Friday, November 14, 2008

A Foray in Multimedia

Day 11

We had our awards ceremony at school, and all went well. I connected the Eee to an LCD projector to play a java version of Jeopardy with the kids and to show a brief Oo Impress slide. I had zero connectivity problems. The Dell laptops that the school has assigned to the projector carts often spent valuable class time searching for a signal. The Eee connected immediately and toggled between the LCD and its own screen flawlessly by using Fn+F5.

I know very little about LCD resolutions, lumens, or any other factor that contributes to the quality of the projection. At first glance, I didn't notice any difference in quality between the Eee through the projector and the typical performance of the Dell. But screens that were more text than images definitely seemed grittier. I don't think anyone noticed but me, but it makes me curious to see what a movie would look like.

After the awards, one of the teachers on my team dropped off a digital camera loaded with pictures from the day. We like to keep our team website up to date, so getting those pictures formatted and posted was a priority. I mentioned in an earlier post how easy it was to install Gimp on the Eee, but this was my chance to really get my hands dirty in some bulk image editing.First challenge - getting the image files to a place where they can be stored. My plan was to use the SD slot on the Eee and, in the interest of saving space, transfer them directly to an 8GB USB flash drive. Each file hovered just above 1mb and there were 46 total. I selected all from the SD and copied them into the flash drive. It only took about 30 seconds. So far, so good.

For our site, I like to keep the pictures at 400 X 300 - that way they aren't too small, but not large enough to warrant making thumbnails. In my Windows days (it seems much longer than 11 days ago!) I would simply open all 46 files into Photoshop and do some quick cropping and resizing. I had a feeling that my little machine wouldn't fare so well with everything at once, so I opted to only do ten files at a time. Gimp lagged a bit, and it took around a minute to open each set of files, but with the factory-installed 512 ram, it's about what I expected.

I'm not sure of the pixel size of the camera, but the images were 3072 X 2304 with a resolution of 72. Cropping, resizing, and saving files on Gimp was comparable to Photoshop both in difficulty and amount of time needed.

Today's work on the Eee proved that while it may not be a media superstar, it can hold its own for presentations and image editing.

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