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Monday, 27 February 2017 Dereel Images for 27 February 2017
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PayPal deductions
Topic: general, technology Link here

After last week's débacle with PayPal, I've been keeping an eye on the transaction. On Thursday, I got an email telling me that my account was negative, and that I should do something about it. But the account showed that was balanced, and there was no evidence that the money had been deducted from any of my bank accounts. And that's the way it was until today, so I sent them a message via their internal system pointing out the issue and asking them to contact me. The say that they'll take up to 24 hours to respond, so I'll wait for that.

And then Callum Gibson pointed out something to me. You can find the transaction booking details if you know how. Here's the entry in question:

 
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You have to know that the text “Payment” is a link, and it shows this and more:

 
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Well hidden! Even the people at PayPal didn't know about it. It's also somewhat clunky: it's really a lot of work to see the details of all transactions. And apart from that, there was no such deduction from my credit card.

But things didn't stop there. On Wednesday Lyle claimed to have reset my “one-touch” pay on eBay, so I checked that. No difference:


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But looking more carefully, there's a more obvious link on the left: “Change”. And how about that, with that you can change the payment source. Why didn't I see that? To be fair, once again nobody at PayPal knew it either. But this saga seems to have a positive side: now I know how to do it. And, so far at least, I seem to have gained the best part of $2,500.


Getting to know the E-M1 Mark II
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Gradually I'm getting round to investigating the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. What can it do so much better than the Mark I? The things I see are:

Yesterday I had tried some really slow images, like this one taken at 2 seconds exposure:


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Yes, not completely sharp,but not bad. The smearing is due to the cat moving, not the camera. But there's a serious problem with this photo: I had grabbed the wrong camera, and this was taken with the E-M1 Mark I. I'll repeat that some other time.

So which should I try next? “Better” and “faster” are hard to quantify. So I decided to try out high resolution mode. Page 99 of the “instructions” refers mainly to page 46, which contains only a reference to page 48, which contains some information, but not really enough:

Choose from JPEG (50M F or 25M F) and JPEG+RAW modes. When image quality is set to RAW+JPEG, the camera saves a single RAW image (extension ".ORI") before combining it with the high resolution shooting. Pre-combination RAW images can only be played back on the software that comes with this camera.

If that were correct, the raw images would be useless: Olympus no longer supplies software with the camera. And it's saying a lot to claim that other software can't process the images, though probably at the moment that's the case. But how do I choose? They don't say. It wasn't until after I took my photos and found the raw images missing that I found, in another place:

After setting high resolution shooting, you can select the image quality of the high resolution shooting using image quality mode (P. 55, 88).

And that relates to the standard menu settings that chooses between raw and JPEG, and also sets the size and quality of the JPEGs. Now isn't that tacky! Yes, it's directly related, but to use the menus properly you first need to deselect hi-res mode, go back into the menu system, set quality for normal images, then select hi-res mode and do it all over again. I hope that will change with the next firmware update.

Took my photos, comparing all four camera bodies. They still need processing, but the first thing I see is that I underestimated the resolution of even the E-PM1:


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And I didn't get any raw images because of the strange menu system. Another thing to repeat some time. Still, the high resolution mode does seem to have made a difference. Here images in normal (20 MP) mode and 50 MP:

 
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In passing, it's interesting to note that I had been listening to the wrong reports about the high resolution mode. I had heard something about 80 MP, but it seems that the maximum (currently) is 50 MP. They're known to be still working on it, so that could change. But why do they offer a 25 MP mode? That doesn't seem to be worth the effort when the native resolution is 20 MP.


Networking with E-M1 Mark II
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Another thing to check was whether Olympus has improved the “wireless networking” capability. No. This time I was completely unable to connect to my iPhone. That's probably me losing my way on the stepping stones, not the camera. It worked on the Samsung phone after the usual pain.

When will they get it right?


Tuesday, 28 February 2017 Dereel Images for 28 February 2017
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Emacs on Multics
Topic: technology, history Link here

Seen on the Unix Heritage Society mailing list today: an interesting document about Emacs on Multics.

Do I care about Multics? Not overly, but this is one of the most comprehensive documents I've seen written about Emacs before 1980.


Video with E-M1 Mark II
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

My new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II does video. I don't. But today once again I ran into a particularly irritating bug in DxO Optics “Pro”: when I have a large number of images and want to deselect one, it repositions the view of the images, and I have to reposition. For Every Single Image.

How do you describe that? A video would be good. So I took a video:

It wasn't until later that I noticed a number of issues, by which time I didn't care any more:

That's not a disadvantage of the camera, of course, but it makes me wonder if I really need 4K video. It also shows the importance of careful setup. It's relatively straightforward to reshape a photo, but how do you do it with videos?


Finally! A Buddleja!
Topic: gardening, Stones Road house Link here

In Kleins Road we had a number of Buddlejas which flowered from January to July. We took cuttings with us, but none of them survived. A few months back Yvonne took some more cuttings and propagated them in pots. They didn't do well, and about half of them died, including—as it turned out—all of the dark blue Buddleja davidii cultivars. Yvonne wanted to plant them in the soil—in the middle of summer! I was against it, but since they weren't doing well, I agreed.

It was the right choice. Today, on the last day of summer, we finally have the first flowers:


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And we've been here nearly two years!


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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