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June 2018
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Friday, 1 June 2018 Dereel Images for 1 June 2018
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More thoughts on induction cookers
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

It's clear that I'm going to return the ALDI induction cooker. It's noisy, it heats unevenly, the lower power levels are time multiplexed, and the controls are irritating to use. But what should I be looking for in an induction cooker? Based on my current experience, I have:

  1. Should have as wide an area heating element (coil?) as possible. It's clear that induction cooking is much more concentrated than a gas or even conventional electric cooker, and it seems that cheaper (and thus thinner) cookware heats even more unevenly.
  2. Should have easy-to-use controls. Changing heat ratings (including turning on and off) of a zone should require only a single operation.
  3. Should have easy to recognize cooking zones.
  4. Should be as quiet as possible.
  5. Should have well documented power levels.
  6. Adequate separation of cooking area and controls. The new ALDI cooker is prone to turn itself off completely if you slide the front right pan a little off centre.
  7. Should fit in a standard kitchen cabinet, requiring the front of the cooktop to not be too deep.
  8. Larger zones should be in front.
  9. Temperature based heating rather than power based heating. Maybe the old ALDI one tries to do this, but I haven't seen anything to suggest that any serious one does.
  10. Power regulation should be by pulse modulation (even heating), not on/off switch.
  11. Should fit in my kitchen: front should be flatter (see photo below), and power connections should be suitable.
I added the last two items a couple of weeks later.

Fitting into the kitchen cabinet relates to the terrible cooktop that JG King supplied: the the underside of the cooktop is too deep all the way to the front, so it is positioned so far back that I can't use the hot plate. The ALDI one I have amply fulfils this requirement:


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Here the deep part lines up with the deep part of the gas cooktop. It's so far forward that it could easily overlap the front of the work surface. Putting it back still leaves ample space for big pans. In the second photo, the tape shows the middle line of the rear zones, about 5 cm further forward.

 
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Still, that's not that much. Thus the requirement that the big zones be in front.

What isn't as important? Safety features, like residual heat display and automatic off when there's no pan above the zone. Why not? Because all cooktops have them, so they're not important for making a decision. Of course, once I have made a preliminary choice, I'll check that they're there, but it's unlikely that I'll have a problem.

And then there are things that I really don't need, like a timer. It seems that just about every kitchen device has a timer, and with the occasional exception of ovens, I've never seen any use for them.

What can I find? Choice has a guide that includes 16 criteria, including one that I haven't quite understood: “Digital control readings give you temperature accuracy”. At first I thought that it's a good idea, but I suspect that they think a single digit 0 to 9 can give you more information than the 8 LEDs on my el-cheapo ALDI unit, which indicate a claimed power level (300 W, 600 W ... 2100 W). I disagree. The numbers just give a relationship, but not a power level, while the LEDs tell you at least a claimed power level. So a “digital control reading” is pretty meaningless.

OK, Choice have reviews too. But for that you have to be a member, which costs at least $23.95 for 3 months. I had taken out a trial subscription (for free) about 10 years ago (though the only reference I have to the matter here is was 6 months later), and I found it superficial. Nowadays I would probably be more likely to consider it misguided. In any case, I suspect that my $24 could be better spent elsewhere.

What else is there? There's consumerreports.org, from the USA. It, too, wants payment, which seems rather useless for devices that aren't on the market here.

OK, let's look at the market. Appliances Online have a web site that tells me none of the information I asked for above:

 
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And yes, the right-hand side of the display is truncated, maybe by an overly thrifty web programmer:

 
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Widening the window doesn't make any difference. An alternative explanation might be that he has clearly been so brain damaged by the smart of phones that he can't survive without a scroll arrow.

But look at how it's sorted: by best sellers and best reviews. I can also sort by brand name or price, or dimensions specified to the millimetre. And even then I get the impression that they're confused about the dimensions:

 
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OK, at least if I click on one of them at random, I can get some specs, right?

Key Specifications       Brand       Bosch
      Model Number       PVS675FB1E
      Finish Colour       Black
      Fuel Type       Electric
      Cooktop Fuel Type       Electric
      Cookware compatibilty       Please note that induction cooktops are only compatible with cookware made from magnetic material.
      Cooktop Material       Ceramic Glass
      Cooktop Type       Induction
      Height (mm)       51 mm
      Width (mm)       606 mm
      Depth (mm)       527 mm
      Warranty       2 Years
      Warranty Note       Parts and labour

How much information is there there really? Of course they're all electric, and they're induction. All I really have there are the dimensions, which match what I was looking for. How many of my questions does it answer? None!

One place I looked at was the German Stiftung Warentest. But that's not Australian! Yes, but it's free, and they do good test reports, and I don't really have much choice. Downloaded the report, and I'll look at it tomorrow.

In passing, I came across this reasonable overview. It includes the interesting information that if something boils over onto the surface of a Blanco Maxisense 3 zone induction cooktop, it automatically switches off the entire cooktop until dried. It seems that they think this is an advantage, but for me it says “steer clear”.

I also looked briefly at the Fisher & Paykel devices, which may meet many of my criteria. But they seem to use too much space for the controls.


Names for kitchen devices
Topic: language, food and drink, opinion Link here

While looking for induction cookers, I found this article, which comes up with the interesting concept “swapping a range for a cooktop”.

I've noted in the past the term “range hood” for what might better be called an “extractor hood”. But Yvonne had never heard the word “range” in this connection. And I couldn't give a precise definition either. It seems that in Australia, at any rate, it's an old, worn-out magic word. The OED defines:

Originally: a fireplace, grate, or simple apparatus used for cooking. Now: spec. a large cooking stove, having hotplates on the top and one or more ovens, all of which are kept continuously hot; (also, chiefly N. Amer.) any gas or electric cooker incorporating burners or heating elements and one or more ovens.

“One or more ovens, all of which are kept continuously hot”. That reminds me of the archaic coal-fired devices that some people in the United Kingdom so love.

Other words include cooking-range n. a cooking-stove containing several openings for carrying on different operations at once. (1849), and cooktop n. orig. U.S. a cooking unit with hotplates or burners, esp. one built into or on top of a cabinet.


More house electrics
Topic: general Link here

Our latest toy from ALDI is a “Solar Twin Head Floodlight”, their term for an external light with solar power and motion detector. Is it any good? Until I know, I'm not going to drill holes into the house to attach it. So I attached it to a fence post instead:

 
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And of course the toy screws that they supplied wouldn't tap into the wood, and I ended up with Yet Another stripped screw head requiring pliers to remove again:

 
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So I replaced them with real screws, and it didn't take too long.

Emboldened by that success, I turned to the power point in the kitchen, the one with the loose mounting frame inside. I had been dreading trying to put it back together, but to my immense surprise it worked very well, and it was all over and done with in a minute or two.


Dinner with Margaret again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Margaret Swan is in town again for some “refined riding” clinic that Chris Marisma is holding at Unicorn Park in Clarendon tomorrow, so we had our weekly dinner a day early: sushi, which didn't stop Margaret from bringing and (mainly) drinking her own red wine.

