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Friday, February 27, 2015

GCompris: Introduction, Minimal Configuration & Installation.

Introduction

GCompris is a completely free educational software suite which contains a wide range of activities. It offers various activities aimed at covering a variety of fields such as the functioning of the computer, using the mouse and keyboard, general learning, reading, writing, foreign languages, algebra, as well as various activities such as memory and logic games, scientific experiments etc.

In GCompris you will find many individual software packages which together make up the complete GCompris suite of activities. Unfortunately, it is difficult to follow and maintain them as each one offers different graphic interfaces which vary widely in quality.

The purpose of GCompris is to provide a development platform for educational activities.

GCompris is part of GNU project and is placed under the GPL license.

gcompris electric

Friday, February 20, 2015

RawTherapee cross-platform raw image processing program: a color-managed Linux workflow (Chapter II).

The default illuminant is D50; D55, or 5500°K, is not provided as an option.  The spectral data in Argyll’s own custom spectrum file, D50_1.0.sp, can be found in Measuring Colour, Fourth Edition [PDF] by R.W.G. Hunt and M.R. Pointer, conveniently accompanied by the values for D55. 

I used the latter to create D55_1.0.sp.  (Note, page 358 contains a typo; the middle columns for wavelengths 785+ are misaligned, and should be under D50, D55, D65, and D75.)

One more step remains before using the profile for high-quality work:  determining output levels as described on the BTDZS workflow page.

For printing real images, the only differences are that the image will have an embedded working space profile, and we set the printer profile in the color management dialog.  (I also set the soft-proofing display mode.)  Everything else stays the same.

PhotoPrint settings for actual printing:

rawtherapee -photoprint 0.4.2-pre2

RawTherapee cross-platform raw image processing program: a color-managed Linux workflow (Chapter I).

Partly out of curiosity, and partly to help widen the horizon of digital photography, I have worked through a color management workflow entirely in Linux, from raw photo to monitor to print.  It is actually a continuation of my page on zone system calibration in linux.  I must admit that the results were more a “proof of concept” than an ideal workflow, partly because of available alternatives, and partly because of limitations on my own ability to print in Linux.

Operating system:  Korora 20, 64-bit.  Korora is a Fedora remix that includes third-party and proprietary software that makes it easier to use out-of-the-box than Fedora, while retaining the “bleeding edge,” “state-of-the-art” qualities of the latter.  The applications below were all installed from the repositories, except for TurboPrint which was an .rpm download.

Color management application:  Argyll Color Management System 1.6.3, by Graeme Gill.  For Linux, there is no real alternative.  I mainly followed the tutorials on the Typical usage Scenarios and Examples page, together with the documentation for each individual program.

Raw converter/image editor:  RawTherapee 4.2.74.

rawtherapee_2-4-1

Sunday, February 15, 2015

RawTherapee is a cross-platform raw image processing program

RawTherapee is a cross-platform raw image processing program, released under the GNU General Public License Version 3.

It was originally written by Gábor Horváth of Budapest, Hungary, before being re-licensed as free and open-source software in January 2010.

It is written in C++, using a GTK+ front-end and a patched version of dcraw for reading raw files. It is notable for the advanced control it gives the user over the demosaicing and developing process.

The name used to stand for "The Experimental Raw Photo Editor"; however that acronym has been dropped, and RawTherapee is now a full name in itself.

RawTherapee comprises a subset of image editing operations specifically aimed at non-destructive raw photo post-production and is primarily focused on improving a photographer's workflow by facilitating the handling of large numbers of images.

raw_therapee

Aseprite is an open source program to create animated sprites & pixel: user interface.

Animations and visual effects are nowadays used to enhance nearly every form of multimedia, including video games. These are created by combining multiple images and effects, with an abundance of applications at your disposal.

Aseprite is one of them and offers a different approach on image editing and creating short animations.

Intuitive design makes it easy to use.

If you're nostalgic about the past era of pixel graphics and effects, you might just find this to be a suitable environment.

This is not only because of the application's aim to create such sprites, but the interface is fully designed this way as well. Although you get the impression of an old video game, with icons and tools being a little difficult to identify, accommodation is no problem at all.

