1 March 2008

, originally uploaded by REALJimBob.

A year ago…

24 February 2008
Valentine's Day Sweets
Valentine’s Day Sweets
Originally uploaded by REALJimBob

Photojojo has launched a new email service called Time Capsule. Every two weeks they email you some of your best shots in your stream from approximately a year ago…

Unfortunately, this gem was the only photograph I uploaded this time last year, so it’s obviously the best.

DPReview: Lens Reviews

29 January 2008

Digital Photography Review has finally announced a new section for lens reviews alongside it’s existing and excellent camera body reviews and news sections. Not much there so far, a couple of Canon and Pentax kit-style lenses, but with the promise of more to come. Hopefully this explains why the camera review section seemed so slow towards the tail end of last year…

West India Quay

29 January 2008

Originally uploaded by REALJimBob

Rediscovering a whole bunch of photographs I shot on film a while ago. I had ordered myself a Canon EOS 30, and while waiting for it to arrive I was test driving a friend’s. We went for a wander and I managed to get through 2 rolls of film — this colour one and a black and white one too.

The colour shots I was very happy with. I’m constantly pleased with the ratio of good to crap that I get from film compared to that for digital. I suspect that the mental reminder that each shot is costing me real money might help to focus my endeavour, but I think part of it is just the ‘look’ of film that you don’t get with digital.

The two lesson learned though, were… Firstly, the flashing number in the viewfinder means something. When you’re shooting ISO 400 film and have fixed the aperture at f/1.8 you’re not going to get a fast enough shutter speed to avoid blowing the shots. And, secondly, a lesson I’m relearning at the moment, Jessops are shite for developing anything out of the ordinary — colour 35mm a day or so, black and white a week or so, my current roll of black and white 120mm film has been a month and a half (and still waiting)…

Hello world!

29 January 2008

So today I created a WordPress account. I imported my old Blogger posts and have started to poke about and work out how and where this thing works. Whether this implies a more active posting schedule is not clear (nor whether anybody actually cares). However, the aim is part of an effort to rationalise my online footprint. Specifically to remove my reliance of applications that duplicate other things. This leaves me with:

  • Blogging: WordPress (this blog here). I still use Google for Mail, Calendaring and RSS Aggregator, this is more of an experimental switch atm.
  • Micro-Blogging: Twitter. I’ve tried Pownce and while it has way more functionality, that actually seems to get in the way of just using the application. Jaiku may be a contender but I’m still waiting on an invite.
  • Bookmark Storage: del.icio.us. No contest.
  • Photographs: Flickr. Zooomr seemed to hold promise, but is currently not as easy to use for me.
  • Instant Messaging: GTalk. I can’t be bothered to keep configuring MSN to work through my office firewall, and while Meebo holds promise I generally forget to log into it.
  • Behaviour Aggregation: Tumblr. I like Tumblr, it’s low maintenance, pulls in things I do from all the above and I can ignore it for weeks and it’s all still there.

Specifically I’m trying to get away from Facebook. It’s too general, too spammy and too (dare I say) accessible for me. MySpace went the way of the Ugly Stick.

Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) on a Dell Inspiron 6400

20 June 2007

My new laptop
Originally uploaded by REALJimBob.


  • Dell Inspiron 6400
  • Core 2 Duo Processor T7200 (2.0GHz, 667MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache)
  • 2048MB Dual Channel 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 256MB
  • 15.4″ Widescreen Display WXGA+ (1440×900)
  • Intel Pro Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Mini-PCI Card
  • 160GB (5,400rpm) SATA Hard Drive

A ‘reasonably’ middle of the road Dell Inspiron model. Maxed out the CPU and RAM, the Hard Disk too although the HD choice was a disappointment, I would have preferred something faster/larger. Kept the screen small enough while still being usable.

Information Sources:

The Ubuntu website itself lists test results for the specific model, however it had only tested against the Herd 5 version of Feisty Fawn rather than the final release and the ATI driver installation instructions contained some errors where following the 6.10 (Edgy Eft) instructions fared better than the 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) advice.

Linux on Laptops linked to an article by Cedric Lagneau which also contained some specific advice on getting the ATI graphics subsystems to work correctly.

