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04 September 2010

Playing around with jQuery

Back to Athens

The working week on Naxos was quite successful. I had put myself under pressure at the start of the week, feeling that there is lots to do and a few big open questions in the code.

My task was to feature up a part of one of my apps, where a heavy form requires lots of user interaction. Some more interactive toys would actually make things more useful. The problem was that the underlying data provider is a piece of PDF (at the lowest base). That's sometimes a weird bit of tech to deal with. It took me a while to wrangle the data I need out of it and put it into shape. Then there came the task of juicing it up. On the web, JavaScript is still the toy for this. A toy I never really liked. Nowadays we don't use "JavaScript" any more. We use libraries that use JavaScript. One of them is jQuery.

Turns out it's quite easy to use. I got a book (thanks Wu!) about it, which gave me a start. Then you just string stuff together. A good knowledge of HTML and CSS helps a lot, obviously, since most of the time you mess with these things. It's still JavaScript for one simple reason though: when you get stuck, debugging in the browser is the same pain as it always was. There were some moments, where I just wondered if my browser had stopped working and got stuck. One little semicolon left out and everything sticks its little feet in the air and plays dead.

In the end, I got something together. The nice part is that it's not only something that has moved forward somewhere deep in the code, but actually that you can see and play around with. So I'm relaxed on the way back to Athens.

Posted by betabug at 11:37 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
08 September 2010

Bad Times for Taxi Drivers

Prices went up too much, times are not good

Yesterday night leaving from Thision with a taxi. Maybe 50 Taxis waiting for customers. Passed by Monastiraki, probably another 50. Passed by Syntagma, could be another 100. No good times for taxi drivers in Athens these days. Two years ago, on a similar day and time, we had to go walk around the night streets, hunting to find a free taxi.

The fare prices went up so many times, so much, people who used to take a taxi all the time avoid them now. Just like most people I know do now. Of course all the economic downturn and the uncertainty won't help either.

Posted by betabug at 09:56 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
14 September 2010

Camera Choices

... now I have some!
Canon New F-1 sitting next to me in the office

Yesterday I picked up two cameras from the repair shop of Mr. Picopoulos in Lekka street in the center of Athens. There's the Canon "New F-1" handed down from my daddy. It had needed a general service, with some of the rubber seals replaced (they had turned into goo), some spring was broken behind the mirror mechanism (which resulted in the focus distance in the viewer being wrong) and the battery contact spring mechanism was gooed up. It currently sits next to me with a test film inside.

Then there is the Firstflex. This is a japanese copy of the Rolleicord from the 1950s. It's a twin-lens-reflex medium format camera (6x6cm negative format). I've bought it in 1986 or so... from the father of Mr. Picopoulos who serviced it now. The mirror was oxidized and got replaced, the shutter and the rest of the camera serviced. This morning as I saw it sitting there at home, I had a flashback... for one or two seconds I felt like I was at home in Kolonaki, back in the 80s, with the early morning sun and all. I couldn't recall the feeling any more even 5 seconds later, but it was very strong.

I will now run a test film (a Fuji Reala 100, color neg) through the F-1 to make sure everything works. On Saturday I'll take some pictures at a friend's friend's wedding and I want to make sure the camera is really ok. I guess it is, because even back in Switzerland I had done a film that turned out fine (by guessing and setting focus distance using the DOF-scale and wedging a piece of aluminium foil on the battery contact).

Posted by betabug at 10:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 September 2010

Why Comments and Documentation Matter on 1-Person-Projects too

It's been some time...

Thought of the (still young) day: Comments and documentation matter... even if it's a 1-person project you're working one. Right now, I'm working on one of my older apps, one that I did on and off for a couple of years. I see some area on one of the pages in my browser, right in front of me. I want to "copy" (well, reuse actually) that part in another, new page. Just can't seem to find the code behind it though, been searching for 10 minutes. The code isn't that complicated or messy... I just wish I had given myself a hint somewhere.

(Addendum, just as I wrote this: There is a comment saying "pagecode u:preview" right at the top of the page... grepping the source for this string indeed gave my gray cells the needed kick. QED.)

Posted by betabug at 10:55 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
22 September 2010


So als kleine Erinnerung an den kommenden Herbst
Paris 2010, Strassenszene, wo weiss ich auch nicht mehr...

Sonntag war ich nochmal schwimmen, im Meer, wie sich das gehört. Das Wetter war traumhaft, das Wasser noch besser. Warm und klar. Wär ich noch auf Naxos, hätt ich wohl wieder schwarmweise Fische sehen können. So wars einfach nur klar.

Schon am abend fing dann aber meine Nase an zu laufen. Passiert mir nach schwimmen und tauchen öfter. Da kommt Salzwasser rein, das löst. Ist ja auch eigentlich sehr gesund. Nur diesmal hats wohl etwas zu sehr richtung Erkältung gewirkt. Den ganzen Montag war ich am schneuzen. Das wiederum hatte ein gigantisches Kopfweh zur Folge.

