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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Doug's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Time Since Reboot

  • 1155 days, 1 hour, 33 minutes, 54 seconds ago

It’s Timesucker Time!

Some links for your Tuesday night.

First as is foremost on my mind: Turkey.  The 13th Istanbul Biennial began last weekend.  Read about it and other city art-related activities at Cornucopia.

Park Fiction - Christoph Schafer

50 of the best books you haven’t read by authors you already love.  Nabokov for the win.

Ted Spagna’s photo series of people sleeping… is mesmerizing…

…as is this 80,000 photo stop-animation (that took Gioacchino Petronicce three years to create).

And rest in peace, Álvaro Mutis.  Maqroll the Gaviero is one of my favorite characters of all time, and reading his adventures is one of my fondest literary memories.  Everyone should find a copy of his masterpiece and spend a week or two devouring it.

PVP #2: My Favorite Model

The pre-vacation purge continues.  Here is a collection featuring my gorgeous wife, Leslie.

Leslie in a Pizzeria

ISO 1600, 1/20 sec @ f/1.4, 85mm
Nikon D800  |  AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF
Piola – Atlanta, Georgia USA
January 12, 2013  7:33 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Leslie in Downtown Birmingham

ISO 100, 1/4000 sec @ f/1.4, 85mm
Nikon D800  |  AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF
22nd Street N – Birmingham, Alabama USA
January 26, 2013  1:12 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Leslie Getting Sassy

ISO 1000, 1/30 sec @ f/4.0, 105mm
Nikon D800  |  Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8
Cypress Point – Lake Martin, Alabama USA
March 3, 2013  12:02 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Leslie in Montgomery

ISO 100, 1/500 sec @ f/1.4, 85mm
Nikon D800  |  AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D IF
Dexter Avenue – Montgomery, Alabama USA
May 4, 2013  5:24 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Leslie From Behind

ISO 900, 1/60 sec @ f/1.4, 50mm
Nikon D800  |  AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G

The Ridge – Lake Martin, Alabama USA
June 15, 2013  6:54 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Leslie With a Towel on Her Head

ISO 100, 1/250 sec @ f/4.0, 70mm
Nikon D800  |  Sigma 70.0-300.0mm f/4.0-5.6
Cypress Point – Lake Martin, Alabama USA
June 22, 2013  7:47 AM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Leslie Lakeside

ISO 100, 1/640 sec @ f/2.8, 105mm
Nikon D800  |  Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8
Cypress Point – Lake Martin, Alabama USA
June 22, 2013  6:09 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

More to come!

Pre-Vacay Purge #1

I’ve been sitting on a selection of processed images, and now there is about a 51-pic backlog.  In a week and a half, we’ll be setting off for Turkey – which will likely result in a plethora of new, current images.  Time to let go and just publish this old stuff.

The first batch is from our last overseas adventure – an Eastern European trip that took us from Budapest, through Slovenia, and into Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

War Wound

ISO 450, 1/250 sec @ f/5.3, 95mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
Red Thursday Memorial, Vidékfejlesztési Minisztérium – Budapest, Hungary
April 18, 2009  3:14 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Tučepi Evening

ISO 800, 1/50 sec @ f/3.5, 18mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Adriatic Shore Walk – Tučepi, Croatia
April 22, 2009  6:51 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Makarska Coastline

ISO 200, 1/200 sec @ f/7.1, 22mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Adriatic Shore – Tučepi, Croatia
April 23, 2009  4:48 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Chapel in the Highlands

ISO 200, 1/320 sec @ f/9.0, 20mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
D512 near Gornje Igrane – Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia
April 24, 2009  9:22 AM 
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Balkan Casualty

ISO 200, 1/640 sec @ f/6.3, 62mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
M-17 between Mostar & Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina
April 24, 2009  11:57 AM 
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Old Is Nice

ISO 320, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, 62mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Anonymous Door – Korčula, Croatia
April 25, 2009  1:34 PM 
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

Croatian Flag

ISO 200, 1/2000 sec @ f/5.6, 200mm
Nikon D90  |  AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II 
Town Square – Korčula, Croatia
April 25, 2009  1:34 PM 
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

More purging to follow.  My intent is to start posting some images experimentally processed using the open-source Darktable program.  I’m dedicating a lot of my time attempting to replicate my Lightroom workflow on my travel laptop in hopes that I will be able to post some processed/publishable images from Turkey while we’re still over there.  I will keep this blog updated on my experiences with that as well. 

Now, it’s football day.  Roll Tide!

AinOS #4

It has arrived.  On Wednesday, the little 11.6″ ASUS X202E was delivered to my office just before lunchtime.  I’ve been tweaking it ever since.

