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Saturday, 19 October 2019 Dereel Images for 19 October 2019
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Web server: the results
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

So I left the old web server stopped overnight, so that it didn't redirect requests to inappropriate domain names to the new server. Came back in the morning and the load average on the new server was still below 10. Turned on the old server again, and bang! Within minutes I had:

last pid: 16293;  load averages: 31.65, 23.93, 13.76             up 53+19:32:08  01:16:42

Why does it make such a difference? Is it the content that keeps PHP busy? Sadly, it doesn't seem to have had much effect on the traffic.


Orchids again
Topic: photography, technology, gardening, opinion Link here

Over the past week I took a couple of photos of the yellow orchids just north of our property entrance on Stones Road. They weren't a success:


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Diary entry for Monday, 14 October 2019 Complete exposure details

   
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Both are only marginally sharp, probably because of the wind. They're acceptable at the standard (“tiny”) size, but even a slight enlargement shows how bad they are:

 
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Today I took a couple of flowers back home and tried focus stacking under more controlled circumstances:

 
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That's a lot better! But there are still details. I did this with Zerene stacker, which offers two different algorithms. I must really read the details, but so far I just have the names: PMax (apparently preferred) and DMap. The first photo came out better with DMap. The PMax version had a halo round the features. Here DMap, then PMax (run the cursor over an image to compare it with its neighbour):

 
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But DMax also seems to have less depth of field, visible here at the back of the right-hand flower:

 
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It's not clear if this is an advantage or a disadvantage; it also makes the background sharper, something that I've prefer to avoid.

In passing it's interesting to note that these flowers seem to come in pairs.


Sunday, 20 October 2019 Dereel Images for 20 October 2019
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Lenses: Oldies. Goodies?
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Camera lenses tend to last longer than the bodies, and even in the digital age I have a couple of lenses that I have had for over 10 years. But then there are the analogue lenses. I've had my current 50 mm f/1.4 Super-Takumar for over 52 years, and some of the lenses I have are clearly older than that.

The 50/1.4 Super Takumar had an excellent reputation, but three years ago I received my Leica Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 and discovered that it's an order of magnitude better than the Super Takumar:

 
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There are no prizes for guessing which is which.

On the other hand, I missed a couple of things:

So: how about comparing the Super Takumar and the Cassar? Certainly the appearance is markedly different:

 
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To do it right I need to find a “full frame” camera that will take Pentax screw thread lenses, clearly with an adapter. In the meantime it would be interesting to see how it did on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

The results are only partially of interest, since the camera is wrong. The big surprise was the difference in contrast:

 
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Why that? The “stars” in the background from the Cassar are almost invisible, and the foreground is washed out. Why? Poor quality antireflection coating? But the coma isn't significantly worse than on the Super Takumar. For that I'll have to find a “full frame” camera.


More wildflowers
Topic: gardening Link here

This bush is in Stones Road, on the way from our house to the “schoolyard” (the junction with Bliss Road). I've seen it flower before, but I think these are the first photos of the buds:

 
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Kitchen sink shower head
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

The kitchen shower head that I ordered on eBay have arrived. One was fine, but the other had a sticky jet/spray switch, allowing it to produce both at the same time:

 
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The photo was for the seller to ask for a refund. It seems that he knows the problem: immediate refund, keep the head. That's a big difference from some other sellers.


Planting tomatoes
Topic: gardening Link here

The “Giant Tree Tomato” plants are now about 40 cm long and desperately in need of planting. Finally put them in the ground with one of the new triangular frames:

 
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Hopefully it will withstand the wind.


More web server pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

The load on the web server isn't the only issue, it proves. Today I got a mail bounce message:

<somebody@FreeBSD.org>: host mx66.FreeBSD.org[96.47.72.85] said: 450-4.7.25
    Client host rejected: cannot find your hostname, [208.86.226.86] 450 4.7.25
    in case of permanent delivery errors (e.g. 5XX SMTP errors) please send
    your problem report from a non-blocked location (e.g. gmail/yahoo) to
    postmaster@FreeBSD.org and include the following information: time (Oct 19
    23:22:35) and client (208.86.226.86). (in reply to RCPT TO command)

Huh? That was from mail.lemis.com. But further investigation showed that the mail configuration was set up to deliver from www.lemis.com. That's OK, though: the reverse lookup matches:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/45) ~ 32 -> host 208.86.226.86
86.226.86.208.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer www.lemis.com.

But it seems that the mail servers do a forward lookup too, and that resolves differently:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/45) ~ 34 -> host www.lemis.com
www.lemis.com has address 66.42.97.229

OK, fight my way through the config menus and set the PTR record to oldwww.lemis.com, then modify the mail config to claim to be oldwww.lemis.com. All OK? Some day, maybe, but by evening the PTR record hadn't been updated.


Another grid power failure
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Another short grid power failure this evening at 17:19:12.


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. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. 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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