Thursday, October 13, 2005 

Back From Vacation

Hello everyone. I'm back from vacation. (Hey, I still worked 16-20 hours a day on my blogs and websites, so it wasn't really a vacation). I apologize for the batch posting of this message to all of my blogs, but I'm still madly reorganizing my blogs and this is the fastest way for me to communicate with readers... (The most current links to most of my blogs and website projects can always be found at my main website, http://www.chameleonintegration.com/.)

This is a somewhat lengthy post, but if you read any of my blogs with any frequency, my recommendation is that you read it. Otherwise, just visit keep visiting the blog(s) you're interested in :D.

I have several new websites, including a social awareness site, that I launched during the last two weeks. Some of them are still being tweaked (design and architecture). I'm also in the processing of moving some blogs, amalgamating other blogs, and creating a few new ones. I have nearly 200 blog posts sketched out across all of my blogs, but not all of these posts are in publishable format. So I do have tons of content planned, including some free ebooks, tutorials, and more. I'm just one person doing all of this, so please bear with me while I'm reorganizing.

By the way, I do try to check what people are searching for and then try to write a post relating to such topics (if I don't already have some such posts). I don't consider myself a blog network per se. I'll be straight out honest and say that I want to provide free information about several topics (food, technology, entertainment, and more), and then hope that (legitimate) ad revenue supports my writing and blogging habit. I'm a former print magazine publisher and editor, so blogs are my transition into the digital realm. My experience as a former search engine webmaster and as a programmer rounds my skills out. So blogging and websites are my ideal way to spend the day. So I'm making it my business to write about what you are looking for information on, provided it falls within my areas of interest or expertise. That said, there are a few blogs on my books that I'll be collaborating on with others, including family members, friends, and acquaintances.

So the scope of the "Chameleon Integration Systems" (CIS) blogs is expanding. I just have to keep it manageable so I can increase quality. The blog page templates I'm using will be changing on many of my blogs as I changing blogging platforms. For those that are curious, I currently use Blogger.com, WordPress and MovableType. I'll be trying out Mambo, bMachine, and others as well. Why all the platforms? Well, I have close to a decade of experience evaluating very high end ($500,000-$2,000,000) CMSes (Content Management Systems) for many large companies. Now I'm focusing on OpenSource solutions, specifically on software that can help bloggers set up both blogs and regular websites, plus online shopping. My "Chameleon Integration" motto is "Making the Internet Easy". So I'll be writing about my findings, for those that are interested.

Finally, just a note about blog posting schedules. I will not be posting on Sundays (I live in North America, time zone -0500., same zone as New York and Toronto). Sundays will be a day that I analyze stats, design new web pages, and sketch out the next week's worth of posts, and basically unwind. While I am aiming at posting daily to most blogs, I am still doing a lot of infrastructure work, so I won't be up to speed right away. I'll be posting some entries later today, but I probably won't be posting to every blog (new and old) until next week or the next. So I'll try to keep "current events" information posted at my main website, http://www.chameleonintegration.com/. I hope you'll visit again, and drop off comments about what you'd like to see information on.


raj kumar dash

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 

Note: Taking A Vacation Until About Oct 12

I'm taking a vacation until about Wed Oct 12, during which time I may or may not post to this blog.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005 

Hardware Reviews - Wacom Graphire 3 4x5 Sketch Tablet

Wacom Graphire3 4 x 5 USB Tablet - Pearl WhiteI can't remember the first sketch tablet I ever used, but I do remember using digitizing tables the size of small tables back when I was doing a lot of work with digital maps and GIS (Geographical Information Systems). I found using a digitizer far more efficient than a computer mouse for a lot of everyday computer use. Sketch tablets are close cousin to digitizers and typically sport a point device that looks like a pen. In more recent years, a cordless mouse is usually part of the package, as the digital pen is not always an efficient, general purpose way to navigate your computer applications. Sketch tablets are a great way to reduce stress on your wrist if you are stuck using the touchpad of a laptop.

