Linux & Windows – Photoscape update.

Since the July article Linux and Software for Windows I’ve continued to use Both Windows 7 & 10 operating systems using VirtualBox.

I can now report that there has been a few issues, some which I haven’t found an answer too as yet. Most likely this is due to be not being particularly well versed in the finer points of using VirtualBox.

Win7.

My focus has been on using both the standard and windows 10 versions of Photoscape as this is Freeware and available to all Linux users. On my native Linux operating system I use Photoscape V3.7 and run it using the MS software emulation Q4Wine and it runs pretty well if a little slower than on a native Windows system. Running the same version Photoscape V3.7 on VirtualBox 5.2.32 was the same as running under Win7 native install. The only issue with this was my printer was not recognised by VirtualBox no matter what I did. But for editing files and placing them in an edits folder for printing later was a seamless and fast operation. Performance of Photoscape V3.7 was excellent.

Win10.

Running Photoscape X in Virtual Box with windows 10 was very good as well, however I had exactly the same issue with VirtualBox and my printer, so again it was edit the files, save them then print from my Linux OS.

Photoscape X has all the power that V3.7 has but with a good deal more tools available and there are even more tools available should you choose to purchase the full Pro version and the cost is minimal especially compared to what some of the more Pro level editors can set you back. One irritation with Photoscape X is the Clone Stamp tool.

In the 3.7 version this is a standard tool, where as in the X version its considered a Pro level tool and you have to pay for the Pro Version to be able to use this tool. Make up your own minds about this, but for me it is enough for me to for go using this version as earlier versions included this for free.

Of the three ways that I can run Photoscape, I find the best result is from Photoscape V3.7 running in Win7 via VirtualBox. The operation and performance of Photoscape is fast and seamless and feels exactly like it did when I run it purely in a full windows PC.

I also tried running both Windows OS’s in the latest Version (6.10.1) of VirtualBox and unfortunately Photoscape wouldn’t run at all, so there appears to be some issue(s) surrounding the latest version and its extension that have yet to be sorted out so for now I will continue using the earlier version of VirtualBox.

Edited using Photoscape V3.7 in Win7 via VirtualBox

As for printing, thats currently being done from my native Linux OS which I will detail with in a later update.

 

A new phone and a haircut.

Whats a haircut got to do with a phone?

Last week while on a job site some lowlife broke into my vehicle and stole my Samsung S6 which I had been planning to buy off the company I work for. By pure serendipity I had been viewing phone models that same morning, with the intention of replacing my wife’s failing ACE 3 from Samsung. It had come down to two phones the slightly higher specced Galaxy J5 Pro or the more modest Galaxy J3 Pro.

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Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro

To replace my S6 I went with the J3 Pro, as I didnt want to invest too much in what is essentially a “work” phone. I was concerned that the lower spec would show up in the performance area but I need not have been concerned. The speed of operation is almost as fast as the S6 and being newer than the S6 does seem to exhibit some faster performance in certain operations, not that the S6 was slow by any means. So I’m well pleased with all the essential tasks being performed very nicely. Bear in mind that while modest games can be played on this phone, for the bleeding edge stuff such as 4k video or high end gaming you would need to look elsewhere.

The phone comes equipped with a 5Mp front facing camera and a 13 Mp f1.9 rear camera. Sadly no image stabilisation, which could be a problem when shooting video ( not tested yet ) but seemed to be of little real issue when taking photos in part due to the fast f1.9 lens.

The camera did tend to hunt a little for focus on occasion but when you set the focus point you want it had no difficulty and for the most part didnt have an issue with focus in general. All of the images shown below are taken inside my favourite Hairdresser,  The Barber Shop,  Arawata Street, Te Awamutu. The internal lighting is Neon Tube and the camera had no issue with the white balance. I never changed any setting on the camera and shot straight out of the box, much as what most people would do with their phone.

The results were pretty good, images were sharp, colour balance is good and the focus was good with only a very small shutter release delay, certainly no worse than my S6 in this regard. One of the outstanding things I noted with this camera was its ability to shoot in these conditions at extremely low ISO with none of the images below being over ISO 80 and some as low as ISO 40. Thats an outstanding performance from a phone camera and bodes well for low light shooting which I will report back on once I have had more time to use this phone.

Note all images below are straight out of the camera with no post processing applied. I have tried a couple of edits for shadows on some of the darker images but there is not very much headroom in the files to recover shadows, so it will be a what you see is what you get type of output. I did note that the camera was set in HDR mode and it seems to be pretty good at retaining highlights but does seem to struggle with some of the denser shadow areas, but in general the output is certainly good enough for small/medium prints and for internet use. When viewed at full resolution you can see that the images dont hold up so well. I would be inclined to resize the images to a smaller format to maintain better image structure. Jpegs are  easy to do this to moreso that some file types. I dont think I would print anything larger than A4, but that should still provide a decent print.

My thanks to the lovely lady who owns and operates this barbershop. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t expecting to be the centre of focus for one of my blog posts. For a relaxed haircut and a chat, I cant think of anyone more obliging ( or tolerant for allowing me to do this ).

As always click the images for a larger size.