Archive | 8:53 pm

My msi wind u90x playing Leo in the kitchen

22 Jan

It is true you can play video through a WiFi connection. It isn’t very fluid. Does it really matter if Leo Laporte speaks? He is entertaining in any medium, even jerky video.

My msi wind u90x playing Leo in the kitchen

That is all.

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Best online Painting tool – artPad

22 Jan

The online tool artPad is the best online painting tool I have found so far. The interface is clean and simple. You can select a color from a swatch, a brush size, and the rest is up to you, putting digital paint on the canvas. When you’re finished, you can put a frames around your work of art.

The Flash tool is apparently very well written, because it is quite responsive. Oftentimes, you’ll see some lag in drawing, but with this tool, the lagging was minimal.

Of course, you can use a brush as a drawing instrument. The difference between drawing and painting is in the intent of the artist, not in the tool he or she uses. I chose line over surface, so this was a drawing.

Your drawing doesn’t go to waste. You can either send a link to your painting on the website, put it on display, so others can see it, or print it on your printer.

I chose the latter, and because I’m on a Mac, I can print to a PDF file, and convert that into a JPEG image.

The painting is not meant to reflect my drawing skills, but rather to test the tool. I’m liking it much more than Digital Doodle.

Best online painting tool - artPad

That is all.

Best webcam experience on the msi wind ever

22 Jan

Using what I’ve learned so far, I could create a very descent picture of myself testing the webcam of the msi wind. Here is the cropped screenshot I’ve taken around noon, while I was sitting on a couch, netbook firmly held on my lap, video settings optimized.

msi wind webcam image

I don’t mind seeing that face on my computer screen. In broad daylight, it is a very enjoyable activity shooting a mugshot of yourself. I understand why Photo Booth on the Mac is so popular.

This is too much fun! I really should start using Snap! to make it even more fun. Too bad that there is a 10 photos per day limit on the free version, and you can only pay with a credit card (which I don’t have, because I’m poor).

That is all.

Testing the webcam of the msi wind

22 Jan

Because Leo Laporte had so much trouble with his webcam (I knew it was just a matter of pushing Fn-F6), I decided to test the quality of the webcam of my new msi wind u90x. It turned out that the picture quality is not stellar, but that if you pay attention to the lighting conditions and position of the camera, you can get a decent picture.

The next three pictures were taken with Skype 4 beta. This has a video snapshot feature, which can be reached through the Options menu. This utility crops the webcam image to a square image, so it can be used as your avatar during a Skype call.

The first snapshot was taken with me holding the netbook above my head, and pestering my cat, who was asleep on the couch. The blur is mostly motion blur. It was late in the afternoon when this picture was taken, so it was already too dark for a good result.

Snapshot of me 1

The next picture is taken under artificial lighting conditions, a combination of fluorescent light in the background, and a incandescent light as a fill light. Because the netbook is on a stand and at eye level, the picture is much more acceptable.

Snapshot of me 2

The next morning, still in my yammies, I took this snapshot near a window. Again, the motion blur reduced the image quality, but because the lighting is so much more natural, this isn’t really very disturbing. In fact, it gives it a kind of authenticity to the picture.

Snapshot of me 3

To see what the quality of a full picture was, what people are going to see if they use video while Skyping, I made a screenshot of the Skype window in the video options menua, and cropped the screenshot to the full size of the webcam image (320 x 240 pixels). I also tweaked the video controls somewhat, so the video quality became much better. I tweaked the lightness, contrast and gamma values.

Webcam msi wind u90x under better lighting conditions

So it seems if you keep your netbook stable, at eye level, tweak the controls, and pay attention to the lighting, you can get a somewhat acceptable picture quality out of this little webcam.

Now I just need to buy an extendable arm with a plateau to put my netbook on, and I’ve got me a true portable live recording studio, for less than 300 euros (the Plantronics DSP-400 headset you can see in the second snapshot costs around 40 euros). If I want better lighting, I should buy some good video floods. Now that would be a good next project…

This is all.