OK, if you can drink red wine with sushi, you can eat wasabi with cheesecake, right? I tried it, and to my immense surprise it tasted quite good. Margaret tried it too and agreed, but then she drinks red wine with sushi. For some reason Yvonne and Chris didn't want to try.

 
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There are limits, of course. We came to the conclusion, for example, that no kind of mustard would work. But it's an interesting idea, certainly better I think than durian ice cream.


Saturday, 2 June 2018 Dereel Images for 2 June 2018
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More curry laksa
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I'm running out of pre-prepared laksa paste. Today I was left with several jars of this likely-sounding paste:

 
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Thai style laksa? That must be an invention of the last few decades to cash in on what is a Malaysian paradigm. Still, it should be OK. Used my standard recipe, which calls for 200 g of laksa paste for 3 servings. This was 230 g, but who cares. Made up the laksa, and only then, after tasting the result, did I read the label. The recipe calls for half a jar of the paste, 250 ml of coconut milk and 190 ml of water. No wonder my proportions of 1 jar of paste, 200 ml of coconut milk and 1100 ml of water didn't work.

But I don't see their proportions working either. There was more than enough coconut milk in my mixture (13%), but their recipe calls for 46%! The take-away message: it's much weaker, and doesn't taste much like laksa. And I have two more jars of it!


More house photo pain
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Saturday is house photo day. Once again today I had pain with the photos; somehow it seems to be getting more complicated all the time. Spent some time investigating different issues, without coming to any clear conclusion. Last week I had suspected that the problem was related to my changes in processing, in particular using TIFF and Photomatix PRO, but today I got the same results with the old method.

I didn't get beyond this panorama (here from last week):


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This is taken with 4 or 5 images. 4 are enough, but when the sun is shining (as here) I take two images in that direction, one just for the sun, and one for the rest of the view. And today the panorama didn't close. I got this of the house:

That doesn't look that bad, does it? Well, not at first sight:


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Apart from the discontinuity in the roof, it looks remarkably good. But the house has developed another window, at the right. It should look like this:


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The issue here is that the control point detectors don't detect any control points between the two images that overlap at this point:

 
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This happens both with the cpfind and panomatic control point detectors. If I load just those two images, the control point detectors have no problem. What's going on here?


STF: no thank you
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Taking the photos of the induction cooker for yesterday needed flash. OK, I have flash, at least six different ones. In this case, macro flash seemed to be the best choice, and the obvious one was the shiny new Olympus STF-8 that I got a couple of months ago.

But I used the Viltrox JY-670 Macro Ring Lite instead. Why? It's so much easier to use, and since the distances weren't changing, I didn't have to worry about exposure.

And that's really a nail in the coffin of the STF-8. It's so difficult to use that I can't really be bothered. What a waste of money!


Stiff ear Borzoi
Topic: animals Link here

Here's Nikolai:

 
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Sunday, 3 June 2018 Dereel Images for 3 June 2018
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Power fail
Topic: general Link here

Discovered another short power failure this morning, which had happened yesterday evening round 22:45.


Scam mail gets more sophisticated
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Received in the mail today:

 
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I bought something from FarmVille games? No way.

But a second look makes things clear:


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“Costumer”? Not just misspelt: it should be my name, but they don't know that. And of course if you have a sensible mail system you can look at the envelope details:

From exp-paypel@localroot.net  Sun Jun  3 03:40:08 2018
Return-Path: <exp-paypel@localroot.net>
Received: from indra.neolocation.net (indra.logos.by.sys.neolocation.net [91.149.189.186])
        by www.lemis.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 142351B72837
        for <groggyhimself@lemis.com>; Sat,  2 Jun 2018 17:37:50 +0000 (UTC)
Received: from apache by indra.neolocation.net with local (Exim 4.88)
        (envelope-from <exp-paypel@localroot.net>)
        id 1fPATI-0003NX-7H
        for groggyhimself@lemis.com; Sat, 02 Jun 2018 20:37:44 +0300
To: groggyhimself@lemis.com
Subject: Reciept for your payment to FarmVille games
X-PHP-Originating-Script: 48:smtp.php
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2018 20:37:44 +0300
From: PayPal <exp-paypel@localroot.net>
Message-ID: <fea4b28574ae04c51d88aba46d083222@www.periodic-table-of-elements.org>

That makes it clear, but you have to have a mail agent that shows email addresses. And despite the bugs, the message looks more convincing. I wonder if the reference to http://www.periodic-table-of-elements.org was deliberate or not; the site content seems unrelated to its name.


More hugin problem investigation
Topic: technology, photography Link here

Spent much of the day chasing down my panorama stitching problems. I had already noted that under some circumstances, I got no control points at all between adjacent images. But what was causing that? I tried:

Finally I discovered something that I had been missing all along: it was always the wrap-around image pair that didn't get any control points. Normally I load all the images into Hugin and run the control point detector, which does its job regardless of position. And typically the first and last images in a 360° panorama are next to each other. But the control points don't get detected. If I load the images in a different sequence, it's still the first and the last that get no control points. Bug!

OK, due diligence time: try it with a different operating system, in this case Microsoft. Surprise, surprise! It works.

So what's the difference? FreeBSD? Or maybe my hugin configuration? I still don't know, but I have more information.


Knight in shining armour
Topic: animals, general Link here

Looking out my office window this afternoon, I saw an unusual sight:

 
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That's Chris Bahlo, of course, but she wasn't game to wear her (10 kg) helmet, which would have restricted her vision too much.


Monday, 4 June 2018 Dereel Images for 4 June 2018
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More induction cooker pain
Topic: general, food and drink Link here

Spent a lot of the day investigating induction cookers. The one that the Stiftung Warentest liked best was the Bosch PIB645B17E. But it has this silly multiple button control stuff, and seems no longer to be in production (the report is 4 years old). OK, I can find three Bosch cooktops on sale in Australia. What's the difference? From Appliances Online:

 
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The image requires clicking a couple of times to become readable. But it's not worth the trouble. The only differences it reports are minor differences in dimensions:


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They're all the same height, 5.1 cm (and thus, irritatingly, more than the 3.2 cm of the cooktop; is there a thinner part at the front? Why should they bother to report that?), but first two are 59.2 cm wide, 52.2 cm deep, while the third one is 60.6 × 52.7 in area. But the prices are $1,211, $1,623 and $1,295 respectively. And the photos look identical. After all, they're all black squares. Why should I pay over $400 more for a cooktop without a recognizable difference? And, in passing, why do they make cooktops with such minor differences in area?

In the end, downloaded the user manuals. And yes, there are significant differences, though they don't explain the price difference. The heating zone layout is completely different:

 
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And that's important if I want even heating. In passing, it seems that the “join together” functionality of the middle one is the explanation for the $400 higher price, though it's not clear whether that's due to marketing or technology.

