Printing my own money

Haha. Or not. But: I got myself a new scanner yesterday. I went totally lowcost (a CanoScan LiDE 25) as I only need to scan stuff (mainly for the web) now and again. Besides, my last Mustek scanner (parallel port! ECP/EPP anyone?) was a gift from a friend back in … uhm … 1998 or 1999 or so … and it served me well till a few month ago.

Anyway, so I got this scanner yesterday, threw the CD away instantly, downloaded the tiny WIA driver and everything worked out of the box. (!!)

Today I figured I’d do a little “resolution test” and scan something really hi-res. Like … a banknote. I wasn’t completely naive about it and something about “scanning money” rang a bell — I vaguely remembered having read about countermeasures in consumer products but I had yet to see it. So I put a 20-Euro bill onto the glass, weighed it down with a book. Found the sticker on the box is lying: 600 dpi is not 2.400×1.200 dpi. So far — not surprising. Waited for the ~14MB to be squeezed over USB 1.1 (I said “lowcost”, did I not?). Fired up the graphics software and there it was:

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Do your own flash videos

Although being quite a bit on the early adopter side, I’ve never been knee-deep into video formats at all. I can tell a codec from a codex, been playing around with divx and sorts but that’s about it.

Today I was asked if I could “make this video be on that webpage“. WTF?! Simply embedding an .mpg was a no-go right away, I hate it when people do that, it looks crappy and at least on windows platforms it is never completely hassle-free.

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Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer

Yet another Microsoft tool which doesn’t look all that bad at first sight! Windows Live Writer is a somewhat like a blog-enabled wordprocessing software. The interface is intuitive and I have yet to see an easier setup: Enter your blog’s URL, username and password (you may want to create a dedicated ‘author’ user just in case….) and off you go: Live writer will detect you’re using wordpress and find all necessary settings automagically.

Working with Live Writer reveals some major drawbacks right at the first post: while picture handling basically works OK’ish (e.g. pictures are resampled if you scale them — no feeble-minded scaling with height/width tags), the tool cannot left/right align pictures nor can you add hyperlinks to pictures (WTF?) and the picture upload doesn’t follow the (configurable) wordpress scheme (the pictures end up in strange ‘livewriter’ sub-sub-sub-folders.
You can however open and edit older posts from the blog and categories seem to be fully supported — but that’s about it.

So, if you don’t fancy the wordpress built-in ‘visual rich text editor’ you might want to give this tool a try, although I’d strongly advise against opening existing posts which are too complex or trying to blog with hyperlinked and/or aligned pictures in a post.

And as you probably need to do some final ‘finetuning’ online anyway I personally don’t really see the point in using this tool. Sorry, Redmond.