Categories
Ireland

Signs of the Pandemic

No mask on your face, big disgrace.

I can’t imagine going into a restaurant or pub for a long time still. The lockdown in Ireland has managed to reduce the infection rate of Covid19 in the country dramatically compared to levels last month but it hasn’t gone away.

Unfortunately the lockdown itself has decimated many businesses and put medical procedures on hold that would normally happen. I hope people take more seriously the advice to wear masks in busy public areas so we can avoid another lockdown in January but it’s almost guaranteed we’ll have another one in the new year. 🙁

Posted on Reddit today.

Categories
In the news

Astronauts are the only strangers hugging

SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station and the first thing I notice is that they are probably one of the few groups of strangers on or off the planet who can safely hug right now.

Categories
Movies

2020, 1917 style

If you haven’t seen 1917 yet you should go see it before watching this parody set in 2020. It’s so good, but only makes sense if you saw the original movie.

“Donald Trump got impeached?”

….

….

“And everyone forgot already?”

Categories
Photography

Howto sync recent photos in Lightroom Classic

Lightroom Classic comes with 20GB of space on Adobe’s cloud service (Lightroom CC/Web/app) but did you know that you can sync photos to the cloud and then edit them on your phone without using that space?

The original photos are not synced, but a smaller cut down smart preview is which in most cases will be indistinguishable from the original.

If you create a collection all the photos in that collection can be synced with the cloud. They’ll appear as an album of the same name in the Lightroom app on your phone or iPad. They also won’t take up any of that valuable 20GB of space.

Unfortunately Adobe won’t allow you to sync smart collections, and I presume that is intentional for whatever reason. However, with the help of the Any Source plugin you can configure it to sync smart collections with the cloud. This very handy plugin syncs the smart collection with a dumb collection that can then be synchronised.

I use it to synchronise the following smart collections:

  • Published photos.
  • Unpublished photos.
  • Photos on my TODO list.
  • Recent Photos from the last 3 months.

The plugin has a free trial but is PWYW and well worth paying for!

Syncing my recent photos with the cloud is simple.

  • Create a smart collection.
  • Call it “Recent Photos”.
  • Add one rule: “Capture Date” “is in the last” 3 “months”.
  • Save.

That will create your new smart collection. Now follow the instructions to synchronise smart collections on the Any Source homepage. It might take a few minutes for the album to appear in mobile Lightroom but it will eventually.

Categories
WordPress

Hide featured image if it’s in the post

I’ve been running a photoblog at inphotos.org since 2005 on WordPress. (And thanks to writing this I noticed it’s 15 years old today!)

In that time WordPress has changed dramatically. At first I used Flickr to host my images, but after a short time I hosted the images myself. (Good thing too since Flickr limited free user accounts to 1000 images, so I wrote a script to download the Flickr images I used in posts.)

For quite a long time I used the featured image instead of inserting the image into the post content, but then about two years ago I went back to inserting the photo into the post. Unfortunately that meant the photo was shown twice, once as a featured image, and once in the post content.

The last theme I used supported custom post types, one of which was a photo type that displayed the featured image but hid the post content. It was an ok compromise, but not perfect.

Recently I started using Twenty Twenty, but after 15 years I had a mixture of posts with:

  • Featured image with no image in the post.
  • Featured image with the same image in the post.

I knew I needed something more flexible. I wanted to hide the featured image if it also appeared in the post content. I procrastinated and never got around to it until this evening when I discovered it was actually quite easy.

Copy the following code into the function.php of your child theme and you’ll be all set! It relies on you having unique filenames for your images. If you don’t then remove the call to basename(), and that may help.

function maybe_remove_featured_image( $html ) {
        if ( $html == '' ) {
                return '';
        }
        $post = get_post();
        $post_thumbnail_id = get_post_thumbnail_id( $post );
        if ( ! $post_thumbnail_id ) {
                return $html;
        }

        $image_url = wp_get_attachment_image_src( $post_thumbnail_id );
        if ( ! $image_url ) {
                return $html;
        }

        $image_filename = basename( parse_url( $image_url[0], PHP_URL_PATH ) );
        if ( strpos( $post->post_content, $image_filename ) ) {
                return '';
        } else {
                return $html;
        }
}
add_filter( 'post_thumbnail_html', 'maybe_remove_featured_image' );

The post_thumbnail_html filter acts on the html generated to display the featured image. My code above gets the filename of the featured image, checks if it’s in the current post and if it is returns a blank string. Feedback welcome if you have a better way of doing this!

Categories
Linux

Rsync between Mac and Linux

99.999999% of my readers can probably ignore this one, but if you are of the small minority who use Rsync and have Mac and Linux computers in your home you’ll want to read this.

I have Plex running on a Raspberry Pi for my music. I have a large mp3 folder. Too large to run Syncthing on it unfortunately, but an occasional rsync is perfectly fine.

I thought it worked fine until I quickly realised it was syncing the same files over and over again. It turns out the Mac and Linux machines I’m using have different ideas about character sets their filenames are stored in. A file with an accented character on the Mac is completely different to one that looks the same on the Linux box.

The solution took a while for me to find but it’s very simple. Rsync has an option named --iconv to convert between character sets!

The solution was embarrassingly simple: Much due to a comment I read when researching the problem, I thought you were supposed to specify the character set in the order of transformation; but it seems as that is not the correct syntax. Rather, one should always use --iconv=utf-8-mac,utf-8 when initialising the rsync from the mac, and always use --iconv=utf-8,utf-8-mac when initialising the rsync from the linux machine, no matter if I want to sync files from the mac or linux machine.

