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Pictomio – Image Catalog Software uses 3D Accelleration

Adobe take note – you need to add 3D acceleration to your software. I’ve just checked out Pictomio and it really has a kick-ass GUI which utilizes your 3D accelerating video card to view and zoom photos. This provides a much better viewing experience than my current image library software, Adobe Photoshop Elements. Photoshop elements uses what I assume is a 2D rendering of photos – both zooming and scrolling through your photos is slugging even on my fairly new PC. Take a look at Pictomio:


It is a pretty screenshot but you need to actually use the software to appreciate how smooth the GUI functions. This reminds of me of Coverflow and Apple – purchase this technology and incorporate it into your product Adobe – or your image library software will be out of date in no time.

Photoshop Elements releases about 1 version per year, and I do not see any reason to upgrade every year. First of all, it is expensive compared to other image cataloging software; secondly the number of features that are added just don’t justify the expense every year. Usually the updates are small little features that I do not use.

On another note; I also came across PicaJet which is another image catalog and management system and it also uses 3D acceleration in it’s interface. If Adobe doesn’t come around soon I may switch my 30,000+ photo catalog over!

Download Pictomio!

Awesome Java based IRC Client

If you are looking for a great Java based IRC client, I would suggest PJIRC. It is really easy to integrate into your web pages; and includes the html code that you need to embed it onto a page. It is very flexible, for example you can tell it to automatically join a server that you specify, and have it automatically execute a command, such as joining a channel.

It’s a small download, and runs really quickly, which was always a downside of the other IRC Java applets I’ve tried. The GUI really isn’t too bad. It has tabs for different channels, a full scroll window, right click ability for whois, op, de-op, and more.

Download PJIRC

PowerDNS flexible, fast DNS Server

I’ve recently been testing/installing PowerDNS for a web hosting provider. Man am I impressed. You have a number of options to choose for a backend to PowerDNS, my choice is the mysql (gmysql) backend. The DNS server basically relies on a MySQL server to store all of the data. Why is this so great you ask? You can then replicate this SQL data to a number of other DNS servers, across the datacenter or across the country.

The one feature I had a hard time implementing was the “supermaster” or “superslave” feature. This allows another server to be the “supermaster” server, thus allowing zone transfers (axfr) from this other server. I had to dig for this info so I hope someone else finds it helpful.

You need to add an entry into the “supermasters” table (this goes for the mysql and pgsql backends):
insert into supermasters ("10.0.0.11","ns1.yourserver.com","internal");
From then on, notifies from this supermaster IP including the ns record “ns1.yourserver.com” will
will lead to the provisioning of a slave domain under the account “internal” or other account of your choosing.

Once you have powerDNS set up, try using PowerAdmin for a GUI frontend to PowerDNS. It works great and gives you a nice interface to work with (no more editing those ugly named conf files!)

Postfix as a proxy to Exchange server

More and more people seem to be using an open source mail server on linux, such as Postfix, to proxy e-mails coming in from the net and relaying them to their exchange server. I know I’ve had this type of setup since January and it has been working really well for me. It gives you the ability to do advanced spam and antivirus filtering on messages, while keeping the easy to use GUI interface for creating exchange mailboxes. When will we get a great e-mail client so we can finally ditch the Exchange/Outlook setup that most businesses rely on? I know I haven’t found a solution that comes close (I’m sorry, Evolution for Win32 needs to come a bit further, and Thunderbird isn’t even close).

Anyway, once you have this system set up (there are some great instructions here, maybe I will cover this more another day), you may wish to sync up your Exchange users with your postfix “relay users” in order to trash messages coming in who are not addressed to anyone on the Exchange server. This will free up CPU cycles on the exchange server postfix server, and also reduce some bandwidth. Fortunately, Exchange 2000 and beyond use LDAP to publish this information. You can use Perl’s Net::LDAP module to grab this information. Chris Covington put together this nice script to grab the Exchange users and post to a file, which can then be postmapped and used in relay_recipient_maps. I hope you find it as useful as I did! [Local Mirror of the Script]