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     The silly camera collection  

The DSLR, its Sacred Mirror, & the Baryta Paper[8]

I needed yet another snooty hobby for my golden years, and what could be better than taking arty pictures, printing[11] on expen$ive “baryta” paper,[8] and bludgeoning friends and relatives into breathless admiration — all with an exquisite DSLR camera with its ever-so-svelte and completely pointless SLR mirror?!?!!? ... I’ve already beaten-up on my poor mirrorless Kodak “zoomer” point ’n’ shoot with its three-minute battery life, apparently a universal feature of modern enthusiast LCD cameras ... and my DSLR definition expounds relentlessly on the absolute wondrous utter utility of a little mechanical mirror-based viewfinder in a computery gadget where an EVF is obviously superior.

... But the murmuring years were too much even for the poor bumbling boomer geezer foto fans, + they’re dying off, and there’re sad indications that the mirror-flipping DSLR’s days of faith may be numbered. ... So I figured I’d get one while they’re still going, and bought a beautiful <$200 used gadget (at used-camera-central amazon) of 2008 vintage — perhaps the zenith of the mirror-flipping cult, before the dark mirrorless heresies rose from the swamp in the foetid night and stalked the land. ... Also the day of the dawn of the battery-annihilating LCD live view, which my precious DSLR implements but, blessedly, doesn’t encourage, and a definite forerunner of the end times as the cowering antique technology was forced to compete with the swarming point ’n’ shoots surrounding it, which are disappearing in their turn in our sad camera-phoning latter days. ... There are still camera departments in Walmarts et al, but often sadly tattered / understocked, soon to be obliterated without recall — like the pitiful home organs still puffed even today on the odd music store sign, without a remaining trace of physical incarnation....

But a true flipping-mirror adept in those golden days of yore would’ve spent at least $500 for such a kiddie-wheels “starter” DSLR, which has degenerated to today’s pitiful $400 for the Canon 18 megapixel T5 / 1100D (with “kit” lens @ Amazon), which at least one web puff derides as a super how-low-can-they-go entry-level spit spit crummy cheapo camera — it’s fun to see the parasites assault their food source as it so-poignantly contracts.[12] ... My <$200 used artifact with its measly 12mp was significantly cheaper than my $280 (!) Kodak zoomer, which is of the same vintage and megapixels, although I foolishly got the Kodak new.

... And then I learned the utterly most up-to-date “flagship” Canon EOS-1D X DSLR (p 42 PhotoPlus 12/15), a mere $4,600 (body only @ Amazon), has only a minuscule 18 megapixels! ... My mouth is agape in stunned amazement! ... And, naturally, now I won’t feel so cheap ’n’ crummy....

The Ecstatic Hobbyist and His Toys

So when my antique DSLR turned-up, a life of aching hobbyist ecstasy could begin at once, at last. ... I could hardly wait to peer through that optical viewfinder and hear the mirror thump!

... But wait! — I did all that the first time, in the ’80s with a low-rent Vivitar SLR still lurking in the garage somewhere, and worth about $20 not counting sentiment ... or maybe even. ... We could call them ASLRs, for “Analog” Single Lens Reflex, but tragically the FLA is already taken, although I have seen the term “analog camera” used. ... But lamentably Seattle Filmworks is no more, so I bought some real film for my Vivitar from Fuji (@ amazon of course), with infinite pixels. ... And in the ever-spiraling rush to pretension, a few of today’s photographic super-adepts actually use chemical film cameras, develop prints or perhaps just negatives, digitally scan them, and are ecstatically proud of their incredibly subtle and expen$ive ćsthetic.

... And my beautiful DSLR came and was a lesson in packaging: the Amazon pre-owned Canon 450D / XSi, nothing; the usual expensive toy, lots. ... I would say about equally frustrating: in both cases I feel compelled to test a minimal set of features, but in the low-rent rendition there’s much less debris to fight through, although the fear-of-brokenness is obviously higher — so it about evens-out.

... And then, because it is so beautiful, and to make-up for its empty box syndrome — actually, there was a battery + charger — but I bought it some treats: AC power, extra batteries/charger, lens cap/filter kit — all of my preferred low-rent brandX flavor, which will doubtless provide the missing infuriation of the new product box. ... The ridiculous full-color “Your Canon 450D/Rebel XSi” books were also cheap used — the Dummies book was just 41˘ + $3 S&H! They aren’t as reliable as the Canon pdf manual, and certainly not as succinct, endlessly blathering on the Beautiful Wonders of Photography — albeit with lovely color pictures + strangely-esoteric suggestions about the millions of camera settings.

The REBEL XSi™

Thus at last have I so belatedly entered the age of the DSLR for a precious little while. ... And it is lovely. I can unscrew the lens and see the silly mirror, which is ravishing of course. ... But as everyone knows by now, the camera in your phone is almost as good if not better since it’s ridiculously more convenient/easier — hence my unlikely baryta aspirations,[11] a modern-day incarnation of the 35mm slide ritual torture practiced assiduously in ancient times by elderly tourists upon their innocent whimpering home-bound relatives. ... And finally, tragically, I must note that my Canon does not have the classy European “450D” designation but instead the embarrassing murican low-caste “Rebel XSi” sobriquet — which, naturally, I consider an adornment of its religious virtues. ... Although in Japan it was supposedly named “Kiss X2” which is even sillier....

The Case

Another hideous flaw in the fading fallen latter-day DSLR world: the ridiculously-expensive cute camera cases are AWOL! In the day, they were form-fittingish, leather-like or better. They just vanished. Instead there are lumpy clothish cases that are probably actually useful. ... No sense of tradition there. ... Well I see I lie; there are leather cases — but they’re not nearly as plentiful as they once were, vastly outnumbered by the lumpish flavor. They used to be a standard part of the fraudulent “kit” our beloved low-life camera vendors would try to stick the whimpering hobbyist with. The kit lives on, but not, poignantly, the leatherlike case....

But when I googled-enough, I found such a case for my antique DSLR, only $50! ... But I think I’ll stick with the cunning bubble-wrap bag I contrived for protective storage. The cute cases were always mostly annoying: I’d struggle to get the camera in/out of it to do something like change film, and they were always in the way while trying to actually photograph anything. ... The excuse was the amateur enthusiast needed the beautiful leather case to protect his sacred instrument in dangerous foreign lands, so he could take beautiful pictures for the sacred relative torture rites. ... Which brings us to ...

The Thieves

How could I forget!? Another major contributor to fancy camera bag extinction was theft! ... My goodness as in so many things I was ahead of the curve generations ago, switching to a cruddy canvas bag in preference to the tarty leather “steal me” thing — which I probably still have around somewhere, crammed with camera junk far more antique than the beloved DSLR. ... Well, actually, it was empty....

And it turned-out there were lots of steal-me form-fitting cases; just not leather. ... And after all, they are stupid; just like the beautiful mirror itself! ... I could get a $15 neoprene case and put it in my genuine leather camera bag ... like Eeyore. ... But the form-fitting leather cases of yore used to at least pretend you could take pictures without removing them, although they’d always thwart some essential movement so you couldn’t really, but the neoprene makes no such pretence and you have to remove it to do anything. So the bubble-wrap bag probably still is more functional, or at least easier to get off ... but not as cute! ... And then I discovered my adorable neoprene case also fits my zoomer ... at least as good as the bubble-wrap....

Batteries?

My beautiful Rebel XSi presumably shares the modern super-camera’s legendary LCD battery life — but only if I should pathologically set the beautiful LCD to always on (aka “Live View”). Of this edifying phenomena I lament in my zoomer obsequies, where I mention the “battery grip” accessory my beloved Kodak doesn’t have. ... But the treasured antique DSLR XSi does, and my preferred cheapo Neewer variety was only $30! ... Sadly, the result won’t fit the steal-me form-fitting case, but such are the sacrifices we make for art.

... But the battery grip is complicated! ... Who knew? ... I had to read the tiny translated-from-chinese pamphlet, which I regard as a tyrannical imposition on the freeform flipping-mirror fan. ... Some hints for the wandering aficionado:

  • The canon camera battery door comes off — which it must, to insert the grip — via its tiny spring-loaded hinges; and the battery door is then cunningly stored in the battery grip!

  • The trays for the grip are removed/installed via the little bar over the “open” legend molded in the plastic tray, and then turning the little handle that springs out....

And one of the two supplied trays is for AA batteries — so I’ll be able to revisit my Z990 NiMH recharging adventures! The second tray supports two standard Canon rechargeable batteries. ... Sadly, the DSLR does not attain added beauty with the battery lump, which is just another poignant testament to the legendary battery life of today’s enthusiast cameras. ... The lump, incidentally, is a kind-of sentimental “ghost” of the film camera motor drive, a super-pro accoutrement ideal of antique hobbyist aspirations....

Canon XSi Defaults to Battery-draining LCD Off

I must emphasize that unlike my infuriating zoomer, my beloved Canon DSLR does not default to battery-annihilating LCD halogen-bright illumination — I would have to stalk through the menus to enable its “live view” which I have no intention of doing, so conceivably the batteries’ll last weeks or even months! ... And indeed, even the zoomer’s been copacetic since I suppressed its LCD in favor of the EVF. ... If only these manuals could talk....

Video!?!?!

Again, my mouth is agape in stunned amazement: my precious relic DSLR is so ancient, it can’t take video! (although dubious web enthusiasts murmur of laptop-tethering thaumaturgies). ... My approximately contemporaneous zoomer does take video, so everything’s OK. Not to mention my broken A540. And a shelf of adorable obsolete flip movie cameras. ... And there’s always my phone; & my other antique silly cameras....

