Tuesday, 29 May 2012


This morning I finished updating my program testing VM and installed Photoshop Elements on it. I also returned my Samyang 14mm lens to the ebay seller (so had to go down to the post office).

In the afternoon I did some gardening, I cut back the sallow bush and also topped up the pond. After that I recorded the video of me processing a photo in Photoshop Elements, to go with the article I was writing yesterday.

In the evening I watched an episode of Trek with Mauser and Bo. I also watched Springwatch with Clare, Brian, and Bo. Thankfully they didn't constantly repeat the same thing about the 11 fox cubs all show today. But they did have 1 repeat of it, just saying the same thing they did yesterday.

I put together the recorded clip from earlier (I recorded the sound and video separately). It was quite difficult as the preview in Adobe Premier didn't seem to be working. (It would just show the same frame, and only change the frame, with a delay, when you stopped the video). So, so far this article (that the video is for) has taken me two days, and I haven't even finished it yet!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Article writing

I spent nearly all today working on an article for my photo tips website. In the morning I wrote most of the article. In the afternoon I went out and took some photos to illustrate it. In the evening I was trying to process a photo in Photoshop Elements to illustrate the process.

I don't use Photoshop Elements myself, but like to use it for illustrating how to do things for the website as most readers are probably more likely to have Elements than the full version. Unfortunately it seems that Elements doesn't have the channel mixer, which is needed for what I wanted to show. You can download the channel mixer as an add-on, but I had to sign up to the forum where it was hosted to download it.

After downloading and installing it, I then ran Elements and got a message that my trial had run out (even though it worked okay earlier today). So I had to delete the VM I had installed it on, create a new VM, and then install 93 Windows Updates on it.

Tomorrow I can hopefully install Elements (trial) on the clean VM, and install the channel mixer as well. Then I can finally get some screen shots or a video to demonstrate the processing of the image.

Also today I watched an episode of Star Trek TOS with Billy and Mauser, and the first instalment of this year's Spring Watch with Billy, Clare, and McRad. Spring Watch is quite annoying because it could be a half hour show but they fill it up to an hour by flipping between one thing and another, and keep repeating the same thing when they flip back.

For example, tonight they had someone at a house where there was a fox family with 11 cubs. The guy gave about 4 reports during the program, each time just repeating what he'd said during the first report. And they are going back to the same place again tomorrow! While I do enjoy Spring Watch, it does get really annoying when they waste your time like that.

Sunday, 27 May 2012


This morning I updated my pog website and went to Church.

After dinner I watched an episode of Trek with Mauser and Bo. For the rest of the afternoon I looked at some hotels in Kiev and processed some photos I took a few days ago.

In the evening I finished processing the photos, watched an episode of Kamen Rider Black with Billy, and did some Sculpey with Billy.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Eurovision and football

This morning I went out on a walk along part of the Nene River and the Nene Valley Railway with Mauser and McRad.

In the afternoon I finished watching "A Cloud Capped Star" with Mauser. The film was quite good. It used sound effects in certain places to convey the emotions of the characters. While this is a novel idea, I didn't think it really worked very well. But the story was quite good and I liked the cinematography. The acting was fine as well, though I think it is harder to tell bad acting when someone is speaking a foreign language.

After that I went to bed for a bit as I had a headache.

The rest of the afternoon I prepared some pog images for tomorrow's website update.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek with Mauser and Billy, then we watched England Vs. Norway and Eurovision (at the same time). Sadly Sweden won with a song that sounds very much like typical pop tat. The best entry this year was Russian Grannies with a song that sounded like it was by the Cheeky Girls (not the lyrics though). They also baked some cakes or biscuits during their performance (well, pretended to).

The second best one I thought was Romania, who had a French Horn player with Vuvuzelas stuffed in the horn. The Moldovan entry I didn't think was musically very interesting, but it was quite a strange performance. The women dancers seemed to lay on the floor and look like they having a fit part way through the performance. And most of the other performances were pretty boring.

The UK, represented by Englebert Humperdink, didn't do very well (as usual). We were second last, only managing to beat Norway. So "we" beat Norway twice today.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hot and sweaty

This morning I wrote an article for my photo tips website.

