September 2022 Entries

Friday, 30th September, 2022

Now this is a great raspberry pi project.

Thursday, 29th September, 2022

Still debating if getting a dedicated 35mm scanner would be better than DSLR/mirrorless scanning. I think DSLR scanning is slow to setup but once it is you can zip through the film roll taking photos. Then maybe slow to convert one picture but apply it to them all. Compared to the dedicated where it’s fast to begin but 3-5 minutes per frame to scan and save.

I just worry it ties me to keeping a macro lens and camera around, although I’ve already got them so shut up and get on with it. Plus I still think that maybe I’ll shoot 120 or 4x5 again, even though the next moment I just want to stick to 35mm to save decisions.

I want to build an all SSD server, so I should just do that. It’s never going to be as economic on a £/TB basis as spinning hard drives and no amount of debating or spreadsheeting is going to change that.

Out for a work dinner tonight - I’ll like it when I’m there but beforehand I always wonder about skipping it so I can stay at home and waste another evening on the internet.

Yep, I had a great time. It was an engineering society dinner, which ends up being a real cross section of people. I like hanging around with the 50+ year olds as they always have great stories from the good old days. Plus they’re all VPs etc. and buy the drinks.

There was this keen university kid, who was really nice, and I remember being that keen. Anyway, he asked for any advice. We all said in unison - “don’t rush to get a job”. I’m sure people told me that when I was at university, but I really wanted money and the expectation was that you got a job. But now I know, and now I remember fondly the days of university where all you had to do was learn - learn your subject and learn your life. But now I’m burdened with responsibilities. Although I couldn’t go back now, yes it was great but I’m beyond undergraduate life.

Too many packages have been arriving at home and I’m being (probably rightly) accused of buying too much crap. Time to deliver to the offce 😅

I found an old wiki on my computer and there was an entry from 2017 where I’d short listed various film cameras that I could get. Wish I’d bought them all back then. I want a M10 for the ease of digital but all I look at are film bodies.

Wednesday, 28th September, 2022

This thread looks fun to explore.. Well look at this from Amazon.

Maybe I’m tired but I just spent the whole evening doing nothing. I always complain about not having enough free time to do everything I want, and then I just waste it all.

I also feel like I’ve forgotten what all those things are that I was going to do.

Bought a new server though. Prebuilt, ex-business machine - impossible to beat on price I feel. HP ProDesk 400 G7 I think it was. Current one is actually quite old, and this is a 10th gen intel, which supposedly idles at 5W. Be an opportunity to sort out my server and services on it. Feel like I’ve been telling myself to do that for ages. It’s not big enough for the 4x hard drives I have in the current one, which is maybe a dumb move but at the same time a suitable server is more expensive. Maybe I could’ve built one myself though, anyway, too late now. Seemed like a good deal…😅

Keeping my eye out for a suitable 4 bay NAS/server for the hard drives to live in. I can just keep the existing machine for now.

Tuesday, 27th September, 2022

After yesterday’s whirlwind mental activity on new cameras I’ve settled down and tried to only think about the actual problems I have, not the imaginary ones I might have.

I have a very good, compact camera, with a wide selection of good lenses. Things I “don’t like” are in my control to change. I always want fast and exotic lenses which will be “great for portraits, or great for sports”, but I don’t really take any of those, and if I did, any of my lenses would take lovely photos with the right composition and lighting.

I am thinking of selling the 50mm f/2 as I never really like any of the photos I take with it. This is entirely me, but I think it doesn’t suit what I want to do. I think swapping it for the 35mm f/1.4 might be a better choice - not that I need to get that lens as the 27mm 2.8 is pretty close in length to it. However, selling one lens and buying another is part of the fun. I’m actually thinking about the 14mm f/2.8 just for something really different. There’s the 16 2.8 but that’s too close to the 18, and on the roadmap there’s an 8mm f3.5 coming next year. That might be too wide for me. I also need to remember I have the 60mm macro, which I could use instead of the 50mm for whenever I take portraits, it’s a little slower (aperture and auto focus) but it’s also longer. AND there’s the adapted M mount. There’s no shortage even within the tiny selection I have.

The Ricoh GR is still an interest, mostly for the size. It’s quite an expensive toy though, and maybe I’d be better off spending £900 on a new phone which will always be with me and most likely good enough. Not that I want to spend £900 on a new phone.

M10 🙄 Oh now I’ve just gone and reminded myself of all the things and thinking about it again 😅

Developing the film was both stressful and fun. I need to scan the images. Sometimes I wish I’d kept that Plustek 35mm scanner with Silverfast. Yes it was slow, yes the software is weird and confusing, but it was a whole package that did the job. Now I feel like I need 100 things to do digital camera scanning: tripod, light source, mask arrangement, holder/feeder, camera, macro lens, remote trigger, conversion software…😮‍💨 I have most of that now as I’ve bought it all - still debating on software - but the setup feels like a chore, vs. Just get the scanner out, plug it in and start going. It was super slow scanning the slide film of my grandad but I could do it whilst just on the computer. Maybe once I do it a couple of times I’ll be slick at it and it’ll take no time at all.

