Snow Moon

I read that new (to me) word only a few days ago, and now here’s a song with it as its title: ‘Snow Moon’ from Shi & FrankieJ. Couldn’t resist to play around with it a bit:

Thank you my friends for that wonderful song, and thanks to you for listening.

I bought Mixbus

After supporting Ardour since a while, and also after purchasing Reaper because I used that on both Windows and Linux, I recently saw a note in the LinuxMusicians forum that currently Mixbus is on sale again. And following the link, it was indeed reduced by quite a margin, so I decided to get it. I mean, 19€ or $ or 17£, that’s a steal for this program – plus they are also the biggest sponsor of Ardour, that’s why I jumped on it.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, here’s a video ad from its makers:

Harrison Mixbus (v2)

It looks pretty on my desktop (a much newer version 6 compared to the video above:

Editor view of Harrison Mixbus
Mixer view of Harrison Mixbus

Pretty much identical to Ardour 6 on which it is based, plus some added polish / features / plugins. And it also comes for Windows and MacOS like Ardour.

I’m quite curious to see (or rather, hear) what things like their mixer with tape saturation etc. will do, so I’ll dig into that soon, and keep you informed.

As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.

Farewell

What a nice track from Martin, couldn’t resist to play around with it a bit…

As always, thanks for listening.

17mm

Last week was my birthday, and I got a new lens: the Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 which is wonderful. Here it is on my camera, took that shot using the Google Pixel 4a phone:

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New (to me) lens, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021

Some first images taken with that lens:

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Flowers, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021
Just a little ad…
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Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021

As always, thanks for viewing.

Updates, cheap frame grabbers, selfies

Sometime last week I read about a vulnerability of the Chrome browser which most of my colleagues – and according to my statistics also most of the visitors of this site – are using. So I sent them a short notice about it, and also upgraded my own versions of the Chrome and Chromium browsers on both Linux and Windows (tho I rarely use them, mostly for debugging if someone reports about errors or so).

There were also news about Windows updates, and that these might be important, so I did that as well – I have a dual boot machine here so if I interrupt the boot up process I can also start Windows 10 instead of Linux. This one might be tricky in case you have your Windows machine connected via WiFi – one of their last updates corrupted that (and they have another update for that alone). Anyway, better be safe and update, I did…

What I do *not* have on my main machine is a webcam for video conferencing, but I have tried droidcam which works fine even with an iPhone, I also tried their Linux client on my employers’ notebook (Lenovo P50 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8), and that works.

But I also remembered that I have a much better camera, so I ordered one of these cheap frame grabbers (mine was 14€, you find them even cheaper by now):

These are detected automatically, no drivers needed. Here’s a screenshot from Ubuntu Studio where it even shows its name as ‘MACROSILICON USB Video’, and the ID 534d:2109 (on my Debian and Red Hat machines both of which have older kernels it leaves away the name but is detected and works just fine):

Rob Trek has a video about this one, and how to use it with Olympus cameras like mine:

He also had another one on how to use these cameras for live streaming and online conferencing with Skype, Zoom, Meet, and so on:

Very nice, although until now I can’t really get rid of the focus rectangles with that long press on the ‘Info’ button¹. But then again, Olympus never claimed the E-M10 Mk2 to have a clean HDMI output, so this is what you should look out for when deciding onto a new camera with which you’d also like to live stream – the quality of all of these is *much* better than your typical webcam… (the one in the Lenovo P50 is horrible).

¹Edit: if I turn off face/eye detection, C-AF on, and then select not one focus point/box but all – pretty much the whole screen – then I get a clean HDMI out for streaming. Cool; works for me without having to get just another camera…

Speaking about cameras, I was using mine a bit more often lately, but since I can’t always photograph our cat, and since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, I mostly pointed it onto myself – like here for instance:

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Me as “Lester the Nightfly”, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021
Listen to the original
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Yet another self portrait, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021

As you see I also went wider as usual – 50mm-equivalent in the first, and 28mm-equivalent in the second shot, and I used two of my studio strobes for better colour and definition. So if you don’t have a good looking model, you can at least use good lighting which is the second most important thing in photography 🙂 No reason to not be creative just because you can’t go out that much, is it?

