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Best sites to download WordPress templates catalog

January 30th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in ecommerce, emarketing, software review

I need a  top of the art wordpress templates for my new web site, which has a very good traffic ( http://www.obviousidea.com ) , it is a web site where different products will be available in the showcase.
so it is products / software oriented, with the need to display differents category ( online web apps, windows software and application, photo oriented products, but also iPhone & iPad apps )

the purpose of this post is to select and list the best web site to find the WordPress template of your dream :


http://www.templatemonster.com/wordpress-themes.php
good old web site providing templates and model for popular CMS, it is not limited or specialized to WordPress, but a website I know since a few years already. Price starts around 50$ and you may have an option to have someone installing it for you.

http://www.rockettheme.com/wordpress
Suggested by a friend when I asked by twitter and facebook for a suggestion list of references. I didn’t navigate too much, but worth to be listed ( Price starts from 50$ )

they have also phpBB theme, but finally, due to the lack of feedback for phpBB SEO mod and the possibility to add facebook connect to a phpBB3 forum, I prefered to invest a few $$ and I purchased a Vbulletin forum :  http://forum.obviousidea.com . But.. soon I will probably look for provider for a Vbulletin style / interface / theme / templates , whatever how they call it.


http://www.woothemes.com/

Woothemes is specialized into WordPress templates, with very smart business prices, ( buy 1 , get 3 free ), also with membership subscription. I like the woothemes website designs, but I didn’t search too much yet in their template database. Nevertheless, I know it is very popular provider for WordPress as their logo ( bottom right of live templates ) is visible in a lot of popular blogs.

and the best one ( on my humble opinion ) is :

http://themeforest.net/

I like the quality of the templates, not limited to offer a good look but also with nice features to make your daily post easier to manager, it is definitly the one I m looking first.
I bought some code from them already at http://codecanyon.net/
it works with a deposit system, so you can make a deposit and use the credit for differents items ( not only the templates )

If you have any suggestions for more web site like this, please share in comments

*** MORE to be updated ***

http://www.wordpressthemes.com/
http://www.blogohblog.com/

http://www.wpthemegenerator.com?prd=brainfight

 

 

 

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How to design a logo – real case study for Light Image Reziser

December 17th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, photography, SEO, software review

The identity of a product starts with his logo, but for a software, it will be daily seen by the users as a .ico icon on their desktop. for this case, it is a software for Windows, which will impact a little bit the choice of the design

The software name is “Light Image Resizer”, a PC program to resize photos and pictures. The light could be interpreted as not-very-powerfull, but easy, but I opt in for that risk. Also “light” is making sense for the photo market, as the photo is the art of using lights :-).
Finally it can remind of LightRoom from Adobe, without being used by popular competitors such as VSO Image Resizer, or PowerToys Image Resizer for Windows, Mihov image resizer

Before entering in deeper analysis of the choice of the design, let’s expose the current variation of the logo, there are 8 differents ones, which is too much, but it is also a way to show why you shouldn’t put too much different ones.
Despite there are 8 choices, it is all from the same graphic designer ( Fred from Beasty Design )

Vote now on http://twtpoll.com/i8dq1a

Here is coming the common mistake, you need to make sure the logo has the same size , at least in this case, they are all fitting a square of 96×96, it is very important. Of course, you will learn from the experience the only fact to have a vivid logo, will make it more visible to your user panel.

Don’t forget the past

if it is NOT a new product or version, don’t forget to include the past logo, so whatever the users voting are new or already know the product, it will be interesting to let them compare to the old logo. If the old logo still win, and the % of users voting is a majority of the past product. You will have to consider to keep the old one. And think about why you would really need to change the logo.

Take care of the layout

If it is technically possible, make the voting sheet elements perfectly even and numbered. here we have 2 lines and 4 columns, so there is always a doubt about the numbering ( I would prefer a flat single line or column layout, but it is not technically easy with the width of the article.
If someone say the number 2, which one it will be ?
so the suggestion is really to put a number clearly visible for each logo, so whatever the way they will see them, they could refer to the same logo. If you forget this detail , you will waste an incredible amount of time, as people will say, I prefer the blue one with the arrow, and you won’t be sure at 100% about which one is referred.

The art to ask the question

Now, My public question will be :

Which draft desktop icon you will prefer for Light Image Resizer software for Windows ?

I mention the kind of product it is, the draft status, and the name of the product which could influence their choice, and create a link between the name of the product and the logo itself.

I edited the poll and the question using TwtPoll, so you can easily post the poll wherever you want.

http://twtpoll.com/i8dq1a

Don’t think about it when you will vote, just select the one you see the most, and you prefer, without thinking about details.

that’s the real fast and basic recommandation to get feedback from users, in another method we will discuss the thumb up & down methods to choose the final version.