Viewfinder Obscura

The DSLR mechanism is so authentic that if you take a picture where light can sneak into the viewfinder — on a tripod, and/or using the battery-annihilating LCD “live” view — i.e., not obscuring the viewfinder with your eye by peering through it — it can screw-up the automatic exposure. So in such cases you’re supposed to stuff a plastic thing that came attached to the original camera strap over the viewfinder. ... My empty box didn’t come with a strap, much less a plastic thingey, and the idea is apparently so silly that none of the numerous aftermarket vendors offer a replacement. ... Given the astonishing battery life you have to peer through the viewfinder anyway, or use an AC adapter for the LCD “live” view. ... But, wait, I get it; the solemn cover-the-viewfinder warning/gadget was for the innocéntes, who bought their beautiful “enthusiast” Canon and, with considerable effort, always used it with the LCD “live view” — involving significant sacrifice, since it apparently doesn’t work in the EZ “basic” zones — and then were indignant that pictures came out bad! Aside from the battery draining in 3 minutes.

... Of course even without the battery-extinguishing live view, any tripod use will probably expose the viewfinder, and the foto fan might well rely on the apparently easily-upset automatic exposure — ah, the vicissitudes of the enthusiast’s sacred way, & yet another demonstration of the marvelous utility and ridiculous value of the DSLR flipping mirror camera. ... In the unlikely event the need should ever arise, I plan to contrive a viewfinder light-shield out of a spare XSi eyecup I have carefully secreted for the purpose, + the usual random shreds of cardboard. Although that would be annoying — as would the thing-on-the-strap for that matter — and maybe I’ll figure-out some easier more-informal mechanism. Just sticking-in a piece of appropriately-shaped cardboard looks like it would work pretty good; a piece of thicker stuff might work better, stuck into the rubber eye-relief cup....

Lenses?

And then I realized I might resurrect my real-SLR Vivitar 250/SL “M42” mount (?) lens herd with some kind of adapter thingey! Cheap! It might even work good, what with the crop factor, although apparently there’s many a slip twixt the lens and the lens mount. ... But imagine! My cheapo telephoto & “kit” hobbyist lenses of yore, attached to an antique Canon DSLR! ... Oh rapture. ... When I got around to checking things out, two of my antique lenses were actually wide-angle “add-on” atrocities for a beautiful Minolta super-8 movie camera still in the garage & not likely to be resurrected anytime soon (although apparently Kodak might try). And an adorable little box of closeup adapters was for it also. I believe I used both of these in my glorious cinéma vérité days.

... One of my Vivitar lenses turned-out to be some kind of lash-up with numerous elements stacked together and a note from myself describing how I used it to make a “blow-up” of my name in typewriter type for obscure primitive computery résumé purposes, before $100 scanners and wondrous paint programs. So I took it apart to liberate a pitiful f2.8 55mm “kit” lens, which’d be equivalent to the 3x optical zoom on the XSi kit f3.5-5.6 18-55mm lens. ... So that’s the 55mm, + a derelict wide-angle f2.8 thing on the Vivitar (what’d be wide no more with the Canon APS-C crop factor), another (wide-angle-no-more) f2.8 35mm, and a 200mm (crop-factored to 320mm!) with which in ancient times I was stunned to discover I couldn’t take telephoto pictures without a tripod. But apparently autofocus doesn’t work so great with long lenses or high fstops or something anyway, so that’s OK.

Prime?

And then in a pitiful fit of foto-fannery I bought a cheap but brand-new $55 prime brandx 50mm/f1.8 “portrait” lens @ Amazon. ... So I did get to change a lens, justifying the beauty & wonder of the DSLR — but only if you believe the occasional fraudulent claims that interchangable lenses require a DSLR. Sadly, the picture-taking experience was a lot like the zoom that came with the camera — flash, auto-focus and all, without the zoom of course. I had a vague feeling that perhaps it should’ve used less flash — because of the fabulous 1.8 f-stop? ... But then again, inspecting the pictures on the computer, perhaps there was a bit less flash? One of these subtle ćsthetic things which I am so crudely incapable of appreciating? ... A youtube review was predictably snooty, but with an amusing brit/chinese accent and surprisingly uncondemnatory.

... But it is just a scam, like the amazing DSLR itself; the pictures look different from the kit zoom only with a pure innocent faith, but I am faithless, and only scurrilously mock — and treasure a precious souvenir of my exciting adventure in lens lust — and I’m all set for a ridiculous macro-bellows reverse lens extravaganza in the beautiful imaginary days to come....

Sensor Cleaning

In the DSLR golden age (~2010) you were advised to take your precious device into the “shop” to get its sensor cleaned if blots showed-up on your baryta prints. Which’d happen after you foolishly changed your wonderful interchangeable lens in a mud storm or something. And you were warned you should never clean the sensor yourself, unless you were super-DIY-competent. ... With the beloved chemical film of another age, the “sensor” would be cleaned every time you rotated the film advance, although the SLR mirror could still get dirty in the proverbial mud storm, but in the astonishing digital age the film never changes and you’re stuck. ... On the other hand, the wretched beneath-contempt digital point ’n’ shoot cameras like my dubious/beloved A540 et al don’t have removable lenses and you can’t clean or dirty the sensor — or to put it another way, if it gets dirty you throw the camera away. But the glorious interchangeable lenses allow dirt to get into the camera, and when next the mirror flips, it can get on the sensor. ... Of course there are no camera stores anymore (well, few). In the past, manufacturers provided mail-away services and perhaps this is Canon’s, and there are 3rd parties; my first hit was $60 — the Canon site, as far as I got, was priceless.

... But in our new age it turns-out it’s perfectly safe to clean your own sensor, and to do it you can buykits” and gadgets at any price you desire. ... I of course bought some cheap junk for my beloved DSLR, and will keep it with the other sacred objects. ... And now Brit mag Digital Photo explains in their 10/16 issue on page 155 that “regularly cleaning your camera’s sensor” is a great idea, as they fulsomely puff a sensor-cleaning product advertiser....

The Subtle Beauty of the Invisible Infrared

A particularly charming icon of the beautiful DSLR’s whim & whimsy is the infrared filter which, to the naked eye, appears totally opaque — because, of course, we can’t see infrared light. But the camera can, maybe, a little, but, to be sure, must be exposed for minutes and minutes on a tripod of course to see anything and then one has to fiddle with the image in your Photoshop magical abattoir to get any kind of picture. Of course you could just skip the infrared step and go straight from any picture to the abattoir — the pictures look like weird-color effects easily achieved even with PSPX, and indeed some squalid photo mag had a free free photoshop magical infrared plugin that did just that. ... The propaganda tripe on the web mostly observes omerta on actual exposure times, but this fellow tells how he did it with his very own 450d in ancient days practically beyond recall, and suggests mere 15-second exposures. And also mentions his previous camera, the beautiful Canon S2! ... So my cheapo infrared filter was a mere $12![4]

Cheapness

And now I will joyously celebrate the internet/Amazon epoch of cheap camera junk. ... One merchant “Neewer” stands out for the weird name and most inspiring bits of debris. ... A photoflash wireless gadget — so you can set off your Neewer flash over in the corner from the “hot shoe” of your beloved silly DLSR — for $20!?!? ... <geezer accent> I can tell you sonny it warn’t like that back in the day nosiree. Why, “$20” — it’d just get you snickered-at at Willoughby’s; guys’d likely roll in the aisles. </geezer accent> And that was when $20 was worth something! ... I should note that my beloved XSi 450D Canon DSLR was apparently quite popular, which is probably why cheap accessories for it are so plentiful.

The way this entrancing odyssey goes is I will read about some astounding photo accessory in an enthusiast magazine with a “round-up” review of so many possibilities usually starting at $199.95, or there’s also the odd gushing DSLR book, and then I go buy the cheap-junk Neewer equivalent @ amazon. ... The flash guns for instance can be got in endless proprietary/customized models that’ll work automagically with your very own DSLR but poking around the web it seems all the in-the-know savants use their external flash in manual mode anyway. And the $35 Neewer flash (manual & 2 slave modes) is the highest priced accessory my beloved empty-box-syndrome DSLR has gathered around itself yet! ... Well, until I splurged on a lens....

And no, the point is not to be cheap — not that there’s anything wrong with that — no, the point is to amuse ourselves with minimal penalty. ... An amazon commenter complained his Neewer trigger receiver failed after a few weeks; but he apparently knew how these things were supposed to work, actually used it, and used this one because it was cheap. And got his money back too, because it’s Amazon. Which is the way I like it too, and I have little clue of how it’s supposed to work, and would really object to finding-out with some expen$ive gadget like the ~≥$100 “Pocketwizard” brand — I had to google a bit to even find a non-cheap product!

The magazine puffs/articles are typically sterilized of any useful information — the better to gull you into buying stuff, their prime directive; they’re paid to mystify the pitiful fan and make him buy more stuff! It’s the innermost secret of the cult! ... Although the camera manuals & enthusiast books sometimes let a little slip through. ... So these are truly marvelous times for the irresponsible hobbyist....

And then a foto mag mentioned a collapsible reflector for $30, what I got at amazon for $12, and I finally discovered the real distinction between the tough professional versus the pitiful foto fan amateur such as myself: the pro is able to collapse the collapsible reflector back into its case without hurting itself! ... I can’t; not with ease anyway. Of course when I take it out it’ll try to snap at me. ... This is real pro-level stuff....

The Lens Pouch!

Lens cases used to be so expensive, and the rip-off lenses would come without, but now $17.99 bought me an assortment (@ amazon prime of course) of adorable foam pouches which’ll probably work better. And which I stuck in my official antique steal-me leather camera thing, with the neoprene camera case.

The Macro Bellows!

It’s all so beautiful; you stick it on your camera and then you can focus your macro ever-so-carefully to extract beautiful significant beauty from some bug or flower. ... And then there’s the reversing ring, what you can stick one of your lenses on backwards which will produce wondrous macro effects without duct tape.

