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Saturday, 16 June 2018 Dereel Images for 16 June 2018
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More Hugin pain
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

House photo day again today, and once again I had difficulty with the control point detectors not wrapping around. Last week I managed to work around it by adding the first image a second time at the end of the stack, but that didn't work today. Here two examples:


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Clearly the first image is completely broken. At first the second image looks OK, but suddenly we have gained an extra bird bath and horse trough (the black thing in the background):

 
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In the end I gave up and ran the control point detectors on euroa, my Microsoft laptop. That, too, had its strangenesses: by default there are these strange vertical line detectors, which in my experience work very badly, and once again I couldn't find out how to disable them. I was able to simply remove the control points and realign, and that worked, but it begs the question: if this setting is not visible, is there maybe a different setting that isn't visible that causes my problems?

But it also confirmed that the issue is related only to the control point detectors: I could take the output of euroa's control point detectors and process it further on eureka. Somehow this problem requires so much background information to solve.


ALDI kitchen stuff
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne was in town today and brought back some stuff from ALDI: a frying pan suited to induction, and these strange “Crêpes”:


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They look particularly strange, but so are the instructions:


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What's missing there? The quantity! If it takes 8 to 10 seconds (6 to 8 kJ) to heat one crêpe, it will take 6 times as long to heat all of them.

On the positive side, they specified the power of the microwave oven. And sure enough, it took about 15 seconds to heat two of them at 1199 W to the point where pressure built up in the plastic tube.

But they tasted like they looked. They were tough! That's the last time we buy them. Spent much of the evening looking at recipes, but it looks like a lot of work.

The frying pan proved to be almost identical to one I bought last year, with one exception: it doesn't work properly. The (ALDI) induction cooker has no problem with the old one, but it can only recognize the new one from time to time. Back it goes.


Sunday, 17 June 2018 Dereel Images for 17 June 2018
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Investigating Hugin workflow
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

So why does Hugin not create the correct control points, only under FreeBSD? I've established that the same program, based on the same sources, works as expected under Microsoft.

I have a number of hypotheses: there could be some weird configuration issue, there could be a bug in the code that doesn't bite under other systems, but does under FreeBSD, or potentially there could be a bug in FreeBSD itself.

Of those, the source code bug seems most likely. This used to work, and I “haven't changed anything”, but more particularly I've looked for and tried to eliminate configuration issues. And while FreeBSD doubtless has bugs, it's unlikely that any would be so specific as to cause this kind of problem.

On the other hand, there is one big difference with FreeBSD: the C compiler (and related C++ compiler) is clang, while just about everything else uses gcc. So something like an uninitialized variable could uncover this kind of bug.

How do I go about investigating? First I need to understand what I'm doing. I've already established that I need a project file, which is created by pto_gen. But what does it mean? Went out looking, and asked on the developer's list. Thomas Modes, one of the Hugin developers, pointed me at the unlikely documentation: http://hugin.sourceforge.net/docs/nona/nona.txt.

Huh? nona is just one of the programs that use the project file. From the man page:

NAME
       nona - Stitch a panorama image

But that's misleading. nona transforms the projection of individual images and applies masks. It's not clear if it does anything else, but for the final panorama you need enfuse.

Off to look at the documentation, now nearly 4 years old, but Thomas assures me that it's complete and up to date, apparently conforming to libpano13.

Spent some time working on a description of the project file, making some progress. Only later did I note that the original document is really not a complete description of the project file: in particular, neither the c (control point) or v (variable) lines are described. But at least I'm beginning to make progress, and I've started a case study to go with it.


Truth in advertising photography
Topic: food and drink, photography, opinion Link here

Last week ALDI had various kitchen tools on offer, including this one:


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The time I have spent chopping onions! Just what I need! Now admittedly, I've tried this kind of thing before, and it hasn't worked. But this one clearly shows an onion being pressed (and not crushed), and nice, clean onion pieces falling below.

The truth is different. I had to press with as much force as I dared; any more would almost certainly have broken something. And what did I get?


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The onion was crushed, and nothing fell into the collection basin; it all hung through the cutter. And when I scraped it off, I had roughly a third of the onion, in large, uneven, crushed chunks:


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How did they get these nice photos? They faked it, of course. But why? Clearly it goes back.

In passing, it's worth noting a basic design flaw:


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The top is hinged, so the pressure on the vegetables is at an angle. Given the other problems, that's not so serious, but it would have been possible to make it press from above—just remove the hinge, for example.


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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