My Life In Film

From BBC3 comes My Life in Film, a great little comedy that will hopefully go beyond the 6 episodes already shot. Here’s a review of it. You can watch clips on the BBC website linked above.
It looks like there’s one more episode so make sure to set it up in your Sky personal planner, or set all your alarm clocks to go off at 9.30pm next Sunday night and tune in to BBC2! -Yellow Pages – Copyrighted Buildings?

Nice, the Yellow Pages on have photos of the places you’re looking for, as long as you live in the good ol’ US of A!
I wonder if they got the permission of all building owners to take their photos. The images of all buildings built after 19xx are proteced by copyright.
Ah, here’s the details. It’s all buildings built after December 1st, 1990. In general any building viewable from a public place is ok to photograph.
The a9 search engine is nice too!

Can I run Windows viruses in Linux?

It’s almost possible, but the results in this article on running Windows viruses with Wine are disappointing. There are problems but things are improving so Linux users can enjoy all the benefits of Windows!

It just isn’t fair that Windows users get all the viruses. I mean really, shouldn’t Linux users be in on the fun as well? Well… thanks to the folks running the Wine project, Linux users can “catch the virus bug” too — sort of.

Creating Panoramic Photos with the GIMP

Caoimhe asked me to elaborate on how I created the panoramic photo that currently appears at the top of this page. Here’s how. You can download all the images I used (although they’re much smaller than the originals!) but the techniques described will be useful for other photos too.

  • Load dsc06627.jpg, dsc06628.jpg and dsc06629.jpg into the GIMP.
  • Create a new 1920×640 RGB image.
  • Copy/paste dsc06629.jpg into the new image and move it to the left of the frame.
  • Look at the layers dialog and right click on “Pasted Layer” and select “New layer”.
  • Do the same for dsc06628.jpg and dsc06627.jpg moving them over to the right before making them into new layers. No need to line them up right away.
  • Now line up “Pasted Layer#1” with “Pasted Layer” as best you can. It helps if you select “Pasted Layer#1” and move the Opacity slider to about 50%. Concentrate on getting the right side of the layer lined up with the bottom layer. The left side is always overlapped by the layer above.
  • Now set the opacity to 100% again! You’ll hopefully see the mountains in the background join up nicely!
  • You’ll have to adjust the colour of “Pasted Layer#1” – Use Layers->Colours->Colour Balance, and Hue-Saturation. Don’t worry if the colours don’t match exactly.
  • Do the same with “Pasted Layer#2”. Getting the trees lined up is a bit of a pain because of the branches, but if you clone out the branch tops after aligning it helps.
  • When that’s done, you need to match up the layers using a layer mask and a gradient: select “Pasted Layer#1”, right click, and click “Add Layer Mask”, and click “OK”. Select the gradient tool (press “L” if you can’t find it) and draw a gradient from the top-left corner to the center of the layer. Click on the layers dialog again and “Apply Layer Mask” and then use another gradient on “Pasted Layer#1” to match up the right of that layer with “Pasted Layer#2”.
  • Crop the image, remove the white background and get rid of the rough edges!

You can look at sneem-panorama.xcf to see the layers and effects I used.
As part of your digital workflow you should also use the Layers->Colours->Curves, Hue-Saturation and Levels tools, and Filters->Enhance->Unsharp Mask plugin to improve the final image.