Digital Image Magazine doesn’t do the usual bloggy news reporting, ala TechGadgetCrunch and so on, but, at the risk of drastically increasing our pageview count, I’m going to share with you some of the cool stuff that’s been finding it’s way past my spam filter into my inbox. I have not spent time with any of these, unfortunately–not yet, anyway–but I thought they each were interesting enough to pass along. Full disclosure: I make no money from any of these companies. Not a cent. Not even free passes to the movies. Nada.
The first item is something that’s not exactly on the top of anyone’s list: data backup. Because it’s tedious and boring, it doesn’t get done. And that’s the problem. One day, your hard drive will go scccccccreeeeech… followed by dead silence. It will. It happens to everyone, eventually. So I feel it is my duty as a responsible blog owner to let you know there is a solution, and it’s free! What’s not to like?
First off, let me say that I probably will not be checking out this service because I have the very wonderful Time Machine running on my Mac. So I’m covered (I hope). If you don’t have Time Machine, then Crash Plan is for you. It’s at least worth checking out. It backs up your files without you having to do a blessed thing. If you’re using it for personal use, it’s free. The free version will back up files to your external drives, your family network, and so forth. As you change, add, and delete things, CrashPlan updates the backup to stay in sync. In other words, it’s not making copy upon copy of everything; it makes incremental backups — just the changes, ma’am.
For 25 bucks a year, you can back up 10GB worth of data to CrashPlan’s online Cloud. This might be good for backing up your family photos, songs, and so forth. But for massive quantities of data, say your entire 2TB hard drive array, 50 bucks a year has you covered. Unlimited data storage. For the first backup, they’ll ship you an external drive. The initial backup includes everything. Mail it back to them. From now on, any change you make gets saved automatically. Fifty bucks seems pretty reasonable to me, considering it means you’ll never lose anything important ever again.
So, if you’ve been playing hard disk roulette for years hoping you remain lucky, it’s time to check out CrashPlan. And if you do, be sure to let us know how it works out for you!
Groboto v3 has just come out. We last took a look at Groboto in 2009 here. It’s a very cool tool, and it’s unlike anything else out there, really. With Groboto, you can generate incredibly complex and beautiful 3D sculptures very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that you will find yourself changing parameters, tweaking this and that, creating one unique wonder after another, till the wee hours of the morning. Most 3D applications take a LONG time to render. Groboto is fast, and the prerender view is so detailed it looks fully rendered. The tradeoff for this is specialization. Groboto has been limited to making complex entities that look like extras from the movie Aliens. So what if you’re not all that into Tinkertoys on acid? That’s where v3 comes in. Now you can do actual 3d modeling with Groboto. Granted, it’s just Boolean primitives you’re modeling with, but again, it’s not like anything you’ve seen. Available for Mac OSX for $100, coming soon for Windows. Trial download available.
Back in October, we took a look at Postwork Shop here. Thanks to the heads-up from reader John Stevenson, who let me know that v2 is out in a beta release. I didn’t have much luck getting it to run without crashing. It seems very unstable, at least here on my Mac Pro. But it’s worth keeping an eye on this puppy, even if you don’t download it. Version 2 adds a Painting Module, which is to say it’s now quite a bit like Corel Painter. You can clone, just as with Painter, or paint from scratch. There are now alpha masks, for limiting the effects of styles. You can import brushes from Photoshop. Version 2 also now comes in both plug-in and stand-alone versions. It also comes in a 64-bit version, which should allow you to process very large images without running out of memory.
Though this is a full upgrade (from v1 to v2), it’s free to v1 owners. There are three flavors: free, Artist for $49, and Pro for $99, just as with v1. I’m looking forward to working with Postwork Shop v2 once they get it stable. It looks very interesting. Expect a review in more detail sometime down the road.