Thanksgiving Photos

October 20th, 2009 - 11:30 pm

Went on a photo expedition with some friends on Thanksgiving. Here are some of the results:

Boring Crap #47: Backups

October 8th, 2009 - 8:04 pm

Have found myself writing about my backup solution on various fora lately, so I might as well put it here and link to it to save myself trouble.

I have four disks in my Mac Pro. I have the following volumes of original data spread out on the disks:

  • OS + Applications
  • User data – all of the stuff I create (photos, music, docs, code, projects) and prefs, and the same for the few others that use this computer.
  • Media – music and video files that I’ve ripped from my collection of discs or bought on iTunes, etc
  • Games – Games dwarf my other apps in the space they use up, and from a disaster recovery perspective are irrelevant. Game stuff I create (like cars for Redline) is stored with my other projects.
  • Windows – VMs
  • Scratch – four disk RAID0 array made of the first 15GB of each disk. 300+ MB/s I/O for Photoshop use.
  • Whatever – 70GB of temporary storage
  • Laptop backup – has disk images for Time Machine and HDD clones from my MacBook.

These are on: a 1TB, a 640GB, and two 500 GB drives. I use one 500GB as a Time Machine disk for my user data. It’s automatic and runs every hour. Each of the volumes except the TM backup, laptop backup, ‘Scratch’, and ‘Whatever’ is cloned to an identically sized volume on a different disk every night using SuperDuper!.

Time Machine gives me versioning and is much more likely to save me from the oh-shit-I-nuked-my-Quickbooks-file problem than the clones (and has already done so). The cloned disks let me upgrade the OS/Apps with nothing to fear, as a reboot and clone back fixes all problems; as well, if a disk does go tits up, I have almost the same availability as RAID1 (I do need to reboot and change some settings).

Finally, my user data is backed up online using Mozy. Currently, I have 130GB online. Most of that (110GB) is my Aperture library.

Mozy has been OK in terms of service – random updates break for various people. When it breaks for me (twice now) I contact customer support and do the uninstall-reinstall dance with the first tier of support before my logs are passed on to the next tier that provides helpful advice that has fixed my problem. The last outtage lasted a couple of weeks, I was annoyed and was planning on looking at the alternatives before my service renewed. I was lazy and it got fixed just as they re-billed my credit card. Awesome.

Black & White

October 8th, 2009 - 1:05 am

Started playing with the demo for the Silver Efex Pro plug-in for Aperture. Fantastic. Here are the first attempts:

Aperture & I

October 8th, 2009 - 12:52 am

This post is inspired by a discussion the Fender Forum.

I absolutely love Aperture. I don’t, however, do many dramatic things with it. The tools I use most often, to the least:

  • Exposure adjustment (I usually underexpose on purpose)
  • Contrast/Definition/Vibrancy
  • Vignetting
  • Shadow/Highlight
  • Spot/Patch (I have some dirty lenses)
  • Monochrome conversion
  • Cropping & Straightening

Here’s an example shot (click on each to blow them up, click again to shrink). Before is on the left, after is right.

As I said, not very dramatic. About 80% of my best shots get adjusted a little tiny bit.

Video of the day, so far.

June 13th, 2009 - 12:13 pm

Eastman AC710

June 10th, 2009 - 12:19 pm

Friday was a New Guitar Dayâ„¢, ending the previous 18-month (mostly) self-imposed moratorium on guitar purchases. I received an Eastman AC710 (now called an AC712) from The Acoustic Guitar in Calgary.

This is Eastman’s take on the Martin 14-fret 000 size guitars that I just adore. The neck is made from mahogany, with a really interesting volute (second picture, above). The beautiful ebony fretboard is a dream to play on. The peghead has a rosewood veneer, a rosewood truss rod cover, and gold-plated Gotoh sealed tuners, which work very well.

The guitar’s top is made up of two pieces of engelmann spruce, which is purported to be ideal for finger picking (while sitka is the ideal for flatpickers). The guitar sounds gorgeous played either way, though. Back and sides are Indian rosewood, with beautiful grain. The guitar is beautifully bound with a five-ply mixture of woods, predominantly rosewood, which is sandwiched on either side by blonde and then black woods. The blond wood is maple, I believe, which is also used in the pinstripe inlay work on the back. I don’t know what the black wood is, though I have a hard time imagining that it’s ebony.

The guitar is finished in a thin coat of deliciously noxious nitrocellulose lacquer, so I think it’s going to age very, very well. I’ll try not to sniff it too much.


August 13th, 2008 - 2:53 pm


Hello Kitty!

I need a dozen new strings.

July 9th, 2008 - 9:23 pm

…but I recorded this anyway: