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More geek stuff

22 Oct

It is quite amazing, to me at least, to reflect that it is just ten years since I first dared touch a real computer, as distinct from a glorified typewriter/word processor, and just eight years since I first went on the Internet. For almost twenty years before that I was a total computerphobe.

So do forgive a tone of wonder that infects my entries on such things. 🙂

Browsers

I have been giving the current Beta of IE8 a run, and I have to say it is a great improvement on IE7 – which is not hard. Given that my laptop is far from even basic spec these days, being a two year old Toshiba with a Celeron M processor (1.39 GHz with 448 M of available RAM), I am very sensitive to a browser’s CPU usage, and here IE8 performs very well. However, there are some things still to be ironed out; scripts on some sites – New Facebook is a notorious example – don’t always do what they should in IE8, even though there is a “compatability” option available to deal with such issues – not always effectively.

Google Chrome is great to look at and fast, but really weird things happen in Chrome. It will start using maximum CPU after being up for a while, for no apparent reason – possibly deciding to update itself, or some such. But I have learned never to try to use Windows Live Writer and Chrome at the same time.

Maxthon 2 remains one of the fastest and leanest browsers, but does have some problems working in the WordPress interface. Never try to cut and paste a text widget, for example. It won’t let you. M2 is great looking, depending on the skin you choose – and there are lots of choices. I do use it quite often though.

So which is best? Well, in most respects it is Firefox 3. CPU usage is generally OK, and it downloads those nasty big pics I have here from time to time, and regularly on Ninglun’s Specials, more efficiently than anything else, even Chrome. Or so I find. And it works with WordPress and Live Writer beavering away full tilt. So that’s the one I use most now.

Flock I have given up on, especially now I don’t allow any browser to remember anything like passwords. Flock is good, but it is after all just Firefox with extras, and most of those extras are now available in some form in Firefox itself. Also, Flock is very light on plug-ins I do want.

I notice in the last 100 visit stats on Sitemeter that 43% of you are using IE7, 27% using some version of Firefox, 5% using Safari (I wonder if Chrome is in there too?) and 2% – I am not counted by the way – using IE8.

But is it art?

You may have seen the experiments on Ninglun’s Specials. Not being able to afford Photoshop etc, I use Paint.NET mainly for the fancy bits and, for basic tasks, PhotoFiltre. One can do all kinds of weird and arty things using Paint.NET, though my experiments have been rather conservative. The new Beta of Windows Live Writer has added to the fun with a better range of frame options.

Yesterday I published the straight version of a pic of painters working on a building in Reservoir Street Surry Hills: Surry Hills 68: just a day at the office. I am really happy with the lead photo there, which is as you see it only minimally cropped — pretty much just as I saw it in my Casio. I do still try to compose in the camera rather than in the “lab” – a hangover from my somewhat purist photography teacher I guess.

Here is a minimal “experiment” with that photo:

tue21 006a

While colour is an important part of the original, I like the way this version highlights other aspects of what I think is a better than average composition – for me, that is. 😉

I ask “Is it art?” because, while I have made aesthetic choices, the computer did it. What do you think?

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2 Comments

Posted by on October 22, 2008 in computers, creativity, personal, site news

 

2 responses to “More geek stuff

  1. Benjamin Solah

    October 22, 2008 at 11:38 am

    I’m still a big fan of Firefox 3. I even downloaded a portable version to take on my flash drive to work.

    I do think digital photography is art. You still made the choices on what the computer was to do.

     
  2. Neil

    October 22, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Thanks, Benjamin. I have been enjoying resurrecting my persona as photographer, which had been on hold for some years…

     
 
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