The story of Nokia MeeGo by TaskuMuro

MeeGo Handset Launcher from MeeGo 1.1 “Day 1”

MeeGo Handset Launcher from MeeGo 1.1 “Day 1” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A very interesting read about Nokia’s MeeGo

Here is the article and no further comments.

I just love Nokia but i’m not happy with Windows Phone on their devices….i know they are!

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Issues so far with Linux [Ubuntu]

As you all know, things are not allways great, green is not allways green so in my “crusade” for getting to master Linux i’ve came upon some issues/limitations/frustrations and above that, many pros to this free OS.

Needs improvement:

  • Flash support – until recently, Flash 10 was not working very good with Firefox, almost all controls in YouTube for example didn’t work. The latest update solves alot of those problems.
  • Games – i really don’t understand exactly why they aren’t many Windows games that could run natively on Linux. Some will say that the Linux market is too small for the trouble but anyways…it would be fun!
  • Software – i personally don’t cry for Microsoft Word or Excel and not even Photoshop or Lightroom and i think Open Office, GIMP and darktable will do the job. But, there is a but, i feel like there is not so much quality in a lot of the free/open source software. I think that if more and more programmers will embrace and support the open source movement, software will get much better. Dont’ get it wrong, i’m very happy with the tools that i have and i’ll love to see them improved.

And that’s pretty much all.

Now you may say, “Hey you stupid idiot!!! How can you say that that’s about it when you complain about software, software being like almost everything in the computer world?!”.

I’m not complaining, i just think it should get better.

Now for the good part (and what 80% (i think) of the people use in a computer):

  • E-mail – i use Thunderbird e-mail client and it works like a charm.
  • Browsing – integrated Firefox
  • Messaging – you can use Pidgin or Empathy with support for Yahoo Messenger, Gmail, Skype, Facebook etc.
  • Music – Rhythmbox can read all music files. It also has free internet music repositories.
  • Movies – MPlayer is great, install it, get a front-end for it (i use SMPlayer) and your Linux box will play any movie and music files known to man. At the same level is VLC.

What do you need more??!!

So what you will normaly and daily use in a computer works great and for the more specific jobs we must have another chat.

Darktable – a huge boost in photography under Linux

People say that on Linux you don’t have powerfull software for photography and some people didn’t make a full switch to Linux because they don’t want to dump Adobe products, especially Photoshop and Lightroom, but now, half the “battle” is won if i may say so.

Heeeeeerrrre’s DARKTABLE !

I see it as a free/opensource and VERY powerfull photo management and photo non destructive developing/enhancing tool and… i say it…, an alternative to Adobe Lightroom.

What’s neat is that the viewing/management part is based on the lighttable in real life.

First you Import the Film Roll (folder or single images) like slides and the interface is just like a backlit table, where you can zoom in and out with the mouse wheel or move/pan with <W, A, S, D>-keys. Also you can rate, filter, sort, put meta on photos and import/export from/in different file formats. This will be the lighttable mode.

The darkroom mode or the develop mode is where you adjust/enhance your photos and the tools are very straight forward like: RAW support, exposure, sharpness, color correction, ICC profile support, crop, lens correction and many many more.

Check the website darktable.sourceforge.net, read it from top to bottom, install the software and use it! Try different things on different photos to learn what every button does. The software is far from complete so many nice things hopefully will come.

HINTS:

  • on top, bottom, left and right of the interface there are small arrows, use them to show/hide panels of the interface. Try pressing [Tab].
  • the history stack is on the left, the last operation will appear on top of the stack. Press one entry on the stack to see only that operation.
  • try pressing [1], in both lighttable and darkroom mode.
  • in lighttable mode, move the “slides” (photos) with [w, a, s, d]-keys; very nice combination in addition with the mouse, just like in video games:).
  • the values on the sliders are changed with the mouse wheel.
  • at the bottom right of the interface there’s a panel >more plugins. Expand it to enable/disable ….. huuuhhhh…more plugins :). Use this to make room or have more controls on the right where the operators are.

It is really great piece of software and a huge addition to Linux arsenal for photographers and if you search for an alternative to Adobe Lightroom, this is it!

Use it! Discover it! It’s lots of fun! And please feel free to share your oppinions.

Have fun!!!

Pipeline ideas (free/cheap ones too)

Maybe you are a freelancer, a hobbyst or even a small studio with a very tight budget and you are looking for free or inexpensive tools to get you started with 3D graphics/animation, whoever you are, maybe this post will help you. In fact i will list here also the commercial expensive 3D apps for the sake of making the article as complete as possible. I will try to differenciate on various Operating Systems but i have to tell you that having different OSes on different machines is a common practice.

DISCLAIMER: Maybe the list is not complete with all the possible piece of software out there; i will put the ones I think are the best, most feature rich, developed, used ones or the ones I heard of.