So the big reveal is that, after all the distro experimenting and wavering, I finally bit the bullet and rolled my own Arch system instead.  The first time I tried it out I broke the thing, but the key, it seems to me, is to keep experimenting on the VirtualBox until you feel comfortable with what you’re doing.  ArchLinux.org‘s Beginner’s Guide, and all the links to its wiki pages contained therein, is an indispensible resource.  Also, time.

By the third virtual test I had the install time down to about an hour… but then you have to factor in the time it takes to configure the operating system, choose a desktop environment and window manager, and discover what software you want to download from the repositories.  The thing about Arch is that, unlike the popular Ubuntu and Mint distributions (and others of their ilk), ArchLinux comes with nothing you don’t install yourself.  Bloatware?  Unnecessary services?  Process-hogs that you have no idea what they’re doing?  That’s a thing of the past.  The final product is fully customizable to your individual needs and nothing else.  I love it.  And because Arch is a rolling-distribution, there is never any need to laboriously reinstall updates, upgrades to new operating system versions, etc.  The system is always up to date.  You instantly have the latest, bleeding-edge versions of the OS, software, drivers and so on with a single command.  And the Arch system, the Linux kernel, and most of the software are under continuous development.  You get those latest versions as soon as they’re rolled out.

And you know how pre-installed Windows (and Macs too, I’m guessing) operating systems take about a minute (if you’re lucky… my work computer takes 15 minutes to load all the crap they’ve got on there) to boot up to a fully-functional state?  Yeah – my boot time is 4 seconds from power-on to ready-to-go.  If I didn’t rely so heavily on Adobe Lightroom – and, to a much lesser extent, Photoshop – I would abandon commercial OS’s completely.

So, I’m still tweaking everything, but here’s how my desktop looked Wednesday night after I stripped the pre-installed Windows 8 off of it and installed Arch:

ArchLinux - Day 1

Some of the grizzly details:

I chose XFCE as my desktop environment, and elected to stick with the included XFWM window manager since the whole thing is so simple, lightweight, and suits my needs extremely well.  LibreOffice Writer, Calc and Impress are my MS Office replacements of choice – and each can read and save to Microsoft file types.  I have yet to try it out, but I downloaded Darktable to see how it compares with Lightroom – knowing full well that the capabilities are not going to be the same.  But from what I’ve been able to research online it is the best open-source alternative.  Chromium is the web browser – the open-source project on which Google’s Chrome browser is based.  It integrates seamlessly with my Google accounts, settings and bookmarks, and the only thing it lacks is the Flash plugin – which I can install if I so desire.

So there you have it.  My free and open-source operating system.  Once I get a chance to actually use it for a while, I’ll update you on my feelings about the whole thing.  It’s been a fun and educational endeavor – and one I would recommend to anyone who has some free time, a machine they don’t mind experimenting on, and a desire to break some of those corporate computing constraints.

Smooch

ISO 640, 1/60 sec @ f/4.5, 150mm
Nikon D800  |  Sigma 70.0-300.0mm f/4.0-5.6
2nd Ave. N. – Birmingham, Alabama USA
August 10, 2013  5:10 PM
© DRS 2013,
(cc) by-nc-nd

AinOS #3 (isn’t it?)

Still waiting for the replacement laptop.  Got an email from the vendor this week notifying me that the two 256G SSDs were not showing up properly in the system, and asking if I wouldn’t mind them installing a single 512G SSD drive instead.  I said “sure”.  They’re going with it.  Hopefully next week in time for my Littleton trip. 

Meanwhile I’m still using VirtualBox to test out operating systems.  As much as I want to like Antergos, it refuses to install correctly every time.  Sabayon works perfectly, as does ArchbangManjaro and Bridge work as well, but I don’t like the way they’re configured.  I like the Gnome 3.8 desktop, but the god-awful bloatware that comes pre-packaged with it makes it a no-go for me.  There’s no way that I can find to uninstall portions of the Gnome environment (card games, cd burners, loads of crap I will never use) without deleting the entire thing.  Annoying.  KDE seems a little lighter and friendlier, but the interface is not what I want.  Was leaning toward a simple Openbox window manager, but the more I test XFCE environments the more I like them. 

I really enjoy the little Conky application that comes with Archbang and Crunchbang (my first foray into the Linux world), but am still trying to get it set up properly when I have to install it myself. 

Screenshots of the leading distro candidates’ desktops:

Screenshot---09082013---09-18-23-PM

Screenshot---09082013---06-12-09-PM

I’ve played around with others, but I think I’m going to go either the Arch- or Gentoo- based route.  The geek in me still feels ashamed that I’ve sort of given up on rolling my own straight Arch Linux distro, but damn that takes some time.  I’ll meet the geeks halfway. 

More photographs and general miscellany to come this week.  It’s been fun to immerse myself in a non-work-related project, though.