So now that development has been successful…what am I doing? Just shooting B&W film every weekend?

Monday, 26th September, 2022

What am I like?

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for

I bought (although not technically due to a website issue) a Panasonic GX9 last night.

Why? ❓

I was watching some videos by Steve O’Nions (which I now notice is Steve Onions 🧅), and found myself agreeing with him on a lot of things:

  • Getting bored quickly with the same thing, so wanting variety
  • Finding older cameras more appealing - either film or older digital models
  • Micro four thirds sensors are perfectly adequate for printing huge photos
  • Loving film

He also seems like a genuine individual who is just taking you along with him on his photographic adventures. He’s not trying to get subscribers or sell stuff, he just wants to capture the trips and thoughts he has about photography. The photography is first, the vlog is second. I bet he likes going back and looking at his older videos of things he’s done to remember what he was thinking and doing. I think because of this, his views carry a lot more weight.

Speaking of weight, he really likes small 35mm cameras for going on walks. He talks about how the perfection of the image doesn’t matter (megapixels, sharpness etc) but the composition and lighting is key, and, as we all know, many great photographs come on grainy film from soft, imperfect lenses of old.

He also describes the numerous times he’s sold off gear, only to then re-buy them later on as he regrets selling them.

Ah yes, all sounds familiar 😅

If I’m being honest, it’s being bored that’s the biggest driver. There’s a little bit of wanting to get a fast telephoto lens that not gigantic. e.g. Fuji 50-140 f/2.8 is 1kg, Lumix 35-100 f/2.8 is 360g. The Fuji 100-400 is 1.4kg, the Leica 50-200 is 700g.

I’m also feeling jaded from the film simulations. I used to love them, but I think now that I’ve used film a lot more I find the simulations a poor substitute. It’s a fine balance as I do like nice colours, and contrast but done wrong makes it look like a stupid instagram filter. I do like not having to post-process images but I pretty much converge on just two simulations - a colour one and a black and white one. I want digital to be automatic for me, so I want it to expose and focus well. The fuji focuses just fine (although I’ve never used continuous focus on anything and my old Nikon D40 used to focus well…).

It is slightly unfortunate I only recently bought the X-E4. I’m not sure if I’m going to sell it. Long term I don’t think APS-C plus MFT makes a good combination. Most likely a full frame is a better companion. Although why do I need full frame? I have 35mm film 😉 If I did have an APS-C to complement it then the Ricoh GR series is the one that stands out, otherwise everything else is all the same. Maybe I keep the X-E4 to change things up, although maybe I go and find a X-E2 or X-Pro1 to shake things up.

I do find I like older digital cameras. I want the specs and numbers and features when I read or plan new cameras but when I get them in my hand, I don’t actually care that much. Often using only a fraction of the functions and enjoying the handling of it much more.

Guess I should call the store and try and sort out the order…then pick a lens…or 6 😁

Mid-afternoon, the camera store messaged me saying they had an issue and suggested I re-order it as they’ve cancelled my order. Now I’m doubting myself over the decision. Don’t got to the internet in hope of having someone help you make the decision. There are infinite posts giving both sides.

I just worry that I’m only doing this as I want change not because something is wrong or missing. My favourite post was on a thread were someone was asking if they should “move up” from MFT but at the same time they loved the small lenses and fast apertures. The post suggested they get a Leica camera 😅 Full frame, small lenses, fast apertures, excellent images. But something about price, and autofocus…

😵 Maybe best to step away for a while.

Did some film development tonight…and it worked!! Waiting for my holder to scan but I might try a couple of frames tomorrow with my camera and some bits of black card or soemthing.

Returned the 18-55mm lens. Yes it’s great for videos due to OIS but it’s actually quite heavy and feels unbalanced on the X-E4, even with thumb grip. Maybe the front grip would help? But the frequency of shooting video is so low and I also dislike short length zooms. Yes it’s nice to go from 18 to 55mm but I don’t like that. Maybe it’s nice being able to zoom into the kids running around somewhere, and now I wonder if I do want it but I’ve already decided to send it back and just use the lenses I have. I’m actually thinking of selling the 50mm f/2. The fewer things I have the better.

Whilst I was reading up on negative inversion, I started watching some videos about the X-E4…to remind myself why I wanted it in the first place! I’m still undecided about it all. Film developing was such a hassle but such a joy when it works.

I’m still interested in the MFT, the primes are tiny and the zooms are so small, but it won’t be what I want, as there isn’t really something specific that I want. I’m better off getting a GRiii (probably x) as it’s so different, just it’s £900. There is a GRII on some forums for £430, maybe could get it for £400? Doesn’t have IBIS, doesn’t have xyz, only 28mm but half the price. I wondered if I could get a GRIIIx and use it as my only camera? Seems quite extreme, but all this turmoil I put myself through is not enjoyable.

I’m an idiot.

