Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Computer Solving - Technology tricks

Computer Solving - Technology tricks

PixBuilder Studio a good free alternative to PhotoShop

Posted: 01 Nov 2011 06:25 PM PDT

Free photo editor program

PixBuilder Studio comes in a very small size, just 3MB download, a good indication that it will be light on resources, the official requirement is only 512RAM, during installation you can choose to install it as portable on a USB thumbdrive.

Its interface is tightly integrated (no floating panels) the layout resembles PhotoShop, most tools are located in the very same place, this photo editor has all of the features that a home user will need: photo resizing, cropping, import from scanner, brightness adjustment, contrast, auto levels, RGB, hue/saturation, curves and colorize. I own PhotoShop as well and there isn’t a single tool that I normally use there and can not be found on PixBuilder Studio, there are more features in PhotoShop of course but most home users will never need them.

PixBuilder Studio free photo editor

PixBuilder Studio free photo editor

PixBuilder Studio is a powerful photo editor that allows you to work with panels and layers , text editing could be improved a little, you can add and format text on the photographs using bold and different fonts but PixBuilder opens up a new window where you have to edit the text first, other photo editors allow you edit the text directly on the image being able to see what it looks like on real time.

The default special effects are limited to dithering, blur (quick, motion, Gaussian), sharpness, emboss and few others, all very basic. There is support for Adobe Photoshop 8BF filters in the form of plugins, you will need to add those after installation. I enjoyed the clone stamp, and magnetic lasso tool, these are not found often in free graphics editors., the program is multilingual and you can translate it into your own language if it is not available yet, the developer will include it in the next release.

Supported file formats:

It reads: .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .pcx, .psd, .tga, .ico, .pbs

It writes: .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .pcx, .tga, .ico, .pbs

It can not save photos as Photoshop .psd files but it is able to read them, you will also find .pbs PixBuilder Studio own file format.

Visit PixBuilder Studio homepage

OS X Daily: Swipe Left to Dismiss New Notifications in iOS 5

OS X Daily: Swipe Left to Dismiss New Notifications in iOS 5

Link to OS X Daily

Swipe Left to Dismiss New Notifications in iOS 5

Posted: 02 Nov 2011 04:16 AM PDT

Swipe to dismiss notifications in iOS 5

If you want to quickly get a notification off your screen in iOS 5, all you need to do is swipe left across the notification and it’ll be pushed off screen.

This may be a simple little trick, but something I wasn’t aware of until iDownloadBlog pointed it out in a video, where the above screencap comes from. That video is embedded below just in case you’re having troubles:

This definitely works on the iPhone and iPod touch, but it’s probably less useful on an iPad.

Speaking of notifications, if you want to get rid of some of the widgets in Notification Center you can do that too.

Steve Jobs Interview from 1995 [Video]

Posted: 01 Nov 2011 11:30 PM PDT

Steve Jobs at NeXT

Computerworld has released their full archival footage of a 1995 interview conducted with Steve Jobs for a historical project. The video is about 75 minutes long and covers a wide variety of topics, from his childhood in the Silicon Valley, to the early years of Apple, NeXT, Pixar, thoughts on the internet, startups and entrepreneurship, and even more on Apple (remember, this was two years prior to his return in 1997).

Some of the interview echoes a bit of his biography, but even if you’re reading or have already read the book, it’s worth watching for fans of Steve.

Watch it on

Move Desktop Spaces in Mission Control with Drag & Drop

Posted: 01 Nov 2011 11:34 AM PDT

Rearrange spaces in Mission Control

It’s easier than ever to rearrange your virtual desktops (Spaces) in Mission Control, all you need to do is click on a desktop and then drag and drop it to a new spot to move it.

Moving Desktop 3 before Desktop 2 will change their orientation accordingly when you’re switching between desktops as well. Desktops will also automatically rename themselves based on their placement within Mission Control, if you drag Desktop 5 before Desktop 4, the names will switch accordingly.

BlackBerry Imagines the Future, with Touch Holograms [Video]

Posted: 01 Nov 2011 10:58 AM PDT

Blackberry imagines a touch hologram

Just like Microsoft released a video for their sci-fi inspired imaginative future, Blackberry has jumped in with their own futuristic concept video, complete with plenty of touch screens and even touchable holograms.

I think these are fun to watch just to see what companies are imagining, but the main difference between Apple and Microsoft or Blackberry is that Apple is actively shipping things that lead us to believe this stuff is actually possible. The iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone feel like the future now, and they’re tangible. The other interesting thing to point out is that some features in the Blackberry video, like remote data wipe, are already in iOS 5, whereas it’s just a concept for RIM at the moment (as far as I know, I have no exposure to the Playbook).

The video comes via DaringFireball, who suggests that both Blackberry and Microsoft would be better served creating real products that can be used now, rather than fictional movies.

Anyway, enjoy the video, for conceptual reasons if nothing else:

Blackberry imagines a touch computer

Blackberry imagines a touchable hologram keyboard

Siri, iMessage, and AirPlay Coming to Mac OS X?

Posted: 01 Nov 2011 10:22 AM PDT

Siri for Mac OS X concept

A future version of Mac OS X may bring iOS favorites Siri, iMessage, and AirPlay to Apple’s Mac lineup. Assuming the features are released, it’s unclear whether they will come as an update to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, a purchase through the Mac App Store, or as part of Mac OS X 10.8.

iMessage & AirPlay for OS X?
Rumors of iMessage coming to Mac OS X started earlier in the year when code snippets were found that suggested iChat may get iMessage integration. 9to5mac has since heard that AirPlay and iMessage for the Mac are currently in development for OS X Lion.

Sources familiar with the future of Mac OS X say that AirPlay Mirroring and an iMessage application are currently in development. Although neither project may see the light of day, they are definitely on the table for release in future versions of OS X Lion.

AirPlay would allow a Mac user to wirelessly mirror their Mac display to an Apple TV, and video streaming would be integrated with QuickTime. 9to5mac indicates there is a possibility that iMessage will be released as a standalone product, rather than being integrated directly with the existing instant message client iChat. If standalone apps are released, it wouldn’t be surprising to have iMessage and AirPlay be downloads from the Mac App Store much like FaceTime was before it became bundled with the OS X 10.7 release.

Siri for Mac?
Bringing iMessage and AirPlay to the current version of OS X is similar to what Kevin Rose mentioned recently about Siri, who stated a rumor that the AI agent would be released for OS X Lion next year.

Kevin Rose and the Siri Rumor

Separately, we’ve also heard an unverified claim that Siri could replace the existing Speech Recognition module and have ties into Spotlight for a future version of Mac OS X. Siri would offer a significant improvement in voice recognition, dictation, and a new way to search on the Mac platform.

Not Anytime Soon
While all of these claims are in the realm of obvious speculation, some features shouldn’t be expected to appear anytime soon. In all probability, Siri won’t be coming to any other hardware, be it iOS or Mac based, until the next generation iPhone is released. The reason may simply come down to marketing, with Siri being a prominent feature of commercials for the iPhone 4S, it’s unlikely that Apple would dilute a key marketing component of the 4S by spreading the technology around to other hardware.

Other Siri related rumors suggest the AI agent would act as the remote control on a potential Apple television set.

iMessage concept in Mac OS X

(Siri & iMessage graphics on this page are mockups)

Side note: even without iMessage, you can send SMS through iChat right now just by using AIM or Google Chat and messaging a phone number prefixed with a +, although standard SMS rates apply for the recipient.