January 2022 Entries


Monday, 31st January, 2022

By chance I happened to notice the boys passports are expiring in a few months. Good job I did as our next attempt at going to France wouldn’t have been very successful if they aren’t renewed. The slickness of the online system, even online photo codes from a passport photo store is very nice. No more forms or waiting or messing about.

Recently I’ve been wondering about this site, and whether or not to continue it. I suppose I’ll just leave it up and add to it whenever, but recently I’ve felt like there’s nothing much to say.

Sunday, 30th January, 2022

Stupid house alarm. The battery in it seems to have gone flat or maybe the charging hasn’t been working and now it needs to beep every 3 hours. You can acknowledge it but then it likes to remind you. So that was fun last night. I dislike house alarms. I’m fearful of trying to do anything in case it sets it off. All we were given was the code when we moved in. I’ve found a manual online, but it talks about manager codes and engineer codes - the fact that you might have to call someone out to reset it is absolutely disgusting. I guess I should tackle it at some point.

Constructed a version of Pokemon cards that the boys can play. We just have pokemon and energy cards, and ignore evolutions. They like it though. I’m sucked into the online version and have no time for anything else 😅

Saw some Ektachrome 120 on sale and wondered about buying it. I’ve never used colour slide film before but I know it looks really nice from scanning my Grandfather’s slides. 120 would be pretty neat given the size of it. Not that I have a projector though. It was a 5 pack for £60-odd, so not quite impulse buy prices, although I doubt it’ll be for sale for these prices again. Not sure how much development would be either, but least I could scan it myself if necessary. Also not sure I really want FIVE rolls…One might be fun but not really been enjoying 120 for a long time. Maybe the 6x6 square format of the TLR doesn’t help.

I think a M10 is the current sweet spot for a digital Leica. In terms of performance, price, size, etc. Older ones are big chonkers (slightly exaggerated) but that puts me off. Newer ones, -P/R, are more expensive. Occasionally there’ll be one for a similar price, but when I look closely it’s more like a beat up -P/R is the same price as a mint M10. It can be easy to dismiss £500 when the camera is £3-4k but that £500 is 1/4-1/3 of a nice Lecia 35/50mm that I’d like (and think worthwhile) to go with it. Probably pick the 35 mm first, although I have a 35mm M mount so that seems silly but it’s probably my favourite focal length so why not. Plus I couldn’t possibly be swapping lenses between film and digital bodies! It’s still quite (too?) expensive, so unlikely to happen soon. Soon enough I should hear if we’re getting bonuses at work. Given the talk from the CEO at the 2021 wrap up I’d be betting on no but the management probably want bonuses so may talk themselves into one for the company. Anyway, we’ll see. The tax on it is disappointing and most likely I’d just put it into my pension pot, but maybe I could get a camera…ah, maybe I should wait a few more years, wait until the kids are older and it can then be my new baby. I suppose nothing is stopping me from getting any lenses.

I’ve not picked up a camera in about 3 weeks. Aside from the large format testing, which, unfortunately, wasn’t that great and more scientific testing is needed for that. We’ve been ill or doing nothing so I’ve not taken one out. We’ve been outside this weekend and I thought about taking one out or even about the house but didn’t do anything or just forgot until it was too late. I suspect I won’t get one out until the half term in a couple of weeks.

Found a store that sells damaged Pokemon decks. It’s only the packaging that’s damaged but means it’s not collectable anymore. However, I don’t care about that and it’s just for the kids to play and we’ll be opening it immediately. It’s a cheap way to get a deck, although I then added some boosters to round it up to get free shipping. These cards are more additive than drugs! Get the kids hooked on them and they won’t have money for alcohol or drugs 😅

Friday, 28th January, 2022

The kids have got me sucked into Pokemon TCG! There’s also an online game which is reasonable to play, plus any real boosters you buy you get a code to get an in-game one. It’s also well done as you can’t buy cards in-game so more kid (parent’s wallet) friendly. Opening up boosters is very addictive though! Feel like it’s a slippery slope to buying booster boxes! Reminds me of my Magic The Gathering days. Pokemon isn’t as advanced or complex as MtG but it’s still reasonably complex. It’s also possible to make a simpler game for the little ones to join in too. Ordered a battle pack online, which contains two decks, so we can just play.

This evening we played Wingspan boardgame. Was a bit confusing to get going but I quite liked it. Plus I always enjoy birds’ names.

Willet bird from Wingspan game

Willet. Won’t it?

Thursday, 27th January, 2022

On the list of cameras that I’d like to get but possibly never buy is the GR3 or GR3x. Well I may buy it but probably not until we go overseas somewhere. I thought I’d want the 40mm equivalent lens of the X, but I’m not convinced this type of camera works well with that focal length. The features like snap focus, macro and shooting from the hip in bright light are much more suited to the wider 28mm equivalent. I typically tend towards 35 mm equivalent, I often pick the 23mm on my fuji, and 40mm is closer to 35mm. However, 28mm isn’t really that much further away. Given the heritage of the GRs, it seems sensible to go with the 28mm eq. Plus it’s still APS-C 24 megapixel so you can crop!

But then would I use macro (no) or snap focus? Snap sounds good but I’ve never had a camera with it so not sure I’d learn or remember about it. Well I’ll add this to the list of decisions that I don’t really need to make but will still occasionally waste time thinking about it.

Speaking of decisions about buying things that I may not end up buying is a 90mm lens for the M2. The 90mm seems to be one of the few options where decent Leica lenses aren’t eye-wateringly expensive. The Elmarit-M, and the tele-elmarit-M are nice options. Not that many for sale and the prices seem to vary quite a bit. I’m not sure getting a 90mm is a good idea, as I may rarely use it but I think it could look good on film.

Whilst I’m on this subject there’s the ridiculous want to get a digital rangefinder…! But that’s just that. Ridiculous.

