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I Had A Thought

I had a thought. Oh yeah that was it.

I discovered VDPAU this evening and I'm (rather strangely) amazed at the level of hardware acceleration it gives me.

This got me to analysing my system a little. Two things have come to strike me.

The first is how damn inefficient the Microsoft platform is and the second is how different my home computing experience now is in comparison to my work experience.

I run two systems at work. A server 2008 box, core2duo, x64 4gig. Usual fairly mediocre box, but should be enough for daily use. The other is a Windows7 (oh thank the high and mighty Fista is gone) laptop, again core2duo, x64, 4 gig. plays CS:S at decent frame rates.

I Love Shopping

What with Christmas and all we've all probably had enough of shopping.

I have to say though I spent exactly 1 and a 1/2 hours Christmas shopping this year (that's generally about my average, apart from some years for food), and there was barely anyone else around when and where I did it. So that's actually not the reason why I'm writing this.

Since Christmas we've been trying to buy a few things and I have to say not been having much success.

The big things we've been after are:
Sony Vaio NW20EF/W laptop.
Cambridge Audio A5 amp.
Set of copper bottomed saucepans.
Set of kitchen knives.

Laptop now seems to be on it's way, finally found available at John Lewis (now out of stock again).
Cambridge Audio A5 Amp, have instead bought a Cambridge Audio Azur340A SE/B.

We've moved


We've moved. It's been a week now, as Jess reminded me this morning. A whole week, it feels like little has moved on. The electrics in the study are almost sorted, but that just means moving on to the network cabling.

We have wireless internet, but that only went up because we had a suspicion that Virgin Media had suspended our account during the move, so I had to get us online to check. Sure enough they had.

We've still got a bathroom, thankfully, and we should have the beginnings of a kitchen soon.

The cooker has arrived, and the gas pipe has been laid, though it still needs to be connected. running a socket for the cooker and hood should be easy enough once we get the remainder of the sink and unit out of the way. Then it'll just be sorting the floor, skimming the walls and ceiling, getting the units fitted, plumbing in the sink, hooking it all up, a lick of paint and we're almost done.

Then the next room....

Home cinema

Going back many years, Pink decided to get rid of his television. He wasn't ever really using it and after three months of leaving it sat in the kitchen (in order to produce a conscious effort to watch TV rather than just leaving it on after watching something) he found he never ever turned it on. The TV went and if he wanted something to just sit back and watch then he watched it on the computer monitor.

After many years of thinking it might be kinda cool to have a projector instead of being entertained on CRTs and TFTs, but never actually finding anything in his price range he liked, something cool happened. Pixmania had Optoma HD73 projectors available for sub 700 quid.

Therefore Pink recently acquired an Optoma [Theme Scene] HD73 projector.

Apart from the documented 'brightness' issue, this projector rocks. Being a fan of darker rooms, Pink never saw the brightness as likely to be a problem and he's gotta say that it copes very well with his 'normal' ambient lighting levels. The colour reproduction seems excellent, though, due to the nature of projector bulbs, the light does seem a little 'blue' when sitting in a candle lit room.

HD content looks stunning with a 3 metre wide screen size. If you sit close up to the screen you do start to get that cinema feeling. But even just using it like a TV screen and keeping it to 40 or so inches it produces excellent images.

It has a reasonable feature set, supports a wide range of resolutions through it's DVI input up to 1280x768 natively to 1440x900 scaled.

As a sub 700 quid projector (original list price being nearer 1500, though commonly dropped to 995 now) it's a bargain.

Gallery Too (AKA oooh look, pictures)

Pink has finally got around to putting a piece of gallery software on this site. Which is kinda handy for him seeming as he's been wanting to upload images for a while now.

The integration of the gallery is not very slick, but no doubt there are some settings somewhere that will allow him to tweak it to his needs. If not he'll just get frustrated and end up rewriting his own little gallery tool to fit into Drupal.

