Saturday, September 30, 2006

Backup and Aperture

Hmm, Backing up and archiving is a tough job and it's been suggested by Fat Al that I only ever have one live copy of my data on my local drive. Well that would be fine IF I felt that the internal drive would be able to cope with all the live data.
The new version of Aperture allows for "Live" data (my photos) to be stored anywhere and will allow high quality previews to be transported with a laptop. This is known as "Referenced Storage". The old way Aperture used was to have all of the images in a proprietory data file called the Aperture Library and this is quite different from the iPhoto directory structure way of storing images.

I currently manually backup my Documents Folder to a network drive which is where I've been storing copies (backup) of all my photos. I have started to Archive off some of the Photos onto CD and DVD as I'm trying to slim down the amount of images I have within Aperture.
As you may imagine MOST of the photos are essentially future rejects which I have not got around to rejecting yet. I think I'll archive these reject to CD just so I don't feel like I'm throwing anything away.

I've still to look at a backup solution but just have not had the time.

The difficulty with having live data ONLY on my local drive is defining what is live data. I really couldn't fit all of my data onto the 120GB drive I have with all the applications and system stuff so choosing a relevant subset is what's needed and that's the problem. Also settling on a set of applications is a problem too, clearly I have to many applications and some I've not used for 6 months but always avoid removing them just in case I need that little bit of functionality tomorrow.

Friday, September 29, 2006


There's been a great deal of sadness today, so I thought I'd just mention it.

Classic ....

Earlier this week the office was robbed of some of the network equipment which put half the office out of action. Being a telecoms company, the missing kit was quickly replaced and all were back up and working within the day.

2 days later the robbers came back and took all the replacement kit and more. The whole site was off line no one could log in to their computer.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Shoes

Workflow with Automator


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I can't wait...

for the new version of Aperture to be available for download later this week.
It looks like a really big update. Version 1.5.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Liverpool Story Unfinished

WARNING - Allow enough time to read this OR to get bored by it. Alternatively you can skip to the end for a brief synopsis.

As some of you will have seen on Wendy's blog we went to Liverpool last weekend to visit my Auntie Phyllis as my Uncle Frank had died some months ago and she has some interesting family history stuff that Frank had been collecting over recent years.

The journey to Liverpool was uneventful so I won't bore you all with it, save to say, the Hilton motorway stop did not live up to it's Hilton name!!

We'd booked into the Adelphi Hotel as we'd seen the series about it on TV and the web site pics made the interior look prety good.

When you're greeted, as we were, by the doorman saying "Welcome to Fawlty Towers" in a joyful Liverpudlian accent, perhaps you should check out immediately and find alternative accommodation.

Our initial impression of the hotel was pretty good due to the reception area being quite grand with the reception desk to the left and carpeted steps directly in front of you leading up to the Lounge which is furnished with various styles of leather arm chairs and sofas. We arrived at about 11:30am so we tried to check in but were told that earliest check in would be 2:30pm. That was OK as we were all a little tired from the journey and all wanted a drink. David and I went to put the car in the garage while Wendy and Margaret went off to find the bar and order some drinks.

Car parked, luggage stored and drinks now available we settled down for a little relax in the lounge. By the time we'd had our drinks we all decided to have some lunch and so ordered an afternoon tea for four from the menu. This turned out to be much more food than expected, thick filled sandwiches of Ham or Cheese a pot of tea and then a cream cake & a scone and jam with more cream!

Here is the hotel front


I'm not sure why I'm standing like that. I think I've been caught mid pose prep or maybe too much cream cake.
After a little bit of a look around we decided to go off the the Ferry Across The Mersey. Thats the one I got my head stuck in the railing of when I was young.
Here are a few pics of our journey

The Liver Building with the famous Liver Bird on top
I saw a post card for sale just like this shot. That's why it's on an angle


Wendy on the ferry
They're playing that Ferry Cross the Mersey Song too...


They have life belts on the Ferry just in case.

The view from the Ferry

Having been out on Sunday our room had been serviced as you'd expect it to be. However the standard of service really lived down to the quality of the Adelphi. Here is a picture of our freshly serviced bed.

