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topaz: (camera)
As I mentioned on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, recently I learned the hard way not to trust iPhoto for anything, ever. At some point in the last few months it lost the original (raw) files of every photo I've taken since 2005. I'm still trying to figure out just what might have happened, but it looks like it occurred at around the same time I moved my photos from a MacBook Pro running Leopard to a new iMac running Snow Leopard. The problem looks a lot like this (minus the Aperture issues), or this, or possibly this.

The worst part is that the failure was not immediately apparent, since the thumbnail images are all still intact and iPhoto doesn't immediately alert you if there's something wrong like a missing original. So my spot checks on the library after I moved it to the new machine all passed, and I deleted the archive from the old machine months ago.

So anyway. I'm in the market for a new Macintosh photo management tool and am willing to drop some real money on it. I want a tool that:
  • does something reasonably smart if I dump a lot of photos into it without guidance (e.g. if I took 1,500 pictures over the weekend and don't have six hours to spend sorting them right away)
  • is flexible about how I organize photos when I choose to (i.e. doesn't pathologically insist on saving every batch of photos in a meaningless "event", like iPhoto)
  • has solid basic photo editing tools: crop, rotate, curves, color levels, etc. I don't absolutely need liquid rescale or content-aware fill; for that I can always fire up the GIMP
  • good metadata management a plus (tagging, keywords, etc)
  • isn't going to forget one day where the last five years of pictures went (this is kind of a deal-breaker, now)
Any recommendations? Lightroom, Aperture, something else? Do you like the workflow your tools offer you? What about them?
topaz: (Morgan - thrashin')

Mechanics Hall, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

Source of grumpiness for the day: discovering that iOS 4.0 photos taken in portrait mode show up sideways when e-mailed. It's apparently a consequence of iOS 4 being dogmatic about using EXIF orientation tags in the JPEG file correctly, and the rest of the world not having caught up. I'm disappointed to find that flickr doesn't do this right.
topaz: (camera)
Sometimes I love living in the future. It's not all fun and games, we may not have our flying cars, but it's still pretty awesome that, when I hear on the radio on the way to work about an FBI raid in Watertown, I can use a portable phone to search the news until I find an address, get a map with directions, and be there in ten minutes to take pictures of the event, bike to work and put them on the Internet within the hour.

I mean, cripes. That's just cool.


Apr. 30th, 2010 11:31 am
topaz: (Default)
Jason Scott has roped me into being a last-minute addition to the Usenet panel at  ROFLcon II on Saturday afternoon.

I will be sharing a panel with Jay Furr, Laurence Canter and Brad Templeton.  This promises to be a gas.

What other Usenet luminaries live in the Boston or even greater New England area who might be available to fill a spot on short notice? Anyone know how to get in touch with Kibo?  Jason has been trying without success.
topaz: (grinnybike)
Google Maps gets biking directions: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/biking-directions-added-to-google-maps.html

Dark green routes are dedicated bike trails and sidepaths; light green are bike lanes, and dashed green lines are "recommended" roads for biking.

I haven't explored it much yet to see what I think of the actual routes it suggests.  It seems to recommend bike paths and lanes strongly over other roads, which is fine, but of course it can't really take things like road surface quality into account.
topaz: (madblog)
As of this morning, unchi.org appears to be registered to some domain squatter in Canada.  I was pretty sure I had reregistered it for 10 years, so I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm investigating.  If mail to unchi.org is bouncing, this is why. 

Edit: Resolved.   Billing dispute.  Very embarrassing.
topaz: (torchwood)
I love my iPhone.  Oh, I love it so much.  But there is one thing that I never was able to do that drove me nuts, and that was keep the calendar on my phone synched with Google Calendar.  I use Google Calendar to schedule pretty much everything in my life now, and not being able to get it reliably on my phone was maddening.

The last time I looked at this, the only solution seemed to involve Google Sync, a tool which looked at best a little kludgy and at worst threatened to lose all of my data if something went wrong.  I elected not to use it.

But as of the iPhone 3.0 update it is possible to make your phone sync directly with GCal: http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?answer=151674.

After following that, go to https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect to select the calendars you want to see on your phone.  Make sure you hit "Save".

Voila!  Now I can schedule appointments and -- dare I say it? -- lunch dates! with confidence.  It's like a whole new world, baby.
topaz: (camera)

Links to photographs that people have pulled from my Flickr photostream and attributed to me.  (Practically everything I post has a Creative Commons license, so this is completely fine.)
topaz: (sun-moon-coffee)
Can anyone hazard an informed guess about how the carbon cost of drinking coffee out of a paper cup every day stacks up against the cost of, say, breaking a ceramic mug once a year?

Purely hypothetically, of course.
topaz: (tiger!)
10:28 <[livejournal.com profile] mangosteen> I wish there was a compact way of saying "I've
        already searched the web.  I will have an undefined reaction if you
        decide to answer my question with an uninformed opinion derived
        from looking at the first three results on Google."
10:34 <[livejournal.com profile] primal_pastry> "I have jfgi. rtfm, noob."
topaz: (glare)
[livejournal.com profile] moominmolly reminded me last week that I hadn't got around to naming my bike.

I really like the ferret idea she suggested.  I just was not taken with "Mustela" or "Furón".

