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2014-10-31 Pictures

I found a way to filter my photos on Flickr by camera used!

Olympus E-P5:


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2014-10-09 Back from Portugal

We returned from Portugal on October 5.

First, we spent a few days in the Algarve. (Pictures.) Then we spent a day in Lisbon and at my mom’s place. It was her birthday and so her two brothers and their wives were also there. My sister and my half-siblings were also there. It was great. (Pictures.)

Now we’re back to work and trying to get the flat back under control after our recent move.


Comments on 2014-10-09 Back from Portugal

les photos sont vraiment géniales!!! Et c’était aussi génial de t’avoir eu, toi (et ta femme), à la maison! Pour la 1ère fois depuis (cent ans???) j’ai eu tous mes enfants autour de moi! 😃 😄😍

– mum 2014-10-13 21:04 UTC

Sooo happy faces 😄

AlexDaniel 2014-10-14 06:35 UTC

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Im August sind wir von Vrin im Graubünden auf die Terrihütte gewandert, haben dort übernachtet, und sind dann über die Scaletta Hütte hinab ins Tessin gewandert.

Mehr Infos zur Wanderung.

Einziger Nachteil: Massenschlag auf der Terrihütte mit Schnarchlern links, rechts, und gegenüber. Und wir ohne Lärmschutz.



Comments on 2014-08-04

That looks awesome! I miss hiking in Switzerland.

– Adrian 2014-08-08 14:08 UTC

I miss you when hiking in Switzerland! 😊

AlexSchroeder 2014-08-08 21:15 UTC

Tolle Bilder! …

– mum 2014-08-10 18:10 UTC

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2013-09-23 Furkapass
Furkapass by kensanata, on Flickr

On the Furka road towards the Canton of Uri, looking back towards the evening sun. The Vallais starts here with Obergoms and the Rhone. The road to the right is the Grimsel (map)

I like the new camera, an Olympus E-P5 with the 17mm f/1.8 M.Zuiko lens.


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2013-01-08 Online Photos

In 2012, I basically took pictures using Instagram, shared them with Facebook (part of the family), Twitter (another part of the family), Flickr (my favorite), and I used IFTTT to send a copy to Picasa Web because I felt that I’d like to have some pictures for people to see on Google+.

But then, when Instagram changed its terms of service (they rephrased them somewhat) and I decided that I might want to look into using something else for a bit.

I liked the new Flickr app somewhat.

I tried organizing my pictures on Picasa Web but was unable to create a new empty album in order to move some of my pictures in the Scrapbook album. When I selected more than 300 of the pictures and tried to move them, it also told me I could not move more than 100 at a time. I was confused. It looked like the user interface could use some improvements. I even started up my local Picasa copy and wasn’t clear on how to use it to manage my albums online. Perhaps you can’t. I was not impressed. It looks as if I’m not going to abandon iPhoto any time soon. Then again, I really want to abandon iPhoto one of these days because I hate it’s opaque storage regime.

Also, the lens or the protective plastic cover of my iPhone camera is scratched. The photos from the main camera now all look hazy. The terrible quality had resulted in me taking a lot of self-portraits from the second camera.

Since I didn’t want to use Instagram too often, I have uploaded the pictures to Flickr directly. This means that I haven’t posted any pictures to Facebook; I haven’t posted any pictures to Twitter, and none where uploaded to Picasa Web.

Strangely enough it doesn’t bother me.

Maybe it bothers me a bit because I’ve been using simple photos of my daily life as a replacement for status updates for my family and friends. We’ll see. Perhaps I’ll post status updates again. Or I’ll abandon Facebook. Or resume the use of Instagram.


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2012-11-04 Basteln

Unser Projekt dieses Wochenende: ein QCLOCKTWO Nachbau mit Anleitung aus dem Internet. Wir brauchen noch einen dritten Tag. Bastelheld Uwe Funk hat Claudia und mich und ein paar weitere Kollegen vom Geschäft dabei unterstützt: das Material beschafft, vorbereitet, organisiert, Geräte ausgeliehen, geholfen, beraten, aufgeheitert und ermutigt. Ich vermute, dass ich es ohne Uwe nie geschafft hätte!


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2012-01-07 Old School RPG Artists

Discourse & Dragons has a blog post called Wanted: Old School Artists. Some nice links!

Others I found in my feed reader:

People I noted in Fight On! magazine:

Others I remember seeing on actual products I bought:

Later additions:

Argh, I really should pay more attention to the names of artists!

Pet peeve of mine: artist but a website without obvious ways to contact you and no real names? That’s weird.


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2011-01-12 Low Res, Fake Colors

Zürich These days I enjoy photo applications like Hipstamatic and Instagram (see the iphoneography tag on Flickr).

Why is that? I think that distorting the image by reducing the resolution, adding noise, and distorting colors invites us to use our imagination to complete the picture. Similar to reading a book, where we imagine the visuals; similar to comics, where we imagine the transitions between the panels; similar to listening to people, where we imagine the rest – less is more.

Which is why we’re sometimes disappointed by movies if we’ve already read the book. I noticed that sometimes I am disappointed when I look at the high-resolution, true-color originals of these pictures. Which is why I love the dream like non-reality of these images.