In the afternoon I was planning to photograph a brick wall, but then actually spent most of it reading about UV Photography. I also looked for some camera bags, and found this one, which is the best:

Best DSLR SLR Camera Pig Bag Shoulder Bag Insert Pouch Canon Nikon Sony Pentax

If you check the ebay listing you can see many more photos and also the title DSLR SLR Camera Bag Canon EOS Nikon Sony Pantax Lecia. Wow, it really it is the best Pig bag!

In the evening I did some more website work, trying to convert my photo website to HTML5.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


This morning I wrote an article for my photo tips website.

In the afternoon and part of the evening I tested some camera stuff, mainly the Samyang 14mm lens I bought a few days ago. When taking the photos and viewing them on the camera LCD it looked like the Samyang had really bad field curvature. The focus scale is wrong as well.

But when I viewed the photos on the PC, I could not see any field curvature clearly. I will need to do some more testing.

In the afternoon I also did some more photography for the Baptist Church. And in the evening I watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Still installing MySQL and PHP

Today I was trying to finish installing the latest versions of PHP and MySQL on the web server, unfortunately it was not without its problems.

Yesterday I had a problem where I lost my ssh connection the web server part way through the PHP build process (just running make test, so not important). But it could be a problem if you lost connection part-way through doing something, particularly if it was an interactive process.

I found out that to avoid this you can use a program called screen, and there is a nice tutorial on it here: Linux Screen Tutorial and How To. Screen seemed to work fine for me, though my SSH connection didn't drop, so I didn't get to try reconnecting to an open screen session.

The first problem I had with my install process was that I couldn't create / move files to the directory where mysql is installed. In my install process on my local environment I just rename the existing mysql dir to mysql-old mv $PATHMYSQL $PATHMYSQL-old, and then install the new version to mysql. But since I couldn't do this on the webserver, I instead had to create a directory in a different place (where I did have write permissions) mkdir ~/mysql-old, and then move the contents of mysql to this dir mv $PATHMYSQL/* ~/mysql-old.

The other problem was that when I ran mysql_install_db --basedir=$PATHMYSQL --datadir=$PATHMYSQL/data --defaults-file=$PATHMYSQL/my.cnf, I got the following error:

Installing MySQL system tables...
120521 10:48:32 [Note] Plugin 'FEDERATED' is disabled.
120521 10:48:32 [Note] Plugin 'InnoDB' is disabled.
120521 10:48:32 [ERROR] /home/djeyewater/webapps/mysql/bin/mysqld: unknown option '--skip-bdb'
120521 10:48:32 [ERROR] Aborting

120521 10:48:32 [Note] /home/djeyewater/webapps/mysql/bin/mysqld: Shutdown complete

Installation of system tables failed!

So I restored the old version of mysql, and then read up on all the different mysql install options and the mysql_install_db options. I changed the cmake command for configuring the mysql build slightly, to make sure that the Innobase (Innodb) engine was installed. I hadn't included this previously when installing mysql on my local system, though it still seemed to work okay.

It also seemed that --defaults-file is not a valid option for mysql_install_db, though I don't think including it hurts.

After changing the cmake command, I rebuilt mysql again on my local system, and all was okay. Then I rebuilt it on the server, but still got the same error. After a bit of thinking I realised the problem was probably that I was not specifying the path to the mysql_install_db script of my mysql installation. I tried again with ./scripts/mysql_install_db --basedir=$PATHMYSQL --datadir=$PATHMYSQL/data --defaults-file=$PATHMYSQL/my.cnf (from the mysql dir), and it worked okay. Hip, Hip, Hooray!

And thankfully PHP installed okay and then I got the sites back up and running without any problems (so far).

For part of the afternoon and most of the evening I did some more work on my photo website, starting to change it to HTML5.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Still installing latest versions of PHP and MySQL

This morning I started preparing my pog website update and went to church.

In the afternoon I updated the pog website and started building the dependencies for mysql 5.5 on the web server.

In the evening I watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo, and built the dependencies for php 5.4 on the web server.

I still haven't actually installed the new versions of PHP and MySQL on the web server yet. I want to make sure I have a couple of hours free when I do that so that I can try and deal with any problems that arise. But I do have them ready to install now (just move the old installations, make install the new versions, and then copy all the needed config files, databases etc. over to the new installs).

