Monday, 28 February 2011


Today I was still writing descriptions for some Korea photos.

Saturday, 26 February 2011


Today I was still writing descriptions for the photos I took on the bus trip through Yangyang and Sokcho on my Korea holiday in 2009. I have about 2 from the bus trip left to write descriptions for now, then of course there are still all the other photos I took on that day that need descriptions writing as well.

In the afternoon I also watched Ali Baba and the 40 thieves with Mauser and Bo. And in the evening we watched an episode of Star Trek TNG. Later in the evening we all went to see K.K. as well.

Friday, 25 February 2011


Today I was mostly writing descriptions and adding metadata to some of my Korea photos.

I found this website very helpful: encyber. You can search for village or district names in Korea, e.g. that page is for 조산리 (Josan-ri) in 양양읍 (Yangyang-eup). It even has quite a few photos for each of the villages I checked.

I also found this website, quite interesting:, which gives info on agriculture in Korea.

The Daum, Naver, and Google Maps don't always match up, but a Church that I photographed on the bus trip is totally non-existent on the Daum and Naver maps, and the Daum and Naver maps are also different to each other. The Church definitely exists, as you can see it if you use streetview in Daum. I haven't been able to get streetview to work in Naver maps.

In the afternoon the Daum maps seemed to be broken, so I gave up and started preparing some pog scans for upload.

In the evening I watched an episode of TNG with Mauser and Bo, then carried on getting pog scans ready for the website.

Thursday, 24 February 2011


This morning I was sorting some Korea photos.

In the afternoon I did some food photography for someone.

In the evening I went out for a meal with the people that I did the Christmas photos with.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


This morning I was processing some more Korea photos.

In the afternoon and quite a bit of the evening, I was trying to geocode the photos from the bus journey to Sokcho. Unfortunately Google Maps / Earth isn't very high resolution in this area, and the imagery is quite out of date as well, so this was quite difficult.

After a while I found the daum maps page, which is higher resolution, and seems to be more recent as well. Still difficult to find the different places where I took photos along the journey though.

In the evening I also watched an episode of Star Trek TNG and Magi Rangers with L and Mauser.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Photo processing

Today I was mainly processing more Korea photos.

I also went on Mario Sunshine with L a bit, and watched an episode of Star Trek TNG with Mauser and Bo.

Monday, 21 February 2011


This morning I processed a partial pano that I'd processed yesterday, but this time using Photomatix to merge and tonemap the bracketed shots before stitching them.

Overall, I would say that Photomatix did a pretty good job of aligning the handheld photos, though not perfect. Probably at least as good as PTGUI did anyway. The main problem was the ghosting. Photomatix does now feature de-ghosting, but you do this during the HDR file creation process.

So when processing a pano with PTGUI and using layer masks in PS to manage the exposure blending, if you create a ghost, it's just a matter of painting in the layer mask. But when using Photomatix, if you then spot a ghost while checking the pano, you'll need to regenerate the HDR, mapping out the ghosts, then tonemap the new HDR file, then re-stitch the whole pano.

Also this morning, and part of the afternoon, I submitted a few articles to ezine articles and articlesbase on ND filters / exposure fusion / HDR.

Later in the afternoon I played on Mario Sunshine with L (who is on half term holiday for a bit). Then before dinner I made a cake (and L made a cake too).

In the evening I watched an episode of Magi Rangers then did some more work on my ND filters / exposure fusion / HDR article, getting some more photos to illustrate it. I processed some more Korea photos as well.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


This morning I updated my pog website (very easy since I did the work earlier in the week).

I also moved the location of my Zinio e-books as they weren't being backed up where they were located. According to the Zinio FAQs, you can't change the download directory:
Q: Can I change the location where my publications are downloaded?

A: No. The new application uses the Adobe AIR framework, which uses a standard directory for the local store information. Although we are unable to modify the Adobe AIR framework or directory structure at this time, it is a high priority for us and currently is being evaluated as a feature enhancement.

