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I've wanted for a few years to now to digitize all the old family photos. Having started doing some work on it this week I'm starting to see the huge amount of work that it will be. Over part of Friday and all of Saturday, I was about to scan and index 3 boxes (40 each) of slides. That works out to about 1/2 days work per 40 and I think that I have somewhere in range of 100 times as many slides in the family. Maybe double that. I think that I'm going to have to be selective in the slides that I scan in order to finish in my lifetime. :-/
One thing that I think will be important is to make sure I can somewhat cross reference the original physical media. The reason for this is that if I want to be able to go back and rescan a selected slide because I want to blow it up for a print or something, that would necessary. Hopefully just scanning them at a quality that will look okay in a digital picture frame will be good enough at this point. I'm not trying to get these published in National Geographic or anything, I'm just trying to get them out of boxes and be enjoyed while people are still alive. It's all well and good to be scanning all the pictures, but if no one is alive that was involved in any way, it's somewhat less important.
One thing that I am really impressed by is my great-grandmother (GGM). I think that she died in 1987 (?), so it's been a while. All of her slides have written on them 1) who's in it 2) the year 3) the place (most of the time) 4) sometimes the event (e.g. Christmas, Dee's visit, etc) and the month. Then it's all crossed referenced on a little folded piece of type written paper with the slide number and the same information again. That's crazy organized. I don't think that our flickr tagging is up to that standard. It sure makes the archiving easier and more interesting though.
Some of the slides I've come across my GGM marked as "old slides" - without a year on them. They are studio pictures of my dad and his brothers. I think that my dad's about 10 or 11. So weird to see these pictures for the first time.
It's funny when I think of it. The current generation being born is probably the first generation where every detail of their lives from before they were born until they die will be captured electronically. Photos, videos, facebook status, emails, etc. Nothing new about having access to those of your parents, but now it will cost practically nothing to keep, index, replicate and search those. I mean that my whole picture directory on my computer is only about 15G right now. I've had a digital camera for about 4 years now, so let's say 4 G per year, doubling file size every 3 years (which I think is too liberal an estimate, but whatever)... That comes out to 163828 G which is 163 terabytes. That seems like a huge number now, but I've bought a 1 T drive for like 125 $. How much will it cost to store 163 T in 40 years? The price of a coffee? Less?
So, I hope that my work of converting from a physical medium to a digital medium will be worth it. Any future conversions should hopefully only cost computer time and disk space: both of which are practically free. What am I going to do with the pictures? Scan everything and put it on digital picture frames to be enjoyed by people who know who's in the pictures while they are alive. The thing that saddens me is that I know that I won't be able to complete my task in that time. I'll just have to choose my pictures carefully.
I keep on thinking how awesome it would be to have a smart phone. I could look up directions when I'm lost, keep in contact on the move, check out blogs or reviews, check movie times, etc. Then I look at the monthly cost. It hurts looking at those numbers for something that would essentially be a toy. Then I had an epiphany. For me it would just be a toy. And you know what?
I'd rather spend that money on lego.
If I'm going to spend 75-125 $ / month on a toy, I'd rather it be something that I could keep on enjoying after the month ends. I could hand it off to people. It would work my imagination. I'd be happier. So if you see me playing with little plastic blocks off in my own world, don't think that I'm simple. It's just my preferred toy. ;-)
Last week my watch battery died so I put it into my bag so I'd have it with me so I could pick up a new battery. Apparently it was a bad place to put it because it ended up breaking where the band is attached to the watch part. So that means I need to grab a new watch.
The problem is, do I wait for post christmas sales to get one? That probably would be the smart move. The problem is that 1) I don't know what time it is and 2) I feel naked, but not in the good way. I've worn a watch almost constantly as far back as I can remember. I think that I actually even have my original "trainer" watch too, but I don't think that I could wear that to work.
Now should I get something that looks pretty fancy like the Rosendahl Watch II or should I just look at something like a 50$ digital watch? Fancy GPS watch? Smart looking analog watch? So many choices, so little money...
