Thursday, March 13, 2008
Do not forget to post comments if you like this article
Back in May I posted on how to watermark images. At the time I outsourced the instructions detailing the actual creation of the watermark image to be used. The site I pointed to, while definitely helpful in one level, still left some questions lingering in my mind. I wasn't quite happy with the image I used for the watermark, thus my search for how to improve it.
Upon turning to trusted Google, I came across a site that did a better job at explaining how to do what I wanted. It was still not tailor-made to my exact needs, but with a little modification I was able to get the results I wanted. I recreate those steps below.
In Gimp, open the dialog box for new image creation. Give the appropriate size of the image you want. Ensure that the Fill with: drop down menu has Transparency selected.
In the editing window that comes up, select the Text option under the Tools menu. Click inside the window to bring up a smaller window in which you enter the text you want.
Type out whatever word you want to use. This will be echoed in the editing window. When done, you can change the font, font size and colour using the text dialog box.
You can also move the text around the window to an appropriate location. Save the image as an xcf file. Make sure you do this, otherwise you will be unable to work on the different layers in subsequent steps.
The reason I did not like the original watermark I used was the fact that it was all one colour, thus making it difficult to see in certain images. My motivation to recreate it was to get a two-colour watermark, both colours contrasting such that at least one of them would be visible at all times. The way to do this was by adding an outline to the text and having that a complimentary colour to that of the text itself.
To add an outline, first of all select the text outline. To do this, right click the text layer in the Layers window and then click on Alpha to Selection from the resulting menu. In the image below, the layer with Watermark next to it is the text layer.
This should cause the text in the editing window to have dotted lines around the letters indicating they are selected.
Go back to the Layers window and right click on the Background layer and select New Layer from the resulting menu. Name the new layer Outline. Click on the Outline layer to select it.
Ensure that the foreground colour is set to black in the main Gimp window. In the image below, it is the top left square on the bottom left.
Right click on the text in the editing window, then select Edit - Stroke Selection from the resulting menu. Select the Stroke line option from the dialog box that comes up. Adjust the line width to the value you want, then click on the Stroke button to activate.
Delete the Background layer from the Layers window by right clicking on it and selecting Delete Layer from the resulting menu. Right click on any of the other two layers and then select Merge Visible Layers from the resulting menu. This should bring up a dialog box. Select the Clipped to image option, then click on Ok.
In the Layers window, change the opacity of the image to a value you want. Opacity specifies how apparent the image will be when you merge it with your pictures. The higher the value, the more visible it will be. You can play around with the value until you get to one that suits your needs.
Save the image as a gif or png (I use png format) and it is ready for use in your photographs. Instructions on how to merge it with your photographs are in my previous post.
And how does this compare to what I had before? Well, judge for yourselves...
However, there will still be the situations that will tax even this watermark image. Like the example below.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
on't you hate it when you are debugging your code within Eclipse, and while stepping into a method call, a Class File Editor pops up exclaiming "Source Not Found"? Wouldn't you rather see the Java source the next time that happens? By integrating a Java decompiler into your IDE, you can enable this functionality. Follow this complete step-by-step guide to integrate the Jad decompiler into Eclipse. Along the way, you'll find out what makes Java decompilers such handy additions to the developer's toolkit.
First, you need to download the necessary tools. Before anything else, make sure you have an installation of Eclipse. This article uses Eclipse 3.0.1. Note that in order to use Eclipse 3, you must use a J2SE of 1.4 or higher. This article uses J2SE 5.0 (formerly Tiger).
|Figure 1. Eclipse JadClipse Settings|
Now download the latest version of the Jad Java decompiler. This article uses version 1.5.8 for Windows. Unzip the zip file to your computer:
- Add your JAD_HOME directory to your PATH environment variable. For example, I unzipped my Jad download to C:\jadnt158 and added it to PATH.
- To test whether you have configured correctly, open a new DOS shell. Type 'jad' at the prompt. You should see information about Jad and options for usage.
