Sunday, 31 July 2016

physical metaphors for the non-physical

When two bodies in motion approach and come close to interact with each other their directions change and depending on the parameters may simply have their paths altered, or orbit one another.

Anita and I orbited each other in what was clearly a very stable orbit, of course at first the orbits are perturbed (indeed the objects may orbit briefly and fling off) but our orbits were settling into a stability that was becoming quite stable and would endure.

Unlike the physical world, one body can instantly cease to exist (in death)  leaving the other body (suddenly without the interacting forces) to resume its uninfluenced "straight line" motion as when a string is released in a sling.

I felt like that body at the time of Anitas death, and I still feel like that body now.

I have spent the last 4 years wondering about my directions for unlike an inanimate body I can make a choice in directions, the problem lies in being able to perceive the world well enough to make good decisions on that.

So in some ways I've come to a decision on my direction today. I've decided to sell our home, invest that money and move on. Staying here seems to serve no purpose and the asset which is our home would be perhaps as much of a burden to me intellectually as it would be a financial risk of the tenants ruined the good works we put into making it our home.

One last point occurs to me from the physical model, and its a shift from the gravitational view to that of the particle view. Quantum entanglement provides a view on how two particles which once interacted can remain coherent although separated by distance. So it is my hope that our interaction brings about an entanglement of what I hope persists of both of us. While my "local realist" view is that she is not here, perhaps (as I have previously conjectured) I'm not really here and that we can eventually be together "somewhere".

who knows ... but for now I'm off on another direction ... waiting for the next disturbance or collision

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Oppo F1 - a quick "mod"

Just a quick post on a "physical mod" that I've done on my phone.

I don't like cases for a number of reasons, but there have been a few small issues on my Oppo that I don't really like; it slides off things easilly, swype on my desk is tricky (because it slides), its often hard to pick up, when its flat on a table I can't hear the ringer from places around the house (because the speaker slot is muffled ...

So I've added some small self adhesive "clear plastic pads" to the bottom. I bought them from Bunnings (smallest ones they have) and then trimmed them down carefully shaving them with a "box cutter" so they are about 2mm thick.

While this is not for the DIY Klutzes its easy to do and has the following benefits:

  • as the ringer is on the back of the phone and the alert on the front. Now I can have it face up and still hear the ringer (which being there on the back was being muffled even on a table)
  • the stand off height means I can now get my fingers onto the phone more easily and pick it up without a slip drop caused by it being so slender
  • the pads to not feel anything in the pocket, so the phone's dimensions are unchanged in feel (sure it won't fit through a metal slot, but really..)
  • some extra protection from scratching (such as sand or grit) on surfaces is now provided both for the back (who cares) and the camera lens (important)
  • the phone now is less "slippery" on surfaces (like the arm of the couch) and doesn't slide off when the vibration / ring occurs

My NokiaE72 had a "camera bump" which WangerReviewers would go on about, but which had the effect of both lifting the rear speaker off the table (allowing it to really increase volume) and protected both the back and the camera outter filter.

So, there you go

Friday, 22 July 2016

living in the past

The truth is there is no "now" as its already gone by the time you perceive it. So in some ways we are all "living in the past".

I'm a little more selective about my moving forward, I guess that I always have been, for I sift through the present and discard what I'm not interested in taking on board.

For instance I still drive my 1989 model 4x4 (and keep it in tidy shape), because I just don't think that spending $50,000 on a new one will bring me to those places or carry my camping gear any better. I doubt they'll even use much less fuel.

Yet I've incorporated pieces of modernity as I go along (sometimes at the regret of lost functionality of older units). Digital cameras, laptops, phones ... sometimes I'm way behind the curve, other times I see a new thing and leap on it (like my move to micro43rds back in 2009 when noone even said "mirrorless" yet).

One of the benefits of living in the past is that its actually quite cost effective. The money I save on not having to have the "latest and greatest" means that I can either save more or work less to live a comfortable life. In fact I've been doing a little of both lately (saving more so that in the coming years I can work much less).

I've always found that a life balance where I get to enjoy my life while I'm able to enjoy it has been enjoyable, satisfying and fruitful (in terms of the things in life which bring joy but money can't buy).

Living in the past does however require some skills ... ability to do for yourself what you would have thought of paying for. When you are time rich you can save more money than you can earn (after tax) in a year by just "stitching in time to save nine".

ponder it ...

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Preserving (my) memory of love

I initially thought to keep this private, but upon writing it I though it may benefit others who are processing their grief.

I keep repeating "I love you Darling" and occasionally speak to Anita as if she could hear me. At times I wonder what I'm doing with saying that. I mean obviously I'm recalling Anita and my fondness for her as well as repeating expressions of love that I felt when we were together. But what is that now? Is it an echo of past behaviour; a manifestation of refusal to accept loss; an attempt at consciously preserving an ember of love?

