Disable Ubuntu System Beep!

If you’re like me, you’re probably quite annoyed with the system beep in Ubuntu. Luckily, there’s an easy fix:

To disable it temporarily:

  1. In Terminal (or the console), enter: “sudo rmmod pcspkr”
  2. You should not hear the system beep until your next system reboot.

To disable it permanently:

  1. In Terminal (or the console), enter: “sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist”
  2. At the end of the file, enter a new line “blacklist pcspkr”
  3. Type Ctrl+O (to save the file), then Ctrl+X (to exit nano)
  4. After your next system reboot, you should no longer here the system beep.

Thanks to Turning Off The System (hardware) Beep : Linux Tutorial for the info!

Windows Embedded Visual Style for XP

In case you’re looking for something fresh (and it’s signed by Microsoft, so you won’t need to hack anything to make it work)…

clip_image002

Windows XP users have not really seen a lot of love theme-wise from Microsoft since the release of the operating system. A measly handful of official themes have been released by Microsoft and the trend seems to continue for Windows Vista users. There is not really a reason to not to supply customers with fresh themes for their operating systems. If you look on the Internet you find many resources that cater to the needs of users who want to change the default themes.

Official themes on the other hand have the advantage of being signed meaning that there is no need to tamper with the uxtheme.dll file that protects the operating system from unofficial themes. Vishal over at Ask VG discovered a new signed Windows XP theme that is also compatible with Windows Server 2003 that can be installed without changing system files.

He discovered the theme in the Windows Embedded Standard CTP Refresh distribution and provided download links to it. The theme is supplied as a self extracting executable that installs the theme in the right location in Windows. The theme can then be selected from the Themes tab in the Display Properties.

(via ghacks.net)

Dock Icons Galore!

I’ve been using RocketDock for quite some time, and I’m always on the hunt for great looking dock icons compatible with it (Or MobyDock, ObjectDock, RK Launcher, Y’z Dock, etc.). Luckily, I’ve stumbled across some pretty sweet picks lately and thought I’d share. 🙂

folders

Refresh_CL_Icon_Pack_by_TPDKCasimir

Sleek_XP__Software_by_deleket

You can find a whole bunch more great icons at the following links:

Canon 5200mm f/14 lens

…really looks like a cannon. 😉

702f_12

This is the most mammoth camera lens I’ve ever seen, and has almost unbelievable specifications:

tv5200cat

From CanonFD.com:

  • Focal Length: 5150mm
  • Exposure Control: Light quantity is controlled with the use of built-in ND filters, corresponding to f/14, f/16, f/22, f/32
  • Minimum Object Distance: 120 meters (Approx 393 feet!)
  • Size: 500mm(wide) x 600mm(high) x 1890mm(deep) [20”x24”x75.6”]
  • Weight: 100kg (220 lbs) without stand.

Yes, this behemoth is 220 pounds! That fact alone is impressive enough, then add the fact that it is capable of taking photographs of objects 18 to 32 miles away!

And now, this bad boy is for sale on eBay, for the low, low price of $55,000.00.

I think the best part is the quote from the seller:

This is a very rare Canon 5200mm photographic lens – possibly one of only three ever built. THE largest & most powerful prime lens ever created for dedicated SLR use. Built in Japan it was purchased by a Chinese company & shipped to China where it has since had little use & is now for sale. The optics appear in perfect condition. It is my understanding that a customized SLR/DSLR/EF mount can be created/included by the team of optical engineers who presently look after the lens. Due to its large size, it may be better suited to astronomy applications. It takes two people to lift the lens. It could also be mounted on a customized truck or SUV. A large geared or motorized support head would be needed to get the most out it. The magnification of this lens is truly staggering. If mounted to a Canon XL series video camera for example, a reach of 1000x optical (at least) would be possible (approx 37,500mm). The lens could also be mounted to HD & cine cameras. Tracking the space shuttle would not be a problem. Perhaps it’s already been used for that purpose? – (Did I just say that??!) Manual focus of course. Yes rear drop-in filters can be used. With so few ever built Canon spent “squillions” on the R&D, not to mention the manufacturer of this lens. Original cost price?? – don’t even ask!! 😉 In all seriousness I can’t be accurate. The Canon factory picture shows the lens mounted to an SLR camera (circled in red) – this will further give you an idea of it’s size.

For a better idea of how powerful this lens is, take a look at the following example:

5200jr3

Thanks to the following sites for information on this magnificent lens!

PC Fastlane: Most Expensive Camera Lenses Ever

This list is awesome, but it leaves out the most expensive and largest camera lens I’ve seen, the Canon 5200mm f/14 lens, which is currently for sale on eBay

From PC Fastlane:

canon-ef-800mm-super-telephoto-lens

Expect to sell a few organs to afford this thing. Price at almost $12,000, the Canon EF 800mm is designed for the pros among us. It will be released in May 2008, it is meant for long-range photography like sports, wildlife, and nature. Don’t expect to use this thing without a tripod by the way. At over 10 pounds, it probably weighs more than your camera. Thankfully, Amazon has graceously included free shipping with the item.

(more here: http://www.pcfastlane.com/rants-raves/most-expensive-camera-lenses-ever/)

Consolas as CMD.EXE (Windows Console) Font

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First, you’ll need the Consolas font. If you’re not currently running Windows Vista, then you’ll need to get it via the PowerPoint Presentation Viewer, which will install Consolas, among other nice Vista fonts. (Or, if you have Visual Studio 2005 or 2008, you can just grab the Consolas Font Pack for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or 2008)

Once you have this font installed, open up Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to the following key, as shown below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont\

2008-09-15_125937

Then, right click in the blank area and choose New > String Value.

Double click this new value and enter the following information:

Name: 00
Data: Consolas

Your window should now look like this:

2008-09-15_130000

Once this is done, open a console window (cmd.exe) and choose Consolas from the Font tab:

2008-09-15_131335

Thanks to Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen for the tips on how to set this up! 🙂

Update: There seems to be an easier way to do this, as I just found from the IEBlog:

Bryn Spears on the Internet Explorer team gave me the following simple instructions to turn on Consolas in the CMD Window:

reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont” /v 00 /d Consolas

logoff

Note: In Windows Vista, you need to run the reg command from an elevated command prompt.

When you log back in, Consolas will be an option in the “Command Prompt” Properties.  (n.b., Bryn tells me it actually shows up before you relog, but it won’t work.)

NETTUTS: 10 Challenging But Awesome CSS Techniques

Very, very cool article for web designers:

header_logo

Most designers and web developers only scratch the surface of the potent language that is CSS. In terms of programming languages, CSS has a fairly simple learning curve. That doesn’t mean that CSS isn’t a powerful language. Sometimes it’s the small things that make a huge difference in a website design.

In this post we’re going to outline 10 awesome CSS techniques for web developers who know their stuff.

There are plenty of CSS techniques and hacks out there for beginning designers. Everyone knows about the routine tricks like:

These simple tricks are all fine and very important, but today we’re going to look at some CSS techniques that are a bit more challenging. They’re not the run-of-the-mill techniques you’d teach a CSS beginner. These 10 tricks are slightly more difficult, but if done well they can add an extra special something to your website layout.

(http://nettuts.com/html-css-techniques/10-challenging-but-awesome-css-techniques/)

Ryugyong Hotel (Pyongyang, DPRK)

Update: Check out the new construction on the hotel!

ryugyong-hotel-lg

In my continuing search for new and interesting articles due directly to my incredible fascination with North Korea (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea), I recently found an article in Esquire about the monstrous Ryugyong Hotel, a vacant skyscraper hotel that was originally meant to be a shining symbol of the prosperity of the DPRK but has sat empty and incomplete since construction ceased in 1992 (construction began in 1987).