As always, thanks for reading, viewing, and watching (or listening). Be well and stay safe everyone, and take care…

Low light, high ISO, and simulated black & white films

Olympus cameras, and Rawtherapee – a winning combination. These are from today:

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Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021 (ISO 3200, simulated Kodak Tri-X film)
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Birthday flowers, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021 (ISO 6400, simulated Kodak T-Max film)

As always, thanks for viewing.

Edit, one day later:

That photo of Tuna above may look nice and bright – but in fact that scene was pretty dark. Here’s a video which I took right before that shot, and which shows the actual lighting (during daytime!) as it really was:

Again, thanks for viewing.

RIP Captain Sir Tom Moore

Oh my – like his daughters reported, Tom didn’t make it. I read it in Tagesschau Online first, and here is an obituary from Thomas Spickhofen from our ARD studios in London:

Thank you Tom, for everything you did – you won’t be forgotten. My thoughts are with your family, and with your friends.

P.S., from Feb. 3rd, 2021:

The interest in Captain Sir Tom Moore is world-wide, even sites in Malaysia are reporting the sad news. You can find lots of images of him, and I myself left a short tribute on a news site in Wales

Here’s the report of our biggest TV news from yesterday evening:

And here’s the BBC about him.

As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.

Not so confidential anymore – this time…

… it will affect *us* (my colleagues & me). The news in German:

https://www.heise.de/news/Gewerkschaft-IBM-Deutschland-plant-fast-1000-Kuendigungen-5030141.html

https://www.golem.de/news/skills-ibm-deutschland-plant-fast-1-000-kuendigungen-2101-153521.html

https://www.ich-bin-mehr-wert.de/news/ibm_tarif_update/ibmnewsletter-2021/ibmnewsletter20210119/

And what fits to both the headline, and to my feelings about it is Shi‘s actual pick for her New Year’s song which she uploaded on the 3rd of February 2013 (her date of entry at Wikiloops), called “This time”:

“This time”, by Alex Sarikov, rastafari, and Shi – lyrics ©Shi 2.3.2013

What a wonderful song of my three friends from the ‘loops. I had this one on my first album on Wikiloops, without own contributions yet – and I’ve added “The cool cats from the loops – Hit singles” to the widgets area on the right of this page now so that you can find and download it. As always, thanks for reading, and for listening.

A simple and unscientific test

Today I made a test: I took both of the smart phones off of their chargers when I started work this morning, and placed them beside my workplace like this:

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Smartphones ’21

These are, from left to right: the Apple iPhone SE (2020 model) which belongs to my employer, and the Google Pixel 4a phone which I “bought for one shilling” from my wife.

The test was: I wanted to see how much battery power was left after a full day of work, without using both devices. My expectation was that the Apple device with its A13 chip would win by quite some degree against the Google device with its Snapdragon chip.

And of course, “not using them” wasn’t exactly true – while the Apple device was silent, I heard the Pixel phone’s “Pling!” sound several times when someone sent me an email via GMX – don’t know if the display went on because I haven’t seen it, but I guess so (usually it does). The GMX app is also installed and configured on the iPhone, but notifications weren’t allowed on it. Another (unfair) advantage for Apple? I have no idea…

So after work – and I shut down my notebook after a bit more than nine and a half hours uptime including lunch break – I looked at both. Result: 93% battery left on the Apple, 99% on the Google phone.

Interesting. Obviously, Google has learnt how to let its Pixel phones doze (can hardly say ‘sleep’ when all of the time they’re in fact waiting for something to happen). Power management seems to be perfect on these. Would be interesting to compare it with Apple’s new A14 chip in the newer iPhone 12 – that one is the first 5nm CPU just like the M1 chip in Apple’s new “Silicon” machines… but as you can see, it’s not all just hardware…

As always, thanks for reading.