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Tuesday, 1 September 2020 Dereel Images for 1 September 2020
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More power grid failures
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

No fewer than 4 short grid power failures in the early hours of this morning, all short, though two show evidence of being 2 seconds long instead of one.


20 years of diary! 30? 60?
Topic: history, general, opinion Link here

Twenty years ago today, I started keeping a regular online diary, and I've written an entry for every day in those 20 years, 7305 days in all. That's quite an achievement, if I say so myself.

But wait, there's more! I also kept a diary every day from 1 January 1963 until (barely) 1 October 1970. That's 27¾ years, nearly 30.

But I can go even further. I've added entries between those two periods, and I really started my diaries earlier. In January 1961 and January 1962 I started a diary, but only made a few days on each occasion.

But where it really started was, I think, on 6 April 1960. At the time I was going to school at the St. John's Institution in Kuala Lumpur. I was the only non-Malayan pupil. Our teacher, Brother James, a ruddy Irish monk, was concerned about our collective command of written English, and gave us exercise books to write into, one page a day, about whatever we chose. I enjoyed it, and in a sense they were my first diary. Sadly they've been lost. I had hoped that my mother, also an inveterate collector, might have had them, but so far they haven't been found.


More scant garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Today was the first day of spring. Unlike what my mother told me 62 years ago, it didn't rain: in fact the sun shone all day long. No excuse to not do anything in the garden, so I spent about 15 minutes pruning some more roses and spreading fertilizer in the eastern part (in front of the house).

Somehow things don't look very happy. The Corymbia ficifolia that was doing well into mid-winter is now looking decidedly less happy.


Lambing season
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

The paddock on the south-east corner of Grassy Gully Road and Stones Road is used for sheep. It's about twice the size of the Vatican State, and today I saw an estimated 300 sheep on it, including a number of lambs. Many, maybe over 10, were dead.

Why? A bit further on, on the side of the road, we saw this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200901/big/Dead-lamb.jpeg
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Bloody foxes! I wonder how many of the deaths are their fault.


Wednesday, 2 September 2020 Dereel Images for 2 September 2020
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Analemma accuracy
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Today I accidentally took my first (crucial) Analemma image 9 seconds too early—the timing of the second image is not important. How much difference does it make? I took another at the correct time for mean solar noon (12:25:00), so I could crop the image and compare it with the earlier one (second image) (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200902/small/Analemma-3.jpeg
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Strangely, there's a little diagonal movement. How could that happen? This was at noon, so any movement would have to be lateral. Is my tripod not up to the task? I think I'll have to accept that much inaccuracy, which is still just a fraction of the diameter of the sun's disk.


Another 24 TB of storage
Topic: history, technology, general, opinion Link here

A courier arrived today with the 3 8 TB backup disks that I ordered last week. Small, light package. We had just been talking about early disk drives (Seagate ST-506, 5 MB) on IRC, and it occurred to me that these three would correspond to 4,800 ST-506s.

Oh. Not 4,800. 4,800,000! How storage has increased over the last 35 years! Idly considered the space that that many ST-506s would take up, not helped by not knowing the exact dimensions. OK, for the sake of comparison, I could go back a year or two further and consider the IBM 2311 that I had considered interfacing in the days before I could afford a real disk drive:

http://images.computerhistory.org/revonline/images/102666007p-03-02.jpg?w=600

This page gives the dimensions: 38"×40"×24". Converted to sane measurements, that's 97×102×61 cm, a volume of 0.6 m³, so 4,800,000 of them would take up 2,880,000 m³. Spread over my 20,000 m² property, that would be a pile 144 m high!

Back to the present, checked how to create a file system on the disk. I've done this before, of course, so followed the description there, and once again ran into trouble. Finally created a file system with default parameters and tried to mount it:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) ~ 40 -> gpart show $DRIVE
=>         34  15627986877  da0  GPT  (7.3T) [CORRUPT]
           34            6       - free -  (3.0K)
           40  15627986864    1  freebsd-ufs  (7.3T)
  15627986904            7       - free -  (3.5K)
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) ~ 41 -> mount /dev/da0p1 /mnt
mount: /dev/da0p1: No such file or directory
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) ~ 42 -> ls /dev/da0*
/dev/da0        /dev/da0p1

Huh? Now you see it, now you don't? It took me a while to realize that I had created a file system on /dev/da0 and not on /dev/da0p1. And I had also not read the message from gpart above: corrupt partition structure. Create the file system on /dev/da0p1 and all was well. That still doesn't explain the ENOENT error returned by mount. I'll summarize the correct procedure tomorrow when I partition the next disk.

So: mount the disk on lagoon and start copying files. Damn! This machine only has a USB 2 interface, so we're limited to 40 MB/s or a little under. That will take about a day to transfer the 3 TB or so that I need.


Car breakdown
Topic: general Link here

Yvonne went shopping today, as on every Wednesday. On the way back, she called from Chris Bahlo's house: the car wouldn't start.

OK, off in a hurry, forgetting to change my reading glasses to normal glasses, and without any tools. Indeed, it looked like a dead battery. I had some jumper cables in the car, with a particularly poor grip, especially for modern cars, which seem to delight in baroque attachments to the terminals:

 
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200903/small/Battery-4.jpeg
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Connected up anyway. No difference.

OK, what's the voltage? If I had thought of it, I could have brought my multimeter with me. As it was, I had to go home and get it.

Back again. Dammit, forgot to change my glasses again! Voltage measured at slightly over 12 V. Not what I expected. Set off back home again before it occurred to me that I should check the voltage while trying to start the engine. Back again (at least this time I had only travelled a few hundred metres) and confirmed: yes, dropped to 5 V. Battery dead.

But we only bought the battery a couple of months ago. It must be under warranty. Conveniently, the markings on the battery (month, year) hadn't been filled out. Still, get the receipt. 9 July. Clearly the left side of the bathtub.

Oh. That was 2019. Still, the battery should still have been under warranty. Called up Leigh at Sovereign City Service Centre on 5379 9116, and he confirmed that the battery had a 2 year warranty, so that should be OK. But what if something killed the battery? Defective alternator, draining hundreds of amps from the battery? Somehow that doesn't fit, but who knows, he could be right. So somehow we have to find a way to start it and get it to him.

OK, how about a battery charger? Yvonne facebooked Chris, who promptly showed up on horseback, and we agreed to have a go when she got home. Over with my battery charger and cable, first trying to start it normally. No go. Chris had jumper cables with better clamps, and connected them to her car. They worked better—I heard the typical drop in rpm when they were connected—but it still didn't start the car. OK, connect the charger and charge overnight.

Charger showed 0.9 V! Had it deteriorated so much in that time? No, the multimeter showed 12.8 V, presumably as the result of being connected with the jumper leads. Disconnecting the charger made it revert to 0 V. There's a mode button there, and currently the display was showing “off”. OK, press Mode. Err.

Try on Chris' car. Same thing, though at one point it tried to climb to 1 V. Damn, charger defective. Leave it on the battery overnight to see if it reconsiders, and back home to look for my other charger which, in my recollection, was even worse, but didn't find it.

Enough for the day. Let's see what happens tomorrow.


Car crashes, Australian style
Topic: general, opinion Link here

It seems that outside towns, most Australian car crashes involve a tree. That's surprising, especially given that most Australian trunk roads look like this:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20040202/small/nullarbor-roadhouse-1.jpeg
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But it happens. My uncle Keith was killed in a car crash involving a tree. But I was still surprised to find this on the way to Chris Bahlo's house:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200903/small/Crashed-car-3.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200903/small/Crashed-car-1.jpeg
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It didn't just hit a tree: it seems to have hit it from a direction where there was no road. How did he do it?


Thursday, 3 September 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 3 September 2020
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lagoon backup disk
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Into the office this morning to look at how the data copy to Yvonne's new photo disk was progressing:

...
x ./20171214/orig/2C149984.ORF
x ./20171214/orig/2C149985.ORFtar: (null)
: Truncated tar archive
tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors.

