Tuna & me, working from home…

Mitchie was kind enough to take a picture of Tuna and of me, while working from home today:

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We’re working from home, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
photographer: Hamidah Suadi-Lonien

As always, thanks for viewing.

Tuna the cat, black & white, from August 4th, 2020

Today I took a photo of our cat again, sitting on the chair at my computer desk, looking out the veranda door. I cropped that photo into a 5:4 format again, and made it black & white using first the Olympus Workspace, and then Silver Efex. Back in Linux, I added my usual midtoning in RawTherapee. Looks like this:

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Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

She got extra payment for modeling that nicely 🙂

As always, thanks for viewing.

Tuna the cat in different aspect ratios

Today we took several photos of Tuna, and I cropped some of them into different formats later. So here are some of them, in 16:9, in 4:3 (the native format of my camera), and in 5:4.

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Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
photographer: Mitchie Suadi-Lonien
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Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

All three of these were taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk2 camera and a Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4 lens.

As always, thanks for viewing.

“Stop typing and crawl me!”

From yesterday, after work, taken by Mitchie:

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“Stop typing to these Wikiloops folks! Crawl me instead!”
Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

As always, thanks for viewing.

An apple a day…

… keeps the doctor away, so the old saying goes. Well maybe the internet doctor in this case. Let me explain.

My boss has the same internet provider that we also use, it’s your usual cable ‘triple play’ provider who gives you TV, phone, and internet all via the same line. That has been pretty good until the beginning of this year, when services – especially internet and thus phone (which is nothing more than VOIP anyway) – stopped working, sometimes for days. So both my boss and I had days when we had to wait several hours until we could resume working, especially since the lockdown and stay at and work from your homes rules.

So our employers decided to give us LTE access points as a backup for the usual cable service, which means a mobile phone. And at our employer, the current standard mobile phone is an Apple iPhone. The colleagues who ordered theirs some 2 weeks before I did got the iPhone 8, and yesterday mine arrived – the brand new iPhone SE from 2020. And it’s small, see here:

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iPhone SE (2020) next to Lenovo Thinkpad P50

There it is still in its packing which isn’t that much bigger than my mouse as you can see. One big plus of these phones – for me – are their “tiny” screens with just 4.7 inches, even the old Google (LGE) Nexus 5 had a 4.95″ screen (although with a higher resolution).

So by now it’s set up (through IBM, who are the owners of this thing, I’m only the user), and this is the normal start screen (learned to make a screenshot on an Apple device which is all new for me):

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Home screen of an iPhone SE (2020)

That screen has a resolution of 750 pixels wide and 1334 pixels high, so here you’ll have that screenshot in its original size. Not FullHD like the 1080×1920 size of the Nexus 5, but I tried and watched Wim Wenders’ wonderful “Paris, Texas” movie on it yesterday, and I haven’t been put off just because of the screen size – that’s still such a wonderful movie that you’ll forget about all that.

Played around only briefly with Apple’s free GarageBand until now because I don’t have an iRig or other interface to get my bass (or Zuleikha’s piano) attached.

But of course I had to try the camera – so here you go:

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Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020

Nice colours, hm? And about 4mm focal length, here with f/1.8 (I think it opens up to f/1.4 if it needs to or if you want that), ISO400 in this case, and 12MP resolution. Not as good as our real cameras, but who’s complaining if you get that for free in a sub 400$ phone (and I really have the smallest and cheapest, with 64GB of storage, more than enough for what we do with them).

So would I recommend these, or even buy any from my own money? I don’t know, honestly. These Android phones like Mitchie’s Google Pixel 3a are damn fine devices as well, and even cheaper (seen that one for under 300€ in the stores already). And Android is still more open, that thing has both a better (but alas, also bigger) screen *and* a better camera, at least when the light gets dimmer (plus it has an old style 3.5″ headphone/microphone jack). Apple on the other hand has way more processing power under its hoods with their own ARM-based A13 chips, these devices multitask like the big boys without even breaking a sweat – which is always good for artists like painters, video guys or musicians. They cost a lot more money tho, especially the add-ons (look at pencils and keyboards for iPads for instance, or RAM upgrades for Mac computers).

But it’s always interesting to look over the fence or the borders of your own plates, and to learn something new can’t be bad as well. So thanks boss, glad we have these… (and let’s see if that’ll become my gateway drug which will lead to further addiction – but I’m still glad I also have Ardour on my Linux box) 🙂

As always, thanks for reading.

My first day of the second week of homeoffice

I made photos, one shortly after I began to work at home, the other shortly after finishing work. Looks like this:

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Homeoffice week two, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Tuna the cat at closing time (Feierabend), Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

Thanks for viewing.

What to do in times of a pandemia

Well I can hardly give any tips of what best to do in a “lockdown” kind of situation, when you can’t or at least shouldn’t really leave the house. I can only tell you what we’re doing:

  • we went shopping of Friday after my work already, so we were through with that early on. It also helps if you enter the supermarkets as a single person, not with a whole family. Better for the distances we should keep…
  • reading is always good – my current favourite fiction author is Haruki Murakami as you might know if you’re reading this blog once in a while
  • listening to music and/or watching TV is what I’ll guess what most people would do, and of course we’re also doing that. Long running series like “Doctor Who” are good tips if you like that
  • If you’re a computer geek, get involved into some free and open source project – write some code or documentation, or share some tips via an own blog or Youtube or whatever
  • We’re the lucky ones, at least Zuleikha and me – we play instruments. Plus we are both members of Wikiloops where you can play with other musicians from all around the globe for free if you like. All you need is some way to get your instrument or voice into a computer, which is usually done with some kind of audio interface – see here for some examples. And Wikiloops just lifted its time restrictions, so even as a new user you can now start down- and uploading at once, without having to wait (or to pay).
  • If you are creative in another field – I consider myself a portrait photographer for instance – then do this at home as well. Take photos of your family, or in case you’re alone, take self portraits. There’s always something new to learn, and if it’s only about lighting.

Other than that I haven’t done much this weekend, in fact I wasn’t even out of the house except to feed the birds:

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Bird food, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

As I’ve read, the rate of new infections with SARS-CV2 aka the Corona virus is slowing down here in Germany. So maybe (and hopefully) it helps if everyone is staying at home or at least keeping a safe distance. And while it’s still way too early to speak of or to hope for a trend, we can still carry on and wait this out, shall we?

Be safe. Stay healthy. And thank you for reading.