I thought it should be possible to move the Zinio storage directory to my e-books folder, and then symlink the directory to the relevant folder in my e-books folder. I spent quite a while trying to find out how make a symlink in Windows, mainly because I thought the command was mklnk, when actually the command is mklink.

After creating the symlink, I loaded up Zinio and looked at a magazine I hadn't viewed recently, and it all seemed to work okay.

I read an article on the GH2 on Luminous Landscape as well.

After Church I played on Mario Sunshine a bit with L and Mauser.

After dinner I went on Mario Sunshine a bit with L and Mauser a bit more and wrote an article about split ND filters, exposure blending, and HDR. I downloaded the latest version of Photomatix Pro as well, as it seems it has moved on quite a bit since I last tried it. It now supports exposure blending (as well as HDR and tone mapping), automatic image alignment of handheld photos, and de-ghosting.

But for most of the afternoon and a bit of the evening I was making a sculpey Mario. I didn't get very far though.

After tea I watched an episode of Star Trek with Mauser and Bo, then played Wii Sports Golf and Wii Mario Kart with Masuer, L, and Shaz.

I processed a photo then went to bed.

Saturday, 19 February 2011


This morning I wrote another article for my photo website. Unfortunately, while the article I wrote yesterday needs a video I can't currently record, the article I wrote today really needs some photos I can't currently take (it rained all day today).

I wrote an article for my photography tips website as well, and that one I could post, since I use Flickr CC licensed images to illustrate articles for that website.

For some of the afternoon and most of the evening I processed some more Korea photos. I had a pano on top of a mountain that should have been really good. The pano didn't stitch perfectly, I presume I was knocking the tripod about as I moved around it since it was a bit precarious. It was also very windy up there.

The stitching wasn't too much of a problem though, the main problem was that I had purposefully left my bag at the bottom of the pano. I don't why I did this, but it seems like it ruins the image for me. And it's nothing something that can be cloned out easily either. I doubt I could even clone it out at all.

In the afternoon I also played on Mario Sunshine for a bit and helped Mauser sort out some of his game discs.

In the evening I also went on Animal Crossing to listen to K.K., and he played a song called 'Forest Life' for L, which is the Animal Crossing theme song (Animal Crossing is called Animal Forest in Japan).

Friday, 18 February 2011


This morning I was trying to think of a blog post to write for my photography website. I also had a bad headache, so I went to bed for a bit. But I couldn't get to sleep so I got up again. Then the headache got worse and I felt a bit sick so I went to bed again.

I got up for lunch, and felt better after lunch. Since I couldn't think of any blog posts to do for my photography website, I thought I better process some more Korea photos, then I can do some more blog posts of Korea photos. So I started processing more Korea photos.

Then after processing a pano, I thought that the colour temperature and tone matching I had to do in making the pano might make a useful blog post. I googled, and all the results seemed to be for a single video by mama photoshop. And it's a different method to the non-destructive method I use.

After dinner I watched an episode of Star Trek TNG with Mauser and Bo.

I wrote some more of my colour temperature matching tutorial and tried a few times to record a video of it using WonderShare DemoCreator. But unfortunately DemoCreator always recorded the cursor as an hourglass. I googled and couldn't find any reports of this. I checked the GOATD website where I had originally downloaded it from, and there was no report of this behaviour there either.

But on the GOATD website it did say that WonderShare were offering support for the GOATD version, and gave an email address for support queries. So I sent them an email.

Thursday, 17 February 2011


Today I was still working on the admin panel for my ebay wordpress plugin. Also Shaz came home for a few days.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Today I was working on the admin area for my ebay wordpress plugin, and trying to find the best way to do it. Although I found a few tutorials, none really seemed to be suitable for the way my plugin options are structured.

The best one I found was: How to Create a Better WordPress Options Panel, but even this is very basic. It doesn't cover theme options stored in a multidimensional array, and doesn't cover checking POST values and re-populating form fields with POST values if the POSTed values weren't saved to the db (e.g. if one of the fields was filled in incorrectly).

