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May 10, 2006

EXIF data from pictures

   Completed an other item I've been meaning to do forever: extracting EXIF information from the images in the gallery for the database.  Each picture I've taken since I started shooting with digital SLR has EXIF data that includes exposure time, ISO, aperture, focal length (zoom) and lens focal range.  This data is kind of cool if you're a photographer.  For example, my lightning shots.  Someone wishing to capture lightning could see what settings I used in order to setup their shot.
   A tree illuminated by a sodium lamp with the moon behind it; Preservation Park, Beloit, WI.
   More night photography, this time in the fog around the house.  This shot was taken just in front of the Garage, down the street.  I have plans for a clear night, shooting the stars with the 50mm f/1.8 lens.  The idea is to use the large aperture to enable increased ISO.  My previous shots used ISO 800 exposed for 30 seconds.  While I was pleased with the results, I'd like to get the ISO down for less noise.  Besides, the 50mm f/1.8 lens doesn't get out enough.

1 comment has been made.

From David Stickler

May 10, 2006 at 10:09 AM

I see you are still alive. I've been trying to contact you for weeks with no success. Could you please contact me soon. I need to speak (or email) with you to clean up a few items.


   I've decided to try and learn enough about Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) to implement a "wizard".  It's on a project I helping with at company I use to work for.  The idea of having to install Visual Studio makes me shutter, but the price of doing development on that non-Linux OS.
   Our neighbor has three dogs, which are often left chained outside between our neighbor and our house.  They spend a great deal of their time barking, especially when we walk outside.  Since the Garage is a non-smoking house, my roommates often stand outside.  During this time, the dogs bark continuously.  It's really annoying.
   I decided to try an experiment.  My hypnotises was that the dogs were barking because they really didn't any anything else to do.  So, I rationalized that if I were to give them something else to do, they might stop barking.  To test this, pick up a large bone-shaped dog toy at the grocery store.  I tied this to the end of a rope.  When the dog started baking habitually, I tossed the bone over to it.
   The results were not what I expected.  Rather then be happy about having a bone to chew on, the dogs are all afraid of it.  When I toss it over, they run away.  However, they also stop barking for a period of time.  So, I've made some progress.
   Pictured is Tyronne
   When I built PHP 5.1.3, I didn't get GD support. I'm not sure how I missed this step, but I did. So I went back to enable this and ran into a problem with "--with-jpeg-dir=". Apparently, the config script doesn't check to see that this directory is valid. I compiled several times, including back version before I realized I had the wrong path in this setting. After I got it right, everything worked as expected.
   One experiment I tried at some point last night was some long exposures of the night sky.  I wanted to see if I could capture the stars and I was successful (you'll need to view the larger versions in order to see them).  I had to drop down to ISO 800 using the maximum 30 second exposure of the camera.  The results I'm most pleased with.  I captured the stars and hazy clouds light with the nearby city lights in more detail then my eyes could make out at the time.
   Tonight was Cinco dé Mustache, one the Garage Crowd's largest gatherings of the year.  There were three bands and I finally left around 7:00am.  Not too many pictures—I'm generally more concerned with  tooling around then photography at a party.

May 05, 2006

SMB over SSH

Zen's Green Machine

Zen's Green Machine

   For some time, Zen, Pluvius and I have talked about connecting out machines over some kind of VPN. We've look at various options, be haven't liked any of them much. After reading a little about SSH's tunneling abilities, I decided to see if I could map SMB network shares though an SSH tunnel. Most of the remote machines are non-linux, but cygwin adds SSHD support. After a great deal of trial and error, I found this setup functional:
ssh -fNL 1139:<SERVER>:139 <USER>@<SERVER>
smbmount //<SHARE> /mnt/<MOUNTPOINT> -o port=1139,username=<USER>
   This worked great for having a Linux machine map a SMB drive on a remote Cygwin with SSHD machine.  However, I wasn't able to map an SMB mount point on an other Linux machine this way.
   It is also not possible to make use of this method on a window's machine, since window's SMB network will not use any port but 139.  You can't make the local port for the tunnel 139, since the SMB networking on the machine already uses this port.  I did read about using a method using loop-back network interface to obtain a second IP address, and then forwarding the port to the loop-back.  But I couldn't get that to work.  So, I only managed to get just one SMB tunnel working.
   Pictured is the front of Zen's new car.
   I see PHP 5.1.3 has the unpack bug fixed I mentioned on the 28th.  It was first reported at the end of January of 2006, although I don't recall getting symptoms until version 5.1.2.  It appears 5.1.2 hadn't been released when this bug was first reported, suggesting the bug made it into the release and was then fixed latter.  Version 5.1.3 was released on May 1st, so we compiled and installed that.  I can't imagine there were many changes from the CVS I downloaded just a few days before hand, but I like working with official releases.
   My rear bike tire was flat again yesterday.  Although I appreciate it waiting until after my 31 mile bike ride, it's still irritating.  That inner-tube was only a day old.  I returned to the bike shop and they found an other pinhole leak caused by a small shard of metal.  I had them ordered some kind of tire liner that should help protect the inner-tube from small punctures like this.  I needed it ordered since they didn't carry the liner for 29" tires.
   Pictures is a horse I found along West Happy Hollow road between Beloit and Janesville on my bike ride from the 2nd.