What size zones do I need? Went out and measured the base (that's all that counts) of my biggest frying pan, the one that has problems with even heating. Only 26 cm diameter! And most would be happy with 18 cm.

OK, what about other makers? There's no further overlap at all between the Stiftung Warentest test and what I can find in Australia. The Fisher & Paykel cooktops don't look bad (nor cheap). But where are the useful test reports?

Another thing worth thinking about is the electrical connection. Most of these things require a 32 A circuit. Can our fragile “modern” electricity supply (total 50 A) handle that?


The “stable genius” president
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Recently a whole lot of reports are going round regarding Donald Trump's grammar and use of English, like this one:

To quote:

“I have never, ever, received a letter with this many silly mistakes,”

Really? Yes, not good grammar, but is it that bad? She should try answering questions on Quora for a while.

Now how about that photography? Does this look better?

Not much I can do about the sharpness, though.


Tuesday, 5 June 2018 Dereel
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More induction cooker insights
Topic: food and drink, general, opinion Link here

So currently my tendencies are towards the Bosch or Fisher & Paykel induction cookers. But where do I find reviews? There are so few reliable reviews. OK, let's look at some less reliable interviews, like reviews posted by Joe Random Purchaser.

The problem with these reviews is that they're generally done by people with even less technical understanding than the review organizations, and they're frequently written after a unit has failed, and are thus more polarized than would be normal: some people are amazed and pleased by the advantages, the others annoyed by the reliability issues.

The reviews at productreview.com.au are typical, though there were rather fewer “excellent” than I would have expected. But one caught my eye:

We did so much research on this. It had a good review in Choice. We went to two friend's homes and cooked/listened to any potential buzzing noises - none (different brands than Fisher & Paykel). Then we had ours installed and it's "on/off" constant buzzing when it's on low to mid heat -- buzz buzz buzz. We called Harvey Norman to see what our options were for replacement as we were told this is normal for this brand just now over the phone - even though we ASKED specifically about this prior to purchasing. Right now we have a service call for Friday just to make sure nothing is wrong....but this is not looking good for us!!!

This is interesting for a number of reasons:

So what's the advantage? Certainly not the price, which is considerably more than the Bosch unit. My main concern was the controls, but I think the disadvantages outweigh them. The review contains a follow-up where the reviewer returned the Fisher & Paykel unit and bought a Bosch unit, and was very happy with it.

Somewhere I also heard about demonstration showrooms. I wonder if it's worth looking for one.


Bosch: better quality
Topic: general Link here

So should I buy a Bosch induction stove? I've always found Bosch to be good value. As if to prove the point, the Bosch dish washer, which has been behaving for the past month or so, came up again with the error E:15. Damn! But then, we had expected that, and the fact that it worked for such a long time ago was just luck. Now to look for a repairer. It won't make things easier that the problem is intermittent.


Wednesday, 6 June 2018 Dereel Images for 6 June 2018
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Bank helps transfer
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

I needed to transfer some money yesterday, and after my fiasco six weeks ago, I was particularly careful. Instead of ANZ, I transferred money from my Bank of Melbourne account (it only works if I do it from home). Send a notification to the recipient? Yes, good idea. And better still would be to defer the transfer by a day so that she has the opportunity to check the transfer details before the transfer is performed.

So I did that, and contacted her. No email. OK, I suppose it made sense to not send anything until the transfer is performed. Sent her a screen shot and she confirmed yes, all is OK.

Today the transfer was performed, and I got two emails: a copy of the one to her, and my own copy. The copy sent to her included:

 
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What's missing?

  1. Account number.
  2. Bank details.
  3. Name of recipient.

They explain:

For privacy and security reasons, we cannot publish your account name and number in this email.

Somehow this is all wrong. Yes, security is important, though I can't see what privacy issues there are here: yes, the name of the recipient isn't in the message, but of course the email address is in the mail headers. And how can you breach privacy by revealing an account description to its owner or to the person who has just performed a transfer to that account? The whole concept of account privacy is security by obscurity, an old, worn-out magic word. They should be implementing security in other places. As it is, this message is borderline useless, and it certainly didn't help me confirm that the money had been sent to the recipient.

When will the banks grow up?


Spraying weeds
Topic: gardening Link here

For some reason I have a real aversion to spraying weeds, but today I finally got my act together and sprayed north and south gardens, some of the entrance in front of the shed, and the dog run, which needed it:

 
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New couch for the music room
Topic: general Link here

After a surprising amount of discussion, Yvonne finally bought a couch that she had been looking at on Facebook. We got it into the music room relatively easily, where it has the great advantage that it leaves space on the left for some much-needed bookshelves:

 
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That compares to this photo of the old couch taken a couple of weeks ago:

 
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Thursday, 7 June 2018 Dereel Images for 7 June 2018
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Household maintenance, continued
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

We've been in Stones Road for over 3 years now, and it sort of tells: various things are failing, far faster than we have been used to in second-hand houses. Today the door latch to the main bedroom stuck. That's usually a sign of a broken spring, but first I had to find out how to take the mechanism apart.

That proved to be not too difficult, and when I removed the latch, it worked fine. OK, put back together. Dammit, it turned in the opposite way. Clearly the latches are designed to be adjustable to for left hand and right hand operation, and I had accidentally turned it over. How do you fix it? There are a couple of projections on each side, and one projected more than the other. But how do I change it? I still don't know. At some point I managed to get it the other way round again, so rather than risk more trouble, I oiled the thing and put it back, not even stopping to take a photo.

And then, just for the fun of it, the power point in the kitchen, the one that I replaced only six days ago, popped out again. This time it seems that nothing is broken: the screw heads were just too small, and they pulled through the body of the power point. I had used the old screws, so probably they were at fault. OK, I need to get an electrician to lay cable for the new induction cooker that I will buy one of these days, so he can address that issue as well.


Excessive “privacy”: whose fault?
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Callum Gibson (who works for an internataional bank, not one of which I am a customer any more) took exception to my “privacy” issues yesterday with privacy with the Bank of Melbourne. He explained: yes, I asked the bank to send the recipient an email when the transfer was performed. And why couldn't they give the account number? Maybe I had mistyped the email address, and thus the accidental recipient of the email would get account details of somebody (name not specified). And they're not my “property” to disclose, nor the bank's.

Since when can I only disclose my “property”? But OK. Clearly there should be some check. Given that I can transfer money to an account, get the numbers wrong, and the transfer still goes through, it seems a little unbalanced. But no, I should read the Privacy Act, a law so private that I can't even find the text on that page. After going around in circles for a few iterations, I still can't find anything relating to bank account details. What I do find is the following list of “Sensitive Information”:

I suppose a lot here depends on what you mean by “sensitive”. I frequently refer to people's political or religious opinions and health, without feeling that I am breaching their privacy. And there's no mention here of date of birth, although that's the main way that people are identified in Australia.

