Vector drawing programs

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 26-07-2012

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Matt Inman made a video where he discussed how he does his illustrations for his website: www.theoatmeal.com.

If you haven’t seen any of this stuff, I would recommend that you only do it while you are home because his site is a big productivity killer.

Anyway, it got me very interested in doing illustrations again, but I’ve usually only do that by hand and I didn’t feel like spending $800 on Illustrator.

Off to Wikipedia!

Wikipedia has a listing vector programs available; some good, some bad; some just ok. I have been using Inkscape for a while, but I’m not too crazy about it.

Then I found Sketch by Bohemian Coding.

This program fits the bill!

It’s affordable, filled with a lot of features and actually works… which unfortunately most other programs don’t do.

My only gripe with Sketch is that it cannot open SVG based drawings or Illustrator files, but that I something I leave to Inkscape to do… though I would really love Sketch to do that instead.

So if you are looking to do vector based drawing at a reasonable price, check out Sketch.

File managers

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 11-11-2011

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For the longest time, the only file manager I used on the Mac was the Finder.

I was fine with that and I never thought of needing another program.

My co-worker though uses a program named PathFinder by CocoaTech. After seeing it in action, I thought it would be a great tool for organizing my project files and it does make finding files faster and easier.

So, when I started doing more PC work for my current project, I wanted something similar to PathFinder cause the Windows Explorer is only so-so.

Well, the closest I got to PathFinder was a program called xplorer2 by zabkat.com. It’s actually very useful, and my current file organizer on my workstation.

Although it is very helpful, I wouldn’t say that it’s complete: it’s missing a few features that I like in PathFinder, like right-clicking on a file and being able to copy the full path. However, for everything else, it’s better than the Windows Explorer.

I just got a Griffin case for $20

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 08-12-2010

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I had a couple of cases for my iPhone 3G and the Griffin Reveal Case, being one of the cheaper ones I’ve come to own, is also one of the most practical.

It’s clear on the back, black around the borders and is pretty spiffy looking.

For $20 bucks you can’t go wrong. If you are looking for a decent case that won’t break your wallet, check out the Griffin Reveal Case

Ducks take on the six-axis

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Funny, Review | Posted on 03-11-2010

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You know it’s funny, looking at the word six-axis and you see it’s spelt the same forwards and backwards. Enough duh…

The game I’m blogging about today is called Super Rub A Dub…

This is a cute game that uses the accelerometer from the six-axis controller, the PS3 controller that is, to control the board in the game that holds the duck and the water the duck floats in.

For really young kids, this is a great game to help work their fine motor skills without overly frustrating them since they only have to tilt the controller and not have to worry about clicking any of the geometric buttons.

This game is a lot of fun to play and challenging when you get to the higher levels.

Stay away from PGP Desktop

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 01-11-2010

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I’ve been using PGP Desktop for 3 years now, and not by choice.

I use the Mac OS version and I can say that my experience with PGP Desktop is probably one of the worst experiences I have had with any piece of software, compared to any product I have used over the past 15 years.

This might be harsh, but the makers of PGP Desktop, now Symantec, should really listen to their customers. If they are not, they should at least have some focus groups or usability testing or something that makes their product better.

Today, I switch away from PGP Desktop and move to better software.

Saving energy on a FreeBSD server

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 25-10-2010

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FreeBSD is an awesome operating system, but if your machine is set up like mine… the drives spin all the time and can actually suck up some juice.

A month later, opening the electric bill made my eyes open wider than they usually do at a bill when I see the bigger bill.

Okay. I think we can solve this.

There’s a utility for spinning down the drives, named ataidle, and I found information about this nifty binary at http://www.cran.org.uk/bruce/software/ataidle.php.

It also happens to be installed in the ports directory: /usr/ports/sysutils/ataidle

So, if you want to save some green and go green too, check out this app and install it on your own FreeBSD machine.

