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UPDATE: I just released A Geek Clock on the App Store, you can check out more info in this post A Geek Clock

So I decided that I would write up a quick tutorial on how to read a binary watch. It’s actually pretty simple after you learn how to convert binary to decimal. Not to worry converting from binary to decimal is easy. I’ll give you a quick example of how this can be done, quickly and easily.

Let’s say you have an 8 bit binary ( base 2 ) number 00010011 and you want to know how to convert it to a decimal ( base 10 ) number. You can write it out similar to the example below.

128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1
0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1

All you have to do her is for every number that has a one in the bottom field add the top numbers together. So in this example we have 16 + 2 + 1 which equals 19. So our binary number 00010011 becomes 19 in its decimal form. This is as much information as you’ll need to know about converting binary to decimal in order to read a binary watch, therefore I will not go much further into converting binary to decimal or decimal to binary.

Most binary watches have 2 rows of lights, the lights indicate a 1 or 0. If the light is on, it represents a 1 if the light is off it represents a 0. I’m going to use the image below as an example:

Example Binary Watch

Example Binary Watch

In this example, there are 2 rows. The first row reads 1011 and the second row reads 110100. See if you can figure that out on your own by looking at the watch. Notice that I’ve substituted the lights that are on with 1′s and the lights that are off represent 0′s.

You’ll also notice that these watches don’t represent 8 bit binary numbers. This is o.k. and doesn’t pose a problem whatsoever. Either you can read from right to left or you can add leading 0′s. For example:

The top row being 1011 would actually be 00001011 and the bottom row of 110100 would be 00110100. Not too bad but it does waste time doing it this way. If you can remember the numbers: 1,2,4,8,16,32 then you’re all set, each number is just a multiple of the previous one. So knowing these numbers, we would read the lights from right to left. Starting with the top row, the light is on so it has a value of 1, the 2nd light is on so it has a value of 2 and the 4th light is on, so it has a value of 8. If we add these numbers together we get 11 and that would be the hour of the time. Now for the bottom row, The first and second light are off so they don’t get a value the third light is on so it has a value of 4. The fifth light is on and thus has a value of 16 and the sixth light is on giving it a value of 32 if we add all of these number together: 4 + 16 + 32 we get 52 which is the minutes. So the time that this binary watch is displaying is 11:52

It may seem like a difficult task at first but the more you use it, the easier it will get. Just think about it this way, we were all raised on base 10 system growing up. So for all the years in our life we’ve been using this base 10 system, trying to get used to a base 2 system for every day use is not simple but can be achieved with patience and practice.

On a side note, as I was writing this post, I thought it would be cool to make a dashboard widget of a Binary Watch for Mac OS X. I’ve actually finished developing it before I finished writing this post. You can download the widget from my Projects Page. Let me know what you guys think. If you like this widget, then you should definitely check out the real thing. How cool would it be to wear this widget on your wrist. Well if you check out thinkgeek.com, you’ll find that they are selling a binary watch that you can wear on your wrist. In fact their design is what inspired this widget. Here is a link to the watch http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/watches/6a17/

In this screen cast tutorial I cover how to change a persons eye color using Photoshop CS4. The tutorial was creating using Photoshop CS4 for Mac but you should be able to follow along on a Windows version of Photoshop as well, without issues.

Below is the before and after of what we will be doing in Photoshop

 

Before and After Shot of Changing Green Eyes to Blue Eyes

Before and After Shot of Changing Green Eyes to Blue Eyes

For your reference I also have the original image I was working with below, all you have to do is right click and save the image to your desktop, if you want to follow along with the tutorial using the same image.

 

Original Face - Green Eyes

Original Face - Green Eyes

Now for the tutorial, I have uploaded this tutorial to youtube and linked to it here. Please let me know if you have any questions in regards to the tutorial. I’d also like to add that if anyone has any particular requests for tutorials, just leave a comment with your suggestion. Feedback is always appreciated

YouTube Preview Image

I was going to do a video tutorial on this at first but after checking out WordPress 2.8 and discovering how easy it is to add themes now, I decided to just write up a quick how to.

