Sunday, 31 July 2016

GimpGuru's Tutorial For Smart Sharpen - Streamlined

There is this great tutorial by GimpGuru for sharpening pictures without amplifying the inherent noises. However, the first time when I followed his instructions, I fumbled: I didn't get my sharpened picture; I got confused instead.

But with some perseverance, I succeeded in the end.

I thought of streamlining his tutorial as I know that I will be using it often. But a day later, I found an even better tutorial/technique, '"Smart" Sharpening, Redux', also from GimpGuru. I particularly like the ability in this second technique in adjusting and observing the sharpening level, WYSIWYG-style, by merely sliding the "Opacity" slider left or right in the "Levels" dialog window.

In case if you are wondering, I fumbled on the second tutorial too the first time round - I got confused just like the first.

Tutorial - Made Simple

Below are my simplified instructions for the second method by GimpGuru. Have fun! I am using GIMP version 2.6.9, by the way.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Cheapest Internet Data Plan That I Could Find

My Wimax modem for connecting to the Yes network, a Yes Buzz 4G Cloud Phone by Samsung

As parents to school-going children, my wife and I are entitled to one 1BestariNet Yes ID each. Each of these Yes IDs is internet ready but data is capped at 200 MB. 400 MB from these two IDs is just about right for our needs, and I have been using these two IDs for over the last year or so, for free. My WiMAX modem is actually a "Yes Buzz 4G Cloud" phone by Samsung, a gift that was given to my family as our first digital camera actually.

Unfortunately, somebody decided to revise the 1BestariNet programme recently. Beginning July 2016, no data is allocated to our 1BestariNet Yes IDs anymore. From now on I will have to purchase my own internet data. Only one thing to do now: time to go shopping.

Back To Basics

I find shopping for the ideal internet plan to be cumbersome. Telcos tend to offer products that look similar but differentiated by some minor add-on that makes an apple-to-apple comparison impossible. The end result for me: confusion.

To simplify things, what I did was to go back to basics: I just look at my requirements, my needs.

What do I need? - Internet data

Do I need voice calls - No

Do I need SMS - No

Do I need free media streaming services? - No

Cloud storage? - No

Data roll over to the following month? - Maybe

And this is what I could find that matches what I want: a data add-on product from Yes (again?) to my 1BestariNet Yes ID:

4 Giga Bytes of Internet data valid for 30 days for RM 31.80 (including GST tax)

The cheapest option that I could find; no voice, no SMS (which isn't a concern to me); just plain internet broadband data all 4GB of it for RM 31.80. There is no additional hardware to buy since what I have is adequate. I would have gone for a much cheaper/lower-data-allocation option that is closer to my usage pattern but 4 GB is the minimal on offer. Beggars can't be choosers, they say.