Thursday, September 16, 2010


No, not water ice. Not an In Circuit Emulator. Not In Case of Emergency, either. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Or maybe behind, because I'm not really sure where this started. Anyway, a couple of days ago I was walking along the top of Ittindi Rock and thinking about how I wished my Sweetums could see what I was looking at. The pictures are nice, but they just aren't the same as being there. Then I thought about making a huge panorama, with pictures taken horizontally and vertically, all stitched together into one huge picture that you can zoom into forever. Then I remembered that Skid had sent me a link for a contraption that can be used to take pictures just for that use. That would be something else to carry around, though, and I think my backpack is heavy enough. Plus, I'm usually too impatient to sit around waiting for dozens of pictures to be taken. I might look into getting one of those, though. Anyway, then I started thinking about how I sometimes take a series of pictures that could be stitched together but I don't do it and wondered if I have any software that will stitch both horizontally and vertically. Before I could think about the software much more, I was distracted by some ants that seemed to be going in the same direction I was, and so I started thinking about them. Then I started thinking about horned lizards and gila monsters but I had to stop thinking about that to figure out what to do about the fallen paloverde blocking my path. You know, I used to think about fun stuff in my spare time, not ants and lizards and trying to derive an equation that describes the error associated with determining the equation for a straight line using two points when the positions of the points are not known exactly (i.e., they're noisy) and how the error will increase as the points get closer together. Speaking of points, that is not the point, but I've wandered so far off track I'm not sure I know how to get back.

Today at work, I somehow ran across something called Microsoft Power Toys, and a tool called Tweak UI. I thought it would solve a problem I've been having with a computer at home, so I emailed the link to me. I installed it when I got home, but it didn't do what I wanted (preventing a window from losing focus), but when I ran it I noticed something called Microsoft ICE had been installed on that computer. While I was messing with Tweak UI, I remembered that I had installed ICE, but couldn't remember what it was. I started it up and then remembered the demo video I had seen. Some guy dropped a couple of hundred pictures of the Golden Gate bridge into it and it instantaneously stitched them all together. I think he must have been working with very small (640x480?) pictures or was sitting at a super computer because it isn't that fast for me, even with just 2 pictures. Anyway, the software figures out how the pictures fit together and stitches them. You don't have to tell it anything, or arrange anything for it. Just drop the pictures in the window and away it goes. It had a little bit of trouble with some of my pictures but that may be because of the way I took them. I'll have to read up on ICE to see what I can do to improve the stitching.

This is the best stitching result.

ICE had a little trouble putting the saguaro together.

Once I figure out how to get good stitched photos, I'll have to figure out where to put them. I tried uploading these to my web album at their original size. The photo information on the web album says that they are original size. But when you zoom in on them, they are NOT original size. In fact, I don't have to zoom in to see that they have been shrunk so that their maximum dimension is 1600 pixels. I'll figure all that out when I'm not so sleepy.

P.S. I noticed yesterday that the picture at the top of my blog got shrunk. What's up with that? I didn't do it.

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