3626 – Gamer, Today Wearing Silver

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3626 – Gamer, Today Wearing Silver
Sep 222016
 

From time to time an image of our cats simply must be acceptable 🙂

Oh yes, silver! Reminds me of my new PEN-F. I write this Sunday evening on an overly crowded train to Vienna. The weekend was rainy, and when it didn’t rain, I was working at my father’s house. Insted of retiring, he began building it at 60 years. He never finished it, my mother never wanted to change places so late in their life, and therefore it has been standing empty for years. We’re currently trying to find a tenant, but there are still a lot of things lying around all over the place. You wouldn’t believe how many creative ways there are to stow away tools 🙂

Therefore, instead of taking lots of photos with my new toy, I spent the time sorting other people’s stuff, and when I didn’t, I looked out of a window into the rain.

Still, I have some first impressions. Remember that I recently complained about having to tag images taken with a lens without electronic contacts? Remember the manually maintainable “list of lenses” that I wished for? Well, that’s exactly what the PEN-F has 🙂

The other big difference to any Olympus camera so far is the dedicated exposure compensation wheel. It’s a big change, and here’s why:

Normally I use aperture priority mode and have the front wheel set for aperture. The back wheel is set to exposure compensation. In manual mode, the only other mode that I regularly use, the back wheel is set to shutter speed. In aperture priority I use auto-ISO, in manual base ISO. If light is too low, I manually increase ISO, for instance via Olympus’ “Super Control Panel”.

Now, with a dedicated wheel for exposure compensation, I have the back wheel set to ISO. This is awkward (because I am not used to it) and relaxing as well. It’s relaxing, because as soon as I use the back wheel, the manually set ISO overrides the automatic, and basically what was aperture priority, becomes kind of a manual mode, where I can easily dial ISO for an acceptable shutter speed.

On my E-M1 (and all other Olympus cameras) I can’t do that. The best thing I can do is to switch a mode lever and then the two wheels change to ISO / White Balance. That’s not the same though. I always tend to forget the state of the lever, and while theoretically I could be faster, I end up being slower than when I take the camera off my eye and do the adjustment via Super Control Panel.

So, that’s a fine thing, but I am not sure how much I want to rely on it. After all, the E-M1-MkII may not have that extra wheel, and then switching between cameras will be awkward, and besides, the E-M1-MkII is a few months away anyway.

3443 – So that’s your proposal? … I Disagree!

 Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95  Comments Off on 3443 – So that’s your proposal? … I Disagree!
Mar 232016
 

Remember the Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95? Here it is, tried on my cat. Yes, I know, that “third ear” is irritating. In reality it is part of a lamp maybe half a meter behind Gamer’s head.

The rest of the background? It’s busy as it gets and on any other lens it would be distracting as hell. Here it just pleasantly melts away, and that is exactly what I have bought this lens for. On the other hand, what’s in focus, is as sharp as anyone could like it to be.

3191 – Frankengamer

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3191 – Frankengamer
Jul 142015
 

On Saturday Gamer decided to jump from the terrace on second floor. It was the third time, but this time he was not lucky at all. We’ve searched for two hours and finally found him under a caravan, only two meters from our house. He had a bad fracture of his left upper hind leg. We immediately took him to a veterinarian who hinted at a possible amputation and referred us to a surgeon.

Well, the surgeon was quite optimistic and you see the result in this picture.

To make things a little bit more complicated, Kazuuu! our other cat decided that this was not her playmate any more, recognized his weakness and began to hunt him down. All in all the situation is pretty nerve-wracking. Our home is now divided in two zones, one for each cat. As far as this external brace goes, Gamer won’t get rid of it before October.

This is also the reason why today’s blog is late. I’m pretty exhausted at the moment 🙂

3129 – Dirty Paws

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3129 – Dirty Paws
May 132015
 

I’m pretty sure these are Gamer’s paws. We always call him our Gecko because of the way he can spred his fingers. “A freshly cleaned window? Let’s see if there’s something to see!” 😀

The Song of the Day is “Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men. Hear it on YouTube.