Then it works like magic!

EDIT: Indeed, sometimes, checking the manual page closely is a good thing to do. Here it is, black on white:

--iconv=CONVERT_SPEC
              Rsync  can  convert  filenames between character sets using this
              option.  Using a CONVERT_SPEC of "." tells rsync to look up  the
              default  character-set via the locale setting.  Alternately, you
              can fully specify what conversion to do by giving a local and  a
              remote   charset   separated   by   a   comma   in   the   order
              --iconv=LOCAL,REMOTE, e.g.  --iconv=utf8,iso88591.   This  order
              ensures  that the option will stay the same whether you're push-
              ing  or  pulling  files.

Categories
Photography

HOWTO: Square Instagram images with white borders

I noticed that a lot of Instagram users, such as Alan Schaller to name but one, were posting images with thick white borders to make their images into the square images that Instagram favours. I like the striking look these images have in the Instagram gallery.

I wondered for some time about the best way of adding this border and from brief searches there are apps that will add the border but my workflow involves Lightroom so I wanted to integrate the border making into my export process.

I work on a Mac, and already have ImageMagick installed so I knew a little shell scripting would probably go a long way.

A couple of searches later, and I found this page describing how to use ImageMagick to create a floating image within a square canvas without changing the aspect ratio of the image.

Instagram resizes to 1080px wide so by using the following code I could make a rectangular image into a square:

convert -background white -gravity center input.jpg \
     -resize 1080x1080 -extent 1080x1080 result.jpg

Here’s an example from my street photo today. See it on Instagram here.

Once I could do that, the rest was simple. I have a Lightroom export for Instagram images that resizes them and places them in a folder where they are synced automatically with my phone using Syncthing.

Export actions have a “post processing” section where Lightroom can call an external script. I created the following script, made it executable with chmod a+x add_instagram_border.sh and added to Lightroom using “Open in Other Application”.

#!/bin/sh

# Square and add white borders to images.
# https://odd.blog/

for i in "$@"
do
    /usr/local/bin/convert -background white -gravity \
        center "$i" -resize 1080x1080 -extent 1080x1080 \
        /tmp/out.jpg
    mv /tmp/out.jpg "$i"
    open "~/Sync/Instagram"
done

The script goes through the exported images from Lightroom, adding borders to them, and then at the end opens the folder in Finder for review.

Hopefully this will be useful to someone else. If you add borders to your images, how do you do it?

Categories
Amiga

PiMIGA: Amiga on the Pi

The Commodore Amiga was an amazing 16 bit computer of the 80’s and 90’s and is still used today by people who love the system.

WinUAE is the best Amiga emulator for modern systems and it has been ported to many operating systems. FS-UAE is a great port I use on Mac and Amiberry or Amibian use the uae4arm port that runs on Raspberry Pi boards.

To load games and apps on the Amiga you used 3.5 inch discs but if you had a hard disk back then the Amiga supported it. I never did so I put up with the relatively slow loading of the discs.

As I have been spoiled by much faster loading of modern systems, loading games from discs in an emulator soon became a bore. Many games used to (slowly) load an intro with thumping music and an animation, but after hitting fire on my joystick I’d be prompted to “Enter disc 2” for yet more loading.

Enter WHDLoad, a system that patched games so they could be loaded from a hard disk image. It sounds great in theory but over the years I could never get it working the way I wanted. I just wanted to see a nice Workbench desktop UI with an disk image of games to play around in.

I’m not the only one apparently. Through this video on alternative operating systems for the Raspberry PI I found out about PiMIGA. It’s a 32GB disk image you burn to SD card for RPI 3 and 4 and when booted up presents a rather nice Workbench desktop with lots of games and apps. BTW, the password is ViWsC7oU3.

It’s based on Amiberry, and uses WHDLoad of course and everything is set up for you!

I haven’t tested it yet myself. My RPI3 is busy running Plex, Backuppc and Pihole but I want to get an RPI4 to give it a go!

Here’s a word of warning however. The video above shows a virus checker running and it finds a couple of viruses that are removed (in Amiga apps) so I would isolate the Raspberry PI device from the rest of your network if you can. Use the guest network of your router perhaps or just leave the device offline.

An alternative to PiMIGA is AmiKit which appears to do something similar but runs on Windows, Linux and Mac (and RPI4 with some fiddling around) and even lets you launch Windows, Linux or Mac apps from within Workbench. It looks rather nice!

Categories
C64

Memento Mori

remember that you die

Memento Mori is a stunning Commodore 64 demo released by Genesis Project that won first place at the Function 2020 demo party recently. The picture above was shared by Raistlin/G*P on Twitter saying:

Razorback delivered this stunning piece for Memento Mori. This is a 408 pixel wide multicolour bitmap that we scrolled, right through the side borders, at 25fps, streaming from disk as we went. A world first on C64 🙂

Raistlin/G*P

Watch it here on Youtube!

Categories
Music

James Last plays the Beatles

In the mid 80’s I found a cassette tape of Beatles music played by the James Last orchestra. While I sort of knew some of the music this was the first time I heard many of the songs and I preferred this orchestra version to the original!

The next time the Beatles would intrude on my life would be when I watch Red Storm for the first time in the early nineties.

I guess I have a thing for instrumental Beatles music. 🙂