|By Mark R. Hinkle||
|October 29, 2004 12:00 AM EDT||
In August, as the proverbial dog days of summer were upon us, I found that news in the Linux world slowed as many people went on vacation with their families. Consequently, these Linux users spent a considerable amount of time snapping large numbers of pictures, capturing memories of landmarks, friends, and family.
I too had the privilege of spending almost two weeks with my family on a trip through the Canadian Rockies where I amassed hundreds of pictures on my digital camera. Because storage is cheap and there's little incremental cost in taking digital pictures, I found myself in the situation where I had so many pictures I couldn't begin to organize them effectively without help. So I started to investigate options for organizing these pictures using Linux desktop software.
Extracting Images from Your Digital CameraThere was a time when extracting images from your digital camera to Linux was somewhat cumbersome. Those days have since passed since there are a number of Linux applications designed for use with your digital camera. Transferring pictures from your camera and various types of digital multimedia storage can be accomplished in a variety of ways. The following are the results of my research on how to acquire and manage these pictures on your Linux desktop and a firsthand account of my research.
gtkam is a popular application for extracting images from your digital camera, and it's very easy to use. Simply connect the camera cable and turn on the camera, then under the Camera menu choose Add Camera (see Figure 1). You should be able to navigate in a file explorer interface to the files stored on your camera. As with any third-party piece of software you may find that new cameras may not be immediately supported, but by and large the most popular digital cameras are supported well under gtkam.
Media ReadersWhen I travel I have more than enough chargers and cables so I don't synch my camera via cable. Instead I use a PCMCIA media card reader to take pictures off the flash card that I use in my digital camera and transfer them to my hard drive. I do this by using Konqueror to drag and drop pictures from my flash card to directories on my hard drive. I like this option because it allows me to also copy data including documents and presentations from one PC to another. The nice thing about this method is if you change your camera to one that is not well supported under Linux, you can still use your same tried and true method for transferring pictures. You can also use a USB flash reader that reads your flash card.
I like this option once again because it's not dependent on camera compatibilities. Also, if you have multiple flash cards like me you can download images off one card while the other card is in the camera. See the sidebar on how to mount your digital media via USB.
Linux Photo Album SoftwareUntil recently I knew very little about the image browsers and photo album software available on any platform, let alone Linux, so I decided to try out all that I could find. At the onset my agenda was to simply find something easy to use. With a little research I realized that what I wanted was the ability to organize, crop, and fix "bad" pictures, whether that meant darkening those taken in full sun or cropping out the head of an onlooker who spoiled my shot of a notable landmark.
You may be familiar with the Konqueror file browser included as an integral part of the KDE desktop or you may have even used Konqueror to browse the Web. This program is a virtual Swiss army knife of tools integrated into one program. For digital picture buffs you can use Konqueror to view a directory of images as thumbnails, and with its integrated image viewer capabilities you can view the images at their actual size (see Figure 2). You can also export the images to an HTML image gallery that you can view locally or upload to the Web. You can also choose which size thumbnails to use in your gallery, which can also serve double duty as a batch-resizing tool (providing you are okay with the 1,000 pixel-wide limitation). Overall, Konqueror is not the most robust tool for viewing and manipulating pictures but it's a well-integrated and easy to use one for viewing images.
kalbum is an image browser that was included with my KDE desktop. The kalbum image browser allows you to add data to images such as comments and to rotate them when necessary (see Figure 3). In addition, kalbum allows you to create a rudimentary photo album. If your primary goal is to efficiently view the images, kalbum is a fine choice; if your needs are a little more advanced, you should probably keep looking.
After looking at a number of photo manipulation packages I found that the application that worked best for me was digiKam. It provided a balance of organizational features, presentation formats, and photo editing. Not only can you view images in an album format, but you can manipulate them or even create an HTML photo album that you can upload to a Web site.
Viewing and Managing PhotosOne of the most important things for me with my newly acquired scores of digital pictures was the ability to browse through them and organize them so I could find what I wanted quickly. digiKam does a decent job of this. From an image management standpoint I like the way digiKam creates albums that can be designated by "collections" that you modify. These collections or categories then allow you to view by collection or album. In addition, you can right-click on the thumbnails within an album to rename them or add comments. Plus you may want to create slideshows when you share your pictures. Once again this little open source firecracker offers a number of interesting transition effects when viewing a slideshow.
The only thing that I dislike about the digiKam interface is the inability to view pictures in a three-frame interface. Each picture that I want to edit comes up in a separate window, but that can end up causing me to have a bunch of open windows. Rather than just complaining about it, I went to the KDE Web site and entered bug 9007 as a feature request. Maybe this functionality will show up in a future version. Either way it's good practice to try to provide feedback to the open source development community.
Editing PhotosIf you're a photography novice as I am, there's nothing you would like better than a second chance. However, that's not all that likely when you have that once-in-a-lifetime shot ruined by a thumb or maybe the wrong exposure. Not to worry. digiKam offers the ability to improve upon our mistakes. The first set of features doesn't alter the content of the picture so much as it removes or reorients the image. The cropping, rotating, and resizing of pictures are all pretty straightforward. You can double-click on a picture from the album view, which spawns the image in a screen where you can directly edit it; a right-click gives you a menu with numerous options. To trim a picture just drag a selection box (clicking and holding the left-mouse button) and then right-click to choose crop and the back of someone's head is instantly removed from a shot.
