Scale Model Muscle Cars

Happy as I am to see the Camero back in production, I have to admit that I have a hard time taking these new ‘muscle’ cars seriously. Every time I encounter the ‘new’ Mustang in it’s many variants, I inevitably think “ah, a Mach II 2/3 scale model” or “there’s a 67 fastback 2/3 replica”. The Camero is just the latest in the miniature muscle car craze. The PT Cruiser really started the ball rolling, being a scaled down tribute to the ‘chopped coupe‘ that Hollywood has made famous in various period films over the years.

Nostalgia for the bygone years is great (…a gleaming Red Barchetta from a better, vanished time…) but how about we get away from re-living the past and actually see something new on the market; like a fully electric car that actually goes the distance, or some other alternative fuel vehicle that can really be relied upon, rather than another trip down memory lane that simply keeps us all stuck relying upon ‘fossil fuels‘ that get more expensive with each passing year?

Or maybe I’m the one who’s dreaming…

Image viewing and editing

One of the tech sites I frequent was asking “what editing software do you use?” I don’t have a video editor that I like (I’ve just gotten into fabricating my own PVR and I haven’t settled on an operating system yet, much less a video editor I like) but I definitely have an opinion on image viewing and editing…

Image Viewing: IRFanView

I hated this program when I first started using it. The sys-admin at one of my previous employers had loaded it as the default image viewer, and I could not understand why. After several years of fiddling with other programs, I can now tell you why.

Quick loading, and I mean FAST. Photoshop, JASC, etc, all take 10 minutes to load (or it feels like it) with IRfanview you double click and your image is right there.

Editing tools are very basic (which is why I hated the program initially) but they are more than sufficient to handle the average users requirements. Image scaling, lightening and darkening of the image, etc. If you want to major editing, get program made for editing. If you want to view images and do basic manipulation, IRfanview is the program for you.

Image editing: Gimp it

When I need to manipulate files, I pull out ‘The Gimp‘.

Why would you pay for Photoshop when this program does everything Photoshop does, and does it for less? Someone else posted this on the same thread, which sums it up for me:

I think that when you struggle for software in a particular area you should always start with free unless you are compelled. That way you can learn the technologies. the techniques, the strengths and the weaknesses. If the free software does what you need, then great! If it doesn’t, you’ll be able to look at the commercial offerings with specific questions and specific needs. This improves your chances of finding what you need on the first try without buying a lot of unnecessary software.

When I finally start taking the PVR seriously I might have a video editor to recommend. And I’ll be doing that right after I finish remodeling the house.

Recommending Firefox

I knew I was recommending it for a reason.

It’s just nice to have it backed up with statistics. Here’s a quote:

“Internet Explorer users are 21 times as likely to pick up spyware than Firefox users

I’ve been using Firefox for several years now, and installing it on systems that my boss (yeah, you, sweetheart) assigns me to fix, as well as recommending it to anyone who asks. All based on my own impression of it’s security, and nothing else.

…Until now.