Computers blog postings

Computers Postings

Earliest: June 12, 2003Latest: April 29, 2017Total: 101

August 4, 2006

Photoshop Select Layer Tip

How to select all the Layers contents in Photoshop CS

In old versions of Photoshop it was pretty easy to select all the contents of a particular layer. I usually use this to put round corners on the selected image. In the latest Photoshop the process changed slightly.

Image Ready CS2

By Default Auto-Layer is enabled, which means that when you click an image it auto selects that layer. If you click on the Marquee Tool (M), then Right Click or Control-Click on a Mac, and then select "Load Selection" then the option to the right, such as "Layer 2 Transparancy"

Photoshop CS2

Using a Mac, Use the Command Key (Apple Key) and click on the Layer Icon in the Layer Palette.

July 20, 2006

Windows Update

Windows Update

Recently Microsoft did a security update which required a restart. They included this little popup to alert users to restart their systems. The only problem is that there are many servers that can't be restarted because they have databases or Webservers. So users will continue to see this dialog box, every once in a while, and have to click Restart Later.

On some systems the mouse moved to the Restart Now button, so it could be accidentally clicked. Great job Microsoft!!!

July 3, 2006

Powerbook Screen Shot

This is a screen capture of the root directory on my Powerbook G4 400 series, in August 2000:

June 20, 2006

Recording Audio

Technology has come a long way in the past few years.

Using WireTap Pro and Audio Hijack has saved me a lot of money!

In the 80's, for fun I used to record radio shows using cassette tapes. A fairly good quality tape from Osco or Strawberries would cost about $2 each tape, and hold about 60 - 90 minutes of audio. If I wanted to record 52 hours of any programing, it would cost between $90 - $100!

Today, using Wiretap Pro ($19) or Audio Hijack ($16), a DVD Disk ($.75 a disk) and the built in DVD drive in my Macintosh. I can do so much more than before.

I can now record more audio at better quality. I can set a timer to record radio shows when I am not at home. DVDs will be around for a long time - cassette tapes don't last that long and sound quality can deteriorate over time. Also DVDs disks take up less space than cassette tapes.

I preferrer to use AAC Protected format, because AAC Protected provides bettery quality audio than from MP3s. Its the format Apple Computer uses for purchase songs on iTunes, so if its good enough for them its good enough for me. If I was recording something other than radio, I might be a little more picky.

Fact: 4 hours of Audio recording using AAC Protected format at 192 kbps will results in a file size of 332.4 MB.

Which means that only 13 audio clips will fit on a Standard DVD. This comes to 52 hours of audio that will fit on a DVD. Not bad!

The only downside of storing it on DVDs is that I can't play them right from the DVD. However, I suspect in a few years that may change, and I'll be able to put the DVDs into a car stereo and hear 50 hours of radio whenever I want.

If you have WireTap Pro or AudioHijack:

  1. Find a Radio Station, usually Talk Shows or News Programs are best.
  2. Record Non-Stop for 24 - 48 hours, with a break just before the top of the hour.
  3. Burn the Audio files to a DVD.
  4. Keep the DVD in a safe place.
  5. Years from now play the audio, and see how life was back in 2006...

May 30, 2006

Dock Items

Every once in a while I'll list the contents of my Dock. The toolbar usually contains the applications that I use the most.

Dock items listed in the order they appear, items are separated by Dock Separators.

  • Finder
  • Safari
  • FireFox
  • Mail
  • Interarchy 7
  • BBedit
  • XCode
  • DEVONthink
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe InDesign CS2
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Adobe ImageReady CS2
  • Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Standard
  • Dreamweaver 8 (Trial)
  • OmniGraffle
  • OmniOutliner
  • Pages
  • Keynote
  • iWeb
  • iPhoto
  • iTunes
  • Aqua Data Studio
  • Terminal
  • Toast Titanium
  • Chicken of the VNC
  • Remote Desktop Connection
  • Adium
  • TextEdit

April 26, 2006

Turn your picture into a puzzle

Photoshop comes with a Puzzle Filter but "not a lot of people know that" it's called - Texturizer. It's probably lurking in Filter/Other. The easiest way to make it work is to choose the Puzzle.psd file (it should be on your CD) when you click on Texture: Load Texture. Once it's loaded select the Scaling, Relief and Light Direction and say OK. That's it!

If you don't like the effect of the Puzzle.psd file you can simply draw your own (you could just scan the back of a puzzle!) and save it as a Greyscale, flattened file (mustn't have transparency). Then go to Filter/Other/Texturizer and load this file.

Be sure to check other Filters in the Filter folder, you might find some good uses for your next graphic project!

March 17, 2006

Indesign CS2 Style

Recently I put together a booklet in InDesign CS2. The following are the Indesign Character Styles that I used.

Headline Times New Roman + Regular + size: 36 pt
Subheadline Times New Roman + Regular + size: 18 pt
BODY Adobe Garamond Pro + Regular + size 11 pt + leading: auto + tracking: 0


December 16, 2005

PHP on Windows 2003

If you are having problems getting mssql_connect() to work in PHP and you are running Windows 2003, you should replace all the ntwdblib.dll with one from Windows 2000.

This is because the ntwdblib.dll in Windows 2003 has strict permission issues.

The one that worked for me is dated Sunday August 06, 2000 and is 268 KB.

November 30, 2005

Speed Test

Fios Results

Desktop Result:
Download Speed: 4943 kbps (617.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1625 kbps (203.1 KB/sec transfer rate)

Laptop Result:
Download Speed: 4403 kbps (550.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1764 kbps (220.5 KB/sec transfer rate)

November 12, 2003

Oracle Advice

Normally I don't give tips about computers or electronics on my daily factoid. This isn't a computer focus Weblog, and its not ment to be. If your looking for real good computer news, Slashdot is your best choice.

With the recent positive news on the economy, 7.2% economic growth and the unemployment rate lowering to 6 percent. It appears that the economy is finally moving in a positive direction. Here are several reasons to update your database today:

Price Changes
Once the economy starts to pickup, you will likely see licence changes at Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. These changes will mean the total cost of ownership will increase. The intial price might not change, but the cost of support might be higher. You'll be surprise on the deals you can get today!

Timing is Perfect!
The hardest part of database migration is scheduling downtime for the migration. You don't want to do a migration while your company can't afford to be down. Consider this to be the off season, make your pitching changes now so you will be ahead of the game later.

Plenty of Help
There are plenty of database consultants and integrators available now. If you wait later, you may not have the install flexibility that you need.