Meaninglessness

I note with deep sorrow that “XSi” apparently doesn’t mean anything, nor does the previous model’s “XTi”. I consider this at least a shocking violation of the lower-case “i” “internet” significance, as in ipod, imac (1998!), iphone, etc....

One More Thing ...

It’s true it’s new — actually it’s pitifully ancient: I can see through my DSLR viewfinder even when the Rebel XSi is turned off! ... Oh the wonder the transformative ecstasy! I can even adjust the lens, and the focus. ... Can’t take pictures[1] — unlike a real SLR (after you wind the film / shutter, probably). And I can also see through the power-off optical viewfinder of my tiny antique broken Canon PowerShot A540 and many of its little friends....

Shameless plug: Dpreview.com

I must recommend this camera-fanatic web resource; it is endlessly-amusing, for cameras almost as good as my beloved SOS magazine for ridiculou$ audio junk. Dpreview googles-up whenever I search for some silly topic like “450D video”. ... Like all such resources in our wicked mortal world, never is heard a discouraging word — but they do have lots of ’em. ... In my onrushing golden years, I find a perverse kind of pleasure in reading their relentless puffery even as the promoted cameras’ prices rise to the stratosphere. And the commenters are so harsh — they even comment about how harsh they are. That’s probably something to do with the years of high-minded retailing....

Their best feature was “Throwback Thursday”, but it’s been doing poorly recently (11/17), skipping weeks and then the last rendition @ 10/19/17 puffed a 3-year old camera! Which still cost a mint! I suspect they realized the feature blew the gaffe a bit too much — which it certainly did for me, at least a number of my silly cameras were acquired for small sums after a Throwback meditation. But I can still see ’em all @ https://www.dpreview.com/tag/throwback-thursday....

— the ćsthete-nevertheless programmer
11/17

silly cameras      and more....

What is Raw?

At their most sophisticated settings the very finest digital cameras (and some of the lesser breeds outside the law) can take raw pictures, a term of art expressing a savage close-to-the-metal realness, hordes of all but overwhelming screaming pixels.

But when the world was young & gay, the pictures my crummy casio cameras took were tiny and I’d get hold of them in (≤half-meg) TIF files, a standardized “non-lossy” graphics format which still litters my hard drives. Then of course the pictures got bigger and huge and the foto fans’ computers didn’t, so the JPEG was born and the foto fans were at peace, or at least pacified.

JPGs compress so well because they’re lossy, so if I want to edit my pictures in a paint program I’m stuffed, since every time I save a JPG image it degrades, because of the lossy compression, so you shouldn’t do that. I set the read-only attribute (in windows of course) on all my jpg files, but some heroic programs’ll just ignore that (including the usually-blameless irfanview). ... So the fancy cameras, in my case my beloved DSLR and even the sometimes-unloved zoomer, have an alternate/additional/huge “raw” capability, where the term is supposed to sound sexier than “un-lossy proprietary format”. The proprietary part didn’t go so good, and nobody’s screwed the customers for raw support in a while. ... No, they’re just left dangling in the wind — well, Kodak did that, with their repulsive useless “share” junk....

Raw Software

But Canon’s free “Digital Photo Professional”[6] works OK with my XSi’s raw CR2 files. PSP X8 can open both my Kodak KDC and Canon CR2 raw files, with occasional minutes furiously running the desktop’s fan. ... Included with PSP X8 Ultimate was “AfterShot” version 2 which seems considerably less pathological, but won’t open my precious ridiculous Kodak Z990’s KDC files — or even Adobe’s DNG things! Aftershot 3 is similarly afflicted. ... A PC Magazine review explains PSPX’s “Raw Lab” is supposed to look like the equivalent photoshop window; of course. Although really more like the limited Elements raw thing[9]....

The free FOSSRawtherapee” also opens both Canon CR2 and my ridiculous Kodak KDC files, although its typical FOSS documentation is elusive if not actively malevolent. Sadly, Rawtherapee had the magic-file crashing syndrome on one of my PC herd — an unknown offending file in one of my vast picture directories confounds it, but so far it hasn’t crashed in directories with a few raw & jpg files, although various other bugs and annoyances appear. But the price is right ($0), and the adjustments are obviously more splendiferous and varied — although I did have some problems selecting the right lens correction — it doesn’t find it automagically like other suspects, even ’though the camera/lens name are part of the raw & jpg “metadata”. ... And apparently Rawtherapee’re such photo software fanatics I had considerable trouble donating.

... Presumably there are other possibilities — including my beloved & free irfanview which at least pretends to view CR2s — thumbnails only I suppose. And let’s not forget the Olympus viewer....

Why?

apx. megabytes? (12mp) raw jpg dng
canon 450d/XSi CR2: 15.3 3.9 13.2
kodak z990 KDC: 22.7 4.3 13.8

So what do we want to do with these precious giant raw files in our ridiculously complicated and slow raw programs? ... Why, we want to edit them! We will make the colors glisten, the details glint. And we want to do it in the raw format because. ... Well, actually, I’m not real clear on why we want to edit raw files. I can just “save-as” the JPG file from the camera’s SD card in the non-lossy proprietary format of my beloved paint program, and then adjust the resulting gigantic file out the kazoo without image degradation — other than intentional.

... But the raw file will have so much more image information in it; that’s why we pay the big bucks for the raw-capable camera, see? ... A few minutes of googling raw vs jpeg produced supposedly “bad” jpegs which looked like something that could easily be fixed in a paint program, which is exactly what some of the savants advocate doing with the raw image. ... That, + a good deal of enthusiastic hand-waving. And under-dressed women in the images. ... Similarly, “how to process raw images the right way” using the sacred eternal-slavery Photoshop™ somehow never gets around to the legendary raw image features. ... But my simpleton outlook must be showing....

Well I did do something useful with a Canon CR2 image in the Aftershot 2 program what came with my PSPX: when I checked “Enable vignette correction” the edges of the image brightened noticeably. Not that I had noticed before. Kuel! ... Of course in PSP X8 (and presumably elsewhere) there’s “adjust / lens correction / vignette” thing that has the same effect on lower-rent images....

& .DNG?

In my rush to snootery, I’ve overlooked an entire raw format! ... “DNG” is supposed to mean something like “Digital NeGative” and is apparently some kind of Adobe super-TIFF lossless thing what bubbled-up years ago, supported by numerous programs probably and a free Adobe converter, which is in itself suspicious coming from the eternal slavery folks. The program converts CR2 & KDC files to DNG, but it still takes forever to read the DNG file, Aftershot doesn’t see ’em, and why bother. ... Well in the brit Digital Photo magazine (6/16 p32) it’s pointed-out that “if your camera’s RAW files can’t be read by your software” the Adobe converter probably can convert them to DNGs your software will be able to read. By “your software” is presumably meant Photoshop version #6, the last non-slavery rendition. The rest of the “Get it right with RAW” article is the usual hodge-podge of pointless incitements....

Raw == Ugly?

Yes it does. They admit it! ... In the foto fan puffery, the occasional tip/trick relates how your raw files might look a little “flat” compared to the wonderful wildly-vivid jpegs, but that’s only so you can use your wonderful eternal-slavery photo editor to fix ’em. ... Because the camera manufacturers tart-up the camera’s jpegs — don’t want camera B’s pictures looking hotter than A’s! ... The magazine puffs actually review these effects, allowing as how some ridiculously-expen$ive camera’s jpgs have such vivid reds, or such delusional drivel — ’cause after all, we’re spending $Ks on these silly gadgets because of the flat raw and the wonderful slavery we can apply, to produce our own delusional hot effects....

Darkness

Poignantly, my older Canons take darker pictures — the A540s, the A610/50, i.e., in their “auto” modes. They knew it, too, ’cause the LCD “view” renditions are obviously tarted-up to look bright. But the histogram doesn’t lie. The 2011 modérne a1200’s pictures, however, are brighter and cheerier, perhaps light metering improvements, or mindless ćsthetic shift. (And be sure to check-out further conspiracy-minded conjecture.)

... But I will not despair; a moment in a paint program, and they are as bright as the sky! ... Or of course I could use my phone. Or exposure compensation, now that I’ve studied its ways....

And I was fooled when I took a picture with one of the beloved antiquities and the LCD showed it too bright — washed-out! But the actual image proved to be fine, at least by my pitiful amateur geezer standards, so a happy ending for all....

The Beauty & Wonder of Low Light

One day I went and set my beloved antique DSLR to the “extended” ISO of 1600 and took two pictures (i.e. in “P” program mode), and they weren’t ravishing magic suitable for framing in foto fan magazine hagiography — well actually nothing I take is ever like that — however they were usable pictures, and I deliberately made no effort to hold the camera steady or of course use a tripod.

... So then I moved on to my ridiculous Canon A650 which also has image stabilization and 1600 ISO! The combination of my naturally low standards and the adequate ~2008-quality images will provide me an endless new repertoire of pointless amusement. ... Well heck my battery-draining Z990 zoomer’s got 6400 ISO! ... Murk on! ... The DSLR’s high-ISO images were, predictably, the best, but the Z990’s and even the A650’s were usable — and I haven’t even begun to tinker! — for instance, the A650 was undoubtedly improved after I disabled the -1 stop exposure compensation I acidentally left on, which induced entirely too much murk. So now it’s just about equivalent to the sacred dslr.

... To be sure, they’re all kind of cruddy, but still much better than the “automatic” out-of-focus default — that is, they are focused more-or-less, but pointillist-level graininess to various objectionable degrees. ... The insider super-technical reason they aren’t blurry is that the high ISO makes for shorter exposures: my A650 picture of a dark bookshelf, for instance, was 1/10“ @ f2.8; a more normally-lit room came in at 1/60” @ f3.5.

