Friday, 31 December 2010

Not a lot

I spent most of today uploading my panos that I processed yesterday, and also uploading the resized version of a pano to various photo sharing websites. I also read up a bit on Forex trading.

I signed up to and as well, and updated some of my site info on them.

In the evening I watched the standard Star Trek TOS episode with Mauser and Bo. Then I did a Japanese lesson with Masuer and watched Magi Rangers with Biddleberry.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Pano processing

This morning I was uploading the two Korea panos I processed a few days ago. On one I noticed that a keyword was messed up due to the way my custom XMP panel automatically adds keywords from the hierarchical keyword.

So I thought I might as well fix my XMP panel. What should have been a quick fix actually took me quite a long time. The problem was that in my function I had a variable like
var t:Array;

Then further down in my code I was populating this array like
t = taxon.split("(");

I needed to change this so that it would only split the string at the last bracket, so instead of using split, I changed my code to:
pos = taxon.lastIndexOf("(");
t[0] = taxon.substr(0, pos);
t[1] = taxon.substr(pos+1);

But this didn't work, and I got an error message instead. I spent ages trying to find out what the problem, and eventually found that just because I had declared the variable t to be of type Array, this doesn't actually initialise an array. So I had to initialise the variable like
var t:Array = [];

And now my code worked.
Maybe obvious if you normally work with strictly typed languages, but I am used to the loose typing of javascript and php.

Before uploading one of the panos, I found a problem with it. Then I found a few other problems, so I spent quite a while fixing it. I was also unsure as to what the white balance should be like. After checking the internet, I found that most people seem to prefer using Daylight white balance for night images, thus giving them a warm (and in my opinion, natural) feel.

My photo had been taken using cloudy white balance, so I cooled the colour temperature down slightly.

After getting the panos uploaded I started processing one of the other Korea panos.

After lunch I updated my wordpress installations as the latest version fixes a serious vulnerability. (They even sent out an email urging users to update!) My multiuser blog and another standard installation upgraded automatically okay. But my photosite one took quite a while to update as I have to hack the core code to get it to work.

I processed another pano, then it was dinner time. I think with these panos I must spend about as much time trying to figure out exactly where the pano was taken as I do with the actual processing!

Goes to show how important it is to sync your GPS and camera clock and make sure you have your GPS with you and switched on. Would have saved me a lot of time!

After dinner I watched an episode of Star Trek TOS with Mauser and Bo. It was quite unusual because it didn't feature any scenes of Shatner with his top off. Also, Spock had a good chance of throwing Uhura into her chair, but he pushed her back into her chair very gently. We thought it must be because he hasn't had much practice at throwing Uhura into her chair in recent episodes, and so has forgotten how to do it properly.

The rest of the evening I processed another pano and also played on Mario Kart Wii with Sarah, Mark, and Bo for a bit.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


This morning I fixed a problem with my wordpress comments subscribe plugin hack and also played on Mario 2 for the NES with Mauser and Bo.

In the afternoon I worked on an ebay plugin for wordpress and also spent ages trying to find out why the Amazon ads weren't appearing on my website. The answer was that I have the adblock plugin enabled in Chrome. Doh!

I did a Japanese lesson with Mauser as well.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek TOS with Mauser and Bo, then did more work on my ebay wp plugin.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


This morning I sorted out my new* pogs that I hadn't scanned yet, and put them in piles ready to scan this evening. I also sorted some scans of some of the pogs that I did yesterday evening.

*Most of them I have had for probably at least year

After that I sorted out some cardboard boxes and other rubbish. I updated my faces made from food blog, then it was lunch time.

After lunch I did some more website work, still working on the comment / email post updates subscription thing.

In the evening I scanned and sorted more pogs, and did more website work. I also watched an episode of Star Trek TOS with Mauser, Bo, and Clare.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Pano processing

Today I was just processing some Korea photos. I only managed to get 3 done as they all needed a lot of cloning work to remove the tripod and shadows.

In the evening I also watched the DS9 tribbles episode in HD with Mauser and Bo. It in included on the TOS Season 2 Blu-ray. I also watched Magi Rangers with Belly, which was quite funny.

Lad said that there is a Power Rangers (American) version of Magi Rangers called Power Rangers Magical Force. It would be quite interesting to watch both series at the same time and see the differences and similarities between the American and Japanese versions of the same show.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day

Today I went to church and also processed the photos I took on our family walk yesterday. Unfortunately it seems my D200 still has autofocus problems as a lot were out of focus even when the person was standing still.