Despite my strength of feelings towards her, and my (beyond) willingness to keep our bond strong it is obvious that time and absence will mean that no new memories can be created and the accuracy and poignancy of old ones will blur and dull.

Just as the leaves of the rain forest trees fall onto the ground and obscure and become one with the soil without effort on my part these memories will do the same as time (like gravity) moves inexorably forward.

In my recollections over these last (almost) 4 years  I have indeed found exactly that. Photographs of course help to retain memories, but in some ways they eventually become the memories, and it is only in discussions with others that the memories are teased out again. In the end however strong my feelings are, I will be "let down" by the inaccuracy and failings of human biology and human memory.

But there is perhaps something else which is perhaps a habitual response, even maybe genetically encoded in humans to do. But to what end?

I'm of course not sure, but here in Australia we find a gemstone called Opal; its beauty and vivid colours are attractive and it is also a permanent record of what went before it. One of the theories of the creation of Opal is that microorganisms are essentially fossilised in the surrounding layers of clay (which over years of layers eventually became rock). Microscopic examination of opals reveals that there is an abundance of microorganisms embedded within the opals.

Perhaps this is what I'm doing; forming memories which are permanent beautiful reminders of what was beautiful to me. While eventually each memory will lose its form due to the pressures of new memories and activities, a core of beauty will remain encapsulated in the clay rock of my memory.

In a song by Queen, Freddie sings:
Who wants to live forever,
Who dares to love forever,
When love must die.
as I've written before, I wonder if what persists in the universe / multiverse is the repetition of thought, a strength of reinforced pattern. So maybe we die, but the expression of our love may just remain forever, long after I'm ceased to be.

Maybe one day (it is fanciful for a romantic like me to hope) that opal of memory will provide some beauty for others to see. If so then its a worthy thing to try to leave behind.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Oppo F1 - front vs rear camera

The question came up as to the quality of the front shooter on the Oppo F1. Not having other phones to compare it to I thought I'd whack up a compare of its front to its back.

First (most of) the EXIF data

Front Camera                     Rear Camera
Filename - IMG20160708161903.jpg IMG20160708161805.jpg

ExposureTime - 1/25 seconds 1/33 seconds
FNumber - 2.00 2.20
ISOSpeedRatings - 179 248

ShutterSpeedValue - 1/25         1/33 seconds
ApertureValue - F 2.00 F 2.20

FocalLength - 2.94 mm 3.46 mm

ExifImageWidth - 3264          4160
ExifImageHeight - 2448 3120

GainControl - Low gain up High gain up

Some of those points are interesting ... like the low gain / high gain

Now, the overviews


and Rear:

Both were shot on a tripod, but when you spin the phone around the camera becomes "at the other end" and while I shifted the tripod clearly it wasn't perfectly enough. The Front camera is a little wider angle than the Rear ... which is interesting to note.

The tree was shot at about "selfie" distance (meaning arm distance) to examine images at that focal distance.

Now, lets explore the image a little. By default I don't 100% pixel peep as that is not what a print looks like, I use 50% as my experience has shown that screen at 50% is pretty close to close examination of a print (often at 300dpi).

So Front:

then Rear:

I chose the same focal point on  both (not that the front camera shows any evidence of focusing) and its interesting to note that the colour balance is different between them too.

However on this occasion I think its actually interesting to look at 100% pixel view.



which shows a number of interesting things.

  • the Front camera appears sharper (check the fine detail of the "air ferns" behind the leaves) however when you look though the image you can see that the Front Camera (not focusing at all) has of course got closer in focus by its design - however the rear camera has managed to mistake focus (god knows how) and focus at the distance of the wall behind it
  • the rear camera seems to have a better dynamic range
  • the front camera seems to have a better JPG rending (something I've complained about on this phone a lot)

So ... there you go

Thursday, 7 July 2016

reusable Coffee Pods (review and experience)

I bought these a while back on eBay because I wanted to see how they went (to shut someone with a big eco mouth up)

Basically this product reduces the internal volume available in an already small pod.

So for those who fuss and agitation about how bad pods are for the environment you can buy these and pat yourself on the back ... while drinking bad weak coffee.

In terms of the product itself, the pods are well made and of good construction.

However they (being reusable) require you to fish them out of the pod "bin" under the coffee maker to reuse them. In any office situation this will become fraught and for sure someone is going to bin your pod by mistake.

Then you have to ask yourself - how much water are you going to waste in washing them?

If pods bother you so much then either A) get the plastic empty disposable types (which I currently use because I can put my prefered coffee in them) or B) use a proper coffee machine which just grinds and uses the beans (like I do at home).

Pods are generally a bad idea for the sake of convenience - this product take the convenience out of that equation and just makes pods worse.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Oppo images from Snapseed

I am getting more comfortable with Snapseed on the Oppo, so thought I'd just post a quick compare.

So, setting RAW stores two images of the picture at the same time, the RAW file (as adobe DNG) and the JPG.

