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Saturday, 17 February 2018 Dereel Images for 17 February 2018
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GPS pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

What time did we pick up the prescription at Health First yesterday? It was somewhere between 15:30 and 16:00, but I didn't note the exact time.

Never mind, I have a GPS navigator—two, in fact—so I can use something like GPS Visualizer to show where I was. But that shows two serious issues. First, the track is extremely inaccurate. In Ballarat, we parked between Eyre St and Dana St, a block south of Health First, and walked north along the west side of Doveton St. When we left (by car), we turned left into Dana St and left again into Dawson St. The track tells a different story:

 
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That's not even the worst. Somehow I traveled 10 km or so west and east of the house (green pin) without even noticing it:


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Surely things don't need to be that inaccurate.

The other thing is that this view doesn't tell me when I was (supposed to be) there. Sure, I can look in the raw log, but that way madness lies. It's in UTC, so I should be looking at the time between 5:30 and 6:00:

<trkpt lat="-37.575945015996695" lon="143.84474851191044"><ele>420.29998779296875</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:36:12.000Z</time><course>22.0</course><speed>0.18765001</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>3.3</vdop><pdop>3.5</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.575933490879834" lon="143.8447692990303"><ele>444.5999755859375</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:36:25.000Z</time><course>0.0</course><speed>0.0</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>1.6</vdop><pdop>1.9</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.576009766198695" lon="143.84484121575952"><ele>450.0</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:36:34.000Z</time><course>300.0</course><speed>0.31275</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>1.6</vdop><pdop>1.9</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57597661577165" lon="143.8447724841535"><ele>442.0999755859375</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:36:55.000Z</time><course>284.0</course><speed>0.56295</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>1.9</vdop><pdop>2.1</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57609639316797" lon="143.84476753883064"><ele>427.0999755859375</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:37:14.000Z</time><course>0.0</course><speed>0.0</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>2.1</vdop><pdop>2.3</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57609639316797" lon="143.84476753883064"><ele>427.0999755859375</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:37:15.000Z</time><course>0.0</course><speed>0.0</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><sat>8</sat><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>2.1</vdop><pdop>2.3</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.576055279932916" lon="143.84480609558523"><ele>439.5999755859375</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:37:25.000Z</time><course>0.0</course><speed>0.0</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>1.0</hdop><vdop>2.3</vdop><pdop>2.6</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57597028743476" lon="143.84473208338022"><ele>441.0999755859375</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:37:44.000Z</time><course>355.0</course><speed>0.81315</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>1.6</vdop><pdop>1.9</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57596764713526" lon="143.84473141282797"><ele>440.4000244140625</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:37:45.000Z</time><course>350.0</course><speed>0.75060004</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><sat>9</sat><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>1.6</vdop><pdop>1.9</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57610695436597" lon="143.8447716459632"><ele>427.5</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:38:00.000Z</time><course>71.0</course><speed>0.1251</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>2.0</vdop><pdop>2.3</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57599907927215" lon="143.84479075670242"><ele>450.29998779296875</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:38:11.000Z</time><course>0.0</course><speed>0.0</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>2.0</vdop><pdop>2.3</pdop></trkpt>
<trkpt lat="-37.57596915587783" lon="143.84484238922596"><ele>445.70001220703125</ele><time>2018-02-16T05:38:22.000Z</time><course>0.0</course><speed>0.0</speed><geoidheight>-5.5</geoidheight><src>gps</src><hdop>0.8</hdop><vdop>1.6</vdop><pdop>1.9</pdop></trkpt>

And that would tell me, if I could visualize it. Maybe the <speed> specification can help. Those values suggest that, at the very least, we were not in a car. But wouldn't it be nice to find a good visualizer? I'm sure they're out there, but how do I find a good one?


Saffron qualities
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I spent a fair amount of time looking at saffron yesterday, but I didn't get round to looking at all the details. The Flora saffron pages have measurements for their saffron, along with values according to ISO 3632. ISO politely refuses to divulge the values (cross their palms with silver), but Flora gives what are presumably correct details. According to that, we have (ISO specification in brackets):

      Picrocrocin       Crocin       Safranal
Sargol       >= 85 (>= 70)       >= 230 (>= 190)       >= 30 (20 - 50)
Negin       >= 85 (>= 70)       >= 230 (>= 190)       >= 30 (20 - 50)
Poushal       >= 85 (>= 70)       >= 230 (>= 190)       >= 30 (20 - 50)

Well, that's helpful, isn't it? All the values are the same. What differs is the spelling. On the page for Poushal, we also have the spellings “Pushali”, and the link itself uses the spelling “Pushal”.

There are others, like “bunched” saffron, of which they say:

The Style of the saffron plant, has less CULINARY VALUE, that means less AROMA, FLAVOR or COLOR. If is left attached to the red stigmas, it adds 30% to 50% DEAD weight to the saffron flower, and you pay for it.

But the analysis? The same as the others. My guess is that the >= is the most important part of the pages.


Fixing the sprinklers
Topic: gardening Link here

One of my garden sprinklers is still sticking, but the people at UPI had suggested that it might just be dirt in the valve. Why that? I have a filter in front of it, and I never had issues like that in Kleins Road. But out to take a look this morning, marveling at the way the valve had been installed so that it was difficult to access the solenoid:

 
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And sure enough, on removal it had a significant amount of rusty sludge on it. Cleaned that off, and it worked. At least one problem solved.


Sunday, 18 February 2018 Dereel Images for 18 February 2018
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E-M1 USB problems
Topic: photography, technology Link here

I read photos from my cameras to the computer using a script called syp. It uses a feature of the Olympus file naming scheme. The names are of the form PMDDNNNN.JPG, where P is an (apparently) arbitrary letter, M is a one-character abbreviation for the month (1 to C), DD a two character representation of the day of the month, and NNNN a number that is incremented for each photo. The P can be changed to just about any character you want, so I have changed it on all my cameras to identify the camera (1 for the E-M1, 2 for the E-PM2, 3 for the E-PM1, and 4 for the E-M1 Mark II). syp analyses the file name and copies files to a directory corresponding to the date (20180218 for today), only if they're not there.

But recently things haven't gone as well:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/26) ~/Photos/20180217 66 -> syp
Copying files from c:/dcim/102OLYMP to /home/grog/Photos
mcopy -pm C:/dcim/102OLYMP/12180717.ORF /home/grog/Photos/20180218/orig/12180717.ORF
plain_io: Input/output error
file read: Input/output error
Can't open /dev/da3s1: Device not configured
Cannot initialize 'C:'
You have new mail in /var/mail/grog
=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/26) ~/Photos/20180217 67 -> syp
Copying files from c:/dcim/102OLYMP to /home/grog/Photos
mcopy -pm C:/dcim/102OLYMP/12180717.ORF /home/grog/Photos/20180218/orig/12180717.ORF
 Volume in drive C has no label
 Volume Serial Number is 166D-7456
Directory for C:/

DCIM        
    2018-01-09  14:44
        1 file                    0 bytes
                     31 614 369 792 bytes free

I didn't change anything between the two attempts, but the USB subsystem had a field day, producing several hundred error messages, mainly repetitive. Here are the interesting ones:

Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.18: <OLYMPUS> at usbus0
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: umass3: <OLYMPUS E-M1, class 0/0, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 10> on usbus0
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: umass3:  SCSI over Bulk-Only; quirks = 0xc100
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: umass3:8:3:-1: Attached to scbus8
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3 at umass-sim3 bus 3 scbus8 target 0 lun 0
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3: <OLYMPUS E-M1 1.00> Removable Direct Access SCSI-2 device
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3: Serial Number BHP228512
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3: 40.000MB/s transfers
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3: 30176MB (61800448 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 3846C)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3: quirks=0x2<NO_6_BYTE>

This part is normal: camera connected to computer, configured.

Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.6: <vendor 0x1a40> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: uhub2: at uhub0, port 10, addr 27 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.7: <vendor 0x1a40> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: uhub3: at uhub2, port 1, addr 30 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.8: <CPS> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.18: <OLYMPUS> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: umass3: at uhub3, port 4, addr 10 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): READ(10). CDB: 28 00 00 00 20 80 00 00 10 00
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): CAM status: CCB request completed with an error
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): Retrying command
(repoeats endlessly)
...
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): Error 5, Retries exhausted
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): got CAM status 0x44
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): fatal error, failed to attach to device
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3 at umass-sim3 bus 3 scbus8 target 0 lun 0
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: da3: <OLYMPUS E-M1 1.00> s/n BHP228512 detached
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): Periph destroyed
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.9: <MLK> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ukbd1: at uhub2, port 2, addr 6 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ums1: at uhub2, port 2, addr 6 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka devd: Executing '/etc/rc.d/moused stop ums1'
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.10: <MOSART Semi.> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ukbd2: at uhub2, port 3, addr 15 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ums2: at uhub2, port 3, addr 15 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka devd: Executing '/etc/rc.d/moused stop ums2'
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.11: <vendor 0x0430> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: uhub4: at uhub2, port 4, addr 29 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ugen0.12: <vendor 0x0430> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:08:48 eureka kernel: ukbd3: at uhub4, port 4, addr 20 (disconnected)