I did have a couple of hitches on building the dependencies on the web server compared to my dev environment. The web server's tar didn't support the J option for unzipping .xz archives. Googling I found you can do unxz whatever.tar.xz, and then untar it instead.

Another problem was that the version of Berkeley DB installed on the webserver wasn't compatible with the version of openldap I was trying to install. So I had to install a new version of Berkeley DB as well, and then make sure the location of the new Berkeley DB was used when installing openldap. Again, Google came to the rescue:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$HOME/apps/berkeleydb/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
LDFLAGS=-L$HOME/apps/berkeleydb/lib CPPFLAGS=-I$HOME/apps/berkeleydb/include ./configure --prefix=$HOME/apps/ldap

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Updating PHP and MySQL

Well, I was right that installing the latest versions of PHP and MySQL would take ages. I spent most of today working on this, and that was just installing them on my local system, not on the actual web server.

The main problem was with MySQL. I first downloaded a binary (not realising it was a binary), but then realised that I would probably need to build from source. After downloading the source, it said that you should use the binary as it has been extensively tested and optimised for best efficiency, unless you have some special reason for building from source.

So I went back to the binary, and found out how to install it. It seemed that actually all you do is unzip the tarball, and then that's it. No installing needed to be done. But then, it didn't work as it requires libaio.

So now I had to find a libaio download, and also build mysql from source (as I couldn't see how to tell the pre-built binary where the libaio libraries are installed to). Thankfully I found this really good guide on how to install MySQL and all the dependencies it requires: Download, configure, compile, and install MySQL 5.5 from source code on Linux

Now, for installing libaio, that guide just says to download and extract it. I didn't think this could be correct, so I tried to install libaio. Libaio requires some programs from the same developer called configure and 9unix. And these require a program called bmake (BSD compatible make).

When installing bmake I had an error, but after googling I found out the fix. I had to edit line 835 of bmake/libnbcompat/__glob13.c and add the following:

 #ifndef ARG_MAX
 #define ARG_MAX (sysconf(_SC_ARG_MAX))

That made bmake install okay. But when it came to installing 9unix, I got a different error. Doing some googling, the info I read said was about some value in glib.c being 8, which should be 4 for a 32 bit system. So I opened the file, but the variable already was set to 4. So that obviously wasn't causing the problem. And I couldn't find any other info as to what the error could be caused by.

So I decided to just try following the installing MySQL from source guide I linked to above, without actually compiling libaio. And it actually seems to have worked okay. I'm sure I didn't need to install any dependencies last time I built MySQL though.

My problems installing MySQL weren't over though. First problem was that I tried copying the data folder from the old MySQL installation to the new one. But I couldn't do this as the ibdata1 file was 6GB! Googling about this, it seems this has been a problem with MySQL for a long time, and it seems they won't fix it.

So instead I had to restore the old installation and then dump the SQL:

$PATHMYSQL/bin/mysqldump -S $PATHMYSQL/mysql.sock -u root -p --all-databases > ~/dump.sql

But I had some trouble getting the data back into the new version of MySQL. Most info I found using Google was based on just restoring a single database. The info given for restoring multiple databases generally was to use:

mysql --socket=$PATHMYSQL/mysql.sock -u root -p <~/dump.sql

But this didn't work for me. It looked like it was working (took a few seconds to process), but when I checked none of the databases had actually been imported. Instead I had to login to mysql and then source the dump file:

mysql --socket=$PATHMYSQL/mysql.sock -u root -p
source $HOME/dump.sql

Anyway, I did eventually get MySQL up and running okay. I was surprised that my (local) website still worked okay since PHP was compiled against an earlier version of mysql. I then installed the latest version of PHP as well, and my local websites seem to be working okay. Now I just need to do the same on the web server, and hope there aren't any different problems there (Web Server is Cent OS, my local dev environment is Ubuntu).

Friday, 18 May 2012


This morning and the first part of the afternoon I worked on an article for my photo tips website.

