About

Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

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Wednesday, 06 May 2015, 21:48

post google code post

Well nobody bothered to comment about the stuff i removed from google code apart from the one lad or lass who lamented the loss of some javafx demos.

I had comments open+moderated for a few weeks but got hit by spammers a couple of days ago so had to go back to id+moderated. Maybe something got lost in those 500 bits of snot but i don't think so. The spam was quite strange; most mentioned web sites but didn't provide links or weren't very readable so i'm not sure what the point was. Perhaps they're just fishing for open sites or naive moderators they can then exploit. Like the "windows computer department" that keeps calling and calling hoping i'll not tell them to fuck off every time (sigh, no i don't normally say that although i would tonight).

I've still got the subversion clones but i'm not inclined to do much with any of it for the forseeable future and i'm not even sure if i'm going to continue publishing other bits of code i play with going forward.

Desktop Java, OpenCL, ARM assembly language; these things are just not very common in the Free Software world. Server Java is pretty common but that's just, well, `open sauce' companies sharing costs and not hobbyists. So i think all i'm really doing is providing hints or solutions for some student's homework or help for graduate programmers to keep their jobs. And even then it's so niche it wouldn't be many, if any.

As an example of niche, I was looking up some way to communicate with adobe photoshop that doesn't involve psd format and one thing i came across was someone linking to one of my projects for some unfinished experiments with openraster format - on the first page of results. This happens rarely but still too often. Of course it could just be the search engine trying to be smart and tuning results to the user, which is a somewhat terrifying possibility (implications beyond these types searches of course). FWIW I came to the conclusion photoshop is just one of those proprietary relics from the past which intentionally refuses to support other formats so it's idiot users can continue to be arse-reamed by its inflated price.

It's just a hobby

As a hobby i have no desire to work on larger projects of my own or other established projects in my spare time. Occasionally i'll send in a patch to a project but if they want a bunch of fucking around then yeah, ... naah. In hindsight i somewhat regret how we did it on evolution but i think i've mentioned that before. Neither do i need to solicit work or build a portfolio or just gain experience.

I'm not sure how many hobbyists are around; anyone with remotely close to enough skill seems to be jumping into the wild casinos of app-stores or services and expecting to make billion$ and not just doing it for the fun of it. Some of those left over just seem to be arrogant egotistical fuckwits (and some would probably think the same of me). Same as it ever was I guess.

I suppose I will continue to code-drop even if it's just out of habit.

For another hobby I made kumquat marmalade on the weekend. Spent a couple of hours in the sun slicing the tiny fruit and extracting seeds (2-3 cups worth of seeds) and cooked it the next day. Unfortunately after all that effort it looks like it wasn't cooked quite enough and it probably wont set - it's a bit runny but at least it tastes good. Not sure what i'll do with 2-odd litres of the stuff though.

Tagged beagle, code, imagez, jjmpeg, mediaz, parallella, pdfz, puppybits, readerz, socles, videoz.
Friday, 13 March 2015, 13:25

ahh shit, google code is being scrapped

Joy. I guess it's not making google enough money.

I'll make a copy of all my projects and then delete them. Probably sooner rather than later (probably immediately because i'd rather get it out of the way, i have a script going now). I'm keeping all the commit history for now although i never find it particularly useful. Links in old posts may break.

Some of them may or may not appear later somewhere else, or they may just sit on my hdd until i forget about them and delete them by accident or otherwise.

Wherever they end end up though it wont be in one of the other commercial services because i'm not interested in doing this again.

I need to do the same to this blog, ... but that can wait.

Update: So ... it seems someone did notice. Don't worry i've got a full backup of everything. In part I was pissed off with google and in part I wanted to make it immediately obvious it was going away to see if anyone actually noticed. Who could know from the years of feedback i've never received.

If you are interested in particular projects then add a comment about them anywhere on this blog. All comments are moderated so they wont appear till i let them through but there is no need to post more than once (i'll delete any nonsense or spam unless it makes you look like a bit of a wanker). I will see about enabling anonymous comments for the moment if they are not already on. I can then decide what to do depending on the interest.

I will not be using github or sourceforge nor the like.

In a follow-up post i'll see where i'm going with them as well as pondering the future location and shape of the blog itself. I've already written some stuff to take the blogger atom stuff, strip out the posts, download images, and fix the urls.

