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Showing posts from 2007

FSViewer32 and My Freeware Suite

The next big thing I found today (see previous post) is called FastStone Image Viewer 3.2 and it's an image viewer. Fast, lightweight and nicely done, looks very promising and could possibly replace my ageing ACDSee Classic 32 I've been using for years!

I keep a folder on my disks with the most useful freeware programs I find on the web. I call it My Freeware Suite :-)

Here's the contents:
FileZillaSyncBack, HashOnClick and other utilities from 2BrightSparksCSS Tab DesignerAutoHotKeyWinAmpSysInternalsAdAwareSE7ZipMediaPlayerClassic
...and others... :-)

ToolBox and AutoHotKey

I've been getting quite a lot of emails regarding ToolBox my little application launcher which I've been developing since 1996. Most users are asking for a hot-key feature that will allow them to bring ToolBox to front with the press of a button.

I have looked at how to implement such a feature, years ago, and when I found out that I had to write a keyboard hook I decided to resist the temptation and keep ToolBox as "clean" and non-intrusive as possible. What is more, the portable nature of ToolBox (it can run from almost everywhere, doesn't need installation, etc.), requires some consideration on how far new features can go into the host's internals.

Having decided to provide some solution to those emails, I did a bit of investigation on third-party tools that could be used to bring an application to the front and I found a real Gem!:

AutoHotKey is an open-source utility that can do just that. With a simple script that looks like this:

#z::
IfWinExist ToolBox

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Not very often you come across a piece of software so complete, so full of nice surprises, so comprehensive in scope and functionality. I was a beta tester, I installed the trial, I decided to buy it and never looked back.

I'm not going to post a full review, I just wanted to say how fascinating it is using Lightroom. Every single day I learn a new thing, I dive more into the abyss of functions and features and every single time it puts a smile on my face.

I initially thought that Lightroom is just for RAW photography workflow (non-destructive exposure control, etc.). It turns out to be that on top of that, it gives you massive metadata, labelling and generally cataloging functionality which can be used on all sorts of images. What is more, you can clone pictures for editing and "stack" them with the originals. Moving on, you discover it's amazing usability in terms of sorting out pictures, comparing shots and selecting collections of pictures.

It has this "spray&…

Running the Numbers

For those who missed it: "Running the Numbers", an amazing gallery of prints by Chris Jordan.

News Update

I know, I know. I have withdrawn myself, I have not been on Skype or Googlechat and people are wondering where I am... The truth is that I have been really very busy. And I still am. Things at work have not been great and my mind is constantly occupied by a million things. The least of my worries is to post a blog entry. :-(

I do however, feel very guilty about this so - yet again - I will make the promise to do my best at contributing to this blog.

I'm keeping this entry short expecting that I will be able to post a couple more today. Need to do some Photoshop-ing first... I've got news for you! :-)

Adobe CS3 New Icons

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There seems to be a huge debate on the net over the new Adobe icons introduced in Creative Suite 3. People's reaction to the new icons is like their reaction to Marmite. They either *love* them or *loathe* them. I've first seen the Lightroom icon which I thought that it was alright if not very simplistic. After seeing the PS icon however, I pleasanlty realised that the concept behind the new icons is the elements of the Periodic table. Despite my dislike of Marmite, I find the new icons really nice and they look quite neat on my Toolbox:



Searching a little bit on the web, I have discovered the beautiful "The Art of Adam Betts" and his alternative CS3 icons (for those of you who agree with him and disagree with me :-) ). Adam has created a nice picture of the evolution of the Photoshop icon, but what I love most is the Adobe's Wheel O'Icons.

Also, check out the amazing Adobe Icon Set in a rotating flash wheel.

I'm a Nerd God

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Only because I've built the computer I'm working on I think...

Check it out: