Watching your own medical CT: Free Software makes it possible

I’ve received my own CT (computer tomography) images on a CD-ROM from the hospital. Unfortunately, they were expecting their patients to run exclusively on Windows (Well, TDK – the manufacturer of the CT did), so it was filled with autorun.inf, .exe and .dll files. *sigh*
Long story short: The actual images were stored as “DICOM” files (a medical image standard, yeah!) – now all I had was to install a viewer.

“apt-cache search dicom” returns a handful of entries, but the most interesting ones for me where:
(X)MedCon (

With the XMedCon app I could view the DICOM images, and with the medcon commandline tool, I did:
$ medcon -c PNG -f *.dcm
to convert the DICOMs to PNGs. No fuzz.

AMIDE however was really impressing me, because it takes the DICOM images of a CT, reads that they’re linked and renders 3 views, based on the top-only pictures:
top, front and side

I was now able to navigate through my own CT at home, without being forced to use proprietary tools. Great!

Play Ogg: Video of Shane Coughlan’s talk in Vienna now easily accessible

Free formats are are very important thing these days and thanks to the publicity of the Firefox webbrowser, it’s now even more comfortable to listen to or watch media in the free Ogg/Vorbis/Theora format since Firefox v3.5.
I had to try that new feature out, and used the video we’ve taken from Shane’s visit to Vienna last year.

If you want to watch his talk about “The professionalisation of Free Software – Where we are going next” and try out Firefox’s awesome new builtin, plugin-less audio/video support try this link: