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Friday, 23 October 2020 Dereel Images for 23 October 2020
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Still more calendar(1) issues
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I've had a complaint, copied to the FreeBSD core team and from a member of the team, about demands I made and that I was disrespectful and unproductive.

I was? I tried hard to avoid any such suggestion. So I answered and asked what I had done wrong and what demands I had made, and got a response saying “This is too hard. You're nit-picking and demanding”.

Once upon a time the core team took things seriously. But it really seems that there are unpleasant undertones in the current core team, something that I thought we had eliminated 20 years ago.


Goodbye Internode
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I've had relations with Internode for well over 20 years, mainly because it was in Adelaide and people I knew worked there, but it wasn't until 7 June 2005 that I finally opened an account. But somehow the friendly connection with Internode wasn't reflected when I was a customer. And it didn't last long, of course: two years later I moved to Dereel and had to find alternative Internet connections.

I returned to Internode 10 years ago and stayed with them for another 3 years until I got an NBN link.

Why didn't I stay with Internode? I wasn't happy with the treatment I had had. It had deteriorated further in the previous 3 years, and after a couple of other attempts I ended up with Aussie Broadband. Somehow I found that sad.

But then today I read this article by Simon Hackett, the founder of Internode. He had long left when I signed up with Internode in 2010, but even before that the writing was on the wall. And now Simon, like me on NBN Fixed Wireless, had his own bad customer experience with Internode. As he titled it, “How to ignore a customer without even trying”. Internode doesn't offer the latest 75/10 speed for Fixed Wireless (there, he wrote it in terms that I can understand), so he suggested they do something about it. The suggestion took a roundabout way via iiNet and didn't address his concerns in the slightest. They didn't even show that they understood who he was.

What did he do? Switched to Aussie Broadband, only 7 years after me.


Saturday, 24 October 2020 Dereel Images for 24 October 2020
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New DxO PhotoLab
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

DxO have released a new version of PhotoLab, version 4. As a long-standing customer and user of PhotoLab, I found out, of course—from DPReview. As I've seen before, it seems that DxO didn't see any reason to inform its customers.

OK, find the thing, not made easier by their web site breakage. Finally downloaded and installed it, which involved restarting my Microsoft box, distress. And how about that, it looks pretty much like the old one. No obvious bugs fixed: navigating the preview strip still is touch-and-go (it worked in previous releases), and the cursor breakage I have seen is still there. But they have changed the side bars with the tools. Now you can (apparently) only see some tools at any one time, presumably an inappropriate attempt to make up for the size of the tools.

And most important of all, highlighting overexposed and underexposed areas is now turned on by default. And I can't turn the bloody thing off! Off to look for the manual. I've been there before, so went looking for it in the links I save at the time. But that's nearly 4 years ago! In the meantime they had discarded the links and even one of the hosts.

More searching the site. How about using their search function to look for "photolab manual". 13 hits, only one including the word photolab, and that was not relevant.

OK, ask Google. Aaah! It's not called a manual, fool, it's a “user guide”, and it's here in PDF form, as you'd expect, at least until they find time to move it elsewhere.

On the positive side, its 232 pages long and apparently quite detailed. OK, search for “highlight”. One hit:

DxO PhotoLab subtly and automatically retains highlights in RAW images while preventing them from being clipped, and even recovers certain details in areas that are already clipped. (We advise you to work in RAW whenever possible to take advantage of the greater latitude in processing and correcting your images.)

I suppose it's typical that they shout, and the functionality looks useful, but how do I turn this bloody highlighting off? Simple: stop the program and return to PhotoLab 3. They haven't got off to a good start.


More riding arena measurements
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Call from David Rowe this afternoon, wanting to come around “in about 2 minutes” to do some more measurements on the site of the shed to cover the riding arena. He did that, but I'm left wondering why this is all so complicated.


Ossobuco revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Ossobuco for dinner tonight. Time to take some photos of the process:


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Mandolins: useful?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A big part of making ossobuco is the battuto for the soffrito. Finely chop onions, carrots and celery:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-9.jpeg
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What better to do that than with a mandolin (which for some reason is frequently spelt “mandoline”, apparently without change in pronunciation)?

Well, it's not that simple. Getting the onion right was difficult. The first attempt looked like this:


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It requires just the right amount of pressure to get things cut properly, and even then the end of the onion gets left over and has to be done by hand:


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The carrots were more problems. Firstly, how do you slide them at the beginning? They just turn. And when I finally got them started (leaving a flat surface to stop them turning) I couldn't get them done all the way. This stupid mandolin pressure pad doesn't go below the line of the edges of the device, so it can't engage on this carrot:


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So at the end I had a lot left over:


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Unexpectedly, the celery went through with almost no problems:


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The only problem there was that the pressure pad doesn't work on them, so I could only slice them as far as I could hold them with my fingers.

So: was it worth it? I still don't know. My guess is yes: it probably saved time, and potentially I can find ways to improve the proportion that I can cut with the mandolin.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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