I bought an HP PSC 1410 All-in-One a few months back. Having not made much use of the scanner I decided to put into action something which I had been planning to try out for a long time. The end product of my actions is below (*straight face*).


Here's how it was done :- the basics were sketched by hand and scanned. The scanned image was enhanced and coloured, the text was added and the bounding boxes were put in place. All digital editing was done using GIMP. A convoluted method I admit, but I did try using the mouse to draw. Of course, a Wacom tablet would have been handy here.

P.S. : If you weren't able to figure out what the doodle is all about, please accept my humble apologies - those were meant to be ostriches. The Wikipedia entry for the same should be helpful here.

P.P.S. : I just might post more of these here. (*runs away*)

Tags : Cartoons, Humour

Posted by Rajat @ 8:38 PM   |  Comments

Breathless Red, breathtaking Red

Sample these abridged lines from Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red, which I am currently reading.

Indifference, time and disaster will destroy our art. [...] Greedy, shameless mice will nibble these pages away; [...] Child princes will scrawl over the illustrations with toy pens. They'll blacken people's eyes, wipe their runny noses on the pages, doodle in the margins with black ink. [...] While mothers destroy the illustrations they consider obscene, fathers and older brothers will jack off onto the pictures of women and the pages will stick together, not only because of this, but also due to being smeared with mud, water, bad glue, spit and all manner of filth and food. Stains of mold and dirt will blossom like flowers where the pages have stuck together. [...] Not only our own art, but every single work made in this world over the years will vanish in fires, be destroyed by worms or be lost out of neglect: [...], your red-tinted pictures of love and death, yours and all the rest, all of it will vanish ...

Ethereal, isn't it? Pamuk manages to vividly illustrate the ephemeral nature of man's artistic creations in the passage. But at the same time he makes you appreciate the timelessness of art. You can detect a hint of defiance in the artist's passionate outburst when he is speaking of art doomed to face extinction. An almost breathless (and breathtaking) outpouring of devotion and resignation from the artist. The missing parts probably take away some of the beauty of the passage, but that should in turn be an incentive for you to buy & read the book (You don't seriously expect me to type out two pages of the fiery stuff, do you? :-) ).

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet

Posted by Rajat @ 11:36 PM   |  Comments

Xgl on SUSE 10.1

What do you think of the image below? How do you think I generated it? Photoshop? GIMP? Some 3D image manipulation software?

Screenshot of my rotating desktop
Rotating Desktop

Nope, none of those. That is just a screenshot of my Linux desktop being rotated (taken using KSnapshot).

Yeah, you read that right. Desktop being rotated, courtesy Xgl.

I have SUSE Linux 10.1 on my home PC which is powered by an Intel Pentium IV 1.8 GHz processor on an Intel 845GL Chipset with onboard graphics card. I had tried to enable Xgl manually before by editing some configuration files using the instructions given here. That hadn't worked. But today I followed the method given on the openSUSE website and it worked like a charm (In retrospect, I realise that I had forgotten to enable 3D aceleration on my card :-)). I had also tried this on my test machine in office - a Dell machine with an ATI card. But no such luck there :-(.

The Xgl page says that my graphics card is totally unsupported (it is not even there in the hardware list). Yet it works. Of course, the display is a wee bit slower & Compiz doesn't support the theme I use on KDE. Also scrolling is slow and if I am playing music at the same time then the music gets jittery.

There are other cool things that you can do with Xgl enabled - check out the Xgl page for more details. The screenshot below shows one of them where pressing the Pause key gives you a thumbnail view of all open windows. Click on any window & that window becomes the active window while the other windows get back to their original state. This is similar to Exposé on Mac OS X.

Exposé-like effect
Exposé-like effect

Now if you are thinking that all this is just eye candy and has no practical use, you are wrong. Some of these effects are useful in making the desktop more accessible to visually impaired users. The cube view is useful in explaining the multiple desktop metaphor to users. The best part is the chance it gives you to show off to others (As you can see your opportunistic host has already grabbed this chance ;-)).

Red Hat has something similar to Xgl in Fedora Core 5 called AIGLX. I do have FC 5 installed but I haven't checked this out yet. I am not even sure whether the necessary packages are installed. I found the installation process for FC 5 very unfriendly. I had been a Red Hat loyalist in my college days. But after comparing FC 5 and SUSE 10.1, I am hooked to openSUSE.

Tags : Linux, The Binary Files, Usability

Posted by Rajat @ 11:05 PM   |  Comments