Category Archives: software

New Era for Stereoscopic 3D

The launch by Quantel at IBC in Sepember of their stereoscopic 3D editing package bought with it the opportunity to produce affordable 3D content.

Axis Post has become the first European post facility to add Stereoscopic 3D software to its Quantel Pablo iQ system. In a new alliance, the 3D Pablo will be installed at Concrete Post Production in Dean Street, Soho, London, UK.

Perhaps the investment by Philips in the devepment of its 3DWOW display panel will pay off now we can afford to start creating a catalogue of 3D content

product_stereovis_philips_wiggle.gif

simulated image of 3D on the 42″ Philips Wow Display

Vista Woes

Despite being one of those annoying early adopters of new technologies I have remained steadfastly anti Microsoft’s Vista operating system.

Clearly I’m not alone…….

Even CNet’s Digital Home blog offers advice as to “Why Microsoft must abandon Vista to save itself”.
“it has turned out to be one of the biggest blunders in technology. With a host of issues that are inexcusable….”
More at CNET blogs >>

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), offers no dramatic interface changes, nor does it add new features to the operating system. Instead SP1 focuses on improving performance, reliability and application compatibility.  Microsoft plans to release the final version of SP1 early of 2008.

So if you’ve got Vista and wish you hadn’t then here’s a handy article (I can’t vouch for what might happen if you follow these instructions so if you do it it’s at your own risk!)
Giving up on Vista? Here’s how to downgrade to XP

Microsoft extends Windows XP’s stay
“Large PC manufacturers were slated to have to stop selling XP after January 31, 2008. However, they have successfully lobbied Microsoft to allow them to continue selling PCs with all flavors of Windows XP preloaded until June 30, a further five months. Microsoft also plans to keep XP on retail shelves longer and will allow computer makers in emerging markets to build machines with Windows XP Starter Edition until June 2010.”
More at CNet Asia>>

Windows Live Photo Gallery

Windows Live Photo Gallery looks like a credible competitor to Google’s excellent Picassa software to locate,organise and edit photos on your PC.
Particularly interesting is its claimed ability to stitch panoramas together from individual photos and batch tagging and re-naming

Good review here >>

Another review here from Wired >>

Here’s Microsoft’s list of Windows Live features that are Beta testing

Stitched up by Microsoft

Photosynth is an amazing new technology from Microsoft Live Labs. The software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them stitched together in a reconstructed three-dimensional space.

With Photosynth you can:

  • Walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle.
  • Seamlessly zoom in or out of a photo whether it’s megapixels or gigapixels in size.
  • See where pictures were taken in relation to one another.
  • Find similar photos to the one you’re currently viewing.
  • Send a collection – or a particular view of one – to a friend.

(Currently this only works with Windows XP and Vista, so no Mac compatability yet)

Software architect, Blaise Aguera y Arcas shows off the technology in this demo:

No Budget Software Solutions

An increasing number of licence free, open source programmes are becoming viable alternatives to their expensive license restricted rivals. Here are a few for my student friends at the University of Hertfordshire :

Gimp – Don’t be put off by the name or the rather uninspiring website. This is an extremely credible rival to Adobe’s Photoshop and is available for Mac and Windows (as well as UNIX).
Screen shots here >>

Inkscape – is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw.

PrimoPDF is the free alternative to Adobe’s Acrobat programme for creating a PDF

KompoZer – again don’t be put off by the website if you want a programme that starts to rival Dreamweaver.

Scribus – Scribus is an open source cross-platform page layout (DTP) program aimed at producing layouts for newsletters, corporate stationery, posters, training manuals, technical documentation, business cards and other documents which need flexible layout and/or sophisticated image handling, as well as precise typography controls and image sizing not available in current word processors. 

Whilst these programmes may lack some of the features of their rivals they are free and likely to improve as they gather support.