Archive for May 25, 2009

Your software – Anywhere!

PortableApps.com Suit provides a complete set of free computer programs (including Web Browser :-), Office Suit, Calendar etc )that you can carry around on a portable device and use on any windows computer. It does not require any special hardware. Just the usual USB/Flash drives like MP3 players, iPods and things like that. When your USB device is plugged in, you have access to your favorite software and personal data just as would on your own PC!. That’s not it, when you unplug the device, your personal data stays in it. Perfect if you are using a public computer! No need to download the things you like again and again.

PortableApps.com Suit contains a Menu for easy navigation and you can see how neatly they fit in.

platform

PortableApps.com Suit contains the following Apps;

     – Writer (word processor)
     – Calc (spreadsheet)
     – Impress (presentations)
     – Base (database utility)
     – Draw (drawing)

Extremely easy to use, when you plug-in, you get a Windows Popup something like this;

platform_autoplay

platform_on_xp_500x375

Head over to http://portableapps.com/suite for more information and start using it :-)

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3CX – Software based PBX for Windows

Are you a startup that is trying to save money? or just a corporate entity trying to save cost? Then you should try looking at 3CX, a free software based PBX (telephone system) that works so well that the proprietary PBX like Cisco’s and Avaya’s may not be required at all. If you have installed proprietary PBX in your corporate network, you would know how expensive it is to maintain such PBX systems.

A while ago, we had reviewed telephony systems for SMB market and its trend in 2008. 3CX fits into SMB market well.

image

3CX VoIP Phone System for Windows is an IP PBX / SIP proxy that completely replaces a traditional proprietary phone system. Advantage is that it uses standard SIP software or hardware phones, supports VoIP services & traditional phone lines and offers numerous benefits over a traditional PBX. The commercial editions offer enterprise grade support as well as a number of business features.

3CX_ip-pbx-overview

3CX IP PBX – Overview – Courtesy – 3CX 

A partial 3CX PBX feature list:

  • No need for separate phone wiring – phones use computer network   
  • Easier to install & manage via web-based configuration interface
  • A software-based IP PBX is far less expensive than a hardware-based PBX / PABX
  • Employees can move offices without requiring any changes in the wiring or IP PBX configuration
  • Choose from the many SIP based hardware phones instead of getting locked in with one vendor
  • Receive & Make calls via the standard PSTN using VOIP Gateways
  • Save on call costs with ‘out of the box’ configurations for popular SIP / VOIP providers.

If you are looking for an integrated solution with unified alternative then checkout – Unison, The Unmatched Unified Alternative that replaces your old email server, IM server and PBX in one go!

 
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Free High Dynamic Range (HDR) Software

We had presented 20 beautiful HDR photos in our earlier post. In this article we will take a look at some free software for creating HDR images.

qutfsgui1

1. Qtpfsgui

Qtpfsgui is an open source graphical user interface application that aims to provide a workflow for HDR imaging. Qtpfsgui is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Here are some the key features of Qtpfsgui:


  • Create an HDR file from a set of images (formats: JPEG, TIFF 8bit and 16bit, RAW) of the same scene taken at different exposure setting.
  • Save and load HDR images.
  • Rotate and resize HDR images.
  • Tonemap HDR images.
  • Copy exif data between sets of images.


It supports wide verity of formats like:

  • OpenEXR (extension: exr)
  • Radiance RGBE (extension: hdr)
  • Tiff formats: 16bit, 32bit (float) and LogLuv (extension: tiff)
  • Raw image formats (extension: various)
  • PFS native format (extension: pfs)
  • Discussions and images related to Qtpfsgui can be found on flickr.

2. pfstools

pfstools package is a set of command line programs for reading, writing and manipulating high-dynamic range (HDR) images and video frames. It includes also Qt and OpenGL HDR image viewers. pfstools can be integrated with GNU Octave or matlab, so that it can serve as a toolbox for reading and writing HDR images. If you are not comfortable with a command line interface or you want to save yourself compilation problems, you may want to check Qtpfsgui, which packages some functionality of pfstmo and pfscalibration in a nice GUI interface.

3. Picturenaut

Picturenaut was born in the German photo community. It has been in the works for almost two years, with consistent improvements according to user feedback. That’s why the first official release is already Version 2.1, marking a new milestone in making high quality HDR Imaging accessible and easy.

