Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

31 Dec 2019


I have lots of cameras, but in practice only three are regularly used, the rest are now just collected.

I have a Canon SLR, it's not the bottom of the range, but it's hardly professional and it is now two generations out, so it's not got the fastest CPU anymore, but it still has a pretty good sensor, and with my 60 mm 1:1 macro I can take some pretty good pictures with it. It doesn't go everywhere, as it's a bit big, but it still gets used quite a lot.

My next camera is a Motorola smart phone. Optically it's a joke, but it does geo-tag the pictures, integrates well with things, and as I have my phone with me all the time, I always have it. I've used it more in the last 12 months just because I have it with me, than would have otherwise.

Finally I have a Canon compact camera. It's small and beautifully formed and for the best part of the last five and half years I've had it with me. Optically it's massively superior to my smartphone, but no way near as good as my SLR. It is however a lot smaller than my SLR, and though thicker than my phone, otherwise smaller than it and ergonomically a lot better too.

For a while I had been thinking of getting a new Canon compact, the current generation have a larger sensor, faster and better CPU, and the optical range of the lens is a little bit bigger. I have hesitated because they are not cheap, and there was nothing wrong with my existing Canon - plus I've been using the smart phone more and more. Over the weekend my hand has been forced as my Canon compact has died with a lens fault. I did some Googling and if it's not dirt/grit in the mechanism (which you can blow/tap out), then it's probably a shorted ribbon cable, which there are videos explaining how to replace. The problem is that the videos are now a few years old and the replacement lens and sensor assemblies are not widely available anymore...

I've looked at the cameras on offer and while there is a very nice Sony, it's too much money, and the Panasonic looks okay, but I've used my mother-in-law's and didn't like the ergonomics, so I think it's going to be a Canon G7X Mk III, which is at least £100 cheaper here in France from a high street retailer than the best Internet supplier in the UK.

16 Dec 2019

Artificial Christmas Trees

We have an artificial Christmas tree, it's nearly 20 years old and still looking perfectly fine. It has past it's ninth birthday, so now has a lower carbon foot print that a real tree which is killed and disposed of each year.

I don't dislike real trees, but I always feel that most cut real trees, like cut flowers, seems such a waste, as they just die. I suppose a small enough tree with it's roots can survive in doors for a while if it's properly cared for, though I suspect that central heating still kills most of them.

08 Dec 2019

Bike ride with Bernard Hinault

This morning I went for a bike ride with Bernard Hinault. When I say I, I mean there was a charity ride from his son's bike shop, and we went along. There were three groups: a 70 km group that left at 9 am; a 35 km group that left at 9:30 and a large group of walkers. We went in the 35 km group, which to be honest was a bit of a stretch, it was way to slow for a good third or more of the pack, and way to fast for a handful of stragglers at the rear. As we returned to town, the 70 km pack whizzed past at great speed, so we switched group and arrived with the the serious cyclists, including Mr Hinault.

My bike computer said we did 36.34 km in 1:40:18, but there were frequent stops to let people catch up, which at this time of year can be a bit chilly, and I hardly broke out a sweat - which given my lack of cycling this autumn shows, how slow we went. It would have been fairer to split the 35 km ride into two parts, one for the really slow and then let the faster stretch their legs a bit more, but with only so many motorbike chaperones, it was probably the best they could do.

I think they said they raised over €1 000 for charity, which is good, and the weather held out, so everyone had a good day.

01 Dec 2019

Font culling

Over the past few days of tinkering with fonts I've realised that I have far more fonts than I need. It probably isn't impacting the performance of my computer, however it does make the font menu unwieldy to use. In practical terms I use one or two mono-spaced fonts of command line usage and programming, one sans-serif font in any written document, and a handful of other type faces for effect only. I also use another sans-serif font for my GUI.

I can't uninstall plenty of font families, because a package that I'm using depends on it, even though I'm not using the "default" font that that package wants. For example I don't need Vera and DejaVu, which are essentially the same. I've nothing against non Latin languages but I can't read them, so don't need them and while I can unload most of them, I can't get rid of them all. Thankfully KDE allows me to deactivate fonts, so I've turned all the ones I can't uninstall off!