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Well I don’t really need a home server…but after coming upon two entire webpages describing how to get one I felt compelled. XAMPP is a server client which supposedly installs Apache, MySQL, PHP and everything else. I installed it, my intentions being to install a local wordpress, as a test server. Well the software looked pretty spammy. Great. But it’s free, I guess, so I shouldn’t be too picky. It didn’t install properly. I couldn’t understand why, so I uninstalled it. Apache wouldn’t be deleted. It was stubbornly refusing to be marked for overwriting. This does irritate me, when I install something and it won’t be deleted. It reminds me of ‘The Simpsons’ episode in which they invite carnival workers to live in their house, and they refuse to leave. I moved on. I tried to install WAMP. It installed perfectly, but unfortunately, denied me access. This is even more like the Simpsons. Irritated with local servers, I uninstalled it too. I no longer like local servers.

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I’m sure the cool stuff you can do with screenshots, icons and backgrounds are only limited by your imagination (and windows) but here’s one I just did.

Here is the desired effect.

Here is the desired effect.

*looks pretty cool*. Now for those of you who can’t guess how I did this in photoshop, I will briefly run you through it.

I screenshot the background (printscreen). I paste it into photoshop. Might I add, at this point, that you do need the actual file of the image saved in a place where you know where it is. For the sorry souls who use the windows backgrounds, the can be found in the WINDOWS folder in the C: drive. You may have to change the folder options to show hidden files and folders to find this.

Anyway, paste into photoshop (file>new, size:clipboard). Select the magic eraser tool. I’m not sure for other versions of photoshop, but you should be able to right click the normal eraser tool to find it. Select the ‘contiguous’ check box at the top of the screen, and click everywhere, the goal being, to erase the whole background. You don’t need to be too fine about it, everything that is left is being blurred so either it will disappear or you will have some parts of the background slightly shinier than the other bits (this is visible in my attachment).

Once you’ve erased most of the background, specifically around the icons (take care not to erase the actual icons), you can duplicate the layer by right-clicking it and selecting that option. On the first layer, apply filters>blur>motion blur at 45 degrees (you can choose length to taste), then on the second layer do the same thing at -45 degrees. This makes a sort of criss-cross kind of sparkly outline. You can change it to how you like, (of course) for example, you could change the opacity of the layers, or change the colours – whatever. This ‘tutorial’ is solely inspiration to do whatever you like with your icons.

Back to the point, you need to copy the original background into the background of the blurry icon picture you’ve made. You can do this by opening the file and selecting everything, then copying it and pasting it into the other picture. You may need to stretch the image to fit the screenshot. If it’s not selected already, click ‘show transform controls’ at the top and grab the handles to suit…the size of the image. You can save the file as a png and go to the containing folder, right click the file and click ‘set as background’. And there you are.

Yesterday my friends brother’s terabyte hard drive failed to work, after trying everything. Today my ipod is angry at my and refuses to play anything except Jamiroquai. No, it’s not a virus similar to the one described in this song, it’s a heat wave. It’s 45° Celcius here in the Melbourne area, and all the hard drives are failing. So I look up the operating conditions for a *hard drive* ipod. I’m assuming the newer ones are the same as the old ones.

Like any good iPod owner would do.

Like any good iPod owner would do.

I'm Learning Python!

I'm Learning Python!

Yesterday I stumbled across an open source graphics project I had never heard of before called Pencil. I think it’s quite new, it is currently in version 0.4, 4th beta. In any case, it has a fantastic interface for an open source program. Yesterday I downloaded something similar (but very different) called Synfig. One look…Ewwwww… the interface is disgusting. It’s worse than what the GIMP used to be (and still partially is). Not to mention the not-too-simple install for it (I had to download the gtk, some gtkmm thing and two synfig installers). Of course, this could be because of the lack of support for the project (it does have a nice looking website though). From the look of it, Pencil is made by one person – an artist, animator. Artists would be sure to make a nice interface. In any case, the program itself is incredibly simple to use. It has tablet support, and it’s ever so simple to draw and colour in. However! Bewarned! It is surprisingly easy to start drawing crap (manga) so watch out! It is bitmap and vector based, apparently. I see it has two layers, a bitmap & vector layer respectively, but I haven’t figured out how to use the vector one yet. Animating couldn’t be simpler. Well, it could, but it has Flash rivalling frame usage (on that, it clearly states on the website that is is not a web based flash rival. However it does export to swf if you ask it nicely).

I’ve told you what I love, now what I hate. Frankly, there isn’t much, but I am picky about a few things. They all relate to the layers panel. I don’t like the colours of the layer panel, and the gradients remind me of other open source software (like audacity). Also, I would like to be able to right click on frames, and operate stuff like that. Remember, it isn’t flash, its like a flip-book. There are no symbols, no tweens, no actionscript, no inverse-kinetics (for cs4 users)…just pure traditional animating. It’s Cross Platform. It’s Open Source under the GNU/GPL (I think). It’s great.

http://www.les-stooges.org/pascal/pencil/index.php?id=Home

(btw, the code’s not in pascal, thats just his name. its c++. if this is obvious, ignore this, but it’s my first time looking at source code so bear with me)

This is worth blogging about. A friend of mine showed me this search engine based on natural language instead of keywords, like google. You can ask it questions, and it will realise your intent, and give you an answer, as well as web results it used to find that answer. For example, if I was to ask it “who is Jai Leeworthy?”, I would end up with the answer “website designed”. I am not assuming the engine is trying to tell me I myself was designed by a website, because websites lack the ability to design anything, let alone me. It should say “website designer”, but it got its results from a website saying “website designed by Jai Leeworthy”. So it’s not perfect, it is still an alpha. It was made by the chinese versions of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and they are based in Sydney. My dad, who is more well known on the internet, came up with the results “Diver and Association Scientist”.

