Friday, June 22, 2012

The Linux Nerd Way to Download a Digital Camera

Downloading a digital camera can be cumbersome and time consuming. But it doesn't have to be that's for sure! If you use a Linux system, I have a quick and easy way to download a memory card that I have been using for some time now.

Simply run the following command from a terminal window:

rsync -h --progress --stats -r -tgo -p -l -D --update --exclude=**/*tmp*/ --exclude=**/*Trash*/ --exclude=**/*trash*/ /media/CANON_DC/DCIM/101CANON/ /home/jesse/camera/Sort/

Obviously your source and destination will be different than mine listed here and the temp and trash exclusions are probably not necessary, but those were options I selected when I used Lucky Backup to create the rsync command.

It is also nice that the terminal keeps a history of commands and all I have to do is press the up key till I find my command and then hit the enter key. After downloading, I sort the pictures in dated folder and move them from the sort folder to the camera folder and I am all set.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gimp 2.8 Impressions

Gimp 2.8 has been available since May and I have it installed on my laptop and have had some time to actually use the updated version that was over three years in the making. While I hope the next release is much sooner, and I would loved to have had this available much sooner, I have to say that this one was definitely worth the wait.

The Gimp team has done a fantastic job, and like I mentioned in my last post on Gimp 2.8, I will not be going into full detail on all the new features. The single window mode works beautifully and is a simple joy to finally have. It was the first thing I did when loading up Gimp 2.8, switch to single window mode and get to work. They layer groups are well done, and the on image text editing is a dream.

If you have not upgraded to 2.8 yet, what are you waiting for?! You will not be disappointed and the update is worth every second it will take to get installed and configured. Coming up in 2.10 will be high bit depth support and further on in the development road map is script recording and payback. Exciting times for sure, and encouraging to see the improvements released and usable.



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gimp 2.8 Has Been Released!

Gimp 2.8 was a long time coming, three and a half years in the making as mentioned on the May 3rd release notice on the projects official page. This is great news with a truck load of improvements over the 2.6 version with many more to come. There have been plenty of write ups on the improvements, so I will not be going into them here with any depth. I will simply have a few thoughts on what has become one of my favorite programs that has replaced virtually all my Photoshop use on my Laptop (which runs Xubuntu 12.04. For a good write up on the features you will find in the new Gimp version you can check out this post on

I have always thought the Gimp program was one of the most promising open source projects out there and have always been frustrated with the painfully slow development of the program that comes from having a small group of core developers. According to the developers, this is one of the issues that will be remedied, starting with the release of the long awaited Gimp 2.8.

This is very exciting news, as the list of coming features are also long awaiting and much anticipated form the community. High bit depth editing is due out in the next 2.10 release and the one listed under the "future" list (with no milestone number associated yet) is the script recording and playback option. This is one I am very much interested in, as this feature is one of my favorite features in Photoshop and would be amazing to have in the Gimp.

With 2.8 out they have "fixed" one of the long standing issues that I believe may have been detrimental to more novice users adopting the program: Lack of the long awaited Single Window Mode. I have tested this out and I can say it is very nice to finally have and will only benefit users who are used to this standard.

Gimp 2.8 is worth the time to upgrade and I sure hope we see 2.10 released sooner rather than later.



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Application Review: Create Syncronicity

In my last post I had a brief review of Lucky Backup for Linux. It is a great program that I highly recommend for Linux users as a very robust back up situation. Unfortunately for Windows users Lucky Backup is not available. It took me a little bit of searching, but I have found a program available for Windows that works wonderful and is open source as well. The program is called Create Synchronicity and I would highly recommend any Windows users to download a copy and start putting it to use.

Much like Lucky Backup, when I have set this up on Windows systems at work (and for my dad's business) it is set for incremental backup where only new and modified files on the source side are copied over to the destination. Nothing is deleted on the backup destination and this program works flawlessly from my experience so far. It can also be scheduled to automatically run the backup at a set time, which I know also works well.

For my dad's business I have set up two Windows XP machines and one Windows 7 machine to automatically sync files to a mapped network drive (which is a share residing on a Linux server) after business hours. The first backup on the Windows 7 system took overnight and then some (two hard drives worth of data as the files from the previous workstation it replaced were copied to its hard drive) but since then the backups take significantly less time and are finished well before the start of business the next day. The Linux server then uses Lucky Backup to sync all the files now residing on it to an external hard drive.

I will definitely be installing this on my parent's new computer they are getting at home, scheduling it nightly and then I will sleep well knowing they are automatically being backed up. Check it out and you will not be disappointed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Application Review: LuckyBackup

Every computer user should have a good backup plan. Personally I loath to loose any information from my computer, be it from a hardware failure, accidental removal or anything else that could result in a loss. This sure shows in my backup archives as many files are on several sets of backup medium.

A good program to look at for backing up is Lucky Backup. Written for Linux, community members are working on a Windows version and it appears there is a Mac OS-X version out there as well. I would highly recommend it for Linux users and am just waiting for the Windows version to be complete so I can recommend it for Microsoft's OS as well.

Lucky Backup functions as a GUI front end for the r-sync utility and is very straight forward and easy to configure. Choose your source, destination and options such as back up or sync. I always disable the delete from destination option as I don't want files on my backup to vanish just because it no longer exists on the source drive. Other options include directory exclusions (both user selected and options to exclude cache and trash folders among others).

From the default profile you can create different tasks to perform. I have three different task sets created, and usually have all three checked and run them at the same time. Lucky Backup is extremely quick on successive runs, with the first run taking the longest as it is transferring the most data. On subsequent runs, only the changed files are backed up.

A word of caution: I would not recommend using Lucky Backup in Super User mode if you are wanting to backup more than one user's home folder (in fact, I do not even use super user mode anymore) from under one main account. This did cause some permission issues rendering the other account on my computer useless. It is best to create individual back up profiles from with in each users account and go from there.

I use Lucky Backup on my Xubuntu 11.10 system and enthusiastically recommend it as a great backup utility. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Linux and OpenShot save the day!

OK, so save the day would be a wee bit on the over dramatic side but the simple fact is there was a task to do and had it not been for a computer with Xubuntu 10.04 and OpenShot the task may not have been able to be finished.

At work, I had a video file that needed about 30 seconds trimmed from the beginning and unfortunately Windows lacks any worth while free (open source or otherwise) video editors and the iMac's Final Cut Express would not even import the MP4 file I needed to edit.

Loaded up Xubuntu and OpenShot, trimmed the file, exported it and uploaded to Youtube. I did have to install the MP4 codec for the export, but after that I moved the file to my main machine to upload to Youtube and the job was finished.

Hooray for Linux and Open Source!