• Pictures and Code

  • Everyday findings on the internet and homemade tools. Topics are photography and coding.

21st January 2007

Monitor tearing gone in Mac OS X

Usually i’m used to this tearing effect in all other Operation Systems like Linux and Windows. It is possible to enable vertical synchronisation all over the desktop environment but that slows down the whole system and results synchronisation problems in video playback.

Monitor Tearing in Linux and Windows

But in Mac OS X i noticed today something wierd. The tearing effect was gone. Totally smooth movement of the windows and the video playback was correct too. I don’t know how they do it, but it works.

I’ll never get behind this apple magic i guess 😀

posted in mac os x, reviews | 2 Comments

20th January 2007

Mac OS X 10.4.8 – story continued

After dealing with my old 10.4.6 install with the “fake” 10.4.8 update which didn’t have the new 8.8.1 kernel I decided to make a complete new install.

Got the JaS.10.4.8.AMD.Intel.SSE2.SSE3 – DVD and gave it a try. Right after installation I got massive Kernel panics about the Geforce.kext family. Tried to use the old ones from the backup directory, but didn’t have much success.

After that I found the JaS.10.4.8.AMD.Intel.SSe2.SSe3.v1p ppf – patch for my ISO. This time they added Titan drivers instead of Natit. Applied it and burned that disc. First installation stuck on the language selection screen. On the second try i got massive usb driver error warnings but it worked. On the first reboot after the installation i got a black screen but I heard the harddrives were still rumbling, so it was again some graphics driver problem. Rebooted with “Graphics Mode”=”1280x1024x32@60” and it worked, BUT the image was upside-down. I dismounted my monitor and turned it upside-down 😀

After searching in a few forums and looking for help on macspeak network i decided to play with the boot options. I was able to get a 90 deg rotated display by starting with “Graphics Mode”=”1200x1920x32”. And as if I knew that its all my fault I just started with “Graphics Mode”=”1920×1200” (without bitdepth or refreshrate) and it worked like charm. CI (Core Image) and QE (Quartz Extreme) seem to work. I can play DVD’s and OpenGL stuff now.

The nforce4 SATA support still isn’t implemented. I tried some mods for the AppleVIAATA.kext but no success yet, just a few system crashes.

The only unsolved problem for me are these random crashes after like 30 mins usual working. Maybe its iTunes or Safari flash bug, no clue.

Update: the random system crashes are gone, but i still don’t know what caused em. The only crashing applications so far were Qumana and the apple’s Preview.

Next Update: you can easily make Qumana crash by just not assigning the blog post to a category. Well, if the glas is half filled, you could see it as a painful reminder and call it a “feature”.

posted in mac os x | 18 Comments

12th January 2007

Firefox Addon – Tab Effect – Speed Adjustment

Just downloaded this neat addon from mozillas addon site.

Firefox Addon - Tab Effect

The only problem was the slow cube rotation speed.

You can change the cube rotating speed in the content/javascript.js file of the addon.

Just change

TabEffect.xpcomObj.translateToNextTab(back, 24);

to

TabEffect.xpcomObj.translateToNextTab(back, 12);

and the speed is doubled.

You find the file in (for windows xp users):

Drive:\ Dockuments and Settings\ UserName\ Application Data\ Mozilla\ Firefox\ Profiles\ YourProfile.default\ extensions\ {0784CD66-62FE-4cef-ABF4-F8ED9B654ACC}\ content\ javascript.js

worked for me.

posted in linux, mac os x, windows | 12 Comments

11th January 2007

Track Hurricanes on your Desktop

On my search for a new desktop background I stumbled across these Earth-Desktop-Tools like EarthDesk 3.5 (Win and OSX payware), Desktop Earth 2.1 ( Win freeware), OSXplanet (OSX freeware).

EarthDesk 3.5

EarthDesk 3.5 looks like the screenshot above. If you don’t use Active Desktop in Windows it will just generate a resulting image (map + cloud layer) and update your recent wallpaper. I wonder how long it can draw my attention until it gets boring and will be replaced.

posted in mac os x, reviews, windows | 14 Comments

14th August 2006

Pixelpost 1.5 with Lightbox JS v2.0

Well, I have been using pixelpost now for quite some time and liked it a lot. A few day ago i came across Lightbox JS v2.0 and wondered why I haven’t seen it before on any websites. So I wanted to combine both for the “Browse View” of my pixelpost.

 pixelpost with lightbox in firefox screenshot

Before i continue with the install instructions you should have a look at it. Example Ok now what to do: At first I am assuming that you have Pixelpost 1.5 already installed. Now get Lightbox JS v2.0 and copy the folders “css” and “js” just aside your “index.php” from pixelpost and copy the stuff from the “image” folder into the existing “image” folder from pixelpost.

 pixelpost directory structure with lightbox included

 Should look like this in the end. Open pixelpost’s “index.php” and go to the line with the “$thumb_output” (line 723 for me) and replace it with:

$thumb_output .= "<a href='images/$name' rel='lightbox[views]' title='$title'><img src='$thumbnail' alt='$title' title='$title' class='thumbnails' /></a>";

Next go to your “browse_template.html” of the recent pixelpost template and insert:

<link rel="stylesheet" xhref="css/lightbox.css" type="text/css" media="screen" /> <script xsrc="js/prototype.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script xsrc="js/scriptaculous.js?load=effects" type="text/javascript"></script> <script xsrc="js/lightbox.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

Just put it under the existing “<link rel=”alternate stylesheet” …”.Sometimes you have to modify “lightbox.css” because of font colors of your pixelpost theme. Like in my case i had to edit this:

#imageDataContainer{ color: #666; …

In order to get a little link to the picture beside the caption i did the following edit in the “lightbox.js” . Look for the line with

Element.show('caption');

and replace the next line with

Element.setInnerHTML( 'caption', imageArray[activeImage][1] + " <a target=_blank xhref=" + imageArray[activeImage][0] + ">[ link ]</a> ");

It worked for me.

posted in reviews | 37 Comments

31st July 2006

CD Art Display for iTunes on Windows XP

A few days ago i found GimmeSomeTune 1.6 for iTunes on Mac OS-X. Now being back to Windows XP I needed a similar tool. Most important for me is not using such buggy widget engines like Yahoo! Widgets or AveDesk, sorry guys but your tools don’t work so well with other mods like RK Launcher or Entbloess 2.

CD Art Display for iTunes on Windows-XP

Close to Software created this awesome Freeware tool. It offers some nice skins and lets you modify lots of settings with their handy interface. It searches cover art images for your playing songs and saves em as folder.jpg in the according folders. On their website it says:

CD Art Display supports Winamp 5, AlbumPlayer 4.3e and iTunes 6.It also supports Winamp 5 API enabled players such as foobar2000 (with Winamp API Emulator plugin) and MediaMonkey.

Awesome software, I will test it the next days because it is not final yet (Release Candidate 4).

posted in windows | 8 Comments

31st July 2006

Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 – no double page facing in fullscreen mode

When checking page layouts everybody wants to see their layouts as big as possible and sometimes wants to see the double page layout, just like a book Face double page ( 2 pages next to each other on one screen).

Adobe Acrobat Reader in its recent version 7 doesn’t support this feature in their full-screen mode. So I had to search for some alternative PDF viewer.

Foxitreader

FoxitReader (Freeware) is fast, starts in a split second and features double-page facing in fullscreen mode. Don’t be afraid of the ugly web-site and the more ugly screenshot.

Foxitreader fullscreen double-page facing

On some properly theme-d Windows XP its looks really nice, even better than Acrobat with all its colorful buttons.

posted in reviews, windows | 48 Comments

31st July 2006

msstyle button font bug fixed

Oh I hated that bug.

mssytles button font bug

After finding nice mssytles like Milk or Smooth Stripes for Windows XP I mostly had this bug and somehow no font setting could fix it. Today I stumbled across some forum threads discussion this problem and they really found the solution.

Just open your Registry-Editor (regedit.exe) and go to the

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes

and fix the both values of “MS Shell Dlg” and “MS Shell Dlg 2” by setting em to “Lucida Grande” or whatever main system font you defined for your style.

posted in windows | 18 Comments

30th July 2006

Global Mouse Gestures for Windows XP and Mac OS X

Well, I always complained about the threading problems in Firefox (Windows XP). For example Firefox won’t let you use any mouse gestures (e.g. switch to next tab) while it is loading plugins or just web-content in the recent tab. I guess the plugins just have lower priority than the render engine. But you can still use the keyboard shortcuts to switch the tabs at all times.