I'm sure you'll see the differences are worth it.

Camera jpg

Snapseed from dng

As I put in a previous post:

Camera JPG

Camera HDR JPG

Snapseed processed DNG

There is more tonals (and better details) in the DNG than in any of the camera software generated JPG's including HDR.

I know its more hassle, but if you want the best results and have no other camera : then engage RAW on the Oppo and smile.

Lastly, a link to an earlier post of mine which compares the Oppo F1 to my Panasonic micro43'rds camera (which is essentially the same as a APS sized DSLR) here, also shows that the difference in image details quality between JPG and RAW brings the Oppo much closer to the mid range DSLR.

Monday, 4 July 2016

moving Moore's law on

for those unfamiliar with Moore's Law he suggested that the number of components on an IC chip was doubling every year ... this was later extended to cover many other aspects of technology from Hard Disks through Network speeds to CPU speeds.

I think that in the dull afterglow of the Post (Australian Federal) Election haze I suspect I've seen another extension to this "Moore's Law" which I will call More-ons Law

Prior to the election of John Howard as Prime Minister in 1996 it was common for Prime Minister of Australia to serve a few terms, with perhaps Robert Menzies having the longest number of terms.

However something happened after John Howard and in the years since his defeat in 2007 we've had a veritable Conga-Line of Prime Ministers, and not always by election either. It went something like this: (2007 election ) - Rudd, Gillard, (2010 election) - Gillard, Rudd (2013 election) - Abbot Turnbul (2016 election) who knows?

This at first glance seems to take Moore's Law a step further from a linear representation to a hastening of pace ...  or if I may a moving on of pace. A doubling of stupidity every two years. Moving on Moore's Law to be what I call MooreOns Law. Applying the Shorten principle we can just refer to this as MorOns Law.

Its unclear to me at this early stage if MoreOns Law is driven by a greater energetic dynamic of the politicians who come in energised only to fizzle out and be replace between elections or a synergy of the attention deficit lowering of standards we hold for hour Honourable Members perhaps the Morons Law (Applying a little more of Bill Shorten-ing of it to make it easier to grasp) suggests that we can have a doubling of Prime Ministers for every election.

None the less, if the Newly Elected PM can't stand the heat in the "Kitchen" I propose that if they stand closer to the revolving door that they may be fanned enough by it, or perhaps just sucked out.

Perhaps we can have Pauline Hanson as our Next PM ... she's at least used to the grease and heat of the fish and chip shop ...

Let see how long Morons Law will persist in Australian Politics. Maybe we can get 3 PM's out of this election pushing Morons to greater limits


Saturday, 2 July 2016

electric scooters (again)


this parked across the road this morning and I walked over to ask the owner a few questions

  • it cost $2700
  • its about as fast as a 50cc scooter 
  • he has to take it inside to charge
  • the chain was not fitted at sale (because in reality the pedals are useless but fitted to pass the regs
  • he almost didn't make it today because he forgot to charge it lastnight

... but he loves that he's doing something positive for the environment.

Even though

  • he has to charge it from the grid (and recent studies show that the grid would collapse if most people went this way)
  • it cost way more than a petrol version (his words)
  • he almost didn't make the trip today (15km) because he forgot to charge it last night

Now, if he'd bought an electrical bicycle (which would be about as fast and a third the cost) he'd use less electricity and in reality get as far.

So he's just like this guy...

Casting my ballot

Nearly 6 years ago I wrote a piece where I complained about the election process in Australia. Given the complete lack of candidates who can be even remotely trusted to follow through with their promises. Given that breaking election promises is now even so common that its almost expected (the media no longer even really lambastes it) I propose that we are nothing more than prisoners forced to vote for a bunch of crooks who have their own interests firmly in heart. Given that Australia has compulsory voting it seems appropriate we are able to send a message to the members of the parties which is appropriate.

Since we have the compulsory vote I would like to propose a system where by all ballot papers give me an option like this possible extra ballot tick box. This would allow me to state clearly I don't like any of the above (or below).

Making it clear that I'm not making a mistake, I don't like any of them and feel none of them are representing me.

Perhaps we could develop this idea further, and suggest that if enough people voted this way (say more than any other party before preference allocation) then it would be sending a clear message (to at least the Electoral Commission) that voters were dissatisfied with the choices and probably the performance of the previous government and the Opposition.

I'd say that if "none of these buggers" were to receive a majority vote, then they're clearly not performing and perhaps their salary would / should be docked and they no longer receive parlimentary benefits.

I guess we could apply this at least to the PM (with whom the buck should stop) and perhaps the entire front bench.

I really like this idea.

More than this guy really likes that stick ... but I'm not sure where to take this idea too ... as I'm certain that my local MP will not like it anywhere near as much as I do.

This raises an interesting quandary ... to whom do we complain to when the leaders suck as badly as they do?