Sunday, April 18, 2010

Howto: Use resynthesizer for GIMP on OSX

Who needs Content Sensitive Fill on Photoshop CS5? here's how to do it with GIMP for free!

Howto: Use resynthesizer for GIMP on OSX

Resynthesizer is a great plugin that can create textures based on an arbitrary input.

Here's a photo I took, and the angle of the sun meant I got my own shadow in it.

Using resynthesizer I can quickly create some new texture there to replace the shadowed area.

The plugin is included with the OSX version of GIMP from (thank you!). For windows and linux you need to download it from

Here's what I did.

For me it seems that the plugin doesn't work if you have selected the background.

So I selected an area to be the texture source and pasted that as a new layer, its called clipboard.

Then I selected a part of the background and pasted into a new layer. Its called clipboard#1.

You'll see that GIMP places the copied image right at the top of the picture. So drag it back down to align with the background.

Then with the layer clipboard#1 selected, use the lassoo tool to select the area to be resynthesized.

Then from filters>map select resynthesize

In the dialog, deselect "Make horizontally tileable" and "Make vertically tileable" and in the "Texture source" box make sure you select the layer with the sampled texture. You can check by seeing the thumbnail preview.

Click OK, and the plugin does its work.

And here's the result. I've left the marching ants so you can see the old and the new.

and here's it without the marching ants.

You may need to play around with the exact source texture area, and on the 'Tweaks' tab there are some settings to fine tune what the plugin does.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SSD Roundup April 2010

Intel X25-M G2 (80Gb ($230), 160Gb ($440))

- Max Read: up to 250MB/s
- Sustained Write: up to 250MB/s
- Random Write 4k: 8,600 IOPS

OCZ Vertex 2 (50GB ($260), 100GB ($481), and 200GB ($923))

- Max Read: up to 285MB/s
- Max Write: up to 275MB/s
- Sustained Write: up to 250MB/s
- Random Write 4k: 50,000 IOPS

OCZ Agility 2 (50GB ($247), 100GB ($455), and 200GB ($871))

- Max Read: up to 285MB/s
- Max Write: up to 275MB/s
- Sustained Write: up to 250MB/s
- Random Write 4k: 10,000 IOPS

Crucial RealSSD C300

128Gb ($499)

- Max Read: up to 355MB/s
- Max Write: up to 140MB/s
- Random Write 4k: 50,000 IOPS

256Gb ($799)

- Max Read: up to 355MB/s
- Max Write: up to 215MB/s
- Random Write 4k: 60,000 IOPS

Forget buying the OCZs from Amazon though... expected delivery 1 month to 3 months

Saturday, April 10, 2010

iTunes 9.1 Album upgrade problems

Here was a curious problem. Apple Software Update said iTunes 9.1 is available, so I installed it.

Then I connect my iPhone and launch iTunes. It says "updating library". OK no problems,
this is a regular occurrence. But, it never completed. Even after 2 hours. iTunes was un responsive so I force quit.

Re-launching iTunes I get "The iTunes Library file is locked, on a locked disk, or you do not have write permission for this file".

Hmmm googling suggests that this can be fixed by copying / moving the Library file and copying / moving back. Tried that and now I get "the iphone is in use by another user on this computer".

Huh weird. I tried restoring the library by Time Machine, same all over. Tried a new library, but thats empty.

So I called Apple and they had me use the version that gives the 'in use' message. But how to fix this. After quite a while holding, they say, restart your Mac. So I did. Crashed on shutdown, and then on restart, all is OK.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Combining Google Maps and Picasa Web Albums

Here's something thats hard, but should be easy.

You've been on a trip, long or short, and taken some photos. You've used a GPS logger, and applied the GPS data to the photos, so when you upload the photos to Picasaweb, you'd like to see them on a map, with your track. Ummm like this...

Well, no.

Picasaweb gives you the little thumbnail

and clicking on it gives you the photos arranged on a map. But your track? Well if you didn't travel on a road or recognised track, then who knows how you got from place to place?

To make the combined map, the mashup, you need to do the following.

In Picasaweb click "View in Google Earth". This downloads a .kml file, though it doesn't always have the suffix, so you might have to add it. Doubleclick it, or in Google Earth select file>open and open the .kml.

This loads

into Google Earth. Next you need to add the track.

If you use MyTracks on an Android you export the track as a .kml, and then copy it over to your computer.

Next, you need to add the GPS track kml to the photo kml.

Right click the kml (in Temporary Places), and select Add>Network Link

Click 'Browse' and select your track kml.

Straight away Google Earth adds the two

Then you can export the combined track.

and give the .kmz a name.

We now need to have this kmz available online. An easy way is to upload it to Google Sites.

While logged into Google, go to and either create a new Site or use an existing one. Then, create a new page of type "File Cabinet", and on that page upload your kmz.

If you right click on one of the files, you'll see it has a URL like

Copy the URL, and delete the bit from the ? to give

Next, go to, and make a combined URL like this

and , hey presto! we get our combined map


update: this method no longer works. I have a new method I'll be putting up on this blog soon.

update: new method

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Howto Manually Recover Photos from iPhone Backup

Some photos got accidentally deleted from my iPhone. I have them in a backup from the last time I connected my iPhone to my MacBookPro, but I don't want to restore the entire phone just for some photos.

The backups are stored in database files, typically in the following location

~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

with one sub folder per backup. In the folder you'll find tons of .mddata and .mdinfo files. Somewhere in there are the deleted photos.

There are scripts around to help you extract what you want, but I found an application called "iPhone / iPod Touch Backup Extractor" and you can get it from

Launch the program and then click 'Read Backups'

It then reads the contents of ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup and gives yu a list of backups you can restore from.

Select one, and it reads the backup. If you want to restore photos, scroll to the bottom and select 'iPhone OS Files'

Then click Extract, and you'll be prompted for a restore location

Let it do its thing. Depending on how much you've got in there it could take a while, and the program doesn't give any indication of progress. Have a coffee or a tea, and relax.

When its done, navigate to where you restored the files, and you'll see the folders

and in there are your photos.