Sunday, 30 September 2012

Gambas: #1 PhotoViewer

Does the world need yet another Photo Viewer application?

 

I doubt it. But I needed something which would help with my photographic work-flow, so I wrote my own.


With three keen SLR camera users in our house, I noticed that at least two of us were following a similar process. Once we had transferred our photos to our Linux powered laptops, we would:-
  1. Review each photo in turn
  2. Delete the "no-hope" pictures
  3. Rename any we wanted to keep that did not require edits
  4. Launch GIMP for those that did require edits
  5. Show our best efforts to long suffering friends & relatives
  6. Review camera settings when asked "How did you do that?"

So I set about making a new Photo Viewer application using my language of choice: Gambas









PhotoViewer running on Lubuntu


Saturday, 29 September 2012

Using a BirdBox Camera: #1 The Basics

Small surveillance cameras have never been cheaper, so why not spy on the great tits in your garden?

As the bird box season in southern England kicks off late February/early March, you need to start to plan NOW for the 2013 season!

 

Why do it?

Although you won't get the kind of quality pictures we see on BBC programs like Springwatch (http://www.bbc.co.uk/springwatch), installing a cheap camera in your garden bird box will give you a special insight into the lives of some of your little feathered friends. Following the process of nest building, egg laying, feeding the chicks and finally fledging, can be a rewarding experience for young and old alike.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Lubuntu: Making Friends With Terminal

If you have no interest in your Lubuntu computer beyond using it for regular tasks (e.g. email, web, photo-editing) then you can stick to using graphical user applications that you pick from the system menu. That's fine! There is really no point in making your life more difficult than it is already!

 

However, if you want to look a little deeper into the workings of your system, there is no better place to start than at the terminal.


Why on earth would you need to use low level commands like "cd", "ls" and "mv" if you have a very capable GUI file manager, such as PCManFM?

Well, most of the time you would try to steer clear of "the dark side" and use a GUI app. But what if your system is broke and it wont boot to the desktop? You might be able to edit files and bring the poor old dear back to life via the command line interface, if only you knew how!

Warning: A Raspberry Pi is not a Raspberry Pie!

I feel compelled to write a few lines about this, as a result of widespread confusion and the increasing number of accidents reported relating to this issue.


Much of the blame for this confusion, I believe, is due to two factors:-
  1. Many people now buy most of their kit and provisions from the inter-webbie.
  2. The level of literacy is at an all time low. The inter-webbie is littered with typographical errors, poor spelling and bad grammar.

"guysand that, dont evun like talk proppa, like whot they yous too indie ole dais!"

A Raspberry Pie is a cordless device which can be purchased ready made (you just have to apply some power) or can be constructed by a DIY enthusiast from RAM (readily available material).

Friday, 14 September 2012

What is Lubuntu and why would I use it?

You are probably reading this on a netbook or an iPad, or maybe a smart phone, or maybe one of dozens of other devices. All of these devices have 2 common attributes; they include "hardware" and "software".


The hardware is the bit you hit when it won't do what you want it to do. The software is the reason it won't do what you want it to do.

Software, of course, is invisible but you can see the effects of it on your hardware. For example; it lights up the display and responds when you click an icon (sometimes). So in order to get your cold hardware to do something, you need software.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Marvelous Magimix

Disaster struck in the Bodgit house last week when Lady Bodgit announced that the Magimix had stopped mixing. I say "disaster" because without it, production of LB's delicious fruit cake came to a halt.

I'd noticed that the rotating blade had been difficult to remove the last few times that the Magimix had seen action, and had advised the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to free it from the rather misshaped motor spindle.

However, the spindle was now spinning, but the blade was not. So it was beginning to look like a new (and expensive) mixer was required.