Archive for the ‘Geek’ Category

Rasterbation is good for the eyes

Take your dirty mind out of the gutter! I wasn’t born yesterday. I know what you were thinking. This isn’t about that other thing. It’s about rasterizing images and blowing them up really huge in chunks so you can print the massive image from your standard every day printer.

Some brilliant person/people had the idea to write some software that takes an image input of any size and convert it to raster dots that can then be blown up to what ever size you want. Then it spits out a PDF file containing the individual 8.5×11(or what ever size you desire) pieces of your giant picture puzzle. Put them together to get one massive picture.

The questionable naming of Rasterbator can be easily over looked once you see what kind of sweet large posters it is able to turn out from even moderately sized image files. It’s also free to download or they have a fully online version. The online version is limited in the resolution and file sizes of images it can manage so if you have big images or want to create massive images you’ll want the download version. Have a look at the one I made at work in about 2 minutes including trim and taping time.

Zelda Rastorbated

Wii rocks!!! Yes Guitar Hero again!

Guitar HeroBecause it hasn’t been repeated enough yet. I’m ordering my pink hair band style wig right now! The real question will be if this is going to be the game that will force Nintendo to get things in gear to make the Wii shop channel the all around market place to rival the 360 market place?  Will Wii be buying new music for guitar hero with our Wii Points or is this going to be some what fudged and forgotten about like multiplayer and additonal content is for the current crop of Wii games? Please Nintendo poke and prod game developers to get it together!

Where God draws the line

Not a whole lot to write. Just kind of a profound thought to share.

We don’t know where God draws the line. At what point is a person truely saved? We’re told that we are not to judge others and on the other hand we are given general guidlines to determine if some one is a true believer. The bottom line is that God is the judge in the end and we don’t have a perfect line to follow. Some of us(Christians used generally) seem to think we know the line and others of us are not warry enough of the existance of a line to do the right things.  As I’ve said many times in person and on this site seek a balance between the hard(and some times psycho) right and the sinful left.

I wish this was a final thought that went some place or brought me to a conclusion some how but I’m still pondering and I’m sure I’ll get back when I’ve reached a conclusion. In other words think about it your self and check back in 50 or 60 years. Enjoy.

Shameless plug

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Apple Quicktime vs. Theora vs. Xvid

For all you super geeks I need pre-face this with “No this isn’t a benchmark shoot out!”. Sorry. Basically it’s just me expounding on a subject that I have some knowledge of and born of a conversation with a buddy who can’t give me a good reason why he thinks Quicktime sucks. He has his opinion and he is entitled to it. I’ve simply decided to lay my thinking on the subject out on the table.

I like Quicktime. It has a very sharp, even at low res and high compression, image quality. It streams nicely and the associate player/software is very well done. Simple to use and mostly non-invasive(ok some windows startup stuff). It’s free to use for playback and you gotta pay for encoding etc. Most of the non-free stuff is enforced just through the player and not via the codec so there is a free version called Quicktime Alternative that has stripped the codec out and paired it with Media Player Classic for windows as a player and the codec can be used by other players. I also own a Mac personally which comes with Quicktime kind of integrated and it works flawlessly. Quicktime Pro is not all that expensive at like $30 so if you just can’t deal on the free end it isn’t exactly going to break the bank to go Pro. For me this is the way to go. Multi-Platform, sharp, high quality, and free options if need be.

Xvid is the next most popular codec but only because it is free and has been picked up and fostered by the pirate community. It makes video look darn good and compress down small which is ideal for shuttleing around those free’d hollywood films. It doesn’t have a specific player packaged with it and is a stand alone codec. One thing that I’m sure some have managed to make it do but that is not done widely is to make it stream. There is no easy straight forward process to do that. This seems to be it’s biggest downfall. Well, that and it’s user base. Don’t get me wrong I love to catch a flick before it comes out but that isn’t going to make this the first place I go when I need to put some legal media on the internet. I guess the main up side to this is that there are open source implimentations which makes this better for the Linux community to impliment but that doesn’t help the rest of us a whole lot if some one doesnt figure out how to move it in to a more professional easier to use framework.

Last but not least Theora. Theora is the Ogg implimentation for video. To be honest I’m not sure why this doesn’t see more wide spread use. Ogg offers higher quality audio at lower bit rate/compressions and I’ve seen Theora make some small files come out looking great. So what’s the deal? The website has cross platform binaries available and the project is open source. So why is this stuck in a similar situation as Xvid? It suffers from the same short comings as Xvid in that it is not widely used despite being free. It came about shortly after Xvid and I think that has detracted a lot of attention from it. I think it comes down to marketing. They have to drop this in to a single drop and go player package for all platforms and then advertise the crap out of it by making version submission posts to slashdot etc.

So there it is. Lack of streaming along with a lack of a ‘just works’ sort of package from Xvid and Theora are the things that really make those two fall short for me. Xvid is good but I’m sure that Theora can best Xvid in quality. Now if only it were in more wide spread use.