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


This morning I got up at 6.20am, then had a shower etc. as usual. When I was finished I could see it looked like there might be a nice sunrise. So I went outside to check, and saw that the sun had actually already risen and was shining through some cloud. So it seems if I want to catch the sunrise I'll have to leave the house straight after getting up at 6.20am.

For the morning I was just preparing more pog images for my pog website.

Mauser has had a Bosch book for quite a while and I have wanted to do a photoshop of it with Johnny Yong Bosch (the 2nd Black Power Ranger). Well, a few days ago I actually got round to doing it. I couldn't find photos of him from his younger power rangers days though, so I used a relatively recent photo of him I found via Google Images.

In the afternoon today I was still getting the content update ready for my pog website. Also, I was looking at making some Desktop backgrounds out of some of my photos. Someone had requested some at 1920x1200 resolution.

The images in question were 1920x960 when resized with the proportions constrained. So I wanted to check if I needed to manually add top and bottom borders to the images, or if they would display okay at their current size. I checked on Mauser's PC and it displayed on his Desktop okay, but that's less than 1920px width.

Checking the image on his HDTV (which is connected to his PC as a second monitor), I found that the image wasn't stretching all the way to the sides of the screen. I checked the Desktop settings, and the TV was set to 1920px width, and the desktop wallpaper was set to 'Stretch'. When I changed from 'Stretch' to 'Center', the image now filled the TV to the sides correctly.

So it seems that 'Stretch' doesn't mean 'Stretch to fit while keeping aspect ratio and not cropping', which is what I thought it would do. Anyway, it showed that I don't need to add any borders to the images.

After Ben came home, and most of the evening, we made some more Melonpan and also some shortbread.

Monday, 14 February 2011


This morning I was writing (actually writing this time) an article for my photography tips website.

In the afternoon I was working on the admin area for my ebay wordpress plugin.

About 4pm I went on a walk.

I got home about 5.55pm, then had dinner. After dinner I watched an episode of Star Trek TNG. After that I sorted some photos and updated my faces made from food blog. I started cutting out some more pogs in Photoshop, then checked my email.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


This morning I updated my pog website, which was quick and easy thanks to preparing the update yesterday.

I went to Church, and then after Church we (myself, Mauser, and L) played on Kirby's Ghost Trap for the SNES until lunch. The game is virtually identical to Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. It seems quite difficult.

After lunch me and L started making the Melonpan bread dough again, after our failure yesterday.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek TNG with Mauser and Bo, and an episode of Magi Rangers with L.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Bad Cooking and Websiting

This morning I started making some Melonpan with L. We put the dough in the microwave on Low for 40 minutes to rise, and Low (the microwave's lowest setting) was too hot and cooked the dough. No good.

In the afternoon I finished checking my website error logs.

In the evening I prepared my pog website update for tomorrow.

Friday, 11 February 2011


Today I was still checking my website error logs and trying to fix some errors I found.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


This morning I updated the Korea blog posts on my photo website so that each one linked on to the next one. I added some other relevant links as well.

After that I finished writing my article about how to take panos, and made it into a hubpage.

After lunch I did some gardening. I filled up the pond, which was quite low, and pulled a lot of the pond weed out as well. I washed the bird table and moved it.

When that was done I started checking the logs for my websites.

When Ben came home from school I made some KFC style chicken with him for dinner.
The KFC spice mix looked like sand

L does some cooking

After dinner I watched a Bogey film with Mauser.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Pano processing

Today I was just processing and then uploading the panos that I took on my afternoon walk yesterday.

In the evening I also watched an episode of Magi Rangers with L.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


This morning I was doing some more work on my ebay plugin for wordpress. I think I've got all the basics done now. It still needs an admin area to allow you change the default values, and the API seems to be pulling in lots of duplicate listings. I left a message on the ebay developer forums to see if this a bug in the API or a problem with my code.

For the rest of the morning and first part of the afternoon I did a couple of blog posts for my photography tips website, and a couple of Korea photos blog posts for my photo website.

