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Monday, 15 April 2024 Dereel Images for 15 April 2024
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Pixel depth of digital cameras
Topic: photography Link here

One of the important parameters of a digital camera is the pixel depth, which determines the dynamic range of the sensor. Fifteen years ago I wrote “I gather that my Olympus [E-510] has only 10 bit pixels”.

Is that correct? Today I went searching and came up with a blank. The best specs page I could find is this page, but it, too, is too polite to say. Why are people not interested? It has much more of a bearing on the image quality than the number of pixels.

How to copy SMS, again
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Callum Gibson read my article on how to save an SMS. He has a simpler method: Google messages. That way you don't need Microsoft, just a web browser.

OK, sounds interesting. Off to take a look, but instead of I was redirected to Funny, says Callum, “it works for me”. Still, the page is clearly related, full of advertisements and content unrelated to what I'm looking for, like “With Google Messages, you can customize your experience, ensure private conversations, and enjoy the latest AI features.”. Dammit, all I want to do is to save an SMS with its metadata, like you can do with any sane MUA with a single click!

First, of course, I have to install Google Messages on my phone. Good news: it's compatible with all my “devices” (which in this context I think means “phones”). OK, install. I was given a single line choice of which “device”:
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Damn, that's my old phone, the one I just use for experiments. Ah, but single line windows are modern. Click and you get:
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Sometimes I despair. OK, click on the second one, and receive the information that the app will soon be installed. Wait a while. Nothing. While I was looking, discovered this comment about the app:

December 30, 2019
I still don't know what good this app is, but I can never find answers to the noises that are bugging me.

And that was what I wrote on the following day. Further investigation shows that it was already installed on the phone, and it's the standard messages app that I use. Why didn't Google say so? They're supposed to keep track.

So: what next? I couldn't find anything to tell me what to do. Finally, though, found my way through the maze. You have to be logged in to Google to even get the correct link! And that told me the way through the maze of menus on my phone: click on the image of myself (currently) at top right and select Device pairing, which tells me to go to And there I get a QR Code and instructions:
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Problem: there is no QR code scanner on the phone:
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I couldn't find a way to use the code. But I did have the option of signing in, and suddenly that worked,

And the results? It looks surprisingly like Microsoft's PhoneLink. But it does have the advantage that I don't have to fire up a Microsoft machine to access it.

So, next step: save the messages. Why would you want to do that?, says Callum. But yes, you can back them up—to Google Drive, the storage medium that has caused me so much pain in the past. And doubtless the format would be unwieldy.

And at the end, I also understood the comment I made five years ago: the thing keeps dinging at me, the noise it makes when a notification arrives. But all I find is information that my phone is linked to a web browser.

So what's wrong here? Clearly the ability to save messages to Google Drive could be useful to some people. But why can't I save them on the current machine? Once again other people are making decisions for me, not the ones I want. It would be so simple just to save the messages, metadata and all, but modern web and mobile phone software seems to ignore the obvious and want to run before it can walk.

So, a comparison of the methods:

      Microsoft PhoneLink       Google Messages
1       Start Microsoft “PhoneLink” and display the message.       Pair phone with
2       Select text.       Go to and display message
3       Copy to clipboard with c-c.       Select text.
4       Mark text in xclipboard on the host machine.       Mark text in xclipboard.
5       Save!       Save!

So yes, it could be easier if it weren't for the fact that I have to explicitly pair and unpair. But the noise it keeps making means that I have to unpair when I'm not using it. Why can't they have a button to turn the noise off?

In passing, Callum mentioned another app, SMG Backup and Restore. It still just copies to Google Drive.

Double bubble
Topic: health Link here

The bubble in my eye is gradually getting smaller, not as fast as I had hoped. This evening, though, I had two after the evening eyedrops! One was the normal bubble, and the other one was a tiny bubble about 5% of the size of the main one. It hung around for an hour or two before disappearing again.

How did that happen? My guess is that one of the floaters kept it from joining the main bubble.

Tuesday, 16 April 2024 Dereel Images for 16 April 2024
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Solving the routing issue
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I should have called Aussie Broadband yesterday about the routing problems that I discovered on Sunday. But I dreaded the encounter, so I put it off.

But it had to be done, and today I called up and was connected relatively quickly to Ashika, who of course didn't understand. What kind of router do I have installed? She could only see one IP address. I tried to explain, and she decided to escalate to “level 2” after only 3 minutes. And after a total of 5 minutes, the call was done: she would send me an email, to which I should reply with the problem details.

That's actually quite reasonable, and quite a difference from recent encounters. But how do I explain in a manner that will get the problem involved? Ask an expert.

That had the rather interesting side effect that he contacted people he knew at Aussie, and within 18 minutes they had fixed the problem (stuff left behind after a configuration upgrade). Score 1 for friends.

Eye progress
Topic: health Link here

I had hoped that the bubble in my eye would be gone by now, but no such luck. It's getting smaller, and on a couple of occasions I got a smaller one that then went away again. But by evening it was still not gone.

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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