Sunday, 25th September, 2022

My wife was on the computer a lot yesterday doing the annual photo album. It meant I had to do something else - which is probably good for me! Went on the rower, which, for various reasons, I’ve not been on in nearly a month! I’ve been watching Season 3 of Westworld whilst on it. It feels like a slow season but maybe it’s getting a bit better. Probably to revelations in it are more extreme than season 1, I feel that season 1 was more shocking.

I then just spent the rest of the evening on the iPad looking at servers and reading forums about stuff. So maybe not much better than sat in the computer…😅

If someone gave me a M10 or money for one would I keep it/buy it? Maybe easier to keep if I got the physical body but the money for it? I’m not sure.

I feel like I’m trying to buy my way back into liking the Fuji. Why did I get the 18-55? For videos. Why don’t I just use my phone? I don’t know. Feeling the whole “sell it all and start again”.

Saturday, 24th September, 2022

I’m looking for a server replacement. I’m also trying to decide what I want/need. I use my server for backups of photos, plex for our movies etc., and not much else. Occasionally I’ll run a game server on it, like minecraft or whatever my friends and I are playing. I could run more stuff on it but I find I’d rather use a vps than my home computer.

For plex, a reasonably modern intel cpu is the way to go. Quicksync can transcode anything with ease. A pentium gold can do something like 10 transcodes. Most likely a refurb Lenovo or Dell USFF box is ideal as they use about 5W on idle. One nvme is sufficient for services, the tricky part is storage of media.

If I find a SFF one, then those tend to have space for a 3.5” drive and I could just get a single 10TB hard drive to sit in it. I could keep my existing server and just have it turn on once a week to do a backup.

Alternatively I could get a USB 4 bay enclosure. I’m not entirely sure about them but people on /r/homelab seem to suggest they’re okay. That could fit with a USFF.

I also looked at HP microservers, which are nicely built but maybe overkill and having two computers perhaps defeats the purpose. A rpi might be a solution? I have an older 2B sitting about and a 3 running pi hole and unifi controller. I could add the hard drives to the rpi running pi hole and add a samba share. Although I think pre-rpi 4 share Ethernet and usb so it would be quite slow.

Reducing the amount of storage I need would help. There’s lots of junk on there that I could clear out and my friend is backing up to my server so I should honour that.

A HP ProDesk 400 G7 SFF seems like a good balance. Not super tiny so can have one drive. I think that plus a rpi with the usb on a weekly backup schedule might be the easiest way.

Friday, 23rd September, 2022

So many smart thermostats and TRVs are setup now! Infinitely customisable…it’s not quite cold enough for the heating to be on, so will see how it goes.

Ordered the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4. There was a promo on ebay, and cashback and nectar points, and a nice one at a good price, so thought why not. Been thinking about having it for any videos, but also it’s supposedly a nice lens in it’s own right. Small too, so should balance well on the X-E4. Just the other day I was thinking of selling all the fuji and simplifying to something…X100V?… I don’t know. Not that long ago I was debating spending £4500 on a M10-R! I was insane. I still want one, but the fuji works for me. I like using it, I just need to remember to use it! Maybe I’ll regret getting more lenses and then having more choices, but I still think it’s a little like a tool box. I’ll try out the 18-55 for photos but I think it’s primarily going to be used for videos as I much prefer the primes anyway.

I think I should turn all grain off in the fuji jpeg settings. It seems wrong.

Loaded another roll of HP5 into my camera, ready to try the developing again once the chemicals arrive. Supposed to be today but next day stuff never arrives here next day, but they never admit it and just make excuses.

Still want a mac, and everyone else is buying Apple products!

I consolidated my public wiki down to a single site, with a single file html tiddlywiki version saved on github and hosted by vercel. Vercel means I can use multiple domains as some are blocked at work 😢

I find it interesting how much I like and then use blot. It’s not really that much different from this site. I write a page or post, and hit commit and the internet makes a new page on this site. Blot is: make a new post or page in dropbox, press save, and the internet makes the site. Yet why am I using it more than my previous static sites? PHotos are a bit easier, although my setup means I keep all images in a _img folder to stop them becoming posts, and then I have to write markdown to link to them. A static site isn’t anymore. Blot does some image compressor or something, although doesn’t seem that much and I’ll do it myself to minimise download time. I do like the stock template and theme, and I have no interest, because there’s no need, to create a theme or tinker with the existing one. So maybe that’s part of it?

Thursday, 22nd September, 2022

I cancelled LrCC as it seemed unnecessary. I have LrC and I don’t need the backup of photos. However, I did like the more library focused design of it. Lightroom Classic is very good for editing. I’ve been doing a little in it recently, mostly as I’m trying to use it as my library as well. However, I find the organisation features frustrating, even if it’s probably more powerful and has more functionality than LrCC. Faces in LrC is a bit rubbish. I’ve come to like filtering by people and events and date ranges. It makes it easy to find stuff. I also like all the memories and things that services like iCloud photos does. I am using Amazon photos but it’s quite limited in what you can get. Really I like (and miss) I can still subscribe to the higher tier of iCloud and I can look at photos on my iPad but without a mac I feel like I miss out on a lot.

I’d like one of those daybook files too.