A combination of these instructions led to a successful installation…

Installing Feisty Fawn from the Live CD:

The Live CD won’t start X correctly as the ATI card/screen resolution won’t fly. Once the attempt fails it drops you back to a normal command prompt. You’ll need an active network connection to perform the driver installation, and the commands are as follows:

$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

Reset the kernel dependencies to ensure the new drivers load correctly:

$sudo depmod -a

Configure Xorg to use the new driver correctly:

$sudo aticonfig –initial
$sudo aticonfig –overlay-type=Xv

And finally, restart the GDM server:

$sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

X should now start correctly and allow you to start the installation procedure. I followed the obvious defaults for my configuration — UK keyboards and language, and allowed the installation to completely overwrite my existing partitions (you do have install CDs don’t you?). Upon restarting I ended up with the following partitions:

/dev/sda1 * 1 18701 150215751 83 Linux (142GB)
/dev/sda2 18702 19457 6072570 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 18702 19457 6072538+ 82 Linux Swap

X again, fails to start, so repeat the same commands again, but this time reboot instead of restarting GDM:

$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx
$sudo depmod -a
$sudo aticonfig –initial
$sudo aticonfig –overlay-type=Xv
$sudo reboot

Once the system comes back up, it’s as good a time as any to do a System Update (I’ll wait here).

Back again? The wireless connection pretty much configured itself. I had to drop my router back from WPA to 128bit WEP encryption (as Gnome doesn’t seem to know about WPA), but the ESSID appears in a drop-down list – select it, type in your passcodes (you may need to create an encrypted keyring as part of this). But it ‘just works’…

The SD/MMC card reader was a total breeze. Plugged a card in and straight away Ubuntu asked me if I wanted to import my photographs.

Still to test:

DVD re-Writer
USB outputs — all work, although some USB block devices don’t seem to unmount from the desktop.
Additional graphics functionality (external monitors, TV out)
Audio (beyond basic beep) — all works

Also, still need to transfer remaining personal files, applications and configuration from my ‘work’ laptop and Ubuntu desktop to the shiny new girl.

Update 30th July 2007:

Upgraded to Gutsy Gibbon last night, I’d manually compiled development versions of GIMP and UFRaw which caused it some confusion, but after removing all GIMP/UFRaw packages, deleting the compiled versions and reinstalling the packages everything worked a treat.

Desktop eye-candy (compiz) still doesn’t work, I assume this is a limitation of the ATI graphics drivers rather than Ubuntu itself as other people have reported it working on other hardware.

More Flickr Faves

13 June 2007

Flickr Faves
Originally uploaded by REALJimBob.

More and more I’m liking my Flickr favourites, some make me laugh, some just impress me. But I think I’m fave’ing more often now and getting a wider selection as well:

Fe em Brasil: 4, Big Al Davies: 3, curlsdiva: 2, Patrick T Power: 2, jody9: 2, nic_sinnot: 2, p.bo: 1, Linda’s Manymuses: 1, alterednate: 1, Thomas Hawk: 1, phoneyman: 1, It’sGreg: 1, digimatized: 1, beebo wallace: 1, wvs: 1, moosehd2: 1, scribeoflight: 1, Linda B (Wine Diva): 1, Sazzle Dazzle: 1, Supercapacity: 1, dopiaza: 1, eshu: 1, emdot: 1, popescool: 1, ♥ shhexycorin ♥: 1, Muffet: 1 and VORFAS: 1

A total of 27 different users for 36 favourites, they say variety is the spice of life… Go check ’em out and maybe find some favourites for yourself.

Feztastic on CD Baby

31 May 2007

e-Bay may have sold out, but CD Baby now has stocks of the future classic; Feztastic.

Feztastic is here

18 May 2007

Get ’em while the gettin’s good….

Big Al (finally) completes his album Feztastic, only 5 copies left at this point…

My first roll of Holga film

26 April 2007

Holga Tree
Originally uploaded by REALJimBob.

Finally I’ve had my first roll of Holga film developed and managed to get them scanned in for uploading. This was one of the better ones from the set, hopefully I’ll get around to the rest later on. But this one hasn’t garnered the love I was hoping for… :(


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