So back on WordPress 2.7 we used to have to download a zip file with all of the theme files archived and then extract the zip file, upload it to the themes folder and then go to wordpress and enable the theme, that’s the short version.

Now on Worpdress 2.8 it is much simpler to add / change your themes. Let’s take a quick look at how simple it is to install a theme.

 

  1. Begin by logging into your WordPress Admin Area
  2. Once logged in, find the appearance panel on the left hand side.Appearance Panel  
     
  3. Click on Add New Themes and you should be presented with a screen similar to the one belowWordpress 2.8 - Add New Themes  
     
  4. From here you can choose to either upload your own theme or search for one on WordPress. I’ve tried out this new search feature and I have to say, I like it. So lets go ahead and search for a theme on WordPress. I’m going to put a check mark in 3-column since I want a 3 column theme and then click on Find Themes
  5. When the search result display’s you’ll have 3 different links you can click on, Preview, Details, and Install
  6. When you find the one you like simply click on Install
  7. You’ll get another pop up window, click on Install Now
  8. If you haven’t entered the information in already, WordPress will ask you for your FTP account information. Go ahead and fill this out and click on proceed.
  9. Now you have 3 options, Preview, Activate, or Return to Theme Installer, if you’d like to see what your blog will look like with the new theme, then go ahead and click on preview, otherwise click Activate to activate the new theme.
  10. Your new theme is now Activated

I think that the WordPress team has done a wonderful job adding this feature into the admin area. It really does make for a seamless theme installation and leaves no room for error. I am still exploring the new version of WordPress, but so far I think this is the coolest new feature for WordPress.

Just a quick note, if you’ve downloaded a theme somewhere else and you’d like to install it on your WordPress 2.8 blog then all you have to do is follow the same steps as above but click on Upload Theme instead and browse to the zip file you’ve downloaded.

This is a tutorial on How To Stealth Path your XBOX 360 games on a Mac. After much searching on google I have had a really difficult time finding anything to help me stealth patch XBOX 360 games on Mac that I’ve downloaded from the internet.

OSx360 Stealth Not Verified

OSx360 Stealth Not Verified

 

So this is sort of a follow up tutorial for How To Burn your XBOX 360 games on a mac. If you’ve opened OSx360 and the Stealth verification failed then you can’t burn the game and even if you could, you probably wouldn’t be able to play it in your XBOX 360 console.

This tutorial will explain in detail what you should do if Stealth doesn’t pass verification in OSx360. First you must download an application. The application we will need is called abx360, you can google for it or download it below. This application will fix an unverified stealth patch. ( Most of the time )

Download and install abgx360. Once it’s installed, open the application and then open up your ISO file of the game that didn’t pass the Stealth verification by clicking on the blue folder icon to the right of the text input field. You should have something similar to the below illustration.

abgx360 Open

abgx360 Open

Now click on the AutoFix tab and copy the settings below.

abgx360 AutoFix Tab

abgx360 AutoFix Tab

 

When you have everything set correctly you can click on the blue Launch button at the very bottom it should turn green when you hover over it with your mouse.

abgx360 Launch

abgx360 Launch

 

After clicking on the Launch button, a Terminal window should open and you should start seeing a bunch of text similar to the below. DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS. Let it do its thing.

Notice the lines in Red, the game I am working with has a blank DMI, a blank PFI and my Stealth check has failed. These are all bad things and fortunately are all things that abgx360 will fix for us.

abgx360 Terminal

abgx360 Terminal

 

 You will notice that towards the bottom you’ll see some nice green lines of text. PFI, DMI, Video and Stealth have all been fixed, now it just needs to verify the CRC of the ISO. Let it finish, be patient this could take a few minutes. Finally we know that the program has finished when we see the line AutoFix was successful!

You can now close the Terminal and abx360. Now you can follow my tutorial on how to burn your XBOX 360 games on a mac using OSx360 and when the Verify screen pops up you should see something similar to the following.