According to Wikipedia,

The Ryugyong Hotel (Korean: 류경호텔)(or Ryu-Gyong Hotel or Yu-Kyung Hotel)[citation needed] is an unfinished concrete skyscraper. It is intended for use as a hotel in Sojang-dong, in the Potong-gang District of Pyongyang, North Korea. The hotel’s name comes from one of the historic names for Pyongyang: Ryugyong, or “capital of willows.” Its 105 stories rise to a height of 330 m (1,083 ft), and it contains 360,000 m² (3.9 million square feet) of floor space, making it the most prominent feature of the city’s skyline and by far the largest structure in the country. At one time, it would have been the world’s tallest hotel.[1] Esquire dubbed it “The Worst Building in the History of Mankind” and noted that the government of North Korea has airbrushed the building out of pictures. The Christian Science Monitor called it “one of the most expensive white elephants in history”.[2] Over the years, the skyscraper has earned such nicknames as the “Hotel of Doom,” “Phantom Hotel,” and “Phantom Pyramid.”[3] Construction began in 1987 and ceased in 1992, due to the government’s financial difficulties. The unfinished hotel remained untouched until April 2008, when construction resumed after being inactive 16 years.[4]

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryugyong_Hotel)

The Esquire article has a bit more scathing review of this enormous structure:

A picture doesn’t lie — the one-hundred-and-five-story Ryugyong Hotel is hideous, dominating the Pyongyang skyline like some twisted North Korean version of Cinderella’s castle. Not that you would be able to tell from the official government photos of the North Korean capital — the hotel is such an eyesore, the Communist regime routinely covers it up, airbrushing it to make it look like it’s open — or Photoshopping or cropping it out of pictures completely.

Even by Communist standards, the 3,000-room hotel is hideously ugly, a series of three gray 328-foot long concrete wings shaped into a steep pyramid. With 75 degree sides that rise to an apex of 1,083 feet, the Hotel of Doom (also known as the Phantom Hotel and the Phantom Pyramid) isn’t the just the worst designed building in the world — it’s the worst-built building, too. In 1987, Baikdoosan Architects and Engineers put its first shovel into the ground and more than twenty years later, after North Korea poured more than two percent of its gross domestic product to building this monster, the hotel remains unoccupied, unopened, and unfinished.

(http://www.esquire.com/the-side/DESIGN/hotel-of-doom-012808)

But, since the Esquire article was posted, there has actually been construction activity, for the first time in 16 years!

SHENYANG, China, May 19 (Yonhap) — North Korea resumed the construction of a highrise hotel building in Pyongyang last month, which was suspended for nearly 20 years due to funding problems, informed sources here said Monday.

The construction of the luxury Ryugyong Hotel began in 1987 with French capital and technology for completion in 1992. The 105-story building has long been left uncompleted since early 1990s amid North Korea’s chronic economic problems.

“North Korean authorities restarted the construction of Ryugyong Hotel in April,” the sources said, quoting those who recently returned from trips to Pyongyang.

Orascom Telecom Holding of Egypt is North Korea’s partner for the construction, the sources said. “If completed, the hotel will be used as an accommodation for foreign investors and visitors, a business center and an international convention center among others,” a source said.

The 330-meter hotel is expected to be the world’s tallest when completed.

(http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2008/05/19/97/0401000000AEN20080519006900315F.HTML)

Now, given that the secretive country is notoriously restrictive to tourists (except during the Arirang Games), such an investment seems like an odd choice, but it looks like there’s another motive…

Traders in Shenyang, China with ties to Pyongyang say the North has now found that funding, partnering with Egypt’s Orascom Group. Orascom has publicized significant investment plans for North Korea in the last twelve months. Orascom Telecom Holding announced on January 30 of this year that it had been granted the first-ever commercial license to provide WCDMA 3G technology-based cellular service to North Korea, and put forth plans to invest 400 million USD to create a nationwide infrastructure.

This deal followed on the heals of Orascom’s first venture into DPRK investment, announced in mid July, 2007, when Orascom Construction Industries purchased a 50 percent stake in the North’s Sangwon Cement Factory near Pyongyang. This venture involved the injection of 115 million USD, which is being used to modernize the facility and increase production capacity from 2.5 million tons to 3 million tons per year.

(http://www.nkeconwatch.com/2008/05/19/orascom-completes-3g-test-call-in-north-korea/)

…which is another odd move, considering that citizens in the DPRK are not allowed to own cellular phones. Or maybe they will be allowed to?

Earlier this year, the company said that it expects to sign up an initial 100,000 subscribers when it launches its new GSM network in North Korea. Speaking on a conference call, CEO Naguib Sawiris said that the service would start in three main cities in the country and the company will then pause to assess the impact.

