Monday, September 8, 2008

LPT370 Assignment 0

Temeraire on its way to the breakers


LPT370 assignment 0.

XV - Cool image manipulation tool for X Windows. Shareware (not open source but the source code is available).

This tool has been around longer than the Web. Its author even calls it a 90s type image editor. I think that was when I first used it. The really interesting thing about this tool is that I can do the same things with it that I do with Photoshop, PaintShop and other 'humungus' tools. But there again I only do really basic things so don't throw away the big tools just keep this one handy for lightweight needs.

I found this tool was mentioned in a tutorial about streaming images a byte at a time and the demo showed a GIF image with a small colour table that was easy to change (and easy to see the effects due to the limited number of colours).

The image (from the tutorial mentioned above) has only a small number of colours as can be seen in the editors view of the vx colour editor. By simply clicking a button (or manually text editing the colour map itself) xv lets you manipulate the colours of the image. For example, in the image below the colour table was rewritten by clicking the 'grey' button.

The really interesting thing about tools like this is that they can be used in conjunction with other tools programatically. When I use Photoshop I don't even think about what is going on
behind the UI. With a tool like this the whole editing process takes on a different feel. Tools like this invite the user to think about what is going on. Sure, the algorithms
would be the same whether one edits with Photoshop or xv but xv lets me feel 'in control': nice illusion :)



A brief description of the Second Life client. First, although it is usually a surprise to SL users, not everybody knows about it.

A couple of difinitions:

From the website we get "Second Life is an online, 3D virtual world imagined and created by its residents" (residents == users?).

Googling 'what is second life' gives an assortment saying, typically: "Second Life is an online 3D interactive virtual reality program which resembles console video games such as Final Fantasy, but is almost entirely built and influenced by the people who use it. 'In world', you use a highly-customisable avatar to explore the thousands of places to visit, build and interact with the world and other users."

SL has a marketplace, institutions, movements pretty much like the real world as people map their experience from one life to the other.

The SL client or viewer is works like a web browser but everything is 3D. One idea is that it what the rest of the web browsers will look and feel like in a couple of years. Through the viewer communication with other 'residents' in chat like fashion or using voice. The viewer has functionality to search, shop and generally do things one does on the Web with a browser in real life (RL) except it is within the virtual world. All of this happens in a highly developed 3D environment.

The SL client riquires a reasonably powerful computer due to the graphics. The source code for the viewer is apparently now in the public domain.

i'm a rookie but this is ... well what it is
from the author:
an introduction to Second Life at the Summer institute on teaching and technology at University of California Davis - joint presentation and workshop by Milmon, Bernadette and Sandy (Harrison Held, HVX Silverstar and Agnesa Capalini in SL).
if watched in the 'high quality' the annotations do not show (bug in youtube's annotations feature... but still a very cool feature.
you can add callouts, labels and tag sections of the video. There is also an option to add a hyperlink to the rollovers, but if you follow the hyperlinks you will lose your spot in the movie.. it is not yet that intelligent
but cool that you can add a link to another youtube movie at the end of your own video..
only links to youtube vids allowed.
There's an avatar taking a look around a music shop... and he's sporting a Tux T... the official mascot of the Linux kernel... because it's waaaaay cool.
Tux icon on avatar's T

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