I recently picked up a Wacom Graphire 3 4x5 (inches) tablet that includes both a digital pen and mouse. (Believe it or not, I had a very hard time finding a store that carries sketch tablets these days. It might be different in big cities.) The Graphire 3, which doesn't appear on Wacom's web site anymore, cost me $129 + taxes, which isn't too far off the $99 + taxes that I paid for my older Wacom PenPartner 4x5 in around 1999. But the PenPartner doesn't have a mouse, and it needs two serial ports to operate. My laptop (Acer Centrino Travelmate 4002WLMi with two wi-fi cards) only has USB and Firewire ports, hence why I bought the Graphire 3. I use both the mouse and the digital pen, depending on what I'm up to.

So far, I've only had three problems with the Graphire, but they are relatively minor:

(1) I use a "hibernate" mode for my Acer laptop. When I turn it on, all the applications I was running come back alive. For some reason, the laptop takes a while to realize the tablet is connected. Fortunately, I can use my laptop touchpad until the tablet is recognized. (Except that in the few short days I've had this tablet, my wrist already hurts from the wait time of using the laptop touch pad.)
(2) I'm sure this is psychological, but I sometimes get a weird physical response if the cordless mouse of the tablet goes outside the active area. It feels the same as when a mouse cord gets snagged on something. Weird.
(3) One of the free bonus software packages, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2, wouldn't install because the (original) CD-ROM is missing some language files. (Hey, I live in an English-speaking country and this is presumably an American product; go figure.)

Overall, though, I expect to get a lot of usage out of this tablet. It's a great accompaniment for a laptop because it gives you a small footprint for the mouse to work in. Even if you're not an artist of any sort, you may have some fun with the digital pen. I've said it before in my other blogs: handwriting, drawing and painting massage acupuncture points in your hand, soothing many stresses away.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://hardandsoft.blogspot.com

Technorati : , , , , , ,

Sunday, September 11, 2005 

Inkscape Vector Graphics Drawing Program (Open Source)

I know I've been remiss in posting to this hardware/software review blog. I'll post more frequently as now: at least once a week, most likely on Saturdays or Sundays.

Several months ago, while doing an exhaustive search on SourceForge for vector drawing programs similar to Adobe Illustrator, I came across Inkscape. While it's still pretty new (V 0.42) at the time of this writing, it's a delightful easy to use vector graphics program. It's not as powerful as Adobe Illustrator, but it's free and works rather well. It still occasionally crashes for me, but not as often as V0.41. And crashing doesn't cause your computer freeze, like some other programs.

Of the ten or more free or trial vector graphics packages I downloaded, this was the "optimal" one: best overall, for different features. (Expression was great. But Microsoft bought it, which may mean they'll put a price tag on it.) What I particularly like about Inkscape is that it produces XML-format SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files as the standard storage format. You can, however, export PNG (Portable Network Graphics) bitmaps. And you can't beat those gosh darn cool stars that you can make in Inkscape:

 Posted by Picasa

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://hardandsoft.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 

Hardware+Software Blog Begins


This blog will focus on hardware and software reviews. The difference between this blog and other similar ones, I believe, is the fact that I'm including reviews of older packages and equipment as well as newer packages. There seems to be a market for used computer products. As well, there are some old software packages whose makers got swallowed up by certain huge corporations who then promptly hid the technology for no obvious purpose. So why review such software? Two reasons. Firstly, if you come across a used copy of the package, you might want to snag it for yourself. Secondly, maybe some entrepreneurial soul will try to revive the same sort of functionality without violating any copyrights or patents. (Believe me; surprisingly some of these packages have had no competitors.)

Some reviews that you'll see shortly include:

Software (free and paid)
SVG (Standard Vector Graphics) Editors/Viewers
Unusual Graphics software
Landscape Animation Software
Math packages
LaTex packages (great for wriiting your science or math term papers!)

MDG Dual Processor desktop computers
Acer Centrino TravelMate laptops
Hawking Technology's HWC54D laptop wi-fi card

the chameleon

About me

  • I'm blogslinger
  • From Canada
  • Writer, author, former magazine editor and publisher, amateur photog, amateur composer, online writer/ blogger, online publisher, freelancer

  • My profile
Powered for Blogger
by Blogger Templates