Category Archives: Technology

In 2016 Google Killed Picasa, and there’s still nothing as good

These days all the huge tech companies want you to rely on them for every single thing you do. They use the cloud as the ONLY way to process, store, and share photos with apps like Google Photos, Apple Photos, etc…

But lets be honest here. None of those products are as good, as fast, easy to use, and convenient as Google Picasa was, not if you’re taking photos on things other than your phone that is.

I have a huge photo and video library on my computer from a wide variety of different cameras. I want to be able to browse through them quickly and efficiently, make changes, share, create photo albums etc, without having to hand all of my personal data over to Google.

I’ve gone though all the supposed ‘equivalents’ out there, such as:

  1. Digikam
  2. Shotwell
  3. Elementary OS Photos
  4. Windows Photos
  5. Google Photos (online)

And countless others, every single one of them fails in some way or another. In addition to all of them not doing what I wanted them to do, trying all of these different photo programs had left my photo library in a disorganized mess, divided into scrillions of subfolders, some with dates, others with album titles, others with seemingly meaningless titles, and no rhyme or reason to any of it.

So last Sunday I had enough and did a serious cleanup of my whole library. I did this by using the Dolphin File Manager and removed all of my image and video files out of all the zillions of sub-directories, then placed all images in one folder on an external drive, and all videos in a separate folder on the same drive. This took some time, but it was worth it. It not only cleaned up a lot of space (since I had a completely silly amount of duplicates), but I finally got all my photos and videos in a place where I can actually manage them.

The question still remains though, what do I use in place of Picasa? Well right now I’m going between about 3 different programs on my Linux PC. However, there’s still currently no good backup solution for Linux to google photos, so any pictures I want on the cloud must be manually uploaded. The simplest program is still Elementary OS Photos. It works okay, and has some features that I like, but almost none of the cloud backup integration works, and it cannot make web albums.

I use Gthumb to create HTML galleries for my site computerartgallery.com and still twiddling around with Digikam, mainly for tagging and cataloging video clips.

The bottom line is tech companies and developers are outright ignoring what users what for photo organization, and we basically had it with Picasa, now it’s gone. Yes you can still download Picasa and it will even run in Linux, but a lot of it’s features are broken now since it no longer syncs with Google’s cloud services.

What should a good photo manager do? Well in my opinion this:

  1. do not mess with directories, leave folders exactly as you create them
  2. scan multiple directories of your choosing
  3. basic editing features
  4. exporting photos and galleries in email and HTML

That’s really pretty much it. I have no idea why nobody is coming in to fill this simple need. I’m mostly writing this post out of frustration in hopes that someone with development skills will see this post and decide to take on the task.

The Internet in 2019 is boring and predictable, but it doesn’t have to be

Have you been surfing the internet lately and thought to yourself, ‘this is soooooo boring’? I have too, but I think I know why.

The internet is not really the internet anymore, it’s like 3 or 4 websites, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and maybe Instagram, or TikTok, if you’re spending more time on your phone than the computer. And then a few ….. (ahem)…. more mature themed sites.

All everyone does now is open up one of the sites listed above, and scroll. Gone is the variety of the early days of the internet, when surfing the net, really meant you didn’t know what kind of stuff you’d find. People made their own personal websites filled with personal stories, ¬†animated gifs, vacation pictures, low resolution videos, repeated tile backgrounds or whatever else they wanted to put up. Things were not dictated by giant evil corporations like Facebook.

Social media and tube sties have taken the soul of the internet, homogenized it, prefabricated it, removed all of it’s unique features, and turned it what at best could be described as a formulaic and stale predicable landscape of click-bait, filled with ads that track your behavior to sell you more crap. Then at worst it could be described as a cesspool of propaganda, outrage mobs, AI generated algorithm-based content that makes you feel lonely, angry then finally apathetic.

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but search engines don’t even really work anymore. Google is the #1 search engine in the world, but it actually quite sucks at finding things online that don’t fit into any of the above descriptions. For example, I tried finding a website about low-res photography. I’m into these weird early digital cameras and toy cameras that take crappy photos, and I am more than 100% sure that websites exist specializing in this content. (I know because I run one myself). But if you search in google, site about low res photography, all of the results are….. well….. see below, it’s pretty sad.

