Last day at Points South

I went up to Points South on Saturday, to get one last look before it went away for good, and hang out with Snooj and Marla et al. Also to check out what was up for sale. I didn’t really need anything, but that didn’t stop me from picking up a server rack and a cast-iron saucepan. =)

Points South goes dark.

I took a bunch of pictures, check em out.

The Bandages are Off

I had intended to go to sleep early last night, to be fully rested for going back to work today.
Instead, I found myself awake, tired but unable to drift off.

I examined my bandages, which are supposed to fall off on their own. Many were pretty close to falling off. I’m not supposed to pull them off, but they were so loose they pretty much just came off.

I got up and took a shower, and tried to get as much of the black gummy bandage residue off my skin as I could. It’s sticky stuff though, I suspect it will be a week or more before I get it all off.

Overall, recovery is going well. I haven’t had any issues with intolerance to fat, or spicy food, or dairy that many people experience after having their gall bladder removed. My theory is that my gall bladder was in such bad shape that I haven’t had a fully working gall bladder in a while, so my body was already somewhat used to getting along without it even before it was removed.

I met with the surgeon, he says everything looks good, but that I should avoid lifting more than 10 pounds for the next 8 weeks, to allow my abdominal muscles time to repair.

For the squeamish, I have put the photo of my healing belly after the link (though it’s pretty tame, no blood or internal organs this time, just a few little scars and one big one):

click here to continue to a photo of my scarred belly

iPhone Case

I got a case for my iPhone – previously I had just been using an old dice bag.

The thing that caught my eye about this case is that it actually adds a feature to the iPhone that was missing.

It’s the Griffin Clarifi and it has a little lens that you can slide in front of the iPhone camera to give it a macro mode for close up shots.

The normal iPhone camera has a focal length of like 2 feet, so trying to get any kind of close up shot is an exercise in blurriness. The Clarifi not only seems to be a decent case, but the lens actually does the macro thing pretty well.

Here is a comparison of shooting without the Clarifi lens and with it.

iPhone camera without Clarifi:

iPhone camera WITH Clarifi:

It still doesn’t change the fact that the iPhone camera is pretty low-res and generally poor, but at least now I can take pictures of notebook doodles and other documents, which is a nice thing to have handy.

p.s. In case you’re wondering what the nutritional label is from, it’s Cactus Jerky. Spicy Teriyaki Cactus Jerky.

Flickr Video

Flickr just added the ability for paid users to upload 90-second videos along with photos.

To test this out, I uploaded a 6-second clip of me circa 2005 (not sure when in 2005 it was taken).
Amazing what a difference 2-3 years can make!

I’m tempted to recreate the clip sometime in my current incarnation and put them side-by-side. =)

iPhoto Flaws

Apple’s iPhoto is a decent program for managing your photos.

Not fantastic, not terrible, but adequate.

There are a few glaring omissions, things that seem like basic features that are missing from iPhoto.

No MD5 tracking
This sounds complicated, but MD5 is a common method for “fingerprinting” a file. Comparing MD5 fingerprints can tell you if a file is a duplicate. iPhoto does some sort of basic comparison to prevent duplicates, but it fails so often it must be only looking at the filename or timestamp or something. It’s badly flawed, and essentially broken.
This means if you bring in a lot of photos you have built up, you will probably have tons of duplicates in there. There are third-party solutions for this, but nothing built in to iPhoto.

No way to merge Libraries
iPhoto stores all the images in a “Library” – which is essentially a directory structure with some XML data. But for some reason, iPhoto has no way to merge libraries. So if you had iPhoto on one computer, and then got a new computer with iPhoto, you can’t just combine the old Library into the new one. You can choose to view one Library or the other by holding down the option key when you start iPhoto, but you can’t combine them. Sure, there are hacks and third-party apps, but that just accentuates the basic flaw: when choosing “import”, iPhoto doesn’t recognize its own file format (the Library).

No auto-rotation of photos
Most modern digital cameras have a sensor to detect the orientation of the camera when the photo is taken. So if you tilt the camera sideways to get a vertical shot, the image is tagged in the metadata as being rotated. Yet iPhoto ignores this, meaning you have to manually go through all your photos and rotate them. Lame! The metadata is there, use it!

A couple of these things (duplicate detection and auto-rotation) seem to *sometimes* kick in (perhaps when you import from a camera, but not when you import from a HD?), but not with any reliability.

Honorable mention:

No Quicktime Quicklook
You can use space to view a photo in iPhoto, but to view a quicktime in iPhoto, you have to double-click it.

eye tinkering

This morning I played around with one of the eye images I took yesterday.
(Since I’ve started getting up early, I have free time in the morning to do whatever)
I did it with Pixelmator, which I bought the other day cheap as part of a bundle.


Levels adjusted

Center cut out to black, levels tweaked a little

Desaturated and then colorized one solid color

Now it’s time to feed the cat and go to work. =)