Clever file support and drawing tools.

The result is either an enhanced picture or short animation to use in your project, but until you get there some effort needs to be invested.

aseprite logo

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Top 10 blog posts for January 2015 from Linuxlandit & The Conqueror Penguin.

1.- Mixxx User Manual: Hardware Setup.

Mixxx User Manual: Hardware Setup.

This chapter describes the most common hardware setups to serve as examples. We will go over the setup of timecode records/CDs, MIDI control and keyboard control. Audio Output. Headphone cueing, or just cueing, is previewing the next track you would like to mix in your headphones. The audience will not hear what you are cueing in your headphones. Being able to cue is a crucial aspect of DJing.

Read More ... »

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

12 Lesser-Known Google Projects That Are Absolutely Amazing.

Explore some of the lesser-known creative projects from Google that are also excellent educational tools.

Google revolutionized the Internet by making the global brain easily searchable by anyone. In addition to search, Google has created all kinds of different tools like Google Maps, Gmail, Analytics, Android and Apps that many of us use everyday.

One of the reasons why Google has consistently released new innovative project is because of their 20% time policy, which gives many of their employees one day a week to experiment with new concepts and ideas. This has resulted in many lesser-known creative projects that have emerged from within Googleplex.

In this post, I want to show you some of most fascinating websites that Google employees have created and how you can use them as educational tools.

Google Creative Projects

Friday, January 9, 2015

Top 10 blog posts for December 2014 from Linuxlandit & The Conqueror Penguin.

1.- Mixxx User Manual: Hardware Setup.

Mixxx User Manual: Hardware Setup.

This chapter describes the most common hardware setups to serve as examples. We will go over the setup of timecode records/CDs, MIDI control and keyboard control. Audio Output. Headphone cueing, or just cueing, is previewing the next track you would like to mix in your headphones. The audience will not hear what you are cueing in your headphones. Being able to cue is a crucial aspect of DJing.

Read More ... »

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Top 10 blog posts for September 2014 from Linuxlandit & The Conqueror Penguin.

1.- Mixxx User Manual: Hardware Setup.

Mixxx User Manual: Hardware Setup.

This chapter describes the most common hardware setups to serve as examples. We will go over the setup of timecode records/CDs, MIDI control and keyboard control. Audio Output. Headphone cueing, or just cueing, is previewing the next track you would like to mix in your headphones. The audience will not hear what you are cueing in your headphones. Being able to cue is a crucial aspect of DJing.

Read More ... »

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mixxx User Manual: Hardware Setup.

This chapter describes the most common hardware setups to serve as examples. We will go over the setup of timecode records/CDs, MIDI control and keyboard control.

Audio Output.

Headphone cueing, or just cueing, is previewing the next track you would like to mix in your headphones. The audience will not hear what you are cueing in your headphones. Being able to cue is a crucial aspect of DJing.

In order to cue with your computer, you will need at least 2 separate audio outputs. Traditionally, a headphone jack on most laptops is not a second audio output. Rather, plugging headphones into the jack simply redirects the laptop’s main output to your headphones. Having a headphone jack alone will not allow you to cue.

Common Configurations.

Unlike some commercial DJ systems, Mixxx can control multiple audio devices simultaneously. Depending on your budget and application area your sound setup and requirements may vary. This section provides useful information for club, hobby and radio DJs alike.

Laptop Only.

Mixxx-111-Preferences-Soundhardware

Mixxx User Manual: Installation.

Mixxx is free mixing software for DJs, providing everything needed to create live mixes.

It allows you to beatmatch songs and crossfade them together, like you would with turntables and a mixer.

Installation on GNU/Linux.

Official packages of Mixxx are only offered for Ubuntu Linux. However, Mixxx can build on almost any Linux distribution.

Installation on Ubuntu.

Method A: Personal Package Archive (ppa)

  • Open a terminal and type the following commands. Type in your administrator password if asked for.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mixxx
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libportaudio2 mixxx

  • Start Mixxx by simply typing mixxx into the terminal, then hit Return .