The Ignorance of the Geeky Foto Fan

I will confess: I was certain the automatic camera shots, with the flash turned off, would force long shutter speeds and, therefore, blurry pictures. But not so — in my vast collection of silly cameras, not one answered to that description! I’m almost certain I remember this happening, and it may be one of those things that someday I’ll figure-out how to reproduce it — just when it will be most annoying no doubt — but in fact at least 3 or four of the herd, at worst, took too dark pictures. Which, with the magic of our beautiful paint programs, can easily be adjusted to acceptable brightness/contrast, and still look better then my high ISO renditions. ... So, although wrong wrong wrong, at least I’ve reintroduced myself to the wonderful world of available light photos, from which I was exiled in delusion & ignorance. ... Well, it was probably my iphone 5 I’m thinking of, which even with flash set to automatic is aesthetically inclined to fairly dark & blurry natural light, along with the granola and bizarre lifestyles of the rich & ridiculous. ... But actually many of the silly cameras exhibit this behavior, I suppose ’cause everybody got annoyed at those “deer-in-the-headlights” flash pictures....

But I’m still not buying the latest $10,000 camera until I can experience — before taking-out the mortage — superior pictures in dim light without a tripod — and I note that all the new ~$1K point ’n’ shoots still have built-in flash.

Movies?

Amongst the 35mm slides of my tattered history there are “home” movies, the early ones with a beautiful minolta xl-400 super8 which apparently used Kodak Ektachrome ISO (actually ASA) 160 — not so fast and there was no flash unless one trucked-around one of those giant AC lights, which I never did, but nevertheless movies taken indoors were often acceptable. Like the later videos, they gained in focus via the multiple frames, at least some of which would be in focus if only by accident, and if it wasn’t anything like cinemascope it didn’t look just silly. ... Well, fairly silly; I mean well qualified for the silly camera collection, but still not dark unfocused gunk — of which, to be sure, there was a plentiful supply also. ... As far as I can ascertain in careful tests, the resurrected Kodak Super 8 camera doesn’t include the ASA 160 flavor, but the more arty/stupid 50 ISO for supernova / nuclear fusion lighting. ... Although they’re coy about admitting it; that may explain the apparent hitch in the project, since someone might’ve discovered that only super-experts can use the 50 ASA film; ASA 12 with the indoor incandescent tungsten filter nobody got, and there are very few supernova / nuclear fusion indoors — oh wait they have a “high speed film” with an indoor tungsten 500 ASA — but it almost certainly won’t work with my old minolta and all the other antiques....

Available Light

... And I can remember “available light” photography — before wikipedia, in the distant 35mm past, in which I indeed lived, although there was always color film in my times but often too expensive / restrictive — right, because you had to take it in bright sunlight or with annoying flash bulbs or ridiculously expensive pro lights ... until the golden age of 400 ISO seattle filmworks. ... But artistic progressives would take arty dark b&w urban pictures, or rural ecological beauty, with just the light the Great Nullity gave us. The camera cults used to worship natural light. ... But no más — seemingly replaced by the cult of off-camera flash, which couldn’t have anything to do with the vast amounts of money the manufacturers make with proprietary super-automatic flash acce$$ories. ... So I went and bought some 400 Fuji 35mm film for my beloved antique SLR. And resurrected my vivitar flash....

Focus

The snootier digital cameras have clouds of focus points, miniscule electronic gadgets that make our pictures perfectly in focus, except if they don’t. The lower-rent cameras have no points, but automagically focus without saying why, although there is a skittery green box that occasionally wanders around the LCD/EFV of my zoomer....

But I took my wretched chemical slides for years without bothering much about focus. Like most people I’d leave the lens set to infinity[13] and chances are the picture’d be OK. Some lenses’d have foot/meter numbers on the side, and a helpful scale with fstops showing how much depth-of-field leeway you’d get, but I never used those, and of course I would look through the SLR viewfinder so if it was really out of focus I might notice. But most of my shelf of slides are, in the technical argot, focused-enough. ... Indeed, many point ’n’ shoot and phone cameras of that age were “self-focusing”, a term of haught scammery signifying fixed infinite focus aka no focus, living-on even today for cheap binoculars....

And I don’t think I’ve ever taken an out-of-focus picture with the automatic cameras, either! Or the iphone of course. ... Except when I left the DSLR manual focus switch on by accident. ... No, it is the vast digital-camera book / magazine / internet industry who are so anxious about focus, compassionately on our behalf.

Focus Points?

The foto industry is so concerned about focus that the cameras have developed hundreds of focus points in the usual mindless competitive struggle which, it should be made clear, has nothing to do with an in-focus picture. The normal way to focus something which isn’t obvious to the camera’s magic brain is something like centering the desired focus point in the viewfinder, press the button the sacred halfway down, then move the camera to frame the picture the way you want, and take it. I’ve never seen an explanation of why the 5 million focus points will improve this process, since it will inevitably involve fooling-around with buttons etc to select one of them, and what it means to select a group of them is beyond the ken of mortal foto fan — but what I know is it won’t make all of them in focus (unless they were already), not in this tawdry mortal physical universe. ... Unless of course you use the wondrous A-DEP mode, what my beloved DSLR’s got (i.e. a larger depth of field will focus better than a short one)....

The Sacred Halfway-Down Shutter

One of the central technical enchantments of the beloved digital cameras is pressing the shutter halfway-down: one is supposed to press the shutter just a bit to get it in a good mood (and focus), and then press it all the way to take the picture. ... My good old vivitar never put up with such nonsense, but probably the autofocus prehistoric film cameras invented it. The procedure smells like one of those ad-hoc don’t-have-enough-buttons/fake-it-in-software stupidities like the mouse double-click of such fabled renown — i.e., something 90% of the populace cannot execute properly and/or comprehend, and therefore a cornerstone of an exalted hermetic technology, so the smart insider geeks can snoot at the dopes....

Megapixel Madness

It bothered me that higher megapixel cameras did not seem to deliver commensurately bigger pictures — and they don’t: to get actually twice as big, you’d have to double both height & width, so a picture perceptibly twice as big as a 6 mp image’d be 24mp or so — four times the pixels! ... For twice as big as 12mp — 48!

... And actual pictures indeed show that. Which is of course the only reason I noticed, but it’s all really simple arithmetic, and a 12mp picture isn’t twice as big as a 6mp in my paint program on my “HD” 1920x1080 screen, although they’re both so huge they never actually fit on the monitor screen anyway, so I’m comparing comparably reduced renderings , usually 1/4 or smaller. Such esoteric topics are never discussed in official photo puffery because it’d make it all the more obvious how silly the escalating megapixels are.

And this fellow has strenuous gobbledygook explaining the “Airy Disc” vs. megapixels and why Apple’s super-snootiest iphone 6 had only eight of ’em! ... Which is, basically, if the pixels are too small, they’re no good — kind of Duh. ... He derides a Sony 20mp phone as having “16 MegaPixels and 4 MarketingPixels”. ... And now Apple evolves in the marketing pixel field with the 12-megapixel iphone 7 (here’s an ecstatic puff). ... But I’m sure all my silly camera pixels are big enough....

Changes?

Something else what isn’t what it used to be is the glorious interchangeable lenses that are “available” for every respectable SLR, DSLR, and whatever the rest of them are called, compact interchangeable mirrorless something whatever. ... Naturally “available” means “ridiculously expen$ive” and back in the days of chemical film, at least the colorful kind, it was a pretty-much mandatory way of getting hold of different-sized beautiful pictures.

Today, changeable lenses are quaint — although still ridiculously expensive to be sure. But the modern paint program + our monstrous megapixel images + a typical “kit” zoom like my beloved DSLR’s or the all-but-obligatory zoom on the point ’n’ shoots brings to the pitiful hobbyist almost all the capabilities the Ansel Adams adepts had with their camera bags o’ lenses & darkrooms of mystery & magic. ... Even I used to toil in a b&w weekly oubliette, striving after super high-contrast photos that’d show-up legibly in our low-rent rag. ... But the photography magazines’ super talented pro photo meisters’ exciting adventures continue nevertheless, with all kinds of lenses and intricate ideas about how marvelous they are. ... An increasingly-puffed term of high art is “prime”, which means a non-zoom lens, so rare and precious and obviously more expensive, since you gotta collect ’em all. ... But what is the point of all these ridiculous megapixels if you can’t extract anything you want from a picture in a decent crashing modern paint program!?!?

And I should mention the free autostitch software which, at least for still-life / landscapes, can replace the very widest wide-angle lenses. It’s very simple-minded software, but that’s the charm.[10] ... Although I’ve also got a meretricious “fisheye” adapter (<$30) that fits my beloved DSLR kit lens and the odd point ’n’ shoot....

Foreigners

And so I must make fun of the delightful British photo magazines. The US Popular Photography’s final issue was 4/17; there are a few others, but as is the case with the beloved electronic music magazines, foto fans across the pond are a decade or so behind the muricans, largely I imagine because the iphones et al cost twice as much due to the blessings of socialism. So there are two fat British shill magazines, Nikon’s NPhoto and Canon’s PhotoPlus. These are not like the beloved British masterpiece of puffery Sound on Sound — no, these are apparently wholly-owned subsidiaries of japanese companies but they are fat and happy and chock full of amazing creative things you can do with your beloved DSLR + a DVD with cloying videos of the same. And of course interviews with astonishingly successful photo meisters divulging their innermost tricks and magic.

... But I must say, reading these thick volumes I am amused by the beautiful color pictures, but appalled at the endless struggle which apparently is expected of the photographic hobbyist. No wonder everybody uses their phone. ... And then the 2/17 brit Digital Photo was its last issue! They didn’t even pretend to translate to the internet. ... Which, I realized, just means they assume anybody stupid-enough to buy these silly DSLR magazines must be technically illterate — I mean, they’re the people who can’t figure-out instagram. Of which of course I also know nothing but that’s only because I’m so subtle & high-minded. ... And I let my PhotoPlus sub lapse; I just couldn’t stand it anymore, and of course it’s not cheap in the USA — or even in the sceptred isle for that matter. Even if you don’t sign-up for their obviously fraudulent “club” scams....