I also finished watching 'The Roaring Twenties' with Mauser.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day

Today I opened presents, went to Church, and went on an afternoon family walk. I also played on Mario Bros 3 for the NES, which Mauser got me for Christmas.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Making a YTP video

The last few days I've just been working on my Red Santa video. Today and yesterday I was working on the actual video, while prior to yesterday I was working on the images in Photoshop.

But today I finally finished it and uploaded to youtube, just in time for Christmas:

It's amazing how a video that's purposefully rubbish can take so long to make. When watching videos by people like MadAnonymous or some of the better Ran Ran Ruu videos, you don't really appreciate how much work must have gone into putting the video.

About the only other thing I did today was to wrap up my christmas presents for everyone.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Various stuff

This morning I got up at 6am, which I am going to try and do from now on. Unfortunately it's very difficult as my bed is nice and comfy and warm while the room is cold.

I also decided that it would be a good idea to not have a shower as soon as I get up (like I normally do), but rather wait for the temperature to warm up a bit.

I switched my PC on, but it wouldn't go on. I looked at the UPS and the battery indicator wasn't showing. The UPS has been showing the battery charging continuously for the last couple of weeks, so I wasn't that surprised that the battery might be gone.

I had previously looked into the problem, but the UPS manual just says that if something goes wrong with it, then you need to get an authorised technician (or similar) to look at it.

I pressed the self test button on the UPS to see if that would do anything, and it did. Now instead of showing the voltage as 230V and the status as 'normal' it showed the voltage as 000V and the status as 'fault'.

So I got some normal plugs from the garage and plugged my PC and monitor into a normal power strip so I could the PC. I checked ebuyer, where I bought the UPS from, and found I bought it in July 2009, so it wouldn't be in warranty now. I looked at other UPS models, which seem to be quite expensive, especially given that my broken one was rated for 1000VA and only cost about £35.

Doing some research I found that thankfully you don't need to use a UPS that is rated the same or better than your PC's PSU. The rating given to a PSU like 500W or 600W is its maximum power draw. Under normal usage the power draw will be much less.

For the moment I think I'll go without a UPS, but in the future I'll probably buy a more expensive APC model like the Back-UPS CS 650. It's £80, but has replacement batteries available for about £25, and I expect the batteries last longer than the 1½ years my cheap UPS lasted.

Next I did some more website work.

An error quite often occurring in the website error logs was something like
2010/12/12 00:56:01 [error] 2297#0: *1135474 FastCGI sent in stderr: "PHP Notice:  ob_end_flush() [<a href='ref.outcontrol'>ref.outcontrol</a>]: failed to delete buffer zlib output compression. in /home/djeyewater/webapps/htdocs/photosite/blog/wp-includes/functions.php on line 3071" while reading response header from upstream
I had looked into this briefly before, but couldn't find a fix. I looked into it more deeply today and found a fix: Re: Error message after a jpegPhoto - msg#00001

The problem is caused by wordpress, in the includes/functions.php file. I edited the file and changed the wp_ob_end_flush_all function to the following:
 * Flush all output buffers for PHP 5.2.
 * Make sure all output buffers are flushed before our singletons our destroyed.
 * @since 2.2.0
function wp_ob_end_flush_all() {
 $levels = ob_get_level();
 //Edit by DK
 for ($i=0; $i<$levels; $i++){
  $obStatus = ob_get_status();
  if (!empty($obStatus['type']) && $obStatus['status']) {

Now I don't get the 'failed to delete buffer zlib output compression' error.

After correcting that and a few other errors, I then spent the rest of the morning and quite a bit of the afternoon working on improving the format of the weekly digest email my blog sends.

For a bit I did think of using Feedburner again (I investigated Feedburner previously when first setting up a mailing list). It would be so much easier to get a nice looking email using Feedburner than hacking the s2subscribe plugin like I am doing.

But Feedburner still has the same problem of needing to enter Google's tricky captcha, and I suspect they also require you to validate your email address. Generally with mailing lists you want to make them as easy to join as possible, not as difficult as possible.

In the afternoon I also went in the garden and took some photos of the frosty cobwebs and other frozen stuff.

In the evening I processed the photos I took in the afternoon and watched an episode of Star Trek TOS with Mauser and Bo. Star Trek was very strange as they didn't have any shots of Shatner with his top off, something which is normally included in every episode.

Also in the evening I made some Cinnamon Swirls with Bo, though only half the usual amount as we didn't have enough bread flour.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Today I was mainly updating my pog website. I had a set with 140 pogs in it, so it took ages to do.

I also did a blog post for my photography website and some website stat checking / attempted error fixing.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Getting annoyed by banks

Yesterday evening I was trying to see how I could reclaim tax from interest paid on my bank accounts in the last 3 years while I've not been earning anything. The form requires quite a bit of info like how much interest you earned and how much it was taxed.

Surely the Inland Revenue must have this info already, otherwise I could put whatever I wanted and they wouldn't be able to check it!

Anyway, I thought I best just get on with the job and find out how much interest I'd been paid and how much tax I'd paid by going through my bank statements. Unfortunately, the Alliance & Leicester bank statements only go back about 250 days. Looking at the info on Alliance & Leicester's website, it says that you should download statements to ensure you have historical statements.

Why didn't they tell me this when I opened the account? It was probably in the small print, but something like this is quite important. Knowing Alliance & Leicester they probably knew it was important and so hid it in the small print knowing that no-one would read it, and so ensuring they would annoy people.

Also, there appears not be any way to request old statement data from Alliance & Leicester.

This morning I thought I might as well get on with filling in the form to prevent them from taking any more tax from future interest payments, so I did that. Unfortunately I didn't have 32p for a 2nd class stamp and no-one had change for a note. Luckily I had a 10p stamp and lots of 1p stamps from a few years ago, so I just used those instead.

I started doing a sound recording for a video of my top 5 photography tips article, then went to help Peter set up his new printer.

After lunch I spent most of the afternoon playing Wii Sports Golf, Puzzle Bobble, and Mario Kart Wii with Mauser and Bo.

In the evening I went on Animal Crossing and also created a hubpage version of my top 5 photography tips article. They don't allow you to include images in a text 'module', so you have to use a separate image 'module' for each image. So since my article has quite a lot of images in it, it took quite a long time to do.

I also tried to set up the affiliate options in hub pages as well.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Still articling

This morning there was a nice sunrise so I decided to go out and try and take some photos of it. Unfortunately I was too late and missed it. The annoying thing is that we only get nice sunrises on average about once every three weeks. So to get a nice sunrise photo you would need to go out before sunrise every day for three weeks, spending a couple of hours out in the cold, since there is no way you can know if the sunrise will be good until it happens.

It's a lot of work just for a few nice sunrise photos!

When I got back home I wrote up yesterday's blog post, then did some more work on my top 5 photography tips article PDF version. I changed some of the layout a bit more, then found that the links weren't working when exported to PDF.

I tried a different PDF and the links in that worked okay, so I thought you must need to do something special to hyperlinks in OpenOffice to get them to work as a hyperlink in a PDF. Googling I found this thread: Links not working in Adobe Reader in Exported PDF, which said the problem was caused by exporting as PDF/a. So I tried tagged PDF instead, and now the links worked.

When I'd got the PDF finished and uploaded I then tried slideshare, but found that the PDF was really in the wrong orientation (portrait) for slideshare. So I spent a lot of the afternoon and evening making a presentation version of the article in impress.

Unfortunately it wasn't just a case of copy and pasting as with the different page orientation everything needed rearranging and Impress would always mess up the formatting whenever pasting the text into it. It was particularly annoying with the flickr links where it would make the whole flickr credit text look like a hyperlink and you had to alter the style of the text in a very specific and cumbersome way to make the text look like normal text while keeping the actual hyperlinks looking like links.

I did some checking on the creative commons licensed flickr photos, and found that one of the requirements was that when using the photo you must specify that it is CC licensed. I didn't realise this previously.

The Firefox Greasemonkey script I'd been using to get the image / credit html for CC licensed flickr photos did originally produce the credit in the form of something like
<a href="link to photo on flickr">Creative Commons licensed photo</a> by <a href="link to user on flickr">username</a> on flickr

But I didn't think that was that great so I had changed it to
<a href="link to photo on flickr">Photo title</a> by <a href="link to user on flickr">username</a> on flickr

Now I realised why the script creator had written it to mention CC instead of the photo title. Anyway, all I did was to put a note on my website, the squidoo lens, the presentation, and the pdf that all the flickr photos used are CC licensed.

That way I keep using the photo titles, don't make the photo credits really long by mentioning on every photo credit that it's CC licensed, and also comply with the CC licensing rules.

I also read this blog post about CC licenses being revoked and the burden of proof being on you as a user to prove that you had a license to use the photo: Gaming the Creative Commons for Profit.

So although it is a pain, I took screenshots of every page for each flickr photo I was using, making sure that the little CC icons were on show. Of course, if someone did decide to falsely sue me they could claim that I doctored the images. But still, I think it is better than nothing.

And when there are probably people using the images with no attribution that they could go after, just the fact that I have a screenshot might be enough to put off any of these claims. I hope that in reality I never receive any such claim in the first place though.

