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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 Dereel → Clarendon → Dereel Images for 20 September 2017
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Clarendon again
Topic: photography, animals Link here

Off to Unicorn Park in Clarendon, near Scotsburn, today to take some photos of Arne Koets teaching Yvonne some of the finer points of riding.


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It's tiring work, and I was glad when the 45 minutes were over. Margaret Swan didn't have any such problem, though she did manage to fill up an SD Card with her continuous video:


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Horse photos: the frustration
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

The whole horse photo affair was somewhat frustrating. I had taken my two big bottles, the Zuiko Digital ED 14-35 mm f/2.0 SWD and the Zuiko Digital ED 35-100 mm f/2.0. Unlike last time, I was closer to the action this time, so I didn't need the 35-100 mm lens at all. For once, most of the recording was video, and I discovered the hard way that the Four Thirds system lenses don't support continuous autofocus, which made the 14-35 as good as useless. Instead I used the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.

And even then, I couldn't find a focus system that worked. Continuous autofocus with tracking seems to ignore the AF targets. It works well enough as long as it can see the horse's head, but when the horse turns away, the focus point wanders off into nirvana, and it's almost impossible to catch it again. And continuous autofocus without tracking gets lost if I let the horse leave the target area. Somehow I'm left with the feeling that there's no good way to do this. I wonder if other cameras do it better.


Misery Creek Road again
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

On the way home, drove down the first couple of kilometres of Misery Creek Road. As expected, things have changed considerably since last time: it's warmer now, and these orange pea-like flowers are everywhere, interspersed with at least two kinds of acacias. One kind is a bush:


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And the other kind looks like a grass:


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They were already there last time, and I got better photos then (had a macro lens with me), but there are many more now.

The Grevillea bedggoodiana are also flowering more profusely, if not obviously:


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But one seems to have died completely, though the ones around it look fine:


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I wonder what happened there.

Then there are the purple-flowering bushes near the end of Orchid Track, now flowering more profusely:


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In the forest, they really stand out, but they're barely recognizable in the photos. How can I emphasize them?

Once again I'm impressed by how many of these flowers are close to the east (highway) end of Misery Creek Road. This Hardenbergia violacea is directly on the turnoff from the highway, and it's the best specimen I found:


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MediathekView insights
Topic: multimedia, technology Link here

Why can't I download Mediathek videos that I can watch online? It all sounds like a web proxy issue. So how do I set a web proxy for MediathekView? Once again Google to my aid. It pointed me at this forum discussion (!), which states that you should start MediathekView like this:

java -dproxyset=true -dproxyhost=<proxy server> -dproxyport=<port> -jar mediathekview.jar

And how about that, that did the trick. It's not clear why, but who am I to complain?


Thursday, 21 September 2017 Dereel
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Where's my disk?
Topic: general, technology Link here

On Monday I discovered I hadn't paid for an eBay item, so I rectified that quickly. Sent a message to the seller. No reaction. Sent another message to the seller. Still no reaction.

OK, time to take further steps. Where eBay had claimed that the item was paid when it was not, it now claimed that it was not paid when it was. Back to eBay's confusing web site. “Take action”. What action? I've been there before on Monday. OK, get eBay to call me “valued customer” and walk me through. Maria called back pretty quickly. Problem: she had a strong fake American accent (probably originally from the Philippines), and I really couldn't understand her. I don't like doing it, but I had to ask her to get somebody else to call me back.

That was Michelle, not much more intelligible. I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't the telephone. I must try changing to the other phone some time. In any case, she was not able to walk me through the matter: there is no way to “take action” in this case. “Take action” means “Pay with PayPal”, and if I pay by other means, the system can't handle it. I need to contact ask a question of the seller and get him to “answer” it by closing the case. She was prepared to give me his phone number. No, sorry, I want some kind of record. OK, she would contact him. That sounded like a reasonable workaround of the site breakage, so we left it at that.

And that's where it stayed. No evidence of any activity. OK, I can open cases too. Sent the seller a message asking for response by tomorrow evening.

Some of there things are inevitable, but eBay's system makes it much more difficult.

By coincidence, received a message from eBay sent to my second account, the one I set up trying to fix the breakage they caused three years ago. It seems that they're celebrating their 18th birthday! I've been with them since July 1999, so I must have signed up with them some months before they were born. There's an explanation, of course: this is eBay Australia, but they didn't tell me that.


Goodbye TV
Topic: multimedia, opinion Link here

Six months ago I finally gave up on TV, mainly because of the appalling usability of the software available. We still have live TV reception, but I gave up on that in late 1983 when I got my first video recorder. Clearly technology is overtaking the concept of transmitting information only at fixed times.

So it was interesting to see that I'm not alone, at least if I pretend to be a young adult:

Surprisingly, Statista followed up this with a less focused article about the display device:

Here they distinguish between a TV set (“only”) and a digital device (“only”). Apart from the fact that I'd expect the vast majority of people to use both, what do they mean by “digital device”? Everything in a modern TV set is digital with the exception of the tuner. I suppose they're lumping mobile phones, tablets and computers (remember them?) into the latter category. But there are enormous differences and considerable overlaps. My TV is a real TV, with tuner and toy digital functions, but I use it only as a large monitor. And that's why: I can get a decent sized image. In an age where people are rushing to resolutions of 3840×2160 and larger, displayed on screens with diagonals of 160 cm and more, who wants to be limited to a mobile phone with a diagonal of, say, 10 cm and an aspect ratio that makes much of that useless?


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. 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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