What went wrong here? This all took place in the space of a second, though on other occasions it has happened later. The interesting thing is the apparent collateral damage, including (apparently) 3 keyboards and two mice. But it's not done yet:

Feb 18 13:08:50 eureka kernel: ugen0.6: <vendor 0x1a40> at usbus0
...
Feb 18 13:08:54 eureka kernel: ugen0.9: <OLYMPUS> at usbus0
Feb 18 13:08:54 eureka kernel: umass3: <OLYMPUS E-M1, class 0/0, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 23> on usbus0
...
Feb 18 13:08:54 eureka kernel: da3: <OLYMPUS E-M1 1.00> Removable Direct Access SCSI-2 device
Feb 18 13:08:54 eureka kernel: da3: Serial Number BHP228512
...
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: ugen0.6: <vendor 0x1a40> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: uhub2: at uhub0, port 10, addr 3 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: umass3: at uhub3, port 4, addr 23 (disconnected)
...
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): Error 5, Retries exhausted
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): got CAM status 0x44
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): fatal error, failed to attach to device
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: da3 at umass-sim3 bus 3 scbus8 target 0 lun 0
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: da3: <OLYMPUS E-M1 1.00> s/n BHP228512 detached
Feb 18 13:09:01 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): Periph destroyed

That's the same thing all over again. And then, only 2 seconds later,

Feb 18 13:09:03 eureka kernel: ugen0.6: <vendor 0x1a40> at usbus0
...
Feb 18 13:09:07 eureka kernel: ugen0.9: <OLYMPUS> at usbus0
Feb 18 13:09:07 eureka kernel: umass3: <OLYMPUS E-M1, class 0/0, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 19> on usbus0
...
Feb 18 13:09:07 eureka kernel: da3: <OLYMPUS E-M1 1.00> Removable Direct Access SCSI-2 device
Feb 18 13:09:07 eureka kernel: da3: Serial Number BHP228512
Feb 18 13:09:07 eureka kernel: da3: 40.000MB/s transfers
Feb 18 13:09:07 eureka kernel: da3: 30176MB (61800448 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 3846C)
...

This time it stayed there, and I was able to read in the files and turn it off:

Feb 18 13:09:28 eureka kernel: ugen0.9: <OLYMPUS> at usbus0 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:09:28 eureka kernel: umass3: at uhub3, port 4, addr 19 (disconnected)
Feb 18 13:09:28 eureka kernel: da3 at umass-sim3 bus 3 scbus8 target 0 lun 0
Feb 18 13:09:28 eureka kernel: da3: <OLYMPUS E-M1 1.00> s/n BHP228512 detached
Feb 18 13:09:28 eureka kernel: (da3:umass-sim3:3:0:0): Periph destroyed

But what's causing that? It always used to work, and so far I have only observed the problem with this camera, so maybe it's some hardware issue. I'd put my money on cable problems, but the system response is strange.


Trying HDR Express
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

My last attempts with commercial HDR software were with Franzis HDR Projects 4. Not an unqualified success: in fact, an unqualified waste of money. On the other hand, the method I'm using now, using enfuse, doesn't handle ghosting at all well, so it's probably time to look further.

The next one I found was HDR Express 3 from Pinnacle Imaging Systems. I downloaded a trial copy a few days ago, but have only just got round to trying it out.

The view on startup was unexpected:

 
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That's certainly minimal. But it was also completely unresponsive. Where's the manual? I couldn't find it on the web site, only video tutorials, something that I have always found to be a waste of time. So, try one of the undocumented Microsoft solutions: guess. Could it be because I'm using a remote desktop? The problem is that I don't have a display on this machine (dischord), something I should fix.