After that I went on a walk to East Farndon. I came back home as the sun set, thinking I would go to the loo and then go back out again to catch the twilight. But when I got home I decided that actually I wouldn't bother going out again.

And then, of course, the clouds built up and were lit up a nice deep orange. So I missed the really nice twilight/sunset. Hopefully I'll know better next time!

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek TNG with Mauser and Bo. I geo-coded the photos from this afternoon, and then wrote some more of a Korea photos blog post for my photo website.

Monday, 7 February 2011


This morning I was doing some more work on my Ebay Wordpress plugin. There is a bug in LIBXML that causes entities to become decoded (i.e. & becomes &). This causes problems when outputting to HTML and XML as & must be encoded as an entity.

I thought I had worked round it using a fix to convert the named entities to numeric entities:
$resp = str_replace(array('&', '<', '>', '"'), array('&', '&#60', '>', '"'), $resp);

However, when I checked, the numeric entities were still being converted to characters. So I switched my code to instead double encode the entities, and this is working okay, at least on my local machine.
//If we're using a buggy libxml version, we need to double encode the named entities to prevent them from being converted to characters
if(LIBXML_VERSION >= 20700 && LIBXML_VERSION <= 20708){
 $resp = str_replace(array('&amp;', '&lt;', '&gt;', '&quot;'), array('&amp;amp;', '&lt;lt;', '&gt;gt;', '&quot;quot;'), $resp);

In the afternoon I was struggling with keeping a custom tooltip style div faded in when you hovered over it, or the element it was a 'tooltip' for, but otherwise fading it out. So I had some code like so (where $desc is the tooltip):

I thought that this should make it so that when you mouseout of $desc it will fade out, but if you mouseover $desc again before it has finished fading, the fade will be cancelled and it will fade back in again.

However, what actually happens is that if you mouseover $desc again while it is fading out, the fade will stop, but it won't fade back in. And if you now let $desc fade out completely, next time you fade it in, it will only fade in to the opacity that was set when the previous fade out was cancelled.

So I spent a long time trying to find out how to fix this, and in the end I have found that the following seems to work okay:
  $(this).stop(true).fadeIn(500, function(e){$(this).css({"opacity" : 1});});
  $(this).stop(true).fadeOut(500, function(e){$(this).css({"opacity" : 1});});

I've only tested in Chrome and FF so far though!

I did some more testing, and came across a weird bug in IE where setting position: relative makes it as if you have set position: fixed. I did a page with an example of the bug: IE6 bug with overflow and position:relative, but unfortunately they say they no of no cure (other than quirks mode). Luckily, I found I could remove position: relative, and the problem elements still displayed in normal browsers okay, as well as this fixing it in IE.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek TNG (which was actually alright), and an episode of Let's Learn Japanese Basic 1 with Mauser and Bo.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Having a bad headache

Today I updated my pog website and went to Church.

In the afternoon I watched the Magi Rangers film, which was only 40 minutes long, so not much more than a standard episode. I thought it could have been quite a bit longer, but still, it's better to have a short film than artificially drag it out just to meet some arbitrary length.

After that I got a bad headache so I went to bed. I got up later when I was feeling better and read Thom Hogan's website, Nikon Rumors, and Canon Rumors.

In the evening I did some work on trying to design a Lenin tracksuit.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Plugging things in and out

This morning I was mainly 'writing' (adding photos and amazon links to) an article for my photography tips website, and writing another Korean Folk Village blog post for my photo website.

All afternoon and the first part of the evening I was helping Mauser get his room set up so that he can have lots of video games consoles plugged into his TV. He wanted the SNES as one of the consoles, so me and L went into the garage to get it. Unfortunately, we didn't know what box it was in, and it turned out to be in the last box left we had to look in. So finding the SNES took quite a long time.

Then there was a problem with how to plug all the consoles into the TV. In the garage I had a '10 in 1' S-video / RCA lead that has a Nintendo, X-box, PS, and DC connectors on one end, and an S-video and RCA connectors on the other. It's named 10 in 1 rather than 4 in 1 because the nintendo connector can be used for various Nintendo consoles, and the PS connector works on the PS1 and PS2.