Some key features of Picturenaut are:

  • Image alignment
  • Exposure correction
  • Color balancing
  • Noise level compensation
  • Derivation of the camera curve from the source images

It supports various HDR formats like, PFM (Portable Float Map), HDR (Radiance), EXR (OpenEXR), TIFF (32-bit Floating Point), TIFF (LogLuv), LDR, JPEG
TIFF (only RGB color space) and TGA (Targa, no alpha channel).

Picturenaut1

Picturenaut2

4. FDRTools Basic

FDRTools Basic are a collection of capable tools for the ambitious shutterbug.

This software allows you to overcome the technical limitations of your digital camera and produce images with a contrast and dynamik range not considered possible so far.

The dynamic range enrichment is handled comfortable and far easier than with traditional methods. The performance characteristics outclass these methods.

Some of the key features are:

  • Combine several differently exposed photos of an exposure series into an HDR image
  • Prepare your HDR images for display or print with high quality tonal range compression (tone mapping)
  • Import the RAW images of your digital camera
  • Export and archive the optimised HDR image in a format of your choice

FDRtools

Try out some of the above software and you will see interesting results. If you are more serious about it then checkout the HDR Photography Techniques by Captain Kimo.

How to get Beautiful Windows XP themes for Free?

We all know how boring the default themes that come with Microsoft Windows XP  are and If you are wondering how to spice up your dull looking Windows XP look and Feel, then read on.

There are many Shell Replacement utilities available for Windows like StyleXP, WindowBlinds, Talisman etc which are all good. However, They cost a lot of money. If you are looking for some freeware to make the Windows XP look better, then you have to look into a smart alternative called UXtheme. Just download it and install it. When you install UXTheme patcher, Windows XP will complain that the vital system file is being replaced and will prompt you for Windows XP CDs, Ignore all of them and continue. You will need to restart your PC. Once you are PC is rebooted, you can have real fun.

Aquanox_VS_by_cyberchaos05

Where to get the free themes?

Just head over to DevianTart and navigate to Customization->Skins and themes->Windows utilities->Visual Styles. You will see a ton of good quality themes for Windows XP. They just work fine with UXtheme and you don’t really need StyleXP to be installed.

How to install new themes?

Simple, select the theme you like and download it. Mostly you will see a folder that contains .msstyles and shellstyle.dll (there will be other files too but these are important). Copy that folder and put it under c:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes.

How to change the theme?

Right click on the desktop and click on properties. Click on Appearance tab. Under Windows and Buttons, you will find the theme that you just copied. Select that and apply. Now just sit back and enjoy the new theme.

Here are some sample themes;

Royale Vista 2

Royale_Vista_II_Final_by_dobee

Royale Vista VS

Royale_Vista_VS_by_dobee

Ashen II

Ashen_II_by_Nevezen

Crystal.Systema Suite

Crystal_Systema_Suite_by_krosavcheg

NeoGeniX

NeoGeniX_by_dobee

Opus 3.0 

Codename__Opus_2_5

 

20 Beautiful HDR Photos

HDR – High Dynamic Range  photography is a technique by which several photos of the same scene that is shot with different exposure settings are combined into one photo. The details of dark areas (from a longer-duration exposure) are combined with the details of brightly lit areas (from a shorter-duration exposure) to form a single photo that is that is correctly exposed in both the dark and light areas.

HDR_ex

source: http://www.hdrsoft.com

Here in this article we present a  collection of 20 beautiful photos that were created after processing through HDR techniques. To create such beautiful photos, checkout our article on Free HDR Software .

1. Photo by Glauco Dattini

HDR_1

2. Photo by Glauco Dattini

HDR_2

3. Photo by Tony Hadley

HDR_3

4. Photo by Damir Sencar

HDR_4

5. Photo by Glauco Dattini

HDR_5

6. Photo by Scott Merola

HDR_6

7. Photo by Major williams

HDR_7

8. Photo by Brian Curran

HDR_81

9. Photo by Mallav Naik

HDR_9

10. Photo by Justin Setchell

HDR_10

11. Photo by Maria-Mihaela Sârbu

HDR_11

12. Photo by Hossein Mosaferi

13. Photo by Conte Oliver

HDR_13

14. Photo by Jim Crotty

HDR_14

15. Photo by Minh Nghia Le

HDR_15

16. Photo by Jonathan Piette

HDR_16

17. Photo by Enrique Torices

HDR_17

18. Photo by William Horton

Shiprock at sunset

19. Photo by Mattpug

HDR_19

20. Photo by Joep R

HDR_20

 

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