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Monday, 6 July 2020 Dereel Images for 6 July 2020
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Shotgun attack
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I send myself emails from the web server when a local link is broken. I determine a local link from the HTTP_REFERER field in the request, and that can, of course, be wrong.

So it was today:

Date: Sun, 5 Jul 2020 16:23:56 GMT
From: World Wide Web Owner <www@lax.lemis.com>
To: groggyhimself@lemis.com
Subject: FAILURE: /faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids%5B99%5D='&gids%5B100%5D%5B0%5D=)%20and%20(select%201%20from%20(select%20count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x%20from%20information_schema.tables%20group%20by%20x)a)%23
        <- http://www.lemis.com/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids[99]='&gids[100][0]=) and (select 1 from (select count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x from information_schema.tables group by x)a)%23
Message-Id: <202007051623.065GNuh9049588@lax.lemis.com>

Referrer:       http://www.lemis.com/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids[99]='&gids[100][0]=) and (select 1 from (select count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x frominformation_schema.tables group by x)a)%23
Referenced URL:http://www.lemis.com/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids%5B99%5D='&gids%5B100%5D%5B0%5D=)%20and%20(select%201%20from%20(select%20count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x%20from%20information_schema.tables%20group%20by%20x)a)%23
Request URI:/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids%5B99%5D='&gids%5B100%5D%5B0%5D=)%20and%20(select%201%20from%20(select%20count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x%20from%20information_schema.tables%20group%20by%20x)a)%23
Remote host:
Remote IP:      45.121.104.220
Client:         Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.2)

What's that stuff? Clearly it's some kind of SQL statement, presumably designed to get information about the installation. How many security breaches are needed for it to work?


Sharing files in the age of Dropbox
Topic: technology, photography, multimedia, opinion Link here

Yvonne shares a number of videos with Julie Lannen. Julie does a lot of video production herself, and it's not surprising that she's not satisfied with the quality that YouTube offers.

Her solution: Dropbox. But today Yvonne told me that she had had difficulty uploading a video to Dropbox. Too big, 3.7 GB instead of a maximum of 2 GB. It seems that the new limit is relatively recent.

Julie had a solution: a compressor called HandBrake. Huh? You can't compress videos worth a damn. For the fun of it, tried it with bzip2 -9:

-rw-rw-r--  2 yvonne  home  3,720,123,421  5 Jul 23:24 67050112.MOV
-rw-r--r--  1 root    home  3,719,542,477  5 Jul 16:35 foo.bz2

That's really not worth the trouble. Took a look at HandBrake, and of course it does lossy compression. How lossy? How do I know? Let Julie work it out.

So that means finding somewhere else to put it. That's straightforward enough: DigitalOcean, where I already have 600 odd GB of data. Does that suit Julie? No reply.

In the meantime, though: does dropbox really restrict me to 2 GB per file? Tried loading, which went smoothly until the end. Well, almost the end:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200706/big/droppedbox.png
Image title: droppedbox
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Sigh Sometimes I wonder if these convenience sites are worth it.


Ragù bolognese again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We had planned to cook spaghetti bolognese over the weekend, but other issues overtook us. But we had the ingredients, and they needed cooking.

It's a lot of work, and this time we chose twice the quantities that we had had before: a total of 1 kg of meat, probably enough for 15 portions or so.

It's been about 13 years since I wrote the page, and in that time things have changed. In particular, I didn't mention salt! This time I used 30 g, based on my rule of thumb “2% of the total weight”; potentially that's a little on the high side, possibly because of salt in the ham.

I was surprised how much battuto I had compared to the meat:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200706/big/Ragu-bolognese-1.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200706/big/Ragu-bolognese-4.jpeg
Image title: Ragu bolognese 4          Dimensions:          5224 x 3888, 6569 kB
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I had started quite late, and by the time the meat was fried, it was time for dinner. OK, the next step was putting in red wine and reducing it. Why not marinate it first? Put in the wine tonight, cook tomorrow morning.


Tuesday, 7 July 2020 Dereel Images for 7 July 2020
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More Dropbox pain
Topic: technology, multimedia, opinion Link here

So why did my Dropbox upload hang just before the end? There's a “help” link that brings me to this page, where I read:

You can upload files through the desktop app or mobile apps, no matter their size.