I really must get in the habit of redirecting error output for these things. No idea what happened, but clearly the next step was:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /Photos/yvonne 54 -> rsync -LHav --partial --delete-after /Photos/yvonne /mnt/yvonne

And another all-day copy session.


New office amplifier
Topic: multimedia, general, opinion Link here

I have had the audio output of eureka connected to an old stereo amplifier almost for ever. Originally it was the Technics SU-3500 that I bought when we moved into our first own house in 1979, but it developed intermittent faults. So I bought a second-hand Sansui SAN110 three years ago. It wasn't a success: it had an intermittent lack of drive on the left-hand speaker, and it forgot its settings when I turned it off, so I had to set input and volume every time I turned it on. Result: I left it turned on. It has probably cost more in power than in purchase price.

So I found a cheap “Digital Stereo Audio Amplifier Karaoke HIFI Music Surround Car Home AUX USB MP3” on eBay, brand new for just under $40. The description was strange: it had only two channels, so “surround” is crazily wrong. And the photos don't seem to match:

http://www.lemis.com/grog/Day/20200903/Amplifier-2.jpeg

FM RADIO? Yes, the back shows a wire coming out and marked “FM-ANT”. OK, can't do any harm.

It arrived yesterday, but I didn't have time until today to connect it up. No instructions whatsoever, just what was written on the package.

Connecting up was straightforward enough. Turn on. “bLUE”. What does that mean? Pressed MODE and got “LIΠE”. And again and got a tuner, which merrily marched off and selected and stored about 25 frequencies. All very positive.

Play some music back. Nothing. Connect the source to the old amplifier. All OK. Back to new amplifier. Nothing. Ah, you need to turn up the volume to get some really bad-sounding music. A bit of adjustment of the tone controls, and it was bearable, but I greatly doubt the claims “Distoration rate: 0.05%”.

And the tuner function? Just plain Doesn't Work. Nothing but noise. Maybe that's why it wasn't advertised as such.

So what else do I need? It has speech-synthesized texts to describe the operating modes, but no balance control. And there are only three modes: bLUE (which the grating voice explains is short for “Bluetooth”), LIΠE and LoD, the last the non-functional tuner. What it doesn't have is a way to choose between the inputs at the rear (which I was using) and the input at the front. Maybe it merges them.


Commodore, day two
Topic: general, opinion Link here

So where do I go from here with Yvonne's car? There's barely a chance that it would start this morning, either by itself or because the charger had come to life. If not, potentially the stronger battery in Chris' ute would help.

So over there, running over a dead lamb in the process:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200903/small/Dead-lamb.jpeg
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Tried things out. Battery still dead, charger still dead, ute unable to start the car, though it tried. And now the battery was down to about 9 V.

Took it out and into town. Oh, wait. I had left my camera in Yvonne's car, so first back to Chris' place for the 6th time since yesterday. That's 8 km return, or 48 km total, nearly as much as a return trip to Ballarat.

In town, Leigh put it on his tester and confirmed yes, it showed “defective”. But so does a flat battery, so first he will need to charge it overnight and see how it does tomorrow. In the meantime he gave me a battery, also in need of charge, which I can charge and put in the car to bring it into town.

How? Oh, I wanted to buy a new battery charger (and better jumper cables) at “Autobarn”. Off there, and was astounded by the prices. The cheapest battery chargers were round $60! I'm sure that I didn't pay anywhere near that for the old one, which had multiple charge modes and a digital voltage display. The one I bought, for $65, claimed to be “intelligent”, but it only delivers 1.6 A, and there are only two LEDs: “charging” and “charged”. Still, I suppose it'll do the trick. Back home and checked the battery. Showing 11.7 V or so, charging at about 13.8 V. That's it for today: at that charge rate, it will take until tomorrow.


Friday, 4 September 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 4 September 2020
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Another planned grid outage
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Another planned grid power outage today, the third in two months. The last two went by without too much trouble, but today's weather forecast suggested dull, overcast conditions where we couldn't rely on much photovoltaic power.

Once again, though, we weathered it well. As “usual”, I had set the battery to charge from the grid to between 90% and 95%. Power went out at 9:36:30, when the battery charge was 93%. Turn the air conditioner off and watch the state of charge gradually rise to 100%:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200904/small/PV-power.png
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And there it stayed until the power came back at 14:24:33. It's interesting to note the PV power (pink columns) during the outage and before and after: during the outage it was at its lowest, not because of the insolation, but because that was all that the house needed. When the power came back, it was able to inject much more power into the grid.

So: it seems that even during relatively dull days the system can supply the house well as long as the air conditioner is off. I don't seem to have so much to worry about after all.


Integrating external disks, for real
Topic: technology Link here

As planned, partitioned and loaded Yvonne's first backup disk on dereel today (it has USB 3, so it's much faster). Also as planned, noted exactly what to do. Get it wrong and you can really shoot yourself in the foot. To be careful, I divide into 3 steps:

  1. Confirm the correct disk. On connection, the kernel reports the details, including in particular the device name da0. From dmesg:
    umass0:3:0: Attached to scbus3
    da0 at umass-sim0 bus 0 scbus3 target 0 lun 0
    da0: <WD Elements 25A3 1030> Fixed Direct Access SPC-4 SCSI device
    da0: Serial Number 56444B555A54534B
    da0: 400.000MB/s transfers
    da0: 7630853MB (15627986944 512 byte sectors)

    Set the device name and confirm the current contents of the disk:

    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 3 -> DRIVE=da0
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 4 -> gpart show $DRIVE
    =>         34  15627986877  da0  GPT  (7.3T)
               34         2014       - free -  (1.0M)
             2048  15627982848    1  ms-basic-data  (7.3T)
      15627984896         2015       - free -  (1.0M)

    Commands:

    DRIVE=da0
    gpart show $DRIVE
  2. Repartition the disk and check:
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 5 -> gpart delete -i 1 $DRIVE
    da0p1 deleted
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 6 -> gpart show $DRIVE
    =>         34  15627986877  da0  GPT  (7.3T)
               34  15627986877       - free -  (7.3T)

    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 7 -> gpart add -t freebsd-ufs $DRIVE
    da0p1 added
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 8 -> gpart show $DRIVE
    =>         34  15627986877  da0  GPT  (7.3T)
               34            6       - free -  (3.0K)
               40  15627986864    1  freebsd-ufs  (7.3T)
      15627986904            7       - free -  (3.5K)

    Commands:

    gpart delete -i 1 $DRIVE
    gpart show $DRIVE
    gpart add -t freebsd-ufs $DRIVE
    gpart show $DRIVE
  3. Create file system and copy
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 9 -> newfs -L Photos -O 2  -g 400m -h 64 -i 400m -m 1 -o space /dev/da0p1
    density reduced from 419430400 to 7405568
    /dev/da0p1: 7630853.0MB (15627986864 sectors) block size 32768, fragment size 4096
            using 8442 cylinder groups of 904.00MB, 28928 blks, 128 inodes.
    super-block backups (for fsck_ffs -b #) at:
     192, 1851584, 3702976, 5554368, 7405760, 9257152, 11108544, 12959936, 14811328,
     16662720, 18514112, 20365504, 22216896, 24068288, 25919680, 27771072, 29622464,
    ....                    ridiculous number of cylinder groups
     15625748672, 15627600064
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 10 -> gpart show $DRIVE
    =>         34  15627986877  da0  GPT  (7.3T)
               34            6       - free -  (3.0K)
               40  15627986864    1  freebsd-ufs  (7.3T)
      15627986904            7       - free -  (3.5K)
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 11 -> mount /dev/da0p1 /mnt
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 12 -> mkdir /mnt/yvonne
    === root@dereel (/dev/pts/19) ~ 13 -> rsync 2>/tmp/rsyncerrs -LHav --partial --delete-after /Photos/yvonne /mnt/
    building file list ...

           tty            ada0              da0              cd0             cpu
     tin  tout  KB/t tps  MB/s   KB/t tps  MB/s   KB/t tps  MB/s  us ni sy in id
    ...
       0   554 80.00   2  0.16  107.31 729 76.38   0.00   0  0.00   9  0  7  1 83
       0   502 128.00   1  0.13  105.15 748 76.84   0.00   0  0.00  12  0  6  0 82
       0   532 37.96 270 10.00  104.27 737 75.07   0.00   0  0.00  11  0  5  0 84
       0   544 128.00   1  0.12  105.90 752 77.74   0.00   0  0.00  12  0  5  1 82
       0   540 44.74 115  5.03  108.79 726 77.15   0.00   0  0.00   9  0  9  0 82

    It's interesting to note the speed. It varied between about 50 MB/s and 100 MB/s.

    Commands:

    newfs -L Photos -O 2  -g 400m -h 64 -i 400m -m 1 -o space /dev/da0p1
    gpart show $DRIVE
    mount /dev/da0p1 /mnt
    mkdir /mnt/yvonne
    rsync 2>/tmp/rsyncerrs -LHav --partial --delete-after /Photos/yvonne /mnt/

And that was it. On lagoon, change the /etc/fstab to correspond:

--- fstab       2019/12/05 21:35:01     1.21
+++ fstab       2020/09/03 23:19:09
@@ -3,10 +3,12 @@
...
 /dev/ada0p5             /home                   ufs     rw      1      2
+/dev/da0p1              /Photos                 ufs     rw      1       2
+/dev/da1p1              /photobackup            ufs     rw      1       2
 eureka:/home            /eureka/home            nfs     rw      0 0
-eureka:/Photos          /Photos                 nfs     rw      0 0
+eureka:/Photos          /eureka/Photos          nfs     rw      0 0
 eureka:/dump            /dump                   nfs     rw      0 0

Ran into trouble with a couple of directories that various scripts need, and I'm sure there will be more, but in general it worked well.


Commodore battery, day 3
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Into the garage this morning to see how the battery charge was going. Still not finished. Checked the voltage: 15.1 V! That's far too high. This primitive, expensive, low-powered battery charger also overcharges. Off to look on the web and found this page, from a battery manufacturer, which confirms that charge should go to between 14.2 and 14.4 V, with some batteries allowing as much as 14.8 V, and

Monitoring battery voltage during charging is extremely important to reduce the risk of overcharging and to check the progress of the battery during recharge. Always keep inside the parameters outlined in the below table.[sic] Failure to do so can result in permanent damage to the battery.

What a useless charger! The only positive side is that its output is limited to 1.6 A, compared to the 3.8 A of the old, cheaper, more modern charger.

Called up Leigh as planned, and he confirmed that the old battery was dead: it only charged to about 9.5 V. That suggests that it had failed further since my first attempts, where I measured 12 V on the first attempt.

After the power outage was over, over with the battery to Chris Bahlo's and put it in. Started immediately. Off to Ballarat to get the new battery and leave the car for checking, in case it had overcharged, with Yvonne in tow. But of course I was able to check the voltage after the 30 km run: 14.3 V, just what the doctor ordered. Left the car for the battery change and off to do some shopping.

First, return the battery charger. I had printed out the web page in case I needed confirmation that 15.1 V was too high, but the salesman recognized the problem immediately, and I got my money back.

So finally it's done. Battery replaced under warranty, no charges, but round 200 km of driving around to sort the mess out.


Shopping in Ballarat
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

How do you kill 20 minutes waiting for the car work? To ALDI, next door to Autobarn, where we looked around for things that Yvonne would not normally buy, and found some pre-marinated chicken satay that didn't look too bad. Also a couple of other random things.

Then to Woolworths to look for satay sauce. How about that, a parking place straight ahead:

 
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It wasn't until I was almost into it that I read:

 
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Yes, there was something on the wall, partially obliterated by a truck (who was probably not picking things up). This looks like an inadequate first attempt at a good idea. But the idea of using a mobile phone to order groceries! They certainly need to rework that. Even the URL on the wall (woolworths.com.au/app) shows their misunderstanding. Why not something relating to online shopping? Looking at the app shows that it does offer some advantages, but why do these things have to be incompatible with real computers?


Saturday, 5 September 2020 Dereel Images for 5 September 2020
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Integrating disks, day 3
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Yesterday's disk installation went smoothly, so today I did the third one, moving the second one to lagoon. All I need now is to bend things to talk to the disks instead of /Photos and /photobackup on eureka.

Or maybe there's more to do. Where did yesterday evening's backup of lagoon go? Usually it's finished shortly after 21:00. But this morning there was no sign of it. Went looking:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/2) /Photos 45 -> ps wwaux | grep dump
root    92902   0.1  0.1   12036   2480  -  S    21:24        2:51.59 dump: /dev/da0p1: pass 4: 7.21% done, finished in 166:15 at Sat Sep 12 08:35:36 2020 (dump)
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/2) /Photos 46 -> date
Sat  5 Sep 2020 10:20:55 AEST

Not only was it trying to back up /Photos, it would have taken a week to do so, assuming there was enough space (there wasn't). Time to update the backup scripts to only back up specific file systems.

The first part of the photo migration was already done: point to them in /etc/fstab. But it wasn't that simple. Some of the things on /eureka/Photos were needed, notably the Tools subdirectory, and it didn't make sense to replicate them. OK, a lot of judicious symlinks.

That proved to not be enough. Yvonne came with the news that she couldn't find her videos. That proved to be the lack of the directory /Photos/8-video, a staging directory to work around the lack of understanding of path names on the part of avidemux. OK, fix that, and it worked, though she reported it being slower than usual. Is that the result of the USB 2 connection?

But there's more. For still photos she needed the staging directories /Photos/3-yvonne and /Photos/Ashampoo-yvonne (names steeped in history).

Oh. And a way of talking to Microsoft. Samba. OK, install that:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) ~ 134 -> pkg install samba
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
...  wait many seconds
pkg: No packages available to install matching 'samba' have been found in the repositories

How I wish the Ports Collection would recognize generic names! After some searching, discovered that samba411 was the magic word:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /Photos/yvonne/20200218 94 -> pkg install samba411
Updating FreeBSD repository catalogue...
FreeBSD repository is up to date.
All repositories are up to date.
The following 11 package(s) will be affected (of 0 checked):

New packages to be INSTALLED:
        avidemux-qt5: 2.7.4
...
        samba411: 4.11.8

Installed packages to be REINSTALLED:
        avidemux-2.7.4_1 (options changed)

...
Proceed with this action? [y/N]:

Oh, no, not that! After all the pain I had been through to install it so that it would play nice with lagoon! OK, what alternatives do we have? Can Samba export share NFS file systems? I'm not very happy with the idea of cross-mounting NDS, but it's worth a try, at least for the start. Update /etc/exports on lagoon and:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) /usr/local/etc/postfix 1225 -> mount lagoon:/ /Lphotos
[tcp] lagoon:/: RPCPROG_NFS: RPC: Program not registered
^C

Oh. Some searching, finding no useful answers beyond the fact that this message seems only to happen with FreeBSD. But somewhere there was the question of nfsd.

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /etc 107 -> service nfsd onerestart
nfsd not running?
NFSv4 is disabled
Starting nfsd.

Yes, that did it.

Update /usr/local/etc/smb4.conf on eureka:

[Lphotos]
  comment = lagoon Photos file system
  path = /Lphotos
  read only = yes
  public = yes
  write list = grog,yvonne

Try mounting from distress. Oh. How do you do that? I have some recollection of it being in a completely ridiculous place. Not in the “Windows Settings” at all, something to do with the “Windows Explorer”. And that has changed in appearance sufficiently that I'm not even sure that it's there.

OK, this thing must offer help. Yes, you need to search a twisty little menu, but there it is, between “Feedback Hub” and “Groove Music”: “Get Help”. I know that the term in Microsoft is “Map Network Drive”, so I typed that in.

 
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Now how on Earth could it come up with that as a possibility? Did I choose an inappropriate term? No, after answering “No” I got:

Here's what I think you are asking about: Map a network drive. Is that correct?