... & Sadly, Beautiful Pictures Are Free

When any idiot can take pictures and distribute them with his phone, the price falls to zero. Of course the average picture is much uglier than it used to be — maybe? or maybe not ... but there are zillions of the things shooting up to the internet every minute.

It is the bounden duty of camera companies, photography magazines/books, and all the foto-fun advocates to persuade enthusiast and “professional” potential camera purchasers alike that this isn’t so. By lying. And the photographic lobby takes pitiful exception to the obvious general debacle, shouting “sports!”, “news!”, “ecology!”, even most pitiably “weddings!!” — but really, it’s all about the same. ... I’m not insisting no one can sell a picture now and then — but that it is a lot like being a professional lottery player....

The Antiquity Biz ... in Black & White

And that’s what the DSLR sunset and my parade of prematurely-antique cameras and disappearing viewfinders is all about. The end of the photo biz. Like the buggy-whip biz before it.

... But, really, let’s not be so harsh — it’s a conversion, into a kind of antiquity biz, a nuanced photograph technology art form in itself: the strange features, the ridiculous attitudes, the amazing falsehoods. ... There is actually a $7,950 (body only) 18mp 10760 M Leica mirrorless black & white only digital camera[2]. The aspiring photographer who wishes to take only black and white digital pictures will rush to acquire one of these — if Amazon isn’t out of stock. ... I have seen this marvel actually extolled in a camera magazine puff review....

The Paint Program

Finally, I will snootily admonish those who follow the digital camera path but foolishly neglect paint programs — you are sad pitiful people who will remain unhappy in the digital world of light & beauty. ... As noted in my paint program definition, there are more than a few freebies, and anyway you’re paying $100s if not $Ks for the camera. ... But sadly, even despite my vast technical savvy I wasn’t born knowing these things: it took me years with my beloved 1998 PaintShop Pro 5 before I figured-out the layers, much less the more advanced gobbledygook — and please inspect my stirring derision of popular paint programs old & new. ... And go ahead, see if I care — shovel those megapixels; get that b&w camera — you can’t do anything like that in software, can you!?!?!?![2]

— the imaginary enthusiast
8/17

more silly cameras      and more....


1. Pitifully the DSLR manual claims the shutter’ll still work: “Even while the camera is in storage [i.e., without a battery], press the shutter button a few times once in a while to check that the camera is still working” (“Handling Precautions / Camera Care” pdf p 12, 3rd graf from the bottom, Canon EOS 450D Instruction Manual). ... They also suggest we should “avoid storing the camera where there are corrosive chemicals such as a darkroom”. ... I’m not cruel-enough, and too lazy, to check more recent manuals for these poignant obsolete shreds of SLR wisdom....

2. When I got around to installing the “on1” freebie that came with my wretched PaintShop Pro X8, it had zillions of b&w “effects”, supposedly simulating every black & white film known to man and no-doubt many distant star systems. So does the newly-free Google “nik” assortment I installed, and many others I’m sure. Even my beloved antique DSLR has a “monochrome” setting, as do all my silly digital cameras! ... So I guess the $8K b&w digital Nikon is for the poor little rich guy who can’t make those computer thingeys go right, and I can feel so superior. ... And I should note that the Nikon 10760 price at amazon rose from $5,500 to $7,950 in just a few months — in which time the productbecame unavailable at other sites, to the dark frenzied anguish of the black & white infatuati.

... And this just in (5/17)! If $8,000 isn’t enough, you can get the $50,000!!! “Phase One 100MP black and white medium format IQ3 ’Achromatic’” you lucky photographers. ... Oh excuse me! That’s just the “back”; you have to spend additional trifling sums on an actual camera....

3. If I’d only waited patiently a little while, I could’ve gotten the beautiful 2007 Canon A650 used for a measly $135 @ 5/26/16 — the Amazon silly camera market is not without movement. Or varying amounts of wear, of course....

4. To get the Infrared effect in psp x8 + free google nik collection: psp x8 / edit / effects / plugins / nik collection / color effects pro 4 / infrared film / Method (drop down list). .... It’s magical! ... On1 Perfect Effects 9 that came with PSP X8 has only a single offering, in black & white (!): Presets / Film - B&W / Infrared. ... Well there’s also Hipster / Holga Infrared, also b&w. Shocking!

... But my grand S2 infrared adventure was not adequately amusing; my 450d/S2 infrared fellow explained how he just had to “look through” his S2 to see the infrared and I was so looking forward to that but no, it was still dark as the tomb. If I pointed the S2+58mm adapter+infrared filter directly at a high-intensity lamp, something’d show-up in the EVF, implying it’s not totally bogus, but when I went outdoors into the bright beautiful day, not a twitch to be seen. Which is approximately what happened with his 450D, so who knows? ... And after all, my junk and his finely-tuned apparatus are completely disjunct — the blank-450d / beautiful S2 image could be the result of a different frequency infrared filter or some such depressing nonsense.

... But then behold, an old gypsy woman @ dpreview — actually some guy answering a forum question — avowed that the 720nm flavor infrared filter was more visible, although, I infer, not as pure and decent as the 920nm that I randomly picked-up, which is apparently opaque in almost every camera in existence. ... So perhaps my S2 infrared adventure awaits me yet, since I of course immediately ordered a $14 Neewer cheapo rendition — and thus I will have two infrared filters, and earn the envious respect of the international photo-pretension community. ... And then to cinch my prestige, I bought a third 650nm filter. Due to my keen techie background I can’t remember which way the visible wavelengths/frequencies go, but with a chart from the internet I’m pretty sure the smaller red wavelengths are more visible, and no doubt 650nm is even more low-rent than the others — but it cost a dollar more! ... And when I finally got it from Shenzhen, GuangDong, it was indeed actually transparentit looks like the red side of a pair of red/green 3d glasses....

... But at last, my towering victory! A genuine 720nm infrared picture =>, hand-held to be sure with a few seconds exposure, but I could see the image in the S2 evf and thus the world is made anew. ... And see this page for why the silly trees are white.

... And behold <= the incredible beauty of tripod infrared — tampered-with via psp9’s 1-step picture fix....

5. My A650 Deoxit adventures were reprised with my “working” A540 which, after a week or two, complained with a “low battery” icon on its LCD. And then when I replaced the batteries temporarily, the A540 presented a dead-coin-battery forgot-the-date-time symptom. But both the new AAs I had installed originally and my new coin battery tested OK; of course. So I did the Deoxit with both batteries/containers, toothbrushing the door metal/plastic, and now it works perfectly. ... I’m not planning ritual deoxitifcation for every silly camera, however; I will demand complaints first. ... So far, the fault seems associated with disuse: the sad empty-on-the-shelf years. ... Too Big NiMHs: Various battery adventures included using NiMH AAs occasionally or continually, and despite supposedly being recommend by Canon, or so says dpreview in their A650 specification page, presumably reporting a Canon opinion, they didn’t fit good and were too tight, at least in the A540. I couldn’t find the slightly-larger rechargeable size problem documented anywhere — so only I know about it, and a few other random web wandering cranks — but unless the gadget is designed with this in mind, etc. ... But NiMH brands vary; the Amazon house brand I just tried seems to fit cozy, but OK.

6. Canon’s DPP (“Digital Photo Professional”!) program is available free somewhere, but only version three; when first I looked — the cla$$sier version 4 would only work with newer full-frame cla$$sier Canons. ... But a Canon suck-up magazine claimed version 4.4.30 works with cameras from “2008“ and indeed when I put my XSi serial number into the download screen, it downloaded OK. But apparently Canon’s been distracted by bright shiny things and the downloaded program dies with a “Fail to Expand Files” error; idiots on the web have idiotic solutions from safe mode to astral projection. ... Aka NFG. ... But then the weary milliseconds passed and the bright shiny things wandered away and I was able to download a working DPP 4.5.0 from hereabouts. There’re also a bunch of picture “style” programs there — which I fear.

... So anyway, in Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D (such a catchy title ... Christopher Grey, Focal Press) the author obviously couldn’t be bothered with the boring gee-whiz details of the gadget and makes sloppy mistakes — as do most of the silly enthusiast books — but he was apparently amused in the chapter on “The Software” and thus I learned how Canon’s Digital Photo Professional works — particularly that I was supposed to click the “edit” icon to do anything. ... But I’m slow that way; it took me years to notice in various versions of pspx that I was supposed to click the corresponding edit tab — and the PSPX tabs are much bigger, and there’re only three of ’em! ... So Canon’s DPP’s probably the “ur-Raw” processor, since Canon’s clearly been dominating this silly market from long ago, and the fellow explains you can recover an f-stop or so of over-exposure with your giant raw file, and you can’t do that with a jpeg — so there, your 15 megabyte CR2 file is good for something, or so he claims. But he concedes other DPP tricks and games can be done with a measly jpeg. ... He also details the wonders of the Canon “Picture Style Editor” and the glorious “EOS Utility”, both of which have astounding super-powers. ... Incidentally a helpful site explained that to get DPP (version 3) to open in a particular directory i.e. in a batch file, “dpp /path particular_directory” seems to do it. And thrillingly, “/file afilename” will fling the file into the edit window without stopping at the file manager. ... But they just seemed to upset DPP version 4....

7. The mysterious A650 power-failure message must’ve certainly been “Change the batteries”, even if I googled for the wrong thing, at least that’s what my beloved $16 A610 said to me just now while I was playing with a power supply — it would show the message and refuse to operate with the wall power until I removed the batteries. But with the tragic consequences before me I was rattled and of course what I was going to do was recharge some NiMHs, until I realized it was all just a deoxit crisis. ... I’m not going to bother going back and meticulously checking the message....