Feb 022015
 

This was a nice ASUS monitor with IPS panel and a resolution of 1920×1200. I used it as secondary monitor for my Macbook and as primary for the small computer that acts as my secondary computer for working remotely. The Mac is a great machine, but running a Windows remote desktop on it via Citrix is inconvenient, because the Citrix plugin has all sorts of problems with keys on the Mac. Keys like “@” or “[” or a few more. Keys that programmers need all the time.

Attaching a PC keyboard does not help either. I tried it, but then it’s the PC keyboard that sends the offending keycodes. There may be a solution to that, but I decided to solve it in hardware instead. The computer on my secondary desk is a tiny ZOTAC Z-Box MA320, running on an AMD quad core 1.5 GHz Kabini, utilizing a 60 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM. It runs Linux, is completely silent, looks like a small WiFi router and sits in a bookshelf. That’s where this monitor was attached.

Gamer didn’t like it.

The Song of the Day is one more time “Mischief” by Beoga. Hear it on YouTube.

3000 – Mischief

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3000 – Mischief
Jan 042015
 

3000 days, none skipped. It’s still a daily photoblog in the sense that I post daily, although during the last year I have written in advance, often a week’s worth of posts written within four hours on the train. It’s less immediate, but it makes me a happier man. Well, I’m not the only one. 🙂

The cat is Gamer, our second one, Kazuuu!’s young brother, who has surprised me yesterday by jumping from the sofa up to the top of a file cabinet (a real one!), and then across a door to the next one. I have no idea how he’ll do it, but I bet he’ll make it to the roof next year. At reast that seems to be one of his resolutions 🙂

It’s New Year’s Eve here as I write this and my own resolutions are pretty modest as the blog and photography go: to carry on. I won’t be famous and I will certainly not invest big time promoting the blog. As every year I may add one or the other piece of equipment, but there is no need at all.

What I do want to do, is finally starting my next programming project. I have spent half a year learning JavaScript and giving up on it (not static, an endless source of trick programming, based on convention and daily changing fashion, usable for the client if you need to, no fun on the server if you strive for enterprise integration and long-time projects), another half a year learning Scala and also giving up on it (complex as a languge, attractive, but with an uncertain future, plagued by low productivity due to the need to learn new frameworks for everything).

It’s got to be Java. I know a few things about that. It is a less sexy language than Scala, less sexy even than C# (can I have “var” please?), but with Java EE 7 it has the world’s best and most stable ecosystem for enterprise applications. In the end language does not matter. I strive to transcend language anyway. “Azzyzted Development” will be a tool-based approach heavily relying on patterns and code generation.

That’s it. Gamer and I wish you all the best in 2015!

The Song of the Day is “Mischief” by Beoga. See a performance from the BBC Proms 2007 on YouTube.

2895 – Forever Gamer

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2895 – Forever Gamer
Sep 212014
 

Kazuuu!, our lovely kitten is a little over a year old now and she frequently seems to find us boring. Even worse, she’s been alone at home for whole working days, thus the idea to find her company.

Introducing Gamer! He’s her little brother, a young boy from the same mother, about ten weeks old, a clumsy but fast runner and a fanatic climber.

I was naive. Kazuuu! looks exactly like their mother and Gamer is such a tiny baby that I expected no problems at all. I thought it would be like “Hey little brother, I’m Kazuuu! Let me first show you the toilet”, but it was actually pretty dramatic. The young guy was very open at first and didn’t understand at all, why someone looking like his mother tried to murder him. At least that is what it must have looked like.

Two times we’d already decided that it would never work and that we would have to give Gamer away. Two times we tried again. Well, research on the Internet shows that this is normal. Everybody has the problem. It may take a week or two, and the more you interfere (by “protecting” one of the two), the longer it takes.

In our case it took less than a week. Kazuuu! managed to get him under control, now they play with each other, eat from the same bowl and sleep on the same rag. They don’t yet wash each other, but I guess that’s not far away 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Forever Gamer” by Nightcore. Hear it on YouTube.

Aug 042014
 

Kazuuu, my poor little kitten was finally neutered after a year. Ovaries and uterus were removed. That’s a pretty invasive operation and for the wound to properly heal, it is important to prevent her from licking it or tearing apart the suture. That’s what the hat is for. Believe me, she was not amused at all.

The Song of the Day is “My Gal (Poor Gal)” by The Lovin’ Spoonful. Hear it on YouTube.