Dienstags blieb ich also zu hause und machte... gar nichts. Schlaf, Halbschlaf. Zwischendurch mal ein paar Seiten in einem Buch lesen ("All tomorrow's parties" von Gibson), den Computer nie angemacht. Abends gings dann auch schon einiges besser. Heut bin ich wieder im Büro, die Nase nerft noch ganz leicht, aber eigentlich geht's schon wieder.

Das Bild ist aus Paris, Anfang August. Aufgenommen mit Saad's Mamiya C330, auf Ektachrome 100, der schon 5 Jahre abgelaufen war.

Posted by betabug at 16:01 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
27 September 2010

Λεμονάδα ΑΓΝΗ

Από τα καλύτερα αναψυκτικά της Ελλάδος
Lemonade "AGNI"

Το σ/κ πήγαμε βόλτα σε ένα χωριό που λέγετε Άσκρη, κοντά στην Θήβα. Ωραίο μέρος γενικά. Έχουν πολλά σταφύλια. Εκεί που πήγαμε ένα περίπατο μερικές ώρες, περνάμε από έναν φίλο του Αυγέρη (που μας φιλοξενούσε) και όπως του μιλάει μας λέει να βοηθήσουμε να μαζέψουμε τα τελευταία ξεχασμένα σταφίλια. Οπότε βάλαμε ένα τεταρτάκι δουλειά και φάγαμε και πολλά, πολύ νόστιμα σταφύλια.

Το μεσημέρι καθόμαστε στο χωριό για ένα μεζεδάκι και παραγγείλω μια λεμονάδα... να, μου ήρθε αυτή εδώ στην φωτό: Λεμονάδα ΑΓΝΗ. Φοβερή, πολύ καλή γεύση. Φαίνεται ότι κατασκευάζεται στον Ορχομενό Βοιωτίας. Το μπουκάλι λέει: "Με νερό πηγή των Χαρίτων". Ο ιδιοκτήτης του καφέ είπε "είναι από τα καλύτερα αναψυκτικά της Ελλάδος" και συμφονώ.

Posted by betabug at 20:13 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
28 September 2010

Μπεκρή Χημεία

Όνομα και πράγμα
Αφίσα για το οινολογικό εργαστήριο Κων. Α. Μπεκρή

Άλλη φωτό από το Άσκρη: Μια πολύ ωραία άφησα για το οινολογικό εργαστήριο του χημικού Κων. Α. Μπεκρή. Όνομα και πράγμα, όπως λένε. Προσωπικά νομίζω ότι είναι καλό πράγμα να έχεις όνομα που έχει σχέση με την δουλειά, ας είναι και λίγο χιουμοριστικό... σε θυμούνται!

Στην υγεία λοιπόν στον κ. Μπεκρή, παρ' όλο που ήπια απλά μια λεμονάδα όταν είδα την αφίσα!

Posted by betabug at 15:22 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
29 September 2010

Home Souping Film

Developed my first film at home

This evening I developed my first film at home. It's still drying in the bathroom, while I'm slacking on the sofa. So far the film looks good. It's from the Canon, so it's a 135. I'll see the true result once I scan it. (Whichever way it comes out, I think I'll post some crappy pix here.)

It had taken me a while to get all necessary parts together to develop at home. The tank and chemistry I had ordered from Maco in Germany. Since my bathroom is not completely light-tight even after I put some extra thick carton for shutters on the window, I had to wait till it was dark to spool in the film.

When I ordered the other stuff, I had considered getting a changing bag, but in the end I chickened out. Now I think I'll order one, it could make things much simpler. I'm even considering getting the larger (and more expensive) one and inserting something like a "frame", so the fabric does not fall on my hands all the time.

Posted by betabug at 20:25 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
30 September 2010

KTEL Thiva in the Rain

As shot on Tri-X in Diafine
KTEL Thiva in the Rain

So, I scanned the negs from yesterday's film. The scans are not that great, the Epson V700 is definitely not the best tool for this job. (...anybody want to donate a Nikon Coolscan 9000 to me?)

I do like the tonal range of Tri-X in Diafine though. It seems to handle situations with lots of contrast just fine. It's also good for not-so-high-contrast cloudy skies, provided you give the contrast a good kick in the "curves" after scanning. The image could be improved with a bit of burning in, right now I just added some contrast in tonality - trading shadow detail for atmosphere. (Canon F-1N, 28mm.)

This here is the KTEL (ΚΤΕΛ, long distance bus service) station in Thiva. The rain had just about stopped. We were on our way to Askri and had to wait about an hour for our bus connection.

Posted by betabug at 11:09 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)