The company aims to spend an initial US$200 million on the network over the next twelve months, with US$100 per year for the two years after that.

(http://www.nkeconwatch.com/2008/05/19/orascom-completes-3g-test-call-in-north-korea/)

Whatever the case may be, this hotel fascinates the hell out of me. I’ll keep you readers posted, of course, as soon as I stumble upon more info. In the meantime, here’s a couple video “tours” of the hotel. 🙂

Canon EOS 50D SLR

It’s a bit surprising to me how quickly Canon is skipping over the 40D; I purchased a 30D at the end of its sales life (and was able to get the nicer 28-135mm lens shown below as part of the kit), right before the 40D came out, just about a year ago..

canon_eos50d-thumb-450x505

Canon today strengthens its EOS range with the addition of a powerful new digital SLR: the EOS 50D. A newly designed 15.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor delivers ultra-detailed, low-noise images – ideal for large-scale reproduction or creative cropping. Canon’s new DIGIC 4 processor is fast enough to allow up to 6.3fps continuous shooting, in bursts of up to 90 JPEGs with a UDMA card. Used with Canon’s wide area AF system, which locks onto subjects with 9 individual cross type sensors, stunning action sequences can be captured – even in low-light conditions. A new 3.0” Clear View VGA LCD provides extra-large and wide angle-of-view image review, with plenty of clarity for accurate focus checks in playback. By switching to Live View mode – which displays a real-time image on the LCD – photographers can enjoy simplified shooting from awkward angles, or connect to a PC for remote shooting.

(continued via fareastgizmos.com)

Flickr: Excellent Photo Advice

One of my Flickr friends, Steve-h just sent me a message today recommending that I read the profile of Bachspics, which contains a wealth of advice on taking better pictures and scoring better in Flickr Explore.

Here’s a clip:

TIPS ON TAKING AND PRESENTING BETTER PICTURES

Here are some tips on improving composition, taking better and more interesting pictures I’ve collected. [Feel free to send me a Flicker Message with your suggestions.] I also recommend Geoff Quinn’s “A few lessons learned the hard (and slow) way on Flickr” at: www.flickr.com/people/gcquinn/ You may also be interested in David Brooks’ Photographic Composition Tutorial and blog about photographic composition theory found here: giant-steps-giant-blog.blogspot.com/ You can see 24 articles mostly about nature photography by Darwin Wiggett, here: www.darwinwiggett.com/articles.html Also check out some Photoshop tips and tutorials here www.tommysimms.com/photoshop.html See “Ten Questions To Ask When Taking A Digital Photo” here: digital-photography-school.com/blog/10-questions/

In the examples below you can click on the picture for a larger view.

* NO FORMULAS: To begin with there are no formulas or recipes for great photographs. But there are matters pertaining to beauty and interest such as principles relating to light, harmony, balance, color and emotion and elements of design such as line, form, pattern, shape, texture and color which enter into making a photograph attractive and interesting. Successful photographs are about knowing and applying those principles when appropriate, but also about perception, thought and creativity.

And more:

TOP TEN WAYS TO MAKE “EXPLORE”

Just photograph….
10. …looking down on a buxom woman from above her head; preferably if she has a low-cut top on.
09. …a flower and/or an insect on or near it; or just the insect will do. [Late in September 07 Flicker averaged about 50 flowers in each day’s 500, or 10%; They had 10-15 insects per day.]
08. …a cat, any cat, lots of cats; and once in a while a dog; or a dog, any dog, lots of dogs; and once in a while a cat.
07. …a sunset [Flicker includes anywhere from 25-50 of these per day.]
06. …a young adult leaping through the air, or one eye of a woman (there was a tie here).
05. …a picture of the “the 275th day in the life of…” (Who started that inane fad?); these are often self-portraits (see # 3 below)

Wow. Excellent advice. Thanks again to Steve-h for the suggestion, and Bachspics for the excellent writeup!

By the way, the rest of the writeup is on Bachspics profile page. =)

41 Amazing Tilt-shift miniature faking photographs

So cool! Hard to believe that these are actually real photos of life-size objects!