(in resp to Peter below) I knew the writing was on the wall when google code removed binary hosting: it's kinda useless for it's purpose without it. This is why all my new projects subsequent to that date are hosted differently.

Tagged android, beagle, code, dusk, games, gloat, hacking, imagez, jjmpeg, mediaz, pdfz, puppybits, readerz, socles.
Friday, 24 May 2013, 11:50

on google

So google have decided to disable downloads on google code.

So I have decided to stop using it.

... although as yet I have no concrete plans or timeline for when this decision will take effect.

Whilst they claim it's about abuse, one can only assume that is just a "likely-sounding excuse" for what in reality is just another straight-up lie from the PR department of a supra-national conglomerate, and it's really just a way to cut costs and promote their 'drive' service (a useless microsoft/apple only service as far as i'm concerned).

Nobody seems to have reported that they have also gimped their POP interface to gmail a couple of days ago. No more UID support. This makes POP a lot less reliable/useful as a mail store (although in honesty it was never designed for that purpose). I proceeded to delete all the mail in gmail to help them free up some disk space.

I guess over-all the writing is on the wall. We all know that at some point 'google account' will mean 'google+', and blogger may be retired at any time.

So it seems my on-going-but-totally-lax search for alternatives to 'everything google for convenience' just got another big kick up the rump-side.

As my projects are all pretty small and low-volume I might look at a local solution because every network based solution faces the same problem. I have a couple of beagleboards doing nothing although getting a running and secure-enough system might be more pain than it's worth.

It's a bit of a pain to have to deal with.

Tagged beagle, dusk, hacking, imagez, java, javafx, jjmpeg, mediaz, pdfz, puppybits, rants, readerz, socles, videoz.
Sunday, 04 December 2011, 22:31

DTCWT denoising

So I poked at the wavelet code enough to get it to work, and included it in ImageZ. It still fails with certain sized images, but oh well ...It's based on the dual-tree quaternion wavelet, and does a quaternion-to-complex translation during the thresholding which produces a cleaner de-noised result (i.e. it is still using a dual-tree-complex-wavelet-transform ...). I haven't particularly tried to optimise it much - but it's already about 3-4x faster than the DCT Denoising algorithm I implemented earlier (for which there is little opportunity for further improvement). It also implements the sharpen algorithm I developed, which I wasn't able to get to work with the DCT code.

I've started working on the OpenCL version for socles as well, but it's got a way to go yet.

The de-noising isn't my primary interest in this stuff, it's just a freebie to test some of the algorithms and is interesting nonetheless.

Update: Yes it's been a long time between drinks, but I finally poked at the socles GPU version again nearly 3 months later, see this follow-up post.

Tagged hacking, imagez, java, mediaz, socles.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011, 19:20

DCT denoising

Ok now the weekend's over, time to calm down and stop ranting ... ;-) Bummer about Australia losing though, apart from some real shockers right from the kick-off they did calm down and start playing fairly well. When they did have a good run - and they had a few - they were let down badly by not enough support at the breakdown. Still, NZ deserved winners ... And channel 9's race-caller sucked the whole way through.I just found this very well put together site about using the discrete cosine transform (DCT) to do threshold de-noising in a manner similar to the wavelet threshold denoising and sharpening I mentioned before.DCT Denoising

Very slick, complete with well formatted mathematics that puts most microsoft-word based papers to shame, GPL3 source and on-line demo!

I downloaded the code and modified it not to add the noise and tried it myself on Lenna:

The results are effectively the same as with the complex DTCWT version for moderate settings - visually even the artefacts it introduces are the same.

In the form provided however it is somewhat more computationally intensive - it's sliding window is offset by single pixels, and the way the C++ is written isn't the most efficient. I wonder how well it would work with a hanning window and 4 pixel offsets. I wonder if it can also sharpen - from a quick search it looks like it can.

Very interesting, and it also works with colour images in smarter ways than just processing each channel separately.

When I get the time I'll look at coding this up for ImageZ and socles,

although I just noticed blogger mucked up something else - looking at images - so the threshold of having to do something about that is ever approaching

(I found the option to disable 'lightbox' mode).Update: Just another advert for Java. It looked simple enough so I coded up a version in Java using an 8x8 DCT and it runs single-threaded over 3x faster than the C++ version, including the JVM startup or over 4x once it's going. Rather than generate all 255 025(!) patches, transform, threshold, inverse, and merge, it fully processes a single patch each time: requiring that much less DCT memory (i.e. rather a lot - over 62MB less). So that's 0.9s vs 3.9s for this 512x512 mono image. Although I can't fathom why my version needs 1/2 the threshold to give a similar result ...Update: See follow-on post where i mention implementing it in OpenCL for socles.Update: I've now added it to ImageZ. DCT8Denoise is the main entry point. I changed it to work with separate colour planes rather than planes stored in a single array, just to make it easier to invoke from ImageZ. It's only single-threaded atm.

