New app on my phone: AsciiCam

Image of televisionWith this app you can make ASCII images with your telephone camera. With this app you don’t make pictures but ASCII images. Instead of pixels the image is made/filled with ASCII characters.

The image makes it clear (it represents my tv). If you watch closely, you can see that the image is filled with characters.

For more information:

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LaTeX, which is pronounced «Lah-tech» or «Lay-tech» (to rhyme with «blech» or «Bertolt Brecht»), is a document preparation system for high-quality typesetting.

This is the English definition of the tool with which you can create
PDF files of high quality. LaTeX functions like CSS (Cascading Style
Sheets). CSS is used to style websites. With CSS you enter just text
into an editor and subsequently you style the website by adding code.
With LaTeX you can determine how your document is going to look like by
using code.

In the example below one can see the code in the document. I had some difficulties creating a macro. But I finally managed to do that. This is not the full document. Nor is it a finished product. I only post it here so that you can get an impression.

\lhead{Guides and tutorials}
\rfoot{Page \thepage}
\paragraph Essential French Expression
Usage notes: \french{Voilà} is the quintessential French word –
commonly used in French, easy to say, and exotic sounding (and
therefore used in English to give a bit of je ne sais quoi to
whatever you’re saying).

The code which is colored red demonstrates the use of a macro on a
specific part of the text (the word Voilà) in order to make it bold.

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Chris Coyier

Recently, I have watched two videos of Chris Coyier on Youtube. Chris Coyier is a webdesigner and maintainer of the site CSS-tricks.

These are the links:
A Modern Web Designer’s Workflow
CSS-Tricks Screencast #137 – SVG is for Everybody
These are excellent videos which are worthwile to watch. That is, if you are interested in webdesign and in making SVG-files.
I can of course tell you all about these videos but everyone who is interested should really watch for himself.
It offers an interesting look in the workprocess of a webdesigner.

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The site! offers instruction videos for the program Gimp. The videos are made by and the website is managed by the German Rolf Steinort. For the beginner but also for the more experienced an ideal site if you want to learn how to use the program Gimp.

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Heal Tool Gimp

The Heal Tool of the photo editing program Gimp is a very useful tool. With it you can remove objects from pictures: lampposts, people, animals etc. See the example below. When you look closely, you will be able to see in the right bottom corner a so called watermark: an image that the photographer has placed into the picture afterwards.

oude mustang/old mustang
To remove that, the healing tool is the right tool for the job. See the result below.

oude mustang/old mustang

But even I can be surprised:

The settings that I normally use are 400, All around, Random. But with these settings I was unable to make it happen. With the settings 400, Sides, Inwards from center I did manage to remove the watermark.

This photo, made by Paulo Guerta, is edited by me and can be found on Wikimedia Commons

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Blender – a 3D program

Blender is a 3D program which I recently started to study. It has a steep learning curve. That means that it is difficult to learn. Below one can see an image of the interface.


The channel Blender for Noobs on Youtube offers a good introduction to this program:

The person who made these videos, has also made excellent videos on modelling with Blender. These can be viewed on Youtube:


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I made a trip to Blijdorp Zoo. I brought my tripod with me. I wanted to test at home how to stitch photos together with a program called Hugin and needed therefore pictures. This is how it works. You take pictures of a large object (in this case a fountain) but instead of trying to get the object on one picture, you take several pictures of only a part of the object. At home, you stitch them together.

It is not that difficult. Something you need to know is that Hugin has three interfaces: simple, advanced and expert.

For the picture of the fountain I made use of the simple interface. That means that the computer will do the hard work of stitching the photos together.

You must give three command and you do that by pushing three buttons:

  1. Load images
  2. Align
  3. Create panorama
screenshot of hugin

Load images

second screenshot of hugin


third screenshot of hugin

Create panorama

DSCF3337 - DSCF3346_fused_cropped

And this is the result.

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Making sheet music


For the music lessons that I take, I have made sheet music. Making it was pretty easy. But because the original design (from Wikimedia Commons) was of such small size, I had to enlarge the drawing enormously.

Eventually I had to search on the internet to find out how large an A4-paper is (21 x 29,7 cm). And with the information found there, I could determine how large my drawing had to become.

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I have tried to upload files with the program FastGlacier to Amazon Glacier. That worked great! I could upload 100 MB of photos in about 2 minutes. Problem is though that I want to upload a file with a size of 1,8 Gigabytes. A fast calculation teaches me that that would take more than 40 minutes. I think that that is too long. Nevertheless I will try some day.

fastglacier program


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Multipart-upload to AWS

In the last post I talked about uploading big files to Amazon Glacier. This is because I want to upload a big file to Amazon Glacier. The backup of my site is 1,8 Gigabytes. That means that uploading to the Cloud could take a while.

Fortunately, AWS offers a solution. Uploading to the Cloud can be done in small pieces. A file the size of 1,8 Gigabytes is divided into smaller pieces and subsequently uploaded to the Cloud.

It immediately reminded me of the program Winrar. This program also offers the possibility to divide a big file (for instance a movie) into smaller pieces so that it is possible to upload the movie to Usenet.

AWS uses the same principle. A multipart-upload (as it is called) to Amazon Glacier is done in two steps. First you must tell Amazon Glacier that you want to do a multipart-upload. This is done with the following command:

aws glacier initiate-multipart-upload –account-id – –part-size 1048576 –vault-name my-vault –archive-description “multipart upload test”

Then you will receive an id. With that id you can subsequently upload the file in small pieces to AWS Glacier. This has many advantages. When the upload is interrupted, one can resume the upload. When the upload is interrupted, the file won’t be on Glacier yet. Only when the upload is a success, it can be found in the Cloud.

This is the command:

aws glacier upload-multipart-part –body part1 –range ‘bytes 0-1048575/*’ –account-id – –vault-name my-vault –upload-id 19gaRezEXAMPLES6Ry5YYdqthHOC_kGRCT03L9yetr220UmPtBYKk-OssZtLqyFu7sY1_lR7vgFuJV6NtcV5zpsJ

But I encountered a problem. I couldn’t determine whether or not something actually happened after I had given the commando. In the terminal no progress bar was to be seen. A simple command like ‘wget’ on the other hand does have this feature (with this command one can download files from the internet).

wget in terminal

This is feature that is sorely missing. Because it is difficult to determine how long the upload will actually take.

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