So: install on euroa, my laptop. Yes, indeed, it displayed something, and carried on doing so when I moved the session to a remote desktop. This may not be as silly as it sounds: I've seen it with other software, and it may be that Microsoft loads some necessary functionality only when it's started on the local display.

So, what do we have?

 
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As usual, of course, I had to select my directory (P:\HDR\6-HDR4-grog for hysterical raisins). But it didn't seem to like that:

 
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Ha ha, only joking. The important part is the Select Folder at the bottom. And then I had to wait while it read in all the images, made me wait while it displayed them, and, in true HDR Projects fashion, misassigned them:

 
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That's the second row, as much of the 6 images (see top left) that it felt polite to display. The first three clearly belong together, but the fourth (and invisible fifth and sixth) are completely different. But for some reason (maybe time) it joined them together. OK, never mind, there's a slider “Auto-Stack images” at the bottom, set to 5. All my images are groups of three, so I changed that.

Click Merge. Off it went and came up with something else reminiscent of HDR Projects:

 
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What a mess! It's far worse than the original. And like HDR Projects, it offered me (far fewer, but still too many) silly ways of modifying it, not including the obvious higher dynamic range.

Round here I got the impression from part of the display that it wasn't trying to merge images at all, just extract the most from one image (though it didn't do a very good job there either). Time to RTFM. And there is a manual, and I could access it via F1:

 
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The second image is shown at the default size that it chose for a 2560×1440 display. Yes, I could expand the display, though it steadfastly insisted on two pages next to each other. But I wanted to display it on a different machine. Where is the manual? The file name was HDR_Expose_3_QSG.pdf, but in which directory? Adobe Reader politely refused to divulge:


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Still, that's a start. Searched the entire Program&nbsp;Files hierarchy and found only one file: C:\Program&nbsp;Files/Pinnacle&nbsp;Imaging&nbsp;Systems\HDR&nbsp;Expose&nbsp;3\license_en.pdf. It seems that they have deliberately hidden the documentation to restrict pirating and to significantly complicate legitimate use. Bad Pinnacle.

It seems that they have “Easy HDR Creation”, basically what I did. They don't say how to stop it from attempting to merge unrelated images. So why did it create this real messy image from only one image?

But it seems that there's also a batch processing feature, so tried that. In principle it looks just the same, including perpetual insistence on the directory C:\Users\grog\Pictures: you'd think they had shares in the directory name. (In fact, you can set the directory name in the Preferences, not by entering the name, but by climbing a directory tree to get there, in true Microsoft fashion). Surprise, surprise. It won't output to JPEG (which they call JPG, presumably an opinion of said experts), only to various HDR formats. OK, do that first, ask questions later. After a while it had written a file called (in the real world) /Photos/6-HDR4-grog/e-from-house-0-1EV-0001.bef, and then I got:

 
This should be HDREx-9.png.  Is it missing?
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Dimensions of original: 633 x 509, 18 kB
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It continued and created /Photos/6-HDR4-grog/e-from-house-1-1EV-0001.bef, in the process drawing my attention to the fact that it had ordered the files neither by name nor by modification time, but in the sequence 0, 2, 3, 1. Presumably this is its way of reporting that fact that it couldn't make sense of its choice of lumping the two source sets /Photos/6-HDR4-grog/e-from-house-2* and /Photos/6-HDR4-grog/e-from-house-3* together.

Round about here I gave up for the day. It's possible that it can produce good results, but so far it's just pain.

And the output files?

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/1) /Photos/6-HDR4-grog 51 -> l house-from-entrance-0-1EV-0009.bef
-rwxr--r--  1 grog  wheel  35,655,828 18 Feb 14:03 house-from-entrance-0-1EV-0009.bef
=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/1) /Photos/6-HDR4-grog 52 -> identify house-from-entrance-0-1EV-0009.bef
house-from-entrance-0-1EV-0009.bef TIFF 256x192 256x192+0+0 8-bit sRGB 35.66MB 0.000u 0:00.000

This output was followed by 10 error messages complaining about the file. Clearly a 35 MB file, even TIFF, can hold a higher resolution than 256×192. Probably that's just a thumbnail. Once again, RTFM—but how, when I can only do it by running a program that is even fussy about where it will display at all?

Is that really the current state of the art? I almost feel like trying HDR Projects again.


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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