Compiz Cylinder Effect, more OS fanboying | Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Years ago, when I made the permanent switch from Apple OS X to Ubuntu Linux, the most difficult part was living without two of the tools (non-Apple ones) that made using a Mac so much more tolerable: Quicksilver and Growl. Now that their equivalents on Linux have reached a point of relative maturity that makes that easier to bear, I realize that there are many, many, many more tools on Linux that I just couldn't live without, if I ever had to switch back (at gunpoint).

Virtual Desktops in Cylinder

The most pervasive of these in my everyday workflow is Compiz-Fusion, which is not only the sexiest eye-candy available on any OS, but has single-handedly changed the way I manage the workflow on my computer. The new cylinder-desktop plugin only pushes the boundaries further.

Review: Audiosurf | Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Long before they got busy making their Guitar Heroes and their Rock Bands, Harmonix was already busy making innovative games based around music. I have fond memories of spending late nights - when I had work the next day - at my ex-girlfriend's house on her brother's Playstation 2 playing Frequency, almost 6 years ago, getting high and trying to beat each other's score on "Control Your Body" (which also introduced me to the New Wave band Freezepop).

Bibble 4.9 Raw conversion filters | Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Since my last dozen posts or so have been about either Facebook or Medellin, I figured that I should post something completely unrelated.

So, I'm loving the filter settings in Bibble 4.9 workflow software. For non-photographers, RAW conversion software is a program that takes your RAW images from your camera (any camera worth its salt can shoot in RAW; check your settings) and processes them from a 'digital negative' to a high-quality, print-ready image file.

I used to shoot with an old, beat-up Leica on black and white 125 ISO Ilford film during my high-school photography courses. We'd then print on Agfa Multicontrast Premium photo paper, and the results were always stunning. Even photos that didn't seem like they would come out, ended up being oddly captivating with this process.

Also, all the hottest chicks in Grade 11 were in photo class, so that made it a no-brainer.

Anyways, fast forward 11 years and here I am using Bibble to manage my RAW photo workflow. It's available for Linux, Windows and Mac - in that order ;) - and it's by far the best software of its kind that I've used. I use Adobe Lightroom on my Vista PC when I need to, but on my Linux laptop all my RAW management is done through Bibble. Compared to Lightroom, Bibble seems to be more flexible, though they both provide ample options for pre-printing support (which is mostly what I use them for). I've also used Apple Aperture on my friend's Macbook Pro, but it doesn't hold a candle to either program. It's also far too slow to be of any real use to me; it was chugging on RAW files from my 10+MP Pentax for some odd reason, even though the machine is brand new. Its RAW output is also slightly less impressive than either Bibble or Lightroom. Maybe they'll fix things in the 2nd version, who knows.

So, playing around with some of the tucked-away options in Bibble, I came across film and photo paper simulators, where I found Ilford Plus FP4 125 film and Agfa Multicontrast Photo paper. And guess what? They make photos turn out just like my old Leica photos from high school - hot grade 11 chicks notwithstanding.