Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought

Archive for March 2005

Meditating the Sky

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Meditating the Sky
Originally uploaded by Harshad Sharma.

I'm thinking of too many things… this old photo (old as in clicked last year) reminds me of something important.

stop. and. think.

MEDITATE.

.

Written by hiway

March 31, 2005 at 2:33 am

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Monitor Calibration

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Finally remembered something that I was forgetting all the time. Calibrate the monitor and tune the settings.

While looking for more information, I came across this very useful website:

http://epaperpress.com/monitorcal/index.html

And there’s a brilliant software available from Praxisoft for doing just the same:

http://www.praxisoft.com/

Other than that, I’ve been lazying around. Did not photograph anything today. But yeah, I’ve been working on the software side ;) I am looking into the possibilities of starting a new project specially meant to handle complete digital workflow. Or at least bring all the loose ends together.

Since most of the photo organizers do just that, organize photos, there’s little I can do with them when I freshly copy the photos from the camera. GIMP is the best tool for editing as far as I know… but when I want to save the images in one centralized place, that becomes a pain. Also, renaming the photos according to the EXIF data (date-time for example) needs another application. This, is right when you look into the UNIX policy of working, but for an artist, it’s a pain in the neck.

The plan is to integrate these existing softwares in a way that the digital workflow is simplified – handled from one application. When you connect the camera, the photos are copied to your repository.

You can preview them, select the ones you like and delete the ones you’d rather be without. You can rename the files by date-time field of EXIF data just by right clicking on the folder and selecting the rename option. Then right click on the photo you would like to edit and select the menu option ‘edit’… it copies the photo in a subfolder and launches GIMP (or your fav editor) and so can work on the photo.

When you save the photo, the thumbnail is updated as per the photo in the subfolder, however your original photo is untouched. You find out you messed up – right click > revert and the original is back.

You now would like to take a backup of the photos, so right click on folder, select backup and it zips the files and asks where to save it. Now you can email it to yourself or burn on a CD/DVD.

Printing should not be different. I assume we should be able to select the printing preferences and export a PDF file that is printable on any machine.

These are just dreams… reality is yet to be realized.

Written by hiway

March 30, 2005 at 11:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Mailing List Manager – 28th Rewrite

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I’m rewriting the software for the 28th time. Now wonder I am doing it at a much faster pace and with better design and lesser bugs.

I follow the ‘survival of the fittest’ rule in my programming. Develop a few prototypes simultaneously if I have more than one idea (which I usually do) and then integrate only the best ideas into the next rewrite (not the next version… complete rewrite)

Usually the story ends in 2 or 3 rewrites, the software is good enough. However this particular software is pretty complex and I’m trying really hard to make it intuitive and easy to use with least clutter while keeping most information available at the fingertips. Basically, I’m trying to find the golden mean of simplicity and functionality.

So far I’ve been mostly successful – have learnt valuable lessons about GUI related stuff. Experienced, how some small assumption can cause nightmares to my users and learnt how to pacify them and sort out the issue ASAP.

My ML Management software has been used by Dnyanodaya Magazine for over 4 years now. It has been rewritten 27 times before this – because the magazine is run from home and I’m always with the crew – my parents. Now as I mentioned yesterday, another magazine has shown interest in the software, hence I am rewriting the software to make it customizable for the other magazine… over the years, I had tied the software with the name “Dnyanodaya” and now it needs to be loosened up.

Today after about 8 to 10 hours of work, I have the complete interface ready and am working on the internals. Here are a few screenshots…

Here’s The Member Address Editing Screen:
MLManager01.jpg

The Membership Information Editing Screen:
MLManager02.jpg

The Printing Template Selection/Editing Screen:
MLManager03.jpg

The Print Preview/Control Screen:
MLManager04.jpg

If you are wondering why the first tab “Select” is not shown, well it’s not fully functional yet, and these two tabs are already working great! I can say that my application is almost ready. Little work is needed to add the finishing touches and wrap up the left-overs.

There’s also a small button on the right hand side that says “Backup” … it’s a nifty utility (made using 7zip commandline tool) that backs up the database and saves it as a zip file to a location you specify. Also saves a copy in the application folder itself. Hmm… I shouldn’t be documenting the application on the blog, so here’s the

EOF

Written by hiway

March 29, 2005 at 4:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Growing

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Reaching New Heights

The site is growing, and is adopting changes. So after trying a while to get only the photographs in the set ‘photo of the day’ to show up, I am choosing another option for now – select 7 random photos and display them. Gives justice to all photos!

Written by hiway

March 28, 2005 at 5:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Uploaded LOADS of photographs

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If you have been watching this blog (if you nod your head, I’ll doubt your memory.) then you might have noticed as I did, that the Photo of the Day series at the top of the page has been pushed away by some new photos in a very sudden manner.

Yes I have uploaded a lot of photos, mostly commercial ones since it’s the end of the month and I would be glad to use the bandwidth allocated to my Free Account :-D

Of course, If you are feeling generous, you can gift me the Pro Account :-) which will certainly mean more and higher-resolution photos on a regular basis. BTW, if you really wish to, my screen name is harshadsharma.

OK! Back to the usual rants. I will upload even more free photos tomorrow. So keep your fingers on the reload button!

The Photo of the Day series is available here.

The trip to Beed and Aurangabad was okay. I was extremely tired and stressed out. Even now I’m feeling the brunt of that journey in the hot and dry climate.

