Nerdish

Selfie with regular camera

selfie20140512

Application shown is Adobe Bridge CC.

Did you ever try to take a selfie with a regular camera? I just did. That is HARD! I needed an image of myself in a good enough resolution, better than the iPhone (4S) can do. So the regular camera was a must. Fortunately my regular camera (Canon Powershot G15) is quite good at judging the distance and to take reasonably sharp pictures all by itself. But to get an acceptable picture is not all that easy.

First you have to find a good spot in daylight with as few distracting things in the background as possible. Then you need to find the angle that works best on the limited distance of the length of your arm. Then hold the camera in the direction of yourself with the left hand (I am righthanded) because the shoot button is where it is on the camera. Look into the camera and try not to look all ridiculous. Find the angle of your chin and where to look… Most pictures you look lika a zombie with no facial expression. To smile to the camera when you have no idea how you look is just chancing that it will look OK. Most of the time it looks really forced and unnatural. And you also have to look like you are NOT holding out one of your arms…

After some 50 or so images I got something acceptable at last. Deleted immediately about 20 of them.  3 or 4 actually came out OK. I wish my regular camera could do what the iPhone can: take a selfie where you can see what you are taking a picture of when shooting by changing the shooting direction with a button in the camera.app.

blogg100
Posted by nini in Nerdish, Various, 0 comments

Bezier Handles

bezierhandles

Yesterday I read an article about managing Bezier-handles. The article can be found here. The image above is from that article. Nice article.

I’ll never forget the very first lesson I went to to learn drawing in Adobe Illustrator (or was it Freehand?). The tutor we had dug deep, very deep, into what Bezier handles were, how they worked, where they came from and how they functioned mathematically… It was extremely boring. I think we spent half a day with that. Definitely didn’t teach me how to draw in Illustrator. Illustrator (or was it Freehand?) was in its infancy at the time.

I’ve always drawn. On paper that is. Learning to manage Bezier handles to be able to do it in an application to me seemed very unnecessary. To me the pen tool in Illustrator/Freehand actually was pretty intuitive to use even without knowing anything about Bezier handles. To just draw it wasn’t all that important (to me at least) to know how to manage the handles. To trace an already existing object to make it into vectors is another thing. Then you need to know how to handle them and how they work.

I went to another lesson in Freehand (or was it Illustrator?) a couple of years later. That tutor was much better and even made me understand how to manage the Bezier-handles and how they worked. It wasn’t such a big mystery after all. The angle and the length of the handles is all it is about, and that you do not need all that many anchor-points to create a good shape.

Years later and several books and manuals about Illustrator and Freehand I taught the applications myself to new and more advanced users. But I never went into the deep mathematical secrets about Bezier-handles. That can scare anybody off. We had hands-on exercises that showed how they worked when you worked with them.  I even recorded a video-lesson about how to use Freehand (Macromedia Freehand by then) which was sold through a commercial company in Sweden. Freehand (which much later was bought by Adobe and discontinued) always was more flexible when it came to manage and handle bezier-curves compared to Illustrator. But Illustrator is slowly getting there. Nowadays I co-read the exercises for the Illustrator WOW! Book together with a group of people before each edition is published.

AIWOW

Here is yet another lesson in how to work with Illustrator’s  pen tool. There is a link to download a pen tools exercise in that article that can be useful if you want to learn how to use the pen tool and manage the bezier handles.

bezierhandlesThe above image is from the second article.

blogg100
Posted by nini in Nerdish, 0 comments

Being visible on the internet

golive

The Golive mascot. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2014

I’ve been visible on the internet for a very long time. I had an email-adress before the internet was born. Before the Internet, when I was a teenager, I had pen-pals around the world. The internet and the social networks is much more convenient. And faster…

It was around the time of GoLive CyberStudio 3 (a webediting and coding application) that I first started to become really visible on the internet. At the time it was email and mailinglists. It was before forums existed. When the forums came, some started to communicate via forums. I never really did. I have never liked forums. Still don’t. Too chatty. Too much trouble to keep track of via the forums themselves.