For the rest of the afternoon I did some work on my photo website. I need to update it to FTP the files to a different server instead of moving them to a different folder on the same server. So I did this, but found it didn't work as I hadn't compiled PHP with FTP support.

So I will need to recompile PHP, but since it is about 1½ years since I last updated it, I thought I might as well install the latest version. And then I might as well install the latest versions of all the libs that PHP requires. And then I might as well install the latest version of Mysql (I'm currently using an old 5.4 beta). So doing all that will probably take me most of tomorrow. And if there are problems (there usually are), then probably even longer.

In the evening I watched an episode of 24 with Mauser and Bo. After that we did Sculpey while listening to Liz and Will on HFM.

After that I tried fixing a radio flash trigger that wasn't working. But when I opened it up, all the connections seemed okay. I tested it and it worked okay. I put it back together, and it still worked. Very strange as I tested it before taking it apart, and it definitely wasn't working. Still, at least it seems to be fixed now, even though I didn't do anything fix-worthy to it.

Also today, Shaz and Mark came to visit for a couple of days.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


This morning I uploaded some panos to 360cities. When doing this, I noticed that some of the keywords hadn't been added to the original images properly. Checking, I found there was a problem with the coding of my custom XMP panel, just I had never noticed it before. Unfortunately I couldn't fix it (not sure if my fault or an actionscript problem), so I posted to the Adobe Flex forums to try and get some help.

In the afternoon I did some work on my photo website. After that I started cutting the lens hood off my Tokina fisheye.

In the evening I finished cutting the lens hood off the lens, and cleaned the lens up.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Having a headache

This morning I went out on a walk with McRad and Clare.

In the afternoon I had a bad headache so I went to bed.

For the last part of the afternoon and most of the evening I processed a couple of panos.

For the last part of the evening I did some sculpey / modelling with L.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Buttoning CSS

I spent most of this morning designing buy buttons to work with fotomoto on my photo website. At first I went for a design that fitted in with the rest of the website, but then I decided to check whether this was a good idea. It turns out that actually the button should be very different to the rest of the site and stand out. (At least according to the articles I read).

So then I redesigned the buttons with a bright colour.

I think probably I will use the relatively plain green one in the top left corner. Although the button can be made in CSS3 (you would still need the picture frame image though), I can't really see much point. You need a fallback image for IE anyway, so might as well just use that.

There is no difference in number of HTTP requests between full button image only vs. frame image + CSS3. There is a big difference in size between the two images (5.21KB vs 1.56KB). However, I don't think 4KB will make much of a difference really. Maybe I will just use the full button image to start off with, then work on getting a CSS3 version done.

Well, after trying to implement the images, I found a problem I had forgotten - IE6's lack of support for PNG alpha transparency. So I changed the button images to include the website background colour, and saved as 8bit PNG with no transparency. Now the button images are 2KB, so not a lot of difference to the image size needed for a CSS3 solution. But I really don't like using images that only work with one specific background colour, so it actually gives me more reason to try and implement a CSS3 solution.

I spent most of the afternoon and quite a bit of the evening trying to work out how to get the buttons positioned how I wanted them using CSS.

Although I had been doing quite a bit of button positioning testing in IE6, it seems I neglected to actually test the buttons. When I clicked the button, I got a message that Fotomoto doesn't support IE6. Doh! I still get 5-6% of users on IE6, so not a disaster, but not great either.

Monday, 7 May 2012


I spent all of this morning and part of the afternoon writing an article for my photo tips website. I actually spent over 2 hours just trying to find an idea for something to write about! I'm not very good at thinking of ideas for articles myself so I just try to find interesting articles written by others, then write an article myself on the same topic.

When I'd finished that I moved the bird feeder and washed all the feeders.

When I was looking for ideas for articles to write earlier in the morning, one of them was about how flashes are becoming obsolete as LED lights are now as powerful and much cheaper. I did some research (googling) on this, and couldn't find any evidence to support this claim - all sources seemed to suggest that flashes were far more powerful.

But I thought it might make a good subject for an article, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of LED light panels vs. flashes. Now I could write the article without actually having ever used an LED light panel, but I thought it might be worth getting a cheap one so I can actually compare the light output to a flash in real life.

