Archive for June, 2008

On June 18th, 2008 milburn wrote…

Father’s Day

Best dad in the world!

Father’s day was celebrated here in the UK last Sunday. I decided that I’d rise to the occasion and make something special. I can’t say that I’m a whiz with Photoshop because I don’t actually own a copy of it, instead I rely on a rather old version of Paint Shop Pro.

Paint Shop Pro is a nice application. It lacks some of the more advanced canvas and brush features of Photoshop which means that it lacks the creative edge. Also I have yet to find a way to convert Photoshop brushes and documents to Paint Shop Pro documents.

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On June 11th, 2008 milburn wrote…

Virtual Host with XAMPP

I like to develop my own PHP scripts and small applications. Up to now I’ve been uploading them to my online server. Of course that is bad practise because a small bug may open up a large security hole. My test scripts are reducing the security of things like my blog. So I’ve decided to use XAMPP to develop my scripts on my home computer before deploying them to the web.

If you’ve not heard of XAMPP it stands for

  • X (meaning cross-platform)
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • Perl

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On June 7th, 2008 milburn wrote…


Steganography is what I would call the less powerful and less well known brother of cryptography. Whereas cryptography is encoding something so it can’t be read without a key, steganography is hiding something so it can’t be found without directions. Since cryptography offers a greater level of security for less effort it has often been used as opposed to steganography.

Think of cryptography as the lock to a safe. You need a key to open the safe. Steganography is hiding the safe somewhere where it can’t be found easily such as behind the painting on the wall. To find the safe you need directions. So how is steganography useful in the modern world. It can actually be used in several ways. A secret file can be hidden on your computer so it looks like an ordinary file. I’m going to show you today how to hide an MP3 file inside a JPEG or GIF image.

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On June 5th, 2008 milburn wrote…

The Anaglyph Creator

Having detailed how to create a script using the GD image library to create anaglyphs, I decided to create a webpage for those people not lucky enough to have their own web hosting. The page is very simple and it works similarly to the previous script.

Any online tool is vulnerable to abuse but their are a number of precautions I needed to take. Firstly I needed to make the script secure. I don’t want people hacking my site through a little script I wrote just because I couldn’t be bothered to make it secure. On the contrary to what most people think, making file uploads safe isn’t too difficult. Firstly I make sure tat the user has uploaded to files and no upload errors occurred using the following if statement.

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On June 3rd, 2008 milburn wrote…

Creating Anaglyphs with PHP

I created some stereographic pairs yesterday and used some online software to create an anaglyph for viewers with red and cyan glasses. Creating anaglyphs is in fact a really easy task. All that has to be done is to separate the red layer from the left image and the green and blue layers from the right image. Finally the three layers are combined to create a colour anaglyph. Simple.

Having a little experience with PHP, I decided to create a simple script to create anaglyphs. First I needed to plan out how the script was going to work. The GD library has no native image filters except in PHP5. My plan works like so.

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