I was only in mailinglists about certain softwares. They were communities for dialogs. I like to discuss, ask and answer questions. The mailinglists were for learning and communicating. I needed them for my work (giving application support and teaching people how to use their softare was my job). Some of those lists that I was in then are still alive. We are all getting older with the lists, together. Some of them, like the GoLive mailinglist, is a true community even today. That list is no longer about GoLive but about general web development and techniques, but most of us have a background with GoLive, from pre-Adobe time. List has gone much quieter nowadays, but it is still there. Some of us from then also communicate via FaceBook. Or Twitter.

I’ve been on FaceBook since August 18th 2007. I have 190 FB friends + 24 followers. I have a pretty open FB user. Never was much for secrecy. I love FaceBook because it has put me in contact with friends and family and old co-workers which I hadn’t been in contact with for a long time and some who I had lost contact with for various reasons. I only accept FB friendship from people I have met in person or had some other interaction with via mailinglists or worked with. As a beta-tester of various software for many years there is quite a few of those connections among my FB-friends.

I really dislike Twitter. But I have a Twitter account (@ninitj). The only things I tweet to Twitter are what automatically is published via FaceBook, or those #blogg100 posts presently. I follow 38 and have 12 followers. I am really not active there. I am only there because I have to, to get certain information which I don’t get any other way.

Pinterest is more fun. Have been there since the time when you had to be invited to Pinterest to be let in (http://pinterest.com/nini_tjader/boards/). It was pretty new then and unknown in Sweden. I only follow certain people and certain boards there. Mostly the boards I follow are about design and interior decoration and similar. I love looking at beautiful things. I follow 92 persons there and have 127 followers.

I am also at Béhance (www.behance.net/ninitj). Béhance is a professional network for imaging and photography. It is a paid service so I am a bit conscious of what I publish there as my subscription of it is not paid by me but was given to me for free, but not forever. If one day I won’t get it for free any more, I have no idea what happens to the pictures I’ve uploaded there. I will never afford to pay for that service. But it is fun if you like pictures and sharing and commenting on one another’s pictures. The more active you are there, the more followers you get, and the more comments about your work too. I follow 24 and have 27 followers there. If I upload more images, activity will increase. I do not trust cloud-based services much though.

I am a fairly new user of Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/ninitj). It is quite fun actually and I enjoy being there. I’ve got 23 followers and follow 17 there. Have only been there since December 31st 2013. There you have to learn how to tag your pictures to get likes and response. I’m still learning. But I’m getting there.

Almost forgot that I also have a Google+ account.  I never really open that. I see the subjects added in my circles on Google+ via my Gmail-account. I do not really use my Google+ account but feel that I need to have it for certain information.

There is much talk lately about people who have problems with other users on the internet. Verbal attacks etc. I’ve only once had trouble with somebody via the internet, but that is already long ago (I made a joke about the Clinton incident when it was fresh – not popular in the US with certain people). I guess I’ve been lucky so far.

I don’t chat and I don’t have an account on LinkedIn. Neither has ever interested me. One doesn’t have to use every service that is out there…

I also have my own domain and website. As it happened my domain and my website went live on September 11th, 2001, a date nobody will forget.

I wouldn’t want to be without the internet. The benefits of communications via social networks on the internet is huge. But you need to meet people in real life too. And talk face to face.

blogg100
Posted by nini in Nerdish, 0 comments

Do I REALLY NEED an iPad?

ipad, apple

Image borrowed from apple.se

For some time now I’ve been trying to reason with myself to find out if I REALLY NEED an iPad… Thing is, I have all those ebooks, mainly free from Dagens Nyheter as a bonus as a subscriber with activated digital subscription. Plus some other ebooks.