Also, I decided that I'm just not geeky enough to name it "Kiki" after Riff's hyperkinetic ferret in Sluggy Freelance.

But then I realized: I am actually geeky enough to name it "Kiki" after the adolescent witch in Kiki's Delivery Service.

Ha!  Problem solved.  Thanks, everybody!
topaz: (alien)
An increasing number of you have Dreamwidth accounts.  If any of you should find yourselves with an extra invite code on your hands, I wouldn't say no...

Edit: All set. Just to be ornery, I'm topaz @ dreamwidth.
topaz: (QRcode)
From two conversations I have recently had, with dear friends who shall remain nameless (unless they choose to identify themselves):

1. This gentleman has eight external disks, ranging in size from 500GB to 800GB each, daisy-chained to his iMac.  He has a collection of 80,000 photos and probably almost as many MP3s, many of which in turn were encoded from vinyl LPs in his collection.  His primary hobby is borrowing DVDs from the library and ripping them to disk so he can put them on his iPod Classic, which has a screen about 2" diagonal.

One of the disks in his chain had recently failed, so we were having a conversation about how best to back up his data and keep track of it.

I asked him, "How much storage do you have there?"

He stopped.  He thought.  He counted on his fingers.

Finally he said, "Six terabytes.  Five?  Maybe five.  Six."

N.B.: what I am saying here is that he lost track of how many terabytes he had.

2. From an IRC conversation with another otherwise fine fellow:
at home with a head cold.   What a perfect time to hook up the new hackable-to-region-free dvd player so that I can watch "Jerry Springer the Opera" in all its region 2 glory.
I propose a new law of society and technology:

There is an inverse relationship between the power of consumer technology and the sensible uses to which it is put.

(N.B. #2: I am not exempting myself from this law.  Not for a moment.)
topaz: (QRcode)
Here's something I find myself doing often, on my GNOME and OSX desktops: copying, say, a ticket number from an email message or a web page, and then dropping it into a search form to bring up more information about that ticket.  I already have bookmark shortcuts like "b ####" to bring up a Bugzilla page about a given ticket number.

It would be ten kinds of awesome if I could right-click on a highlighted region and have options like "Bugzilla lookup", "Siebel lookup", "RT lookup", etc., which would just pass that highlighted text to an appropriate keyword bookmark, and cut out one of those steps.

(Being able to do this from any app at all, like an xterm or an editor window, would be even better, but seems less likely to be feasible in either GNOME or OSX.)

Has anyone done anything like this with an XUL or Greasemonkey extension, or the like?  Seen anything similar?
topaz: (2632)
It's Friday night and I'm still in my cubicle at work, doing this:

tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s
tpierce@yclept:~$ date +%s

Happy Unix epoch day, everybody!


Jan. 31st, 2009 02:21 pm
topaz: (2632)
1:30pm: LG phone confirmed dead on arrival at Verizon Wireless.
3:00pm: iPhone purchased from Apple Store downstairs from Verizon.
4:30pm: synched music.
7:00pm: downloaded OpenTable, Yelp, Now Playing, Frotz, Pandora, TouchTerm, Midomi, Urbanspoon, Labyrinth, Burning Tires Lite, Lightsaber, Public Radio, Radioparadise, Google Apps Pack, LiveJournal.app, Dice Bag, and Facebook apps.
12:30am: successfully exported contact list from old phone.
10:00am: imported contact list into new phone.
2:00pm: downloaded iPhone SDK.

(Go ahead.  Look surprised.  I dare you.)

Edit: per [livejournal.com profile] fj's query, yes, I ported the old number. You do not need to update your contact lists.

Unless, of course, I wasn't in your contact list before. If that's the case, then you should. Except if the reason I wasn't in your contact list is that you don't actually like me that much in the first place. And if that's the case -- why are you even reading this? Is it just to taunt me? Is that it? You like being cruel? Don't you have better things to do? Are you proud of yourself now? Huh? Are you? So maybe you could do us all a favor and just defriend me. I don't care anyway. Knock yourself out. Truth is, I don't like you either. I've never liked you that much. You can be a real son of a bitch sometimes, and I've put up with it for a long time, but no more, you hear me? You hear me out there? Do you? Huh? Do you?

... sorry, what were we talking about?


Jan. 28th, 2009 01:44 pm
topaz: (garfield minus)
This is my daily semi-demi-irregular Twaddle feed.  If you want to read my Twats directly you can go to biteme.org.
  • 09:41 a collection of fully orchestrated, lushly-arranged classic torch songs
  • 09:43 @megazopolis: similar to, or a return of, the tracking powers of Dawnstar!
  • 09:57 @carmcarm3 Da helmet head was totally worth it!
  • 10:42 I read a book.
  • 11:15 @johanngranados Coworker says Digsby works except it steals login sessions from web browser
  • 12:07 @_laertesgirl sure he will be in like 5 yrs
  • 12:54 I realized today that I'm not a Super Hero or a Power Ranger but an ordinary human with a great capacity. I still need to act realistically.
  • 13:22 That was a really boring book.
  • 13:41 @sake1derful Mmmmmm gooood!
  • 14:08 just had a poop.
  • 14:31 @AntiBucks Uhm. Waldo has a geriatric hippy fetish.

April 2012


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