Monday, February 25, 2008

Since Ravelry ate my blog, I'm going to see if I can't restart this with a different idea. I originally started a blog to try to say clever (and subtly snarky) things about news, particularly science news. Then this turned into a lame knitting blog. Now I feel like I don't know what to post here. So how about I post what I like, eh?

I am trying to learn how to use a camera and a flash better. I bought a Canon Speedlite 480ex so that I could point my flash in different directions, dial up or down the light intensity, and use a diffuser. I also tried to buy a hot shoe adapter and cord so that I can use the flash at a distance from the camera, but it looks like I might have bought the wrong model of something. The cord has a little plug just like a single earphone plug, and there's a dock space on the Speedlite, but it's empty. Behind the hole there's no socket, just plastic.

Still, the Speedlite is better than nothing. I used the diffuser for some of the shots taken of people in a big, poorly lit conference room at the Ravelry meetup.


I think it turned out better than with a standard Rebel built-in flash. I had fun anyway.

At work, I'm immersing myself in Django and oh-my-god real setup of Web, database and other server software. This intimidates me. When I get something working (like an index.html page with working stylesheet and logo links in Django) I take a little "success" break to let the feeling last.

I hate how easily this kind of work can go wrong. There have got to be common ways of doing things that just work. But I don't know what those are, and software for developers errs on the side of flexibility and power, rather than on the side of making choices for you so that it just works. And some choices work but are awkward. Where do I install Apache? Where do I locate the static files served by Apache? Where do I install MySql so that it can be used by MovableType as well as Django? Do I upgrade to Python 2.5 inplace or have it co-exist with Python 2.3? Invariably on the Mac there are permissions issues: do I change the permission of the file so I can do what I'm trying to do with my login account or do I switch to 'sudo' the command? I normally get things working eventually but it's sooo slow.

1 comment:

Alan H said...

That photo is much, much better than if you took it with the built-in. Sounds like you want the OCSC-2, (the off-camera shoe cord). See if you can find one. It looks like a flash on one side and a camera on the other.

As for your Mac and all this software. I have a fairly golden rule that I follow:

/Applications belongs to Apple.
/Applications/Local belongs to me.

/opt/local - belongs to macports.

/usr/local is for broken things that I want to install that I have no port for and when I don't write a port for them (rare). They are more likely to end up in ~/usr/local - where I can play with things that will not impact my Mac.

If you aren't using macports to get this software you should REALLY REALLY consider installing and using ports. It will make most of this very , very easy. Especially when it comes to making sure that your mysql install can talk with your other frameworks and blog software, etc. Drop me a line.

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