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So Far, So Good

Posted 2010.11.26 19.44 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Well, the post format stuff is coming along. Image posts and Aside posts work, and now Status posts are done as well.

There’s a few more formats yet to be tackled, but I probably won’t use them as often.

Blogging on the Edge!

Posted 2010.11.26 11.14 in Computers/Internet/Technology

So I’ve gone ahead and installed the first beta of wordpress 3.1 – right here on my live site!

I know, craziness and all that. I have taken some precautions… I have an automated routine backing up my database regularily, and (touch wood) if anything goes nuts I will be able to fix it.

So upon upgrading, the first thing I saw when running with 3.1 was this stupid ‘admin bar’ across the top of my site. And my first reaction was “WTF is that on my site?!” My second reaction being to find out how to remove the stupid thing.

Honestly, that should be a setting (defaulted to “off”), or a plugin. To include that in the core as an automatic, default on, not-obviously-removable ‘feature’ is just plain wrong. I don’t care if nobody else could see it except logged-in administrators. Slapping shit onto my site without my permission, let alone knowledge — and making it something you can’t even turn off without googling for the secret code — is a big red flag in my books.

Admin-bar ranting aside, it’s too early yet to say much either way. No obvious crashing-and-burning, so the next task for me will be to expand my theme to start taking advantage of the new Post Format feature. I’ll have a shot at that over the weekend; I already have some ideas of what to do with it.


Mad Science Happens Here

Posted 2010.08.16 17.45 in Computers/Internet/Technology

All I wanted to do was get the raw data off of one (marginally obsolete) (mini-sized) hard drive and onto another (marginally obsolete) (mini-sized) (but slightly larger) hard drive.

Home Made Camera: Night 1

Posted 2009.10.05 23.11 in Hobbies, Photography

Today after work, I was thinking about a project. At first I was going to take over the world, but then I figured I could do that next week. This week, I decided to make a camera.

Rather than mess around with silly things like plans or knowledge, I decided to just have at it. I had some requirements in mind, for what I wanted, what it would have to do:

  • It would use medium-format 120 film.
  • The format would be 6×6.
  • It would initially be a pinhole camera, but…
  • It would have to be adaptable to accept a lens and shutter later.
  • It would be made of wood, brass, that sort of thing. No plastic, if I can help it.

So, I got out some hobby wood, a ruler and pencil and started measuring and marking. As I wasn’t using a plan, I determined the best way to proceed would be to build the 6×6 exposure box bit first, then the framework to hold the film spools, and so on. In other words, starting with the middle and working my way out. I’d tackle the harder bits when I got to them, such as the film advance mechanism and the shutter assembly.

To permit the camera to switch between a pinhole setup and a lens/shutter system, I figured to mount a pair of brass bolts on the front of the camera body, then I could make my pinhole setup and a lens board etc. as modular attachments that mount to the bolts. Brass wingnuts would hold the lens / pinhole modules in place.

So after the first night of work, the camera body is almost completed. Remaining assembly steps on the body are fitting the top piece, and building the film transport knobs, then finally sanding it all down. The interior will be painted matte black and the exterior will be finished with tung oil.

I also have to make a back for the camera, but that’s pretty straightforward – the only tricky bit is I need to decide how the back will be secured in place. I have some ideas in mind already though.

After the body is finished, I will build the pinhole module with a rudimentary shutter. Then later I’ll have a go at making a lens module with a ‘real’ shutter, i.e. 1/100th or so.

The Holga Has Landed

Posted 2009.09.19 17.43 in Hobbies, Photography

The Holga camera. Plastic body, plastic shutter, plastic lens, plastic button. Plastic fantastic. A camera so basic that it comes with a roll of electrical tape, incase you need to seal off light-leaks. So basic, it is categorized as a toy. Yet it was designed to take professional format 120 roll film. The same medium-format film that the pros are loading into their Hasselblads and Rolleis.

The plastic lens is known for soft / fuzzy focus. The shutter is not connected to the film advance, so you can take multiple exposures – intentionally or by mistake. Focusing is achieved through luck and guesswork. The shutter has just one speed. The aperture alleges to have two settings (sunny and cloudy) but I’ve taken it apart and find that there’s really just one setting. I’ve covered up the viewfinder so I won’t accidentally use it – it doesn’t seem to have any purpose really.

This is not a camera to do serious shooting with. This is not a camera you fiddle and tinker with to get every shot just perfect. This is a camera you snap away with, whatever catches your eye, try and remember to wind it, or don’t, or don’t let it bother you. Try and remember to focus, or not. Really, just try and remember to have fun.

Here’s some frames from my first roll – as usual, just shot around the house & backyard. At least two of the double-exposures were accidental, at least one was intentional, and I can’t remember any details more than that.

The photos were taken using a roll of B&W Lomography film, ISO 100. The Lomographic Society won’t say where the film comes from, who makes it, etc. so nobody knows what the correct processing chemistry is. I processed it in Kodak T-Max because that is what I use for everything. 🙂

I think I gave it 7 minutes but next time I’ll try 6 minutes.