2568907255_d70e96fe47

106667213_c9f1fbee69

From the post:

Believe it or not, all of these photos are of real life-size locations or objects. The technique of tilt-shift miniature faking makes the life-sized look like a miniature scale model. The process involves using Photoshop to fake a shallow depth of field and punching up the color saturation. The results are truly amazing. I’ve rounded up 41 of the best tilt-shift miniature faking photos around to inspire you. Below each group of photos will be the link to the creators Flickr page where you can view more of their great work. Stop by and show your appreciation with a kind comment.

(via http://digital-artist-toolbox.com/?p=24)

Thomas Hawk: Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr, All Fresh and New for 2008

Great article from Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection about how to get attention on Flickr:

“What is more pleasant than the benevolent notice other people take of us, what is more agreeable than their compassionate empathy? What inspires us more than addressing ears flushed with excitement, what captivates us more than exercising our own power of fascination? What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us? What, lastly, equals the enchantment sparked off by the delighted attention we receive from those who profoundly delight ourselves? – Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”
Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr, 2005.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr that proved fairly popular. A lot has changed at Flickr in the past 2 years though and how imagery is rated and ranked on the site has also changed. That said, I thought I’d write a fresher updated post on the top 10 ways, presently, to get attention on Flickr.

Back in 2006 when I wrote my original article on how to achieve popularity on Flickr my photostream had been viewed almost 400,000 times. According to a Flickr stats page that’s been added since that time, the view count for my pages on Flickr now stands at 9,953,328. It should pass 10 million sometime this week. I’m averaging about 14,000 page views a day on Flickr.

Some of how one gets attention on Flickr has remained the same since 2006. Other stuff has changed.

(list continued at Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr, All Fresh and New for 2008)

Vigeland Park (Sculpture Park)

Great site I found via Wikipedia about some wonderful sculptures in Oslo, Norway:

vigeland6

Translated from Dutch…kinda:

Many people say that Oslo but an ugly city. The port may be a strange mix of architectural styles and at first sight, not particularly, but if you look beyond your nose long, then there are indeed very beautiful currants in the pap to be found. Pak daarom de tram naar het westen van Oslo en probeer de toeristenbussen te omzeilen terwijl je het Vigeland Park inloopt. Pak therefore the tram to the west of Oslo and try to circumvent the tourist while the Vigeland Park inloopt.

Het Vigeland park is gewoon één van de mooiste parken van Europa. The Vigeland park is just one of the most beautiful parks of Europe. Een park dat zich door de beelden van Vigeland zonder meer met andere parken als Hyde Park (Londen), Regents Park (Londen), het Vondelpark (Amsterdam), het Maria Luisa park (Sevilla) en Parc Guelle (Barcelona) kan meten. A park that by the images of Vigeland well with other parks as Hyde Park (London), Regents Park (London), the Vondelpark (Amsterdam), the Maria Luisa park (Sevilla) and Parc Guell (Barcelona) can be measured. Het park bezit naast een fraaie layout welgeteld 192 sculpturen met daarin meer dan 600 figuren. The park owns next to a beautiful layout just 192 sculptures with more than 600 objects. Het thema leven en dood word in eindeloze cirkels neergezet in levensgrote beelden van baby’s, kinderen vrouwen, mannen, bejaarden en ook doden. The theme is life and death in endless circles in what life images of babies, children, women, men, elderly and even deaths.

Here’s the article, via Google Translator:

And the original article, in Dutch:

Also, here’s the Holy Taco article that made me look this up in the first place:

And, of course, a sculpture of a man throwing/kicking babies in the air:

PhotoChallenge.org » July Challenge

I’ve been working on this myself lately. Very cool challenge, and very cool website. =)

So it’s been a month since we finished the April and May Challenges, back-to-back. I kinda felt bored with my photography in June. Not only did I not get much done, I didn’t get out and shoot very much.