Next, download the latest version (beta 2.06) of the JadClipse plugin for Eclipse. Unzip the zip file to your computer. Copy the jadclipse folder (not jadclipse_b206) to your Eclipse\plugins folder.
Finally, download the Spring Framework (Spring 1.1.2 was the latest version at the time of this article) and unzip the download to your computer.
|Figure 2. Eclipse Workbench File Associations Settings|
Now configure the JadClipse plugin within Eclipse:
- Open Eclipse. At the top menu, click Window->Preferences->Java->JadClipse.
- Set Path to decompiler = %jadnt158_directory%\jad.exe. Additionally, you can also set the output directory for decompiled files as well (see Figure 1). Click Apply.
- Now expand the Workbench node, and choose File Associations. In the top box named File Types, select *.class. In the bottom box named Associated Editors, select JadClipse Class File Viewer, and click Default (see Figure 2).
Now you are ready to create a Java Project in Eclipse:
- Click File -> New -> Project. Choose Java Project and click Next.
- Under Name, type DevxDecompilerTutorial. Choose the location of your project, and create separate source and output folders. Click Next.
- You should now define your Java settings. Click the Libraries tab, and then click Add External JARs. Navigate to where you unzipped your Spring download, and add the spring.jar to your project. Click Finish.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Obsolete Skills (obsoleteskills.com/Skills/ SkForgotten skills from a bygone era A record of the things we knew how to do, which are no longer useful
Obsolete Skills (obsoleteskills.com/Skills/ Skills), as the name suggests, is a great round up of skills that technology has made redundant. Maintained by Brad Kellette, this wiki was inspired by a blog post on the internet recording disappearing skills. They have quite a collection of skills—there are things like how to calculate square root using pencil and paper, format a floppy disk, and churning butter of all things. Beware not to let the nostalgia take over after you browse through.
How to make your PC boot automatically It’s a pain to wait every morning for your PC to boot up. You can set it to boot at a scheduled time
With the ‘Scheduled Tasks’ tool you can establish a regular wakeup call for your system. This will rouse your PC from hibernation or standby mode (sleep in Vista), but not if the machine is fully shut down. Click ‘Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Tasks’. Here check the ‘Wake the computer to run this task’ option. In Windows Vista, it’s on the ‘Conditions’ tab. Scheduled Tasks won’t work in XP unless you have a log-on password.
It took almost three months for a Mumbai-based interior decorator, to figure out why her clients were suddenly disappearing. “When clients started pulling out projects suddenly without any explanation, I just couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong,” says she. It was only when a friend who was an avid blogger told her about these posting on interior decorator blogs which ranted about her shoddy overpriced work and rude irresponsible behaviour, that she figured out what triggered off the disappearing clients.
“Unfortunately, on the internet anyone can write anything, no matter if it’s true or not. I sure had to pay a huge price for it,” she said. Fortunately for her, She was able to undo the damage by getting her loyal clients to vouch for her online.
These days, as more and more people are turning to the web to look for information, anyone armed with little more than an internet connection and a PC, can make or break your online reputation with postings on blogs, message boards or social networks. Unfortunately, an unhappy client is more like to write about his/her experience than a happy one. But that needn’t put you down, as there are plenty of ways to monitor your online reputation and regain lost ground. Here are a few tips that should help you on the way.
Start with monitoring
Tools like Monitor This (www.monitorthis.com) allow you to monitor a single keyword across 22 different search engine feeds at the same time. Subscribing to these is a good idea. Try creating custom RSS feeds based on keyword searches with sites like Feedster (www.feedster.com), Technorati ( w w w. t e ch n o r at i . c o m , Google.com/blogsearch, Yahoo! News and Google News. You could put all these feeds into a single integrator such as Bloglines.com for easy access. Also signing up for Google and Yahoo email alerts using your desired keywords (http://alerts.yahoo.com/ and www.google.com/alerts) is a good start. This is a great way to stay aware of your ‘online footprint’ and possibly protect your reputation and/or identity.