8. In my over-enthusiastic hypocrisy I didn’t even realize the ridiculous Baryta papers are tied-up with the oh-so-ćsthetic ’n’ astounding latter-day black & white cult! Even weirder than the DSLR cult itself. ... To be sure, enterprising merchants advocate Baryta for everything today especially color, but they are just opportunistic schismactics — originally, the stuff was actual light-sensitive enlarging paper with chemicals, which the finest ćsthetes of the golden era of b&w photography would worship in their hermetic darkrooms. ... Note the beautiful ad <= with the inkjet printer in the wizard’s antique darkroom — I got two of those timers shown in the left back of the ad....

9. At Thu 9/8/16 I opened a CR2 image in PSP X8 with the “raw lab” option unchecked (files / preferences / file format preferences / general tab / uncheck “Open Raw images...”), and it took 2’12’’. Then I checked the raw lab option and opened it again, and took only 1’33’’. Which was the opposite of previous experience, when of course I followed the opposite procedure. I assume these are artifacts of mysterious caching effects and so are essentially random. Aftershot version 2 appeared to open instantly; all the other suspects took a while although, for instance, Rawtherapee even more randomly. ... PSP X9 didn’t seem to make much difference.

... When I got calmed-down and let the machine sort-of sneak up on the photo — I stare at the “manage” screen a while and let the fan settle down — the delays seem to retreat to almost usable levels. ... But somehow Aftershot doesn’t delay ... as much, anyway. ... But the PSPX “raw lab” route doesn’t seem to offer much; the stuff available in the raw modal window appear to be variations on the stuff in the normal “adjust” menu, including lens correction, and who knows how they differ? Probably not Corel. But the regular “adjust” has lots more stuff. But supposedly level corrections at least are enhanced by the RAW image’s large tonal range which is for some reason inevitably compressed for the jpg....

10. To use one of the cute canon golden age cameras with the amazing autostitch, I thought the right way was to figure-out “Auto Exposure Lock” — but then, I couldn’t, at least with my beloved a1200 or a650. + I realized a failure I had with the a1200 at any rate was simply not waiting for the flash after I pressed the button. That is, to do an indoor panorama to document the contents of a room, which I find very useful or at least enchanting, I was whirling around, click click clicking, but I was doing it too fast; I was rushing the innocent thing, but when I just waited after I pressed the button for the flash to go, it seemed to work great!

... Autostitch is so simple-minded it scorns drag & drop, so I suppose figuring-out how to select the files could be challenging for the techno peasantry. ... And I should note that as supplied it produces a disappointingly tiny 2mp picture unless I change its settings — that’d be the giant gear on the main screen, “Output Size” panel, “Width” and “Height”. I set both to 4096 to get a gratifying 12mp result. ... Which, despite my derision in the megapixel definition, is occasionally desirable, in my case when I reproduced my ridiculous living room wall filled with mysterious junk to print and annoy friends, for which I took four vertical 5mp s2 FElocked flash pictures for the panorama, opened them in autostitch, and got a giant sideways picture which I then rotated 90° right to make it good — i.e. autostitch did not honor the orientation thingey in the jpg, like some programs do, but not my beloved 1998 psp. ... The result was the maximum 4096 pixels wide by 3148, but presumably in autostitch’s robot mind the 4096 was its height. But an experiment with just two of the s2 pictures produced 5481x4096 despite the specified 4096 width and height ... so I’m not real clear on what those things are exactly — but who’s counting? ... Anyway, I figure four 5mp pix are enough for a 12mp panorama, and so appears to be the case @ 100% magnification. ... As I’ve become so much older/wiser in the silly cameras’ ways, I’ve learned I want the pictures for the panorama to be smaller — that is, I use the camera’s esoteric controls to set a 2mp picture — it was the “function” button itself on the canon a1200! — ’cause even stuffed-together into a giant autostitch panorama, one takes so many pictures even two megapixels is probably overkill....

And I can use autostitch for portraits — not those boring things where everything stands still, but with at least the occasional delightful artistic aberration. And handheld! — the tripod is so boring. ... If I just make sure there’s enough detail in the photo — that is, not too handheld, and adequate flash — and the angle — i.e. from picture to picture — doesn’t vary too much, autostitch magically creates giant pictures with ease. Even when it goes crazy, the results could be good. ... And autostich understands “vertical” segments, i.e. I’ve taken a set of pictures of one section, pointing the camera down and up and I thought that worked too....

11. Any picture will look better on any computer screen compared to a comparably-sized printed version, with very rare exceptions. Aside from most LCDs having higher DPIs than the printers, they’re illuminated; they’re bound to look better. That’s why the photography cult/$cam is so bound-up with printing your beautiful photographs on big big BIG paper — measured in yards or meters, not inches — which of course require mucho megapixels so you gotta buy that ridiculously-expensive camera — see?

12. Sadly the marching days have obsoleted the T5 in its turn, and now the $450 T6 is the new cheapo canon standard ... and the T7 is not far behind — but wait! The T7’s not the cheap camera; could it be that Canon’ll give-up the “cheap” cameras, as it stumbles into oblivion? ... And the t6 has itself mutated into a range of superior products, at least the T6i & T6s, which got 24mp instead of the cheapo T6’s 18....

13. And then my Canadian astronomy magazine Skynews (p 38, 5/17) tells me “most modern lenses allow you to turn the focus ring beyond the infinity point marked on the lens”! ... Presumably so the auto-focus’ll work without banging, but it also pretty-much makes old-style autofocusing — setting the lens at infinity — verboten. ... So sad....




The Stereoscope (“Stereopticon”?): it’s Time Has Come!

I mean, really, we have the cameras, we have the printers, we have the software, ’n’ everything’s so cheap ’n’ EZ — so why is the world not exploding with new-age stereoscope pictures? ... I certainly can’t think of a reasonable excuse. ... So get to it, world! The delay is unforgivable....

... And it used to say here or somewhere that referring to this instrument as a “stereopticon” is “a common misnomer”. ... But the Great Wikipedia has changed its collective mind occasionally. ... But I will grovel and call it stereoscope — ’though it grates — apparently the “stereo” in “stereopticon” refers to two lenses used to dissolve one projected slide into the next, to no-doubt approving oohs and aahs from the entranced audience. Like powerpoint. And the same idea as the DJ’s two turntables, to avoid annoying delay at least....

Then again, in honor of the stupendously silly Avatar — movie and 3D effects — you can use the “Stereo PhotoMaker” program to create ravishing images in strange-o color. The stereoscope 3D process is inherently superior — after all, you have to have a specially-prepared image and a viewer in both cases — but the “anaglyph” 3D version is sillier.... Although some of us superior persons can “see” stereoscope-style pictures in 3D without a viewer, even I can’t do that with the red/blue kind, nor can you; we need silly 3D glasses to see these things right — well, however....

... When I was a lad, such blue/green 3D pictures had to be in black & white; the real colors were “used up” doing that 3D effect. But the world turns and color printers/viewers abound, and it turns out the bogus effect looks pretty-much as effective/bogus without or with color and those wretched 3D comics I so relished were just cheap! ... How civilization progresses....

— Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:39 pm


JG32: My Own Private RS232 Program

And yours too, if you have some version of Delphi that can compile it; it comes with source (Delphi version 5). Source for an RS232 DLL, which I hacked from the admirable Howe code, is also included (C++Builder version 5)....

Also known as a “terminal emulator”, I wrote JG32 so I could talk to my ancient PROMPRO7 (1984) Eprom burner; which, since I set my ChipMaster 2000 on fire (1985? — that’s when I got it; I set it on a fire a few years ago), is the only thing in the Computer Attic that’ll burn an 8749, an obsolete microcontroller ever so close to my heart....

And RS232 itself is mostly obsolete. ... As am I, for that matter. ... But here it is, and maybe you can talk to some old RS232 junk with it....

— the prom burners of fire programmer
Monday, July 7, 2008 6:42 pm


The Web isn’t fast-enough: get some Ajax

“Web 2.0” and Ajax are really side-effects of the widespread adoption of high-speed internet access across our fair land. ... For years they told us the web would work great once we got rid of our childish amateur-night modems. ... It’s an example of the “scam penetration” effect I’ve noticed, when some wonderful thing becomes generally discredited when enough consumers have actually experienced the thing, as opposed to lying scammy media hype. ... Whereupon we all move on to the next thing....

Which, in this case, is Ajax aka Web 2.0. The web was supposed to be eventually fast-enough so the round-trip to the server would be unnoticeable, requiring at most some kind of anti-flicker trickery in the browsers. But sadly reality didn’t conform, so now they fundamentally hacked the browser model, adding asynchronous trickery + totally spaghetti weirdo programming so we won’t update the entire page, and instead just transfer little dribbles of data when it’s appropriate. ... Which hides the annoying hesitations of the web: when we want to zoom on the wonderful Google maps, it can still take forever, but at least now we’re not staring at the entire page stopped at the 2nd letter of the headline while it happens....

... Of course, if we can just get those hyperspace modems working, everything will be unimaginably fast and sleek....

— the still-cranky-after-all-these-years programmer
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 7:18 pm

Broken Type in Firefox Web Browser?

Looks kind-of like “” but not quite that bad? ... For me, it happened only on one machine, started with Firefox version 19.0, and stopped I sincerely hope with “Options / Advanced / General”, uncheck “Use hardware acceleration when available”. ... Brief google spelunking suggests the option rarely increases browser speed, and it seemed to have no effect on mine, but does occasionally do bad things. ... It probably sped-up some 386 machines in 1998 or something....

