Screen Find – Seeing the Wood in the Trees

I hope you have a nice big screen – or several of them. Nice huh?

Well all this real estate comes with a price. Some times the screens can hold so much information it is hard to find what you are looking for. Would it not be nice to be able to search for the word you are looking for in a huge list of dense text?

Sure almost every app has search, but can you search the dialogue boxes, the drop down menus, the image of a poster?

So why not have a system wide special key combo that triggered a find dialogue box. Type in ‘comment’ and the screens are captured, OCR’ed and then if the text is found an overlay highlight shows you where the word is.


Animating Alberto Garcia-Alvarez’s Phenakistoscopes using Magic

Tim Melville Gallery had an exhibition of Alberto Garcia-Alvarez’s work. I love the strong and bold colours. I guess with circles and a subject of ‘Time’ it was hard for me not to be enamoured. I explained to Tim that it would be easy to take the static images of the Phenakistoscopes and turn them into a movie to show what they really looked like if they were being used as intended. He said for me to try it and this story is the outcome.

With a little messing about, I managed this with the minimum of tools. Just a CMD batch file to loop through the commands, ImageMagick commands, and Gimp to find the centre and size of the circles.

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Configuring WordPress

I wanted to use one of the default blogging themes, so picked a simple one from WordPress themselves. This is Twenty Seventeen.

However a few changes were needed to get it working for posts with code in it.

The main single post width needed increasing. This does not help on the mobile media, but it helps a lot when viewing wide code snippets on a full size browser window.

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Buying a New Keyboard – The Mechanical Renascence

So you have an old Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 Keyboard and Mouse. You get used to it and it becomes your ‘personal standard’ for keyboards. It has full travel keypress and all the keys laid out the way you want them – the large Enter Key and the Media Mute key. But then it gets old and breaks and they don’t make that version anymore, so you look for the closest replacement. In this case the cheaper Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 2000. It’s OK and you put up with it, but the mouse starts to break as well. What to do…

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 Reviews | TechSpot
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 Keyboard (with the full size UK Enter Key)
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Streaming a Window Without Hardware

Given what OBS does (screen grab and encode) it would seem that there should be a simple way to capture a window and create a local video stream from it. This could then be viewed remotely served from your home PC, or used as an input in the composition for a stream scene.

This is clearly done using a HW video capture device, but that is expensive and given everything is already digital, seems like an odd detour.

An example use case for this is if you were using a separate Windows laptop of tablet for drawing and wanted to be able include it in a Twitch stream. Web cameras do this and use the RTSP protocol. So I went looking for a simple way to set this up on a new machine.

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