LINUX – FREE Solutions:

All in one:

Modellers:

Render engines:

LINUX – Commercial solutions:

All in one (from 1k up to around 8k):

You can make any combination you like, for example:

  • i model and UV in Wings 3D > Import for rendering in Blender or Kerkythea (for stills) or,
  • i model and UV in Wings 3D > Import in Houdini for rendering and animation.

Try the software you like, buy whatever you want, there are great tools out there and you know, the only limitation is your imagination :).

Have fun!!!

Learn animation (and VFX) with Houdini Apprentice

Today i present you  Sidefx HOUDINI Apprentice, the FREE learning edition of Houdini (Linux, Windows, MacOS). It’s a fully functional Houdini (including import/export from/to many file formats) the limitations being:

  • small non obstructive watermark
  • a render size limit of 720 x 576 for oth stills and animation
  • .hipnc [non-commercial] file type
  • no Torque DTS exporter

I use it on Linux Ubuntu 9.10 and it installs and work like a charm and let’s face it, a fully functional 8000$ worth 3d package PLE (Personal Learning Edition) for Linux is not something you find often (there are no PLEs for Maya(anymore), Softimage XSI, 3D Studio Max, Lightwave(not yet) etc.)

You will think, looking at the interface and intro tutorials you will find on the internet that it’s very hard to learn this software but if you concentrate and think of Houdini in a very logic manner, you will be surprised how great and powerful this software is.

What i find to be very interesting (for me) is the Autorig which you can use for learning how to animate, because it’s a fully functional cartoon character rigged for you just to start animating. Sure this is not all you can do, because Houdini is very well known for it’s procedural approach, nodal based workflow and greatest results (i may say) in VFX – particles, soft/hard body, fluids, smoke.

Check the official website and see what this great software can do and use it! If you’re into VFX you’ll be stunned by Houdini’s power.

So good luck!!!

Free vector graphics software

On Linux, there are 2 wonderful free vector graphics software who are great alternatives for Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator, in no particular order:

Try both and see what they can do, how they work and what is the one you like, also check the official websites for samples (they are quite similar to those painting like vector graphics at Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator websites).

I personally like both and i can tell you that they both can get your job done in all aspects of vector graphics. Try the tutorials on the official websites if you are new to vector graphics or experienced user and you should get you started in no time.

Have fun!!!

The VERSUS WARS

All over the internet you can find articles about “this vs that”, like “Linux vs Windows”, “GIMP vs Photoshop”, “Nikon vs Canon” etc. but as a versus searcher i can tell you that this is 80% bullshit written by newbies and insecure people or just people who have nothing better to do than brag about stuff…duuuude 🙂

So let me tell you something about this versus wars based on my experience:

  • Linux vs Windows: none is better than the other if the operating system that you are using just works for you. There are people that use Windows and Windows software and are just happy with that and there are people using Linux and Linux software and are just happy with that! PERIOD! If i’m happy with my Ubuntu Linux, i can do my job, the software than i use works great, why should i kick Windows? Why? Or if i’m a huge fan of Windows, and everything on Windows world is just wonderful for me, why should i say something bad about Linux? Why? Is Linux better than Windows, is Windows better than Linux? The answer is NO with two capitals, N and O in both cases! It doesn’t matter if some things works great, faster, smoother on any OS, if one is happy, so be it! FACTS: Windows has a larger user base, more very well built and used software than Linux, so what? Linux is the best for web servers, it’s open source and free, so what? Both Windows and Linux can work on different hardware configurations, they are stable and in the end can get your job done. There are people who don’t care if Linux is open source, because they don’t need an open source OS, don’t care if it’s free because they can afford a Windows license, don’t need open source software because they just don’t know/don’t need to modify their software. The right OS for you is the one you are using.
  • GIMP vs Photoshop: Or is GIMP better than Photoshop. Another astronomical plain bullshit. Photoshop is the most loved software in the world, not cheap, but i can say is the best for what it can do. GIMP is a free alternative (to some extend) to Photoshop, but IT IS NOT BETTER OR WORSE and trust me i’ve seen both in action. GIMP was not created to be equal or better than Photoshop (the creators of GIMP say that)! There are things you can do in both GIMP and Photoshop (and this is not opening a .jpg file:)), there are things you can do better in GIMP and there are things you can do better in Photoshop. So it’s pure preference. There are no 2 pieces of software that were created to do exactly that another one does. So if GIMP does the job for you, very good and if Photoshop does the job for you, very good!
  • BONUS –  Micro$oft is EVIL: go and ask heavy Microsoft Windows users how they felt the evilness of Microsoft.

The other 20% of the Versus wars on the internet are as they all should be (but please keep it under 10 mils), structured compare over specific tasks, made by people who really know what they are talking about.

So start bragging about it and be constructive about it.