   My bike ride today totaled 31.06 miles.  Traveling time was 2 hours, 42 minutes although the odometer doesn't clock time stopped.  Originally, I wanted just to test out an adjustment I made to the front bag on the handle bars.  It was pulled too tight against the break cables and was causing the front break to stay locked up.  I added a spacer (some wood) to distance the bag.  Turns out that didn't help much.
   The ride started off along highway 51 heading north.  I had wanted to explore West Happy Hollow road, which runs along the east shoe of the Rock River and behind the Rock County Airport.  I headed north and ended up in a little sub-division off 51.  It looks as though the highway use to go though this sub division some time ago, judging by a curve of the current road and a now absent bridge.  I suspect the road changed when 51 was widened to 4 lanes, but currently don't feel like doing the research to find out.  (But trust me, it'll bug me and I'll probably end up check it out.)
   At the corner of Sunny Lane and Shady Lane, I found what looked like a little camp site.  In the back, there was a trail, and I decided to explore.  Since I was heading west, I figured the trail would probably bring me to the shores of the Rock River.  It didn't in the I expected.  The trail system was fairly developed, and I wondered if I was on private or public land.  After exiting the trail, I found myself on a road heading west.  I suspected and latter confirmed this was West Happy Hollow.  About a mile up the road, I saw a sign for Happy Hollow park, to which the trails I was riding belonged.  I will have to return and spend more time there traveling the trail system.
   I continued along west along West Happy Hollow road and indeed ended up behind the airport.  I found this light tower, which reminded me of something reminiscent of World War II.  Further up the road, I ran into an abandon road that ran north along the edge of the airport.  Unfortunately, aside from a dump of very old tires, there wasn't anything to see.  I crossed the Rock River and began heading north along County D.  At some point, the area between the river and the road became a park with a trail, so I started taking that.  I'm pretty sure this is part of the Ice Age Trail.  Eventually, the trail turned paved and took me into the city of Janesville.  I turned east along Rockport Road and stopped off at Nate's house and met his son Alex.  From there, I visited Monterey Park and it's highly graffitied cave, looking out at the lovely GM assembly plant.  I was once told the site had significants to the Native Americans and I bet they had a better view.
   Following the Ice Age trail, I worked my way east until I got to Highway 11.  I figured that was far enough and traveled to County J and began heading south.  From there, I hit Avalon Road (351) west, County G south, Town Line road west and finally back on Highway  51.  For the most part, this last section of the trip was dull.
   I felt myself starting to feel strained at about the 25 mile mark when I turned onto County G.  I stopped by a gas station between 51 and G and picked up an energy bar.  This was a little late in the game, but I figured I'd try it.  The taste was awful, although it had exceeded the "best if used by date".  I've read briefly about long bike trips and the body's energy needs.  It is my understanding that after blood sugar levels drop from use, you really start feeling spent.  Energy foods/drinks are said to help with that.  So, I picked up a few at the grocery store (this time, not expired) to see how they effect me.  It should be a decent experiment, since it seems I find myself running out of juice after about 20-25 miles around 2-2 1/2 hours.  I'll see if it helps me with my goal of a sustainable 50 miles a day.
   I averaged 11.466 miles per hour, which I'd like to bump up.  Watching the speedometer, I was usually traveling around 12-15 MPH, but hills and especially into the wind along Avalon road, that could drop down to 7 MHP.  My top speeds were just over 20 MPH, but I didn't push very hard.  I've hit 31 MPH downhill before.  With the wind on flat road, I can hold about 17 MPH.  Of course, I have a mountain bike, with big knobby tires desiring dirt, not pavement.  Although I don't desire to have a road bike due to my love of trails, I can't expect to get road bike speeds.
   Photos for the day were sparse—there really wasn't much to see along the way.  Pictured is Nate's son, Alex.
   Got around to installing the two new 250 gigabyte drives in the Black Dragon as a RAID-1 array.  They replace the 80 gig RAID-1 array, since the photo collection has exceeded 100 gigs in size.  The 80 gigs have reverted back to being regular drives and should take some of the burden from the terabyte RAID-5 in the Red Dragon.
   Some fire hose connections in Madison, WI.