In addition to the ability to manipulate the size and shape of the picture, digiKam can also alter the content, including adjusting the brightness and contrast or correcting the gamma. (Gamma correction is important for viewing pictures on a computer screen, so if you want to share your images through a Web site, this may be of greater importance than if you just want to print them out.)
Plug-insAlso available for the digiKam package are a number of plug-ins that extend the functionality of the program. At the time of my research there were nine documented plug-ins that would try to help improve your picture for printing (e.g., adjust levels, noise reduction), as well as special effects plug-ins like an oil painting plug-in and a raindrops special effect. I would guess that more plug-ins are in the works.
Advanced Photo Editing with the GIMP(www.GIMP.org)
Something would be amiss if I mentioned photo editing and didn't mention one of the most popular and powerful image editing tools available for Linux and other platforms as well. This package is known as the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). The GIMP is a powerful multiplatform photo manipulation tool. If you are familiar with the popular Adobe Photoshop program (www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/main.html), you'll probably find the GIMP somewhat familiar.
You can use GIMP to create vignettes, add text, or alter the pictures in a variety of ways (see Figure 4). You can even create alterations using the extensive filters to distort or add special effects to an image. Plus, the GIMP does have the ability to acquire images right from your camera. I can't begin to do justice to all the features in this powerful image-manipulation package but, whether you are a Linux user or a user of another operating system, the GIMP is well worth checking out.
SummaryHopefully you now have all the information you need to manipulate and view digital pictures on your Linux desktop. Also, it's interesting to note that all the software highlighted in this article falls under a free license so the acquisition cost of this software is pretty much limited to your time and your bandwidth. Also, if you are so inclined, you can even improve upon the work by authoring an improvement or helping with the product to meet your needs and probably that of someone else.
USB Media Readers and LinuxWhen it comes to extracting pictures from your digital camera, you can either read from the camera or read the media. If you lose your camera cable (as I have done many times), it may be easier just to read the media from your camera directly whether it be flash RAM, SmartCard, or some other format. I have both a PCMCIA flash card reader that, as far as Linux is concerned, looks like a hard drive and a USB flash card reader. Since the latter is most likely the situation you'll be in, I'll share the following steps to mount your card and copy your files from the portable medium to your PC.
Step 1: Locate Your USB DriveAs you may already know, Linux devices are listed in the /dev directory. This is also the place to find your USB devices. My guess is that once you have plugged in your USB reader with the storage card, your card will be /dev/sda1. There are a number of ways to try to discern what device name is assigned to your hardware, but my experience has shown the fastest way is to just try to mount the device, and if you get errors try the next one. For example, try to mount /dev/sda1. If that doesn't work, try sda2, sda3, etc. Then you can try the same procedure with /dev/sdb1...you get the picture. However, if you want to try to be more scientific, try to identify the USB controller that's mapped to an SCSI device on your system using sg_map. As the root user you can run sg_map -i to find out which is your compact flash drive. Here's an example of my results from my laptop with a USB flash reader:
[email protected]:~> su
linux:/home/mrhinkle # sg_map -i
/dev/sg0 /dev/sda Generic STORAGE DEVICE 1.01
Note that my storage device is at /dev/sda# where in this case the number is 1.
Step 2: Mount the DeviceMounting a file system simply means attaching a hardware device to the Linux file system somewhere in the hierarchy. In my case I have a /mnt directory, so to mount my flash drive I do the following:
linux:/mnt # mkdir flash
linux:/mnt # mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/flash
linux:/mnt # cd /mnt/flash
linux:/mnt/flash # ls
. .. bootex.log dcim found.000 found.001 misc system .Trash-mrhinkle
The first step was to make a directory or mount point (mkdir /mnt/flash) at the point where I wanted to access the card. The second part is to execute the mount command, which requires you to be root or superuser. The anatomy of the command is as follows:
- mount: The command to attach a file system
- -t: The flag for type
- vfat: The argument indicating the file system type (which is a DOS format)
- /dev/sda1: The device hosting the file system I want to access
- /mnt/flash: The directory where I want to mount the file system
Step 3: Copying FilesOnce you have your digital medium mounted at the directory point, you can copy the files by navigating back and forth through your favorite graphical file manager (Konqueror for KDE users, Nautilus for Gnome users), or simply dragging and dropping files from one window to another.
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 30, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 9,434
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Apr. 30, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 6,233
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 30, 2017 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,756
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Apr. 30, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,087
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 30, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,453
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 30, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,202
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Apr. 29, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 9,243
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Apr. 29, 2017 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,821
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 29, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,782
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,611
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,648
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Apr. 29, 2017 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,561
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Apr. 29, 2017 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,290
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Apr. 29, 2017 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,583
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Apr. 29, 2017 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,466
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
Apr. 29, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,112
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
Apr. 29, 2017 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 840
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Apr. 29, 2017 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,380
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Apr. 29, 2017 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,573
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 29, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,606