Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home

 

Photoshop Tutorial
Green Sea


TODAY, we're going t learn how to make a wavy wallpaper of a green shade. You need to have a basic idea about using shapes, pen tools, and handling with fill levels. If you have trouble with any of those, just fiddle around and you should be able to do it in no time!

Step 1: Create a new PSD document with your desired wallpaper size. In my case, 1650 x 1080 pixels. RGB for colour, with resolution of 300 pixels/inch.

Step 2: We won't be using the default white background layer, so you can either leave it, or delete it. Create a new layer. Select the gradient tool, and choose the colours '8dc542' at the (a light shade of green) leftmost side and '357f07' (a darker shade) for the right most.

Step 3: On the new layer (rename it to bg grad or something convenient), using a radial gradient, drag and create the gradient background. You might want to start from a little to the edge, instead of the centre- looks better. You may want to experiment here and there with everything that you do to get the most results.

Step 4: Now that we have a nice gradient background, we're going to add some shapes on it. Select the pen tool, and draw a wave pattern.

Step 5: Duplicate the wave layers (calling them bttm wave, mid wave, top wave respectively) twice to get 3 waves. Leave a small gap between the waves.

Step 6: For the bottom wave, apply the colour 'acd373', and set blending mode from 'Normal' to 'Multiply'.

Step 7: For the middle wave, apply the colour '8dc63f' and set the blending mode to Multiply, again.

Step 8: For the top wave, apply the same colour as Step 7, '8dc63f' and set blending mode to linear burn, with Opacity of 50%.

Step 9: Now, let's make this a little less plain. It doesn't take a lot. Draw a perfect circle by creating the shape while holding down the shift key. Colour code for shape: 8dc542. Place it somewhere around the centre of the gradient, where it's lightest. Lower the fill level to 20%.

Step 10: Duplicate the layer of the circle shape by right clicking on the layer, and clicking 'duplicate layer'.

Step 11: Select the duplicated layer, and press Control + T to bring up the transform tool. Click on one of the corner anchors, press shift, and drag it to make it smaller. For this layer, lower the fill to even lower- at 8%.

Final steps: Experiment. Experiment. Experiment. Try out different blend modes, different fill/opacity levels. It's possible to come to this same graphical result following different routes and methods- nothing is writ in stone, so try out different shapes, instead of waves, or squares instead of circles. Try out different colours. See what you can bring forth into the light.

By Emil
ssemil@gmail.com


The techie's take on troubleshooting tech traumas

Problem 1. Windows keeps on haggling for Activation Codes, and no matter whatever codes are input, it's the same story every time the machine boots.
Solution 1. Firstly, we aren't fans of Microsoft ourselves, but are invariably stuck to it. However, this particular problem exists due to having a corrupt copy of Windows. Doubtless the fact that nearly all home PCs run on pirated copies of Windows, but they are “cracked” to allow proper installation using the same code over and over again. However, certain pirated copies don't contain the cracked Activation Code or it's corrupt; thus it only makes sense if you get your copy of Windows exchanged for a “proper pirated” one. That sounded weird, but it works. Atleast for you cheapskates.

Problem 2. A Blue Screen of Death recurrs.
Solution 2. In case you don't know what a Blue Screen of Death is, then it's the blue, blank screen that abruptly appears while a machine's operated (occasionally with a few lines of text describing certain corrupt system files). It occurs mostly on older machines which aren't that familiar with the term “multi-tasking”. Needless to say, it would really help if you would go easy on the poor machine of yours by not loading too many power-hungry applications simultaneously and pressing the Restart button after small intervals of time. That or take the brunt of reinstalling the Operating System after every few months. However, if it still remains, consider replacing the RAM modules or check if your machine has a tendency to overheat (in which case, cleaning the casing is an option). Loose motherboard connections are also reponsible, so check them out.

Problem 3. Help! Virus!
Solution 3. Now, this is a problem that has kind of become everyone's favorite. In fact to such a point, that certain anti-virus packages have now become household names! The types of virus are growing exponentially, but their aim's one- to disrupt your machine's activities, albeit using different techniques. To combat this, you have different brands of anti-virus packages as well. However, before buying any anti-virus package, it's absolutely vital that you must buy an original package. It's not only the fact that we don't support software piracy (except in a few cases), but an original package guarantees seamless updates of the heuristic database (the collection of data concerning viruses and how to combat them). A pirated one, however, screeches to a halt here. For a basic, budget-wise choice, we suggest the Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009 package. While being on the expensive side, yet extremely robust for an all-round protection would be the more than a year-old McAfee Enterprise Edition Version 8.5.