I am tempted. And reading a book on an iPad would feel OK – though I don’t want to read magazines/newspapers on screen but then prefer paper.

ebooks, ibooks, digital books

My present ebooks

When will I read these books without an iPad (the one top left I’ve created myself testing certain software)? I DO have a portable, a MacBook Pro, and nowadays the application iBooks also works on a computer, and not only on an iPad or iPhone. But to carry around the entire MBP to be able to read the digital books on the bus or the commuter train: I don’t think so.

Could of course read them on the iPhone… or? I’ve tried. Painful. The screen is way too small.

Or should I read them on my 24″ iMac? I don’t much fancy sitting in front of the iMac to read a book (just as I don’t fancy sitting in front of the iMac watching movies).

ios warning

Warning when opening an ebook on a computer with regular OS and not iOS.

And the books are normally not designed for the computer, but only for iOS-objects. They DO work anyways though, but the navigation becomes more complicated, as the computer doesn’t have a touch screen.

ebook, coverpages

ebook bookpages

Book pages example

If you change the size of the window for the book, the content of the book reflows, and so does the number of rows shown. The smaller the screen, the less content at each page. Some also argue that the layout and the typography of ebooks suffer from the media and that they do not get as visually attractive as a printed book. The techniques for creating them is still in its infancy… But that will change over time.

There are some added bonuses to an ebook compared to a book printed on paper. There can be several levels of information on one single page by links to additional information that is not shown unless you click on the link. Navigation is also more advanced than for a printed book where you just turn pages by hand.

ebookexample

ebookexample

Ebooks can also include animations, video and sound, just click on a link.

ebook, yellow submarine

Screenshot from Yellow Submarine

Why an iPad and not some other pad? Because I am all Macintosh and have been since 1984. I have three Macs and two iPhones (the older one serving as alarm clock only). So why haven’t I bought an iPad yet? Of the same reason: I have three Macs and two iPhones… Do I REALLY NEED an iPad?

What makes me hesitate is that it costs a lot of money (that I don’t have). I also wouldn’t settle for the cheapest one without 3G and and only 16GB storage. I also wouldn’t settle for the iPad2 which is cheaper. The screen of the iPad2 is not as good as the retina screen on iPad Air. IF I buy, it has to be an iPad Air with reasonably much storage and with 3G (so I can connect from almost anywhere). They are SO nice. I’ve seen and touched them.

It costs to be on top…

blogg100
Posted by nini in Books, Nerdish, Thoughts, Various, 0 comments

My old iPod

The other day a rumor spread around the internet that the days of the iPods were over and that it would soon be no more. So I took out my old iPod, 2005 model, 30 GB. They were all black those days. Solid thing. Metal on the back, glass on the front. Still have the cover it came with.

ipod, apple ipod

Photo: ©nini

It still looks good. Before I had an iPhone I used this daily on the way to and from work, listening to music (so I wouldn’t have to listen to all the other people in the subway and to lock sounds out). Since I started to use an iPhone, I used that instead.

Just after I had bought the iPod – after I finally had got a new job at the Aftonbladet technical department and had a salary so I could buy it – my employer offered me an iPod as compensation for working nights when all my colleagues were on a large company party. Instead of buying a new one, they paid for this one which I had already ordered and received. Very nice employer 😉 .

On the back of it I had the url to my website and my email engraved. So if it got lost or stolen, no doubt who it belonged to.

ipod, apple ipod

Photo: ©nini

This talk about the iPod being killed made me take it out again to test if I could still charge its battery with iTunes. Turned out I could. So, it is now fully charged and I can use it again when commuting. All the music I had on it then is still there. Might change the content one of these days to add newer music I have added to iTunes over the years.

I still love my iPod.

Posted by nini in Nerdish, 0 comments

The Weather Widget on the Dashboard

weather widget

I might be the last person to know this but…

If you are a Macintosh user and have the weather widget on your Dashboard, there are two tricks you can do with it.

The simplest one is to cmd+option+click on the upper edge of the widget to change the picture that is shown there (that picture normally changes automatically with the current weather conditions).