Now, I know that I need to take a break from the monthly challenges, occasionally. Every other month is the best pattern. I get a month to rest and develop the next exciting challenge, then off we go! Shooting all month long then becomes exciting and fun. Seeing what you’re all doing only challenges me even more. So far we’ve shot daily challenges and weekly challenges. We’ve even done one in the middle. I’d say that I actually prefer the daily challenges. It gets me out and shooting on a regular basis. Making the effort every day isn’t really that hard. When we’ve shot weekly, I find that I procrastinate until the end of the week, and I come up with lower quality work.

So, we’re going to shoot daily, again. Don’t like it? Too bad! (he, he)

For July, I want you to go out there and shoot all the lighting fixtures that you can find. Shoot desk lamps and floor lamps. Shoot street lights and head lights. Shoot flood lamps and brake lights.

PhotoChallenge.org » July Challenge

Juche Girl

If you know me, or have read my blog in the past, you’re probably familiar with my fascination with North Korea (DPRK) and everything related to it. So, when I found the “Juche Girl” blog (http://juchegirl.blogspot.com/) today, I was ecstatic. Here’s a sample post from her blog:

Pervert Bush

I cry very much today because of Bush. Today my brother show me video of Bush who fly inside Germany country with his plane and make vicious sex attack from behind on poor downtrodden woman victim of US imperialism and now I’m scared Bush will fly into our home tonight and rape my mother TT.TT I hate Bush!
I hate Bush. Bush is such liar and pervert. I hope his plane fall out of the sky and he dies with face folded. >_<

And another…

Evil Bush strike more but Dear Leader is best


Bush oppress the poor downtrodden people of the world for his own sick twisting pleasure. My brother who is very smart show me picture of Bush who pick up handicap people in wheelchair and toss them on the ground for laughing like maniac with the vampire Cheney. >.<
Dear Leader never do that. Dear Leader make the handicap walk and the blind see. Dear Leader is always full of loving care for the people.
Once Dear Leader went for giving guidance to handicap hospital with one room full of people who had lost an arm or leg in accidents of construction sites building the great powerfull prosperous country. Dear Leader distributed arms and legs to who needed arms and legs and when Dear Leader had finished distributing arms and legs all the people who had missing arms and legs did not miss one arm or leg no longer! Bush can’t do that but Dear Leader can.

Wow. Just wow. I love it.

For those of you who have no idea what this is all about:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juche

…And the blog itself can be found here:

http://juchegirl.blogspot.com/

PostSecret: How It All Began

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In January 2004, I started the “reluctant oracle” project. Every Sunday, I created an released a new work to be discovered. They were discovered by people serendipitously. The story found local, national and international media coverage.

The last message from “reluctant oracle” bore the message, “You will find your answers in the secrets of strangers.” The next Sunday the PostSecret began.

pc4

Cool story!
http://www.postsecretcommunity.com/news-faq/postsecret-story

Windows Photo Gallery: Beige Color Fix

This seems to be a pretty common problem in Windows Vista, related to invalid/corrupt color profiles – if you’re experiencing this issue, you’ll see a beige color bleeding through the image from the background where a white background should be. Here’s an example (thanks to matthewrowan.spaces.live.com!):

y1peejIUGYPM8zDoJaegMIgj9nEaEGrjRanJxPnScs5Sp86J0gPCSgjq4-F7gqit588xrwVgylDrYKa16ExRjk-rH7GnOfOvTwy

And, what it should look like:

y1peejIUGYPM8xXMUvoFe67RkGS6QClTfxgodJ5jY8KXI_1qvGbg__j3RMzUqSl2adkwpVBj27SDeswgKQAQqhgVDGBdIRqtaU6

Luckily, there is a fix (again, via matthewrowan.spaces.live.com):

After a little searching for how to change the background color, I found other people with this symptom describing it as an off color, yellow tint, orange or yellowish tinge, beige, cream colored background which, shows through the picture itself, distorts the colours, or bleeds through pictures. In most situations the problem went away in slide show mode. This was an annoying issue, making me avoid looking at pictures whatsoever in Windows Photo Gallery. This wasn’t that much of an issue because I do not use photos or pictures often on my development machine. But before I was going to install Vista on my other computer where I view photos constantly, I needed to ensure that I would not have this issue.

The solution can be found here:
Windows Vista Photo Gallery Yellow Tint Background Problem

(via Windows Photo Gallery background color bleeding through pictures)