PHP offers a substantial set of image manipulation libraries, but sometimes calling external programs (ImageMagick in this case) gets the job done better, or lets you do things you couldn't do. PHP programmers aren't as comfortable invoking external programs as CGI programmers, so here's a quick illustration of how to manipulate images with ImageMagick from your PHP scripts.
articles from October 2003
A lot of people find this site looking for ImageMagick help. And there's a great manual, but it's not the most accessible piece of reading. It's definitely not aimed at a novice ImageMagick user, and provides no "how do I..." sort of assistance. So I thought I'd share some useful ImageMagick incantations.
So you want to build an acrylic case....
Modifying cases is a great way to make your system stand out. But a custom-built enclosure goes even further--your system can become truly unique. Wood, sheet metal and plastics are all materials used to make cases, but transparent acrylic plastic (Sold under the brand names Plexiglas, Perspex, Acrylite, Rohaglas, and others) offers a case builder a few distinct advantages over other materials. The combination of transparency, durability, and relatively low cost make acrylic stand out as a material.
It was nice to hear again from my friend Carlos Albert Teixeira, a journalist specializing in technology who has caught the case modding wave. We first "met" back about a year and a half ago. And ever since then, I have noticed a steady wave of readers from Brasil. My Portuguese is not that great, but I do want to say Bem Vindo to all the Brasilian case modders and people intersted in case modding.
Well, what do you know, Yoshi mentioned my plasma globe case mod on the air on the Screen Savers. He mentioned my hard drive mod in a newsletter back when he did one a while back, but this time he mentioned me in the teevee segment they aired. You can see a clip of it on the page linked above.
I come up with a lot of interesting stuff by mining the referring URIs to this site. I've found copyright infringers this way, eBay auction seelers hijacking my images, lots of amusement. I even escalated the madness by writing a little PHP script to log and track my referrals from Google queries. Wow, what fun.
So today I turned up an interesting little gold nugget by looking through the regular logs, not a referrer at all.
Anyone can spray paint their case. It's not too hard to get a decent looking paint job from ordinary cans of spray paint. But to get a truly extreme paint job, the kind you'd see on a show car, you'll need to apply some clear coat, and a healthy amount of elbow grease. Fortunately neither one is very expensive. The paint job we started last issue will get a finish sanding worthy of a limousine, and you'll see how to do it, step by step.
One of the best ways to improve your case's looks without spending huge money is to spraypaint it. Getting serious with spraypaint is more about patience than money, but your case will still look like a million.
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