It looks like its been slept in and just the covers pulled up. I think that is what actually happened!
Still it is Sunday and I'm feeling relaxed

------------ Synopsis -----------------
Family history trip to Liverpool
Set off Friday 6:15pm
Travelled to Paul's to drop off Jarvis
Arrived at 8:30pm
Travelled to Margaret and David
Arrived at 10:30pm
Had tea and wend to bed
Left for Liverpool at 7:30am in Davids car
Arrived at Adelphi hotel at 11:30am
Had MASSIVE afternoon tea (unexpectedly large amount of food)
Choice of Hotel restaurants. French Style, Carvery Style.
I wanted the french style food, others wanted to eat in the carvery. We couldn't agree so went out.
Found reasonable place to eat, dinner and drinks for 4 = £85
Arrived for breakfast at 9:15am
Self service buffet breakfast
Scrambled eggs tasted like eggs but I am really not sure what they were
Complained about Eggs to Polish Waiter - He went to kitchen, we didn't see him again!
Made our way to Auntie Phyllis' house
Met Phyllis and Vera (my cousin)
Had cup of tea, spoke about old times
Saw an old photo hanging on the wall of my mum as a child, "me nin" (grandmother) and grandfather and some others. I've been promised a copy...
Went out to lunch and had a good chat about the family as it was in Liverpool. (some skeletons there I can tell you...)
Went to see My Auntie Agies house (not there, even the street is gone)
Got a pic of the old railway sidings I used to watch the steam trains shunt about in
Saw the Church my cousin married in. It's really run down and looks derelict although I am informed it's still in good use.
Went for afternoon tea at the Adelphi as my Auntie Phyllis mentioned she could not afford to go past the front door
Eventually got tea and cream cakes on room service delivered to the lounge. Everyone enjoyed that.
Took Phyllis home, then took Vera home and stayed for a cup of tea. A lot of tea is had in Liverpool! Milk in first though.
More skeletons let out...
Back to the hotel
We'd already eaten too much so decided to slum it in the local McDonalds. Cold chips, cold vegetable crappy roll thing, diet coke. Not enjoyed at all, please don't let me eat there again. EVER!!!
Back to the hotel and off to bed
Seems a shame the weekend has gone so quick
Travel home with a detour across the Peak District
Stopped for a couple of photos but not much good. I'll be editing them for ever...
Traffic jams all the way
Pick up the car and travel to Pauls to get Jarvis
Travel Home

Pheew! What a day, What a weekend....


Monday, September 25, 2006

Networks (or not)

Someone came into our office over the weekend and stole all the kit from the coms room. Monday morning we have NO network connectivity at all so I don't have access to email of my calendar where I store all my work appointment details. things like where my meetings are and phone numbers for conference calls.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fingest View corrected



Friday, September 15, 2006

View from Fingest wood

Thanks for the comments, Al and Dan. Yes it does need a little rotate clockwise. I'll do that and replace this pic.
The image has been post processed in Photoshop. I have combined 2 images the forground is one third stop lighter than the sky.

Basically, take two of my bracketed shots (std and 1 3rd over) create two layers and then use the erase brush to wipe away the over exposed sky to reveal what you see here.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

Be Nice...

Nuf said...


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our Honest Society

Over the weekend I had to empty out the book of the Punto and came across the long since forgotten metal camera case I'd picked up the Southwick.
On Monday evening I emptied it out (it was in the way), kept the small tripod and old flash gun and then thought, hhmmm what shal I do with this case. I ended up just putting it outside the front door in the hope that someone would take it.

I had three people tell me I'd left it out side and that they were worried it'd go missing. I told one of them that I wanted someone to take it and asked if he wanted it. He asked if there was anything inside it and when I said no he just turned and went.

Makes me wonder what I could leave outside without it being stolen.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Food interest

Yesterday evening saw our first taste of Caviar. Ellika cooked us a Swedish meal although I'm not sure we were able to get all of the traditional ingredients from the local Sainsbuy's.

The food was not what us English blokes are used to (there were no chips!).
Starter: Toasted bread with a medley of fish (including Caviar)
Main Course: Smoked Salmon with a sweet mustard sauce, Tomato and pine nuts with balsamic vinegar and Potato cubes in a creamy sauce.
Sweet: Swedish Glacé Ice Cream with chocolate sauce and luxury wafers.

Ellika tells me that the Creamy Sauce was not as expected due to the Rice Milk not being right.

It was all very nice and everyone went back for more.