Now how could it think that was correct? With the exception of the article, it's verbatim what I entered. Why is this only the second choice?

The help was sufficient, so off to mount. Not for the first time, I got a long delay and then:

 
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“Diagnose”? No, I've been there before. That way madness lies. What are the possibilities? Unable to contact Samba server, Samba server doesn't like the name, authentication error, real issues with sharing NFS file systems? Once there was a program called net. What does it say?


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OK, that was much more informative, and it happened immediately. Why does the modern version offer so much less help? Of course, in this case I had a typo in the name. But with sane diagnostics, I would have noticed that immediately, not while typing in this diary entry.

Back to a sane environment and ran smbclient:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/41) ~ 38 -> smbclient //eureka/Lphotos
Enter grog's password:
Anonymous login successful
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Windows 6.1] Server=[Samba 4.2.14]
tree connect failed: NT_STATUS_BAD_NETWORK_NAME

OK, that tells me everything I need to know: I have updated smb4.conf, but I need to tell Samba about it. I thought that would be automatic when smbd is started from inetd, as here. But what I saw was:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/6) ~ 444 -> ps aux | grep smb
root        4503   0.0  0.1  444320   25448  -  I    Mon11am       2:19.40 /usr/local/sbin/smbd -D -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       35079   0.0  0.0  275536    6524  -  Is   10Jul20       1:34.38 /usr/local/sbin/winbindd -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       35080   0.0  0.0  275936    6892  -  S    10Jul20       0:07.34 /usr/local/sbin/winbindd -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       35427   0.0  0.0  275536    6408  -  I    10Jul20       0:57.77 /usr/local/sbin/winbindd -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       42048   0.0  0.0  288572    6064  -  Ss   10Jul20       1:07.01 /usr/local/sbin/smbd -D -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       42052   0.0  0.0  275536    6648  -  I    10Jul20       0:03.21 /usr/local/sbin/winbindd -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       42053   0.0  0.0  289096    6100  -  I    10Jul20       0:05.49 /usr/local/sbin/smbd -D -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       49170   0.0  0.0  289256    6076  -  Is   10Jul20       1:04.96 /usr/local/sbin/smbd -D -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       49174   0.0  0.0  289256    6100  -  I    10Jul20       0:05.35 /usr/local/sbin/smbd -D -s /usr/local/etc/smb.conf
root       35486   0.0  0.0   18848    2304  6  S+    3:41pm       0:00.00 grep smb

Where did all that come from? And how do I restart it without losing all my current shares? It should work, but I have so much pain with Microsoft that I don't want to risk losing what I have.

OK, if pkg doesn't want to install samba411 for me, how about building the port?

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/2) ~ -> cd /usr/ports/net/samba410
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/2) /usr/ports/net/samba410 76 -> Make all install
===== Sat 5 Sep 2020 15:55:19 AEST on lagoon.lemis.com: Make all install
===>  samba410-4.10.13 has known vulnerabilities:
samba410-4.10.13 is vulnerable:
samba -- Multiple Vulnerabilities
CVE: CVE-2020-14303
CVE: CVE-2020-10760
CVE: CVE-2020-10745
CVE: CVE-2020-10730
WWW: https://vuxml.FreeBSD.org/freebsd/ae599263-bca2-11ea-b78f-b42e99a1b9c3.html

samba410-4.10.13 is vulnerable:
samba -- multiple vulnerabilities
CVE: CVE-2020-10704
CVE: CVE-2020-10700
WWW: https://vuxml.FreeBSD.org/freebsd/3c7911c9-8a29-11ea-8d8c-005056a311d1.html

2 problem(s) in 1 installed package(s) found.
=> Please update your ports tree and try again.
=> Note: Vulnerable ports are marked as such even if there is no update available.
=> If you wish to ignore this vulnerability rebuild with 'make DISABLE_VULNERABILITIES=yes'

Sigh. It wasn't supposed to be simple, was it? OK, DISABLE_VULNERABILITIES (if it's that easy, why not do it by default?) and install. And how about that, it installed without attacking avidemux.

OK, on. Add the entry to smb4.conf and:

=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /etc 117 -> smbpasswd -a grog
New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Added user grog.
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /etc 118 -> smbpasswd -a yvonne
New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Added user yvonne.
=== root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /etc 122 -> service samba_server start
Performing sanity check on Samba configuration: OK
Starting nmbd.
Starting smbd.

And distress was happy. I had to map the file system with Yvonne's credentials, something that I have never got my head around, but that fixes other permissions issues. Yvonne processed her photos, and then came and told me that she couldn't find the photos.

They were where they should have been, of course, in ~/Photos/20200905, but though she had run make web, the web page was empty. More searching. The web pages are in ~yvonne/public_html/Photos/www. But Photos is a symlink to a file system on eureka:

=== yvonne@lagoon (/dev/pts/2) ~/public_html 26 -> ls -l Photos
lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  lemis  22 26 Mar  2010 Photos -> /src/Photos/yvonne/www

To save space, I link photos rather than copy them. So yes, I can make that a local file hierarchy, but then the web server on eureka can't find them. What to do?

Head-scratching is in order. I can, of course, mount the /lagoon/Photos file system on eureka, and in fact it currently is, but that's what I want to avoid. For the time being, the obvious thing to do is to copy rather than to link, but that wastes space. Gradually I'm beginning to wonder if a file server isn't the best solution.


Analemma accuracy revisited
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

A couple of days ago I noted that two consecutive shots of the sun taken round noon 9 seconds apart showed a diagonal movement, which didn't seem right. OK, try again today, this time with three shots (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):

 
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The second image was taken 19 seconds after the first, and the third after another 3 seconds. And somehow that matches the difference in positions. But now the motion is diagonal to top left, while on Wednesday it was diagonal to bottom left. At least it's moving to the left; to the right would be clearly impossible.

Looking at the NOAA Solar Calculator, solar noon today was at 12:23:41, 1 minute and 19 seconds before mean solar noon. Under those circumstances, the second and third should have been lower than the first. But the differences between the individual images look in accordance with the time difference. Is there some other source of error?


Sunday, 6 September 2020 Dereel Images for 6 September 2020
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Baked beans!
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Last week Yvonne bought some pre-prepared seafood “bisque”, complete with real terracotta pots. We ate them last night. The pots are almost exactly the size of my deep-frozen baked beans, and it occurred to me that I could really bake the beans in them. And so it was:

 
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200906/small/Bacon-eggs-beans-3.jpeg
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The food wasn't cheap. I wonder how much of the price went towards the pots, which I fear most people will simply throw away.


More mystery flowers
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Down towards Bliss Road (the “schoolyard”) with the dogs today, an opportunity to take another look at the “gorse” that I had seen last week:

 
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What is it? Where are my books?


Recovering clematis
Topic: gardening Link here

I've been keeping a careful eye on my Clematis “Edo Murasaki” that was nearly destroyed in May. Two weeks ago it was looking better:

 
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But today it has grown to nearly three times the size:

 
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So I think there's good hope that it will come back completely.


Satay ayam
Topic: food and drink, language, opinion Link here

One of the things that we bought in town on Friday were some chicken kebabs labeled “Peanut Satay Flavour”:

 
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Somehow people here have forgotten what satay is: a kebab. And the peanuts don't go on the satay; they go in a separate sauce.

Still, they looked interesting. Another thing for the hair dryer. Well, with limitations:

 
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The skewers are so thick that they don't fit through the rotisserie plate. So I had to do them on the grille. Set it to 230°. Here after 5 minutes and after 20 minutes:

 
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But things weren't over yet. I hadn't oiled the kebabs, and it showed. I needed some force to remove most of them from the grille:

 
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But it was worth it. I was concerned that Yvonne wouldn't like them, but she did, so we can add them to our menu. .


Satay? Sateh? Sate?
Topic: language, food and drink, opinion Link here

In my article above I talk about satay. But that's not the modern spelling, at least not in Malay and Indonesian: it should be sate. But that's confusing in writing, and my recollection was that it was spelt “sateh” (same pronunciation as sate, making it clear that the e at the end of sate is pronounced, thus also “saté”).

But which should I use? It seems that I have been using both spellings for over 50 years: “sateh” since September 1964 and “satay” since January 1966, with a 2:1 preference for “sateh”. But I can't find that spelling anywhere any more. The Malay and Indonesian Wikipedia pages use sate, of course, but both redirect Satay—and not Sateh.

OK, satay it is. Sate is just too confusing, and sateh seems to have died a death.


Monday, 7 September 2020 Dereel Images for 7 September 2020
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Spring progress
Topic: gardening Link here

Gradually it's getting warmer—today we had a top temperature of 22.3°—and the flowers are coming out, notably the tulips:

 
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They also add to Yvonne's bouquets, though I find the various Narcissus cultivars more interesting:

 
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Analemma accuracy, again
Topic: photography, general, opinion Link here

So why are my consecutive photos of the sun for my analemma series so unexpectedly different? Today I tried a whole series at 10 second intervals, starting 70 seconds before mean solar noon and going on until 30 seconds after. Why the discrepancy? It seemed a good idea at the time, but in fact even the first one was 40 seconds after apparent solar noon.

The results? Only horizontal motion. Here the sequence (run the cursor over an image to compare it with the photo for mean solar noon):

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-3.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 3
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-4.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 4
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-5.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 5
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-6.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 6
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-7.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 7
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-8.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 8
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-9.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 9
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Here's the one at mean solar noon:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-10.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 10
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And the ones after mean solar noon:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-11.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 11
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-12.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 12
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-13.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 13
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The last 3 show a slight vertical difference. I was going to explain that with the comparison shot at normal exposure:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200907/small/Analemma-2.jpeg
Image title: Analemma 2
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To get that I need to change the shutter speed (from 1/4000 s to 2 s). But this wasn't taken until after all the others. So it can't explain the difference. My best bet is that the tripod just isn't that stable. Today was windy, and possibly something got moved.


Tuesday, 8 September 2020 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 8 September 2020
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Storm damage
Topic: gardening, general Link here

Once again we've had heavy winds, and once again they have wrought havoc. Last night we heard the flower stand on the verandah getting knocked over:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Wind-damage-2.jpeg
Image title: Wind damage 2
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But there was more:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Wind-damage-5.jpeg
Image title: Wind damage 5
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Wind-damage-7.jpeg
Image title: Wind damage 7
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It's only been four months since that wind break got blown away, in the process nearly destroying the Clematis “Edo Murasaki”, and I had to reinstall it. What went wrong?

Nothing, in principle. The screws I inserted held. This time it broke elsewhere, tearing the lattice apart:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Wind-damage-9.jpeg
Image title: Wind damage 9
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Wind-damage-10.jpeg
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What do I do about that? About the only thing I can think of is more screws. It's interesting to note that in each case the lattice was dislodged by an east wind, not what one would expect. The lattice at the other end of the bed is attached from the east side and shows no damage. Maybe I should reattach everything from the other side, but it's a bit of work.


Huevos rancheros, a decade on
Topic: food and drink, history, opinion Link here

It's been over 10 years since I started preparing huevos rancheros for breakfast. Now that I have finally managed to make Mexican tortillas reasonably reliably, we eat them for breakfast every Tuesday. Time to take a look at how the dish has evolved. Here 12 years ago and today:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20080704/small/huevos-rancheros.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Huevos-rancheros-2.jpeg
Image title: Huevos rancheros 2
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The big difference is the quantities, the use of real tortillas and the addition of chorizo, which arguably doesn't fit.


Ports pain, 10 years on
Topic: history, technology, opinion Link here

On Saturday I commented, after having to search for the canonical Samba port:

How I wish the Ports Collection would recognize generic names!

And then today I read my diary of ten years ago:

There seems to be no canonical Samba port. The one I have in my scripts was net/samba3, which happily started building and told me it was deprecated. So I went looking for the correct one, which you'd expect to be net/samba. But there is no such port, just net/samba3, net/samba32, net/samba33, net/samba34, net/samba4-devel and net/samba4wins. Decided on net/samba34. But wouldn't it be nice to have an easily recognized version?

Somehow reading back through my diary shows just how long this pain has been going on.


Visiting heron
Topic: animals Link here

While watching TV news, looked out the window. Not 20 m away:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Heron-14.jpeg
Image title: Heron 14
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Yvonne tells me that it's frequently there.


Leonid to the vets
Topic: animals Link here

It's been three months since our dogs crowned themselves in glory by attacking a passing dog. They didn't do it any significant harm—my suspicion is that it was more frightening play than a real attack—but Leonid seemed to have done himself some harm, and spent some time limping. So a few weeks later we took him to Pene Kirk, who diagnosed a problem with his right elbow and prescribed anti-inflammatories.

But it's still not over and done with. In fact, if anything he's limping more. Off in the afternoon to show him to Louisa Johnson at the Ballarat Veterinary Practice.

Things are different now:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Vet-1.jpeg
Image title: Vet 1
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200908/small/Vet-2-detail.jpeg
Image title: Vet 2 detail          Dimensions:          819 x 329, 81 kB Display location on map
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And somehow that proved to be less than satisfactory. Louisa came out, watched how Leo walked (that was practical) and disappeared with him into the practice, leaving us outside. Came out and diagnosed a problem with his right elbow and prescribed anti-inflammatories. Somehow we don't seem to be making much progress. And it brings home to us how important it is to talk to the vet.


Wednesday, 9 September 2020 Dereel Images for 9 September 2020
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New Nikon
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Gradually I'm building up a small collection of old cameras:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200910/small/Old-cameras-3.jpeg
Image title: Old cameras 3
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Since buying my Nikon F Photomic a few months back, I've been looking for a suitable lens for it. Problem: Nikon lenses, even 50 year old ones, are still usable on modern Nikon DSLRs, so the prices aren't low. Admittedly, one from that time doesn't have autofocus, but they also seem to be rare. I had set myself a soft limit of round $60, not helped by the fact that the canonical lens for this camera would be the 50 mm f/1.4 Nikkor.

Once again this morning I looked through the daily eBay search results. As usual, nothing. But in a parallel search for cameras, I found this collection:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200909/small/Nikon-FM2-1.jpeg
Image title: Nikon FM2 1
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200909/small/Nikon-FM2-2.jpeg
Image title: Nikon FM2 2
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A Nikon FM2 with 5 lenses, a mecablitz 45 CL-1 and a carrying case. Starting bid $80. It's clear that wouldn't stay there long. But the Buy It Now price was only $150!

What do I do? Normally I think carefully before buying things, but it was clear that this collection was worth far more than the $150 she was asking. Buy it!


Bisque and stinking gorillas
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

It's Oktoberfest at ALDI, over a week before the official opening. Yvonne came back from shopping with typical Bavarian things like Hofbräu Weißbier and Spreewälder Gurken, though she didn't buy any of the Oktoberfest Rösti on sale. Also „Schinkengriller“, a name I haven't heard in Germany, but which appear to be made in Australia (“from at least 40% Australian ingredients”). I prefer the name “Stinking Gorilla”.

We've had them before, but of course I didn't note how long to cook them for. Ultimately I cooked them for 15 minutes at 180° in the “coffee machine” air fryer, where they burst nicely:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200909/small/Schinken-Gorilla-4.jpeg
Image title: Schinken Gorilla 4
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On Saturday we ate a “bisque” on special from ALDI, not the cheapest on offer, but they came with some useful terracotta pots. My guess was that they wouldn't sell well, and since they ran out on the 9th (today) they would probably be on special.

And so it was:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200909/small/Bisque-2.jpeg
Image title: Bisque 2
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I hadn't expected the package to be knocked around that much, however.