Callum commented later that somewhere close to where I had been looking, there were references to “Common examples are an individual’s name, signature, address, telephone number, date of birth, medical records, bank account details and commentary or opinion about a person”. Doubtless he's right, but I didn't find it, and I couldn't be bothered to look for it. And somehow there's something strange about making things like names private. At the very least there should be different levels of privacy, and in the case I was ranting about, where the details have been shared, there's every reason to believe that privacy is not the issue.

After some time, though I have come to the conclusion that the whole law is too complicated. People can't understand it, or if they do, they can't remember it. And if Callum (or his bank) is right, it's unnecessarily restrictive and imbalanced. If I can't divulge somebody's account number, the very least a bank could do is check that a transfer goes to an account with a name loosely matching the name I specify.

In one point, though, Callum is right: this isn't primarily the bank's fault. The law needs simplification and balancing. Probably the banks are just erring on the side of caution.


Microsoft buys GitHub
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

News of the day: Microsoft has bought GitHub, a framework for free software repositories. Why? The conspiracy theories abound:


Friday, 8 June 2018 Dereel
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Trimming Borzoi's claws
Topic: animals Link here

Yvonne was trimming the dogs' claws again today, and coincidentally she came across this:


Furniture prices
Topic: general, opinion Link here

After getting the new sofa bed, we have space for a couple more bookshelves. But where do we get them from? Books, it seems, are no longer modern, and neither are the shelves. In the past we paid round $100 for a chipboard shelf 90×180 cm in size. The cheapest that I could find today in Ballarat were from Officeworks for round $230. How prices have gone up!

But then I looked at IKEA, where we bought the last ones. 10 years ago they cost $99. Now they cost $70! They'll even deliver them for me—at a price: $250. For that, it might make sense to visit IKEA again.


Saturday, 9 June 2018 Dereel Images for 9 June 2018
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Investigating hugin workflow
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

So why does Hugin not create control points between the first and the last image in a stack? Bruno Postle had assumed that it was because I had invoked cpfind with the --linearmatch parameter. But no, I hadn't, and I had also done it with panomatic. So whatever it was, it's not that simple.

So this is beginning to look like real debugging. Not an easy thing to do with a GUI. But we can run the programs individually (a huge advantage). But how? cpfind wants a project file to already exist. How do I create that? Found details on this page, unfortunately somewhat out of date: use pto_gen. The man page isn't encouraging. It refers to an obsolete program (match-n-shift), and some of the parameters aren't described adequately:

       -p|--projection num
           Projection type (default: 0)

What's that? Where's there a list of the projections? Never mind, I'll look for them later. Let's try it:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/15) ~/Photos/20180609 30 -> pto_gen C/e-from-house-?.jpeg
Generating pto file...
Reading /Photos/grog/20180609/C/e-from-house-0.jpeg...
Reading /Photos/grog/20180609/C/e-from-house-1.jpeg...
Reading /Photos/grog/20180609/C/e-from-house-2.jpeg...
Reading /Photos/grog/20180609/C/e-from-house-3.jpeg...

Assigned 2 lenses.
Project contains more than one lens, but you requested to assign
stacks. This is not supported. Therefore stacks will not be
assigned.

Written output to /Photos/grog/20180609/C/e-from-house-0-e-from-house-3.pto

Huh? I didn't mention anything about stacks, and there's only one lens involved here:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/15) ~/Photos/20180609 31 -> exifx C/e-from-house-?.jpeg | grep Lens
Lens:           Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8m f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
Lens:           Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8m f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
Lens:           Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8m f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
Lens:           Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8m f/1.8 Fisheye PRO

OK, let's look at the project file it generates. I had already created one with the GUI (this happens when you read in the files). But they looked quite different. Here's the one created by pto_gen, omitting a number of commented-out parameters:

# hugin project file
#hugin_ptoversion 2
p f2 w3000 h1500 v360  E11.9366 R0 n"TIFF_m c:LZW r:CROP"
m g1 i0 f0 m2 p0.00784314

# image lines
#-hugin  cropFactor=2.00308
i w5183 h3887 f3 v94.4065199475212 Ra0 Rb0 Rc0 Rd0 Re0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er1 Eb1 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a0 b0 c0 d0 e0 g0 t0 Va1 Vb0 Vc0 Vd0 Vx0 Vy0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-0.jpeg"
#-hugin  cropFactor=2.0030840065487
i w5183 h3887 f3 v=0 Ra=0 Rb=0 Rc=0 Rd=0 Re=0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er0.984 Eb1.01310043668122 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a=0 b=0 c=0 d=0 e=0 g=0 t=0 Va=0 Vb=0 Vc=0 Vd=0 Vx=0 Vy=0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-1.jpeg"
#-hugin  cropFactor=2.0030840065487
i w5183 h3887 f3 v=0 Ra=0 Rb=0 Rc=0 Rd=0 Re=0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er0.992 Eb1.00436681222707 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a=0 b=0 c=0 d=0 e=0 g=0 t=0 Va=0 Vb=0 Vc=0 Vd=0 Vx=0 Vy=0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-2.jpeg"
#-hugin  cropFactor=2.0030840065487
i w5182 h3887 f3 v94.4025515132322 Ra0 Rb0 Rc0 Rd0 Re0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er1 Eb1 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a0 b0 c0 d0 e0 g0 t0 Va1 Vb0 Vc0 Vd0 Vx0 Vy0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-3.jpeg"

# specify variables that should be optimized
v

And here's the diff from the GUI:

--- /home/grog/Photos/20180609/C/e-from-house-0-e-from-house-3.pto      2018-06-09 16:48:06.176873000 +1000
+++ /home/grog/Photos/20180609/C/e-from-house-raw.pto   2018-06-09 13:06:18.000000000 +1000
@@ -1,20 +1,40 @@
 # hugin project file
 #hugin_ptoversion 2
-p f2 w3000 h1500 v360  E11.9366 R0 n"TIFF_m c:LZW r:CROP"
+p f2 w3000 h670 v318  E11.9366 R0 n"TIFF_m c:LZW r:CROP"
 m g1 i0 f0 m2 p0.00784314