In Mac OS X I had the problem that some browsers don’t support mouse gestures at all.

So I had to find some application for Global Mouse Gestures on both systems.

 

Lets start with Windows XP.

Strokeit - Global Mouse Gestures for Windows XP

StrokeIt (0.9.5) is some great Freeware tool that lets you define global and local (for individual window classes)  mouse gestures for all your needs. It even offers gesture feedbacks like line-drawings in individual colors. Since the global keyboard and mouse events have almost the highest priority in Windows XP it is much faster than any plugin for Firefox like Mouse Gestures 1.5.1 or All-in-One Gestures 0.17.4.

 

Now for Mac OS X ( PPC and Intel Mac).

CocoaSuite for Mac OS X (unibin)

CocoaSuite (universal binary), formerly know as CocoaGestures, was originally Freeware but the project was integrated into the new Payware CocoaSuite. You can still download the old CocoaGestures 1.2 from MacUpdate but I guess it only works on PPC. So CocoaSuite works only on for Cocoa apps and costs like “US$14.95” recently. It works pretty well and 30–day trial is OK for AppZapper if you know what I mean.

posted in mac os x, windows | 5 Comments

30th July 2006

Block Ads in Safari and OmniWeb

My first try was going to pimpmysafari.com and look for Adblock plugins. I decided to use SafariBlock and got the list of blocked URL’s from yoyo. But than I started Safari and everything was awesome laggy. I couldn’t even scroll the engadget site while it was loading. So I guess the filter list was too much for that little plugin.

Next I tried BFilter which was pretty fast but had no nice GUI for the filter lists and that’s a no-go in OS X 🙂

Finally I found this weblink describing how to modify the "etc/hosts" file in Mac OS X.

  1. So just go to yoyo and get the list in host file format (copy to clipboard).
  2. Open some Terminal.app and enter this command:
    sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/hosts
  3. Paste the filter list right under all the existing entries into the TextEdit window and save the changes.
  4. Relog or reboot and you are done !

Additionally I used the userContent.css from floppymouse and used it both with Safari and OmniWeb by just setting the "Style Sheet" option in both browsers preferences.

posted in mac os x | 3 Comments

29th July 2006

Flip4Mac installation bug solved

Well, I tried to install Flip4Mac in order to play Windows Media Videos in my browsers on Mac OS X and got this nice error message.

Flip4Mac WMV cannot be installed on this computer. QuickTime version 6.5.1 or later is required to run Flip4Mac WMV Player.

The solution to this problem is the following.

  1. Download Flip4Mac and copy the "Flip4Mac WMV.mpkg" to your desktop or somewhere else.
  2. "Show Package Contents" with right mouse button and open the /Contents/Info.plist with TextEdit
  3. Find "IFRequirementDicts" and delete the complete key tree like this . Save the changes (overwrite) and you are done.
  4. Now install Flip4Mac by just double-clicking the "Flip4Mac WMV.mpkg".

Worked for me.

posted in mac os x | 9 Comments

27th July 2006

ShapeShifter 2.4b1 finally universal binary

Finally ! Unsanity released the Beta 1 of its famous desktop theme modding software as universal binary. In this weblog post you can read the recent discussions and get the download link.

I had problems with themes like Mes, Muku and Pulsar (ShapeShifter crashed). But others had the same problems and Jason Harris promised to “release a 2.4b2 tomorrow that includes the fix”. So lets hope it will work. So far I’m using Metal Milk 1.0 . I’d prefer MaxThemes’s Milk 3.2 but somehow they don’t care that much for their stuff to update it with applications like iTunes.

update: Well, as Jason Harris promised the new 2.4b2 is out and fixed the crashes on Pulsar and co. But somehow I couldn’t find some active community about theme creation. MacThemes is a little silent as well in the last months. I hope the theme communities from the PC users will slowly come over to OS X and reanimate the Mac communities. I’ve tried now about 25 recent themes and found like 2-3 that were halfway useable and got wide application support.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 16 Comments

27th July 2006

iTunes sound problem after iLife 06 installation

Just after the iLife 06 installation (on Mac OS X 10.4.7)  I discovered a few problems with iTunes. After like 5 minutes of playback the sound was muted, but not via the menu or by system settings. So I rummaged in a few forums and found out that installing iLife 06 changes some audio settings in OS X.

adjust these settings to 2 Channel output !