Method B: The Ubuntu Software Center.

Mixxx-111-Installation-Ubuntu-Linux

Mixxx User Manual: Introduction.

Mixxx allows you to perform live DJ mixes with your digital music collection. It helps you rock the party with MIDI controllers, vinyl turntables, or even just your keyboard.

Mixxx gives you everything you need to become a professional DJ (except talent and hard work).

Using Mixxx, you can rock the party with your vinyl turntables, your MIDI/HID controllers, or even just your keyboard.

Mixxx is used by professional DJs and bedroom DJs alike.

It is designed by an international team of volunteer DJs who want to bring the joy of DJing to everyone.

The project is non-profit, open-source and community driven. Together and with your help we aim to build the best DJ software ever created.

The project was started in early 2001 for a doctoral thesis as one of the first digital DJing systems.

Today it is a polished application that is downloaded over one million times annually and includes many features common to digital DJ solutions as well as some unique ones: It natively supports advanced MIDI and HID DJ controllers, is licensed under the GPL (v2.0 or later) and runs on all major desktop operating systems.

As of Mixxx 1.10.0, over 100 developers and artists have helped create Mixxx.

 

Mixxx-logo

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kids learn English with Busuu.

Kids have fun learning English with busuu through a carefully structured and exciting course of 150 words, taught across 30 vibrant learning units full of educational games!

  • Free

  • Category: Education
  • Updated: Nov 18, 2013
  • Version: 1.2
  • Size: 46.1 MB
  • Languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
  • Seller: Busuu Limited
  • © Busuu Ltd.

Busuu is a language spoken in Cameroon. According to an ethnological study conducted in the 1980s, only eight people at that time were still able to speak this language. The ISO 639-3 code for Busuu is bju.

Busuu is the world's largest social network for language learning. Through online and apps, the business offers free and premium paid-for access to audio-visual courses for 12 languages.

Screenshots.

busuu phones

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mindomo is an online mind mapping tool for visual learning, improving creativity and problem solving.

Mindomo is an online mind mapping tool for visual learning, improving creativity and problem solving. With Mindomo, you can organise and get an overview of thoughts, ideas, links, and other information visually.

In order for the brain to remember what you learn, knowledge needs to be categorized. 

To make the learning process easier and more fun, you can use the mind map tool to make a map of your thoughts and sort them thematically.

The mind map is well suited for exploring new material, looking at connections between new and known knowledge, and organizing material for further development.

In addition to text, you can also add links and media files to your mind maps in Mindomo:

    Add pictures from Flickr, Google, Bing or Wikipedia
    Add film from YouTube, Vimeo, Creaza or your own productions
    Record sound
    Add sound clips from Creaza or your own productions
    Export to PDF and picture formats

mindomo5

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Agnitus is a developer of touch-enabled learning applications.

Agnitus combines 60+ great educational apps for kids and gives you the ability to track your child's progress with a wide variety of reports.

Agnitus games are both entertaining and teaching tools for children based on an actual educational curriculum.

Animated demo video produced by http://grumomedia.com

    Your child loves to play video games.
    BUT as a parent it’s hard to know if the games are appropriate or turning your kid’s brain into mush.
    And if they are playing an educational game what do they do once they’ve figured it out and are super bored?
    Well...you can toss those worries out the window.
    Agnitus games are both entertaining and teaching tools, based on an actual educational curriculum.
    And as soon as your child figures out a game or skill, our super clever system automatically adjusts the level to keep your child engaged and learning by unlocking new games that are next up on the curriculum.
    And the gynormous cherry on top?
    Parents get updates like detailed little report cards.
    Just hold down the Report Card button and a little dashboard appears.
    From there you can see: the entire curriculum map, how much your child is playing, what they’re learning, their strengths and weaknesses and how they’re doing compared to their peers.
    Or you can subscribe to email updates and receive the progress reports that way.
    Get ready to enter the world of Agnitus and watch your little one’s brain grow and grow.
    Agnitus – Games for Learning.

agnitus_grumo_demo_video_01-536x301

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