Photography website

DSC00113Photography always intrigued me. So I decided to create a new website Photos by Christiaan Kras where I’ll be uploading photos to from time to time.

I started out with a Sony Cybershot DSC-W35 which I’ve used for almost 7 years. My second camera was an Olympus SH-21 and even though I did manage to take a couple of nice pictures with it I always struggled with its auto-settings. After my dog more or less destroyed my Olympus SH-21 I decided it was time to upgrade from a compact camera to a more advanced system. I ended up upgrading to a Sony A3000 (ILCE-3000K/B), a system camera with interchangeable lenses. My Sony A3000 opened up a whole new world of photography so I still have much to learn, but enjoy doing so.

Surely but slowly I’ll be adding more and more photo’s to my new website Photos by Christiaan Kras. Please enjoy and comments are always welcome.

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Indie Graphics Builder – now with a 40% discount

igbWhen Indie Graphics Builder started on Kickstarter I decided to help the project by donating money. I really liked the collection of spaceships and parts which I’ve used in a project of my own called Space Strategy (Dutch page – screenshot).

For a while now the IGB is also available from Steam which makes installation and keeping up to date really convenient.

Indie Graphics Bundle is a content pack comprised of modular graphic .PNG files that can be combined, remixed, or modified to create your own sprites. The current pack includes over 10,000 graphic files with more to come.

Here’s a list of what kind of content is inside:

  • *New – Animated Character Creator Pack
  • *New – Animated Bug Invaders & colorful planets
  • Gems
  • Interface Builder (5 styles)
  • Jungle Scene and Platform
  • Landbuilder
  • Map Maker (5 styles)
  • Platform Pack
  • Puzzle Assets
  • RPG Interface
  • Ship Builder (29 styles)
  • Sky Builder
  • Solar System
  • Solar System 2
  • Space Assets
  • Top Down Landscape
  • Weapon Builder future
  • Weapon Builder modern
  • Weapon Builder medieval

I recommend every aspiring (hobby) game developer to checkout this collection of royalty free sprites. You can get it from Steam with a 40% discount (which seems to end tomorrow).

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Duplicati – an alternative for Rackspace Cloud Files Sync

I’ve been using Rackspace Cloud Files Sync, a little piece of software I’ve written myself, for some years now. I use it to backup my photo’s and movies I’ve shot over the last decade or so. The thing I like about it is that it syncs your local folder with a Cloud Files container. When skipping content checksums it’s fairly fast to only process the changes. Aside from backing up files it can also restore them.

Whilst it still serves my need I get in trouble if or when Rackspace changes their Cloud Files API. Way back when I wrote the software I wrote it in BlitzMax with the MaxGUI module (using the excellent LogicGUI designer) and my own htbaapub.rackspacecloudfiles module. Sure, I can update my module that wraps the REST API but I no longer have an up to date BlitzMax with all the required modules set up on a PC. When I took Maximus offline the most convenient way to install BlitzMax modules and their dependencies disappeared. In short, it’ll be a big hassle to get a working setup again capable of compiling a new version of Rackspace Cloud Files Sync.

But today I found out about a software called Duplicati! Duplicati is backup software that can create and store backups to several kind of storage solutions such as Rackspace Cloud Files, Amazon S3, Windows Live SkyDrive, FTP, SSH and more. It can also encrypt your backups.

After a short test using Duplicati with Cloud Files I’ve at least found a nice alternative for when my Rackspace Cloud Files Sync stops working. The only thing I’m missing though is doing a full backup and then sync the changes like my software does, but it appears that this is already supported in the 2.0 preview release of Duplicati. So it’s likely that if or when my software stops working I can use the 2.0 release of Duplicati.

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New The Offspring covers – Do What You Want, No Control and No Reason Why

The Offspring has been my lifelong favorite band ever since I was little kid and I own all their albums. Yesterday I received an e-mail with a link to YouTube containing 3 brand new covers of Bad Religion’s ‘Do What You Want’ and ‘No Control’ and Pennywise’s ‘No Reason Why’.

Enjoy!

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New gear: Roland Cube Lite

Roland Cube Lite

I got some new gear for my guitars! I bought the Roland Cube Lite to have a portable amp to play on when in the living room. Some cool features of it are that you can hook up your iPod Touch and play along with your favorite songs all through the same speaker. And if you use toe iOS app you can even record yourself playing along a song. Another nice feature of the app is that you can mark a section of a song to loop over.

There are three amp models included: JC Clean, Crunch and Extreme. For effects there is the choice of Chorus or Reverb. There’s also a knob for Drive, Volume, Bass and Treble. For your input audio device there’s also a volume knob.

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