So I connected up the Dreamcast, PS2, and SNES all on this one lead. But when we tried using the consoles, the Dreamcast had no sound, and the SNES had no sound and the picture continually jerked up and down with no way to correct it.

After disconnecting the PS2 and SNES from the lead, I found that the Dreamcast did work on the lead with sound. I plugged the lead back into the PS2 again, and now the Dreamcast had no sound again. So it seems that the 10 in 1 lead is pretty pointless if you can only have one console plugged into it at a time. In the end, I just left it connected to the Dreamcast since it was easier than unplugging it completely and then finding and plugging in a Dreamcast specific S-Video cable.

There was also a problem with the N64 connected with an RF cable, in that it wasn't tuned in properly, and was all staticy. So I switched the N64 to scart, and then the SNES could use the RF connector switch that the N64 was previously connected to.

So we ended up with:
Blu-ray player and X-Box 360 connected via HDMI
N64 connected via RCA to a SCART adapter, which was plugged into another SCART adapter which also had the Gamecube connected via RCA
Playstation 2 was connected by RCA to SCART adapter
SNES, Megadrive, NES, and the Aerial were connected via a series of RF switch boxes (each box has two RF cable inputs and one output with a switch to switch between the two inputs)
Dreamcast connected via S-Video and RCA L/R audio.

The only problem we have now is that the SNES and Megadrive control pads have really short leads, and extension leads are quite expensive. Also, it would be quite nice to have the Saturn plugged in as well.

In the evening I made some Eccles cakes and went to see K.K. as well.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ebay RSS feed APIing

This morning I had an email that a couple of my domains were up for renewal. They're £8.50 ea. with my current company, evohosting, so I decided to move them to goDaddy, which is more like £5 ea.

Unfortunately, when it came to goDaddy sending me an email I had to get a code from or something, they sent it to the admin contact listed for the domains, which is my current provider, and not me.

So I logged into the evohosting control panel and changed the admin contact email to mine, then pressed the re-send email link in the goDaddy control panel. But it resent the email to the old admin contact email still. I'm guessing that maybe the changes have to propagate like DNS changes.

I spent most of the morning testing different parameters for the ebay API RSS feed to see if I could find what they did. Some of the parameters are obvious by their names, and some I found descriptions of while searching for them yesterday. But there are other parameters that I couldn't find any info for. And when testing them today, these parameters seemed to make no difference.

I used PHP to download the RSS feed once with a parameter with one value (or not set), and also with the parameter with a different value. Then I used to compare (diff) facility in Komodo Edit to compare the two files. Sometimes there would be a 1 listing difference between two values for a parameter, but then if I ran the script again, there would be no difference. So the difference was just due to the few milliseconds between the first request and the second, not the parameter setting.

Here's the list of parameters:
  FeedName=SearchResults //feed type
  &dfsp=32 //seems to have no effect, optional
  &from=R6 //seems to have no effect, optional
  &nojspr=y //seems to have no effect, optional
  &fbfmt=1 //seems to have no effect, optional
  &output=RSS20 //Has no effect, but probably best to include in case ebay switch the feed format default to something else in the future
  &saaff=afepn //EPN affiliate
  &siteId=16 //Country (0=US 3=UK 146=NL 101=IT 203=IN 71=FR 186=ES 2=CA 23=BE 15=AU)
  &language=en-US //language
  &afepn= //CampaignID
  &customid=myCustomID //customID
  &satitle=dslr%20-excludedWord //search term
  &sacat=625 //categoryID
  &catref=C5 //seems to have no effect, optional
  &fts=2 //1=search title 2= search description as well
  &saprclo=500 //minPrice
  &saprchi=1000 //maxPrice
  &sacur=1 // apparently currency; 1 for US, 0 for any
  &ffsh=1 //Free Shipping only
  &sappl=1 //Paypal only
  &sabfmts=0&sascs=0 All Listings
  &sabfmts=1&sascs=1 Auction Only
  &sabfmts=2&sascs=2 Buy It Now Only
  //sort by
  &fsop=32&fsoo=2 Best Match
  &fsop=1&fsoo=1 Items Ending Soonest
  &fsop=2&fsoo=2 Newly Listed Items
  &fsop=34&fsoo=1 Shipping – Lowest First
  &fsop=34&fsoo=2 Shipping Higest First
  &fsop=11&fsoo=1 Nearest First
  &fsop=33&fsoo=2 Category
  &fpos= Zipcode/Postcode
  &sadis= Distance
  //specific seller
  //specific store
It doesn't appear that you can use any of the SearchResults parameters with the StoreItems feed.

