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Saturday, 21 July 2018 Dereel Images for 21 July 2018
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New leveling base
Topic: photography Link here

House photo day today, and the first time to try out the new leveling base:

 
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How does it compare to the Manfrotto 3416? My main concern was that it would have sufficient adjustment to remove the need to change the tripod legs. Things were a little different from what I thought. In particular, the ball is stiffer than I expected, and it grates a little when moving. On the other hand, it means that I don't need to tighten the ball when I have positioned it, so the issue is really cosmetic. It's much easier to use than the Manfrotto, and yes, it adapted to my uneven ground with adjustment to spare. Definitely an advantage over the Manfrotto.


Hugin: no control points
Topic: technology, photography, opinion Link here

To try out my new leveling head to its best, I took photos from more locations than usual, though the one in the verandah is particularly boring:


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But for reasons I don't completely understand, Hugin's cpfind found no control points at all between these two images:


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Why? There are plenty of similarities, and I was able to add control points manually. But cpfind decided that they were 200 pixels apart, and there was nothing I could do about it. The result was correspondingly useless:

 
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OK, add the control points before running cpfind. No, sorry don't like those control points: I'll remove them. I tried a number of things, including the panomatic control point detector, but it just didn't want to know. In the end I took the photos again, this time ensuring that each wall was completely in one image. That worked, but only just: cpfind found only two control points between the wall and the next image to the right, compared to 21 between the two walls:


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What's causing this? My best guess is that the control point detectors are looking for different kinds of features than I am, and there are none shared between these images.

I was going to report this to the Hugin development list, so I converted the (TIFF) images to lower quality JPEG images. But then the problem didn't show up! It did find some control points. Still more head-scratching to do.

One new thing I've done is to compensate for pto_gen's insistence on changing the colour balance for individual images: a simple script discolour that resets the colour factors to 1 again. Yes, it's a kludge, but it showed its worth: it proved that pto_gen wasn't the only program to reset the colour balance.


The very model of a modern stable genius
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

You have to say one thing for Donald Trump: he has even Yvonne interested in politics, in particular anything that can denigrate him. Today she came up with this one:


Birds of a feather
Topic: animals Link here

While walking the dogs, came across this strange sight:


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The lens is wrong, of course, but there was a flock of cockatoos intermingled with a flock (is that the word?) of ducks:


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Spring on its way
Topic: gardening Link here

First signs of spring, some kind of Acacia:


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Sunday, 22 July 2018 Dereel Images for 22 July 2018
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Topic: multimedia, technology, opinion Link here

A while back I received mail from Ashampoo:

Ingenious converter for all formats

Find, record, download and convert music, movies, series, videos, TV and radio broadcasts

OK, that sounds interesting, even if the price didn't. Where's the demo version? None. Ah, I missed “(Ashampoo Partner Shop)”. OK, go looking on the web and find (surprise) http://www.audials.com/. Downloaded the demo version and started installing. It hung!

After some investigation discovered that it was downloading another package, Audials_Radiotracker-Setup.exe, over 100 MB in size. It failed, but it didn't seem to notice. Finally it was done and came up with this:


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Where are the TV channels? It seems to be very much oriented towards radio (as indeed the name suggests). Select “Save Video” under “Streaming” and find get offered "Record streaming video from video on demand services, TV websites and viedo portals”. A few more clicks and I had:

 
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Nothing very interesting there, and places like Netflix aren't free. Where are the TV web sites? The only one I can see is NBC. OK, select that and get:

 
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If I can view this in my browser, what do I need a $$ application for? I can use YouTube Download instead, which both free and a lot easier to use. I had hoped that the package would at least include a list of TV web sites, but it doesn't seem to include that.

And while I was investigating, I got another popup:

 
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That suggests that it is trying to intercept a stream being delivered to a web browser. Ugh. I wonder (idly, and not enough to want to check) what happens if the stream times out. Thank God for demo versions!


A couch for Leonid
Topic: animals Link here

It's been months since we got an “Ottoman” for Nikolai:


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But for whatever reason, Leonid didn't want to use it, though he's higher in rank. Yvonne has been trying for some time to get him to lie on the couch, and finally today she was successful:


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This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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