And how long do we heat them? According to the instructions, 15 minutes at 180° in the oven. But they were done more quickly. Here (some time) before and after 12 minutes heating:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200909/small/Bisque-3.jpeg
Image title: Bisque 3
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200909/small/Bisque-5.jpeg
Image title: Bisque 5
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Thursday, 10 September 2020 Dereel Images for 10 September 2020
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Little garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Nice weather today—a top temperature of 23.3°, and for once little wind. Time to finish pruning the roses.

What a pain! Not the thorns; I had appropriate gloves on. But why is it so difficult? I think it's a question of the decisions that need to be made, and the last two bushes were particularly convoluted. I only managed one of them. After that I did a lot of the climbing roses, so it wasn't just laziness: there's something about pruning rose bushes that is particularly stressful.


Understanding Nikon lenses
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Now that my Nikon camera and lenses are on the way, it's time to think about whether I could actually use them. I've idly played with the idea of putting a film through the camera—something that didn't occur to me with the Pentax SV, the Edixa or the first Nikon. But this one has such nice lenses! The other three together only had the SMC Macro-Takumar 50 mm f/4 (useful, and the reason I bought the combination, but not particularly for the Pentax) and that awful Steinheil Cassar 50 mm f/2.8. Here I have no less than three f/1.4 Nikkors.

One thing that seems to have remained the same for ever is the lens mount. It appears to have been introduced with the Nikon F in 1959, and it's still going strong on the Nikon DSLRs. Wouldn't it be nice to put that 85 mm f/1.4 on my Olympus? An adapter can't cost much. Off to look on eBay. “Adapter for Nikon AI AIS F D Lens to Olympus Panasonic MFT M4/3 M43 Mount Camera”. What does that mean? Is it even for the standard Nikon mount?

Off to look. This page gives an overview. Oh. Firstly, there seem to have been at least 3 different ways to set the diaphragm, and another two ways to do autofocus. Autofocus isn't important, since it won't work anyway, but how do I set the diaphragm? How does it work on a Nikon camera? The old screw-mount Pentax lenses had a pin that closed the diaphragm when the shutter released, and most of them had an external lever as well, but does Nikon? After 30 minutes of research and videos I still don't know. At least I have established that “AI AIS F D” is an approximation to some of the various kinds of lens coupling that Nikon has used.

Which do my lenses have? AI, I suspect: the AI system was introduced in 1977, and the FM2 was introduced in 1981. And how do I stop them down? The articles don't make that clear, but even the oldest Nikons must have had some automatic stopdown. Some of the (more expensive) adapters have an aperture ring, which is apparently designed to operate the lens aperture, but how?


Friday, 11 September 2020 Dereel Images for 11 September 2020
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Understanding Nikons
Topic: photography, history, opinion Link here

Spent far too much time today investigating old Nikon cameras. Some of it was interesting. Yesterday I was left with the question: how does the thing stop the aperture down? I still don't have a lens to confirm with, but it's fairly obvious: looking at the Nikon F, there's a button on the body to the right of the lens mount (seen from the photographer), and that operates a lever that (presumably) stops down the lens. Here during shutter release:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-F-mirror-housing-9.jpeg
Image title: Nikon F mirror housing 9
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-F-mirror-housing-10.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-F-mirror-housing-9-detail.jpeg
Image title: Nikon F mirror housing 9 detail
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-F-mirror-housing-10-detail.jpeg
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It's not there in the same form on the FM2, but there's a similar lever that probably does the same thing.

Later I found the instruction manual (PDF), which confirmed the purpose of the lever.

So: how do these adapters work? The more expensive ones have diaphragm dials, but that doesn't make much sense to me. They must work directly on the diaphragm; why not simply use the diaphragm ring on the lens? And why do none of them have a stop-down lever like the cameras have?

Ultimately came to the hypothesis that the lever opens the diaphragm rather than closing it: without the lever, the lens follows its diaphragm ring. A lever would still be a nice idea for focusing, like older lenses used to have. But I could live with that. What's more puzzling is that some of these adapters cost considerably more than I paid for the whole set of camera, 5 lenses, flash and box—and they still don't have this lever!

Also watched a couple of videos: this one and its second half. Reasonably put together, but I had already established the only interesting parts from the instruction manual. In many ways it's my Pentax Spotmatic upgraded by 15 years: faster shutter, LED display instead of needle, and a couple of nice things like support for multiple exposures.

One thing in the manual was interesting, however:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-instructions-1-detail.png
Image title: Nikon instructions 1 detail          Dimensions:          1032 x 262, 376 kB
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So that's what Series E means.

Oh, no. That was the top of the right-hand column here: Despite being able to balance the two columns better, they had set:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-instructions-1.png
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“With the exception of a few special lenses, Nikkor and Nikon Series E lenses enable full-aperture light measurement even when the aperture ring is moved. These lenses, which are said to have an automatic diaphragm, stop down to the set aperture only at the instant the shutter release button is depressed.”

Bravo! But in passing, it seems that my lenses are really AI.


Remapping images: the limitations
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

After taking the photos of the Nikon F mirror box during shutter release, I wanted to align the “open” and “closed” images exactly with Hugin. The results weren't encouraging. Both images were significantly distorted:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-F-mirror-housing-9.jpeg
Image title: Nikon F mirror housing 9
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200911/small/Nikon-F-mirror-housing-remapped-1.jpeg
Image title: Nikon F mirror housing remapped 1
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Still more pottering in the garden
Topic: gardening Link here

I really need to plant some of the plants on the verandah, but where? I have two Buddleja × weyeriana that I wanted to plant on the north edge of the garden, and a couple of shrubs that I wanted to plant around the terrace. Spent some time removing bits of the old pelargoniums there, but at the end of it I'm having my doubts as to whether it's the correct place. And if they survive this time, the Buddlejas will grow to 3 m. Is that the right place for them? Where is the right place?


Saturday, 12 September 2020 Dereel Images for 12 September 2020
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More kimchi woes
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Since we moved to two meals a day, I have almost stopped eating kimchi. But last month I made another batch, mainly for bibimbap. And, predictably, it is taking me a while to eat it.

But it's going mouldy already!

 
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One reason might be the issue with the amount of chili (Gochugaru, 고춧가루) on the surface. But that, too, is a puzzle: I put much more than normal in the sauce, and it still came out so pale. I think I'll have to accept that it's just easier to buy it ready-made, now that it's available.

For the egg for the bibimbap I tried the silicone rings again, oiling well in the hope that the egg wouldn't stick to them. Only a partial success:

 
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Yes, I got the egg out mainly by lifting the ring, but it wasn't clean. On the other hand, of course, it's just what you want to put it on a pile of rice.


Nikon lenses: light in the darkness
Topic: photography Link here

Mail from Adam Kranzel today, pointing me to this overview of Nikon terminology. Gradually I'm getting a better understanding.

There's an amazing amount of information available online about Nikon equipment. During my search I found this page about lens models and serial numbers, enabling me to put together a draft page about the lenses. Sadly, I can't find anything similar about the body. I've already found this page, but it's only for Nikon and Nikkor F. In any case, it's a big difference from the amount of information available for Olympus.

One source that seems remarkably unhelpful was the Facebook M43 Tech Talk group. Told not to buy a cheap adapter: how about a Metabones? Only $200 odd for a piece of pipe, a third more expensive than the camera and five lenses. And no answers to my real questions: how do you stop down?


Filthy weather
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Today was one of those rare days where it rained all day long:

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In total, from 22:00 yesterday until sunrise the next day we had about 50 mm of rain. The only dog that wanted to go out was the yellowish-orange one in the radar rainfall display:

 
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Leonid refused point blank to go walking, and Nikolai turned back after only 150 metres. And of course there was almost no PV power:


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Sunday, 13 September 2020 Dereel Images for 13 September 2020
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Weigh your ingredients
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Today was bread baking day. The recipe includes (currently) 40 g of caraway seed, considerably more than normal packaging (nominally 20 g):

 
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Where does the rest come from? We buy it by the kilogram; the small packaging was a mistake. But since I had to add to it, I weighed it. Not the grumpy old man (for once) checking whether the grocers have short-changed him, but just to come to the total.

