I better get my last will and testament sorted out, toute suite. According to this study on aging, some of us are more equal than others. Some will die tomorrow and others will live long enough to wear nappies. A study from Calabria Italy shows that clever people live up to 15 years longer than their dumber species brethren.
I rather clever thief (or a gang of them) stole my camera bag literally from under my nose in Lisbon some months back. I had a rather nice – and what I considered suitable for my limited photographic skills – a D80. There was one problem with it – the lens picked up dust and spoiled many snaps. I had it cleaned but after some time the dust came back. Of course I used the camera in what could be considered less than genteel environments. Now, I thought, is my chance to get a camera which can sort out this dust in the lens business and is capable of rough and tumble. I thought, in any case, I deserve it and like any amateur who has grown too big for his boots, he trades up. I decided on the D300 but it was a toss-up with another marque. Both cameras were in the same price league. The major difference is that the D300 is a rather bulky camera whereas the competitor was not.
I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Or to put it more prosaically, I found myself in deep water. The D300, rather than being more forgiving than the D80 – after all its price tag should mean something more than weight – is a beast to use and needs constant attention to adjustments. It is not a point and shoot camera but rather a point shoot, pray and shoot again quickly, just in case camera.
My first foray into our town square resulted in photos which seemed rather odd in colour. The composition is a matter of taste however I think colours are quite universal – in spite of what I learned in the countless linguistic lectures about the relative nature of human perception. Surely blue should be blue and violet should most definitely be violet and red red and so on. But the D300 seems to have another set of rules in its processor.
After some three months of using the D300 I have decided that I should have bought something more or rather less – without all the bells and whistles – and smaller. I am now own a machine which requires that you get a drivers licence, and not just the AB kind for small vehicles but the kind you need to drive a lorry and bus.
Here are some examples of "odd" photos which I took in automatic setting with my D300.
The snap of a Palace Royal Guard is the oddest of the odd in that the helmet gives the illusion of clear focus but it is not and nor is the face though it too gives the illusion of being in focus but it is less in focus than the helmet – if that makes any sense. The photo of Salo’s town square is blue but the colours of the buildings are correct. The gray photo outlining Stockholm’s (Gamla Stan) Old Town is beyond me. I was not focusing on the sea gull but the camera my have been doing just that. The photo with the chap looking up towards the church nave is also odd in that text on his T-shirt is clearly in focus but benches are not.
If there is anyone who knows what is going on then by all means let me know.
I do like Debian or more precisely I like Ubuntu. By an off-the-cuff reckoning I have surely tried almost every Linux and Unix distro (and every MS Winz too as well as exotics like C/PM and every known flavour of DOS). My favourite Desktop/Xwindows manager is Gnome although OsX is quite a brilliant UI which will probably make it the next big OS – perhaps even beating out MS Winz in the race to dominate desktops. But because my hobby is photography, I do need a fast UI. My G5 is as good as I can have it. However I do like to sit down in a comfortable chair, in front of an LCD. My X300 is eminently suitable for this – my G5 is a tad large to sit on my lap. I had been running Ubuntu 7.04 with Gnome (Version 2.18.1) but, frankly, it is as heavy as a Diamond T 980 loaded down with lead ingots. My underpowered Dell was unable to muster enough resources to feed the gnome beast. I have used "lite" window managers but the one which I find comfortable and as fast as cack through a goose is Fluxbox. It seems that I have now found a balance which means that the OS is fast but it has all the whiz-bang goodies I crave – including, if not especially, eye candy. Ah, my fickle heart beats in fulfilled serenity.
Now, I am not only running Fluxbox with Gnome as the panel manager, but it seems, miraculously, that even my BCM 43xx card works like a hot knife through butter (though not as fast – it is limited 10M bandwidth) – and gosh, even Wine works without any signs of flatulence. Only one crash in one month. O happy days!
Here is what I did to get Fluxbox and Gnome workng in syncopated harmony. Remember that I am installing on a Dell X300.
- Install Ubuntu Feisty Fawn, which includes the full Gnome installation. A successful installation on the X300 also means that your BCM card will be and installed installed as well.
- Install Fluxbox using Synaptic – or apt-get.
sudo apt-get install fluxbox
- You really do not have to install any other Fluxbox components..
- Make sure you have not removed any Gnome components. If Metacity is not installed then install it too.
sudo apt-get install metacity
- Edit the .fluxbox/startup file
sudo nano .fluxbox/startbox
- # Place ”&” at the end to terminate the command
# a neat wireless manager
#--------------------- now start fluxbox
That is it! It looks easy, doesn’t it. I can tell you that to get it distilled to the bare bones (above), it took many hours. Oh, and a some final points: I boot Fluxbox from GDM. If you decide to run it from the command line you will have to use the following command:
dark@felt-dell:~$ startx /usr/bin/startfluxbox
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