OSx360 After ISO is fixed

OSx360 After ISO is fixed

Everything looks good, Stealth Check has passed, PFI and SS Sector Data are Valid, DMI is Valid and all is right with the world. Now go ahead and burn your game and enjoy.

Hopefully I’m not repeating what someone else has already done but like I said, I have not been able to find a good / if any tutorial on the internet. Please let me know if I missed something or you have some questions or need some help.

UPDATE: 6/21/2011 – I am in the process of finishing the development of ISO Burn which will be available on the Mac App Store hopefully sometime mid-July. Once the app becomes available I will add a new tutorial on how to burn XBOX 360 Games on a Mac using ISO Burn. To stay current, be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed.

UPDATE 6/23/2011 – isoBurn has been submitted to the Mac App Store, to read more about it and see some screen shots please visit http://empoc.com/isoburn

Burning XBOX 360 Games On A Mac is relatively simple. All you need is the ISO of the game and the right software and you’re on your way to burning 360 games on your Mac.

This application is pretty much automated and handles much of the work for you. You could probably figure out on your own how to use this application to burn your games but I’ll give you a quick walk through just in case.

Once you’re done downloading, extract the file and place OSx360 into your applications folder. Now launch OSx360 from your applications folder. You should see something like this:

OSx360 Open

OSx360 Open

 

Once this screen pops up, you’ll need to drag your ISO ( game image ) to the big question mark. After you drag the image to the question mark it will verify the image and you’ll see a screen similar to this one.

OSx360 Verify

OSx360 Verify

 

What you need to pay attention to here is making sure that everything is Valid and Everything has passed especially stealth. If you’ve downloaded an ISO that doesn’t have the stealth patch, don’t burn it or you will get banned from XBOX Live. Everything should look similar to the illustration above.

NOTE: If your ISO didn’t pass / validate everything then follow my tutorial for how to stealth patch your ISO here or everything seems to look good and the burn button doesn’t seem to do anything, then first if the extension is not ISO then you must rename it to .iso and then follow my tutorial on how to stealth patch your game. http://chris-fletcher.com/2009/06/07/how-to-stealth-patch-xbox-360-games-on-a-mac/

If everything looks good then go ahead and click on the Configuration button on the top right hand side of the application. You can mirror the configuration below. Once you’ve set your configuration settings you can close the configuration dialog.

OSx360 Configuration

OSx360 Configuration

 

If you haven’t done so already, go ahead and insert your blank DVD+R DL disc you might get the following popup, if you do just click on ignore and proceed to the next step.

Finder Inserted a blank DVD

Finder Inserted a blank DVD

 

Now you can click on the Burn button, you should get a screen similar to the below. Click burn and be patient as it takes a while to burn a dual layer DVD. I always burn at 4x and the discs turn out just fine. On a side note, I am using Memorex DVD+R DL discs and they haven’t left me hanging yet. You can pick up a pack of 15 at Wal-Mart for $20.00.

OSx360 Burn

OSx360 Burn

 

When the burn has completed the disc usually auto mounts and opens DVD player instructing you to eject the disc and put it into the XBOX 360. Do as it says and enjoy your game :)

I’m hoping that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial and as always if there’s anything I’ve left out or anything that you don’t understand, feel free to leave me a comment. Happy Burning

UPDATE: 6/21/2011 – I am in the process of finishing the development of ISO Burn which will be available on the Mac App Store hopefully sometime mid-July. Once the app becomes available I will add a new tutorial on how to burn XBOX 360 Games on a Mac using ISO Burn. To stay current, be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed.

In this Photoshop text effects tutorial, we’re going to create a simple text reflection effect. This effect has been used everywhere in advertising, and as we’ll see, it’s very easy to do. When we’re done you’ll end up with something like this.