In the afternoon I carried on working with the ebay RSS for my ebay wordpress plugin. One thing I found was how to get different sized thumbnails, which also works for the ebay API. The info is here: finding api : thumb size too small

For example, breaking down the following ebay item thumbnail url:
(this can be thumbs, thumbs1, thumbs2, thumbs3, or thumbs4)
(the item number)
(max height and width, can be 6464 for 64px, 8080 for 80px, leave it out for 96px, 4040 for 140px)
Probably a tracking code ebay uses, you can leave this out

In the evening I watched an episode of Magi Rangers with L and an episode of Let's Learn Japanese Basic I with Mauser and Bo.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


This morning I finished processing the pano I took yesterday afternoon, and processed a photo I took then as well. When I'd processed them I uploaded them to my websites.

I wrote another Korea Folk Museum post for my photo website blog, then started doing a chkdsk on one of my backup drives I suspected of having bad sectors.

After lunch I checked my email, and really liked the Money Morning article by Domonic Frisby: The long and tragic history of the pound. The article is about how the pound has lost value since coming off the gold standard. The charts really bring into perspective just how much value the pound has lost.

I tried getting some info on the ebay affiliate RSS feeds for my wordpress plugin. I didn't want to start up my Ubuntu virtual machine where I do all my web dev work while the chkdsk was still running. So I just did some basic stuff, getting a list of parameters and inspecting the structure of the xml feed.

I started writing an article on 360 panos for hubpages and read a bit on trading gaps as well.

In the evening I watched Mahou Sentai with L, then found that the chkdsk had finished and didn't find any errors.

I made some blueberry muffins with L, then did a backup to the certified 'O.K.' drive.

I setup a demo account with SLM with a look towards testing some EAs on it for FNT and gap trading. I will have to read a bit about the MT4 platform and using EAs to get acquainted with it though.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


This morning I got the basics of my currency conversion plugin for wordpress working (I think). When searching for info on how to convert a currency string to a number in PHP, I came across this post: PHP money string conversion to integer error.

According to various people on there, it seems that you shouldn't store decimal values (such as money) as floats, as it can sometimes produce incorrect figures:
Without going into too much detail, they store a number based on powers of two and since not all decimal number can be presented this way, it doesn't always work.

However, when I tried the example they gave (156.64*100 = 15663) in PHP, I found that I got the correct amount (i.e. 156.64*100 = 15664). So in my plugin I am letting PHP do automatic type conversion to float rather than treating the parts before and after the decimal point manually. (PHP doesn't support a decimal type).

In my currency conversion plugin I'm using Yahoo to get the conversion rates, a handy guide to Yahoo's financial quotes 'API' is

With that done, I did a bit more work on my ebay wordpress plugin. After lunch I did a virus scan with MSE while I did a couple more posts for my photography tips website. I don't think I've got a virus, but it was suggested as a possible reason for why some of my files had their permissions changed when I moved a folder.

When that was done I started a scan with Malware Bytes as that was recommended to catch things that MSE misses. I went out on walk to take some sunset photos. The walk was very nice, but the sunset wasn't that great, so the photos I took aren't that good.

In the evening I geo-coded the photos I'd taken and watched an episode of Magi Rangers and Let's Learn Japanese Basic I with Mauser and Bo.