Wednesday, 21st September, 2022

Not sure where my books list has gone. I think I’m about 5 books behind and I’m not a fast reader.

It was the school open day where parents get to see the class rooms and meet the teachers on a casual basis. As I walk around the school I think that a GRIII would be ideal in this situation. I wonder if other parents were thinking the same thing 💭

The Apple homepod mini is much nicer in quality and sound than the google home mini. It costs a lot more though (especially as I got my google home’s for free). However, the app and integration is so much nicer wit my iPhone than using the Google Home app. Probably if I had an Android the Google Home would integrate just as nicely.

I got 6 months free Apple music with it, but only an individual plan. I thought about using it on my wife’s account but it seems that it’s the Apple ID associated with the HomePod when setup, so that was going to be messy. You can’t upgrade the free trial to family by paying the difference, it would immediately cancel the free trial and start charging me. I guess I’ll just use Apple music myself for 6 months and then be ready to convert the house over. Gives me time to figure it out, and perhaps show it to my wife.

I went for the yellow homepod, mostly randomly and it looks nice on my desk.

Now that I do have Apple music I’d like my playlists from Spotify. A quick Google leads to the general consensus of installing SongShift and using that to sync between accounts. I did install it, but then realised I don’t really have that many playlists, and I’ll just make them again manually. It’s an opportunity to prune them a little. Other services include the web based Soundiiz, and desktop app, FYM (even includes a Linux app!). FYM (Free your music) can keep services in sync, so if you want to use multiple there’s that. Although you might have to pay for it.

I don’t normally like music lists, particularly from generic websites, but this one is quite interesting. Mostly as I like some of these recommendations, but haven’t listened to them in years (as if I don’t remember to play them then the millions of streamable songs don’t stand out like a CD on the shelf). So I’m listening to some on here I’ve never heard of.

All this apple stuff is making me want to scrap all my computer hardware and just get a nice new iMac. Maybe a yellow one to match the homepod. (AN upgraded one is half the price of a M10-R 😅). I’m not sure about the 24” screen though…do like a large monitor, although it’s very high resolution, 4480x2520 and great colours.

Tuesday, 20th September, 2022

In an effort to print more, or at least have more physical photos, I’ve ordered some storage boxes and more photo paper. My plan is to print the good ones each time I get some photos. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them other than put into the box but I think having them physically will encourage me to (a) look at the more (b) start thinking more about printing (c) make some physical photo albums or books for people as gifts.

Just ordered £100 of darkroom stuff. New chemicals but also some bits and bobs I think I need…they had some used Leica film bodies that I looked at for a while 😅

My sister has been staying for a while, so I’ve not really done anything I’d normally do. We played Wingspan board game tonight which was fun. The last time we played we played it wrong and it took forever, this time was much better. I called buying it for our dad for Christmas.

The first parts of my new smart heating arrived today, but other than open the box I’ve done nothing with it yet. Funnily the last piece I ordered arrived first.

I want to cancel Spotify and move to Apple Music. Just need to convince my wife it’s worthwhile. It does save £2/month, which I know is nothing but it goes towards one of the other subscriptions. I want to move to Apple Music as I suspect we’ll move to Apple One over time and this will make it easier to do so. I’d like to get the 2 TB iCloud but it’s only worthwhile if one or both of us have an Apple Watch and do the fitness+ stuff. My wife might do that, she does yoga from an app, but not sure she really wants an Apple Watch though. I sort of do, for voice control and messaging but I don’t really want more notifications and I like wearing my Casio watch. If I get an Apple Watch then I’d want to wear it all the time and my poor Casio would get relegated to the drawer.

Sometimes I wish I had just upgraded from the X100F to the V and never went into the world of interchangeable lens bodies. I’d been happy with the F for 2-3 years. I told myself I’d like the flexibility of different lenses, but really all that happens is that I want to buy more for various reasons. I’ve sold a couple recently to try and focus but it creeps back into my head. Like maybe I need the original 35mm f/1.4 as it “has character”, and as a small lens would fit well with the X-E4. I do have the 60mm macro for film scanning, and a zoom for kids football but do I also need a 50 f2, 23 f1.4, 18 f2 and 27 f2.8 as well?

I was watching some videos I took using the X-T2, and that reminded me I ought to get the 18-55 as that’s “great for videos with the OIS and minimal focus breathing or whatever”. After eyeing M mount lenses, these are all cheap, but it’s just more stuff and choices. Sometimes that’s nice to have the right tool or to change things up, but I did like the only decision being “should I take the camera? Yes/No”. I could easily sell it all and change, seems a little irresponsible given I’ve only just got the X-E4. Probably as supply is so limited I’d not lose very much selling it. I do like the compact size of the X-E4 and it does take lovely photos. It’s just boring…The X100 was fun, even though I only ever used the EVF. I used to find the D7000 fun to use, and now I couldn’t imagine taking that out with me. I’m just not sure what I want.

I also don’t like that I’m starting to think about a 50mm for the M2. Would mean I have the M2 set: 35, 50, 90mm and that doesn’t seem that bad. However, it’s then just another thing to think about. Probably the 50 would be more useful than the 90 though.