Wednesday, 26th January, 2022

One application I enjoy coming back to and lightly use is Dynalist. I did try using it for daily logging, and todos, and various things, but most of them didn’t stick. The main use that has stuck around the longest is lists of things, typically longer timeframe lists. Such as gift ideas for others, gift ideas for myself 😁, a list of things I want to buy, and occasionally a big list of work topics. Each time I use Dynalist, I think that I should use it more as I do like it, it has mobile apps, and the free tier has plenty of functionality. I also like the look and style of it.

The list that gets updated the most is my list of things I want to buy. It is good to write them all down and see everything at once. It helps me pick what would be most beneficial to get first given everything. Also helps me think about if I really need it or not. I can also keep results of any research I’ve done with makes and models, or approximate prices etc. The outline nature of the list is nice to be able collapse things I’m not interested in anymore but don’t want to throw away the information.

Using it also reminds me of my effort to find a self-hosted alternative. I still prefer web apps for their use across all platforms and locations. I’m still yet to find anything that’s as nice or good. So Dynalist will do for now. I think it’s pretty reliable. I’m sure there’s still plenty of paid subscribers. The developers have mostly left dynalist and are working on Obsidian. However, as obsidian is proving very popular and there’s paid subscriptions for it, I hope that this means dynalist lives on given the developers are still making money and can cover the costs of both services.

If anyone knows of a nice outliner like Dynalist that you can self-host I’m all ears…This is my list. Although I’ve not broken it out into web hosted etc. Maybe I should install Vimflowy this time.

Tuesday, 25th January, 2022

Tripod mounted camera for film scanning

This is much better than that arm I had. It’s much more stable and finely adjustable. Maybe I need one of those hot shoe spirit levels but I feel like I’ve bought enough stuff for this film scanning…

I hope the 4x5 development is enjoyable…because if it’s a chore then it defeats the purpose of all this. I should try 35mm development as well - although I still need something to mount the film in to take pictures…There’s home built solutions or there’s the Essential Film Holder that everyone recommends. That’s another £90…🙄

I’ve been a bit bored of the computer recently, and haven’t have much interest for using many applications. Spent a while watching YouTube one night this week which was probably a big waste of time. Videos were split between cameras and lenses, and then random TV clips from various shows. Swapped that out for watching The Expanse, so at least it’s quality TV instead.

I have a Curve card, partially out of curiosity, but also because I thought I might be able to get more cashback on things. However, after investigating it more, I don’t think it’s worthwhile unless you need/use the travel insurance, or if you have lots of credit cards with specific benefits you want to move expenses to but want the convenience of one card. They invited me to join their new Flex product. This is a buy now pay later system that lets you take any transaction and split the payment into installments. Quite a clever idea and implementation, as you can even go back in time up to 12 months to split previous expenses, but horrible for encouraging debt. Particularly with a 13% APR 🤯 I don’t think these companies (like Klarna) are regulated like other loan services. People are going to get themselves in trouble…

Monday, 24th January, 2022

I’m procrastinating on developing the 4x5. Not sure why. It should be better this time with the SP-445. The new tripod did arrive today, so that should help mounting the camera to photo them. It was also greeted with another look from my wife and “buying more things?” 😅

Started watching the 6th season of The Expanse.

I felt ashamed of myself today at work, some sort of wisdom or proverb no doubt has warned me of this situation yet still I did it. I spent so long focusing on how others did a bad job that I didn’t prepare myself and also ended up doing a bad job. Probably even worse than theirs. I don’t think other people would’ve said any of our work was bad, but when people ask you to do things that you thought you’d already done, it’s still not great.

Sunday, 23rd January, 2022

Two threads talking about if Leica glass “is worth it”. Focused on M mount glass. I like my Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 II MC and don’t think I’d notice the difference with the Leica equivalent. Still trying to pick up at least one Leica lens, just because, and the 90mm seems the most likely. Although I may give up given the limited availability of nice ones in the UK, and just get the new CV 90mm!

Everyone has tested positive now, so it’ll be a fun week of all the kids at home.

YouTube keeps reminding me of all the Tinderbox guide videos I’ve not watched. Is it trying to help me or taunt me?

I’m enjoying my old, revitalised static gallery. Been looking back at all the old photos. Also makes me want a X100 series camera again. Some of them I noticed where I’d put the files through Lightroom vs. just straight out of camera. Usually it was Auto, then maybe medium contrast curve or some setting like that. Back with my Nikon I used Punch preset a lot. Not sure if I still like the look but it does help prevent the images looking flat. I’ve noticed that Apple Photos Auto doesn’t tend to do very much. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Saturday, 22nd January, 2022

We watched Howl’s Moving Castle last night with out daughter. She’s reading it as her school book but not getting on with it particularly well. Thought the visuals of it might encourage her. I’ve not read the book but have seen the film before, although such a long time I’d mostly forgotten what happens. She says there’s quite a few differences from the book. Makes me want to read it now though. Funny that the book’s author is an english woman, because of the film I assumed it was a Japanese book.

I had planned on doing some more 4x5 development last night but after the film was done it was too late to start that. I shouldn’t leave it too long, but I also should practice loading the SP-445 first. I still need to find something to mount my camera on to take photos of the negative. I guessing I’m looking for the £50 copy stand. That’s the amount I think they’re worth and willing to pay but they don’t exist. Or at least not readily available ones. I should look at that now and try and find something. Plus maybe some clips to hang drying negatives.

Thursday, 20th January, 2022

Can’t believe it’s the 20th already.

Hmm the down arrow on my ipad smart keyboard doesn’t reliably work. Guess it means I’ll need to switch to Vim.

I really like The Expanse, and have just started watching season 6. If only I could remember what happened in the previous seasons. I do remember some things but not sure of the order and probably large gaps in between.