All you have to do is changing the "Applications – Utilities – Audio MIDI Setup – Audio Output" configuration back to a "2ch" 2 Channel output. This fixed it for me.

posted in mac os x | 2 Comments

19th July 2006

GimmeSomeTune 1.6 – iTunes translucent floating window

Just found this nice tool. After trying to find some Senergy freeware alternative for iTunes I stumbled across various stuff like iTunes Companion for Yahoo! Widget Engine, or Clutter .

GimmeSomeTune 1.6

GimmeSomeTune 1.6 even offers the little mini-controller I was used from Senergy, but without its buggy fade-out effect on the floater. So far it works nicely, got to check out the Amazon artwork fetch feature a little more.

posted in mac os x, reviews | 43 Comments

28th June 2006

Mac OS x86 on AMD – my story

This is my first blog entry using Mac OS x86 10.4.60 on my AMD (A8N-SLI with 6600GT connected with DVI). I tried using Blog Thing but somehow it was too simple or i was too stupid, right now I’m using ecto . Too sad its not freeware, maybe ill find some nice tool later on.

Just stumbled across Qumana . Its freeware, looks a bit ugly but seems to work smooth.

So how did the whole mac thing start ?

Mac OS x86 AMD

After reading this HowTo install Mac OSX on a Standard Laptop i was ready to install it. Next i got the "NVDriverBeta1.zip" from MacVidia and followed basicly this guide to install NVidia drivers for Mac OSx86 . The best suiteable resolution for me was 1680×1050 so far. I wish for 1920×1200 in the next release. So the DVI connector and resolution problems were solved and i could work on the little iTunes preferences page bug. With Maxxuss’s AMD_Enabler 1.0a this was fixed pretty easily. Last thing was to install Firefox, some ICQ client called Adium , Tinker Tool , VLC with xvid and divx codecs and a few other neat things.

A few more things:

A8N-SLI restart fix (you can now reboot properly with the osx menu buttons)

nForce4 Network driver Hack for the A8N-SLI (now you can use the onboard network card)

Gimp (if you dont have iphoto and osx’s preview tool wont let you edit pics …)

HowTo Switch to Mac (very useful article for former windows users)

posted in mac os x | 1 Comment

2nd June 2006

HowTo speed up your USB mouserate from 125 Hz (8ms) to 1000 Hz (1ms)

Just got my new mouse and started reading about mouse sensor technology. I found this very detailed report about state-of-the-art mouse-sensor-technology. Additionally i found this site with sensor manufacturer specs of some sensors.

Mouserate usb switcher

After some research in various forums i found this USB Mouserate Switcher 1.1. You can tune up and down your USB polling rate (System’s USB driver modification) from standard 125 Hz (8ms) to 250 Hz (4ms), 500 Hz (2ms) and finally 1000 Hz (1ms). Some people reported a mouse freeze after reboot, so you better enable your Keyboard Mouse Emulator in Windows XP’s Accessibility options. I set mine to 500 Hz and had no problems with my a4tech mouse.

posted in windows | 59 Comments

30th May 2006

Adblock for Opera 9 ?

At first, there is no equivalent like Adblock + Filterset.G in Mozilla Firefox for Opera 9 that is as comfortable and efficient.

Opera 9 block content

Opera 9 (beta 2) offers the “Block content…” option in its content menu. After pressing it you get some nice preview of what is being blocked from the site.

Basicly they use the filter.ini file in Opera’s profile folders. Its a simple list of urls that specify excludes and includes. There have been external tools like OperaAdFilter(link died) and FlashBlock . You can although use external proxy tools that control your whole web traffic for all applications so you could block icq ads and opera ads with one tool. But these tools all suffer from very basic problems. If you block some ads on a web-site the place on the web-site is simply left empty and web-sites look a bit chaotic and unfinished. Adblock in Firefox handles this a lot better. The fact that opera integrated this feature in its gui shows that the developers listened to user requests. Lets hope Opera’s “Block content…” will be as good as Firefox’s Adblock in the final version.

