/Vorbis and FLAC playback. Upon discovering this I dropped by the local Future Shop and picked up a 8GB Fuze to play with (plus a 8GB MicroSDHC card). This little guy is an absolute joy to use. Super simple interface that mimics the good parts of the original IPOD (I love the scroll wheel), Excellent sound quality (not a COWON , but very close) and a tag based browsing system which integrates the internal and external memory seamlessly.

One of my major beefs with other (read non-ipod) players has always been that they treat the external storage separately. You have to manually switch to the memory card if you want to listen to the music that’s in there. This is a pain and SanDisk has fixed this by presenting the user with a unified tag-based database. You stick a 8GB Micro SDHC card in the device and you’ve literally upgraded your device to 16GB (if you start with the 8GB device). There is no distinction between internal and external storage, it just works.

Of course the other major plus point for me was the ability to play FLAC files. I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for how well this little guy plays flac files. It’s absolutely mind blowing — for a portable player — no hissing, popping, clicking……just excellent sound. I’ve tested the player with my Sennheiser HD600 headphones and although they are a bit too heavy for this little guy to drive — you have to turn the player up to about 80% volume — the music sounds fantastic. I also tried the super sensitive Sony MDR-V700’s and I have to say the Fuze can literally blow your head right off with clean undistorted sound. I normally use a pair of AKG K26P’s for everyday subway ride and they pair quite nicely with the Fuze as well.

Anyways, If you want a great player — even for mp3/compressed music — you have to give Fuze a listen. I think you’ll be surprised at how good it sounds, not to mention the fact that it’s cheaper than similar Ipods. And as a bonus the player can presents itself as a MTP or MSC device. This makes it simple for people who want to use Windows Media Player to organize their music (MTP mode) or those who just want to treat the player as a USB Storage device and manually copy folders of content over to it (MSC mode). This simply means that all three major platforms — Windows, OSX and Linux — are supported.

My way of upgrading the firmware was to charge the battery to full first (couple of hours), download the actual Fuze firmware (not the upgrade utility that runs in windows only) from the forums, unzip and copy the firmware file to the root directory of the device (device must be in MSC mode). Eject and disconnect the device and let it upgrade the firmware followed by a power cycle (push the power button up and hold for a couple of seconds).

Quick Media Converter brings Windows GUI sanity to ffmpeg…..

datePosted on 14:28, August 25th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

For those of you who’ve hated the opensource ffmpeg command line media conversion tool, here is Quick Media Converter. It’s a nice looking front-end for ffmpeg that hides the command line complexity of this swiss army like media converter. So What can you do with Quick Media Converter?

-Converting Video files from one format to another.
-Converting Audio files from one format to another.
-Extracting and converting Audio files from video or audio media.
-Extracting and converting Video without sound.
-Preview and/or listen to video and audio files with FFPLAY Multi format player (Fabrice Bellard).
– A myriad of formats is recognized by FFmpeg, those not recognized yet, are worked on by many people around the open source community and may most of the time, become available sooner or later.
-Many files to convert? No worry, batch files processing is also supported by QMC.
-You are lazy by nature and do not wish to start selecting files? That’s okay just drag and drop the files in the active worksheet.
-You have more specific needs and want to experiment with video and audio conversion, you can do so by using our Expert mode section.
-You want to capture a movie or picture directly from your webcam or DV Cam, just click on the webcam button and start capturing in raw flux or avi divx , after this is done the software will offer you to convert your file to other formats.
-You want to make a tutorial or capture your latest performance in your favorite video game? just click on Camstudio (open source) start recording and add comments on your avi divx movie output.

-Access our support forum directly from our application to get help, we usually respond to your questions within one day or two. We do not support expert mode in general as by essence if you use it you are considered an expert user.

It’s a Windows only utility and is free to download.

I came across EASEUS Disk Copy today and I have to admit it’s pretty cool. It’s not a live disk imager, but will image just about any disk (even damaged) or partition. It also has a neat feature of being able to image one large disk onto multiple smaller disks. It boots off CD and supports IDE, SATAI, SATAII, SCSI, Firewire(IEEE1394) and USB drives. The best part……It’s FREE.

MP3’s from a bygone era…

datePosted on 16:17, August 12th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

If you love(d) 78 rpm records, you owe it to yourself to check out Cliff Bolling’s website. Here he is continually digitizing and adding tunes from the first half of the last century in mp3 format complete with  scratches, hisses, pops and all. It’s absolutely wonderful :-).

He uses an old Garrard Model RC 121 Mark II turntable and a GE VR 1 cartridge that came with the turntable. Right now, there are 3,739 titles on this page linked to mp3’s.


I’m gonna date myself here and ask….Does anyone remember the Agnus Chip? How about the Fatter Agnus or the Alice? For those of you who don’t know these were the original and upgraded OCS/ECS chips that did most of the amazing (for the time) graphics for the Amiga computer back in the late-80’s/early-90’s. Fast forward to today and the announcement of the “Fatter Quadra Plex” at Siggraph 2008. The new desktop graphics monsters come in two flavours. From the announcement:

The NVIDIA Quadro Plex 2200 D2 VCS, with two Quadro GPUs, 4 dual-link DVI channels, and 8 GB of frame buffer memory, is designed for advanced visualization of extremely large models and datasets, as well as high-performance computing processes. Its partner, the Quadro Plex 2100 D4 VCS with four GPUs, 8 dual-link DVI channels and a 4 GB frame buffer, is optimized for multi-display applications.

The new Quadro Plex 2200 D2 VCS houses two Quadro FX 5800 GPUs, providing 480 NVIDIA CUDA Parallel Computing Processor cores and 8GB of graphics memory. The thermal and power management capabilities of the chassis offer up to 20% performance improvement over standard add-in graphics, making it the most powerful visual computing system available. The Quadro Plex 2200 D2 VCS houses up to four Quadro FX 4700 GPUs, powering up to four displays via its dual-link DVI outputs, and up to eight displays with its high-resolution projection capabilities.

The Quadro Plex D2 will be featured in technology demonstrations of real-time NVIDIA GPU-based raytracing, large scale CAD modeling and 4K HD power walls at SIGGRAPH 2008 in Los Angeles, August 12-14, 2008 (NVIDIA Booth 554). The Quadro Plex D Series VCS will be available in September 2008 with prices beginning at $10,750.

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