Archive for December, 2009

Upgraded to Snow Leopard

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

I’ve just got around to upgrading my Intel iMac (a 2006 machine) to Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard”. The upgrade went very smoothly (not like my upgrade to Leopard that I ended up backing out of and delaying for several months). In fact having started it I went out for a while and when I came back an hour later the machine was back up in the new operating system. Starting mail led to a slight delay while the mail library was upgraded which took quite a few minutes, but I do have a very large mail library. Everything else seems to work, although I must check the Garmin software that I use with my handheld Garmin Etrex GPS. Apparently there are some minor problems with that but I don’t use the Garmin software a great deal. Most of my imports/exports tend to be straight to the memory card rather than plugging in the Garmin device.

I bought the Snow Leopard family pack as soon as Snow Leopard came out, but I’m rather cautious about doing updates. I’ll probably leave my laptop on Leopard for a few more weeks before I do that. Unfortunately my Mac Mini hasn’t enough memory to upgrade to Snow Leopard; although at some point I’ll probably crack into the Mac Mini case and upgrade the RAM!

Examples of Topaz Filters

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

I mentioned in a previous post that I had purchased the Topaz filters bundle. Here are a few examples. I don’t claim any great creativity on my part but between the various filters there are a lot of effects that can be achieved. Furthermore, with Topaz Fusion Express, one does not have to have Photoshop. On a Mac, with the free Topaz Fusion Express, one can use the Topaz filters with Aperture, iPhoto and Lightroom.

This photograph is a photograph taken on a compact digital camera from January 2003.


I used the Simplify filter to transform it into something nearer to an oil painting which produced the following:


This photograph from the same time had much the same sort of treatment:


which resulted in:


Here’s another example using a photograph of the Keep at Cardiff Castle (in Wales, UK).


This was processed with the Adjust filter to give the following:



Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Well in eastern England and in France, Belgium and the Netherlands we’ve had some snow over the last couple of days.

I normally cycle to work, but these days I ride the bus when there is snow or ice. I don’t mend as easily as I did when younger.


This was the view from my window on Thursday morning.

More software purchases

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Over the past couple of months I seem to have got quite carried away with new software purchases. I’ve just decided to go down the route of purchasing MarsEdit which hopefully will encourage me to keep posting to this blog.

Last weekend I took the plunge and purchased the Topaz filters bundle. I’d been put on to this by a piece from Bart Busschots in his “Chit-Chat Across the Pond” segment on Allison Sheridan’s Nosillacast. I would have had no interest in these filters as I am not a Photoshop user, but most of them can now be used in iPhoto, Aperture and some other applications. I got quite carried away with experimenting with the effects possible (and I’ll try to post a couple here in a day or two). There was another special offer that reduced the bundle price even more at the weekend so that was another item on the credit card.