Update: Final Version of Opera 9 is out and i found this neat link with some up-to-date Filterset in Opera 9 format . It works pretty well so far. But you still cant edit the color of  the nasty yellow “special effect”. By the way, if you can’t find the urlfilter.ini in Mac OS X:
/Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Opera Preferences
if its not there just go back to opera and use ‘tools – advanced – block content’ and create a sampe block. Than the file will be created.

posted in linux, mac os x, reviews, windows | 4 Comments

27th May 2006

HowTo move the address bar below the tab bar in Opera 9 beta 2

Just downloaded the Opera 9 beta 2. …. gawd Opera looks pretty ugly. Went to their skin site, but there is no decent one. All i found was this grubby forged one, with its suited name fantastic . After that i noticed that customizing Opera is not as easy as i’m used to in Firefox. For example moving the tab-bar below the address bar, which doesn’t sound hard but you got to work around a bit. On this thread i found some lil guide to solve this mystery.

– turn of the Opera default address bar with “CTRL+F8”
– right click on the main toolbar -> “customize”
– choose “Buttons” -> “Browser view”
– then you can drag the “address bar button” and drop it into the main bar at any place you like
– press “ok” to close the app. window

Maybe there are good Opera themes but hard to find.

Update: I found some sweet skin.

1. Go to this website and select the “Odyssey” skin.
2. in the “Skin selection” drop-down-menus select “All” in the left one and than “Browser skin” in the right one
3. Now set all Paddings to “0”, press “save” and “download” on bottom right

Odyssey Opera 9 skin

So there is a last “feature” to get rid of, the nasty yellow special effects glow. I’ve read that it is a system color (windows tool-tip color) but somehow thats not right. In the official opera forum they created some “Opera Standard modified” skin without the yellow glowing in the scrollbars and buttons. nontroppo has modified his Breeze skin as well to fix this “feature”. I guess in the final Opera 9 this wont be a problem anymore and you can select the special effects color within opera.

posted in linux, mac os x, windows | 10 Comments

25th May 2006

product not existent ?

Just found this lovely picture of Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 2.0 in blue, white, lime/green, mauve/lila in this review.

Intellimouse

But there is no way to find the white or the green (not the “night vision” model) in the web for sale. Was this just a product study ? They look really better than the sale models. So anyone got a clue what this picture was meant for ?

posted in reviews | 2 Comments

23rd May 2006

signed angle between two vectors(3d) in c/c++

I tried to realize some point-in-polygon-test in 3D for my raytracer and came upon the problem to calculate a signed angle between 2 vectors. Trying to find this in the web was not easy, somehow most people project the polygon plane and the point into 2d and do the test there. But here is the method i found:

signed_angle = atan2(  N * ( V1 x V2 ), V1 * V2  );
// where * is dot product and x is cross product
// N is the normal to the polygon
// ALL vectors: N, V1, V2 must be normalized

It worked for me.

posted in reviews | 22 Comments

14th May 2006

Advanced Warfighter – Condemned – DirectX – mouse lag – keyboard lag – input lag

I’ve been experiencing heavy keyboard and mouse lag in recent direct-x games. Searching the web i found several attempts in solving this program issues. In the old days when Half-life 1 came out it was quite easy to switch from direct-x to opengl but now-days its not that easy anymore.

One solution was to look for the windows xp keyboard filters (repeat rates, delay rates, …).

windows xp – control panel – accessibility

and

windows xp – control panel – keyboard

 Here you can find various settings “Ignore quick keystrokes and slow down the repeat rate”, “Slow down keyboard repeat rates” and so on. One strategy might be to decrease all repeat rates and delays to their minimums, but does it make that much sense if the game isn’t able to process your input fast enough and you even raise the input rate ? And wont the game set its own delay and repeat rates for the game input ? Well, it seems like it worked for a few people but not for me.

