News and Older News
• Some rain has come around the 20th which is a huge relief.
• Quite hot and dry, one forgets that February here turns the usual over-green to fields of burnt beige.
• It seems 2020 is turning into the Year of the Plagues. Locusts in several African countries and beyond. Plus of course the deadly virus going around; complete with political denial until it was far too late.
• Windows 7 support has ended, so two articles: »Why Win7 users should move to Linux and also »Best 5 Linux distros for Windows users.
• An update on 'rename.' I prefer the Debian way, the other one is lacking in features (to put it gently). You can add the real rename to a non-Debian system using its full name: 'perl-rename.'
• Someone sent me Apple phone photos in »HEIF format. I saw online that Krita and GiMP 2.10 can read them, as can a few other leading Linux packages. In practice though… YMMV.
Another line has been drawn in the sand between several distros this day. Further this led to me discovering two separate continents in Linuxland regarding the 'rename' command (Debian vs Everyone Else).
• Manjaro got DarkTable 3.0.0, Mint still lags on 2.6.3 even with Flatpak. Also noting the differences between GiMP 2.8 and 2.10. In Mint GiMP 2.10 is on Flatpak, but I had strange problems last time I tried it. I have my main rig running very smoothly on Mint 19.3. The Arch side is becoming very tempting as these two pieces of software are my daily focus.
• The fires in Australia are apocalyptic, the smoke affects our NZ skies some 2,000 km away. On some days you could even smell the smoke!
• Just shutting things down until 2020.
• »Linux Mint 19.3 was officially released on 18 December.
• White Island… we were there in 2016. The eruption and aftermath of deaths is all over the news.
• Linux Mint 19.3 beta arrived on Tue 3 Dec (4th for NZ). Here is the »announcement and download links.
Wallpapers["JK"].count = one;
• Strange IO errors and vanishing files. December started with
e2fsck running for 12 hours, which found 270 faults in a 2TB
ext4 HDD. Several files and much patience were lost.
• Extreme haze from the fires over in Australia plus some oppressive heat has negated photography, but all the other 'projects' kept me running around all month.
• Those filters, arrived. I am hoping to find time and weather in the next two weeks for a photo outing trip.
• Waiting for some ND filters that I ordered to arrive. A slew of non-photo and non-coding tasks have piled up and need to be addressed.
• Looked at e-bikes as we get warmer days. Quite a bit of rain held me back from photography. You can only do so many indoor projects…
• For some more exposure, I am putting up images on »unSplash.
• I stumbled upon a simpler way to configure my computer for web dev work. So out with a full server and in with the one-liner!
• They call it a Rain Forest because it rains in the forest. +1 insightful
• Warmer and sunshine filled days have finally arrived. Planning some new photo directions to grow into between now and 2020. More B&W for one, to improve composition and focus on content, not just snaps.
• NZ is normally last in the queue for new goodies, but my local store is stocking the latest Canon cameras: RP, and the 90D.
• Nearly 9 months down the line, the Gigabyte P17 still rebels. A 3 day battle saw Mint 19.2 installed, but 2 USB ports down - BIOS issues. Never buy this brand.
• Tying up a couple of car-related photo projects and Car Club related design work. Dismal weather, continues.
• Some spring blooms are starting up amongst the arrival of cold snaps, much rain and wind. After 3 decades, Linux Journal closed down.
• Mint 19.2 went from beta to release. Installs of 19.1 upgraded perfectly.
• Highlights for the months were: (i) going live with the new site layout, (ii) Debian 10 and Mint 19.2 releases, (iii) "fun" with workarounds for Canon's new CR3 format, and (iv) a trip to Ruapehu for photos - but there was little snow.
• I am not a fan of Winter. But maybe this will be the year that I make the drive down to Ruapehu for some snow photos, maybe even some video.
• It has been flat-out with various projects. Family, home, web, photo and video. I managed to make one video sequence with binaural sound (yes, the kit arrived), but messed up the second. So we learn.
• Rain and b.o.ring weather have set in for the long, grey Winter. It gets worse until about August, then slowly improves into "Summer."
• And finally, breakthrough with the P17 laptop. UEFI and the hobbling along Mint got the boot. Manjaro is in. Now to "migrate" six months of settling in on the Mint 19 running on my HP dv7.
• Where have I been? I just discovered something awesome - binaural videos on Youtube - »Sound Traveller (Smarter Everyday guy). So I promptly went and ordered the equipment. Video - about time for me to get in and learn.
• sigh… »DP-Review - not exactly good news about being a photographer.
• Winter has arrived with cold, clear nights. I am making some hard decisions about my older cameras - they still work, but 8 to 15 year old tech does not cut it today - time to move on. But then the new bodies don't offer any really compelling upgrade features either.
• I spent some time in the design arena - Linux Tux got some eye surgery and I played with ideas for a Mint logo too.
• I participated in my first Market - sales were dismal (just ONE). This has left me several hundred in the red, but lessons learned. I have several canvas pieces available, but they are impractical for shipping (especially to overseas) so I must sell them locally.
• Two MUST VIEW videos about Linux on YouTube: »one and »two.
• I got around to calibrating my laptop's monitor. Finally I achieved a new level of success at Milky Way shots! It takes a little luck with our weather and then little to no moon. Finding a dark-enough place is also a big challenge. Even in New Zealand!
• With photography on Linux, there is a lot of choice. GiMP instead of PhotoShop and DarkTable instead of Lightroom. And for design work, Inkscape instead of Illustrator or InDesign. Anyway, DarkTable is quite complex and I found a series of helpful tutorials on YouTube from »Bruce Williams.
• In the distro churn, Manjaro caught my attention. No flatpacks or snaps, a rolling distro, and with Cinnamon for a desktop (Manjaro offers a dozen plus desktop managers), very smooth.
• So having upgraded everyone else from Mint 17.x or 18.x to the current Mint 19, it was my turn. And my Gigabyte P17 decided to brick itself. Very bricked. Very, very bricked. It took me weeks to get anything to install at all. I went through 20+ distros, tried all sorts of UEFI and non-UEFI tricks. Two weeks in, one distro worked and then the road was open to install Mint 19.
• Commercialmas is not CHRISTmas. You know when they have trees and Santa up in Dubai and China. In any case, December 25th has more to do with a re-painted Roman Saturnalia than the actual birth of the Saviour.
• My decade-long website(s)
have been "403"-locked since October. You know, while I was away, it broke.
No thank you IONOS; "tier-one" hosting my ___. To break the impasse I have
moved to 'jankaluza.net' which is locally hosted - just down the road in fact.
Oct - Nov 2018
• Towards the end of 2017 I started to think of a trip to South Africa. And then 2018 got off to a start and half-way I realised that if I wanted to go, more action was needed. So finally I made the trip for three weeks mid-October to early November. I took almost 3,000 photos and a bunch of video snippets. My sister's computer got a Linux Mint upgrade and we got to sort out many boxes of stuff from the past.