Saturday, September 20, 2014

df audio DAC1 (My DIY DAC Design)

If you've been watching the DIYaudio forums, you might have caught a glimpse of my audio DAC design - the df audio DAC1. After building the PupDAC and O2 amp, I wanted a bespoke solution that fit my needs - with the prime factors being 24/96 support and SPDIF connectivity. My PupDAC is a nice device, but albeit only supports 16/48 audio due to the PCM2707 USB receiver chip used. Also, I wanted to be able to use this DAC with both my computer system and standalone equipment like DVD players and game consoles. The  SPDIF standard supports 24/96 (actually 24/192 in my case) and is found on many electronic devices.

As mentioned earlier, the DIYaudio thread contains many posts regarding my DAC and how it was tweaked and polished with the help of their members. If you would like to go through my design process or want to ask questions, that's the place to go. This article is mainly a summary of what I did (and to save you from reading nine pages of text).

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Using Guides (Rulers) In Scribus

Misaligning your images or text by several millimeters might not look like much, but a watchful eye could catch your mistake - and suddenly put your work in an unprofessional light. Professional editors often spend hours before production making sure everything is all lined up and ready. In the old days, this meant using your eyes (and a ruler) to make sure the plates were properly aligned. This method did not always work well, and caused the slightly skewed words and pictures you sometimes see in older publications.

We live in the digital age now, and Scribus has some tools to keep your borders exact and the columns lined up. The Guides feature can produce  vertical and horizontal lines that object edges can be "snapped" to and held in place. Let's look at an example below:

Scribus Guides

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Can't Open Files/Send Attachments in Firefox? Check Your DEP Settings (XP)

As support for Windows XP officially ended on April 8th, you kind of need to rely on yourself now to ensure that your machines is still secure. Like many people, I've got an old computer that still gets some occassional use - and therefore needs as much security as it can get. But oftentimes, safety doesn't go hand in hand with compatibility.

After looking around on the Internet, I decided to enable DEP (Data Execution Protection), an anti-exploit mechanism, for all programs. This method has been encouraged by sites such as Tom's Hardware and Pc Mag, and after weighting the pros and cons decided to enable the feature on my computer. Simply right-click on My Computer, select Properties, Advanced, Performance, and Data Execution Prevention.The picture below shows it turned off - click the appropiate box to enable it for all programs and services.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Windows System File Checker in Repair Mode - and Fixing the Pending Repair Error

If you're just looking for how to fix the "Pending Repair" error, scroll straight down.

The System File Checker (SFC) feature in Windows is an automated utility that scans Windows system files for possible corruption, and replaces damaged or missing files. Malware or even power outages can damage such files, and running the following code in the command line can sometimes be a quick remedy for BSODs (Blue Screen of Death) and other crashes.
sfc /scannow
If your machine is all good, it should display the following. If not, it should fix the problems and create a status report.
Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Censor An Image In GIMP

Maybe it's your license plate number. A friend who wants to keep their picture private. Someone's email address that you want to hide in a screenshot. Cropping isn't the most effective way every time, and sometimes you need to censor it neatly and unobtrusively. There's a bunch of ways to do so - I'll try to help you find the one that fits you best.

I'll use a public domain image of an F-35 with identification markings on the tail wing. Let's try to (for whatever reason) hide them. Open your image up in GIMP.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Open SVGs In Microsoft Office (Using Inkscape)

The SVG file format is an open standard for vector imagery, supported by many apps and practically all browsers. Strangely, Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint don't. I've got no idea why.

Now, many places like OpenClipArt and Clker deliver public domain (free, no copyright) vector artwork that you can use for any purpose. You might also have done some vector designs yourself and want to include it in your work.

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