So i kept on searching and found another method that although worked for a few people. It seems like a few direct-x games set its own priority level above the keyboard/mouse priority level.

check with ctrl+alt+del in the process tab – right mouse button on a process – check priority

Now you can set the game priority back to normal, because some people complained that the advanced warfighter demo sets its priority itself to high. In this thread they discuss various methods of launching a game with a certain preset priority, ranging from writing your own batch (.bat) file to just use the “/NORMAL” attribute for the windows xp application link.

So, did it work for me ? No ! I just used the CPU settings “Maximum” and the Graphic Card settings “Medium” in the Condemned game settings and it was “playable”. I guess its a problem of the Post Effects in direct-x in combination with FSAA and AF. I’ve experienced a similar problem with the post fx in trackmania sunrise, but there it just had an effect on the graphic delay and didn’t cause an input rate delay.

posted in windows | 8 Comments

11th May 2006

Flyakite 3.5 – MacOSX-look for your Windows XP

Finally FlyakiteOSX 3.5 (i tried the german version) works flawlessly. In the early version i always had some bugs with the Y’z Shadow and the dock-bar, but this time everything works just from the start, without additional configuring. It is recommended to use the included “Rebuild Icon Cache” tool if you finally found or created all icons for your desktop, this will speedup the start-up.

FlyakiteOSX3.5

The only tool i had to add was some look-a-like tool for apple’s Exposé. The very nice Flyakite Guide “Welcome to FlyakiteOSX v3.5” had nice suggestions for this purpose. I tried TopDesk v1.3.5 (trial) which was a very excellent tool and i was about to actually buy it, but their web-site was down and no other share-ware shop offered it. Bad luck for you Okatu Software ! So i went with Entbloess v2.7.2 . I tried that software like a year ago or so and i got this nasty flicker effects when going to the “tile all windows” view. The 2.7.2 does a very good job with its “PrintWindow” method. I got fast and smooth animations after i disabled the “Zoom previews when highlighted” option. Somehow the performance is bad with that mode when you have high quality previews. The Lucida Grande (bold) looks very good on my desktop symbols in combination with Cleartype.

Additional Links: osx-e.com  nice collections of links and articles, panther icons , more extensive guide to extend FlyakiteOSX

posted in reviews, windows | 14 Comments

11th May 2006

Windows Media Player skin – MacOSX Graphite Blue Milk

Just found this neat Windows Media Player skin (WMP10 but works on WMP9 as well).

Quicktime_vs__iTunes_skin_by_jNCo_01

Its the best one i found so far. If anyone has a better Graphite skin for WMP please tell me. Good looking play-list and player window is most important for me.

posted in windows | 7 Comments

11th May 2006

Spellforce 2 runtime error c++

Yak, just installed and played Spellforce 2, started to like the game and played a few levels. Next day i tried launching the game and got this nasty “Runtime Error”. So what was wrong ? I’ve heard that changing the system configuration might disturb the starforce copy protection but i didn’t change anything.

Spellforce2

After some research in the web i found out that changing the folder attributes of “..\My Documents\SpellForce2” to “hidden“ causes this problem. What a stupid error ?! I think its pretty boldfaced to force the users having their save-game folder in their clean My Docs folder.

posted in windows | 30 Comments

5th February 2006

HowTo join multiple ts files

Dealing with HDTV movies from newsgroups (usenet binaries) i had to join many .ts files ( movie.1080i.0001.ts , movie.1080i.0002.ts, movie.1080i.0003.ts , … ).

NullPacketStripper

I found this little java tool called NullPacketStripper . One of its features is “ automatically merge files following the filename.nnnn.ts (with nnnn being a 1-4 digit number) pattern “. You need to have a 1.4.x JVM installed. Just start the program NullPacketStripper.jar and select your movie.1080i.0001.ts as “Input file(s)”, press “Start processing” and wait until all parts are merged.

Ok and now something for the people that don’t like java. If the .ts files are split correctly you can simply join the files using your OS built in copy functions.

In windows just move all .ts files into one folder. Go to “DOS” command line (cmd.exe), navigate to your folder with the .ts files and type:

copy /b *.ts output-file.ts

or output the file to another drive like e:\

copy /b *.ts e:\output-file.ts

In linux it shouldn’t be that much harder. Just use the cat command.

posted in reviews, windows | 10 Comments