In the evening I also watched an episode of Star Trek with Mauser and Bo. My favourite quote was Dammit, I'm a doctor not an escalator!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Article submitting

Yesterday I was mainly working on a top 10 photography tips article. According to some info by Daniel Wagner that I heard recently, the idea is that you write an article and submit it to high PR and traffic article directories. Then you create audio, video, PDF, and slide versions of the same article and submit them to their relevant high PR and traffic directory style sites. This is meant to be an easy way to boost your SEO.

Well, it took me over a day to write the article, and then when I'd finished I realised it was far too long. So I cut it down to 5 top tips and can either use the 10 tips version for a free opt-in PDF or cut it up into other articles.

Submitting the article to the article directories isn't as simple as it sounds as they have various regulations about the number of links in an article, what HTML is allowed, and whether images are allowed.

I only submitted the article to and, but both have different requirements. If you were just writing a plain text article, with <strong> tags used for headlines then submitting to the article directories would be easy.

Since I was writing about photography, I had included a lot of CC licensed flickr photos in my article, and so each of these also linked back and included text links back to flickr. But due to the article directories only allowing 3-4 links in an article, I had to remove all these photos.

I also made a squidoo page, which thankfully lets you use as many images and links as you want. However, it inserts HTML line breaks where you have a text line break in your HTML code. So I had to remove all line breaks from my HTML code. I also had to insert each section as a different block in squidoo. I added some Amazon and ebay ad blocks to my squidoo version of the article as well.

There was also a problem with squidoo that when I set my account up I hadn't actually set up a mailbox for the email address I registered with. And squidoo requires you to validate your email address before you can publish an article. So I set my mailbox up and made sure the email could send and receive okay.

But when I used the link on squidoo to resend my validation email, I never received anything. I tried a few times and decided to wait in case it was just really slow.

That took all morning and afternoon. In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek TOS with Mauser and Lad.

I checked my email for the squidoo confirmation email again, but still hadn't received anything. So I changed the email address in squidoo to my standard one, and this time the resend validation worked. So I validated my email and published the article.

I set up a facebook fanpage for the website as well, then started converting the article to a PDF. Again, because the article wasn't just plain text, this was quite a bit of work. I tried to resize and re-arrange some of the photos and text so the document would flow nicely, instead of have a line of text about a photo on one page and then a large space and the photo on the next page.

While I was doing this I was also listening to (and occasionally watching) a webinar by Daniel Wagner. The title of the webinar was something like 'What to do and what not to do to make money online in 2010'. But actually all it covered was Daniel's membership site 6 figure mentors. There was no useful content at all. It seems that Daniel's idea for what to do for success in 2011 is that you should join his membership site, and what not to do is miss out on joining his membership site.

The fact that he has integrated a ponzi / pyramid scheme (make money for referring new members and any members they refer etc.) into the site makes it less appealing in my opinion than a standard affiliate program as ponzi schemes tend to be those used by fraudsters.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


This morning I fixed the problem with my init script for php-fpm, then tried adding a couple of my websites to DMOZ. I also added my websites to Yahoo site explorer, and added my new website to Bing Webmaster tools.

I found Bing Webmaster tools to be pretty useless. According to their stats, they have only crawled about 9 pages of my several thousand page site, which has been up for about a year now. And I have even added the sitemap for that site in Bing Webmaster tools.

I guess this explains why Bing search is still rubbish compared to Google, if Bing doesn't even bother crawling sites properly.

In the afternoon I worked on a top 10 photography tips article.

In the evening I watched the final episode of DS9 with Mauser and Bo, and then some of the extras interviews.

After that I noticed that the sky was quite clear, so I went out to try and take a few night sky photos. Unfortunately it seems my lens / camera aren't up to letting in enough light to get a really star filled sky. And when trying to do a star trail, the camera's battery ran out after five or so minutes.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Installing php

This morning I was finishing off some photos, then fixing some articles pulled by stealth profit machines that didn't include the required author information.

In the afternoon I did some more fixing the articles, adding paragraphs round the amazon ads and flickr photos I'd inserted. I also installed the latest version of php, which had a few problems along the way.

Last week

Past week or so I have been taking photos for me and other people, processing said photos, and also processing some older photos. I setup my first 'stealth profit machine' website, and did quite a bit of work on that site, including setting up wordpress-mu.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Pano fixing

This morning I had a meeting with the people about the 'In the picture' photography, then the rest of the morning and most of the rest of the day I was working on some panos I took recently.

I managed to process the panos yesterday, and today I was just adding the descriptions etc. and uploading them to the website. I only had 4, so I didn't think it would take very long.