Files uploaded to dropbox.com must be 50 GB or smaller.

All files uploaded to your Dropbox must be smaller than your storage space. For example, if your account has a storage quota of 2 GB, you can upload one 2 GB file or many files that add up to 2 GB. If you are over your storage quota, Dropbox will stop syncing.

Note: Files uploaded through the API must be 350GB or smaller.

Four different size values! And one of them unspecified. Tried to follow the link to find out how much space I had, but the download hung, repeatedly.

Sorry, Dropbox, you're more pain than I can handle. Off to investigate s3cmd, which I use for my photos, but whose incantations are stored in various scripts. But it's straightforward enough:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/49) ~ 978 -> s3cmd sync /Photos/yvonne/20200705/orig/67050112.MOV  s3://lemis/yvonne/videos/ -P
upload: '/Photos/yvonne/20200705/orig/67050112.MOV' -> 's3://lemis/yvonne/videos/67050112.MOV'  [part 1 of 237, 15MB] [1 of 1]
 15728640 of 15728640   100% in   38s   394.33 kB/s  done
upload: '/Photos/yvonne/20200705/orig/67050112.MOV' -> 's3://lemis/yvonne/videos/67050112.MOV'  [part 2 of 237, 15MB] [1 of 1]
...

And after a couple of hours it was done. But where is it?

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/54) ~ 112 -> s3cmd ls -l s3://lemis/yvonne/videos
                       DIR                                       s3://lemis/yvonne/videos/
=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/54) ~ 113 -> s3cmd ls -l s3://lemis/yvonne/videos/
2020-07-07 05:55 3720123421   874e8cae7f094ae6d2e6240f15068816-237  STANDARD  s3://lemis/yvonne/videos/67050112.MOV

Another program, like rsync, that is sensitive to trailing slashes in path names. But how much help is that? Clearly the s3:// is magic. Ultimately I found the URL http://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/yvonne/videos/67050112.MOV, but how do I remember that? Presumably it's in some config file or another that I have also forgotten.


Why such big video files?
Topic: photography, multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

The video clip that I uploaded for Yvonne was 5 minutes, 20 seconds long, and it took up 3.7 GB! That's 42 GB per hour! Why so big? Clearly it's higher quality than “broadcast” videos, but how much?

Investigating, (re)discovered that the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III has the following video options:

Resolution       FPS       Mb/s       Fantasy name
4096x2160       24       237       C4K
1920x1080       120       50       FHD
3840x2160       30       102       MOV
1920x1080       60       52       superfine
1920x1080       60       30       fine
1920x1080       60       18       normal

Yvonne had the thing set to 4K (in other words, 3840x2160), so the file size should have been 4.08 GB. No idea why it was that much smaller. The real question is, of course: how big does Julie want it to be? For the moment let's set it to the bottom one, only 18% of the size.


Another grid power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another grid power failure today at 9:23:58, this time a relatively uncommon 100 second outage.


Dual power sources?
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

I've been watching my photovoltaic power system fairly carefully since it was installed, and I think I understand it fairly well now. But today I saw something that puzzled me:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200707/big/dual-power-source.png
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Drawing 436 W from the PV array, 3.5 kw from the batteries—and 1.1 kW from the grid. Why? Under those circumstances I would expect it to draw only from the first two, at least until the batteries reached 20%. Is this some kind of slow stop? It clearly had nothing to do with the outage earlier in the day.


First orchids of spring
Topic: gardening Link here

Walking the dogs, found these Pterostylis on the roadside:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200707/big/Pterostylis-1.jpeg
Image title: Pterostylis 1          Dimensions:          1525 x 1811, 692 kB
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Spring is on its way.


Understanding planting boxes
Topic: gardening Link here

I'm preparing for some spring herbs (notably Basil), which I'll grow indoors. OK, I have a box:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200707/big/Planting-box-1.jpeg
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But what's that metal rod?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200707/big/Planting-box-2.jpeg
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Took it out; it can't be much use under the soil. And then I was Enlightened:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200707/big/Planting-box-3.jpeg
Image title: Planting box 3          Dimensions:          5035 x 1857, 4526 kB
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It makes up for the flimsy construction of the box.


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. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. 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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