I’ve been running my dad’s email off Google Suite for years, now someone is going to have to pay…or we move it elsewhere. iCloud+ would be ideal, but think his Apple ID would need to be part of my family, which isn’t ideal. Maybe I can add it for myself and then let him change the password or something but I’m sure it’ll all be linked to iCloud accounts and likely to be a pain. I haven’t actually received an email from Google myself so maybe my account is later or something…

I can now spend a never ending amount of time pruning, trimming, re-arranging and generally faffing with my Photos library now. It’s fun because I get to rediscover old photos and remember previous times. Like all those SoCal beach trips when we lived there 🌄

I want a new computer but I really don’t need one. So I’m now considering the home server. That is also just fine as is, but I think (or talked myself into) the fact that a newer gen CPU would be better for transcoding HEVC files, and so storage could be optimised. Also it would be nice to have some NVME storage to run services off…for reasons…and a general excuse to sort out all the services. They’re running off an ancient docker-compose file and traefik 1.7 (as the new version syntax was confusing). I think I’d move to a similar model as my VPS, which is docker to run the services but then nginx on bare metal with the virtual servers configured. It’s much more convenient that way if I want to run things outside of docker, like just static files. I have been wondering about separating storage from applications. Maybe some low powered storage solution, e.g. This Asustor, and then a small PC (like a NUC but not necessarily one, perhaps even a Dell refurb etc.) for the server. That way upgrading in the future is compartmentalised and likely that the storage will last a long, long time. But maybe this is all my subconscious trying to get me to buy more things.

Or maybe the Pro version…but they both do H.265 transcoding…without looking I know a custom built will be cheaper…

Wednesday, 19th January, 2022

I finally got COVID.

My expensive colour film arrived. Would be nice if I didn’t have to save this for best but I guess that makes it even more special.

A stack of four Portra 800 boxes of film next to an old Minolta SRT100 film camera

Tuesday, 18th January, 2022

Last year during lockdown I bought a bike trainer, and subscribed to Zwift. It was quite fun for a couple of months but I didn’t like paying for Zwift. Particularly as there were a lot of features I didn’t care about and several that I did that were missing. I just want to know how far left on my ride!

I cancelled it and haven’t sat back on the bike in about 9 months. I also don’t like that it’s heavy legs and nothing too much on upper body. I’d like an even workout. Also now that I’m back at the office I cycle to work each day and not really interested in doing more cycling at home.

So I want to buy a Concept 2 Rowerg. Amazon sell them and offer their free installment plan so it makes it less obvious you’re sending money. They were out of stock and I’d set an alert and told myself when it comes back in I’ll buy one. Well now that it is back in stock I’m agonising over the decision on whether or not to buy one.

Careful readers will point out I’ve not used my current equipment for 9 months so why would I use something else. Spending £800+ on a rower might not be the solution to the actual problem.

Other people would’ve just seen it in stock and thought “great, let’s buy it”. Then 10 seconds later they stop thinking about it until it arrives the following week.

Cool old computer history.

Apple Photos to my static site is a bit of an ordeal but I’ve figured out all the steps and settings:

  1. Mark photos worth with keyword tags (still not sure how to apply without having the keyword manager open)
  2. Filter to those tags
  3. Export - medium quality and full size jpeg. Tick box for keywords and title (actually means keep all EXIF as well)
  4. Rename jpeg to jpg 🙄
  5. Run build script
  6. Rsync to server
  7. Phew!

The last 3 can be put into a script that I can just run when I’m ready to upload. Save me remembering the commands. This is instead of picking the photos and dragging and dropping them into Piwigo webUI…but I like the look of it better so there’s that.

Watched a little of this video, showing what it was like to go on the computer and internet in the late 90s. The modem sound will never be forgotten. Don’t know how I was so patient. Guess I didn’t know any better. The first computer I used (and went online) was actually at my friend’s house. His dad worked at AWE, and came home with a CD-R that was a deep blue on the dye side, and written in marker was Cappuccino 95. This was a disc loaded with pirate software, including Windows 95, Office (whatever it was called), Lotus, games, all sorts of stuff. We used to think it was secret technology as I’d never seen a blue CD-R before. However, I just think he nicked it from work and they used blue as they were meant to be durable! When we drove past the AWE site, we’d ask my friend’s dad what was in all the buildings. He’d just say they were boiler houses. We figured on top was boiler houses and then underneath it was SAM silo. There was also the story of his dad putting his glasses in some water and shining a laser through it to clean them.

I moved my photo gallery back to the static site. Now I just need to upload some recent photos!

Boy #2 might need glasses, maybe not quite now but probably soon. As a glasses wearer since age 8 I’m sad for him. He was excited at the opportunity to get glasses, but I don’t think that’ll last.

I better not buy a Q2 given all these Q3 rumours now 😅

Writing up my family journal in DayOne on the iPad and thought I’d have a look at the gallery site. Oh I love it so much. It’s so clean, and has nothing extra than what’s needed, and the subtle EXIF data is perfect. I’m not sure I love the font, I might change that. It’s a little hard to read. Thinking of making a film only version where I group photos by emulsion or maybe camera. Camera is probably silly as it’s really lens plus film but camera is mostly a proxy for lens for me. Hopefully this will encourge me to add more albums (although I’m not going back 2 years worth to add them 😅).

I got a cold head cycling this morning and has made me feel terrible all day. I should get off the screens and go to bed!

Monday, 17th January, 2022

Not come across this site before it seems like a sane place to get opinions.

It’s taken me several months to realise that if I paste a URL in VS Code whilst highlighting some text, it makes it a markdown link automatically 😅 Perhaps I should learn more about it as it’s become my main tool for writing this site.

I am wondering about switching to textile instead of markdown. Mostly so I can use paragraph formatting and add custom ids without a song and dance (Tinderbox 😙). If I want one I can just write p(#id). If I don’t then just leave it blank and the default is a paragraph. Does mean I have to come up with the id name. Does also allow for more customisation of individual blocks with styles. Not sure if I really need that though, or just think I need it.

Snapshot Handheld 4x5…interesting…also not just 4x5, multi system.

Sunday, 16th January, 2022

Sometimes I think life (I?) would be better if I didn’t have a computer. It wouldn’t be there for me to go and sit on automatically and mostly waste away time. I know people at work who have no computer of there own, except their smartphone. They have a work laptop that I suppose they probably use for bits and pieces, but likely just admin stuff or things that can’t (or just nicer) be done on their phone. I struggle to understand that. No computer is probably annoying though. You can do pretty much everything on a phone, just sometimes the screen is so small it’s annoying. Not sure how you’d deal with paperwork, but I guess you use an app or service from someone else? Although maybe iCloud or Google docs makes things easy to download or scan from your phone. You could even write a blog from your phone.