VSO release Blu-Ray Converter Ultimate Preview

November 14th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, blu-ray, software review, video converter

A new product from VSO is available on their download server, the software is VSO Blu-Ray Converter Ultimate , as the name is suggesting it is a video converter for Blu-ray ( from Blu-ray to another format ) but no information, product page or price is available ( despite it is not a freeware as there is a reminder screen when you execute the product  ( see screenshot at the end of the post )

image

Download VSO Blu-ray Converter Ultimate

First of all, you won’t be able to backup any protected Blu-ray without the help of another software, which makes the product quite difficult to use without basic knowledge of the video converting rules with protected disc

You can still download the free edition of DVDFab Passkey which removes the protection of DVD or Blu-ray disc as a driver ( you just need to reboot to make sure the installation is completed ). The leading software to remove protection is still AnyDVD HD

I have tested only a few minutes the new VSO products, it is not ready, plenty of problems with default value, interface looking bad, childish, too contrasted ( but it is due to the new developper in place now ) , and the conversion just doesn’t start. The reader / writer aren’t selected by default when there is only one. The message about the lack of support for decryption doesn’t help new users to know what to do next.
The Buy link go to the typical web page to buy products, but without the product listed. so it is just not possible to buy even if you would like !

image

You can discuss about the products in the vso’s forum

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Easy photo uploader for Facebook

July 25th, 2010 | 4 Comments | Posted in article, facebook, photography, software review

Lazy guys, Easy Photo Uploader for Facebook is a software which allows you to send directly pictures to your albums from the shell menu. Select one or several pictures from the Windows file explorer, then right-click to display the popup menu, and select the option “send photo(s) to Facebook”

The program will resize and upload to your Facebook photo Albums. it is much easier and faster than using the integrated dialog of Facebook to select pictures.

The program also convert to jpeg if the source file is a RAW ( .CR2 , .NEF, .MRW etc.. ) you just need to have the codec installed, or you can also consider to download FastPictureViewer WIC Codec pack or the genuine codec from your digital camera manufacturor

Download Easy Photo Uploader for Facebook

WIC Codec to display and decode RAW photos – .CR2 .NEF .DNG….

April 26th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in article, photography, software review

What is a WIC codec ? it is the acronym for Windows Imaging Component. It has been introduced in Windows XP service pack 3, and by default in Vista and 7. It is an interface definition ( and SDK ) to “add” to Windows the ability to read and write ( Codec means Co-der and Dec-oder ) new image format.
It is something more and more popular with the new DSLR digital camera and the “pro” format RAW format ( .CR2 for Canon , .NEF for Nikon, .DNG for Adobe, and much more other formats for Sony, Minolta, Mamya.
If you have the correct WIC codec installed, you are able to see the raw files in explorer, but also in any compatible client using a WIC interface, such VSO Photo Gallery, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Media Center, and more… so finally it allows the computer to understand how to display new and proprietary photo format. By the way, can you imagine the famous Picasa still can’t read supported WIC format ? Picasa is still using DCRAW which is a nice library to read RAW photo but unfornutly the color and speed isn’t as good as genuine WIC codec when it is delivered by digital camera manufacturors.

Thats all the problem, Canon ( I m a Canon user so I don’t know very well for the other manufacturors ) is quite often late to update the software part, forcing any new digital camera buyers to use the software delivered as a bundle with the camera. It is just software !!! but for unknown reason, they are quite slow to update the required drivers and .. that’s not all…

Let’s talk about x64 bits version of WIC codec, and you will find Digital Manufacturors are really hardware oriented. Is there a solution…. hopefully there is one now, that I want to share today :

http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/codecs/

It is a all-in-one, hassle-free solution to support all the major RAW files with one package, even if you are using mainly only .CR2 or .NEF you can consider this option as you could tune some options that the original manufacturor doesn’t allow to do. You need to know the .RAW files often contains 1 to 3 differents thumbnails size and a copy of the raw files as an embedded jpeg version ( using the default settings of the digital camera for the white balance, sharpness, creative mode ). Using that file stream you can greatly speed up the display of the raw files within Windows Explorer and see thumbnails of raw , as you are used to watch .jpeg or bitmap files. It is one of the only solution to get your raw files supported with x64bits edition of Windows !

Not only FastPictureViewer is providing support for x64 bits version that the original manufacturors don’t want to do, but it offers to any users the best performance, and extra features. A must have !

This codec offers a few other options and the development is going fast to implement new features, for example it will have a better and more accurate rendering than Windows internal codec itself, by rotating the picture correctly, or removing the black bar which adjust the size of the thumbnail to the regular aspect ratio of the windows thumbnails.

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PhotoShop CS5 content-aware aka seam carving aka Liquid Resize fun marketing

March 30th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in article, photography, software review

Adobe PhotoShop CS4 introduced an implementation of the content-aware / Seam Carving / Liquid Resize algorithm. It is a powerful filter to remove object, or resize full pictures without stretching all the objects or squeezing faces for portrait. It is a very powerful photo editing filter. But .. to be honest, I didn’t find the option in CS4, so it is well hidden, anyway, it is well known I m not an addict of Adobe photo software. The funny story today is the announce of PhotoShop CS5 in a few days, and adobe released an impressive YouTube demo about the new filter.

But here is a very funny ironic video about that filter, watch it, it is very funny :

If you want a free implementation of the Seam Carving filter ( the real one ), you can download VSO Photo Gallery

And for people interesting to read long and interesting case study, I add a link to the Princeton university about latest algorythm
discovered: http://www.cs.princeton.edu/gfx/pubs/Barnes_2009_PAR/index.php

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