I have read a lot of comments today about one camera, one lens setup. I’m also feeling like we have too much stuff, and I need to get rid of things. Even digitally. I cleared out some movies and TV shows saved on the computer. I’d like to minimise the server, to save power and just to have less. The garage has so much stuff in it too. There’s a balance of getting rid of things and then keeping stuff for potential future use. I’m not throwing away a saw because I don’t need to saw stuff today.

Like when am I really going to use the TLR? But film cameras are harder/more expensive to come by so I should just keep it…

Remember back…June 19th,…I bought a year’s subscription to a piano learning app. I finally started using it this weekend. Was fun, started doing some boogie-woogie. I should do it more. 🎹🎶

Monday, 19th September, 2022

I forget about all the web servers and applications I have. I’m sure I setup a WebDAV server somewhere. One thing I do need to sort out is my collection of wikis. Need to consolidate down to a single tiddlywiki. I like having a wiki, although I like the idea of writing a short blog post about entries to make them more useful to both me and others. Perhaps not as easy to find in a blog post but makes me add more specifics to it.

Also tempted to make a structured wiki on the main website. Notionally to be able to find important things. However that does mean there are more places to look and what counts as important?

I found rtcwake on Linux let’s you turn a computer off and then resume at a specific time. Amazingly it even works with poweroff level. I ran it on my server last night to boot in the morning, mostly to test it. It worked which is nice. Then I made me wonder when does my server need to be on?

Sunday, 18th September, 2022

The weather seems to have turned and it feels a lot colder. Everyone is complaining about how cold the house is. I did turn down the thermostat one degree at the beginning of the summer but it’s one degree. We’re at 19 vs. 20, although everyone believed we used to be at 24! Crazy. Got some smart thermostats and TRVs coming, see how they can work. I think they’ll make very limited impact to our bill, but I’m hoping that the ease of adjusting it will mean we’ll keep the house pleasant when it needs it but not when we don’t.

Do I go overboard with the fuji film simulations? Sometimes I’m not sure about the in-camera grain. These are all things I could apply in post, but I don’t. If I shot RAW, most of the time I’d just hit auto and move on. Maybe auto plus some contrast curve adjustments.

I bought the HP Tango as I was sucked into “unlimited photos from the app”. I never print anything. I don’t find it a terrible printer, it’s fine for 6x4s or 5x7s. It’s also great for regular prints that everyone wants to do. I printed a wedding photo of my sister-in-laws and we’ve framed it and put it on the wall. Everyone likes it. It’s probably like those £1 develop and print post-away promos we used to have in the 90s. You’d get the printed photos back and they were fine. Nothing special but generally decent. I should print off some of the film simulation pictures from the Fuji. See what they look like, and that might help me figure out the grain.

Saturday, 17th September, 2022

I’ve come very close to buying a digital M. Very close, hovering over the confirm order button. (Even close to a M10-R!).

But I can’t help worrying that I don’t actually want it, and I just want to buy it. Then I have a small loop of thinking “well go M10 then as it’s ‘cheap’”, but that doesn’t really help.

I also think I should stick to film as it’s more interesting and enagaging.

I should buy a GRIII, probably have more fun with it…

Sometimes I go days or maybe 2 weeks without using a camera. Then I’ll pick it up and snap away and enjoy it. Today was one of those days. I’ve not taken any photos since ~28th August and today I took the X-E4 with me to the woods when I took the kids out to play. Also used it around the house with them. I do really like it. I was in a black and white frame of mind and had it on the Acros film sim. I have two B&W presets programmed, one uses clarity to sharpen it a little, which means it takes ages to save an image, and another that’s slightly different. I find exposure harder with B&W on the camera than with colour. I think the highlights are turned up too much, so that when exposing for the surroundings, people’s faces are too bright. Maybe I need one of the colour filters to help as I do like a little extra on the highlights for people on the fuji cameras. I know I can sort it all out in post, but I’d like to get it decent out the box. I’m also not really decided on how I’m dealing with photos. I have imported them into LrC but it’s not really a library for looking at pictures.

The X-E4 is such a nice size. Had the 50 f/2 on it this afternoon when we were out. Balanced well on the body and easy to do one handed shots. I need two to adjust aperture and things but it’s quick with the dials and my custom buttons.

Too many forums of people going: “I moved from fuji/sony/film to digital Leica. The M10 was perfect, etc., etc. You’d not notice the benefits of the newer sensor in the M10-R. BUT, if I were starting again I’d definietly get the M10-R”.

When I went out I did look at the M2 and thought about bringing it, but the thought of film was too tiring. It would’ve been a good opportunity to take some snaps on HP5 and develop myself. But I don’t have time or want to spend the time I have doing it. There’s somewhat of an inertia to overcome, as it’s not that hard but there we go.

Thursday, 15th September, 2022

We were at a funeral today. Puts things into perspective.

This sold cheaply, but also look how dusty it is. Maybe someone got a bargain…?

Tuesday, 13th September, 2022

Let’s just ignore yesterday 😅.

