Entries by Armand Niculescu

Photography: RAW matters

If you own a semi-pro or pro digital camera and you’ve seen file quality settings such as “Extra fine”, “Fine”, “Standard”, “RAW” but never know what “RAW” stands for; if you heard about RAW on forums but never quite understood it; if you ever looked in awe at photos wondering how you could achieve such great colors, then look no further, as I am going to explain all there is to know about RAW.

Photography – understanding exposure

To aid those who want to be in control of their cameras, to go beyond point-and-shoot, I decided to write a series of tutorials on the basics of photography. If you don’t know what the exposure or aperture are, this little tutorial is for you, so read on.

Organize Your Brushes!

When you’ll be moving to hard core photo editing the last thing you want to spend time on is searching for the brushes you need in the multitude of brushes you have loaded. You should get used to loading only the brushes you need, it will save you a lot of time and energy.

Generate Objects from Xml Files

Recently needed some quick method to use objects generated from an existing xml file without bothering to create an xml schema for it. After a few attempts and searching for explanations why a simple task like this wouldn´t work, finally put the steps together:

AS3 Performance Optimization

Working on a CPU-intensive app in flash is a challenging experience. It can be wonderful or frustrating, depending on your mindset. Based on my experience with flashCHESS and other intensive applications, I’ll give some tips and ideas on how to get the most out of your flash project.

Flash CS4 supports conditional compilation

Conditional compilation allows for blocks of code to be compiled or not based on constants declared in the IDE. In the simplest form, think of it as of a more advanced version of the old “Omit Trace Actions” Publishing option. It allows the developer to optimize the generated code depending on the target medium (e.g. Web vs AIR) or the development phase (i.e. when compiling an app for debugging, the developer may want to switch on more warning traces or display additional info on screen).

RAW Heavyweights: Lightroom, DxO and Capture One

With the new releases from Adobe, DXO Labs and Phase One, I’ve decided to put to the test some of the top RAW processors. These programs represent the high-end segment of the RAW converters, since they are all geared (or at least marketed) as tools for professional photographers. This doesn’t mean that Bibble, Silkypix or ACDSee Pro are not capable, it’s just that they have a different market.

Searching in all tables and columns of a database

I was forced recently to do some maintenance and bug fixing on an aging .NET-based CMS. Most of the problems were in the SQL Server database, with lots of corrupted entries. The most frustrating thing however was that at times I didn’t even know where to find the entries. Try finding some specific strings in a database with a hundred tables, each with many columns (poorly named, obviously) and tens of thousands of records — it’s like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.