When I go on holiday I don’t miss not having the computer. I usually have my phone and recent years I’ll take my iPad, but perhaps I shouldn’t as it now just fills the space of the computer. Stuff that’s annoying to do on the phone is fine to do on the iPad as the screen is bigger. My wife remarks how strange it is that I can go from sitting on a computer all the time (work and then my free time) to then nothing whatsoever whilst away.

Like today. It’s a lovely sunny, although chilly day. I did spend the whole morning with the kids at a soft play and then the beach (so I did go outside 😅), but now that I’m home and everyone wants some quiet time, I’m straight on the computer. I could’ve taken my cup of tea and sat on a sofa in the sun, and read one of the books I have. Although I’m writing this (and thinking about Tinderbox, photo galleries, Hugo, …) vs. watching YouTube or something.

WellI’m not going to sell or get rid of the computers so that was a nice set of words with no purpose.

Was still looking at Hugo themes. CodeIT is a nice one, fairly simple looking but loads of features. Probably don’t need them all but feel like it’s nice to have just in case. Although I still can’t help the desire to build it myself.

When I import photos into Photos app and kept the folder structure (which I like as it helps narrow down on photos when I see the event) it makes a folder and then within that an album of the same name. I don’t need that first folder and just want all the albums under the year folder. Not sure how to change that without manually moving them all up a level. This applescript is one solution - although not to my current problem - for new imports.

Saturday, 15th January, 2022

I did remember/find Lektor static site generator that allows you to make a page up from blocks. This could then replicate the tinderbox/drummer style blog, whereby each paragraph can be its own entry. I used this about 6 years ago for my blog. Think it had just come out and seemed like a novel way of doing static sites. It comes with it’s own admin user interface that you run. I remember it taking me quite a while to figure out how to piece it all together, and now that I look at it again, I have no motivation to try and reconstruct something.

This was after I spent all evening messing about with YAML and JSON structures to see how I could construct the site. Again, all possible, although finding a nice way to enter posts might be the tricky part. YAML is probably the cleanest to type into but it’s still a bit funny with longer text. Then I remind myself that (a) this is mostly pointless, and (b) I already have Tinderbox that can do it all. I just need to figure out the exporting part and then it’s good to go…I assume. Then I return to wanting to type elsewhere and the circle continues.

I did come across people’s little projects on Github making static sites from config files which were all interesting to look at. It’s still an option but not for today.

It’s a lovely sunny day. I should be getting the 4x5 out again. I was meant to practice loading it in the dark bag this week but was watching Lost in Space. Finished that now so suppose I could do it. Or I just leeroy jenkins it and load new film and take some more pictures.

Now I remember what I did last night…looking at static gallery generators. Got 1 day until I have to decide if I’m keeping my SaaS instance of piwigo. Someone wrote an article about using nanogallery2 with Hugo. Not quite a how to but maybe enough to get started. I tried Fussel which was nice but it sorts alphabetically. This is probably the route I should take but the thought of yet another static gen site to configure isn’t filling me with joy. It’s only €39/year for piwigo. I don’t love it but requires zero effort…I guess I’ll renew and then next week I’ll be super keen to make my own and regret renewing.

I find it baffling how many static gallery generators don’t have any screenshots or a demo site with them. Literally that’s the whole point.

I bought 4 rolls of Portra 800. It’s not going to be this cheap again, and means I can use some for birthdays and the wedding. I also was one review away from enough points to get £10 off, so that helped. Made them just over £10 / roll.

Why am I looking for a new static gallery generator? The one I use is just fine. Well python2 isn’t ideal, but as long as I can install the python2 libraries then it’s usable. Not sure if I should start a new one

Way back when I was interested in scrolls, but it wasn’t really obvious how it worked. The author has made a try it site. I’m still a little confused where stuff is actually defined but I want to try it out.

Been collecting resources and ideas for my inky impression.

Friday, 14th January, 2022

Baby Shark is the first YouTube video to exceed 10 billion views. When there’s something funny or catchy that my kids want to see, we do have to watch it a minimum of 10 times. So I can see why this and all the recommended kids videos in the sidebar have millions and billions of views. More top videos.

Tweaked my snippet so that it puts my cursor at the end of the day (using $0) so I can just type the ordinal. I think it could be done automatically but requires a whole host of regex and replacements and so much that I don’t think it’s worth the effort of figuring it out.

So much film now! Ordered 4x Portra 800 last night as Analogue Wonderland has a promo on, £8 per roll including development. Makes it the cheapest colour film available!

lol - I got confused…it’s actually £8 for development, and £12 per roll. So cancelling my order and will reconsider. Maybe just pick up a couple of rolls as cheapest price there is.

Price history of Portra 800

Those increases.

I was looking at Gold and Ultramax too but I’ve got a lot of film at the moment. I do see people in forums who’ll stock up when sales occur and they’ve got a whole separate freezer for it. I’m not at that stage yet… AW also have a competition on, to submit Portra 800 photos. Conveniently I just used a roll of it at Christmas, so might put in one or two in that. Not sure I’m going to use my 800 until a special occasion…perhaps kids’ birthdays coming up or the wedding we’re going to later in the Spring. Maybe I should’ve bought more than four…but then I remembered I’m meant to be using the B&W I bought and doing home development. Which then reminds me I don’t have a tripod or mount system. I did ask in talkphotography forums about using enlargers - which seems to be the trend as they “can be found cheaply” - and then mounting the camera on it. I like that idea as then it’s a nice fixed vertical system. I’m just yet to find any of these “cheap” ones. People suggested some model numbers to look for, so I’ll keep an eye out and maybe setup some eBay search notifications. If that fails I’ll be back to tripod. It’s just that’s a minimum of £100. Ideally I’d befriend a local film guy (min. age 65) who has heaps of stuff that he doesn’t really use. In exchange for listening to him at great lengths, he’d offer me something 😁 Actually, I’d enjoy listening to him, and he’d probably have some great development setup and things from decades gone by. There is a film club in the town, maybe even two, plus the college. Just everything is all shut-up due to COVID and they’re not exactly convenient to get to from my house.