 # image lines
 #-hugin  cropFactor=2.00308
-i w5183 h3887 f3 v94.4065199475212 Ra0 Rb0 Rc0 Rd0 Re0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er1 Eb1 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a0 b0 c0 d0 e0 g0 t0 Va1 Vb0 Vc0 Vd0 Vx0 Vy0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-0.jpeg"
+i w5182 h3887 f3 v94.4025515132322 Ra0 Rb0 Rc0 Rd0 Re0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er1 Eb1 r0 p0 y-106.202870452386 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a0 b0 c0 d0 e0 g0 t0 Va1 Vb0 Vc0 Vd0 Vx0 Vy0  Vm5 n"00"
 #-hugin  cropFactor=2.0030840065487
-i w5183 h3887 f3 v=0 Ra=0 Rb=0 Rc=0 Rd=0 Re=0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er0.984 Eb1.01310043668122 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a=0 b=0 c=0 d=0 e=0 g=0 t=0 Va=0 Vb=0 Vc=0 Vd=0 Vx=0 Vy=0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-1.jpeg"
+i w5182 h3887 f3 v=0 Ra=0 Rb=0 Rc=0 Rd=0 Re=0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er0.984 Eb1.01310043668122 r0 p0 y-35.4009568174621 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a=0 b=0 c=0 d=0 e=0 g=0 t=0 Va=0 Vb=0 Vc=0 Vd=0 Vx=0 Vy=0  Vm5 n"01"
 #-hugin  cropFactor=2.0030840065487
-i w5183 h3887 f3 v=0 Ra=0 Rb=0 Rc=0 Rd=0 Re=0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er0.992 Eb1.00436681222707 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a=0 b=0 c=0 d=0 e=0 g=0 t=0 Va=0 Vb=0 Vc=0 Vd=0 Vx=0 Vy=0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-2.jpeg"
+i w5182 h3887 f3 v=0 Ra=0 Rb=0 Rc=0 Rd=0 Re=0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er0.992 Eb1.00436681222707 r0 p0 y35.4009568174621 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a=0 b=0 c=0 d=0 e=0 g=0 t=0 Va=0 Vb=0 Vc=0 Vd=0 Vx=0 Vy=0  Vm5 n"02"
 #-hugin  cropFactor=2.0030840065487
-i w5182 h3887 f3 v94.4025515132322 Ra0 Rb0 Rc0 Rd0 Re0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er1 Eb1 r0 p0 y0 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a0 b0 c0 d0 e0 g0 t0 Va1 Vb0 Vc0 Vd0 Vx0 Vy0  Vm5 n"e-from-house-3.jpeg"
+i w5182 h3887 f3 v=0 Ra=0 Rb=0 Rc=0 Rd=0 Re=0 Eev11.9366378213403 Er1 Eb1 r0 p0 y106.202870452386 TrX0 TrY0 TrZ0 Tpy0 Tpp0 j0 a=0 b=0 c=0 d=0 e=0 g=0 t=0 Va=0 Vb=0 Vc=0 Vd=0 Vx=0 Vy=0  Vm5 n"03"

 # specify variables that should be optimized
+v Ra0
+v Rb0
+v Rc0
+v Rd0
+v Re0
+v Vb0
+v Vc0
+v Vd0
+v Eev1
+v r1
+v p1
+v y1
+v Eev2
+v r2
+v p2
+v y2
+v Eev3
+v r3
+v p3
+v y3
 v

Clearly reading the files in to the GUI does more than just run pto_gen, and that explains some of the additional information. But there's a y parameter in the i lines, and that looks very much like yaw. But how did it establish that? And where is the lens information? How much of the rest is important? I need to learn to interpret the project files.

That's about as far as I got today. I now need to do at least:


Cassoulet again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Cooked a cassoulet today, the first for a long time. Looking at the recipe was interesting. I wrote it nearly 12 years ago, and I haven't updated it much. Somehow it tasted too dry today.


Dinner with Pene
Topic: general, food and drink, opinion Link here

Pene Kirk along for dinner tonight, the first time in a while. The disappointing news is that she's closing her vet practice: she wants some time for herself rather than for other people. As usual, had a lot of fun.


Sunday, 10 June 2018 Dereel Images for 10 June 2018
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Easter eggs
Topic: food and drink Link here

Yvonne has run out of eggs! A good thing we get them locally, from MJ Wisbey down Ferrers Road, so off in the afternoon. I seldom get out of the house, so I came too.

Not quite your typical supermarket eggs:


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I had thought that they were duck eggs—that's what MJ normally sells—but it seems that these are hen eggs.


The Hawkes visit
Topic: general, animals Link here

Visit from Anke and Paul Hawke this afternoon. Yvonne knows Anke from some rider group, probably on Facebook: she has some connection with Arne Koets, and is clearly a good rider herself. So of course they went out and discussed Carlotta, who showed herself from the best side:

 
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They stayed the night, giving Yvonne the opportunity to serve Königsberger Klopse (Anke is from Hamburg, somewhere behind Blankenese). Pleasant evening, interesting people. I suspect we'll see them here again some time.


Trump: a step too far?
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Donald Trump thinks he's on top of the world ahead of his historical meeting with Kim Jong-un. His behaviour at the G6 summit in Charlevoix was atrocious, and it looks like he's doing everything he can to destroy the western world as we know it. One photo that summed it up was this:

That's impressive enough, especially with Shinzo Abe's poker face, but of course people had to improve it:

I would really relish it if Kim were to walk all over Trump in a way that Trump didn't realize until it's too late.


Monday, 11 June 2018 Dereel Images for 11 June 2018
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Recovery day
Topic: general Link here

The Hawkes left relatively this morning, just after breakfast. It's been fun, but it was also quite a weekend, and we spent most of the day recovering.


All eyes on Singapore
Topic: politics, history Link here

Tomorrow Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will meet in Singapore for what will, one way or another, be a historic event. Even Yvonne watched some of the news coverage on TV.

I saw different things. Singapore was once something almost like home, but that was half a century ago: my parents really did have a house at 79 Grange Road from 1972 to 1975. Now I hardly recognize the place. Maybe this photo shows the difference:

 
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That was taken on 20 September 1968, not quite 50 years ago. Where is it now? I think this Google Maps image best shows the location:

 
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There's nothing in common there, of course: the location is roughly here, based on the one building that is still there, the old post office:

 
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That now seems to be the Fullerton Hotel. It's visible from a closer perspective. Here first a panoramic view to give the feeling:

 
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And in the second image there's a match with my photo of 50 years ago. At least the columns at the entrance are recognizable, as are the little turrets on either side:

 
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How things have changed! Then it was open sea (I was on a tramp steamer from Singapore to Kuching). Now it's all reclaimed and heavily populated land, and hardly anything from my childhood is still there. And there are things there that I don't recognize at all, like this one, the Marina Bay Sands hotel, where apparently Kim Jong-un spent some time today:

 
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That brings back to me that it has been over 13 years since I was last in Singapore. How time flies when you don't fly!


Tuesday, 12 June 2018 Dereel
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Historic summit in Singapore
Topic: politics, history Link here

So Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have really met face to face, and, as I had expected, the meeting was a “success”. I watched much of it live—even Yvonne took time to watch it. I wonder how many other people did. Strangely, I can't find any statistics.

What information did I get out of it? Nothing of earth-shattering importance. I had guessed that Kim could speak at least reasonable English, but his puzzled expression in the one-on-Un (as somebody put it) time with Trump, and at other times, suggests that any English he has is very basic.

And the result? This statement with the usual formulations, but also:

Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

That's a good start. It'll be very interesting to see where we go from here.


Induction cookers, rethought
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

It's becoming time to return the ALDI induction cooktop. What will I replace it with? The week before last I came up with a list of requirements for an induction cooktop. Now I've had time to look at real world cookers. What do I find?