To do this, all you need is a Google or Yahoo account. Sign in and click on the ‘My Account’ link at the upper right corner. In your list of services, click on the ‘Alerts’ link. Here you can create a new Google Alert with your chosen search terms, type (areas to search), how often including ‘asit-happens’, and your email address. Click the ‘Create Alert’ button. So now, every time Google/Yahoo content matches your search terms, they will send you a detailed email about it.
For tracking blogs, tools like Bloginfluence.net and Socialmeter.com can come in handy. These show you the popularity for any entered blog URL. You can use these to get a snapshot of the credibility of any blogger discussing your company. Also, if someone is trying to malign you, use sites like DomainTools.com or Better-Whois.com to research backgrounds of bloggers, owners of forums and web site editors.
Remedies on negative feedback
With all this monitoring if you find some unfavourable post, here is what you could do to remedy the situation:
Identify the author of the blog and read their profile—Who are they? Who do they work for? Read the blogger’s other work to dig up the kind of profile he/she has. If it’s a negative blog, post an explanation about what you have done to rectify any issue. If it’s an irate client, offer to resolve any complaints and try to continue discussion offline. If the blog is not true, then politely request blog, forum, news site owner to remove or retract. Check with other owners who write on similar topics and see if they are interested in publishing your side of the story.
Use friends, family and happy clients to rally for you on blogs and online groups for various topics. Build alliances/partnerships with most prolific members on blogs. You could utilize networking sites to do this. Finally, it’s a good idea to offer to keep interested bloggers informed of future news about your venture—this normally works in your favour.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Want to reply to all scraps on your scrapbook at once ?
Normally useful when you get lots of wishes on your scrapbook (like birthday and what not)
It scraps everyone who has sent you a scrap on your first scrap page.
PS -> Working on a version that allows you to scrap everyone who has scrapped you .. not just the people on the first page of the scrapbook .. wonder if it would be really useful though
Thursday, March 06, 2008
The bug has been tried and tested in both Windows XP Home and Professional. If you try to make a folder named "CON" (case insensitive), Windows XP renames it back to what it was. So creating a new folder with the name "CON" just renames it to "New Folder".
The bug seems like a variable that got treated as a string or vice-versa. Trying to create the folder from a cmd prompt failed with an error "The directory name is invalid.".
This also works when you try to create a file called "CON", or "CON.". ".CON" shows up the way it should.
If you create a folder named "CON" on a linux filesystem say, and open up a samba share of it, the "CON" directory shows up as being "CSHOFG~F". A "CON." file or folder shows up as "CRW2KU~B"! Very Strange!
This actually is a unix-like feature. DOS device drivers are accessible like normal files, i.e. the everything-is-a-file philosophy. CON is the equivalent of /dev/tty, NUL of /dev/null, COM# of /dev/ttyS#, LPT# of /dev/lp# and CLOCK$ corresponds to /dev/rtc (PRN is an alias to LPT1, AUX is COM1). Every character device can be opened this way, block devices (which are assumed to be FAT formatted...) are named A: to Z:, as you will know. Many pseudo character devices (drivers which had to be loaded as drivers but were no character devices, like EMM386, HIMEM.SYS, ..) had forbidden characters like '*' in their device names to be hidden from the user.
Somebody at Microsoft willing to explain?
Today I got the following link on yahoo massager from one of my friend, It might be possible he has not sent this and some spyware sent it using his id, or the cracker might also have got his username and password using phishing.
I thought why geocities page asking me username and password and I understood that is phishing. And enter some crap and got to know it is really a phishing.
so, please do not give username and password at links like following
This is phishing attack to hack your username and password since it is geocities link and it do not required yahoo username or password to view this page.. this page is just designed to hack your username and password..
Try entering any crap words at place of username and password and see what happens..
There may many other such pages also. So be alert, before entering ur username and password u must recheck the URL
Forward this email to as many people as possible to save them from phishing attack.
If u wana know more about phishing attack search on Google.