Archive for the “Software” Category

20140806_153612Sometime ago, someone mentioned that they would like to add their name to their photos like I do. I do it a couple of different ways, depending on where the picture is located (on my computer, or on my phone).  This is not a step by step tutorial, but rather, a guide to share what programs I use to put watermarks on photos.

First, I created an image with my name in it. I use “gimp” for this purpose, a free image manipulation program. I also need to say that I have “Ubuntu” as my operating system for all my computers. I ditched “Windows” years ago. You will need to use whatever program you have for manipulating images. (Photoshop?)  The gimp does have a version for Windows also.  The file created should be the .PNG type. PNG files are capable of having a transparent background (not white). Otherwise, there would be a square showing up on each picture where the “signature” is located. Once you have that file, send it to your phone in whatever way you do that.

On the computer:
I use a program called “Phatch” (Photo Batch). It can take many pictures and do all kinds of things to them all at once (a batch of them). I use this on Ubuntu. If you use Windows or Mac, it looks like it is possible to get this program working on them, but it doesn’t look easy. Years ago, before I dumped Windows, I used a nice free program called FSresizer. It worked real nice to do nearly the same thing as Phatch. Most of the time, I also resize my photos so they are not so big to upload to the Internet. Both Phatch and FSresizer do this easily.

On my phone:
I have an android phone and use a program called “Photo Watermark App Free“. It is an easy app that lets you add watermarks to your photos. I use the PNG file I created earlier and put it on my photos. “Watermark Photo” does not have a batch mode (to do many photos at one time), but it is easy to use.

That’s about it.  If you have any questions or want particulars, leave a comment. Click the images below to go to the appropriate web sites.  -John.






Ubuntu Operating System


Watermark Photo



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wordpressWhy am I posting a thing like this on our family blog?  Maybe it will help others that are having a similar problem with their blog.  I use WordPress as my blogging software.  Lately, my software updates have been failing.  Blogging software and other web/Internet software needs to be updated when there are discovered vulnerabilities just like other software.  I also use something called Jetpack that provides statistics and other functions for my blog.  It also needed to be updated and was failing.  OK, I am going to get a little geeky here, so if this is of no interest to you, then thanks for stopping by.

To fix this:

  • First, log into your web site administration control panel however you do it.  For me, it is cpanel. Get into your file manager and find your plugin directory.
  • Find the jetpack directory inside your plugin directory and delete the whole jetpack directory.
  • Do a plugin update if required.
  • Do a WordPress update.  It took quite a while for me.  If it asks you to do a database update, do it.
  • Reinstall the Jetpack plugin and activate it.
  • Have fun.

I hope this helps someone with a similar problem.


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Last night, (Friday, August 27) my wife, Carol, and I were looking at the near full moon.  There was a bright start to the right and a bit lower than the moon.  Carol commented that she doesn’t remember that star being on the right side of the moon.  I guessed that maybe it was a planet and then went in and fired up Stellarium, a free planetarium program that I have on my Ubuntu computer.  The “bright star” turned out to be Jupiter.  I tried looking at it through binoculars, but that didn’t work too well.  I also have an ancient telescope that I haven’t had out in years.  I brought it out, and after spending some good time trying to locate the moon, then locating Jupiter (As I said, the telescope is very old and the sighting eyepiece has been damaged for years), we focused in on Jupiter.  It was very small, but clear.  I could see four very tiny dits of light around Jupiter, that could just be reflections of something in the telescope or my eyes.  Nevertheless, I went back to Stellarium, and zoomed way in on Jupiter, and lo and behold, there were four moons visible around the large planet.  I went back to the telescope, and there were Callisto, Europa, Io, and Ganymede, exactly where they were in real life (except the telescope reversed the image).  Europa was right next to Jupiter, but it could clearly be seen in the telescope when it was sharply focused.  It was quite exciting to see, even if it was an underpowered old telescope, being used by a very amateur, amateurish astronomer.  Click a picture below to see a larger view.

– John

Jupiter taken with digital camera through telescope.

The moon and Jupiter through the naked eye.

Stellarium's view of what we saw.

How we saw Jupiter through the telescope. (this photo is from Stellarium)

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I admit it, I have a weird sense of humor.

I received an email from Montana’s Senator Max Baucus. You know, the one that helped cram down the multi-trillion dollar “health care” bill down our throats.  Anyway, I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my e-mail client (program).  And, guess what!  Thunderbird thinks that the e-mail from Max Baucus may be a SCAM!!  Yup, Thunderbird is a pretty smart program, but be careful if you decide to “Ignore the Warning”!

Click on the screen shot for a larger view.

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I did my first computer animation. I decided I would like to try animating part of the Mandelbrot Fractal.

Our computers run on Ubuntu Linux; and I used the following software to do my little project:

  • I used “Fraqtive” to display the fractal screens.  I recorded each screen shot seperately using the screenshot utility that comes with Ubuntu.
  • I then animated the screen shots using ImageMagick’s “animate” tool
  • I recored the animation with “gtk-recordMyDesktop”
  • I then assembled the video using “OpenShot” video editor.

Here is the small video animation of a tiny portion of the Mandlebrot Fractal.


embedded by Embedded Video

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Click to get Jaunty Jackalope

Ubuntu 9.04 – code named Jaunty Jackalope, was released on April 23. I am always (maybe too) eager to upgrade to the next version of Ubuntu as new features are always added, making it an even better operating system. Yes, for the uninformed, Ubuntu is a computer operating system. Your computer may run Windows or if it is a Mac, it may run OS X. My computer, along with millions of others runs the totally free and open Linux version called Ubuntu.

Typically, version updates are made right over the Internet. It will download a zillion files and update everything, taking, possibly, several hours to do. I read an article on some web site that I could download the distribution and update it from a burned CD. Since I had two computers to update, I decided this might be a time savings way to go.

Click HERE to read the full post about my experience installing the Jaunty Jackalope onto our home computer.


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It is very rare that I delete a post after it is published. I made this rare exception yesterday.

The post was about a school teacher that reprimanded a student after he shared Linux disks with his fellow students.

The computers at my house run under Ubuntu Linux, NOT Windows.  Many Many people believe that computers only run on Windows or Mac OS/X.  These people also believe that all software costs something and if you give it to someone, you are doing an illegal activity.  Linux operating systems are almost always FREE, and many times out perform Windows.  If you want to see a computer desktop that puts Windows Aero to shame, let me show you Ubuntu Linux with Compiz.  WOW! And VERY cool!  Most of the applications that run on Linux are free also, and the process of installing the applications is usually a matter of  a click or two.

Here is a link to the original article.

You must read this follow up article also to make a fair analysis of the whole deal; and that is why I deleted my post about the whole bit.

In short, it is PERFECTLY LEGAL to copy and share Linux Operating System disks AND ENCOURAGED.

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