Friday 26 October 2012

Gambas is no shrimp

It may mean "prawn" in Spanish, but in the world of computing, Gambas is a visual programming language for Linux.


The Gambas application is an integrated development environment (IDE) which not only allows you to create, edit, run and debug your software, but also create executables (programs) and package them for distribution and deployment to other Linux computers.


This post does not cover the Gambas language in any detail, its more of an over-view which takes you through the whole process of creating an application, from writing a very simple program to creating a deployment package.

Gambas is more than just a language, it is also a rapid application development system, making it an ideal starting point for those wishing to learn programming or for programmers taking their first steps with Linux...

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Giving Your Computer A Voice

I've found it very helpful in a few cases to add audible alarms to monitoring functions. For example, if you work in a network support environment and a server goes down, you need to know about it straight away.......preferably before your phone goes into melt-down!


By using text-to-speech, you can monitor several aspects of your working environment without having to continually check display screens.

I recommend eSpeak, which is a compact, cross-platform, open source software, speech synthesiser. Although the sound is not as natural as that produced by a system based upon human recordings, its very small size makes it a good choice for small devices, the Raspberry Pi and for applications producing announcements.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Networking: With Lubuntu, Win7 and the Raspberry Pi

Setting up a home peer-to-peer network can be challenging, and for machines with a variety of operating systems, can be even more tricky.


The three examples given may also help with other version of Linux & Windows.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Photography: #1 Exposure Explained

When you make the transition from "point and shoot" to SLR photography, there is one very important subject you really need to get to grips with:-

      ***   Exposure   ***


Using an SLR camera in "manual mode" puts you in total control, not only of composition and focus, but also exposure.

When you take a photo, you allow light into your camera. Assuming you are using a "digital" camera, the light reaches a "photo-sensitive sensor" which produces an electrical output, and ultimately this is processed into a picture. If this picture is correctly "exposed" it will not be too dark or too light.

"So what's the problem..." I hear you say,  "...if its too dark or light I can just use the Gimp or PaintShop Pro to adjust the brightness?"
The problem is that you will lose detail if your initial photo is too dark or too light. Adjusting the brightness will not recover that lost detail.

Sunday 7 October 2012

How to diag Windows/computer problems with a LiveCD

You have a problem with your Windows computer and wonder whether its hardware or software. You've tried all the obvious stuff, so what do you do next?

Well before you invest in more RAM, a new hard disk, or take your computer to your local friendly repair man, there is one more thing you can try.

If you boot your computer from another operating system (OS), you effectively get a second opinion. You can do this by downloading a Linux distribution and creating a LiveCD from which you boot your computer.