A useful software list for Ubuntu 18.04

If you’re using – or planning to use – Ubuntu 18.04 (Mitchie has just upgraded to that), here’s a list of 22 things to do after the upgrade / install.

Of course you won’t have to do all of this, and most people using Linux will have some of that knowledge already. There are however useful hints and programs even for oldtimers like me. Didn’t know that “Gummi” editor for instance…

And even a link on how to configure Conky – my favourite system monitor – is included. Cool.

Recommended reading, maybe also for users of other distributions.

Some more recent photos, birthday presents

Here are some more photos:

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Zuleikha needs glasses, so we went shopping for them. And I took some photos while she tried different frames, to show her how she looks from a slightly different angle. Like here:

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Last Sunday I turned 61, and this is what I’ve got – a book, and a new lens for my camera:

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It’s David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas”, and the Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 75mm/1.8 lens. Both are wonderful. So the rest of this blog post’s photos were all taken with that new lens, either fully or near fully open:

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This one was at f/5, with an overhead octabox and one of my studio strobes:

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As you can see, that 75mm lens is perfect for head & shoulder portraits, and it reminds me a lot of my 135mm/2.8 which I had for my Canon A-1, and which I now also have for my Olympus OM-2N. The angle of view is very similar, with the 75mm being slightly tighter, and comparable to a 150mm lens on a 135 film camera. Might be a bit long for normal indoor living rooms, where our 45mm lenses shine, but outdoors, or for candids, or the mentioned head & shoulders, it’s just perfect. And for cats of course. Purrfect.

As always, thanks for reading.

Some recent photographs

Here are some photos we took since Friday – half of which were taken with my camera, the other half with Mitchie’s:

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Tulips, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

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Tuna diva, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

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Wolfgang, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018 – photographer: Mitchie

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Dying flowers and a bass guitar, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

Thanks for viewing.

Some photos from an expired film

I had that DM Paradies 200 colour negative film which was in our bookshelf, and expired since over three and a half years. So I loaded it into my camera (see two posts below), and used it. And today I’ve got it back. Here are three photos like the lab scanned them off the film, with grain and not very high-res. I still like them:

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My colleague Arno isn’t in the office at the moment. So today I put some of the prints from that film onto his desk for when he returns. I documented that with the digital E-PL5 and its kit zoom at 14mm:

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Thanks for viewing.

A birthday portrait

Yesterday Zuleikha officially joined the “teenie” club. I took a photo of her in mixed light while she received some greetings and wishes on the phone:

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Birthday wishes on the phone
Zuleikha, December 2017
(just turned 13)

Since it was impossible to correct the colour cast of the mixed (warm) LED and the daylight from outdoors, I tried several options in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro2 software. But in the end, the in-camera black and white conversion worked best.

Thanks for viewing.

Week 48 – and half of 49 – in pictures

I haven’t written anything since over a week. And I also didn’t take many photos, partly because my colleague Arno is off for his holiday, partly because the weather didn’t play nice at times, and I haven’t been out that much during my lunch breaks.

But apart from the usual cat photos, there were some opportunities, like a pre-Christmas concert from Zuleikha and some of her schoolmates. So let me show you some here:

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Don’t stop!

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Power lines, a chimney, and clouds

Me at work, lit by my monitor

Me at work, lit by my monitor

The next ones don’t have titles. They’re all titled “Vorweihnachtliches Konzert der Prälat-Diehl-Schule”
http://praelat-diehl-schule.de/vorweihnachtliches-konzert-der-praelat-diehl-schule/:

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Then I took some high ISO images, with the maximum ISO set to 6400 (and the camera did make use of that at times)…

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And all of a sudden, we had some first snow:

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The making of… a snow cat

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“Your new Mützenständer!” – that is what Zuleikha said to Mitchie when she saw her mum’s cap on my bass guitar…

As always, thanks for viewing and reading.

Some snapshots, some playing around

Played around with Silver Efex Pro 2 again today, on this:

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This is the original photo, with the “Natural” setting of my Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera. In Silver Efex Pro2 I used the “020 Fine Arts” preset this time, which is a bit more high key than the 019 one, and which also adds the frame border you see here. What I also did was to selenium-tone it (number 4 in SFx).

Here’s another snapshot from today. It’s the Latin version of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”:

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And as always, thanks for viewing.

More photos on white

Today I made photos for Zuleikha, all with the white background like in my last article. Zuleikha needs some photo for application letters – next year those kids will do a practical fortnight in their preferred professions, and they have to find jobs themselves, it’s just part of the game.

I took Zuleikha’s favourite photo from the session and also made a black and white version of it, just in case, and just out of my own curiosity. Looks nice with the “019 Fine Arts” preset of Nik Silver Efex Pro2 (plus a bit of final tweaking in RawTherapee like always):

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Here’s another one of Zuleikha’s choices, tho this ain’t for applications 😉

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Our chosen ones are all on Flickr, so Zuleikha can use and download them on demand whenever she likes to or needs them. I have unlimited storage space on Flickr; time to make use of that 😉

As always, thanks for viewing.

A short status update

Yesterday we were out for a short walk in a small village on the other side of the nearby airport. Here’s Zuleikha sitting on a bench near the river:

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Back at home, I was doing the usual daily practice routine on my bass, followed by playing around with some standards. As some of you might know, I have the “New Real Book” since some 30 years or so, but it doesn’t contain every standard you might look for – for these, you’d also have to get some of the older classic real books, or better yet, iReal Pro for your smartphone and/or tablet computer, which comes with about 1,300 free classics. And other than the name suggests, this also exists for Android devices. But these are chord sheets / playalongs only, like the original real books these tracks don’t come with the melody due to licensing restrictions.

Here’s also a new version of the collab with jonetsu/nominal6 on Soundcloud. He mixed in my fretless bass quite nicely already, tho the piece is still considered work in progress. In the LinuxMusicians forum entry you can also see some screenshots of the commercial Harrison Mixbus 32c console (on Linux of course) with which he mixed it – together with some nice plugins which I don’t have on Ardour (and which he used for the bass). Anyway, go ahead and listen to that small ambient piece in case you’re interested. It’s under a CC license which means that you could for instance use it for own videos and the likes.

So – currently I’m back to work, where I just upgraded my WordPress to 4.8.1 before writing this (together with updates of two plugins). And today I’m expecting a call from my brother who will visit our aunt, and who will probably need my help with her Linux machine during my lunch break.

And later on, I’ll probably continue working on “Blue Bossa” on my bass…

Thanks for reading.