Of the ten items I originally listed, I have not been able to establish two at all, and I discover that I had missed an important one altogether: power regulation should be by pulse width modulation, not on/off switching. This could be the most important of all (though I haven't decided yet), and it's also one that I have only had answered indirectly, by a negative review.

So what do I do? Bosch seems to be the best, but I can't find what kind of power regulation it uses, nor if it will fit into my kitchen cabinet, nor what power connections it needs. It doesn't have easily recognized cooking zones, and the controls are just as complicated as on the ALDI cooktop. The ALDI stove cost $300, and the cheapest Bosch costs round $1,100. Why not just stick with the ALDI?

That didn't take long to understand: the Bosch has different sized cooking zones, it can produce much more power (3.7 kW as compared to 2 kW), and test reviews suggest that it heats considerably more uniformly. So the biggest issue so far is if it will even fit! Aren't “specifications” useless?


Wednesday, 13 June 2018 Dereel
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The lull after the storm
Topic: politics, general, language, opinion Link here

In the last few days I don't seem to have done anything at all. Why not? Nothing much has changed, and it's not apparent where the time has gone. My best bet is that I'm spending too much time following international events, notably of course the TrumpKim meeting in Singapore.

Or was that Singapore? Yes, the country is right. But the meeting took place on Sentosa, an island just south of town. And an interesting (ominous?) thing that nobody seems to have mentioned is that when I was a lad, the island was called Pulau Blakang Mati.

What's that? It's a Malay name, and the first indication is that the name is old: “belakang” is the modern spelling. And it means “behind” in many senses. “Pulau” is “island”—no surprises there. And “mati” means “dead”. So dead behind island? Island of the dead behind? Backwards death island? Those are my guesses, but nobody seems to have come up with a good explanation. The Wikipedia etymology has no better ideas. Maybe the suggestion that the winds are dead behind the hill makes sense.


Bookshelves!
Topic: general Link here

Last week we established that we had both need of and space for a couple of bookshelves in the “music room”, currently almost impassable for junk on the floor. And local shelves started at round $230, and IKEA started to look attractive at only $70—plus transport, of course. So we were planning for another trip to Melbourne to pick some up.

But then Yvonne found a pair of used shelves for sale somewhere on the web. $40 the pair. OK, usually there are a couple of drawbacks buying used furniture, but for that price we can put up with it.

Yvonne picked them up today, and I put them in the music room, here on the left:

 
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It wasn't until I took the photos that I noticed that the colour is different. Clearly they're IKEA shelves, and not only are they much cheaper, they have also been assembled. The difference in colour is not important. The other side of the room is much worse:

 
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Now I just need to tidy the place up and put some books into the shelves. That also involves a change of name: library rather than music room, now that most of my musical instruments are in the lounge room.


Dangerous world leaders
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Statista came out with an interesting statistic today:

It's interesting to note the differences between the US Republicans and Democrats. The latter consider Donald Trump to be the most threatening. My view too, though I hadn't expected any majority in the USA to agree with me. On the other hand, Kim Jong-un is pretty harmless in my eyes. And the bipartisan differences in opinion on Iran and Israel are also very interesting.


Thursday, 14 June 2018 Dereel Images for 14 June 2018
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NBN: Failure!
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Interesting statistic from Statista today:

Yes, I've had my issues with the National Broadband Network, and I still do. In particular, reliability is really not acceptable. But the other three main reasons don't apply to me at all. I don't know any cheaper service, and I don't know a faster one. What is faster than 50/20 Mb/s down/up? What is even available? And at what price?

My best bet is that a lot has to do with the RSP. Earlier this week I was talking with Paul Hawke, one person who complains about performance, particularly during peak hours. Who is he with? Telstra. And in their case, I know where to point the finger.

Strangely, that's not what other people on IRC see. Many consider it a deliberate attempt by the present Australian government to destroy the NBN. Yes, it's true that the current government opposed the NBN, and they castrated it in order to make it cheaper ($50,000 million instead of $42,000 million), but did they really want to make it fail? They could have done that in much cheaper ways. One again my friend Bob Hanlon comes to mind: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. The "cheaper" solution showed how well they were in control of the situation.


Huevos a la tigre revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

It's been a while since I made huevos a la tigre, mainly because it's a significant amount of work. Last night I made enough for four portions—I thought—and ended up with an amazing amount of stuff. I must have been hungry when I wrote that recipe, which included a total of nearly 450 g of ingredients, not mentioning the eggs, including 180 g of potatoes. I think half that is a better quantity. Ate one portion and froze the rest.

Here are the ingredients I ended up with after reconsidering the quantities:

For eight portions.

quantity       ingredient       step
800 g       potatoes       1
400 g       onions       1
40 g       garlic       1
200 g       chorizo, cooked and sliced       1
      oil or fat to fry       1
250 g       tomatoes       2
150 g       capsicum       2
35 g       salt       2
320 g       peas (40 g per portion)       3
16       eggs (2 per portion)       4

Ashamed to be Australian
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

So today (13 June in New York), the United Nations General Assembly voted about the Israeli murders on the border to Gaza. 120 countries deplored the “excessive use of force”. 45 abstained, and 8 opposed the motion.

Which 8? Israel and the USA, of course to start with. I didn't see them all, but the other 4 I saw on the video were Australia and three small Pacific nations dependent on Australia.

Shame! This is not my government. Are economic ties with the USA so important that they are prepared to sanction cold-blooded murder?

In passing, how do you find the votes for a UN resolution? What I found on un.org was this report and a voting records search page, which appears to be designed as an intelligence test, and so far I have failed.


Music room → library, day 2
Topic: general Link here

Spent a considerable amount of time unpacking things in what we'll now call the library, though I came across 3 random bassoons and a clarinet that I have had for nearly 60 years in the process. I also found an amazing number of cassette tapes, audio, video and computer backup, and an expected number of vinyl records. Here's what it looked like by the end of the day:


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Friday, 15 June 2018 Dereel Images for 15 June 2018
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Garden flowers in early winter
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

And here we are into our third winter in Stones Road! Today was middle of the month and time for the monthly garden photos.

Winter is the time where autumn meets spring. The roses are still flowering, but so are the first of the spring bulbs:

 
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Strangely, the Narcissus started flowering before the Snowdrops.

In addition, the Solanum lycopersicum (better known as tomatoes) are still going strong:

 
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The tomatoes will probably not ripen on the vine, but barring a severe frost I can pick them and let them ripen inside. I already have a number which are just waiting to be eaten. It looks as if we still have at least a month's supply.

We can tell that it's winter though, because the Arums have started flowering:

 
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And despite my concerns, the Senna aciphylla is really flowering more obviously at this time of year:

 
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I've been keeping my eye on the Alyssum in front of the house since they suffered so badly from lack of water in the summer. They're still there, though not as good as last month:

 
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The Anigozanthos that we planted in the island in front of the house seem to have died—maybe the soil was not porous enough. But the red one that the Marriotts gave us when we moved in has long recovered from Sasha's attention and is now flowering happily:

 
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Our Banksia integrifolia tree has been growing quite happily, and it's now the best part of 3 m tall. But no flowers—until now. Now we have three, if you count the first two growing out of the trunk:

 
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I wonder how they'll continue.