Tagged hacking, imagez, mediaz, socles.
Saturday, 08 October 2011, 15:00

Sharpening ImageZ

I thought it about time to fix a few little bits and pieces with ImageZ that I actually use ... so I tackled some of that. I fixed some of the wiener deconvolution code - so that odd-sized images work for instance. I also tried thoroughly thread-ising it, although I only got a modest performance boost: jtransforms is already using multiple threads for the FFT which is the expensive bit.

Unsharp mask in a feathered mask. I dialed it up to make it obvious.

Unsharp mask is something I always find really handy, so I finally coded that up too. Rather than start with the mess of the Gaussian filter code I already I have i coded another one from scratch. A bit simpler so I will merge and share the code at some point, or at least put it in a common place. It also mirrors the edges rather than clamping, which seems to produce a more natural response on the edges.

There are still a couple of things I use the gimp for that i'd rather not have to, but I guess that can wait for another day.

I really need to get out of the house this weekend, but i've pretty much pulled up all the weeds, it's been raining enough to water the garden, and the neighbours were using a chainsaw this morning. So I just found myself stuck at the computer again ... and I might watch the rugby on soon too.

Tagged hacking, imagez, java.
Sunday, 21 August 2011, 14:43

Visual Selections

After hitting the bottle with a couple of mates last night I ended up sleeping on the couch (too lazy to make my bed after washing the sheets), woke up about 6:30 feeling a bit ordinary but I thought i'd get some hacking out of the way because I was awake and couldn't really face too much else.

I continued to work on removing the Piccolo2D stuff - which I completed. Now i'm just using plain Java2D for the rendering. Of course, one of the big reasons I did it was so I could zoom without making the handles scale as well ... and of course I forgot to implement that so it all zooms anyway. No biggy ... at least it seems to work. And it should be relatively simple to implement it.

I still need quite a bit of code to implement interesting interface behaviour ... but at least it is no worse than the Piccolo2D stuff was before it.

As part of that I visited the selection code. Some time ago I had the idea of being able to show the current selection using a shadow mask - including the current 'feathering' and so on. So I added that - all 4 lines of code required for that. Well I think it looks pretty cool, and if you have a fast machine it updates in real-time as you edit the selection even though it uses a Gaussian blur for the feathering.

Update: Since I think there's now enough functionality to move it beyond the simply embarrassing stage, I've packaged the first public alpha release too. See the downloads page on the project, but don't expect too much.

Tagged imagez, mediaz.
Saturday, 20 August 2011, 11:51

Crop Tool

I had a few hours to play with this morning and I had another look at the crop tool for ImageZ.

It lets you change the top/left/bottom/right edge with the pre-lit 'handles', or drag the whole rectangle around clicking inside the box. Clicks outside of the box let you drag to select a new bound. So pretty simple/obvious interface, although I couldn't be bothered implementing the corner handles.

So I had previously decided that Piccolo2D just doesn't quite fit this application - the need to have user-interface elements which don't scale with the zoom setting was the deal-breaker. Current code that uses it has some very messy mechanisms to make it work - sometimes.

The new stuff just uses some custom objects and Java2D to do the rendering and a very flat/simple 'scene graph'. So far I haven't even added any sort of optimised rendering although I probably will need to. Although right now it is fast most of the time (not so much when zoomed - but that was the same for the piccolo2d stuff too).

I also played with a slightly different event model - currently the current tool gets mouse events, but I decided rather than have the tool manage events of control-handles they can do it themselves. It wasn't much extra code to implement the event routing in the imageview class.

I think there's still a bit more work for the tool design before i think i'll be finished with it, but at least it feels i'm moving forwards with it. I will keep an eye on this as I discover what works and what doesn't and eventually clean it all up to a consistent and hopefully simple interface.

Probably the next thing to look at will be improving the brush mechanics though, or maybe fixing the super-affine tool - perhaps with that I will have enough to drop a jar.

Tagged imagez, java, mediaz.
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