Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Solar Panels

We have new solar panels on the roof as of today.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Nexus 4 sync

Just got a nexus 4 and need to test how the blogger app synchronises, or doesn't.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Photoshop has gone mad

I've suffered from file corruption before, I find the occassional jpeg file that has a working thumbnail but on opening the file is corrupt - mostly they still open and a bit of cut and paste work can stitch shifted blocks of pixels back into the right places. Consistently I've found the pictures have been like that for so long that the issue pre-dates my earliest backups.

I am yet to discover any software that can automatically detect corruption and having pictures on a RAID array seems to make no difference - the drives system must thing the corruption is deliberate.

I had problems in the past when using ZIP compressed TIF files - nice and small but minority support - eg Windows Media Center / Media Player / Explorer cannot cope so not much good on the usability front.

Today I have discovered another problem with TIF files, namely Photoshop reports "this file format is not supported", similarly Elements (CS3 & 7.0 respectively) so presumably the code is the same. The very files affected are some of my favourite pictures and after various attempts at convincing Photoshop to open them I downloaded some alternative products - XnView, GIMP and Irfanview. I've used Irfanview extensively in the past as it's a great lightweight tool particularly for bulk format conversions, TIFF files not problem. Xnview, great looking tool & lovelly screen display (my picture looked great) and also no problem with TIF files. Finally, GIMP, I hadn't expected much as a Linux port particularly as last time I looked at Gimp, on Linux I didn't need to spend much time concluding it was pants. However, the current version looks great (an obvious downside is that all of the initial panes either appeared partly or fully off screen and the loading time was measured in aeons) - a clean interface and clearly based on Photoshop, enough so that I think it will be worth investing some time as the interface feels, if anything, more user friendly than Photoshop but not as amateur as Elements, so thumbs up Gimp, it too handled my problem TIF files perfectly.

So, come on Adobe, why does Photoshop take a disliking to some TIF files at random, furthermore, until today those files were both created in and only ever editted in Photoshop so what changed? Googling shows I have not been the only one suffering this bizarre issue.

Anyway, to show the files are alive and well here are my pictures :

this was a clematis growing unpruned at my first home, a woody mess most of the year but when flowering a riot of bloom and the other picture is that of an owl taken at a swan rescue centre display in Christchurch when they were clearly short on swans.

As a worthy footnote, I have used Microsoft's volume shadow service on Windows servers and have duly left the capability in place for Windows 7 on my laptop and that did come the rescue in finding earlier copies of my file which I could use for comparison purposes - not my only backup but a very handy emergency option - so for Windows 7 users don't feel tempted to turn off

Friday, 2 November 2012

My favourite photographic gear

A little tongue in check but...my favourite photographic gear must either be my push bike or Andy, pictured below, because almost the only time I ever get the chance to take photos is with one or the other around.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Tooth Fairy

It seems that even when a first tooth is lost the tooth fairy still comes.

Alex's first wobbly baby tooth disappeared at school when he knocked it out during karate but nowadays a simple note to the tooth fairy suffices.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Windows 7 Libraries

I've been driven to distraction over the last few days - Media Centre (64 bit Win 7) has lost its music and no amount of rebuilding libraries has helped.

Finally had to ask for help and cracked the problem by artificially adding then removing items from the library. Along the way I discovered that the performance of music in WMC is massively improved by stopping Windows Media Player from accessing the internet for album covers & info (set it manually and be done with it).

I also found that the default WMP on Win 7 64 bit is the 32 bit version (so you can change the short cut to point at the 64 bit folder rather than 32 bit, no problems there).

Also documented in the posts I made on The Green Button (title above is the link) are some checks to ensure folders are set correctly in the registry - they probably aren't if you've made drive / path changes.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

SQL Server Installation Problem

Another day and another install of SQL Server Developer Edition (2005 in this case). Installation complete & there's no way to connect to reporting services or analysis services. Strange, no icons, nothing in the object explorer connection.

Turns out SQL Server Express edition is installed and it is a higher version that I've just tried to install so I am missing the options.

The resolution was to install using SKUUPGRADE = 1 as a startup parameter and then when that install completed I had to refer to an earlier post because management studio was still missing.

Got there in the end.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Sql Server Reporting Services 2005 Issue

Again SSRS 2005 has stopped working.

This time it follows install of Sql Server 2008 developer edition on my machine so I've been trying to figure out how to get both working on the same box - it is possible according to the documentation but there is no mention of how.

Unfortunately I am getting the following message when attempting to connection to Reporting Services via SQL Management Studio "unable to connect to the remote server. No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it."

Now that's not very nice is it, I ask nicely & it does nothing.

Anyway after a few weeks of digging I've finally found my problem is not related to the Dev 2008 install - it is in fact our network wide security settings, they have been changed!

So the solution was to go into IIS Admin console, goto the properties of my default web site (which hosts my SSRS pages) and goto the Home Directory tab and then change the Execute Permissions to Script and Executables.

Job done.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Polarising filters

New camera, new screw in filter.

I've purchased a Panasonic Lumix FZ100 camera and needed a new 52mm threaded polariser. So one short trip to ebay later and  I have ordered a Hoya Por1 Digital filter. Rather nice all in all - however, I now conclude it is the worst polarizer I've ever owned.


Well, the first thing I managed to do is get a finger print on the glass surface, polarisers are often pigs to clean and this proved to be the case and repeated wiping with a lens cloth has caused the coatings to start wiping off.

You can't see the current lost areas (both sides) on pictures yet but as the filter hasn't been out of the house yet I can't imagine it's going to last long as pretty sure I'll have to clean it again one day.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

All that glitters is not gold...

....and all that looks like icing on the Christmas cake isn't, ouch.