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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Automating Actions in Photoshop

Recently I had to edit several hundred images. The point was that I had to do the same thing to all the images. So I struggled a bit to find a way to automate the process. In this way Adobe Photoshop will do the same actions to all the images without my involvement. Cool right, Ok then before explaining the way to do this I'll explain what I am going to do.


To make things simple, just imagine that you need to put some text to some images and needs to save the images as Jpeg. First things first, so open one image from your image set after starting Adobe Photoshop (Please note that I am using Adobe Photoshop CS2).

1. We need to record our actions to make Photoshop repeat them on other images.

Open the Actions pane by clicking on Window -> Actions or pressing Alt + F9.

Now create a new Set by clicking on the folder like icon at the bottom of the actions pane. When new set window comes put a name that you want. I kept the default name which was Set 1.

Then create a new Action by clicking on the small icon located little right to the New Set icon.

In the New Action window you can specify a name (Action 1), a set which this action will belong, a key combination to initiate the action and a color for the action if you want.

Now you are ready to record the actions. After double checking whether the Begin Record button (Circuler button as the second button from the left in the Action pane.) is activated, use the Horizontal Type Tool (T) to insert the required text into the image. Format the text as you want.

Since now we are done with the required actions, stop the Recording by clicking on the Stop Playing/Recording button (The left most button [rectangular] on the Action pane.) Note that not only putting text, you can do many things available in Photoshop at this point and record to Automate later.

2. Now you have successfully created the repitative tasks. What you have to do now is to perform all these tasks on the images you have.

If all the images you want to change are not in the same folder put all of them to one folder. Having images inside sub folders are ok.

Then Click on File -> Scripts -> Image Processor.


In Image Processor select the second radio button at Step 1 and click on Select Folder... button and select the folder where your images are.

Select the Step 2 as you like. (What I choose is to save the images on a folder named New Folder under my original folder)

Select the Save as Jpeg check box and type appropriate quality in Step 3 (5 in my case).

In the Step 4 select the set (Set 1) and action (Action 1) you have created above.

If you want any Copyright information you can enter them also.
After selecting everything click on Run to start the batch process.

You will be able to see Photoshop automating. How helpful is this? Was a lot to me.
Happy playing with images.
Installing Visual Studio 2005 SP1


Did you try installing SP1 for Visual Studio without any errors? If not or if you are still did not start the installation some of the following details will help.

The list of things that Microsoft had fixed in Visual Studio 2005 SP1 is located at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=918526.

Most of the time the setup will fail due to the insufficient disk space. So before trying to install the SP1 check whether you have at least 6.3 GBs of free disk space. If you have installed VS in other partition than Windows I recommend to check for free disk space in both partitions.
Another common error which can happen when installing this is,

Error 1718. File FileName was rejected by digital signature policy.

This error is due to the Software Restriction Policies (also known as SAFER) that exist in the operating systems that came after Windows XP. This was introduced to help users avoid running unsafer files. SAFER will be used by Windows Installer to check the file signatures to confirm that the files were not tampered. Note that this error can happen when installing any large Windows installer package or Windows installer patch.

This error occurs when there is no contiguous piece of virtual memory to accommodate the file. Then the Windows installer will fail to validate the file and result in this error.

There are few things you can do to fix this,

1. You can edit the registry to make the PolicyScope value to 1 before you install the package.

2. By changing the SAFER settings to allow administrators to install the package.

3. Installing the hotfix if you are running Windows 2003,

For any of this you can get more information from Microsoft by visiting http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=925336.

Apart from that Visual Studio SP1 release note can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=928957.

Also I suggest that you refer Heath Stewart's articles for more installation tips. Heath is Technical Lead working at Microsoft http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths/archive/tags/VS+2005+SP1/default.aspx.

Even though I had no luck recovering the applications without formatting the system which crashed with the failed installation of Visual Studio SP1, I guess you will have much more luck after reading these articles.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Have you tried Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free tool provided by Google which will analyze your web site usage. It will monitor your site and will generate reports such as
* number of users visited
* number of minutes spent on the site
* peak times
* place where users came
* what explorer used, etc.
This list is simply a short list of features. See for your self by visiting,

https://www.google.com/analytics/home.

You can log in using your GMail Id and password. Then you have to add your site to analytics and it will give you a script file which you needs to put in to your site. That's all to worry then Google will do the reporting to you.
Happy analysis.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

World's Smallest Mobile Phone - WatchPhone


Have you seen the cool gadget SMS M 500. This is a watch with basic phone functionalities. This will include facilities and features such as

* Full SMS and MMS functionality
* MP3 Support AAC/MP3 and MP4 Support Video Playing
* Touchscreen with Built-in Stylus
* Memory: 128MB Built-in Memory
* Battery: 400mAh, Talk Time 200 Minutes, Standby Time 80 Hours
* USB: For Data Transfer and Recharging
* Bluetooth 2.0
* Date/Time
* Last Number Redial
* Recent Calls
* Missed Calls
* File Manager
* 199 Contacts
* Multi Languages
* Flight Mode
* Email
Roughly this will be priced around A$ 1000 (Australian Dollar 1000).
For the full details please visit the manufacturer SMS Australia at http://www.mymobilewatch.com/watch_specification.php.
Clearing Windows History


Have anyone tried removing items in Windows history as in Run window history items, most recent documents, web browser history, most recent applications like stuff?
As usual, a bizzare requirement of deleting the Run window history came to me.

After some wondering here and there I found that there is a registry position where the Run window history is recorded. You can find that entry at

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU

in the registry editor. (To open Registry Editor go to Run window and type RegEdit.)
All the history entries dropped in the Run window will be in the list. If you wants to edit or delete an entry you can edit or remove them using the registry editor.
In some scenarios this list will be empty even though there are items in the Run history. In such a case there is an option you can set so that the next restart will erase all the history items. This method is really good if you want to start fresh removing al history items. This will remove Run history, recent programs, recent documents, internet browser history, etc by one shot.
Interested, ok so to do this first open the registry editor. Then go to the following location

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Now you need to add a Binary Value named ClearRecentDocsOnExit (Edit -> New -> Binary Value), then make the binary value of that to 1 (Edit -> Modify Binary Data).
The next time you shutdown or restart Windows it will take little longer to shutdown because it is clearing the history items. After you start again you will be free of your history items.

If you always want to start fresh at each restart keep the setting as it is. If you just needed to clear the history at that point like me you have to either delete the value we made or have to make the binary vale 0 so it will not clear the history at each restart. If you needs to change this find the ClearRecentDocsOnExit value and modify the value to read 0 so windows will keep your activity history.
Back in Sri Lanka

Came back to home sweet home. Even though the country is having problems at the moment it feels nice to be here in my motherland.
On my way back I enjoyed Singapore little bit.
If you would like to know more please see my photo album named Singapore. I think Singapore airport is one of the best airports in the world providing great facilities to travellers. From the airports which I have been I can say Singapore is the best. Their idea of having themed parks inside the airport is a brilliant idea. Also I heard that they are building there new terminal (Terminal 3) with much more features. So I guess anyone going to Singapore won't be disappointed.