History always repeats itself and sometimes that's good. Here's a second chance to be part of it: tmdtc.com

Tuesday 31 July 2007

Mr Wong's logo insulting?

I can't believe this. Since when is using a caricatural face in an insult to this face's race? Are people so stupid? Or is this a marketing trick from Mr Wong to get attention? I find it surprising that the company so swiftly changes its logo....

If a company ever use a big person with a pack of french fries, I don't think I would feel insulted....

Gimp interface overhaul

It seems Gimp's interface will be changed to a single window interface. I for one won't be against that change. I'm using Ion because I can't organise windows that clutter my desktop, so you can imagine how much I like Gimp's multiple windows: on for the image, one for the tools, one for the layers, one for the currunt tool's settings, etc, etc.

Sunday 29 July 2007

Krita: the reconciliation

After the miserable failure of yesterday, I was again forced to use graphics design software and I launched the gimp. It was a very bad start as when I added text to the image I was editing, the text appeared garbled. I went over to Krita. There it worked fine, houray! And I even found the brush! It's hidden behind the broken line icon, the first of the list and tooltiped "Draw freehand".

When I wanted to save it as gif however, it failed. It seems Krita in Ubuntu doesn't have support for GIFs because Krita uses graphicsmagick, a fork of imagemagick that won't be included in Ubuntu anytime soon. Free software is great, but it has its problems too... The solution was to use ImageMacgick's convert. Did you know it's as easy as
convert image.gif image.png


As Krita doesn't have support for animated GIFs, I've had to use the gimp anyway. And I again encountered a problem with the gimp: to be able to specify the delay between 2 frames of the animated GIF, I had first to do a "save as". A simple save didn't do the trick.

Anyway, now the Profoss finally has usable banners. Take a look!

Saturday 28 July 2007

The Gimp and Krita

Warning: this can be considered as a rant, needed needed to get back to a normal state after 2 frustrating hours of work with the gimp and krita

I tried to make a banner for the Profoss, and failed miserably. I had a template, and just had to fill in the text. But the background was a bit too dark on the right, and I wanted to make it lighter but gradually, as the left was fine. It was impossible (for me) to find a way to do that (there was a pattern in the background), so I went for a plain background.

The main reason of the failure is I'm not a designer. It's not that I'm a bad designer, I'm worse than that. But combined with unintuitive tools as The Gimp and Krita, it ended up in a catastrophe. Here are examples:

  • in Gimp, I ended up not being able to draw with the brush anymore. I had done it 10 minutes earlier, but when I tried again I couldn't. I searched if there was a selection, if I was on a bad layer, but I couldn't change its behaviour to doing what I wanted: draw with the brush
  • in Krita I didn't even find the brush tool!
  • I didn't find the option to add text with the border of the letters in another color than the body of the letter. This is easy to do with Inkscape eg, but doesn't seem possible with those tools.

Is is me that is not understanding the tools, or is such a frustrating experience normal with these tools for a beginner like me? Whatever the reason, I don't even want to know it: I won't try the experience again anytime soon....

Friday 27 July 2007

Hotel contract signed

Today I went to the Thon Hotel and signed the contract for the organisation of the Profoss on 9&10 october. Until now it was booked but needed a contract signed and a confirmation (by means of a payment :-)

It's good that I went to the hotel with Gerry, who will organise the network and visitors badges, as we discovered that the hall where I wanted to organise the coffee breaks and sponsor stands was in fact not exclusive to our event.... By luck, we can get a room beside the one we had, but by paying a supplement of course.

It's also a mess with the exclusivity contracts those hotels have with network providers.... It's 20€ per day for wifi for one computer! An event having 100 visitors for 2 days wanting to propose WIFI to it's participants would have to pay 4000€! It's really not reasonable. I hope to get a better deal (though other hotels in Brussels refused to even talk about group price).

Thursday 26 July 2007

I need a PDA phone!

I'm currently looking to get a new phone with PDA functionalities. I used a Palm Zire to keep all my contacts, but it's getting old and nearly unusable. My first choice would be to get a device running on Free Sofware, but none of these devices are broadly available (I know the Green phone by Trolltec and the Neo 1973 runiing on OpenMoko, but these are currently more developers products), and they don't cover my needs from what I've read.

I could buy a PocketPC device and put Familiar on it, but I'm not motivated disappointing experience with the Zaurus. I never found a satisfying solution for synchronisation with my desktop. And I'm confused over which environment I should run. GPE? I prefered Opie but I'm waiting for Opie 2 since I don't remember when. Qtopia? Or should I go for Angström? And I still wouldn't have the phone capabilities.

This leaves me with devices running on proprietary software. There's HTC, which I was told by a friend are good, and you can possibly install linux on it, but it can be tricky as HTC doesn't support the Free Software development for their platform (even no tech specs are shared).

And then there's Nokia. I first saw the N95, which is really a beautiful product: good phone functionality and ergonomy thanks to S60 platform (that's a pre-requisite...), 5MP camera, GPS, WIFI, etc. However I heard negative feedback about the integration of all these functions, and I'm not convinced I could keep my addressbook up to date by entering all data on a GSM keyboard (type 2 times on 3 for the lettre e...). For the price of the N95, I'd prefer something really good :-)

And this morning I discovered the E90. Even more expensive, but with really interesting features: a big 800 pixel wide screen and a keyboard become available when you open it. There's still a 3.2MP camera, GPS, Wifi, etc. I thinks this is really what I need, but I'll wait a bit to find the right promo and read further reviews, although those I read are really positive.

Wednesday 25 July 2007

The start, le commencement, het begin

Here it is, my first personal generally available blog post. Although I've already postes on other blogs, those where very specific (like MyownDB's blog, or aimed at close family.

You can expect posts in english, mais aussi en français, in het nederlands, y tal vez en español!

Subjects of my posts will mainly be my projects, which means you should get news about the Profoss here :-)