Some late summer flowers are finally giving up, including the Cannas and the Buddleja, though we still have a couple of Canna buds:

 
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The Hebes have also almost completely finished, but there are still a couple of odd flowers:

 
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To my surprise, the Carpobrotus have been flowering sporadically for some time. Maybe it's a leftover of the dry spell in the summer:

 
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I wonder how that will continue.

The flowers we bought in Pomonal in the spring, the Grevillea bronwenae and the Eremophila nivea, are doing well, better than for a while, as is the prostrate Grevillea that we bought some time ago:

 
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And the newly planted Lavender and Lilac are doing about as well as can be expected:

 
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Our Staghorn fern has had an accident largely unrelated to the season. After nearly 10 years, the board to which it was attached has rotted away:

 
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I'll have to find out how to remount it.

And finally the Westringia fruticosa are starting to flower more profuseley and look like bushes:

 
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Saturday, 16 June 2018 Dereel Images for 16 June 2018
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More Hugin pain
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

House photo day again today, and once again I had difficulty with the control point detectors not wrapping around. Last week I managed to work around it by adding the first image a second time at the end of the stack, but that didn't work today. Here two examples:


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Clearly the first image is completely broken. At first the second image looks OK, but suddenly we have gained an extra bird bath and horse trough (the black thing in the background):

 
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In the end I gave up and ran the control point detectors on euroa, my Microsoft laptop. That, too, had its strangenesses: by default there are these strange vertical line detectors, which in my experience work very badly, and once again I couldn't find out how to disable them. I was able to simply remove the control points and realign, and that worked, but it begs the question: if this setting is not visible, is there maybe a different setting that isn't visible that causes my problems?

But it also confirmed that the issue is related only to the control point detectors: I could take the output of euroa's control point detectors and process it further on eureka. Somehow this problem requires so much background information to solve.


ALDI kitchen stuff
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne was in town today and brought back some stuff from ALDI: a frying pan suited to induction, and these strange “Crêpes”:

 
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They look particularly strange, but so are the instructions:

 
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What's missing there? The quantity! If it takes 8 to 10 seconds (6 to 8 kJ) to heat one crêpe, it will take 6 times as long to heat all of them.

On the positive side, they specified the power of the microwave oven. And sure enough, it took about 15 seconds to heat two of them at 1199 W to the point where pressure built up in the plastic tube.

But they tasted like they looked. They were tough! That's the last time we buy them. Spent much of the evening looking at recipes, but it looks like a lot of work.

The frying pan proved to be almost identical to one I bought last year, with one exception: it doesn't work properly. The (ALDI) induction cooker has no problem with the old one, but it can only recognize the new one from time to time. Back it goes.


Sunday, 17 June 2018 Dereel Images for 17 June 2018
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Investigating Hugin workflow
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

So why does Hugin not create the correct control points, only under FreeBSD? I've established that the same program, based on the same sources, works as expected under Microsoft.

I have a number of hypotheses: there could be some weird configuration issue, there could be a bug in the code that doesn't bite under other systems, but does under FreeBSD, or potentially there could be a bug in FreeBSD itself.

Of those, the source code bug seems most likely. This used to work, and I “haven't changed anything”, but more particularly I've looked for and tried to eliminate configuration issues. And while FreeBSD doubtless has bugs, it's unlikely that any would be so specific as to cause this kind of problem.

On the other hand, there is one big difference with FreeBSD: the C compiler (and related C++ compiler) is clang, while just about everything else uses gcc. So something like an uninitialized variable could uncover this kind of bug.

How do I go about investigating? First I need to understand what I'm doing. I've already established that I need a project file, which is created by pto_gen. But what does it mean? Went out looking, and asked on the developer's list. Thomas Modes, one of the Hugin developers, pointed me at the unlikely documentation: http://hugin.sourceforge.net/docs/nona/nona.txt.

Huh? nona is just one of the programs that use the project file. From the man page:

NAME
       nona - Stitch a panorama image

But that's misleading. nona transforms the projection of individual images and applies masks. It's not clear if it does anything else, but for the final panorama you need enfuse.

Off to look at the documentation, now nearly 4 years old, but Thomas assures me that it's complete and up to date, apparently conforming to libpano13.

Spent some time working on a description of the project file, making some progress. Only later did I note that the original document is really not a complete description of the project file: in particular, neither the c (control point) or v (variable) lines are described. But at least I'm beginning to make progress, and I've started a case study to go with it.


Truth in advertising photography
Topic: food and drink, photography, opinion Link here

Last week ALDI had various kitchen tools on offer, including this one:

 
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The time I have spent chopping onions! Just what I need! Now admittedly, I've tried this kind of thing before, and it hasn't worked. But this one clearly shows an onion being pressed (and not crushed), and nice, clean onion pieces falling below.

The truth is different. I had to press with as much force as I dared; any more would almost certainly have broken something. And what did I get?

 
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The onion was crushed, and nothing fell into the collection basin; it all hung through the cutter. And when I scraped it off, I had roughly a third of the onion, in large, uneven, crushed chunks:

 
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How did they get these nice photos? They faked it, of course. But why? Clearly it goes back.

In passing, it's worth noting a basic design flaw:

 
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The top is hinged, so the pressure on the vegetables is at an angle. Given the other problems, that's not so serious, but it would have been possible to make it press from above—just remove the hinge, for example.


Monday, 18 June 2018 Dereel Images for 18 June 2018
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Many Hibiscus
Topic: gardening, photography, opinion Link here

By coincidence, and despite the cold weather outside, both our indoor Hibiscus bushes are flowering relatively profusely:

 
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Is that a good photo? What about this one?

 
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They're both the same photo with different projection. The first is the conventional “wide angle” view (rectilinear projection). And it shows why extreme wide angle lenses are so strange. The second is the image unchanged from the lens (fisheye). The big difference is in the walls: in the first image, they look straight, while in the second they look curved. But at what a price! The pots at the bottom of the photo are now oval, and some of the flowers have been really distorted. In the fisheye view, things are more normal.

But there's more. Here's the same thing again with a cylindrical projection:


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Image title: Hibiscus cylindrical          Dimensions:          811 x 333, 160 kB
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Sometimes I think that this might be the best all-round projection for extreme wide angles.


More Hugin case study
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Continued with my investigation of the Hugin project file today, finding more and more details that aren't in what documentation I have. The result was a significant update of the case study. Things I have found so far:

  1. The GUI doesn't use pto_gen, at least not directly. That explains the difference between the messages and the fact that the GUI can't recognize fisheye lenses.
  2. The i lines are much the same, except that the GUI puts a (spurious) yaw value in them, probably the position where it puts them on the screen.
  3. The GUI also adds a lot of (currently undocumented) v (variable) lines, some of which appear to refer to photometric parameters.