Photoshop Reflections Finished Product

Photoshop Reflections Finished Product

Step 1: Create A New Photoshop Document

Create a new blank Photoshop document by going up to the File menu at the top of screen and choosing New. Enter the dimensions you need for your document. For this tutorial, I’m going to enter 600 pixels for my document’s Width, and 200 pixels for the Height, and a Resolution of 96 pixels/inch. Click OK when you’re done to exit out of the dialog box. Your new blank document will appear on your screen:

Photoshop New Document - Dimensions

Photoshop New Document - Dimensions

 

Step 2: Set The Background Color

You can make the background color anything you like. I chose to make mine black, why ? because reflections look good with a black background. Alright, lets do it… In the Layers Panel, Double Click on the Background Layer. You’ll get a pop-up, Click on OK

Photoshop Layers Panel

Photoshop Layers Panel

Photoshop New Layer Confirm

Photoshop New Layer Confirm

Here’s what we just did, we created an editable Layer from the background layer. Now we need to change the background color from white to black.To do this select the Paint Bucket Tooland make sure that your foreground color is set to black and then click inside of the white rectangle, your background color should now be black.

 

Step 3: The Main Text 

Photoshop - Character Window

Photoshop - Character Window

 

Now that we have our background color set, we can move on to type some text that we want to use for our reflection. I chose to type chris-fletcher.com I used the font Myriad Pro with a point size of 36 and a blue shaded color with a Regular Style.

To do this, select the Text Tool and Open the Character Window, set your font type, style, size, etc… You can copy my settings if you like.

 

 

Once you have your text setup the way you like you can click anywhere inside the black rectangle. A new layer will automatically be created and a typing cursor will be placed around the area where you clicked. You can now being to type.

picture-12

 

 

 

If you’ve done everything according to the tutorial so far you should have something that resembles the image to the right. The next step will cover duplicating the Text Layer that we just created as well as flipping it and correctly positioning it.

 

 

Step 4: Duplicating, Rotating, and Positioning

The first thing we need to do is duplicate the text layer we just created. For that we need to right click ( Control Click for a Mac ) on the Text Layer and then click on Duplicate Layer. You’ll get a pop-up, click on OK. The new duplicated Layer should be highlighted by default, if it isn’t then you need to select it.

Photoshop Right Click On Layer

Photoshop Right Click On Layer

Photoshop Duplicate Layer Confirm

Photoshop Duplicate Layer Confirm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we need to modify this layer and by modify I mean we need to Flip it Vertically. To do this make sure the layer is selected then click on Edit -> Transform -> Flip Vertical

Photoshop - Edit - Transform

Photoshop - Edit - Transform

Photoshop Flip Vertical

Photoshop Flip Vertical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should now have something similar to the image below.

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Flipped Vertical

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Flipped Vertical

 

What we need to do now is move the duplicated layer down below the original layer. The move tool should be selected by default. If it isn’t then you need to select it. Make sure that the duplicated layer is still highlighted then start pressing the down arrow until you have something similar to the below.

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Positioned

Photoshop Duplicated Layer Positioned

Yay, we are done with Step 4 of the Tutorial, In Step 5 we will cover the importance of masking and how we can use it to create the reflection effect.

 

Step 5: Masking To Create The Reflection

The first thing we need to do is make sure that our Duplicated Layer is still highlighted / selected. After you’ve verified that the correct Layer is selected you can click on the Mask icon. Which looks like thisPhotoshop Mask Icon

You then need to select the Gradient Tool from the toolbar.

Photoshop Gradient Tool

Photoshop Gradient Tool

After you’ve selected the Gradient Tool, move your mouse cursor to the middle right in between the 2 layers. Click and draw a line down, almost all the way to the end of the text. Sort of like this.

Photoshop Draw Gradient Line

Photoshop Draw Gradient Line

That should do it, you should now have a reflection similar to the one below. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that it was helpful. If you have any questions or there is something you didn’t understand, feel free to leave a comment. I also accept requests for tutorials if there is something you’d like to know how to do, just ask. :)

Photoshop Reflection Final Product

Photoshop Reflection Final Product

 

You can download the PSD file here. Photoshop Reflections Tutorial

There are many different reasons you would want to make a DVD Cover in Photoshop. Most people just get out a Sharpie and write the name of whatever is on the DVD on the DVD itself and throw it into a CD / DVD folder. This tutorial is not for these types of people, this tutorial is for the few of us who appreciate artwork and like to show of our DVD collection.

