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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Directory List & Print

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Sometimes, the best software is often software that does a task well enough without cumbersome obstructions and hassles. Directory List & Print is a simple program that does one thing: print off directories. In case you were confused, directories are the of folders and places that show up when navigating through your computer. Occasionally, you might find it beneficial to have a record of what’s within certain directories on a sheet of paper, and this is where the program comes in. Simply locate a directory, get a preview of what’s in it through the built-in preview panel, and off you go to printing a list of the names and basic info of the corresponding files or sub-directory.

Scribus

January 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Scribus is an open-source desktop publishing program that can be used for a variety of purposes. Common products designed with the software include but are not limited to fliers, brochures, posters and newspapers. In utilizing WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) forms of page composition and layout, Scribus aims to compete with the likes of Adobe InDesign and QuaekXPress, both of which are its main commercial competitors. Support for the CMYK color model and Scalable Vector Graphics also help to establish its presence as a well-suited alternative to said programs for those on a tight budget. Though, for better or worse, it lacks support for proprietary file formats used by its competitors; users should still be content knowing that this is free software and, after all, it’s the final product that matters, and Scribus delivers on that with ability to export to PDF and various other print-ready formats used by the industry at large.

Virtual Ambience

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s a neat little gadget courtesy of Transonix Studios that will have you immersed in the sounds of nature. It’s aptly named Virtual Ambience (yes, I know it’s typo, perhaps for dramatic effect) and packs an impressive selection of natural sounds and presets that you can play from the comfort of your own PC. While this wouldn’t spare you the trouble of going to the Amazon jungle–it’s still not the real deal–the fact that the program output sound in ways as to simulate distance and location makes for at least an believable experience. It’ll produce a perfect background listening session while you jot about your daily routine, for it is is sure to calm to spirits with its surreal and nigh-accurate presentation of the tranquility of nature.

Blender

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Blender, an open-source 3D graphics program, constitutes a viable alternative to the likes of 3D Max and Maya. The fact that it’s free only extend its appeal to amateurs as well. In short, it is more than capable of filling in the basic roles that proprietary software accomplish, which spans from 3D modeling, texturing, simulation to that of CG effects creation and animation. But it doesn’t stop there, you may also use Blender to create 3D games or whole films from scratch if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. While it may not have the most intuitive user interface around (none does, really), by virtue of price and a relatively powerful feature-set, Blender easily trumps the competition in accessibility and general-purpose use. Though, before you do go experimenting in the dark, be warned that Blender is not (yet) suitable for professional use for its lack of adherence to proprietary and industry-standard formats, and the fact that it would take weeks or sometimes months before you can nail down the basics.

Do more than just home movies

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

There comes a time when iMovie or Windows Movie Maker just won’t make the cut, and when that happens you’ll probably be relieved to know that there is Avidemux for the more complicated tasks. Built from the ground up as a free and open-source project, Avidemux trades usability for functionality, making up for what would normally be lacking in an amateur-oriented editor such as iMovie. Tasks that range from extracting an audio track from a video source, transcoding a clip (converting formats or compression methods), or removing black bars via the crop filter are all easily within the scope of this program. While it lacks polish and the subsequent user friendliness, Avidemux does give amateurs or those on a tight budget a taste of what’s to be found in proprietary editors without the hefty price tag (think Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas), and for some that might just be enough.

LMMS

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Linux MultiMedia Studio–or LMMS–is a digital audio workstation that is able to create, arrange and mix music from scratch. Its principal of operations is similar to FruityLoops(now FL studio), and is readily accessible to beginners. Those of you that are new to music creation can familiarize yourself to the application by using the default preset of sound effects&loops, dragging them onto a timeline and watching it play out in a symphony of notes. As such, it bears resemblance to GarageBand on the Mac OS X and is also capable of letting the end-user bring in his/her own effects and sounds into play. For more advanced methods of creation, there’s the various editors in which you may manually sequence loops, mix effects and whatnot.

VirtualBox

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

When you install a new operating system, it will overwrite the existing one and thus make the process irreversible. VirtualBox, an aptly name free and open-source program, aims to solve this through virtualization. The process takes an operating system and installs it within the current operation system, creating a sandbox environment where one exists within the confines of the other. You may use this to try out Linux on a Windows setup, or emulate Windows software on a Linux/Mac setup. Then there’s the age old issue of getting legacy software that works only on older systems (XP comes to mind) to function on Vista/7, which can be solved by installing the older OS right inside the one you are currently using. Still, you should be aware that the proper activation key are needed to install a proprietary OS as well as a med-high end system to smooth facilitate virtulization (at least a dual-core).