Can't afford photoshop? Get GIMP

….. No, not A GIMP – just GIMP – The GNU Image Manipulation Program. Everyone knows just how powerful Adobe Photoshop is, which is all well and good if you are a professional user who can claim the costs back against your companies funds.. However for the average home user, wanting to edit their holiday photo’s from Costa France, there are few alternatives that provide similar ability and tools..

One of the major players in the market is GIMP. The GIMP project launched back in early 1998 and has been going from strength to strength ever since. 
The project is now unto version 2.6, which features a massive collection of tools and capabilities. All of which can be viewed on the GIMP features page.
GIMP is available for the following operating systems: OS XGIMP 2.6.7 for Windows and for Linux.

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WakeOnLan for Mac

One thing I always ensure I am able to do, is to control all the devices on my LAN from one single seat. Some may think thats lazy, others may think resourceful. Well I think it’s resourceful! One main part of being able to control equipment is the ability to switch it on without having to actually push a hardware button. To do this you can send it a special ‘magic’ packet over the network. Basically telling the PC’s network card to wake up the p.c.!

There are various applications to do this, one very good one for Mac comes from ReadPixel Software
ReadPixel’s WakeOnLan is quite special in the way that it always keeps it’s list up to date using passive network scanning. Providing an instant view of what devices it discovers on your network. 
Once the list has been populated, you simply right click on the device you would like to power on and tell it to ‘Wake Up!’ Then, as if by magic (and if your network adapter supports it) the device should power up!
It really is as simple as that!
But… HOLD THE PHONE! The features don’t stop there!!
Excerpt taken from RedPixel’s website:

Scheduled Wake Up Calls
In addition to timer based wake up calls, each computer can be scheduled to be woken up frequently at a day of the week (or, weekdays or weekends only) and time of your choice. For example, schedule wake up calls each Sunday night at 04:00AM for backup.

WakeOnLan Dashboard Widget
You need to wakeup some other computer quickly, but don’t want to start the WakeOnLan application? Just press F12 and use the WakeOnLan Widget. Simply select the computer to be woken up and click on the sun. Press F12 again and you’re done.


New for all Mac OS X versions: Dock Menu
Faster access for everyone. Click and hold the WakeOnLan icon in the Dock (while WakeOnLan running), and select any computer to be woken up or put asleep directly from the menu. It doesn’t get any simpler.

About WakeOnLanWakeOnLan is Freeware. It is a Universal Application and runs on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, 10.4 Tiger and 10.3 Panther.

So what are you waiting for? Download your copy now! 
Also – why not check out some of their other software offerings:
RemoteTap – “RemoteTap 3 is a “Mac Style” remote desktop management solution for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It introduces several first and only features for any VNC-like application.”
RT Monitor – “RemoteTapMonitor is a companion product for RemoteTap for iPhone. It is a Mac OS X client to monitor and remote control multiple Macs at once. Make sure to install the free RemoteTap preference pane, including optimized server software, on each r
emote Mac.”

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Streamed MP installed

streamThanks to Matthew Fenton for pointing out Streamed MP 

Which is now my skin of choice on my media server.

“Streamed MP is a port of Team Razorfishes skin Mediastream created for XBMC, over to the popular open source HTPC Application MediaPortal. Streamed MP is a close port, however there are some new views/layouts included with the skin that will keep the fanart fans happy. This skin has also been designed with ease of use in mind, with a custom menu generator included to make creating menus suited to your setup extremely easy. All of this is wrapped up in a nice installer that also installs the latest version of two very popular plugins TV Series (currently being worked on by various developers) and Moving Pictures (worked on by fforde and armandp). “

The more I use MediaPortal it grows on me, the only draw back at the moment is the speed of the animations and the transistions. Which I was hoping to sort by upgrading the RAM.. However just before I got round to placing the order for the RAM it’s priced was hiked up to nearly double!!! So that’s on the back burner for now..

At least I have had confirmation that my heatsync is on it’s way!

Next on the cards (besides the RAM) is another TV card, twin tuner this time I think, another DVD drive and a TB hard drive.

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Today Ive mostly been learning about ITIL

LifeCycleSince I started working at Arco in Hull there was a lot of talk around bringing ITIL best practices into the company and into the way the service desk works.

Today I sat through day one of a three day ITIL foundation course. Although a lot of the content of the course makes sense, and is common sense. Doing things the ITIL was is not something I am used to, and will be a large change in the way I work.

Tonight is our first night of ‘home work’ on the ITIL course, so the first thing I did when I got home was to get out the books and start studying….. Approximately 5 minutes into my studying I was already bored. So I decided the only way I would be able to actually continue studying ITIL whilst at home would be to do it online.

No great surprise to those of you who know me, and recognise the fact that a laptop is nearly constantly on my knee!

So away I went, my first step of course was Google.

I found a large amount of ITIL documentation and links around the ITIL subject, which I was easily able to sort into two groups.As I didn’t want to be bombarded with sales callsemails I skipped any sites which required registration and continued to look for Free sites and downloads.

I soon found that there are quite a few podcasts available via Apple’s iTunes, which I downloaded… Whilst listening to the podcasts I found a few mock exam websites, which I then started working through.. Here’s a few links to those tests:

As I am studying for my exam on Wednesday, I am currently unable to release the changes I have made to my BETA releases as previously planned.

Right……… Back to studying..

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