This is the first page, but I went about 10 pages deep and still there was absolutely no result anything close to what I was looking for. There’s nothing but these “how to” results. Nearly all of the how-tos will also just link to a blog post with an embedded YouTube video, once again leading you back to the same place you’re trying to get away from.

There used to be a site called Stumbleupon, that actually was pretty neat and basically took you to random lesser-known sites on the internet. Sadly they now too has transformed into a crappy pinterest type site called Mix.

So how can you make the Internet interesting again?

For one, delete all of your social media accounts. Facebook especially. Delete it.. do it. It is horrible for all living things. Twitter too, delete it. I’m actually deleting mine this weekend. I deleted Facebook 2 years ago, Reddit a few months ago, still have YouTube (since I’m a YouTuber) but for each social media account I delete, the better I feel and the more time I have to explore things like 404pagefound.com which is an index of some of the oldest websites on the internet.

Then go to your email, look at your address book, and just start emailing people. Email them for fun. Say, hi. Ask how they are doing. Attach a few photos. Tell them what you’ve been up to.

Then go find some new websites, something you haven’t seen. Go to somebody’s personal blog and read a few stories. Build your own site and do it the way YOU want to do it. Make one for your pictures, one for your music, one for your writing, or combine them all to one. But don’t do it with a service like Facebook, Twitter, Or any of those, register your own domain name and create something unique.

Do you already have something like that? Send me a link in the comments. I’ll check it out. If it sounds like something you want to do, send me a link after you finish. Lets start making the internet fun again!

Some of the pages I’ve made that you can look at for fun are my Mavica FD7 Blog https://mavicafd7.blogspot.com/ and my internet radio station http://radio.demonicsweaters.com

The internet in 2019 could be fun and exciting again if people want it to be.

Happy Surfing!

Maestro, A Great Music Notatation App For Android

I’ve been getting more into music composition lately, and trying out various tools and programs to do it digitally. One of the easiest and best things I’ve found so far is this app called Maestro http://bit.ly/2X2RdQM. I’m running this on a Fire HD tablet (with google play installed) learn how to put google play on your Fire Tablet http://bit.ly/2DCi3WU. You can also pick up a Fire Tablet here https://amzn.to/2E8PDp5 and a stylus here https://amzn.to/2X2Xn3i

Maestro is great for learning and has a ton of pro features like:

  • Notes, Chorded Notes
  • Rests, Measure Bars and Repeat Bars
  • Articulations and Note Relationships
  • Tie, Slur, Triplets, Accidentals, Dynamics
  • Octave Up and Down and more
  • Change Clef, Tempo
  • Change Time Signature and Key Signature
  • Play your Masterpiece Instantly
  • Set Playback Section and Repeat
  • Supports Multiple Instruments
  • 127 MIDI Instruments
    Piano, Organ, Violin, Cello and other Strings
    Guitar, Brass, Leed, Pipe and Drums
  • Name the Title, Subtitle and Composer
  • Export to Image Files
  • Zoom In and Out to draw more or fewer notes in one line
  • Save as image file as you see on the screen
  • 100% free for all features
  • Supports Tablets and All Size of Device
  • Host your music at the Concert Hall and see if others like it
  • The Concert Hall is where you can post your music or listen and see other maestro’s work
  • It is another fun way of learning how to write the various musical notations and symbols
  • Get some new inspirations!

As you can see it’s pretty amazing. I’m using it on my Amazon fire tablet and it works really well.


How To Record USB Audio And Video At The Same Time On Android

If you’re a YouTube musician, or just a videographer, this is an excellent technique for recording hi quality audio simultaneously as video on your android smart phone. I am running MIUI (, which is actually Android 7 on my Xiaomi Redmi 5a. On the video below I ran directly out of my mixer into my Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface.¬†

So how do you get it to work? Well first you’ll need a micro USB to female USB adapter like the one below.

Then finally you’ll need the app, Open Camera.

Once you have open camera installed, go into the video settings and select “use external microphone if available”. Now before you attempt recording there’s still one more thing you need to change or the videos will most likely not record. Go into Android’s app permission settings and under Microphone, find the Google App and turn off it’s access to your microphone. For some reason this interferes the recording (probably due to google spying on you all the time) haha.

Once that’s all configured, you should be able to plug in any USB audio interface or microphone and record video with great sounding audio!