Thursday, 13th January, 2022

My Spearman SP-445 arrived today. So hopefully that’ll make 4x5 development easier, improve the results and be more consistent. I’ll need to practice using it in the dark bag. Along with practicing loading the film holders too. Not entirely convinced I managed that correctly the first time.

Mirrorless camera film scanning setup

Sent the angle-poise arm for film scanning back. It wobbled and was annoying to position. I should probably just get a tripod as that’ll be useful for several things.

This is a nice overview of using Apple Photos app, including ideas for smart albums. I’d say mostly obvious but a few good ideas you might not have thought of. I should use the keywords for tagging pictures to upload to my website….if only I could decide what to use for it. I guess a static gallery should be easy now:

  1. Import photos to NAS
  2. If film - use exiftool to set EXIF data
  3. Import into Photos app
  4. Pick/edit photos
  5. Filter to those and export

Can even export large or custom resolution so it’s all ready for the website. Or use ImageOptim to resize in place. Then run the generator and upload!

Still not made my new blog. Of course I actually already have one…but think I’d rather have a static gen one. I have written down a few ideas for potential posts. I’m too busy watching Lost in Space in the evenings to do it. Perhaps once I finish that I might get round to it.

Wednesday, 12th January, 2022

Now each day I get the joy of using my text snippet to insert the front matter.

I installed the 2TB SSD into the mac mini last night. I did manage to forget to include the drive mounting screws. When I put the new drive in, it did wobble about a little which I thought was strange but continued re-assembling it. I only noticed once everything was back in. As it has two drives installed the screws aren’t actually needed, so I decided to screw them onto the drive I took out and store that somewhere. If I ever sell it, I’ll put that drive back in and keep my large one. I don’t need to replace it, it works just fine for everything I do on it (it is the quad core i7 model) but it is now capped on OS version, iPad screen extension doesn’t work with it, and max monitor resolution is 2560x1440 via displayport. Most of these things don’t concern me but the draw of a new mac might be hard to resist. Either if they release new models this year, M1X Pro etc.?, or the current M1s go on fire sale. The sales are mostly for the 256GB model and occasionally the 512GB model, but never anything larger.

Reinstalling macOS over the internet is great, albeit a little slow. Weirdly cmd+r didn’t work but cmd+option+r did work. Seems like it might try and install the original version with cmd+r and then the latest possible with cmd, option R. I didn’t have much installed and quickly got everything back on. Started importing photos into Apple Photos to use as my master library.

It was quite quick to import them. I was worried it would be the spinning colour wheel for hours. I also purchased iCloud and all the pictures should be syncing. There’s no clear indication of progress or status though, so will have to trust it’s uploading. I’ve logged into icloud.com and the photos are there, so guess it’s working. It doesn’t appear to sync Albums though. Well it has ones from my phone but not from my mini.

My iCloud subscription includes Hide My Email and private relay (VPN). I should look into that and maybe use hide my email for any new services I sign up to. I wonder how quick it is to make a new address though.

VS Code has a settings, extension, keyboard shortcuts and probably other things sync option. It saves to github or somewhere so all installations are the same. This seems ideal although every time I add a new VS Code install it complains about the settings file. I think it’s just checking I want to overwrite the stock one it sets up on install but it’s still unnerving and gives me doubt each time I do it.

Oh it seems I also have Custom Email Domain service too with iCloud. I may actually use a personalised domain email address now…! I’ve had a domain for >10 years, and even one on the old Google business account thing when you could use it for free with 5 users. But I still find it hard to move away from my gmail. Everything goes there and it’s easy. Plus my address is reasonable.

I think this is a good theme for my “normal” blog. I’m not quite sure I like the front page but probably can tweak that. The rest of it is nice, and I like the footnotes being asides.

Adding all my photos to Apple Photos is great. Don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner, and by it I mean just any library management tool.

Tuesday, 11th January, 2022

Spent a bit of time getting snippets working in VS code so I can add a new day and it does the entry for me. It works well, I added Ctrl+n Ctrl+n as the shortcut to add it. Doesn’t do ordinals (got to love them!) yet. I guess with regex I might be able to do it…I did add tabbed options using ${1|th,st,rd} but this only works if you tab complete the entry and I can’t seem to get that working. Tab completion is on in the settings but it never seems to show up. Although I’d prefer the keyboard shortcut method as holding Ctrl and hitting n twice is very quick and easy. Probably someone on stackoverflow has the regex answer.

I saved the snippets as a project snippet file so it’s jus for this repo, but also means it should work when I visit github.dev on my ipad to write it.

I’ve annoyed myself sufficiently with where to write stuff in blogs or how to configure them. I’ve decided that to help myself I’ll keep using this site for daily commentary but then make a new blog in a more traditional style. I also like my fondoftea.com domain but now that I’m not using tiddlywiki as my daily notes and just as a wiki I want to reuse that for the blog and then put the wiki somewhere else. People might’ve linked to it and so I’m sorry when your links break. I’ll probably use very.fondoftea.com for the wiki as it makes me laugh. Others could be im.fondoftea.com or whoisnt.fondoftea.com.

Mac now has the 2TB drive installed, macOS reinstalled, apps installed, iCloud subscription engaged and now just to import and upload all the photos…I’ll try a year at a time…

Monday, 10th Janaury, 2022

Amazing animations only made with CSS and HTML!

First day of work of 2022, and a brand new Leuchtturm notebook.

Someone at work said we’d talk about the topic next week. I looked at the calendar and thought “that’ll be more than half way through January!”.

