Archive for November 2010
If you want to install digiKam on Windows, you have two options: you can either compile the application from the source code or you can use the KDE Windows installer. The latter approach is by far the easiest one, but there is a drawback: the installer usually includes an older version of digiKam. If you can live with that, and you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty with compiling digiKam from the source, then the KDE installer is the way to go.
First off, create a new KDE directory on your hard disk, grab then the KDE installer from the KDE on Windows project’s Web site, and move it into the created directory. Launch the installer, select the Install from Internet option, and press Next.
In the Installation Directory field, enter the path to the KDE directory, and press Next. Select the End User option in the Install Mode section, and MSVC 32Bit from the Compiler Mode section.
Keep the settings in the next several screens at their defaults. When you reach the Download Server Settings screen, choose the http://www.winkde.org server, since it offers the newest as well as older versions of the KDE bundle. Press Next and find the version of KDE that contains the digiKam and kipi-plugins packages. Select then both packages, and press Next. Hit the Next button once again, and the installer does the rest. Wait till the installer has finished downloading and installing the software, press the Finish button, and you are done. Now you can launch and use digiKam as any other Windows application.
Got a Canon compact camera? Then you ought to give CHDK a try. This alternative firmware turns your humble Canon point-and-shoot camera into a powerful photographic tool.
Installing CHDK onto an SD card using a Linux machine is a three-step procedure. First, if you plan to install CHDK on a card larger than 4GB, you must create two partitions on it: a small FAT16 partition for booting CHDK and a FAT32 partition that takes up the rest of the available space for storing photos. The best tool to do this is the GParted utility which is available in the software repositories of pretty much all mainstream Linux distributions. On Ubuntu and its derivatives as well as Debian-based distros, you can install GParted by running the apt-get install gparted command as root. Launch then GParted and create the two required partitions. To make it easier to identify the partitions, you might want to assign labels to them (e.g., CHDK for the FAT16 partition and CANON for the FAT32 partition).
Next step is to make the partitioned card bootable. To do this, open the terminal and run the following command as root:
echo -n BOOTDISK | sudo dd bs=1 count=8 seek=64 of=/dev/sdbx
Replace the sdbx part with the actual name of the small FAT16 partition. To find out the exact name of the partition, run the mount command which returns a list of all mounted partitions.
Next, you need to find out the firmware version of your camera. Create two empty text files called ver.req and vers.reg and save them in the root of the FAT16 partition. Insert the card into your camera, and put the camera into the Playback mode. Press and hold the FUNC SET button, then press DISP to display the firmware version. Download the CHDK package for your camera model and firmware version, and unpack the contents of the downloaded archive into the root of the FAT16 partition. Lock the card (this is important!), insert it into your camera, press the Power On button, and you should see the CHDK splash screen.
Hot on the heels of the initial release of digiKam Tricks comes an updated version of the book. Here is what’s new in version 1.1:
- digiKam Tricks:
- Replace digiKam’s Default Splash Screen
- Find the Shutter Count Value with digiKam
- Appendix B: Useful digiKam Keyboard Shortcuts
- Appendix C: Beyond digiKam
- Geeqie: A Perfect Image Juggler
- Speed up Photo Transfers with Rapid Photo Downloader
- Download and Organize Photos with a Bash Script
Readers who already purchased the book will receive the new version free of charge. If you haven’t received your copy, please send me your order confirmation as proof of purchase to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email you the latest version of the book. Happy reading!
Don’t fancy digiKam’s default splash screen? No problem, you can easily replace it with your own photo. First off, you need to prepare a photo for the splash screen. To do this, use an image editing application like GIMP to resize the photo you want to 500×307 pixels. Save the resized image in the PNG format. Next, grab the splash-digikam.svgz file from digiKam’s source code repository and open the downloaded file in the Inkscape vector graphics editor. Remove the existing background image and use the File | Import command to insert the image you’ve just created. Position it correctly and lower it to the bottom using the End key (or the Object | Lower to Bottom command). Use then the File | Export Bitmap command to save the created splash screen as splash-digikam.png. Next, you have to find the exact location of the splash-digikam.png file. On Linux, you can do this by running the find / -name splash-digikam.png command in the terminal. Alternatively, you can use the searching capabilities of your preferred file manager. Once you’ve located the file, replace it with your own splash screen, launch digiKam, and behold your masterpiece.
For your convenience, I’ve made a sample splash screen and all the required files available as one neat package. And if you want to share your own splash screen with other digiKam users, you are welcome to post it on the digiKam Users Flickr group.