The only thing about an utility like this is that certain programs, database programs for example, may be very sensitive to the drives spinning down for no apparent reason. So consider what programs are running on your system before you install this program.

God, I hate my Xbox360

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Not-so-funny, Review | Posted on 04-04-2009

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Last month, my Xbox 360 died. Again. This is the third Xbox for me… All have died from the stupid red ring of death.

This time around, the Microsoft tech’s messed up my support ticket, so after a week of waiting around, I had to have them cancel the ticket and re-create my ticket so that they would send me a box to ship the dead console in.

Another week goes by. The Xbox website says that a box was shipped to me, but nothing. Ten days go by since the new ticket was created and I have to call and find out what happened. “We don’t send out boxes”, a women with an accent says. She’s a support rep for Microsoft whom I’m assuming is on another continent. “So why does the website say A Box Was Shipped?” “We don’t ship boxes sir”. I was getting no-where fast with this Einstein.

So, almost two months. Almost two months I am without a Xbox and I finally get one back. In the box, comes a one month pass. Great, I’ll need that to make up for the two months I lost.

Well, my account was supposed to renew, and the account was suspended because the credit card info was wrong.

After spending a half hour trying to figure our how to update the expiration for the credit card info and how to redeem the one month pass, I decided, enough. Enough is enough. The account was still disabled and I was getting nowhere.

This piece of junk is not worth my time. I only bought it for one game and I don’t even get to enjoy that one game because of the Shenanigans this piece of junk gives me.

That’s it. Enough is enough. I’m done with the Xbox 360.

Envy no more

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 20-02-2009

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I’m currently working on a website and like any website, it needs graphics. I was checking out some websites that have awesome icons, like CruxTech and Panic and I envy the cool tools that exist for Windows for making icons. One of those programs is Axialis IconWorkshop. 

This Windows only application looks really cool and appears to make icon editing a breeze. However, I work on a Mac and I wanted something similar to this. I could not believe that I couldn’t find anything similar to this till now! 

I came across a program named Art Text 2 from BeLight Software. This app so far has proved to be an easy to use program that allows me to create exceptional icons.

icon_dino

Now, why am I talking about this program on my webblog? Here’s why: I’ve spent so much time looking for an easy to use program that allows me to create great icons that I find it only necessary to let as many people as possible know about this program.

Give it a try. Let me know what you think. If you know of anything better out there, let me know.

Happy coding!

Photo sharing made a little easier

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review, What's New | Posted on 21-08-2008

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One of the problems I have in my house is that I have multiple cameras of different brands. Although all of my computers are Macs, my wife uses iPhoto and I use Nikon’s ViewNX application to manage photos.

She shoots Canon JPEG images and I shoot Nikon RAW images. Sometimes my wife uses the Nikon camera and produces excellent shots in either JPEG or NEF.

The problem we have is that our images are in multiple places, making it hard to share these images. Sometimes she would like to use an image on our website, or share an image in an email. Again, very slow and hard to do over a wireless network with multiple computers.

Some geeks would say, “Just use ZenPhoto or build a website in PHP to do that!”. Of course, I would reply, “I’m too lazy to do that and I don’t want to spend my time doing that when I could be coding in Cocoa!”

So, I looked and found that Nikon already had an answer… and a good one! It’s a website named “my Picturetown” which allows anyone to upload up to 2 GB of images for free. It’s very easy to share images with friends and family and its certainly a lot easier than other programs that I have used.

I would highly recommend that you check it out:

Nikon my Picturetown

Backup software that might actually work

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Posted by Jaime | Posted in Review | Posted on 27-01-2008

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Are you sick of Retrospect? I’m sorry to hear that, but if you are adventurous and are looking for something to replace that backup software of yours, check out BRU at http://www.tolisgroup.com/  

I can’t guarantee that this will work for you, but this looks like a sexy POSIX application, whose roots in UNIX probably means it actually works. Check it out at your own risk 🙂