Last night I found a little photobook I’d made. It was a promo thing online for a free book, so I decided to make one with just film photos in it. Taking it off the shelf and looking through it made me smile. So many funny little moments of everyone that I’d captured. It reminded me I need to print more.

My (now) sister-in-law got married last week. She posted some photos on Apple Photostream and I printed one of them this morning. Just a 5x7” from the HP Tango, but it’s nice to stick on the fridge or put on the side.

I read up on the new iCloud Shared Photo Library. Its use case seems fairly limited, i.e. families wanting to see each other’s photos and have one master library. That does sound like a good thing, although it seems like you can only be a member of one Shared Photo Library. I worry that the bulk of users will get tripped up with it and not quite follow how it’s moving photos around or how anyone can edit and delete photos. I’ll make one for my wife and I, as she’s with the kids all the time and takes pictures when I’m not there. Means I can get those into DayOne more easily. Another little reason why I want all our photos in iCloud.

Upon reflection, I think that a new TV is excessive. Yes, the old one in the playroom uses more power, but we don’t actually use it that much. I’ve just got into an upgrade cycle:

  • get a new TV to reduce power consumption
  • oh it’s 4K. Maybe it should be the main TV
  • Get AppleTV 4K to stream stuff and photos.
  • maybe we need a sound bar too
  • if it’s the main TV then maybe it needs to be bigger. Or a higher spec model.

Before I know it, the cheap TV becomes an expensive TV, with several hundred pounds of accessories.

When they’re older, and if they want an Xbox or something, then that’ll be a more suitable time for the TV upgrades. I’d be better off building a low powered server to replace my current one. Which reminds me of my lunchtime walk today where I started wondering if a Mac mini could be my home server. But it mostly just turned into “I want to buy a Mac mini” even though that wasn’t the problem.

I could still get an Apple TV for the HomeKit hub. Seems a more useful box than their smart speaker. I could use it for photo viewing. Still seems excessive for just that. It has lots of cool features but I don’t need any of them. But is it less excessive than the smart speaker which we don’t need whatsoever. It would just sit in my office.

Think on that one. Anyway, found the smart thermostat on sale, so once I measure some stuff up to see if I need the back plates, I’ll order it. I need to find something suitable for the underfloor heating. Mostly as the current one is so annoying to program, it seems to reset itself and just isn’t very clear what it’s doing. No one (main brands) seems to make a controller though.

All this smart stuff has got me thinking about what else I could do.

Monday, 12th September, 2022

Restarted the recycle in my head about cameras again. Recently there have been quite a few M10s on the used market and prices have been pushed down a little. I was tempted. Then I left it and now there doesn’t seem to be that many and the price has crept up again - maybe +/- 10%. There’s one on eBay right now which I think the seller would accept quite a drop from the listing price based upon an offer they sent out to the watchers - it’s that dented one that I’m hesitant about though. I’ve also gone from M10 to M10-P to M10-R(!) back to M10.

I then think about film, and how I enjoy it and would it not be better to spend the money on development and film etc. vs. another digital camera.

Perhaps I should go back to my smart home pondering…

I’m wondering about (again!) uploading all my photos into iCloud for the memories and little things it makes. What got me started on that is power price. Bear with me… the old TV is a power hog and I was thinking of replacing it. Power prices have been capped by the government so the payback isn’t quite as good as it was but still. I don’t really care that much about TVs and I’m not looking to spend a fortune on OLED or whatever, but there is a nice one on sale that’s a good price. Has Roku built in to - that helps with the WAF. Then I started thinking it should replace the main lounge TV, then move that into the playroom to replace the power hog. Given I was doing that, it already has Roku built it, AND I’m looking at home automation stuff which I’d rather connect into Apple vs Google or Alexa. So an Apple TV can act as a hub for it. So if I had that then all my photos in iCloud would be viewable on the TV.

Phew! What a lot of justifying buying stuff. 😅

But sometimes I think I should buy first; deliberate later.

When I was looking at micro four thirds, I joined the M43 subreddit. Probably should leave as I read about people saying what an amazing system it is - capable of all situations with such an extensive line up, all for a good price and excellent quality. This includes professionals who get paid for their work. Why do I read these things. 😅

👆this whole random stupid conversation is why I keep this separate from the nice blog 🥲

Sunday, 11th September, 2022

I want to do home development of film, but it seems like too much to do. The price of development seems to be creeping up, and it seems like a waste when I could buy more film instead. I also should take some less important photos to develop first.

Saturday, 10th September, 2022

After a week of rain, it’s now a lovely sunny day.

The Queen died at her Scottish residence in Balmoral. Her coffin is going to drive past our house (not exactly but very close) tomorrow, seems like something we should go and see.

Was out last night on a work do. Probably drank too much. 🥴 It’s interesting seeing other people out who have chosen to go out together and drink a lot. That’s just not something I’d ever chose to do. It’s also really expensive.

Someone on eBay is selling a M10 which has quite a few dents and marks on it. They’ve made low offers to the watchers. It’s better value but there’s quite a few dents near the viewfinder and I’d worry the rangefinder mechanism has been shaken up. EBay is the cheapest, even mint condition ones, but can’t help feeling it would be better to get a camera of this price from a store. This is all very academical anyway.