I’m very sckeptical about the effects of another trip that’s heading my way! I’m invited to Vasai for installing a software and training the people on it. It’s not your usual buy off the counter software :D It’s a mailing list manager that I made for a Marathi Monthly called ‘Dnyanodaya’. And I will be going to Vasai because the editor ot the Suvarta magazine liked the software very much and would like to have it set up for his magazine too. I’m looking forward to going there, but am not too keen on getting ill after that trip once more.

So that’s all for now! Good night world.

Written by hiway

March 28, 2005 at 2:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Failed Experiment

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Failed Experiment
Originally uploaded by Harshad Sharma.

While widening the roads, these trees were uprooted and replanted a little farther from their original places. They sprouted the next spring, but due to the draught (that ended last year), they just could not survive. I hope this does not happen elsewhere.

This photograph is taken in the Pune-Ahmednagar highway near Ranjangaon MIDC. Maharashtra State. India.

Written by hiway

March 27, 2005 at 1:20 pm

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Good Morning World!

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It’s a brand new day, 5:30 AM and I’m all set for a long day ahead. Going to take a trip to Beed, Aurangabad and back.

Day before yesterday I unplugged the HD from Cheetah and plugged it into Jaguar. Now I have FreeBSD on a 1.6 GHZ machine as opposed to 333 MHz before :D I’ll be using cheetah as router and for some other basic stuff now, it’s been faithful for last 7 years, I’ll use it till it gives up.

And the above reason applies as to why I did not post a blog too… was way too excited downloading and compiling new stuff for my rejuvinated OS.

I had been to Salabat Khan’s Tomb (SKT) again yesterday. Got a few very nice photographs. Here is one.

The Last Glimpse of Sunlight

Written by hiway

March 26, 2005 at 5:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Good Morning World!

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It's a brand new day, 5:30 AM and I'm all set for a long day ahead. Going to take a trip to Beed, Aurangabad and back.

Day before yesterday I unplugged the HD from Cheetah and plugged it into Jaguar. Now I have FreeBSD on a 1.6 GHZ machine as opposed to 333 MHz before :D I'll be using cheetah as router and for some other basic stuff now, it's been faithful for last 7 years, I'll use it till it gives up.

And the above reason applies as to why I did not post a blog too… was way too excited downloading and compiling new stuff for my rejuvinated OS.

I had been to Salabat Khan's Tomb (SKT) again yesterday. Got a few very nice photographs. Here is one.

The Last Glimpse of Sunlight

Written by hiway

March 26, 2005 at 5:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lights. Camera. Action!

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Well… so now the money is running out and I need some basic equipment. Fun. That makes me more cerative than usual :D

So today in need of lights for my under-construction macro studio, I rode to a shop and asked for whatever was cheap and good. Well they *usually* don’t go hand in hand. But today I was in luck. Got a CFL Lamp and a reflector for 255 INR. Tomorrow I will get one more set. That will make two bright white lamps and two rather pathetic small tubelights.

The “stage” is an old table now fitted with poles and sticks for supporting the lights and the background. I am looking forward to building a more elaborate stage for the macro photographs with at least 7 lights most of which will be freely movable. Let’s see.

Here’s today’s photograph taken using my home built Macro Studio, which is in it’s beta stage :D That is… under construction.

Brass Keys

I was reluctant for putting the blog photos from flickr on here because after 100 photos are filled, the old ones are not listed on flickr. And it stops there. If you have them on blog; they are still visible ;)

My spirits are high as far as finances are concerned. I should soon be able to work out a few plans, which Mum has been sharing with me. That should provide me with better funds for buying lighting.

It’s not fun and easy to become a photographer. And that’s what I like about this profession. You can’t just get up from sleep and say, oi! I’m a photographer from today! Same applies to me, must work hard on this. Must make my creativity squeeze out plans that will make me better at this :D

Wish me luck!

Written by hiway

March 24, 2005 at 12:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Chat with a Nature Photographer

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Called up one of Dad’s friends and arranged for a friendly chat today (now it’s become the yesterday) evening.

He’s a known photographer from our city, and a professor of zoology. He mostly photographs birds, has a nice set of equipment and a long experience behind him.

First when I went up and told him that I’m looking for a career in Photography, I got the usual lecture about the “not for everyone” thing. Also a few points about how difficult the lighting is and how you might have to spend 5 or more years to master the art of composing the photos.

Then he showed me his photos, which of course were great. I insisted on him seeing mine and comment on those, I had the CD all ready with nice album generated using Jalbum. He looked at them quietly for a while and turned my doubts into a reality.

He appreciated them, said they were good for a begineer and that I can very well make a good career in this field. I was doubtful that I’m good at this :P He confirmed it :D

I’ve mostly been bad at most things. Studies, household chores, paying attention and remembering names.

He gave me a few tips on improving the “marketing” of photos, which I needed badly ;) Also, mom, whom I urged to accompany me (because she remembers the things discussed better than me) had given a few brilliant ideas even before this visit. I’ll be working on those. Na na na! Not the ideas… those have to be a trade secret for a while :P

So with a renewed confidence, I’m going to go further into this world of light. The world of light, yeah, nothing less :)

PS. I’m beyond sleepy. If there’s gibberish or line noise. Blame my not-sleeping-on-time habit.

Written by hiway

March 23, 2005 at 1:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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