Apparently there is a g2Image Standalone thingy that allows you to use imges from the gallery in posts within Drupal. Buggered if Pink can find it yet though :)

He checked out how to write Drupal modules the other day and it looks pretty damn easy, so all he's got to do is just get on with it. There's really no barrier to entry on this one. It would probably be a good way to clean up some of his gallery code too.

Well hope everyone enjoys the images in the top right corner. They're probably the only ones that will be on here for a while yet.

Maintaining the perspective.

Pink says that maintaining a third person perspective is really quite hard, even when you are only applying it to a web log. He claims trying to write something as if you were explaining it happening to some one else changes your perspective.

He's pretty sure this isn't some vain attempt to distance himself from the world of the social web, but he could be lying. He's oft repeated how Web2.0 (hahahaha) is a load of bollocks. "Web 1.0 was filled with shite, why would Web2.0 be any different when you've just dropped the bar for entry once again."

The two poster board sites at the moment seem to be MySpace (which is wank) and Facebook which has some nice features but is also pretty diabolical, in that just like every profile site before it, once the novelty has worn off it really offers nothing. YouTube is a great place to go watch crap (Better than the TV at least) but the social commentary side of it is lamer than this web log.

The social web it seems is supposed to be about people meeting like minded people, and as far as that goes Usenet, IRC and forums (read bulletin boards) fill that space as well as any of the current crop of Web2.0 sites do. Pink would have said the difference is you used to have to put some effort into finding the right places to hang out, and now you just go somewhere and find the right people instead. But it seems you still have to put the same, if not more, effort in, just now it revolves around filtering out the crap that the majority of people post.

Anyway, back to the point (if there was one). Trying to see this log as if it was written by someone else is easier when you're reading it as if it was written by someone else. If that makes any sense.

It's all about perspective :)

Who needs photoshop...

...when you've got MSPaint.

GIMP for Gimps.

Pink's been doing a fair amount of processing of images in the last few days of the pictures he took during his recent meet up with a bunch of other MR2 owners. Mostly he's been doing the same repetitive tasks over and over again. Tonight Pink decided to have a quick look into "Script-Fu" the scripting for GIMP.

It uses a very simple language but he thinks he needs to read up on it a fair amount more to get his head around it and actually understand how it translates to the actions he takes in the GUI.

He's been trying to do a LAB decomposition, then process the three layers (Luminance, red-green and yellow-blue) by applying respectively an un-sharp mask and two selective gaussian blurs.

He found a script someone else had written to perform a gaussian blur on the luminance channel and had then been trying to extend it to work on all three channels, but it's just not working out.

As it stands right now it's just giving him an error on the second or third pass regarding the temporary layer buffer he thinks, or if he removes some of the commands regarding removing the temporary layer buffers it gives him a very strange effect when re composed back to an RGB image :).

There isn't really any kind of debugging or actual error reporting, other than by eye.

He started by decomposing the original image.

    (OrigLayer (cadr (gimp-image-get-layers InImage)))
    (LABImage (car (plug-in-decompose TRUE InImage InLayer "LAB" TRUE)))
    (LABLayer (cadr (gimp-image-get-layers LABImage)))
    (LLayer (car (gimp-layer-copy InLayer TRUE)))

And then trying to process each level

;Process blue-yellow layer
(gimp-image-add-layer InImage LLayer -1)
(gimp-selection-all LABImage)
(gimp-edit-copy (aref LABLayer 0))
(gimp-floating-sel-anchor (car (gimp-edit-paste LLayer FALSE)))
(plug-in-sel-gauss TRUE InImage LLayer RadiusRB DeltaRB)
(gimp-selection-all InImage)
(gimp-edit-copy LLayer)
(gimp-image-remove-layer InImage LLayer)

Everything you see is fake

Seeing is most definitely not believing.

No wonder there are so many people seemingly chasing an impossible perfection, when the world they are shown is only perfected through fakery.

Evolution of dance

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