Tags: RSS

Comments on 2011-01-12 Low Res, Fake Colors

2010-12-18 Flickr to Picasa

I just read Yahoo Just Killed… Consumer Confidence In Them and I have to agree. I am a Delicious user, and the first thing I thought upon reading the news was “I should bite the bullet and migrate all my Flickr pictures to Picasa!” I have not done that yet because I didn’t want to keep everything I do online in Google’s multitentacular embrace. Oh well…

I started looking for a non-Windows Flickr backup tool. Right now I’m using FlickrEdit which is a Java Webstart application, so if you have a decent Java installation, you should be able to start it from its webpage. It is currently downloading 1800+ images “in sets” from Flickr. Strangely enough it can only backup “selected” images, so you need to preview all your images before you back them up. That’s a lot of images… I’ll keep you posted. I’m not sure this is quite working as expected. :(

I also installed GoogleCL, a command line tool for Google applications. Unfortunately it doesn’t allow me to add bookmarks to Google Bookmarks. That requires the Google Toolbar. sucks

Now I’m waiting for the Flickr backup to finish. Let’s see whether I can use the Gooogle command line tool to recreate my Flickr sets as Google Picasa albums using the command line… Or just use the Picasa application? We’ll see when we get there. ;)

Update: I had to restart the FlickrEdit backup process a few times, but currently have 1850 images in my folder taking up about 4,6G of space.

I also tried FlickrGettr which didn’t quite work. I contacted the author and he confirmed that no longer maintained it.

I also installed Migratr on a Windows machine via remote desktop. It seemed like the ideal solution. I started downloading all my Flickr images. After a while it stopped importing images and I found a file called errors.log which said:

The remote server returned an error: (504) Gateway Timeout.
   at System.Net.WebClient.DownloadFile(Uri address, String fileName)
   at System.Net.WebClient.DownloadFile(String address, String fileName)
   at Migratr.PhotoServices.FlickrBasedPhotoService.importFromSource(String filePath)

Hm. I guess I’d have to try downloading the images a few times. This is no good, since it will try to upload the images it got before letting you quit. And it crashed while uploading the images to Picasa Web.

In the mean time, I tried PhotoGrabbr… It took forever to down the pictures. Perhaps that’s why it’s not getting a timeout error? In the end PhotoGrabbr downloaded 2104 images but took only 3,7G of space. I wonder what that means. When I look at the images downloaded by FlickrEdit I notice that some pictures have been downloaded up to three times! And I still get less files than using PhotoGrabbr.

Thus, PhotoGrabbr did the job of getting all the images. It also built an XML file containing an entry for ever picture, its title, its description, its tags, and its location (which is always empty for my images). :)

I currently have two problems, however:

  1. The XML file doesn’t provide a unique identifier for the Photos. I now have two files called 02030_Weisstannental.jpg and 02031_Weisstannental.jpg, and two entries for a Photo with title “Weisstannental”, and no way to match them up. This makes no sense.
  2. There appears to be no information concerning the sets and albums the image belonged to.

I restarted the entire process, picked a different download directory, and instead of clicking the “Download All Photos” button I marked all the sets and clicked on the “Download” button. That should help be reconstruct the sets. I also deselected the following options:

  1. Use the photo’s title as the filename
  2. Skip downloading photos with duplicate filenames
  3. Prepend sequential number to filename

Maybe I messed things up the first time around!

I downloaded all the photos with the settings I mentioned above, got the original Flickr filenames such as 333137065_9520df0f41_o.jpg, and a XML file containing the Photosets – but once again the Photo element itself contained no link to the filename, or the URL. It just contains title, description, tags, and location. It appears to be impossible to link the metadata with a file!

There are only two situations in which this will work:

  1. you never gave a custom title to your Flickr uploads such that the title tag is the unique filename the photo got from your camera in which case you should check the option “Use the photo’s title as the filename”
  2. by sheer luck all your titles are unique in which case you should check the option “Use the photo’s title as the filename”

Otherwise you’re toast.

I’m thinking about writing my own script using Perl’s Flickr::API and Net::Google::PicasaWeb.

Whoa, installing these two modules via CPAN pulled in a shit-load of modules!

Spending a few hours trying to get a Flickr login, I think I’m ready to put this to rest until Flickr does in fact shut down. :(

I call flickr.auth.getFrob and use the frob to call flickr.auth.getToken. This fails with the message Invalid frob. Maybe it’s time to authorize my application? I visit the URL given by $api->request_auth_url('read') and am redirected to a web page that says Oops! Flickr can’t find a valid callback URL. If I face it by appending &callback= I get the message Oops! The API key or signature is invalid. which makes sense, I guess. The problem is that the first URL doesn’t have a callback URL (and I don’t need one).