Thursday, 8th September, 2022

Lots of new Apple things. Means I can upgrade my SE to the 2022 model…next year when I buy refurb ones in ebay sales 😅

Spent a lot of time looking at smart home heating stuff. Think I’ve finally decided on what I want. None of this stuff is exactly cheap, and what’s annoying is that it was all on sale on Amazon last week. I found a coupon code, so that helps soften the blow.

The government have now decided to cap the utilities bills for everyone. Waiting to see what the actual rate will be, then revisit my calculations on upgrades. Things will take longer to pay back but the bill won’t be horrendous!

Long live the King of the United Kingdom. 🇬🇧

Oh look, a new XF 56mm f/1.2 R WR lens.

Wednesday, 7th September, 2022

Migrated all my old blog posts to the new blot blog. Well not all the old posts, I have some from ages ago that I might move too. Not many, maybe 3 at the most.

I’m still thinking that I’ll keep this site for idle chatter and the other for more (slightly) coherent posts. I’m aware I talk about the same thing over and over and so I want to keep that here (for me) and not pollute the other site with it (just yet).

But blot is cool. The more I’m using it the more I’m appreciating that it’s more than just another static generator. A big advantage of using it with Dropbox is that so many apps integrate with Dropbox and that makes it really easy to do stuff. With the Dropbox app on my phone I can do everything on the go, including pictures. I’m also thinking about how to use the picture to post feature it has. I sort of want to make a gallery template that can bring all posts tagged with pictures into it but I also don’t want to spend ages faffing about with templates and config and just get on with writing posts and moving on. I’m on the default template and it’s perfectly suitable. The magazine one is quite interesting and I might switch to it but I’m trying to resist too much fiddling.

Migrating all my posts from tiddlywiki made me realise I still want a wiki. I could add pages with notes and things on in blot but I think a real wiki would be better. I have tiddlywiki site and dokuwiki site still running.

I’d like to find an online markdown editor for Dropbox files. So I can use a web browser to edit things when I have the need to - probably at work, as I think dropbox website is blocked. seems like one.

It’s my 12 year anniversary on reddit. Dread to think how much time I’ve wasted on that site 😅

Tuesday, 6th September, 2022

Maybe I won’t need to buy new things and turn everything off as the government are going to let energy suppliers borrow money for 20 years to pay for the increased prices. It’s fine now but just another debt on the mountain.

I’ve been diving into smart home heating stuff again. I was thinking that whilst it would be interesting, it wouldn’t save much money, as really all that needs to be done is turn it down. I then started looking into TRVs again as a standalone solution just to trim certain rooms that get a lot of heating from the sun on nice days, but that led me back to whole smart systems. It’s quite complicated figuring out what everything does and what you need or don’t need. I should investigate what we currently have, as it might be easy to replace the wireless thermostats…or it might not be. I don’t want to buy something that I later regret because I want to expand or change.

I suppose if everything I get integrates with Apple Homekit that makes it easier. I want to use home assistant and do it all myself but there’s a certain level of ease with it being in Apple. Homekit things seem to be more expensive though. Probably need to get an apple TV or homepod thing to act as a permanent home base vs. my iPad. The iPad generally stays at home but if we’re away I’ll take it with me.

We do have Google home’s and I think the voice control and recognition of them are better than Siri, but I trust Google less with smart home stuff.

Monday, 5th September, 2022

My goodness. I looked up what utility prices are expected to be. It’s insane, come 2023 electricity will be 5x and gas 10x. The heat pump dryer looks like a winner, even at £700 for it. Although then I started reading they don’t work well in ambient temps less than 10 degC, and we keep ours in the garage. It doesn’t get freezing in there but probably under 10 in the winter? Then I read someone saying the loop in the dryer will heat up, so it doesn’t matter. 🤷‍♂️

Sunday, 4th September, 2022

The new price cap will come into effect 1st October. For those that don’t know the UK system for gas and electricity price (and I’m not an expert) this basically means the “maximum” that can be charged by utility companies for gas and electric. Every 6 (or maybe it’s 3 now given the current situation) the regulator looks at wholesale prices and adjusts the cap accordingly. I say “maximum” because it’s defined as the maximum an average household would pay. It’s sort of like a maximum p/kWh, because if you use more then you’ll pay more. Most companies have a rate plus a daily fee, and they play about with each. So I’m yet to hear what our new electricity price will be. However, today it’s 27p/kWh for electric and 7.3 p/kWh for gas. Last time I had a fixed rate tariff (before all those companies went bust) it was 15p and 2.8p, and I thought they were bad. Supposedly this hike is the small one, January’s will be even bigger 🤢.

Whilst the UK doesn’t get much gas from Russian (or didn’t use to), Europe does a lot. Particularly Germany it seems. However, as we’re all one gas system then the price acts accordingly.

