Entries posted in June 2010

Because I don't trust myself with you.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Debian Packages

Every now and again I look over server logs and see people downloading random .deb packages from my mirrors, or from my servers, via wget or Firefox (rather than with apt-get/aptitude).

Personally I don't often download random binaries even from people I believe I can trust. Instead I'll download source and rebuild.

But it bugs me that somebody might download a work-in-progress, decide it isn't complete or otherwise good enough, and miss out on an update of awesome-sauce a day or two later.

I suspect there is no real solution to this "problem", and that including /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ entries inside a binary package to "force" an upgrade behind the scenes is a little too evil to tolerate. And yet .. something something dark-side .. something something seductive something?

Blog Update

This is my last film-subject entry. In the future I will have more accurate subjects, albeit more dull ones.

I still amuse myself with quotations, and before that the song lyrics, but I guess that now is a good time to call it a day with that.

ObFilm: Cruel Intentions

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Good morning, Bastian

Friday, 25 June 2010

So previously I introduced the idea of my image-tagging system. There seemed to be at least a little interest. So here's a brief introduction and real update.

There is a command line tool, itag, which will index the UserComment field from a hierarchy of JPG files. (This field is compatible with digikam, by happy accident).

Additionally there are a pair of GUI tools, both very nasty in terms of code quality and extensibility:

itagview

This presents a list of all the tags which are found, (by invoking "itag --tags"), and allows you to view thumbnails of all images with a single specific tag. Double-click to launch the image full-sized.

itagger

This is a GUI tool which will present thumbnails of all images beneath a given directory, recursively, and allow you to enter tags either on individual images, or on multiple ones.

This doesn't update the DBM cache file that itag uses though, so you'll want to re-run that aftward.

Anyway enough pimping, if you like the sound of it visit the itag page. If you're optimistic, abhor reading, and just wanna play then there is an itag package for Lenny.

Patches welcome, especially to the nasty Gtk2 code...

ObFilm: The NeverEnding Story

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I am the edge!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Over the past few years I've amassed a collection of a few thousand images taken with a succession of digital cameras.

I'm pretty good at organising images, in a directory hierarchy which makes sense to me, in a few simple and broad categories:

skx@birthday:~$ tree -L 1 ~/Images/
/home/skx/Images/
|-- Misc
|-- Parties
|-- People
|-- Pets & Animals
`-- Travel

Beneath ~/Images/People, for example, I have subdirectories for specific individuals (or a "Debian/" folder for Debian-people who've been snapped but don't warrant their own folder.)

~/Images/Travel has things like Travel/Local/2010, Travel/Vienna/2008, etc.

In summary I have images of people, places, and things stored beneath what should be a reasonably discoverable directory hierarchy, however this just doesn't work. I still struggle to find images - for example images of myself might be located in ~/Images/People/Self/*, but in practise I'm often included in ~/Images/Travel/* as well.

A few times I've looked at using f-spot, digikam, and similar tools to perform image-organisation (but not editing, or timelines, or anything else. Just organisation). I've found I didn't like being locked into their formats, didn't want them to copy my images to a second location, and other gripes. In the end I've forced myself to come up with a Steve-Specific-Solution. Not for the first time, but I think I have just cause...

I'm now using the User-Comment field in the image's EXIF data to store tags. (When it comes to EXIF data I keep camera-generated fields, but sometimes update/set "Copyright", "Comment", and "Title" fields. So UserComment is one I've never used until now, and thus I run no risk of trashing existing meta-data.)

I've put together a simple perl script, called itag, which will:

  • Index the tag information from all images beneath ~/Images into a DBM file.
  • Show the filenames of all images matching a tag, or tags.
  • Allow me to add tag(s) to an image (which both updates the EXIF data and updates the DBM "cache").

This is enough for me to be able to see all images of "Edinburgh", via:

~$ qiv --fullscreen --slide --delay 5 $(itag --search=edinburgh)

Similarly I could find myself:

~$ itag --search=steve --search=people

I'm not sure it is useful to others, mostly on the basis that people probably fall into their own routine when it comes to filing, and I suspect that people with vast collections of images will just get annoyed by the obscenely slow indexing process I've got. (Hint: run "exiftool" on every /.jpe?g$/i file..)

Still its a simple enough idea and I think it should scale in the future - I can even see myself writing a wee GUI to do tag exploration and similar. Just not today.

ObFilm:Aeon Flux

ObRandom: Apologies for people waiting on email - it's been that kind of week.

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That friend promises his undying friendship if you would do him a small favour.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Perl & Apache?

Once upon a time, within the past year, I saw mention of a simpler version of mod_perl - an apache module which let you write code to run within the context of a persistent perl process.

However my DuckDuckGofu is weak, and I'm struggling to find this project.

Did I dream it, or could somebody tell me where it lives?

Dynamic Picture Frames

So I've been taking pictures recently. Lots of pictures.

Many times many images have been printed and hung upon my walls, and the price of frames is starting to become onerous.

I'd love to see some kind of "dynamic" picture wall - but the two alternatives I considered fail:

Metal & Magnets

Place a huge sheet of metal upon your wall. Then put wee magnets inside your frames.

Corkboard

Imagine a full wall that was paneled with what is essentially a large notice-board..

Both of these would look ugly; the metal one perhaps less so.

But the idea of having a wall which could have pictures mounted upon it, without having big nail holes if you rearranged and which could cope with dynamic repositioning and sizes is nice ..

Invent it for me? I'll buy one. Probably even two...

ObFilm: The Godfather

| 21 comments.

 

Everybody loves me, and I intend to keep it that way.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Would it be wrong to make a new blog entry just to test the blogging platform? If so I'm wrong.

To pretend that isn't the case I'll briefly document some recent events:

Coding

I've been making changes to the blogging software, chronicle, to support RSS feeds on comments, and to allow outgoing Pings on new entries.

I've also been flirting with an OpenID-backed image upload and sharing site, provisionally named picshare. Why? Partly for fun, partly because I like comments, and partly to flirt with RESTful design and API construction.

Photography

I've provisionally agreed to be the photographer for a special event at a local hair-dressers. This will either be fun, or all end badly.

No money, but free food and the chance to experiment more. So all good.

There. Almost like a real entry, right?

ObSubject: Cruel Intentions

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