But running the control point detector (cpfind) was the most surprising. Here the differences between the GUI and doing it standalone:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/28) /photowork/Hugin-build-eureka 88 -> cpfind -o e-from-house-0-e-from-house-3-cpfound.pto  e-from-house-0-e-from-house-3.pto
Hugin's cpfind 2018.0.0.5abfb4de7961
based on Pan-o-matic by Anael Orlinski

Project contains the following images:
Image 0
  Imagefile: e-from-house-0.tiff
  Remapped : yes
Image 1
  Imagefile: e-from-house-1.tiff
  Remapped : yes
Image 2
  Imagefile: e-from-house-2.tiff
  Remapped : yes
Image 3
  Imagefile: e-from-house-3.tiff
  Remapped : yes

--- Analyze Images ---
i0 : Analyzing image...
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.
i1 : Analyzing image...
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.
i2 : Analyzing image...
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.
i3 : Analyzing image...
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.
Warning: no TIFFTAG_SAMPLEFORMAT or TIFFTAG_DATATYPE, guessing pixeltype 'UINT16'.

--- Find pair-wise matches ---
i0 <> i1 : Found 21 matches
i0 <> i2 : Found 0 matches
i0 <> i3 : Found 23 matches
i1 <> i2 : Found 22 matches
i1 <> i3 : Found 0 matches
i2 <> i3 : Found 20 matches

--- Write Project output ---
Written output to e-from-house-0-e-from-house-3-cpfound.pto

Detection took 24.268 seconds.

Those matches! 23 matches between the first and the last image!

Comparing the .pto files confirmed it: the control points were all there, and I was able to process the panorama further from that point.

That still doesn't identify the bug, but it gives me not just a workaround, but a better way to do things. Currently I do:

  1. Run a script called Hugin (with capital H; the executable is hugin), which links the images to a specific directory so that I don't have to climb trees to find it, using names starting with 00, 01, etc. to match the references in the GUI. It also resizes them if they're different in size.
  2. Run hugin and load the images from a GUI menu.
  3. Run the Align function, which creates the control points and optimizes them, and which I now need to look at in more detail. There's an alternative which might work correctly. This takes some time.
  4. Further processing, including masking, rotating and possibly change in projection.
  5. Stitching, which also takes some time.

I could easily get Hugin to run pto_gen and cpfind from the Hugin script, which would eliminate steps 2 and 3. Potentially I could also stop it from changing white balance and exposure for each image. Yes, I still need to load the .pto file, but that's relatively quick.

But that's one issue. I still need to understand why the current “Align” function only gives me matches between adjacent images.


Which induction cooker, iteration 4711
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

On Wednesday at the latest I need to return the ALDI induction cooktop. What should I buy to replace it with? I had been tending to the Bosch PIJ611BB1E, but today I finally found some details about how to install it: it doesn't have the lip at the front like the ALDI cooktop, so it would have to go back at least as far as the current gas cooktop.

What can I do? I could remove the batten running under the work surface. Despite everything that JG King says, it seems to have no structural function. But there's a door stop on them. What effect would that have? There's another one at the bottom:

 
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And then there's the issue with the power. I still can't find out what kind of wiring I need. With the current one, I know I can get by with the wiring I have, as long as I don't use too much power. I can also connect one of the two inputs to the oven, which might mean that we don't need any additional ($$$) wiring from the main switchboard. Can I do that with Bosch? They're keeping that information very close to their chests. And I'd be quite upset if I had to spend $1000 more for something that still annoyed me.


Tuesday, 19 June 2018 Dereel Images for 19 June 2018
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Max Lehey: Requiescat in pace
Topic: general Link here

I've been meaning to visit my uncle Max and his sister Frieda for at least two months now, and I keep postponing it, at least because I wanted to visit them both on the same trip, and they live over 200 km away from each other.

Today Frieda called up: the problem has simplified itself. Max died in his sleep last night. He had just turned 90 years old.

Damn! Apart from the sorrow about his death, that's another case where procrastination has irreversible consequences. I wasn't overly close to Max, but I had always admired him for his cheerfulness and—as I see it—happy way of life. In that respect he was an example to us all.


Happy anniversary, FreeBSD
Topic: technology Link here

In the morning's mail today:

06/19     Charlie Root <root@FreeBSD.org> born in Portland, Oregon, United States, 1993
06/19     FreeBSD project born, 1993

The first one an insider joke. 25 years already! How time flies!


Lunch with Lorraine
Topic: general, food and drink Link here

Off to Lorraine Carranza's for lunch today. I had been putting off the invitation until after I visited Max and Frieda, but clearly that wasn't a good idea.

This time I took a camera (the Olympus E-PM1) and took some photos.

 
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She has a really nice view to the north, the real “Grassy Gully” after which the road (some distance away) is named:


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She has also picked up some antiques since we were last there. There's an organ, about 100 years old:

 
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We still don't know what the purpose of this one was:

 
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More Hugin investigations
Topic: technology, photography Link here

More playing around with Hugin today. Yesterday I used the GUI's “Align” function, but there's also the option to run it directly. My guess was that the difference was due to using “Align”, so today I used cpfind. Surprise, surprise! Only adjacent control points.

So how was this cpfind run?

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/28) /photowork/Hugin-build-eureka 92 -> ps aux | grep cpfind
grog       69358  49.9  2.0   801448  671604  -  RNs  12:22pm      0:06.34 cpfind --multirow -o /tmp/ap_res6w6ICm /tmp/ap_inprojv8AcxR

OK, let's run cpfind against that project file (/tmp/ap_res6w6ICm /tmp/ap_inprojv8AcxR, and yes, it was still there). I got all the control points!

But wait. What about that --multirow option? Try it with that. Yup, it suppresses the control points beyond the neighbours.

Why? According to the man page,

       --multirow
           Enable heuristic multi row matching (default: off)

       --linearmatch
           Enable linear images matching (default : all pairs)

What I'm getting here is the result of --linearmatch, not --multirow. And that's not the documented behaviour. But I tried it with the Microsoft version, and sure enough, the behaviour was the same. So now I have:

Still, it's clear now that I'll have to do some code reading. It's interesting to note that --multirow comes directly before --linearmatch in the man page. What if it's like that in the code too, and somehow a break; got lost?


ALDI return day
Topic: general Link here

Time for lots of things to go back to ALDI:

 
This should be ALDI-returns-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
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That's the induction cooker (at the last minute I decided to return it after all), a frying pan that, despite claims, doesn't work with induction, two mixing bowls that Yvonne thought could serve as Chinese soup bowls (they're too big), a “stock pot” (i.e. saucepan) that is in fact perfectly OK except that it's not the size I wanted, the dicer that just doesn't work, and the range hood that I bought at the same time as the induction cooker, and which I decided was more pain to try than the advantage that it promised.


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