Picture of a judge's wigThis Is Not A BLOG!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 07/09/09


So, how ya bin? Long time no html.

I haven't actually been anywhere, you understand; it's just that one or two other things have taken my time of late.

F'rinstance, the Saturday before last, I went out on another ramble. When I got back, I decided that it was time to get all my photographs backed up to one DVD-R, rather than spread across what had become four CD-Rs. Before I could do that, though, I needed to put a bit more order on them than previously, and also to see whether I could improve the quality of some of them.

You see, my trusty old BenQ DC C51 is OK in a lot of circumstances, but I find that pictures taken in low-light conditions, or where there's a lot of shadow, or where there's a lot of green (a particular bugbear this, as I take so many landscapes) don't come out at all well. In particular, the greens just look wrong - like the sort of green plastic they make artificial Christmas trees out of.

So, nine days ago, I set to it. I imported the whole lot to the hard drive, divvied them up between a set of folders, added image information to those which needed it so that I could see where and when they were taken, and tried to improve the ones which stood in greatest need of it.

This took up the Bank Holiday weekend, every evening last week, and a large chunk of this past weekend as well.

I was just finishing off the re-naming of all of them (about 1400 there were in all), when I realised that I'd been using the wrong compression algorithm to save them, and that instead of the definitive version of each file I had a degraded one. Files in .jpg format, you see, lose quality every time you alter them unless you save them in the right way. Which I hadn't been doing. So over a week's worth of work had been completely wasted.

Once I had decided to start the job, I had to get it done as a priority, because I needed to defrag the hard drive. I needed to defrag the hard drive because my other ongoing project - the digitisation of all my vinyl collection - is still running after about seven months, and you can get problems if the drive gets too fragmented. Which it tends to do especially if you're doing a lot of audio or video work.

So, I've had one project delayed and the other completely aborted. And this morning, I threw back my curtains at 08:30 to be greeted by the sight of a large ginger-and-white cat taking a dump right in the middle of my lawn. I had thought that the little bastards were leaving me in peace this year, until I found some more little feline gifts in the side garden on Saturday when I was doing some hedge-cutting. I've tried everything short of thermo-nuclear devices hidden under the topsoil, and nothing seems to deter the vermin.

Went out for a walk just now, as I had put a big load of washing on and it hadn't even got to the first rinse. Here, have a dragonfly:

Photo of a red-bodied dragonfly