Before I start with this tutorial, let me point out that there is a great website, http://cdcovers.cc

This website has a DVD cover for just about every movie ever released on DVD, just download the cover and print it out, but what about those home movies that you need a cover for ? What if you don’t like a certain cover and want a custom one. That’s where my tutorial comes in.

Photoshop just happens to be the perfect tool to create DVD Covers, DVD Labels, Inserts, etc…

Let’s start with the Template, please go ahead and download the following template so that you can follow along with the tutorial.

Once you have the template downloaded you can proceed to open Photoshop. Let’s start with the DVD Cover Template.

Make A DVD Cover In Photoshop

Open Photoshop and then open the DVD_Cover_Template.psd file. If you’ve ever worked with Photoshop then you probably know all about layers. If you haven’t then no worries. This tutorial will walk you through what you need to know to successfully make a DVD Cover In Photoshop. Once you have opened the DVD_Cover_Template.psd file you should see something similar to the illustration below.

 

DVD Cover Template

DVD Cover Template

 

Notice the Layers in this Template file, you should see 3 Layers: Leave this Layer, Hide This Layer Guide, and Background. We will be creating some new layers.

 

DVD Cover Template - Layers

DVD Cover Template - Layers

 

Click and hold on the Text Tool Icon it looks like this – Photoshop Text Tool , this should bring up a drop down similar to the illustration below.

 

Photoshop Text Tool Sub Menu

Photoshop Text Tool Sub Menu

Select the Vertical Type Tool. Once you have the tool selected, make sure that Layer 1 is still highlighted. Then click on the Spine region of the DVD Cover Template. You should now have something similar to the illustration below. You may have also noticed that a new layer has been automatically created with a truncated version of the text that we wrote in the Spine. Each time you click on an area of the template with the text tool a new layer will be created, which is exactly what we want since this will make positioning, styling, etc… much easier.

 

DVD Cover Template - Spine

DVD Cover Template - Spine

 

Ok, so now that we have the spine of our DVD Cover created we can move on to the front of the DVD Cover. In this tutorial I will not cover artwork or how to style text and make it look all fancy, that part is completely up to you to play with and figure out.

Click back and hold on the Text Tool again and select Horizontal Type Tool and then go ahead and click on the right side of the template and type some text. When you are finished typing the Title go ahead and type some more text just keep clicking on different areas of the Template. When you are done with the right side you can proceed to the left / back side of the template. When you are all done with your typing you might have something similar to the below.

 

DVD Cover Template - Finished

DVD Cover Template - Finished

 

Are you all done yet ? Hmm… what should we do now ? Oh yeah, we need to save the cover, in my opinion it is best to save it as a jpg and the best way to do that is as follows. Before we save, we should get rid of the guides since they will make our cover look ugly. Scroll through your layers and find the Hide This Guide Layer. You should see an eye next to it on the left. Click on the Eye and the layer disappears. Now we can Save, yay !!

 

DVD Cover Template - Guide Layer

DVD Cover Template - Guide Layer

 

 

  1. File -> Save For Web & Devices
  2. Preset on the top right, select JPEG High
  3. Click Save and choose a filename and location.
  4. Click Save

 

DVD Cover Template - Save For Web & Devices

DVD Cover Template - Save For Web & Devices

 

DVD Cover Template - Save

DVD Cover Template - Save

 

After the Save has completed you can close Photoshop. It will ask you to Save the file, be sure to NOT save the template so that you can use it again for future covers. Now all you need to do is open the JPEG file and print it and Voila, your very own DVD Cover.

Hopefully you’ve learned something from this tutorial and aren’t scratching your head. I have a tendency to skip over obvious things sometimes. If anyone has any questions about something that I may have left out, please comment and let me know.