And how about that, the package contained 25 g! Presumably they err on the high side to compensate for possibly weight loss through evaporation of the moisture content. But it shows the importance of weighing things.


More minimal gardening
Topic: gardening Link here

I really need to plant my plants. Today I decided that it was better to plant the Tulbaghia violacea (“Society garlic”) and the Sisyrinchium angustifolium (“blue-eyed grass”) that have been hanging round since February. The garlic went on the north side of the terrace, close to these flowers:

 
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What are they? They appear to be the descendents of the Freesia refracta subsp. alba that I found on the side of the road three years ago.

 
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And they're certainly multiplying. By comparison, the society garlic is (currently) barely visible to the left:

 
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And somehow the whole area is wrong. Now I have three different plants (the third is the Anigozanthos to the right, also not blooming) right in the way of the ornamental bridge:

 
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I think we're going to have to move the bridge east (to the right).


Monday, 14 September 2020 Dereel Images for 14 September 2020
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Coronavirus attacks language
Topic: language, health, opinion Link here

Listening to the radio news this morning before getting up. Daniel Andrews is under attack for the way he handled the Coronavirus pandemic. And he'll have to answer questions at a coming enquiry. That makes sense.

OK, that's funny. We've had coronaviruses for ever. Of course, they're really talking about COVID-19, or, arguably, SARS-CoV-2. But why do people in the public eye confuse the terms? And Daniel Andrews, of course, is the obvious target. What did he do wrong? It seems that he hired a private security firm to police the mandatory quarantine instead of sending in the military.

Maybe that's a good thing, but that's a topic for another rant. What got me in the news was somebody saying, relating to the enquiry, “Now he'll have to put words to his rhetoric”. What was he doing before?

And the tourist industry is up in arms, of course. Numbers are really down. They want more visitations.

Yes, people are always sloppy with their language. But somehow it seems to be getting worse.


Morgens um sieben
Topic: photography, general, opinion Link here

The first thing I do in the morning is to turn on the heating, usually round 6:00. Today I was an hour late, and was greeted with this view:

 
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Is that interesting? No, not very. But it's the best I could do to capture the contrast between inside and outside. It wasn't the only attempt, only the best.

How do I capture the atmosphere?

And the article title? The first half of “At 7 in the morning the world is still OK”. It's at least the title of a German film, though I have some suspicion that it was something like a proverb before that.


Music
Topic: music Link here

Why don't I play my musical instruments any more? I can't recall when I last did. Today I at least pulled out my recorder from the cabinet and played a movement from Händel's opus 1. Almost nothing, but infinitely more than in the remainder of the last few months.


Gardening: the frustration
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Spring is progressing, and it's time to plant various plants. I noted yesterday that it's not always easy. And somehow our plants, particularly trees, continue to die. The Schinus molle that Mick transplanted last year first recovered somewhat, but now it looks as if it, too, is dying:

 
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The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis “Uncle Max” has probably had it too. I tried, too late, to take cuttings two weeks ago. But the cutting that I had planted outside is also looking none too happy:

 
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That's all the more unusual when compared with the Alyogyne huegelii next to it:

 
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But there are others, like the Gallipoli rosemary, which should have recovered after copious doses of fertilizer:

 
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And the Corymbia ficifolia that we bought in February is also not looking very happy:

 
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Potentially, though, it will recover. There seem to be new shoots:

 
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Things are similar with the seeds I planted at the end of July. The tomatoes need to be planted out, but the chilis are still small (serrano, arbol, the ones I don't particularly care about) or non-existent (poblano, pasillo):

 
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I had planned to plant the tomatoes to the south of the house, but looking there, it seems that they'll get even less sun than I had expected. I had decided that because of the chilis, which I wanted to plant to the north. As things are, it makes more sense to plant the tomatoes there.


Tuesday, 15 September 2020 Dereel Images for 15 September 2020
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Chasing Oddball
Topic: multimedia, animals, general, opinion Link here

The other night we started watching a film that, a priori, said nothing to us: Oddball. But it quickly became clear that it was closely related to our way of living: it takes place in a “small village” (from memory) called Warrnambool, which, with its 35,000 inhabitantes, we see as a reasonable sized town. But it seems that the film was aimed at least partially at US audiences.

I've been there several times—after all, it's just down the road, 150 km away, and there are multiple tourist attractions in the area. In Warrnambool itself there's a theme park called Flagstaff Hill, which features (without a name) in the film:

 
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The first is an image I took nearly 12 years ago, long before the film (second image) was thought of, and cropped to the same aspect ratio as the screen shot. It's interesting to note that in the film somebody has taken the “Ladies Seamstress” sign from the side of the road and is carrying it in the middle.

 
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Warrnambool is also known for whales—I saw some there with Ollivier and Élodie Robert in August 2004, though the photos weren't worth keeping—but it seems that the film is about penguins, which I don't recall. They're on Middle Island, just off the coast and accessible at low tide. But I do recall on one occasion that we drove down to the closest point to Middle Island, and not achieving whatever it was that we were looking for. Was that related? Searching through my photos, I find, on the same day, this photo:

 
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That's Middle Island in the background, as these photos from the Wikipedia page show:

 
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The story was that foxes—a curse on those idiots who imported them to Australia—had discovered the penguins and delighted in mutilating them. What to do?

Yvonne had the immediate answer: “A Maremma!”. We've had considerable experience with Chris Bahlo's Maremmas, and they seem the ideal guard dog. And indeed, that's what the film is about. Very satisfying, as far as it went. But it was truncated: it's 90 minutes long, but our copy was only 63 minutes. Damn!

OK, something like that must be in the public libraries. Tried to log in to the Central Highlands Libraries, but I got a message “Missing user or alternative ID”, while the ID was replaced with the text “WEBSERVER”. Clearly a clever web programmer. Called up the library on (03) 5338 6850 and was told yes, you haven't been active for a long time, so we decided to forget that you ever existed. You can sign up online, causing us all unnecessary work.

Did that, but of course there's the issue of COVID-19: how do I get my card? The person on the phone had told me that it would be sent—I think—but that's not what the COVID-19 unaware web site says. More chasing up to do. The good news is that at least they have a DVD, though of course that will be low resolution.

Also tried to sign Yvonne up.

“There was a problem with the online registration process (debug: fetch user key). For assistance, please call the library”

Fetch user key? Does that mean that the user ID already existed? Or that it was too similar to the ID I provided (one character difference)? Wouldn't it be so much easier if they just didn't expire the memberships?


More garden stuff
Topic: gardening Link here

Whether I want or not (and I'm tending to not), I need to do more work in the garden. As considered, planted two of the tomato seedlings in the north garden. The “Grosse Lisse” in front of the lounge room window:

 
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And the “Beefsteak” in front of the dining room window:

 
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And the “Tommy Toes”? I think I'll put them to the west of the divide where the Clematis is planted. That means first repairing the wind break, but it's also a good idea to wait a bit: the seedling could probably spend a bit more time in its tube before being planted.

Also planted one of the Buddleja × weyeriana in the bed bordering the north paddock. Currently there are various Salvias there, but it'll be at least a year before the Buddleja gets big enough to pose a threat—if it survives:

 
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And finally got round to tying up the Corymbia ficifolia:

 
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Wednesday, 16 September 2020 Dereel Images for 16 September 2020
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Bloody “smart” phones!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

It's been nine years since I first started thinking about getting a “smart” phone, though it took until less than four years ago before I finally got one, and then mainly because it was free. Looking back, my objections were the same from the very start, like here: hard to use, no keyboard, amongst other random objections. All that has changed is that my hatred has increased.

On the positive side, I can now use it as a phone with relatively few problems. It almost always rings when a call comes in, and almost always I can answer it.

What's wrong with this picture? Before “smart” phones I never had a problem with either. By the time I got the first “smart” phone I had been using mobile phones for over 25 years and normal phones for about 60 years. “Smart” phones are supposed to be an improvement. What's the improvement in missing incoming calls?