Another one which I didn’t know about was that if you click on the location name in the widget and have a browser open, it opens this window below in the browser.

weather, weather report, weather widget

Not only does it show the current weather as it would be shown on the screen of an iPhone or iPad, but it also gives you a lot of other information.

Like the weather forecast, and – if you scroll down on that screen, not on this image here – the time for the sunup and sundown.

You can also get a slideshow of pictures from the town you have set in the weather widget if you click on the images about in the middle of the screen. Beautiful images by the way.

And of course you can switch between C and F temperatures just by clicking the little F or C icon by the current temperature.

It also has a search field at the top of the screen to take you to other places in the world to get the information for those locations.

This was fun. And I got stuck here for a while this morning and really enjoyed it. Enjoy ;).

PS. This works in Mac OS X 10.9.1. I have no idea if it works in older versions of the OS.

Posted by nini in Nerdish, 0 comments

My first digital camera

fuji finepix 6800 zoom

This was my very first digital camera. A Fuji FinePix 6800 zoom. Designed by Porsche.  I still think it is beautiful. And pleasant to touch. I waited quite some time before abandoning my old, trusty Pentax Super A for a digital camera. Bought the Pentax Super A in 1985 just before Janne and I went to the Former Soviet Union and travelled the Trans Siberian railway – I then needed a camera with both manual and automatic controls for fast shooting in conditions where you were not supposed to shoot at all….

The first years the digital cameras were around the resolution was just really bad in digital cameras (we had one from Apple at work which was really lousy). But when the Fuji FinePix 600 zoom came out, I bought it.

It was expensive. But I loved it. And it took really good pictures (though was very slow). I almost lost it on the greek island of Skiathos in 2002. It fell out of my backpack on a hike where we climbed a hill. Luckily, I found it, when backtracking where we had been.

On the greek island of Naxos in 2007 I thought it would be gone for ever. I tripped on some stonesteps and the camera fell on to the stones. And died. I thought. But it wasn’t dead after all. When recharged and battery in and out it came to life again. That year it started being problematic though (often sudden death at not so good moments) so just the day before I left for Paros and Naxos I bought my 2nd digital camera. As I didn’t have time to investigate models it happened to become an Olympus My700 all weather camera.

olympus my700

I never liked that Olympus, except for the very small size (the reviews of it were good though). Takes good pictures if the light conditions are good. Extremely difficult to take pictures with in sunny weather as it doesn’t have a see-through lens, only the backside display. Often feels like taking pictures blindly.

Later bought a Canon G9 – which I really, really loved. I dropped it to the floor once and the display got damaged. Had it repaired and it was back in business again. In spring 2013 it started having problems with the zoom. You could only zoom out fully once. Then it stuck. And you had to restart the camera to get zooming back again. Not fun if you were aiming on a bird you didn’t want to disturb by getting closer… So I started looking for a replacement.

canon g9

Nowadays (since July 2013) I use a Canon G15.  Which I really, really love too. A camera for me needs to be small and possible to put in your pocket. Still, needs to be able to do all kinds of setting in it and have all kinds of controls.

canon g15

Still have the old cameras laying around collecting dust. Like my old Pentax Super A which I still think is very good. The only one missing is an even older Pentax which I gave to Armand once he was visiting here as he didn’t have a camera. He later lost that at some airport…

But once having started shooting digital there is no way back to non-digital. So they all collect dust. As do all my lenses and other stuff belonging to them. Wonder if there is a second hand market for them…

pentax super a

Posted by nini in Nerdish, 0 comments

Will soon go out

20130214-132310.jpg

Just had to do this.

Just learned how to make screendumps with the iPhone. Was more simple than I thought. Just hold down Home-button (the big round one on the front of your iPhone) at the same time as the turn-off button at top of iPhone. Hear camera-sound and active screen is an image in your photoalbum.

In this case from the app Moves which counts how much you move every day. As you can see I didn’t move at all (or at least my iPhone didn’t) since 19:12 yesterday. Love that app.

Will move soon though. Have to go out to buy foods and such.

Posted by nini in Nerdish, Thoughts, 0 comments