So you can ask it questions, and get pretty good results, most of the time.

The search engine likes my hair

I will live to be one

The answer to life the universe and everything is NOT “life theto universe”

Is there a correct answer to 6 x 9? (it does say it is the “clusters” thing but)

Are you serious that is AWESOME

I can see the developers aren’t comedically intervening with these results

It does have a few flaws, but as I said, it is still an alpha, and it’s great technology. I’m looking forward to search powered by this is the future. Apparently there was another search engine like this, that was bought by Microsoft for $100 million. Microsoft might get into this before google (if it does at all) (also note the lack of capitalisation on the name of google. it has become a verb in the english language, unlike Microsoft, which ain’t good for nothing).

EDIT: Notice, that if you are clicking on my links by now, most of the answers will have changed. I’m even seeing this very post in the results, which I feel guilty about now because I’m not changing the results for the better.

I’m learning C right now, from “C for Dummies” by Dan Gookin. I…actually intended to read “C++ for Dummies” but I couldn’t find it at my library. So C is pretty similar, I guess it will help me learn C++ eventually, and it does mention C++. But anyway, in order to follow the book smoothly, I found myself setting up GCC for Command Prompt so I can compile my code in it, which isn’t that hard, I have discovered. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Download MinGW, the best way to do this, I think, is with Dev C++. You can download Dev C++ from Sourceforge: http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/dev-cpp/devcpp-4.9.9.2_setup.exe (9MB)
  2. Dev C++ is a complete IDE for working with C and C++. Install it using…the installer which you just downloaded. There should be a Dev-Cpp folder on your C: drive.
  3. Now make a folder for all your C files. Don’t delve deep into your documents looking for a place to put this folder. I should think that the smaller the path, the less annoying it is. I recommend a folder in the C: drive. Read the rest of this entry »

Somehow, Center Com, the computer shop we had the PC repaired at, took a week and a half to fix the computer. I don’t see how it’s possible for it to take so long as all they had to do was backup the drive, reinstall windows and put everything back onto the drive in a little “backup” folder. But I’m back now and I’ll write another tutorial soon. I want to learn a programming language, because I had a “revolutionary” (according to Joel) idea for a program. I won’t reveal the idea right now, because the idea will probably be a financial  investment eventually, but it will probably need 2d & possibly 3d (directX) graphics support, animations and the like, also it has to be able to access an internet host. I have Dev-C++ and I know a very small amount in that language. I know the smallest amount in PHP, also. So basically, I’m not experienced in any programming language. I think I need to learn more C++, if anyone could verify this it would be awesome. Me and a group of friends also want to make an MMORPG, so if I can use the same language to make that (look, I know making an MMO is a colossal task, so don’t mention it. We will probably make a non-online alpha before we even add multiplayer, sounds like a good way to go) it would be awesome.

Open Office - Word Processor

Open Office - Word Processor

Windows just had to screw up. I got the Blue Screen of Death. Three times. Oh, Why, Windows, Why? Then Rebooting, several times I got told “Boot Disk Error: Please Insert System Disk & Press Enter.” I finally got fed up and put in a Ubuntu live disk to try and fix it up. I’m using Ubuntu now for the second time, and this time I have more time to explore the OS. I’m annoyed at windows for screwing up. I need to fix it up, or else I’ll get the blame as I use the computer the most. Ubuntu is awesome, it comes with GIMP. And Firefox. (Ubuntu:Feisty Fawn) If I ever get my own computer (or my cousin ever gives my ancient laptop back) I will definitely install Ubuntu on it. It would just be so awesome to be free from windows. Anyway, before I got the BSoDs, I was getting these messages from PC-Cillin telling me I have tried to open a dangerous website: Spyware. I didn’t have a web browser open (Dun dun DUN!). Read the rest of this entry »

After having an iPod for a year, I’ve gotten bored of the original Apple OS and it’s limits. So being as I am, I looked to install some other firmware for iPods. But I needed to keep the original OS because I don’t want to lose that in case this new firmware isn’t that good, or it also has limits. So to make the most out of the iPod I wanted both. 😀 (winPod)

iPod Loader:

iPod Loader is the dual boot thingy. I downloaded and installed it using the file you can download here

http://files.filefront.com/iPLrar/;9005774;/fileinfo.html

To install it, you will need to open it using WinRAR or any other archiving software supporting .rar files.

  1. In the file view in WinRAR find a folder called iPodLoader and another file, loader.cfg with it.
  2. Drag both files onto the desktop (or anywhere else).
  3. Copy the iPodLoader folder (not the loader.cfg file yet) to the ipod root folder (Click your ipod in My Computer and you will be in the root folder).
  4. Go into the iPodLoader folder on your desktop and run ipodpatcher.exe. press lowercase “i” (without the quotes). Once it is done press enter and it will close.
  5. Now put the loader.cfg file in the root iPod folder. This will tell the ipod what to run when it starts up.

Now don’t do anything, it’s time to install Rockbox. Read the rest of this entry »