Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu...

So.... first was the avine flu ... well ... now is swine flu... evolution ...

Quando o frio aperta....

Quando o frio aperta: link Bem... de volta ao trabalho...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Line of code of the day

Hmmm ... you know... sometimes you create pieces of code that look like crap but do wonderful things and very fast... so i'll paste a line of a VHDL architecture module... now imagine that 90% of the rest of the module is similar... yes... a nightmare to debug... div_buffer <= (NUM_VARS-LOG2_NUM_VARS-1 downto 1 => '0')&((offset-(stack(top)(NUM_VARS+LOG2_NUM_VARS-2 downto NUM_VARS)&'0'))&'0'); But work! I might clean up the code later ... anyway, this calculates a divider for a bit vector calculation ... in software takes around 2*N clock cycles to calculate the bit vector, in hardware takes N*log(N) clock cycles... i would say my implementation is efficient .. XD In other news, my pen tablet and gimp (or should i say GTK+?) are always punching eachother... i found a way of solving the issues ... reboot! ... This only happens in windows Vista... so... yeah ... Vista is not only sluggish, slow and bad... is even worse ... specially since my pen tablet says "Certified for windows Vista" ... go figure!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Hmm... you want to buy a new screen for your computer, or even for your living room, but have no idea of what to choose and how to see if it's really good that cheap one at the store in the next corner? Well, then i have something to you! Was not made by me, but you may want to see if, even if you are already happy with your current screen. LINK You don't need to be an expert to know that my laptop screen does suck, you just need to glance it, but how bad it is? The answer is 1:50 contrast ratio! ... Yes ... i have a freaking laptop with a crappy contrast ratio, sadly, i usually use it to image edition, getting somewhat shabby results because of my pour color choices... go figure! ... Well, i'm happy with my laptop, it's freaking fast beating my desktop in every point, except for the screen... well, at least i can conect it to a proper screen :p EDIT: After a few more tests, i found out i wasn't holding the camera perfectly perpendicular to the screen, since my screen viewing angles are .... bad, i was getting such values, it's not like it's much better, but the after all the testing the results i've obtained were 386:1 contrast ratio and 180cd/m2 on maximum luminance... my pda screen has 580:1 and 295cd/m2 ... one can easily see the diference just by looking at their image, oh well... Hmmm ... in other news, gimp and my new tablet went in disagreement, since only gimp gives me trouble i would guess that it's gimp's problem, but since it does detect my tablet correctly, but looses track of pressure information channel, i would say that is a less ordinal aproach in drivers implementation with some gimp implementation choices that cause trouble, oh well, at least openCanvas 1.1 beta 72 revision 1, never fails me, but it does lack some features xD. Oh, it works everytime in Adobe applications too, well, my 30days trial over photoshop are over, so i can't exacly see if it works there now... well... stuff done with my pen tablet can be found here, some stuff (like the comic with BOOM letters - lineart came from is not entirelly done by me, but you can have fun watching stuff appear there in a random fashion...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A new gamepad!

Hmmm ... I got my hands in a new gamepad, my old one is a bit worn off, the old one is a Logitech Dual Action rev1, but usb cable is torning apart and shoulder buttons get stuck on bottom sometimes, d-pad really sucks, but analogs still work fine... The new gamepad i got was offered by a friend (that i must choke somehow), it's a very sturdy controller from speedlink, is the d-struct model, first of all, shoulder buttons feel like analog buttons are not analogic, just in case you're wondering, that would be totally awesome. The cordless sistem is really cordless on the package, it even lacks the usb cable to charge the gamepad, but i have lots of those around my house (even my FPGA has one). Bottom line, is a very sturdy, responsive and accurate controller, analogs have a good grip, d-pad looks bad, but isn't that bad at all, most of springs are quite strong, it may be for being new, but being used to my old one, and comparing with a dualshock2 the analogs and the shoulder spring buttons have a very strong springs on their insides.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A new pen tablet!

Finnally i got my hands on a new pen tablet, and now a review over it! It costed me 68,99€ so, my last tablet costed 69,99€, first, let's look at the specs and compare them with my old tablet... I had an Wacom Volito2, it was little but precise, i loved it, 2000lpi 512 pressure levels, A6 area... Now i have an Trust (Aiptek hardware in reality) tablet, it's the 7300, has 4000lpi, 1024 pressure levels, A4 area, it's.... huge... Short after buy it, i installed it in a friends laptop, was pretty linear, and after a bit trouble with ink and graphic modes i was ready to go, openCanvas 1.1 beta 72 is the oldest program i have that uses pen pressure, it worked pretty well, then i installed gimp, and after some changes in shortcuts i even had zoom feature in wheel pads to work, pretty awesome. The worst part was when i arrived home and tried to install it on my laptop, wacom drivers were installed, then entered in conflict with the tablet, it was a mess, even after removed wacom drivers it wouldn't install correctly, so i did what i felt to be the best thing to do, uninstalled every pen tablet driver aplication that was installed and removed all the drivers that could mess up, to make it worse, i have 3 point devices, the synaptics touchpad, the G5 logitech mouse, and a generic HID USB mouse, i removed everything except for touchpad. After all cleaned and rebooted, i installed the drivers (not the aiptek ones, i think they work fine, since in all the mess they were installed once and pen was working, but pressure wasn't recognized in gimp) and then plugged the tablet, a success was what i obtained. About the features and performance of this pen tablet. One funny thing i noticed is that you don't want to work on it with your UMTS enabled phone near it, the pointer will shake a bit, while it's not important for general use, it will screw up if you're editing image or something similar... so turn you're phone off, or just give a meter or so of distance. In gimp it behaved very smoothly, i putted settings of drivers to 0 on sensitivity (that is maximum sensitivity) i can say, that a -10 would be nice, since the lighter strokes aren't quite sensed, it requires a bit of pressure to start sensing the strokes, but compared to my old wacom, is almost the same, a bit more smooth maybe. While the wheel pads are two, they behave as one, and are hardware coded into Scroll, Zoom and Volume features, so using them for other purposes might be tricky, the one thing i can say is that Zoom feature throws Ctrl++ and Ctrl+- keystrokes to system, so if your aplication can be customized in shortcut keys, you know what to choose to have them do what you wish. Build quality is similar to my Volito2, actully both pens and tablets look like use the exact same materials, if wasn't for the brand logos i would that they were build by the same company. Given the price of it, i may say i'll never buy another wacom product (unless they get a lot cheaper), sure pen uses an AAA battery, but i have rechargable batteries for everything, and it's a little bit heavier and bigger, but since my hands are a bigger that the average person ones i really don't care (it's not that big the difference in pens). Just one tip, you may want to use Grab and Drag extension for firefox if you have a pen tablet or a tablet pc, it will improve your experience a lot! There are also smaller versions of this pen tablet, my guess is that quality and performance should be very similar. Oh, and in case you're wondering, i usually hate Trust devices, tumbs up for this one!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Random photos


During easter i took some photos on a small town, where ACRA-EC HQ are, click on the photo to see them, enjoy!