Dogs and Open Doors

We stayed at Ben's house last night and as usual we slept in the lounge of an inflatable mattress. Wendy like "a bit of fresh air" so the patio doors are opened as wide as they'll go. Of course we have Jarvis with us and he's sleeping next to the open door. Well, I say sleeping but what he was actually doing was keeping guard and watching out for anything that moved in the night.

After about one and a half hours I got a bit fed up with the constant noise of the dog moving around then running to the end of the garden then coming back then barking then running to the end of the garden then.... Well you get the idea.

The patio door closed I managed to get off to sleep.

In the morning I enquired, as one does, if Wendy had had a good nights sleep. Yes fine she said.
Did you hear the Jarvis barking? I asked. No not at all.
Some people have all the luck b ut I'm not sure how someone can just "Tune Out" a barking dog while you're trying to go to sleep.

All well this morning though. It's a bright, if a little chilly, day and Wendy's going to cook lunch for us while Ben and I do a little DIY on the curtain rail which I am dreading. As you'll know, me and DIY don't really mix so I'm praying that the super glue worked.


Super Glue

Is there anything that Super Glue can't fix?

Ben needs to make sure his curtain rail stay fixed to the wall when the curtains are hanging on it. Trouble is that most of the plastic fixings are broken. We've tried to Super Glue it back on because we couldn't find the right type of fixings to replace the broken ones. This morning we'll see if it works...

Stay tuned for more curtain dramas later.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Twins

We had a bit of a false alarm yesterday. The twins were nearly delivered but mum wasn't ready...

We'll need to induce them today by going to High Wycombe and extracting them from City Link.

With the knowledge that I can now have wired ethernet upstairs I can now put the twins in the spare bedroom with the printers. Great!


Network Goodness

I've got 2 Apple Airport Express units so that I can wirelessly connect to my ADSL line which is downstairs AND have the ability to print to me USB printer upstairs.
I also have a Ethernet Laser Printer which is currently plugged into the ADSL router and all works fine.

I've just tried plugging it into the 2nd A.E. and what do ya know. It bloomin' well works!!! I'd been told by the muppets on the front desk at Solutions in Brighton that this would not work. "The Airport Express isn't designed to extend your wired network..."

Now I can get that laser up stairs with the other printer :)


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Special Day

While clearing out some old papers I came across the invoice for my very first iPod.

Bought on 22nd November 2001 from Cancom Web Sales
Description - 1 Apple iPod 5Gb MP3 Player (Firewire) Mac
Total Price - £351.33

I still have it and it still works!

I post some pics later


Monday, September 04, 2006

Maximum File Size

I've been reading more about the disk drives I just bought and find that they come formatted in FAT32 which means that the maximum file size is 4GB.
No I know this sounds silly but I started thinking 4GB, thats far too small and thinking that I should cancel my order with ebuyer.

On considering that for a few minutes, I actually don't have ANY files that big so shouldn't be a problem unless my backup software creates 4GB+ file sizes.

I could of course reformat in HFS or HFS+ either of which would remove the file size limit.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Backup the Backup....

After some serious thought and some very serious consideration of the bank balance, I've taken the plunge and purchased two back up drives.

LaCie have a good name and looked good value compared with others in the same range. These babies are NAS type disks with 10/100 ethernet and USB2 ports so can be on the network or directly connected.

My intention is to run some sort of backup routine to Drive 1 for both client machines and then back up Drive 1 to drive 2 so that if any drive breaks I'll still have a copy.

Al says retrospect Pro is the software to have so I'm going to investigate that to see what it does.

The twins are due on Wednesday this week I'll post more news after they arrive.


Remote Control

As you'll know I recently bought a new Mac Book Pro. This came with the usual applications and stuff with a strange addition of a Remote Control.
I've been wondering why I'd need a remote control with a portable computer. Lets face it, the portable computer is designed to be close to you so why the remote?

Well, today I found a use for it. For some time now I've enjoyed the occasional long soak in a hot bath while listening to a "Bathroom Tunes" playlist but I've not done this since I bought the MacBook. While switching over computers I'd lost the playlists so didn't have my favourite Bathroom tunes avaialble.

Like a light bulb going on I suddenly found a use for the remote. I can now lay in the bath and flick through the tunes at will. Oh Joy!