Unfortunately the article I'd read didn't cite an example LED light panel, other than saying that they cost about $300. Now, I certainly don't want to spend that much, but I think buying a cheaper LED light panel, you could probably infer what the light levels of a larger panel would be like. I'm guessing that a $300 LED panel would be equivalent to about 4 cheap units. So I can buy 1 cheap unit, and 4 units should give 2 stops more light (double the light from 1 to 2 units = 1 stop increase, then double again from 2 to 4 = another stop increase).

So I spent quite a while doing research to try and find an LED panel that is reasonable value for money. In the end I decided to go for the CN-160 LED light panel, which has quite a few good reviews on Amazon. The reviews did mention that the plastic foot of the panel is very easy to break, and also the panel does not have the ability to be connected together with other panels to form a larger panel.

I looked at the TRIOPO LED Light Panel as well, which appeared to be the same as the CN-160, but with a different (possibly better?) mount. It also allows connecting multiple panels together to form a larger panel, an improvement compared to the CN-160. But I couldn't work out if it had the same power as the CN-160 or not. So I just bought the CN-160 instead since that has good reviews (I couldn't find any reviews of the Triopo).

While I was looking for the different LED light panel reviews, and also while I was searching for article ideas in the morning, I found quite a few good DIY photography posts. One was this one about an insert for rolling bags: FStoppers: [DIY] The DIY $30 Rolling Camera Bag. Then I found a nice video on youtube about customising a standard bag by creating an insert out of cardboard and a cut up camping mat.

One of the comments on that video suggested just buying a proper insert. So I looked at them as well, they seem to be about £20-30. But for making your own insert that is comparable, you'd need a camping mat (about £5-6), probably a couple of metres of velcro receptive fabric (found some here for £6.99 per metre, probably plus P&P as well: Display Loop Nylon (Velcro Receptive)), and velcro hooks (about £3). I actually already have sticky back velcro hook strips that could be used though.

Looking through my ebay watch list, I just noticed something really stupid: A New Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye lens sold for US $3,890.00 (Approximately £2,407.48). The seller does not normally sell this sort of item, just gives the standard sales info for the lens, and does not give their reason for selling it. No photos other than the stock photo either. This is more than the lens would cost new from a shop.

On the same evening, less than two hours earlier, the same model lens was sold by a different seller. Their auction was for the lens Mint in Case. Perfect. Overall a 10. But no box. They give details and photos of the actual lens for sale. They have a history of selling camera gear (the user name is dscamera). The final price for this auction? US $1,276.03 (Approximately £789.72).

I would say the earlier auction sold off slightly cheaply, but the later auction price is stupidly high, and I don't get how anyone would bid that much. mq-38 is the name of the seller of the really expensive one.

Not quite as mad, but still reasonably surprising, was that a copy of Kirby's Dream World 2 sold for US $102.50. It wasn't described as mint in box, but it did look it. Yet a different auction for the cart only ended up selling for US $5.50. So the box, manual, and inserts are worth over eighteen times as much as the actual game?!?

Also this afternoon / evening, I watched some videos about making a DIY dolly track. The results looked pretty good. I didn't mean to spend so much of the evening researching DIY photography stuff, but I guess it might save me some money.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Making and writing

This morning it started off sunny, so I wanted to try out the new polyester filter for my camera. But I had to create a mount for it first. By the time I'd done that, it wasn't sunny any more.

I did some more work on the article I've been writing for my photo tips website over the past couple of days, and finally finished it today.

I also got the update ready for my pog website tomorrow. With L, I watched another episode of Kamen Rider Black.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Writing and baking

I spent most of today writing an article for my photo tips website (still not finished yet). I also made a cake.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Photo taking

This morning I found a couple of articles on articlesbase I could post on my photo tips website. I formatted (HTML) them for my website and found some relevant CC licensed photos on flickr to illustrate them. After that, I wanted to start work on one of my own articles, but I needed to take some photos myself to illustrate it.

So I spent quite a lot of the rest of the day taking photos. I'm not sure how it managed to take up most of the day, but it did.

In the evening I added some of the photos I'd taken to an article I'd already written most of. Then I posted it to my photo website. The photos I took during the day were for both this article and also another (different) article for my photo tips website.