Unfortunately I kept finding things wrong with them so I'd have to open them and fix them, save them, and then re-save the various different versions (full size TIFF, full size JPEG, sharpened sRGB TIFF, 640px sRGB JPEG, 316px sRGB JPEG, 2000px cube faces, 640px cube faces).

One of the problems I found was due to the High pass LCE being different at each edge of the image (so it created a seam when wrapping 360°). This is something I've never noticed before, but it wouldn't be that surprising if it is a problem in all my existing panos, just that I somehow hadn't noticed it.

In the afternoon I also played on Wii Sports Golf with Mauser and Bo, and in the evening I watched an episode of DS9 with them.

Later in the evening we went to see K.K. as well.

I also watched a Canon 600mm f/4 IS lens go for £2,651.00 on ebay. Very cheap for this lens, but I'd rather save my money for things I'd get more use from.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Various stuff

This morning I was looking through my website error logs and found some wordpress errors. I went on wordpress and found there was a new version and so installed that and also some new versions of plugins I had installed.

After that I had to replace all the places that wordpress uses named entities like &raquo; &laquo; and &nbsp; as these entities don't exist by default in xml and so break pages served as XHTML.

Next I updated the subscribe2 plugin that I have customised slightly. But when I tested it, it didn't work. After looking into it I found that part of my customisation didn't make sense. I think I must have just copied it from the filsofo enroll comments plugin that I also customised slightly.

After attempting to fix my code, I tried again, but it still wasn't working. After a while of trying to find what the problem was, I found that, according to the SMTP plugin, I hadn't configured PHP with SSL support. And so because the SMTP plugin wasn't working, the Subscribe2 plugin couldn't send any email.

Re-installing PHP is quite a task, and apparently a new version of PHP will be released soon anyway: PHP 5.3.4 in December. So I'll wait for PHP 5.3.4 to be released, then build it with SSL support.

I went out for a walk and took a few photos around sunset. After the sun had set it was very annoying. The sun would light up the clouds nicely from below the horizon, but as soon as I set up my tripod and camera the light would go from the clouds / sky.

I would take a few photos anyway and wait for a few minutes, but when the light didn't improve at all I'd give up and pack up the tripod and camera. Then about a minute later the light would come back and light up the clouds and sky very nicely again.

This happened three times in a row, very annoying!

In the evening I watched an episode of DS9 with Mauser and Bo, then did a Japanese lesson with Mauser.

After that I spent ages looking for the rubber grip bits that had fallen off my tripod legs quite a while ago. I thought they were all in a bag, but the bag only had one out of nine bits in it. I looked everywhere I could think of that they might be, but couldn't find any more.

I wanted to glue them back onto the tripod as tightening / untightening the legs is quite difficult in the cold without the rubber grips. So it was annoying that I couldn't find them. I was sure they were in the bag, and since I looked just about anywhere else they could be, I've no idea what's happened to them.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Various stuff

This morning I was copying the full size photos from my hosting account with WebFaction to my hosting account with Host Gator.

While it copied across I sorted and processed some old MT-24EX diffusion test photos, mostly of flea beetles.

When the copy was finished I checked and the file size was different between my folder and the folder on Host Gator.

I spent a while trying to check where the difference might be. In the end, I did
ls -al ~/path/to/folder > contents.txt

On both the webfaction and Host Gator servers.

Then I had to strip out the info that was different like the permissions (not sure why though), date created, owner user, and owner group. I did this by just pasting the text into calc, which then makes the text into columns so you can easily delete the columns you don't want.

Probably you can easily run
to only select the exact columns you want, but stripping them out through calc isn't much trouble.

Then I pasted the two columns I wanted (filename and filesize) for each host in separate text files. I then did a compare using KomodoEdit, but it didn't find any difference. So I guess that actually all the files did copy okay.

My hex / allen key set arrived from Amazon, so I spent most of the afternoon trying to adjust the autofocus on my D200.

Using the 1.5mm allen key I was able to adjust the autofocus, something I had found too tricky with our existing allen keys that had much shorter 'handles'.

After quite a few adjustments I found what seems to be an okay setting. The exact focus point chosen by the autofocus seems to vary from shot to shot (assuming you move the focus between shots, forcing the camera to refocus), and also from lens to lens.

I haven't taken any 'real life' shots using autofocus with the camera since adjusting it yet though.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek DS9 with Mauser and Bo, then did a Japanese lesson with Mauser.

After that I did more photo processing / sorting. I also received some more stuff from Amazon, so I sorted it out and put it all in a 'Christmas presents' box.