Finally!!! Exams are over!!! One month of holidays!!! Hurray!! There are a few things that I need to talk about since I have not put up a useful post in like a month (sorry for that).
1. The Mumbai Terrorist Attack.
For those of you that don’t know about Mumbai (shame on you.. nah, just kiddin), it is the land of Bollywood. One of the 4 metropolitans of India (Delhi, the capital is the first), it was attacked by terrorists yet again this week. Around 10 terrorists, spread over 3 places (The Taj Hotel, The Oberoi Hotel and the Nariman House), held these places hostage for over 2 days, and resulted in not only hundreds of deaths of innocent people and 3 NSG (National Security Guard), but also extensive damage to property. The 3 places are completely destroyed/ruined, and may take over a year to resurrect.
It is really suprising that the terrorists had no demands at all and didnt even try to contact the goverment. They called up a specific news channel twice, and talked for over 15 minutes each time, trying to spread their message of hate. The guy kept claiming “why should we live in fear, we should all die fighting like lions”. Why the heck did they want to die killing like lions. Not even like lions.. i mean even lions kill once in 3 days… Their thoughts seem so stupid and narrow-minded. The guy sounded totally brainwashed… kept repeating the same thing again and again like a broken tape record. Why do they want to die and kill?? What did they get out of it??
I got this great SMS today.. it went something like this: “We should leave the fate of terrorists upto God. But we should try to arrange their meeting with God as soon as possible.”
We can all blame the government for all such things. But what we should do is to try to spread awareness. The general public should know what steps to take when a suspicious activity or person is seen. The process should be made simple. If a person reports a suspicious activity to the police these days, not only is he ignored on that front, but he is actually ridiculed for his fear.
2. My new iPod!!
I got a new iPod Nano 4G as a gift more than a week back. But due to ongoing exams, I didn’t even unpack it!! (some will-power huh??) Now that I have unpacked it, set it up and copied music and videos to it, I was a little dissappointed with the videos. When I played the vids for the first time, they played fine. But all subsequent times the iPod kept hanging up/crashing. I had to restart it. But I found the solution to this program by some hit and trial and some plain old simple logical thinking . Here are some details in form of a FAQ.
Q. My iPod is in a hang condition or crashed.
A. Flip the Hold switch twice (hold “on” then hold “off”). Then hold the Menu and Center button together pressed for about 6 seconds until the iPod reboots. It does not erase any of your data, and reboots pretty fast.
Q. My iPod is still crashing on playing videos.
A. Simple!! Right click on the video file in your iTunes library. Select “Get info”. Go to “Options” and deselect “Remember playback position”.
Post will be continued later as I have to go out somewhere right now.. Do come back for the rest of the post. Here is the wallpaper whose tutorial is coming up…
Issue resolved, post removed as requested.
I had this robotics competition in college the other day, in which around 20 teams participated. Each team had 4 participants. The competition was “soccerbot”. We had to make robots that picked up TT balls from around the arena and put them in a goal post. The balls were have different points depending on the difficulty of picking it. eg, some were floating on a body of water, some were at a height of 10 cm, some were on the ground. Each bot was given 3 minutes to collect the maximum points.
There were 3 rounds: the qualification round which was cleared by 4 teams out of the 20. Then the semi-final, and then the final. The last 2 were one-on-one. It turned out to be more like Robowars, when both the teams went after the ball having the most points and fought very hard for it. 2 bots actually got entangled and broke each other *guffaw*
and guess what??
WE CAME FIRST!! yeah, FIRST!!! HURRAY!!!
Sorry for this delay between posts. Even this is a filler post. A great tutorial coming soon!! Till then, enjoy this wallpaper.
I have decided that I will do a whole series of Vista elements tutorials. Note that I am not an out-and-out Vista fan, I actually like XP and OSX a lot better than Vista. But you have to agree, the Vista interface does look nice, if you have a lot of processor power lying around unused…
Having already posted the Vista Taskbar Tutorial, the series will include tutorials on how to make:
1. The Vista Taskbar
2. The Vista Orb
3. The Vista Explorer/Interface
4. Maybe The Vista Sidebar
5. Some Vista wallpapers
Now let us begin with the Vista Orb Tutorial. First of all, here is a screen-shot of the real Vista Taskbar:
Update: The Windows 7 start button/orb also looks exactly the same.
And here is what we will make in this tutorial:
Let us begin!
Step 1: The Basic Shape
1. Start with a square, 300x300px canvas. Pick up the “Elliptical Marquee Tool“, and draw a nice big circle in the center, while holding down the Shift key.
2. Next, make a gradient that goes from a dark shade of any color to a light shade of the same color, as shown. The actual Vista Orb seems to use #013660 and #00a8e9. I have used the same.
Make sure that you save the selection. To do so, go to “Select>Save Selection“. Give it some obvious name such as “outer”. To learn about saving/loading selections in detail, refer to my Mac OSX Tiger Wallpaper Tutorial.
1. Go to Select>Modify>Contract. Enter 5 or 6px as the size. Do save the selection as “inner”.
2. Create a new layer, and pick up the Gradient tool. With the gradient set to “White to transparent”, select “Radial Gradient” from the options bar on top. Make a radial gradient on the new layer starting from point 1 to point 2 as marked in the pic below. Set the layer blend mode to “Overlay“. You can deselect (Ctrl/Cmd + D) any selections that are there. I hope that you saved your selections.
3. Now to put in the Windows logo. You could either wait for me to put up a tutorial for the win logo or download the following logo that you can easily extract (Tutorial on extraction coming soon) from any official windows wallpaper.
Copy this logo onto a new layer in your image. Resize it to fit nicely, leaving some space on the sides.
Step 4: The 3D Gloss effect
1. We use the same old technique of giving a glossy look to any object. We make a partial gradient in a part of the image. For more details, refer to tutorials Vista Taskbar, RSS Feed Icon and 3D button/badge.
2. To select an area for the gradient, pick up the Pen Tool. Make a path as shown in the pic below. I have left the path incomplete on purpose to show you the anchor points.
4. Now comes the use of the saved selections. Refer to the tutorial I linked to above, to learn more about loading selections. Basically, you can combine different selections in different manners by using the “Load Selection” feature. Go to “Select>Load Selection“. In the window that pops up, make the settings a shown:
6. Again, on a new layer, with the Radial gradient set to “White to transparent”, make a large gradient from the top to the middle. Adjust transparency of the layer to suit your needs. I lowered it to about 80%.
8. This is what your image should look like. Please ignore the strange black patch under the green part of the logo. I made a mistake while taking a screen-shot. :p Also , don’t deselect it. Infact, you should save it. Let the name be “xyz”.
10. Next, with a soft (0% hardness) and large (radius 100px) brush, and foreground color set to Black, and the opacity of the brush set to 40%, color a bit in the areas marked with the red spots in the image above. And this finishes your Vista Orb!!
The final image:
Please do comment!!