As I’m back at work I started using my work tiddlywiki. It reminded me of how nice Tiddlywiki is. I’d forgotten I’d made a button to add a work journal entry which is slightly different from the normal journal entry as it has other tags and fields. Just a shame that making new themes and layouts isn’t as easy as just configuring a few html and CSS files like static site generators. Admittedly, I’ve not put in a lot of effort to try and do it. It’s some of that but there’s a lot of parts/divs to figure out. I did read an article of someone using Tiddlywiki to render static sites. It’s an interesting use of it, and allows easy implmentation of a custom design. It’s another thing I’ll add to my “maybe I’ll play with it pile” (and then do nothing). But thinking it through a little:

  • Can host node.js version of TW with password protection at some random place to add content
  • Construct the static config like the doc explains. I wonder how much TW logic can be used to construct things.
  • A combination of commiting to Git and having Github build the site or build the site and commit the html to github, for whatever github pages/vercel/netilfy to host
    • Be good to trigger this build on the website, although not essential at the start.

Why I can’t just be content with this site as is I’m not sure. I keep thinking of ever increasingly minute and slightly complex arrangements I’d like to do which just can’t be done (or I don’t think it can be) in Jekyll. Solving for non-existant problems may be a problem.

I may be done with Tinderbox before even starting with it. However, there’s no rush and I can always return to it. I might try another project that doesn’t involve exporting and is all contained within it.

My 2 TB SSD arrived for the Mac. Probably leave fitting that until the weekend. The 2012 model is user serviceable, which is nice, but it’s not quite as easy as a regular desktop tower. There’s still a variety of tiny, mishaped screws and the application of spudgers to separate stuff. I’m tired from my shift in schedule going to work so maybe not sensible. Plus watching the OS reinstall isn’t how I want to spend the evening. I’ll double check there’s nothing I need to save tonight so that it’s all ready.

10 years and two months ago, I bought my first SSD. It was a Crucial M4 128GB, and it cost £150. Yesterday I bought a 2000GB Crucial MX500 and it cost £150. 😅

Made a new DayOne journal to use for archiving entries that I’ve printed so I can more easily see how many new ones I have. The question is at what point to get a new book printed. Lots of little ones or one big one again? Probably I should do annual ones 1st Jan-31st Dec but my entries were quite sporadic between 2020 and the latter part of 2021 so I’d have to start from this year. Well it’s not a decision that needs to be decided now, and easy to check how big/expensive a book can be uding the app.

Sunday, 9th January, 2022

Ordered the 2 TB SSD for the mac. I debated not buying it as I might upgrade the mini to a M1 one at some stage but that’s probably a way off, I can just remove the 2TB drive if I want, and 2TB SSD on custom M1 is an extra £600…At which point I’d probably get an external house for the 2 TB SSD.

I’ve replaced hard drives in mac minis in the past and it was okay, lots of bits and connectors to deal with but manageable if done slowly. Annoyingly my current 256GB OS drive SSD is the lower one, i.e. the one that’s most easily accessible. This means if I want to keep the current OS installation I have to remove everything to get to the upper bay to replace the current storage SSD. Wondering if I should just replace the top one and then makes it easier in the future if I want to remove it to sell. Does mean reinstalling macOS…which is easy just takes some time.

Actually, I should just replace the OS drive with the 2 TB, reinstall macOS and then everything is on the big drive and I don’t have to worry about locations or anything. I’ve not installed a great deal on it so far so not much wasted. Just a few config things.

Started tagging posts again. It’s still not ideal. I like tags in tiddlywiki as then even if there ends up being lots, it autocompletes so you can see if you called it mac or macOS or whatever.

Started thinking about Tiddlywiki again this morning. I could do what I want with it, having entries tagged or fields for that day, then adding other attributes. I could then use node.js to export it to a JSON file for something (Hugo - think it can read JSON) to build into a website. Just remembered some new feature which will allow builds to be trigger from the TW web app. The only thing is adding new content might be painfully slow, unless I can figure out a nice add new entry which populates everything automatically. I might have a play with it…🤔

I found Drift (again), and it does have a lot of nice features. The interstitial journaling isn’t quite what I want, although the page does have a lot of nice features and plugins that I might borrow.

This blogging malarkey sure is eating up a lot of time. 6 months ago I barely wrote anything for months, now I have 300-1000 word posts A DAY! I should be happy with that for myself. But now my nature kicks in and I want to optimise it…often for scenarios that don’t happen or will never exist.

To remind myself about Tinderbox vs. the rest I wrote nearly all of this post on my iPad in the kitchen whilst the little one did stickers.

Skipped all this nonsense, and started watching Season 3 of Lost in Space.

Saturday, 8th January, 2022

Trying to take better pictures of my 4x5 film with an angle-poise stand, light table and Fuji X-T2 with the 60mm macro. It’s a lot harder than I expected! The angle-poise arm is annoying and wobbles way too much. Tempted to replace it with a tripod. I looked for a copy stand but they’re either super expensive, or cheap and nasty, or if I did get one it’s not a convenient thing to store anywhere. I feel like a tripod that can go horizontal or allow me to point the camera down would be more stable and having another tripod is probably useful in the long run.

Been trying out some free negative convertors. One of which is built into RawTherapee. Now it doesn’t help I’ve never used RT but the one tick negative convertor seemed decent enough. Auto levels makes the film too constrasty, so I need to play with things to figure what’s best.

Here’s my best result so far:

My first development of 4x5 sheet film, in fact of any film

DarkTable has the negadoctor module. The manual makes it sound very complicated but perhaps just good advice to get the best image. I might install it and give it a go.

After quite a slow but productive effort with Tinderbox yesterday, I’m not feeling it any more. I’m still yet to tackle the export configuration and maybe I’m procrastinating on that. I found myself reading Hugo docs and looking at Hugo themes.

I do really like Tinderbox as a piece of software. I love applications that give you lots of tools, that are simple enough individually, but then allows you to build complex systems (if you need complex). I suppose like Excel. However, there’s something that is making me hesitant to use it. Maybe I just don’t want to be constrained to just macOS and one piece of software. The underlying file is supposedly just xml (I’ve not looked), and my license for this version lasts forever so as long as I keep an installer and the key I should be fine… hm still not sure what I don’t like. The whole thing feels hacky but that’s just how it works. Am I just so normalised to keeping all my files on Github and having various services do everything for me?