Problem 4. Is it just me or does my machine seem to be slower than usual?
Solution 4. Had we not been any wiser, we would have suggested that it's just you. But on a serious note, this problem, just like viruses, seem to affect nearly every machine, new or old. In new machines (and I mean machines that meet present day hardware configura-tions, not old off-the-shelf PCs), where all components are just out of the factory and into your machine, it's because of the fact that your machine's hard disk is cluttered with files and in absolutely no serial order. In that case, use Windows Defragmenter to defrag your hard drive- that is locate all your scattered files and store them in contigous sectors of the disk.

In case of old machines, defragmen-tation is a valid option too, but try using applications that consider your machine's requirements maximum and not minimum; since they may work alright for a while but multitasking will just tax on your time. If your applications are fine and yet the machine's slow, consider upgrading system RAM- again for the same aforementioned reasons (note: RAM upgrading is a wholly different issue and don't think buying a high-capacity RAM module would do fine for your machine, because it won't). Or you could always beg your parents for a new machine, whichever one works.

That's all for this week. Send us your pathetic tech problems for solving, and for laughing at you as well (yes offence).

By Wahid T. Khan


Truisms of the Bangladeshi life

Life is full of truisms- true statements that are in general too hackneyed to be actually worth making. A very basic example would be, “Nothing lasts forever”. There are countless examples as such, however, for us Bangladeshis, it's a completely different life out here. Don't believe me? Check out the most basic truisms of Bangladeshi life: -

1. In a traffic jam, the line next to the one you are stuck in ALWAYS moves ahead. To rub it in better, vehicles you left behind atleast 5 minutes earlier soon speed ahead and you stay behind biting the dust.
2. Dilapidated buses with the words “Sitting Service” boldly written on their bodies, in truth never actually have proper standing room, let alone sitting.
3. Drivers here are taught way different Traffic Rules. The Red light's for ANYTHING but braking (upto the driver's choice, actually), the Yellow light's for overtaking the scum ahead or poking the car's bonnet in small, 0.1 inch wide spaces and the Green's for simply travelling at warp speed.
4. Servicemen take almost forever to arrive after you call them for servicing your defective electrical appliance. But once they finally do, it works seamlessly even before they lay their hands on it.


5. The rate of increase of billboards is directly proportional to the population of the masses. Thus, there shall come a time, when children and adults alike shall have to have a miniature billboard strapped on their backs.
6. Speaking of growth, coaching centres sprout up faster than mushrooms, all enjoying a decent attendance of “tuition-hungry” students. What with this increase, teachers might have to consider having unique IDs (like XYZ-10110 Sir/Miss) in order to avoid students confusing them with other hundred namesake teachers.
7. Various potteries and handicrafts can be found for sale on pavements just two blocks away from fancy stores selling the same items at a fraction of the store's price. Yet foreigners and citizens alike prefer to flock to these stores like bees to honey.
8. Animals in zoos here expire out in a greater rate than their counterparts in zoos and menageries across across the world or even in the wild.


9. Telecom companies offer seemingly great and unbelievable call packages and deals. However, they all have a common goal: siphoning clients' money for basic services like calling.
10. No matter how much “mache bhate Bangali” countrymen pretend to be on occasions like Pohela Boishakh, it's ultimately fast food and biriyani that win. Same goes for opting instant coffee over brewing tea.
11. Paddling boats in lakes across the city are just like the lakes they float on- smelly, shallow and full of water.
12. The Towel Theorem is an unspoken axiom of the corporate world. The better the quality of the towel slung across the chair's back, the higher the position of the guy with the Divine Right of the said chair in the organisation.


13. Store owners and shopkeepers are affronted when addressed as such. Instead, they prefer to be addressed as “Proprietors” or “Chief Executive Officers” or even “Head of Sales and Marketing”, and to make this a point, they have it printed on their business cards.
13. Politics has its own axiom as well; the weirder the party's pictoral symbol, the greater the amount of attention it attracts and so consequently has greater chances of messing up the country's future for good.
14. Even after the implementation of the Daylight Savings Concept, people enjoy being one hour late.
15. People whine and complain continously about how ludicrous Dhaliwood movies are, yet curiously enough find immense pleasure and honour in uploading and searching these videos and pictures on websites such as YouTube.
16. People love underground music, but drive around in cars blaring obsolete Hindi songs..

17. Electricity never goes; it does tend to pay a visit once in a while. All the more for you not to take it for granted.
18. There are more “kobirajs” and Diagnostic Centres with huge number of patients bearing odd ailments than actual certified quality medical centres.

Is this proof enough? It takes more than just guts surviving the cold harsh world out there. Let 'em self-proclaimed foreign adventurers dare to venture out here and see whether they even last the first few hours, let alone days.

By Don Khan


 

home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2009 The Daily Star