Friday, November 22, 2013 7:45 am. Alert Alert : same “fix” also cured a dual-screen system, where firefox’d (25.0.1) disappear in the “other” screen on the left (internet explorer, of course, didn’t). ... I’d view some page, move it over to the left screen, then close firefox and foolishly run firefox again later and all I’d get is an empty transparent display frame — just the outside rectangle, no content controls nothing. I could resize it into the other screen where it’d restore itself. ... Or defeat this now obviously pathological “hardware acceleration” bug, which is presumably just unsupported cruft left-in by the Google-financed fun-loving Mozillaoids.....

Or Herky Jerky Scrolling?

Yes folks disabling hardware acceleration will fix the distressing personal Firefox malady of Sudden Scrolling Bumps also! No more screens-a-scrolling like MSDOS! Smooth again like the Great Nullity intended! ... I take it back; it did that for a day. Probably some stupid always-on bug, like the brilliant firefox programmers like to do (“those stupid lusers don’t know what they should want”). ... Or it might’ve been a bug. I tried to exit/start again, and firefox complained that it hadn’t stopped, and I told it to kill itself, and after that the smooth scroll was back. Ahhh the joys of precision programming. ... And I like the idea of a bug inspiring the intrepid browser to use hardware acceleration by accident; it just fits somehow....

Disappeared Download Manager

This has been going on for years, as the moron forces at firefox gain the upper-hand and make that nasty download window disappear, and then presumably the frontal-lobal bunch put it back; and finally, the morons won. Search for a plug-in that’ll do it good; some of them do it bad....


Apple Sux

Let’s just admit it; they’ve jumped the shark and joined the great American mediocrity parade. I never updated my pitiful little iMini to rabid cat or whatever it was because the previous catastrophe was so weird, but then I forgot and foolishly upgraded my iphone & ipad to iOS 7 just because they whined at me. At least rabid cat never did that....

And now the stupid ipad, in a cruel mockery of my advancing years and deteriorating mental states, can’t remember its wireless password any more. And appears to have whacked my wifi generally, although that’s a tricky determination, the wonders of modern technology and all. ... Ooops my bluetooth keyboard is apparently gonzo too; so I can enter the password with their creepy useless screen keyboard. ... Reducing my beloved ipad to slag....

So, don’t be like me; DON’T UPGRADE ANYTHING APPLE! at least until the seasons change and the storm passes. ... Just don’t; wait. I knew this, but I did it anyway because I forgot and of course there’s no way back, unlike the kindly Microsoft which at least lets you roll back their catastrophic security upgrades — although, to be sure, not their operating systems either; but then they don’t whine at you to upgrade those....

— the truly cranky programmer
Saturday, September 28, 2013 5:05 am

P.S. Well the thing has managed to sign-on to the wireless twice without demanding a password. Who knows? Might go for three. I’m leaving my passwords taped to the case. ... And the bluetooth managed to spring to life, with a trick: “forget” all the existing devices, and then pair up anew. And it tried to have bluetooth with an HP laptop it never considered before, but I soon put a stop to that. ... So I guess everything’s OK; it’s just like a Microsoft operating system and you expect it to fail in stupid new amusing ways. ... And looks so cute with meaningless graphics window dressing! // Cancel faint praise. The most amusing wacko user hostility: trying to enter the guest wifi password, and it refuses to use bluetooth! Must do it with stupid graphics keyboard. I’m surprised they don’t force me to use iCloud-it’s-so-wonderful-why-does-it-languish for that; although they try to get me to sign-up at every twist ’n’ turn....

Appledammerung

And then I discovered it did the favoritist thing ever: destroyed my notes! Hey go stupids! No upgrade from hell is complete without destruction of the user’s text! It’s just the thing to do! ... It converted all the line endings on my beloved “notesy” dropbox documents, which is practically the only reason I ever use the thing, to transfer my notes to the wonderful open world of Windows — well, it converted all the line endings to cutesy better-than-you our-line-endings are hot Apple stupid fan boy moron line endings. In ASCII, they look like lizard droppings. GO APPLE! ... Maybe I’ll buy a surface and see how stupid Microsoft’s got....

’n’ How ’Bout that Garageband?!?!

Version 11? Google for it, and the web is filled with the usual suck-up reviews for the wonderful version 11. But all my garage band admits to is version 10.something. Which after numerous hangups seems kinda stable for a few minutes, but I can reliably “open existing project”, browse around a little, click cancel — hey, where’d it go?! It disappeared! ... Gotta quit and start again. This is how I learned there are no demos for the program, no cute little projects you can just load-up and watch it play; of course maybe the installation is full of ’em and Garageband has its own secret dysfunctional reasons and won’t tell. ... I mean, it is free; I paid $5 for “additional content” but I don’t feel cheated yet. Although then again I engaged in the usual cranky maneuvers to hook it up to my Bose desktop speakers. ... And I imagine version 11 wandering around in the dark, perhaps operating perfectly — well not judging by web chit chat — oh I see it’s version 2011, i.e. 11 with an apostrophe. ... OK I think I got it. So version “X” aka 10 just doesn’t work and probably never will. ... But it’s free....

Win/Lose

These sad reflections broadened to a visionary realization: Apple, despite its overwhelming success with iTunes, lost the music wars. And iTunes was always a mop-up operation anyway; Apple didn’t monetize the music biz or create new markets, they took over the end of the music biz. Commercial music was going downhill, it’s all but disappeared today, and Apple made buckets of money by creating a commodity monopoly for internet music as the biz died. But competitors didn’t arise; the entire market shrank as people do other things and no longer dote on their playlists; it was fun for a while presumably, but it’s just too much trouble and the people aren’t excited by new songs as is obvious from the ghastly prevalence of old ones.

The decrepitude of Garageband 10 is a symptom of the one new thing in music: well, we used to call it “disco” and it’s hardly new, but at least people still dance for it in Europe — but Apple can’t get those people even if they give it away, and their senior product the $200 Logic DAW is, like their other artistic offerings, and their entire computer line for that matter, neglected at best. Because they’re making too much money on phones and not enough on what today’s kids call EDM which is all but the singular focus of all my music magazines, at least the European aka the prosperous ones, excluding the redoubtable but also still opulent Sound on Sound....

And Apple has a serious competitor for Garageband and Logic in the thumping world of EDM: Ableton Live, who can still sell their products for $400 and $600 to my continued consternation; I can only afford the kiddie wheels freeish crippled “lite” version which is actually far more than I’ll ever use or comprehend. ... But Ableton’s “session view” is the way the people want to make their mechanically repetitive beats, and it’s not in Logic or Garageband. ... Sun 7/3/16 I believe in the last few months or so Apple finally added an obvious Ableton session view to Logic and/or Garageband I forget....

Sad Spybot + XP

Mon 11/24/14. I went and paid €9.99 or something for the licensed version, ’cause Spybottery are such good guys — but it didn’t work with my last pitiful acer XP laptop! I tried their spybot2-license.exe 2 or three times, after uninstalling spybot each time. ... It’d download/install, but was unable to update, and complained about it. ... That bold “No update attempt registered” may be the European way of reporting repeated failures to update, but whatever, it is a sad sad thing for spybot fans everywhere.

Insult to Injury

1/16: And then it had the nerve to ask me to re-up! ... The low scheming robot....

Hewlett Packard: Malware Vendor

That’d be my beloved 8/11 HP Pavilion p6320f desktop =>. I added the “scum” by editing c:\hp\support\HPsysInfo.ini, and while satisfying, I still can’t stop the thing popping-up whenever I press control-alt-S.

... For a while I vaguely suspected I’d invited the vampire in by installing some Hewlett-Packard DVDRW drive — but no, the taint came with the machine’s virgin boatloads o’ bloatware, lurking lurking down there, waiting to trip me when I foolishly thought I’d use ^@S for something. ... I must admit the poor thing has pretty-much passed beyond the pale already, since it took to hanging-up when I’d do the first backup in the morning, a ritual I am devoted to. Months before that, when I rearranged some USB or something, it took to a flat-out startup crash until I rearranged the USB some more, but I figured that was almost normal. ... But now I’ve finally removed its beautiful extra LCD screen and bought another computer — an Acer laptop this time — and put my poor malware server out to pasture, with a timer running at every boot; if I don’t try backing up until it’s had a good 10 or twenty minutes to calm down, it hasn’t hung-up ... yet. But I assiduously neglect it anyway....

So after uninstalling every HP thing I could find, “c:\Program Files (x86)\Hewlett-Packard\” went from 1.6Gig to a mere 625Meg; more than half reduced! Of course the Windows uninstall entries for “HP Odometer” and the all-important “HP Support Information” won’t; clicking/right-clicking does nothing — these important central HP functions are above all that. ... Typical malware behavior....

Towering Victory Over HP Scum Alt-Control-S

Actually, googling for “HP alt-control-S” got me someplace where the gracious malware vendor offered advice on how to kill this ever-so-helpful shortcut key which, on my poor battered crate, resided @ “c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\StartMenu\Programs\PC Help & Tools\HP Support Information” but won’t be there on your computer — again, typical malware behavior. But I right-clicked on the “HP Support Information.lnk” I think it was, and then “properties” got the Windows screen over there <=, and then clicking on that “Shortcut key” field and pressing backspace got rid of the pest, after the obligatory invocation of “administrative mode” or whatever the gobbledygook is called. And at least I am free....

And I suppose I’ll be avoiding HP computers for a while. ... Well actually I had been already.

I hasten to concede that my beautiful new laptop came with its own bloatware boatload — but it all uninstalled. ... Gone. Mist in the morning. ... And if I’d responded promptly back in 2011 maybe the HP fungus would’ve uninstalled too. Before it updated itself perhaps. ... And thus we learn life’s bitter lessons: computers must include bloatware, to punish the innocent. But to avoid taking our place among those poor beaten victims, we must uninstall early....

Another thoughtful lesson: sufficiently-stupid software is indistinguishable from malware....