I do occasionally want to write from my iPad. Sitting in the kitchen or somewhere, or when we’re away from home. I can still write stuff in other apps and then move it into Tinderbox later (there’s lots of syncing stuff it does too). But I don’t want a delay or further effort. Although, the delay is meaningless as it’s just this site.

Hugo is quite complex and I think it can do what I want, the hardest part might be figuring out how to structure the data and then how to most easily type it out. I worry this’ll rely on me remembering a bunch of front matter or writing various scripts or text expansions to manage it. Maybe that’s not that bad.

I should finish the tinderbox blog and see what it’s like before I change course. Maybe I just needed a break from it. Plus it’s not like I wouldn’t need to dig into Hugo docs and web searches to figure it out and spend a lot of time on that.

Think I’m going to try using Apple Photos as my main photo organisation. Found using keywords with nice shortcuts pretty much fixes the ratings shortcomings. I can just press 4 on a photo and now it’s got a keyword 4⭐️. I can use smart albums to filter out all those images. Plus it has facial recognition, good enough editing tools for me, Shared Albums and great integration with everything. Seems silly not to try and use it. I just need to decide upon iCloud storage. If I’m going with the 2TB option, then I need to import all my photos into it. This then means the Photos Library needs to sit somewhere with enough space, and currently the SSDs in the mini aren’t big enough on their own. iCloud would mean everything is sync’d across devices, and with family plans would mean my wife has a lot of space for her photos. Really I need to buy a new SSD for the mini, then I can make a new library on it, then add everything from the NAS. The alternative to iCloud is to also get the new SSD to house a copy of the photos local to the machine, and then just reference them there in Photos. The conclusion is…need a new SSD regardless!

This guide is just what I need to sort out the 2TB drive and iCloud etc.

Friday, 7th January, 2022

So much Tinderbox fiddling today! Getting the hang of things in it now. Got working prototypes, agents, functions, autonaming things. Pretty nice. The two big items left are templates and export config. Templates I can mostly copy from this site and then figure out the export code. Probably a full evening job for this weekend. Once I get the basic site working I’ll tweak stuff but then return to the videos to pick up on more things.

Everyone is very helpful in the forums which is nice.

Finally did my first film development today! Took a bunch of photos of the setup and everything but too late to sort that out now. Bought a light table thing and an arm to mount my camera so I can take a better photo of it and convert it on the computer. Supposedly Rawtherapee has a decent negative convertor.

My first development of 4x5 sheet film, in fact of any film

At least the image could be seen but seems like there were lots of light leaks. Some where during development. The dark bathroom wasn’t actually that dark, but also on the bottom it seemed like the flap maybe got lifted up or perhaps during loading I let light in? Or maybe when in the camera? I’ll try loading again in the dark bag. Thinking of getting the SP-445 4x5 developer tank. It’s pricey at £100 but tray development was a pain. I could probably make the room darker - at least do the development at night and hang some towels or something over the door, but it would be much nicer doing it in the utility with a decent sink and standing space vs. kneeling on the floor for 15 mins counting beeps on my phone. The Dev IT app was ideal…apart from trying to start it. I guess I could’ve added more wash time for turning off the light etc.

Overall I’m pleased and am looking forward to doing it again. A few HP5 arrived today so might try 35mm next. Although scanning those will be much slower…unless I spend another £90 on some film holder thing.

Leaked Leica 11 photos and specs

Thursday, 6th January, 2022

It’s good to get the typewriter out and try my new stationery.

blurred typewritten letter

The DayOne books I ordered arrived. They’re great! I’m glad I went with the hardback cover. They’re a nice size and were very easy to make. I think that fact alone is why I should continue using DayOne for our family journals. Not that it’s hard for me to make a book like it from writing in some other format but it’s so easy that means I’ll actually do it. I hadn’t realised but I wrote 86,000 words over a 3.5 year period. Seems pretty crazy to me. Virtually all of those words were written in the DayOne app on my phone. As much as I love using a desktop computer, keyboard, mouse, multiple monitors, I think these are another 86,000 reasons are why I need to keep using something that I can add to on my phone. I’d pretty much come to this conclusion and now the books have sealed it.

I do think I should include more photos in them though. Having a mac again makes it easy to add photos from my cameras. Although photos from cameras get treated better and likely end up printed or in the web albums at least. Probably I should get my wife to add photos from her phone as she’s around the kids when I’m at work, so probably has some good ones.

Feel like I’ve gone a bit over the top with family journals. I bought my wife the Leuchtturm line a day for 5 years book, and the large moleskin notebook arrived today too. The Moleskin is for a photo journals. The photos in the day one book aren’t great quality (maybe partially as they’re on old phones at the time) but it doesn’t really matter. Printed photos will look nicer, however, is it just going to be duplicate info? Nice photos sure but do we need them twice? I’m thinking that perhaps they can be presents for my parents for Christmas 2022. Do the originally planned 1 entry a week or thereabouts. Hah, now I’m reminded of my thoughts of the weekly (yeah right…) letters I was going to write with photos to them. Maybe monthly letters are doable. I’ve certainly not been getting my usage out of the printer.

Sometimes I want to just get a shoe box (or maybe buy a specific box) and print out every semi decent photo (like the ones I’d put on the website) and just keep them in the box. Just for people to rummage though randomly. That sort of printing is probably better online just because it would eat all of my time.

Interestingly every seems to love kosmos mono 100 film photos I took. I should get some more.

My final tray arrived today, so I have no more excuses left as to why I can’t develop the 4x5s I took. I think I’ll watch a few videos tonight, make a note or two so it’s fresh and maybe attempt it. Or do it tomorrow morning when the kids are at school. Ordered some HP5 rolls to just use about the house and for whatever, nothing special, to try developing myself.

