Free image editor

If you are editing image, what software you use? MS Paint? Adobe Photoshop? For me, MS Paint is fast, and only fast. Nothing special. Photoshop, is not free. If you want to install, it requires a lot of space.

So, I use 2 image editors, Paint.NET and GIMP Portable. Both of them support layer editing. Very nice. Actually, I prefer using Paint.NET. Because it is more usable (easier to be used) compare to GIMP. The interface is easy to understand. However, it does not as powerful as GIMP.

GIMP can create .gif file with animation (read more). For me, it is quite difficult to be used. Besides that, if you are using GIMP Portable, several plugins are already packed with it. Therefore, there are a lot of extra features. However, because of usability problem, I can hardly to find the function I want, such as draw the vector. If compare with Paint.NET, GIMP is slower to startup.

Actually, Paint.NET installation file is smaller than GIMP. However, Paint.NET requires .NET Framework. So, you need to install .NET Framework in order to run Paint.NET.


Gamma Panel, adjust the brightness easily

Since my laptop (Toshiba Satellite M200) cannot adjust the brightness using fn-key. Therefore, I set the brightness using Intel display driver graphics properties. Adjust the colour at the “color correction”.

However, when I play some games, and when the games are set to full screen, the LCD colour will be reset to the default colour. This is the problem. That means I need to right-click at the desktop to choose “Graphics Properties…” to adjust the brightness each time I play the game.

Then I found a freeware. Very good freeware, Gamma Panel. Very lite, extract it and you can run. All the settings are written in .ini file. Can set the hotkey to change the colour/gamma/brightness/contrast of your setting. Easy to use.

Human and Cell

Human being is consists of cells. Each type of cells can be differentiated by its functions. Each cell cannot think like a human think. However, human can think because of the systematic organisation of the cells. Human can live because each of the cells plays its own role. If a cell does not function or malfunction, it will become a cancer. And human needs to destroy the cancer so that the cancer will not spread to other cells and he can live.

But, how are human beings? Each human has his own abilities like a cell has its own functions. Human beings can form a systematic community. Everybody contributes to the community as the cell contributes to the whole body. Everybody plays his own role for the common good of the community. Though there are many persons, there should be only one mind. Just like there are many parts of the body, but the whole body only has one mind. Therefore, the community, like a person has a mind with many parts of the body, can live.

But, how is the community in our world? Everybody only thinks about himself. Everybody only looks for his own good. Everyone betrays each other because of selfishness. People like to divide according to race, religious or language. In each race or religious or language, they still want to divide among each other. They will be divided into families. And in each family, they will be divided into an individual. This is because of the selfishness. But, can a cell live? Yes, only if the cell is unicell organism. But what a unicell can do?

A person, even though he can do anything and he knows everything, he is still only a person. Though he can do anything, he can only do one thing at a time. Though he knows everything, he does not contribute anything if he do not transmit his knowledge to others and next generation. One person working will not better than ten persons working together with one heart. This is the limitation of “a person”. Unless that person can multiply himself, and all of the replicas have one heart like a community has one mind. But, is this possible? May be this is why human want to do the research about cloning human being. But, each person has his own abilities. The replication only duplicates the same abilities and same weaknesses, unless the person is a perfect man.

Today, it is hardly to find a person can sacrifice himself for the good of the community. Most of the people only look for their own good. Imagine that if one of your cells, take all the nutrients from the other cells, how can you live? You can live because your cells support each other. Besides that, old cells died, new cells born. This is just like old generations pass away, and new generation comes into the world. The material resources and knowledges are passed down to the new generation. Human beings should not only support each other, they should also need to think for the next generation, so that the community can live.

Chinese Bible

There are many translations of English bible. There are RSV (Revised Standard Version), NAB (New American Bible), New Jerusalem Bible, Jerusalem Bible, Christian Community Bible, and etc. Even Chinese bible got several translations.

I prefer 思高譯本 (Studium Biblicum) for the Chinese translation. The translation is used in the readings of the Chinese mass. But, these years, I heard another translation. I don’t know what is the name of the translation. Inside the translation, the name of James is translated as 雅格 instead of 雅各伯, Peter as 伯鐸 instead of 伯多祿。But this translation I only heard in daily mass, not Sunday mass.

Is the translation important? I personally feel yes. Because like James, Chinese translation is 雅各伯 which is same as Jacob, from that, we can know that James is a variation of Jacob. But, in my opinion, only read one type of translation is not enough.

Chinese input method editor (IME) for Windows XP

Windows XP is very good, because if you install with the East Asian Language, then you are able to type chinese with built-in IME (Input Method Editor).

And recently, introduced by my brother, Sogou Pinyin Input 搜狗拼音輸入法. Then I found that, there are other IMEs which are much better than XP built-in IME. And I also tried Goolge Pinyin Input 谷歌拼音輸入法, which is also very famous as Sogou Pinyin Input. If you like, you can try some other IMEs from here (very good, all are freeware).

FYI, both of Sogou Input and Google Input are using GB (simplified chinese) encoding, so you need to setup your XP to simplified chinese encoding first. So that there is no mojibake (亂碼).

Sogou Input and Google Input has a powerful input method, that is find the character stroke by stroke, the stroke input (筆畫輸入). You can find out more from here.

And I also compared both products, Sogou Input and Google Input. Then I prefer Sogou Input. Because Sogou’s stroke input is better than Google’s, because “豎” contains 勾 also (if you want to try, just type “u” for stroke input, then type “s” for 豎). But this is not the main reason. Main reason is that, during installation, Sogou is cleaner. It will not affect a lot on startup.

Bandwidth calculation

Because last time, the internet connection was too poor. So I wanted to look for alternative ISP. Then, I asked and asked. And always asked about the speed. Then, they always gave me the speed with unit “bps” (bit per second). What is this?

Most of the time, when we download, we will see the download speed, that is using kb/s (kilobyte per second). So, I search through internet, how to convert bps to kb/s.

So, this page (Convert bps into KB/s) explains clearly. So, if we subscribe the speed which is 512 kbps, that means we can download about 64 kb/s in full speed.

And sometimes, they told me a strange bandwidth speed, such as 1 gig. So, what is 1 gig, gigabyte or giga-bit (bps)? So confusing.

Sin Chew Daily 星洲日報

I like to read the news using feed. That is why I use Sage and FeedReader. Sage is the addon of Firefox. I prefer FeedReader. Because it can be installed as a portable version. Then I can subscribe RSS to the FeedReader.

Sin Chew Daily is one of my favourite, because it is chinese newspaper of Malaysia. And just found that, it provides RSS. Previously, it does not, so I need to browse the website. Now, it is easy to read the news through FeedReader.