The Awful Dénouement: Still Better Than Windows 8

And then the world turned as I barged into the future with my shiny new Windows 8 acer laptop ... but it wasn’t nice. Stuff didn’t work; including the drivelling Dreamhost with which I update this beautiful site. Stuff was embarrassingly awful, really, and the gracious Usux™ has abandoned win8 for the at-last really wonderful this-time-we-won’t-screw-you Windows 10 (but of course it did). ... I should note that my scheme to replace the desktop with a laptop also wasn’t such a great idea: I wound-up with about the same pile of junk & hideous wriggling cables, with less features. Even ’though eventually I did discover that I could have three screens — i.e., two full-size + the laptop screen — in win8 anyway, which made the setup much less annoying. Although even more wires....

... And the HP system — well, it’s not so bad ... I’ve seen worse. ... It doesn’t do that boot-up crash thing anymore either; I suspect it was the nest of USB hubs, some of known dubiety. ... The only advantage my shiny Windows 8 laptop retained was USB 3, and so I bought a $25 card and upgraded the HP desktop[1]. ... Now everything will be perfect.

The Last Days

And then in the fullness of time — around 11/16 — windows could no longer download its updates and in a fit of hysterical paranoia I tried to run malwarebytes (free! anti-virus scanner) and windows claimed it couldn’t find it! ... So I just assumed the weary hewlett packard had been rootkitted. Demonstrating the old adage, that a sufficiently stupid computer (+ user) cannot be distinguished from rootkitting. Because the malware bytes thing was just the idiot user — me — forgetting a hyphen in the path name.

So all is forgiven. In the interim I went back to the pitiful Windows 8 machine, which is just as wacky as ever, and the malware HP still can’t do windows update. So at last HP beat me, beyond doubt, without hope. ... Oh pitiful user! Oh sad Win7 aficionado! — it did its pitiful update OK at last and now it’s all copacetic. I will cloister it away somewhere where it can’t hurt itself — or me — quietly whiling-away its days amongst a herd of XP and Vista machines....

   or is pushed

In its unending effort to improve our Windows Experience™, Usux™ has cunningly broken its update mechanism so Windows 7 systems will fail to update. On a random basis, of course. So they won’t all stop at once. This is relatively easy for your repacious giant monopoly to do; just neglect the thing, and it’ll happen naturally. ... So far all my windows 7 machines have updated eventually, but often only after weeks, which indeed convinced me my pitiful cranky desktop was rootkit-riddled and in a sense, it was — infected with the Usux™ virus through-and-through.

... Today another innocent win7 machine (well, an HP laptop) was “unable to update automatically” — imagine! — Usux™ failing to automatically update, what is proclaimed as the Holy Sacred Usux™ Way. And when I investigated, the machine wasn’t set to update automatically; it was set to “download updates” and “let me choose”. Which of course everyone knows they never actually downloaded; the scam presented the usually-opaque titles, I’d enable the “important” ones, always carefully excluding any skype and win10 scams, and then it’d proceed to laboriously download them. Maybe. ... But I took the obvious preference of the consigliere to heart and switched to automatic updates anyway, and maybe I won’t have to pay win10 protection too soon. ... I assume the un-updatable periods will lengthen randomly to months and then forever, if they don’t come around and break a few windows, and we can thank the criminally-inclined wizard win10 professional fan-boys @ Usux™ for such amusing & inspiring innovations.

... Eventually I suppose we’ll stumble on to Linux, whose defects are of the ignorant idiot kind, as opposed to Usux™’s relatively-intentional destruction, and it’ll just be @ the point where ignorant idiocy is still better than Usux™’s intentional malfeasances. ... What fun we’ll have!

Et Tu MaximumPC?

12/10/16. In an extravagantly unusual fit of truth-telling, the 1/17 MaximumPC admitted Usux™ perfidy, and that Windows 7 updates are being systemtically destroyed. Good to know. ... Even odder, they admit that Windows 10 “Anniverary” updates are making machines unusable to the point that they’re reverting to Windows 7. They had some pitiful suggestions. ... But for a prime PC puffery mag to admit this much is staggering....

12/13/16. If you google for “windows 7 updates” you’ll find many gormless renditions of why windows 7 doesn’t update anymore, supposedly cured with Usux™ update “KB3172605”. The infoworld rendition wasn’t terribly useful, but according to them, your bluetooth better watch out.

... So I set Windows6.1-KB3172605-x64.msu off on my poor dying win7 HP laptop, and it immediately ever-so-slowly started “searching for updates on this computer” forever. No doubt after the usual Usux™-stupid-software 4˝ hours it’ll quit with a totally useless message. ... I googled for the “searching” message, and it’s apparently just another incompetent spavined attempt by the conspiracy-in-restraint-of-trade monopoly to run something forever. So I managed to cancel KB3172605, and then, from ancient web rumors, in an elevated command window I went

net stop wuauserv

I think, and then when I double-clicked Windows6.1-KB3172605-x64.msu, it started its endless search for updates but gave up in a minute or so — speedy for Usux™ — and proceeded to install the update, I suppose. And I am now rebooting and of course everything will work perfectly — well actually it’s preparing to configure something, but that’s a good sign.

... And Microsoft Security Essentials MSE was able to update itself! Which it hasn’t for weary months if not years. ... Or at least when I came back after a few hours, it wasn’t still relentlessly “trying” to update, and the update tab said “last updated 12/13” or something, which was today’s date! Who knows? Maybe someday the machine will perform the normal Usux™ updates like it’s supposed-to — although that seems too wildly utopian....

The Beloved Hewlett Packard

Both of these un-updating machines were HPs, both bought @ 2011. A comparably-antique Lenovo has not succumbed — at least yet — to the un-updating disease. Indeed it claims to be downloading updates even as I type. ... And it claims they were successful! And the Lenovo is still a tell-me-don’t-reboot-whenever-you-feel-like-it machine. ... Oh be still my heart.

The second derelict HP, with its Windows6.1-KB3172605-x64.msu duly installed, is doing the reboot-configure dance without asking of course, since I told it. I’ll have to fix that. ... Assuming it ever gets beyond its “12% complete” forever update screen. ... Took about 15-30’.

... So going forward, my arbitrary test for the dreaded “Win7 Usux™ virus” will be when MSE can’t/won’t update. Until I find-out otherwise....

Serene Conclusion

1/17. I abandoned my Windows 8 acer laptop system again.
  • My belief that my windows 7 hp crate was root-kitted was erroneous (hysterical/stupid).

  • Actually, it had the well-known Usux™ virus — the conspiracy-in-restraint-of-trade buy-another-computer + OS virus, which Usux™ has been supporting naturally for years. But the windows 8 scam was a particularly virulent case, helping my windows 7 system appear particularly broken when, totally-by accident, Usux™’s amazing inability to update the operating system they were trying to kill in fovor of, this week, Windows 10, made the machine behave badly, since the update demon was running constantly, and failing. There was more than one machine I retired after experiencing this “bug” aka Usux™ conspiracy in restraint of trade. All KB3172605 resurrected now. ... Some kindly tort lawyer really ought to class-action ’em. Altho Usux™ pays democrat party vigorish, so that’ll never happen....

  • Restored to updating regularity, the windows 7 hp crate is still better than the 5-year-newer windows 8 atrocity. It can ftp to this website; windows 8 can’t. And windows 8 has gotten arthritic in the morning, and has taken to hanging-up on the first EXE of the day ... or something. And of course my beloved PSP9 works better on Windows 7.

  • And this just in — windows 7 still better than the Windows 10 atrocities I’ve finally spent a few minutes with....
  • But then again, I will survive — with my beautiful new Lenovo Windows 10 system. ... It’s not so bad ... I’ve seen worse. ... And I have....

So all is well. And thus our technical experiences take the form of the ouroboros serpent, wandering pointlessly in circles. ... And I went into the organ room and played a gentle rendition of Toyland....

A Tale of Two Desktops

So instructive! My HP and Lenovo desktops, both born in 2011, August and October respectively, and the Lenovo still ticking along where I write these deathless missives, while the HP has exhibited numerous signs of cranky decay, some minor, some of course monstrous. ... But at least, in these computery end times, I managed to obey my own historic prohibitions and got my 2017 HP replacement desktop from Lenovo. ... But the LOL swears by the HP laptops, so, whatever....

And then at last ...

@ 4/18/17, I at last switched from my cranky threatening but still-works-better-than-the-others desktop to a brand new Lenovo Win10 crate ... which is only a little worse than the HP win7, and noticeably zippier.

Win10™ Only a Little Worse

And I was hysterically irked at firefox opening a new copy for every single URL I ask for in my intricate command-line batch files, instead of decently using the running copy. ... But it turned-out, just because it’s so cool, Firefox had defaulted the option to do that stupid thing just for Wonderful Windows 10. We all smiled and giggled hysterically.

... But I guess my Windows 10 cargo-cult-like pitiful/magical attempt to revive the old vocational desktop days works OK, I suppose ... I’m almost used to it....

The End of Our Times

But it’s really all part of the twilight of my beloved PCs, as they drift off into aberrant freaky touch-screened something-tops or the billions of phones. All of which I lament at excruciating length elsewhere. ... But I will miss them, of course; it was my time, when I danced with the electrons....

— the kindly programmer savant ignoramus
4/17


1. Actually the USB 3 never worked, HP scoring yet another retroactive point. I had previously installed the same USB3 card into a Lenovo 2011 windows 7 machine, which worked wonderfully, and in my innocence I figured I could so the same to the HP, child that I am. ... To make matters worse, it seemed all amazon had in desktops was more HPs — but just a cockpit error; I’d guess they finagle themselves to the head of the list somehow, but selecting “Dell” or “Lenovo” in the brand category produces a slew of appropriate candidates. ... However, @ 3/17 the first desktop in the unselected amazon list is a refurbished Windows 7 machine....