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September 15, 2009

An easy way to remove redeye in Linux

Filed under: — brendan @ 13:13 IST

I’ve got a bunch of photos I’d like to adjust to get rid of the redeye effect. A bit of searching found a few different tutorials on how to accomplish this in GIMP. But the effort is just plain nuts…you’re doing an awful lot of clicks and menus and finding your way down channels and tunnels … you’d never find the rest to do what should be a point-and-click sort of thing. (For those of us not using expensive commercial packages which have that…)

Because of a great howto, I discovered Digikam, a free KDE package which is perfect. You select a picture and click Edit, then select the region around the eyes. Click Enhance->Red Eye to see a popup showing both the original and, next to it, the fixed version. It’s perfect. Click OK, then Save, and you’re done.

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September 7, 2009

Kill tracker, long live tracker

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:39 IST

I’ve found more often than not my attempts to log into my desktop (which is running Ubuntu Linux) have me staring at a black screen with a white cursor, waiting forever for the login window to come up. It appears this is because an uber-indexer, trackerd, is swallowing up all sorts of CPU time.

There’s no elegant way to disable it. I could kill the process, but that’s only usable until the next time I reboot the system or log off and log back in. So instead I had to do System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager and search for “tracker” (not “trackerd” which doesn’t get it). I right-clicked on tracker, selected Mark for Complete Removal, and clicked Mark to accept that both of the packages libtaskbar-tracker and tracker-search-tool would be getting unistalled too. A click of Apply and then Apply again finally got rid of it. I quit the Synaptic Package Manager, my therapist to help me get away from this constant frustration.

Now if I walk away for more than five minutes, the screen saver will come on…but the idle system won’t give trackerd the ability to work it into the ground, in lieu of any other practical use of the system. Like, say, its user trying to actually use it.

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September 5, 2009

Irish alternative to poor FedEx

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:21 IST

I have some documents which have to get to the US as early as possible next week. FedEx in Ireland is really picky to begin with, and on a Saturday even has their office closed—and their phoneline hangs up on you if you even try to listen to their office hours. At best, we’d be driving up to Dublin Airport to give the package to them to fly out. Skip FedEx and try DHL — no answer. Gah. This is after I went to An Post in Dún Laoghaire at 3:45pm to try to use their courier service to send it out. The lady said their guy had left at 4pm (it wasn’t even 4), and the best they could do is delivery in 4-5 business days. WEAK.

Unless we could figure out something else, a hunk of the weekend was going to be spent scanning in about 150 pages and then

Our friend Helen, who works in TV/film, suggested a courier company called Wells Cargo (a fun name if you’re from California). I emailed on Saturday morning, and less than five minutes after I’d sent my mail, my mobile phone rang. There was your man asking for some details, and able to have someone collect before 8am on Monday—for delivery to our accountant in Florida on Tuesday. And I can pay them with PayPal.

Very, very impressive. I’ve every expectation their guy will appear on Monday morning; apparently this company’s even in Elana’s rolodex from when she worked in TV production in Los Angeles.

We’re definitely gonna use them again. They so saved my ass I figure a plug is in order. 🙂

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