One thing that I would love to have is a tool that will run in the background that will look for dead code. It would separate code that 1) is never used and 2) code that is only used by tests. There is a plugin for eclipse and PMD which claim to remove dead code, but both only talk about class members and parameters and private methods. Eclipse does that already if you crank up the warnings.
The original problem might not be as easy as you'd think at first though... some code like serialVersionUID is only used by the JVM, other code might be not called like private constructors, other code might be called via reflection.
Perhaps this could highlight code that is never references AND is never hit by tests. Either way it would be a nice fast way to cut down the LOC of a project. It would be awesome to take a project and instantly burn off all the cruft.
One can dream.
Last night after around 10:30 (I think) we heard a huge whoomp that shook the house. We thought that it was something really heavy that fell - I though that it was the garage. So, taking a look around in the house we found nothing, so I was putting on my coat to take a look around outside. When I stepped out I could see a fire through the trees on the train track. The garage was okay.
So, since it was a big noise, lots of flame we could see ~ 500 feet away, and it looked like it was on the train tracks, we called 911. I wanted to go and take a look, but Laura didn't think that was such a hot idea with the continuing sounds of smaller explosions. Just because "we didn't know what it was" and something about "not wanting to die"... seesh.
Soon someone at the train station held a horn on, I guess as a warning. Then the fire trucks showed up. There was a thick black smoke, but it looked like the fire started to die down by then. One of the neighbours that wasn't concerned about winning a Darwin award came back and told us that it looked like a new truck that someone had set on fire. So my guess is that it was stolen and then burned, which I think happens more often than not.
I've seen cars burn before, having lived in the country where they usually take said stolen cars to burn, but I've never seen / heard one that exploded quite so much. That was our excitement for the night.
If I find any news articles, I'll post them.
Being a watcher on ticket sometimes is amusing because you can see comments before they get removed.
One ticket I was watching "Bob" made a comment this comment:
Another way is to NOT use Maven, and write a build in pure ant.
Personally, I rewrote the build in Nant, and I removed all maven dependencies.
From my experience, Maven is too buggy to be useful...
To which another person in the thread who has been contributing patches commented:
Thank you for your valuable contribution to this bug report, [Bob]. I have no doubt that your comment is vital in solving this issue.
We just got a gas fireplace for the warmth (heating one room rather than the whole house), and for looks. Mostly I think that it was a splurge. Now the question is how much does it actually cost to run the fireplace? The spec lists BTU's / hour, but what does that actually mean? Time for some quick calculations.
The spec for the fireplace lists it as a max input of 26,000 BTU / hour. On some random prof's web page I found that 1 cubic meter – dry = 36,409 Btu when dealing with natural gas. Looking at the enbridge site, they show variable charges for gas supply charge (33.7551 ¢/m³) and delivery charge (max 15.3843 ¢/m³).
Doing the math:
volume consumed: 26,000 btu / hour * (1 m³ / 36,409 Btu) = 0.714109149 m³ / hour.
rate: (33.7551 ¢/m³ + 15.3843 ¢/m³) / (100 ¢ / 1 $) = 0.491394 $ / m³
total cost: (0.714109149 m³ / hour) * (0.491394 $ / m³) = 0.350908951 $ / hour.
So, at about 35 cents per hour, it's nice to have a gas fireplace and enjoy it.
I've been thinking about getting a netbook for when we go traveling. It would be useful to have something to be able to read books, take notes, write emails / blog posts without necessarily going to an internet cafe. Ideally have somewhere we could offload the pictures from the digital camera to. Another requirement would be that I wouldn't cry if someone robbed me for it.
I was mentioning this to Andrew and he pointed out that if he was getting something portable, he'd actually want it portable: small enough to fit into a pocket. So, along the lines of having something to tap out notes and check emails, something like an ipod touch or a pda would be ideal. The only "gotcha" to that idea is not having somewhere to offload pictures to - and that's the thing that we've found has continued to a limiting factor on our travels. (aside, I see I can now get a 8G card for my camera for 59$. Pretty cheap fix to that problem).
Maybe all I need is a pda - if they even makes those anymore...