Today it happened again. Call from Yvonne. Finger trouble getting the thing out of my pocket, giving me a different screen. But then a display “Incoming call. Decline? Accept?”. Pressed “Accept”, apparently not in an acceptable manner. Another different, unrelated display. OK, select “phone”. Normal phone interface display (in this case, a list of contacts) shows up. More messing around. Nothing to be done. It carried on ringing without giving me another chance to answer it, until finally Yvonne hung up and I had to call her back.

Why does this happen to me? Other people don't understand. Some suggest, apparently with some justification, that “smart” phones don't like me. And maybe that's really the issue: I am too impatient. The Decline/Accept window popped up after about 1 or 2 seconds (half an eternity). And when I managed to lose it, I didn't leave the display inactive for that length of time. Maybe it would have shown again if I had given it a chance to work at its normal glacial speed.

And why does it lose its ring tones? That could be finger trouble too. From time to time I take screen shots of the screen. How do you do that without a keyboard? Trick 17: Volume Down and Power. But woe betide you if you use Volume Up and Power. That's “set silent mode”. I think. It depends on the Android release. After checking several places, yes, this is one of the ways to shoot yourself in the foot with Android. But it tells you. Here the difference:

 
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No, not the contradictory and truncated messages about tomorrow's weather. The status display at the top with the intuitive icons with no description:

 
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It seems that this “sonic boom” icon tells you:

 
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No, that doesn't mean “no ring tone”. It means “I will vibrate when a call comes in”, leaving the rest to you to guess.

And how do you turn it off again? Same keystrokes? No, that doesn't change anything. Press on the icon? I had no success with that. Until writing up this article, the only way I could find was to go deep into the setup menu and manually increase the ring volume. But it seems that you can press either volume button by itself and press on the icon, which causes it to completely turn off any incoming call notification. But pressing it again restores normal operation.

Aren't “smart” phones fun?


Where's my camera?
Topic: photography, general, opinion Link here

My “new” Nikon FM2 was sent off last Thursday with Australia Post Express Post Platinum. That's a next day service!

But the fine print (OK, not fine print, but relatively easy to find) talks about “Coronavirus” delays. That's understandable, and so I wasn't overly upset when I discovered that the estimated delivery time was Tuesday to Thursday, especially since we're second class citizens out in the sticks. Still, as they say,

You can track the progress of your Express Post Platinum satchel online. Enter your unique item tracking number into our Track tool to see where it is during the delivery process.

OK, where is it? No tracking available! And then I discovered yes, Tuesday to Thursday, but not this week. It could take up to two weeks for it to be delivered! That's really surprising. Was it really sent Express? It could be a week before I find out.


Voigtländer Nokton reexamined
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

I don't use my Voigtländer Nokton 25 mm f/0.95 lens very often, but I've come to terms with it. Since it's a completely manual lens, I have to update the Exif data manually, and I have methods in place for that. But yesterday I took another photo (full aperture, of course, the only time it has any advantage) and got this:

 
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That's clearly vignetted. OK, fix it in DxO PhotoLab and save the profile, in the process running afoul of the horrible interface presented by DxO's editor, and overwriting my default profile in the process. Run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour:

 
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But it's only at full aperture. Later I took a couple of photos of the dogs at f/2.8 (because I was too lazy to change the lens), and there the vignetting (here without correction) was gone:

 
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Still, under normal circumstances I will only use it at full aperture.


Thursday, 17 September 2020 Dereel Images for 17 September 2020
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Unlockup?
Topic: health, general, opinion Link here

Today the SARS-CoV-19 “lockdown” imposed in July finally finished. The number of COVID-19 cases has reduced to levels where the government thinks it's possible to take such a step (“step 3”, which is defined somewhere if you can face searching for it). We're allowed to move more freely, do things we weren't allowed to do before.

That sounds vague, and for a good reason. On international news I have heard that the lockdown in Victoria is the most draconian anywhere in non-authoritarian states. But I have barely noticed it. All the services I need have been available throughout the time.

OK, we're not in Melbourne, where different levels of infection and “lockdown” measures apply. But it seems to have worked well. Despite the initial source of infections, things are back to sustainable levels, and the infections have been offset by lower incidences of colds (including those caused by coronaviruses) and influenza. A far cry from the current situation in the USA: there the current 200,127 deaths correspond to 0.06% of the population. In Australia it's 0.0032%, and even in Victoria it's “only” 0.0113%.

There are a number of things I've learnt about the matter:


You have mail!
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Finally a “You have Mail” (really!) slip in the letter box today. But it wasn't the camera I'm waiting on: it was something for Yvonne. Sent from Drouin on 19 August, 29 days ago! We could have walked the distance in 44 hours. Yvonne tells me that the sender has been following the tracking, and that for some reason it had been sent from Melbourne to Geelong, stored there for a while, sent back to Melbourne again, and then finally on to Ballarat. But that's not what the tracking information says now:

Awaiting collection at NAPOLEON CPA
Thu 17 Sep • 7:47am
NAPOLEONS VIC

In transit
Thu 17 Sep • 4:01am
SEBASTOPOL VIC

Unable to deliver - Item carded and transferred to post office for collection
Thu 17 Sep • 3:55am
SEBASTOPOL VIC

Delayed – waiting to be processed for delivery
Wed 26 Aug • 12:00pm

Item processed at facility
MELBOURNE VIC
Thu 20 Aug • 5:48pm

That's upside down, of course, just to make it harder to read, but it seems that they have rewritten history. 3 weeks without a location, and then they sent it to the wrong post office (Sebastopol).

It's beginning to look as if I will be lucky to get my camera by the end of next week. I wonder how many piles of undelivered mail there are around Victoria.


Friday, 18 September 2020 Dereel
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Frijoles de la bolla revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Cooked another batch of frijoles de la olla today. Time to reconsider the recipe. As it stands, I want 480 g (an 800 g can) of tinned tomatoes for 1 kg of beans (frijoles negros). But where can you buy 1 kg of beans in this metric country? They come in 375 g packages, so normally I cook 750 g at a time. And ¾ can of tomatoes is annoying.

So a whole can it is. I tried something similar with baked beans in the past and it proved to be too much. But in that case there were many more tomatoes and tomato paste. We'll see.

Apart from that, why put lard into the beans? The recipe called for 60 g of lard for what would become 16 portions, or rather less than 4 g per portion. Each of those portions is then fried in about 15 g of lard. Why bother in the first instance?

And then there's epazote. Once that was hard to get, and I was careful with my quantities: only 8 g for the batch. But that was long ago. Since last autumn I have so much of it that I don't know what to do with it, and in various Mexican recipe videos I've seen large handfuls go in. So today it was a large handful, more precisely 30 g.

I won't eat the first portion until Tuesday, but I'll be interested to see what it turns out like.


Where am I?
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

One of the prerequisites of taking my analemma photos is to know the time of mean solar noon. My GPS navigator tells me that my location (well, the post outside my office) is at -37.80061,143.75168. You can calculate mean solar noon easily enough from the longitude: multiply by 4 minutes and subtract from UTC. That gives me 01:24:59.6 UTC, close enough to 01:25 to not make any difference.

Sometimes web sites want to know my location. I've grumbled about that in the past: they won't take my word for it, and instead go via some IP address or another. Which address? Depends on the service. Today we discussed the matter on IRC. The results:

Site       Groggy       Callum Gibson
geoIpResult       near Regensburg, Germany
maxmind       Auerteich, Kassel       Camperdown
geoipnet       Bentleigh E       Melbourne CBD

There were others, but not reported accurately. Alastair Boyanich was in the middle of Sydney Harbour, and geoiplookup also put me in “Francfort” (really Griesheim) and in Echo Lake, California. Clearly it's not looking at the IP address at all, but the address of the web proxy. Why should that be related to the location of the system?

It's interesting how many locations are in the middle of parks or lakes. On discussing it, Alastair came up with a couple of links: an innocent victim of a lone house in Kansas, also the subject of this article.

In summary, then: I've been grumbling about this inaccuracy for some time, but others are also hit by it. Why don't people like Google do something about it?


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