Apparently GoogleCL has similar problems accessing Picasa. I keep getting errors and requests for tokens and other crap. This sucks. sucks


Comments on 2010-12-18 Flickr to Picasa

Keep me apprised. I am still on Flickr, but fortunately I have most, if not all, of my pictures on my hard drive. I, too, am afraid of submitting completely to our Google overlords. But at this point it seems inevitable…

Adrian 2010-12-18 23:40 UTC

Right now it seems that PhotoGrabbr was the only one to actually download all the images and the metadata belonging to them. The information regarding the sets was lost in the process, however. That’s not good.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-19 08:59 UTC

Ehe, that doesn’t sound like a rational decision. Do you really think google will never close any service it provides?

PierreGaston 2010-12-20 08:43 UTC

Hehe, of course not. I dislike services that lock you and your data in. But even if they do not – like Flickr and Google – it takes tools and technology to actually move them around. This lack of tools has been nagging at the back of my mind for a while, now. I just needed an excuse to spend a nerdy day investigating my options.

As far as rational decisions go, it was certainly a very bad decision to spend a Sunday in front of the monitor instead of going out! :)

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-20 09:15 UTC

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2010-12-04 New Compact Camera

I thinking of buying a new camera. I took some pictures with my Wikipedia:single-lens reflex camera (a Pentax K100D). While biking in Mauritius, I finally decided that the camera was too bulky. I need something smaller to put in a pocket and possibly take pictures while riding my bike.

Any suggestions?

A friend recently bought a Sony DSCTX5, and he got an recommendation for a Nikon p7000, but I’m not sure…

Update: I bought a Sony DSC-HX5V. I noticed that you need “GPS assist” data on the camera, which you can download using the Windows-only PBM application. Booooh! Luckily I found a way to do it manually and a gpsassist-update monitor that will download it anytime I mount an appropriate memory card.

Right now, however, I have a small problem: the assist data is marked as invalid with an expiry date of 2010-12-13 – 2011-1-11 which seems plausible. Weird!

Update: I got a signal at last! Had to carry it around with power-saving turned off for about a quarter of an hour.

Update: If the GPS assist data is no longer downloaded automatically, verify that the directory Private/SONY/GPS/ exists on the memory card. Create it manually, if necessary.


Comments on 2010-12-04 New Compact Camera

My wife is very happy with her Panasonic Lumix. Small, reasonably fast, 7x Zoom.

– Harald Wagener 2010-12-04 17:29 UTC

I just recently bought a Sony DSC-HX5V and am really happy with it. GPS, compass, HDR and Sweep-Panorama are some pretty nice features for such a small camera. And it takes amazing photos in low-light conditions.

Andreas Gohr 2010-12-04 20:20 UTC

Hm, die Sony DSC-HX5V sieht gut aus. Das langsame Aufstarten des GPS und die Unschärfe hat dich nie gestört?

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-05 10:26 UTC


– Harald Wagener 2010-12-05 12:41 UTC

Hmm Unschärfe ist mir noch nicht aufgefallen. Der GPS-Fix braucht manchmal ne Weile, wenn er dann aber da ist, funktioniert’s auch wenn du die Kamera zwischendurch aus hattest und ne Weile rumgelaufen bist und wieder einschaltest. Ich muss aber gestehen ich hab noch nicht all zu viel mit dem GPS rumgespielt.

Andreas Gohr 2010-12-06 10:21 UTC

Hm, dann setze ich die Kamera mal auf meine Wunschliste. ;) Im Nachhinein hätte ich auf meinen Ferienfotos nämlich oft gerne noch Geodaten drauf gehabt…

Bald wünsche ich mir, dass Google Picasa meine Bilder auf Flickr einfach importieren würde.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-06 13:07 UTC

Jetzt muss ich nur noch herausfinden, wie ich zu gültigen “GPS assist data” komme. Zwar habe ich die manuell runtergeladen und installiert, aber im Menü werden sie immer noch als “invalid” bezeichnet. Und natürlich sollte ich mal zu einem ersten GPS lock kommen. Wenn ich das recht verstehe kriegen die Telefone viel bessere Lokalisierung hin, in dem sie die Signatur der wifi Netze über das Netz abgleichen? Funktioniert bei iPhone auf alle Fälle unheimlich gut.

Im Moment findeich schon mal cool, dass die Kamera automatisch merkt, dass ich ein Portrait mit Gegenlicht mache und passend kompensiert. Sehr cool.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-13 14:01 UTC

Hab die Kamera bisher nur ohne Assist-Data benutzt. Mir ist aber auch nicht so richtig klar wie das funktionieren soll, denn WiFi hat die Kamera ja nicht.

Andreas Gohr 2010-12-14 09:34 UTC

Hat bei mir geklappt! Gemäss der Anleitung von Henrik Brix Andersen die assistme.dat Datei runterladen und im /PRIVATE/SONY/GPS/ Ordner speichern. Bei mir hiess es dann zwar immer noch die längste Zeit, die Daten seien “invalid” (aber mit Ablaufdatum in 30 Tagen), aber sobald ich einen GPS fix hatte wechselte die Anzeige auf “valid”. Von dem her bin ich zufrieden. Wieviel Unterschied diese Korrekturdaten machen, weiss ich nicht, weil ich keine Ahnung vom GPS System habe.

AlexSchroeder 2010-12-14 10:22 UTC

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Define external redirect: WiFi PierreGaston