Victoria isn’t supposed to get snow, dammit. We’re supposed to watch it on our TV screens and visit it on skihills. (I say this every time we get snow…)
The Canadian Navy just celebrated 100 years of existance, and here in Victoria we lit things on fire, shone lights around, and blew stuff up. The usual.
Slightly more seriously, there was an excellent 15 minute long firework display, and as I’d volunteered with a local group to work with the lanterns and light art that was part of the display, about fifteen of us got the best seats in the city for the fireworks, right out on Fisgard Island.
More on my Flickr set. My little camera does surprisingly good night & firework shots, actually.
Just a few photos from the last day or two of our Hawaiian trip at the end of April. We covered a lot of ground in a week, put almost 500km on the rental car and managed to get most of our “Must See” list done. None of us are huge fans of sitting around on the beach getting sunburnt, so we did stuff instead.
Haven’t blogged in over a month – so much for regular updates and such. Oh well.
New version of Ubuntu is out, haven’t upgraded yet due to lack of hard drive space – still haven’t done the warranty RMA on my big, but glitched, 500GB drive. Maybe next week. I have played with Lucid on my brother’s machine – WTF is the thinking behind the wandering window control buttons? I stopped playing with Ubuntu/GNOME themes several releases ago – the defaults worked fine and looked OK – but wandering window buttons are irritatingly stupid, especially on an LTS release. Reverting to the older, saner (browner…) theme will have to be the first thing I do once I do move up to 10.04.
I already get rid of the multi-user-switcher thing and the seperate power-management widget as useless panel clutter on this single-user desktop machine; possibly my perferences for the ideal Ubuntu appearance fossilized several releases ago?
In more personal, cooler news, just got back from a week in Hawai’i. Never been before, and I loved Oahu, despite Honolulu’s traffic! I’m still going through several hundred photos, but here’s a few favourites from the first couple of days of the trip!
One photo and a photo-panorama from December 24th, just because I haven’t posted anything in a while…
The panorama was six photos originally, stitched in Hugin. The flat grey foggy background seemed to cause Hugin some issues – notice how obvious a few of the vertical join lines are in the centre of the image. Odd.
I had someone email me a few days ago about my Nov. 25th F-Spot blogpost and it’s long discussion thread. I’d planned to do a followup post in early December, but holidays and reality obviously got in the way, and I’ve got WordPress set up to automatically close commenting after three weeks to frustrate the spambots a bit. I’ll do a proper followup F-Spot post this week!
Hope everyone had a satisfactory, safe holiday season.
Recent news that Ubuntu will likely be giving up the GIMP as part of the default install are interesting, but not a huge concern to me – I already have to install Inkscape, so adding the GIMP to the huge sudo aptitude install command I run on a shiny new Ubuntu install isn’t a big deal. I’d love having both Inkscape and the GIMP by default, but there’s only so much space on a CD-ROM-sized ISO. Fair enough.
What still concerns me is F-Spot by default. Not because of Mono fearmongering – I really don’t care what language the thing is written in – but just because it’s got some very irritating behaviours compared to the older lightweight editor/viewer/photo manager I still use, gthumb.
Allow me some simple demonstrations of why gthumb is still, in many ways, superior to f-spot.
I take a fair number of photos, and as anyone knows, they add up in filesize very quickly. I shoot fair-sized JPG, not the very largest my camera could, and not RAW, and I still have 10.2GB of images in Photo – 4133 images, apparently. I´ve only owned a digital camera for about two and a half years. Someone with a longer digital history, or who shoots RAW, or who simply takes even more photos than I do, is going to easily dwarf my photo collection. My photo collection is still old enough to have pre-dated F-Spot in Ubuntu, however.
So, I want to view, manage and do light editing of this existing photo collection. Fire up F-Spot (Applications->Graphics->F-Spot Photo Manager). There is no File->Open command, and by default the “Browse” button on the toolbar does absolutely nothing… so File->Import it is. Aim this at my existing ~/Photos directory… and by default it will duplicate the entire thing, rearranging the files to it’s liking as it duplicates them!
F-Spot will also take an insanely long time trying this – I aborted the whole mess ten minutes in, with only 1434 of 4133 files “loaded” (what does that mean? they don’t need to be loaded, they already exist in ~/Photos!) and the “Import” button still greyed out…
Are you serious? All I want to do is crop one of them! Abort, abort! Fine, we’ll find an existing image through Nautilus, and choose to open that in F-Spot individually.
Nope, sorry. That gets you your image, without the insanely long Import process, but it’s in a little window called “F-Spot View” with none of the editing tools available, and no way to switch to an actual editing window…
Now let’s try the same simple procedure(s) in gthumb. Same existing photo collection, in the Ubuntu-supplied default ~/Photos, but first we’ll install gthumb with your favourite package manager. (gthumb languishes in Universe these days, so have that enabled) Now go Applications->Graphics->gThumb Image Viewer. No Import button, any images that happen to be in your ~ will show up on one pane, and a Nautilus-style folder navigation pane to the left. Rummage through your files with that pane, no need to wait for some sort of unexplained “importing”of existing files here.
Or go the other way – find an individual image through Nautilus or on your desktop, right-click, choose Open With->gThumb, and open your image. You get exactly the same window you would if you’d opened gthumb via the menu, with all the lightweight editing options you require right there.
No “importing”, no attempt to duplicate your entire photo collection, no crippled “viewer” window with no useful tools in it, and gthumb will traverse your entire directory, not just the one folder it insists on importing/duplicating everything in. Oh, and no distracting “Mono is of teh devil!!!11111” nonsense either, just for a bonus. Somebody does need to code an upload-to-Flickr plugin for gthumb, granted.
While the GIMP is being removed from Ubuntu 10.04, let’s ditch F-Spot and return to gthumb too!
Launchpad bugs for most of the above Fail-spot issues: 488566, 488574. Closely related, and older: 182862.
Related silly “Import” bugs: 412091.
There’s probably many others over on Gnome’s bugtracker, but I only searched LP’s Fail-spot bugs for now.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Base image for the graphic above courtesy of Veterans Affairs Canada. And I should note, in passing, that my text on the image recreates perhaps the best-known error possible with this famous poem…