Keep thinking about Tinderbox but as of yet, have done nothing with it. Keep getting distracted with other things in the evenings when I plan to watch some of the videos and start doing stuff. I keep looking at other things, and trying to construct what I plan in TBX but in them to see if I really need to learn Tinderbox. Each time it ends up seeming likea very complicated arrangement to replicate what I know TBX can do. For example, yesterday I was looking at Strapi and Gatsby. Strapi allows you to build your own API “very easily” and Gatsby can then read said API and renders a static site from it. Seems like if any system can do it, this can as you can model any sort of structure with it. I didn’t do very much with it, just poked about and tried some demos. They’re both open source, popular and well maintained pieces of software, so that’s a plus. However, I feel like it might get quite complicated or take me a long time to figure out exactly how to do what I want to do. I’m not really looking to learn React just a make a static website either. I’ll get to it eventually 😅

Wednesday, 5th January, 2022

Hacker laws explained.

Nothing like opening the back of the film camera when you thought it was fully rewound but then realise it wasn’t…🤦‍♂️

Tuesday, 4th January, 2022

Sloe gin drink

Dad bought me this for christmas. Can’t remember the last time I had sloe gin. It’s quite tangy and sour. I think I need actual bitter lemon tonic, and not just normal tonic with lemons squeezed into it.

I do remember picking sloe berries in my nanna’s garden. They had a huge garden and kept ornamental waterfowl. The trees were down one of the duck runs and I’d climb up, pick the berries and collect them in big buckets. As well as gin, she’d make a lot of sloe jelly, which was very nice on toast. Ate many a jar of them.

Cat birthday cake

The kids and I made a birthday cake for my wife. My annual cake baking didn’t turn out too bad, although next year I need to remember a few minor things which would help. I suppose I should write those down somewhere 😅

Speaking of writing things down, I did think my plan to unify everything might not actually be what I want. The family journal should probably be kept separate, and probably still within DayOne, as I do want it to become something that everyone can write in. Be nice for the kids to write in it what they want to remember or what stood out to them that day - no doubt silly and random things but will be nice to look back on. They don’t want markdown or a bizarrely complex system. Plus the ease of integration with photos is nice.

The printed journal’s from DayOne haven’t quite arrived yet - looks like they’ve just cleared customs in London - so still yet to be determined if those are worthwhile. If they are then that’s a nice add, but if not then I’m sure exporting and messing about once a year isn’t that much of a big deal for me to do.

So that’s that.

I also ordered an A4 Moleskin and photo corner things to make a printed journal. Make use of all these free photos I can print (because I’ve only wasted 6 months of free printing already!). Thinking maybe start with 1-2 pictures a week that I like. Basically write in it once a week. I’m sure at the start I’ll print off 10 photos then by January 17th I’ll have put it on a shelf somewhere. No, hopefully one photo a week should be sustainable. Maybe make it a Wednesday/mid-week routine to do.

Work stuff is going in a private Tiddlywiki, generally weekly reports. Daily stuff and tasks is still bullet journal. Although I did get a RocketBook for christmas. I’m already regretting asking for it as I feel like it’s a bit of a gimmick that I’ll get annoyed with. In theory a notebook you can take a photo of and it’s automatically named, filed, and OCR’d should be good. It’s likely the ink situation (slow drying) and then having to wipe it clean (spray with water and wipe down). Might be good for certain things like writing up something that I want to save later. OR maybe I could setup some elaborate system to blog with it 😅

That just leaves personal notes, and blog(s). Blog-wise, think I still want a [very] traditional blog with posts by title, and categories. If I want (or ever) write up my first experiences with large format and developing, it would be nice (for other people?) to have it as a dedicate post not stuff buried in a random day. I could make this site better for finding things so you could see it but it’s not likely to be all together. Or if I do any of these 10 projects I’ve set myself, would be nice to wrap it all up in a single post. So I should make that site, which could be part of this one, or another one to give me an excuse to play with and setup something else!

This daily notes site: It’s a candidate for rebuilding in Tinderbox (should I ever get round to learning it). Mostly as I think I can get more out of it that way. With the raw content more organised for me in the tool, and (I think), the ability it gives me to make it more useful to readers though constructs I can make that aren’t possible with the current setup. Although I have to admit I’ve been thinking about editorjs a lot. It’s a nice web based block editor (like Roam or Loqseq) makes JSON files of the output. So you could compartmentalise all the content - like an outline in Tinderbox - but then the convenience of it being web based. However, that’s more of a project than a useful thing, unless someone has made something that works how I want already. I think that’s going to become a canditate for my project list for this year, at least something fun to play about with. It’s a nice editor to write in. Tinderbox would be perfect, and may still be. I just think I want to be able to add to it from anywhere - work, ipad, windows machine etc. However, maybe when I start using it more then I’ll shift everything else around it!

Finally, there’s personal journal and notes. Notes, public, can go in tiddlywiki. Private stuff…doesn’t really have a home. Could go in Tinderbox (but again the macos limitation thoughts), or could go in these text files I have in WebDAV on my server. Quite liking 1Writer, although that has made me use WebDAV and not sure I’d pick it all the time. I do like git and github private repos for syncing and then distributing across machines. As I’ve told myself previously, Working Copy solves it. However, there is of course…paper notebooks.

Oh I got some lovely headered notepaper for my typewriter for christmas. Quite possibly my favourite gift. Sister-in-law designed it and had them printed out. Time to get the typewriter dusted off again I think.

Oh yes, I contribute to open source 😜

Monday, 3rd December, 2022

All my aspirations to unify various journals and things into a single place has resulted in writing nothing so far this year. Paralysis by analysis.

I’m not regretting buying Tinderbox. Honestly. 😅 Actually, I just haven’t had time to look into it - although is it just a distraction from other stuff I wanted to do…?

Sunday, 2nd January, 2022

Family visiting so not much time on the computer so far this year.

We’ve been making a family video reenactment of Peter Pan for Granny’s birthday. I’m on videography and post-production. I do enjoy making and putting it all together. The kids all have fun too. We should do more of it as a family. Although it takes a lot longer than photo editing! I ended up picking the iPad to record everything. It’s okay but likely better on my XT-2. However, with the kids I have one opportunity and I want to make sure I capture it, and not be messing about with settings and focus etc.

If I ever make my own blog engine thing, I’d use this editor.. Obviously someone already did.

Saturday, 1st January, 2022

Was strange writing 2022…plus had to make a whole load of new folders 😅

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