As it’s a rainy day and seems cooler than just a few weeks ago, I want to see what we can do before the winter to try and keep bills under control. I’m in two minds about smart heating controls, and as to what could we really save. I think moving the thermostat to the main room would be better, vs. the hallway where it is now, as that’s a generally colder area. Ideally controlling every radiator too would be good, but getting a TRV for each will be a lot of money. We have nine downstairs, and that would be £350 worth. Probably I could strategically place some of them, or just do one in each room and manually set the other rads.

I have ordered 2 smart plugs that measure usage. Plan to install them about the house then move them around to see what does what. At these prices (and increasing) older stuff starts costing more than buying a new one! We have a very old TV and on the back it says 260W, versus new ones which use about 8W whilst on. 4 hours of use a day is £106 a year, vs. £3 for a new TV (at current prices that will increase in 4 weeks!). I think the big user will be the tumble dryer. We only recently got one (well maybe 2 years ago) and I didn’t buy a heat pump one as they’re expensive - 2-3x - but supposedly they use half the power. The plug will help me see what’s what.

I also I think it might be time to reassess the home server too. It’s on 24/7.

Underfloor heating…that’s long gone now! I’ll take the fuses out so no-one can turn it on if they want to.

It’s sort of a fun activity, until I remember why I’m doing it. However, justifying new toys because they’ll save money is surely a win:win 😅.

This could’ve been a blog post…should’ve been? Once I do the measurement and sums it might be useful to other people. My main site’s main nag to me is that it’s not a “normal” blog and linking and finding stuff is different (tiddlywiki) and so would anyone find it? 🤔 Do I need something else. You know, a normal site, a static blog?, blot, A N Other…

Saturday, 3rd September, 2022

I should sort out smart home heating before this winter. I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference to our bills, but given the cost of gas and electric is about to go 4x then every small amount will be worth it. Plus our current setup does annoy me. I’ve found the right model and brand that I want to go with. I just need to figure out which radiators should get TRVs (controllable valves) to make the most of it. Going with Drayton Wiser products. Mostly as it seems they’ll work perfectly well with Home Assistant completely offline. I’ll probably just use their app to do everything at first, and maybe forever, but it’s nice knowing that if they shutdown their servers I can still use it. We only have one other smart thing, and that’s the garage door opener. I have it with Apple Home (running on my iPad) as it’s handy to ask Siri as I’m cycling home to open the garage. I’m sure it can be integrated with Siri, although not really sure heating needs to be. It’s mostly configure and then forget. Perhaps in the effort to save money, maybe it needs to be made less convenient to increase the heating 😅.

I might get some other smart home things, but not really sure what would be useful.

My friend has just about everything “smart’d” - every light, heating, cameras, power measurement, and EV charging. He has a variable power rate and I think it gives the supplier the ability to choose when he charges his EV overnight. Essentially makes it very cheap. It’s pretty cool. The other stuff seems a bit excessive. Some of the lights are nice, as it lets him group them together independent of the wiring circuit, where you’d want two sets or certain lights on together you can turn them on with one “switch”. I could see a few smart lights being useful for the kids at night or when we’re away to simulate someone is home.

Friday, 2nd September, 2022

I used this neural net website to try cleaning up some of my grandad’s slides from the 60s. Some were damaged by fungus and other issues, but this site does a nice job of making them look reasonable. They’re not perfect but much nicer for using it. Might pick out a few others and process them through it to tidy up.

All this blot chat is tempting me to try it, however, I quite like what I have here and I’m over 4 months of use of it. I have daily notes going back longer (nearly a year) but this exact setup is more recent. Images are still a hassle in this, although maybe the app I use to write in could help me with it, although image compression etc. is still something that needs to be done.

Looking at the slides gallery in Piwigo makes me want to make a static version of it. I’m not going to be adding new photos to it as I’ve scanned all there is. It’s also inundated with spam comments, all screened but unnecessary. It’s also hosted on my home computer and I’d prefer it to be external (and ideally on some free hosting!) I just never found nice AND easy static gallery creation tools. I was thinking of using Adobe portfolio, but now that I cancelled my LrCC subscription that’s not really an option. If I spend some time, I might be able to reuse the blot templates and a bit of manual work.

I’ve sold my X-T2, and 35mm f/2, but I’ve not bought anything in their place. It feels wrong to do so, as in my head that money then disappears into the general account and then if I buy something later it feels like an expense not a trade. However, I don’t just want to buy stuff for the sake of it. I’ve thought about the 35mm f/1.4 but I’m enjoying just using the pancakes with the X-E4 (18 and 27), makes for a nice setup and gets me using focal lengths I don’t often use. The 18 is proving nice for indoors, and 27 for outdoors - I then don’t notice the f/2.8 whatsoever. I’m quite liking a “vintage” style colour profile I have on it. I feel like it might be borderline tacky, and no better than a random instagram filter. I switch back to my “regular” colour profile but then find it so boring. I shoot raw+jpeg, so I can always reprocess it if necessary, but like most digital photos (that I take), they’re fine and more about a record of the event.

Thursday, 1st September, 2022

Welcome September.

Strangely a proposal at work linked this video in their documentation. I liked the video though.

Why your website should be under 14 kB

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