Entries Tagged 'Photos'

Pardon the Remodeling Dust

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 7:16 AM

I've never been entirely happy with the new asisaid design I switched to early last year. The background color was a bit too minty and light, and the header was too plain. I've been wanting to try a photo-based theme for awhile, so I decided to go through my newly cleaned up iPhoto and pick out some photos. Virtually everything you see (including every photo up in the main header and in the sidebar headers) has been taken within the last few months. The first, third, fourth and fifth photos in the header were actually taken just in the last week, for example.

Note for the archive: I plan on changing the header more frequently in the future, so if you are reading this weeks or months after I posted this entry, go here to see the header I am actually referring to (in case I've changed it).

I've also replaced the drawing of a hill side that was at the bottom of each page with a real hill side of a similar shape. The drawing was a cropped portion of the old asisaid's header, which changed with the seasons. It never really fit in with the new site design, but the bottom of the page needed some color. I think this looks better.

Well, this is a work in progress, but I'd like to hear any thoughts y'all have on whether I'm headed in a good direction. Post your critiques below. :)

Cleaning up iPhoto

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 2:41 AM

Back in May of 2004, when I decided it was time to bail out of my messed up Fedora Core desktop and ended up landing in Mac OS X 10.3, I started playing around with iPhoto. After a few months, I embarked on copying thousands of photos from the past few years and putting them into the program. Unfortunately, I had been rather unorganized in this respect previously, and I ended up with a bunch of duplicates and not enough time to manually pick them all out.

Now, you're thinking, “seriously, Tim, what's so hard about finding a few duplicates and removing them?” Not much, if you're talking one trip's worth — although even that took a long time — but it is a major project when you have just short of 12,700 photos in your iPhoto library.

Enter Duplicate Annihilator. While I hated to pay $7.95 for a program that hopefully I'll only need to use once (although I may need to do so again — somehow I managed to bypass iPhoto's duplicate protection and end up with duplicates even on photos taken after I started using iPhoto), I bit the bullet. The program can do a number of checks to find duplicates, however I stuck with the default MD5 checksum method, which seemed pretty safe. After letting it go through my album for a little over two hours, it returned 1580 photos that were duplicates, marking each one as such in the photo's comment area.

I created a new iPhoto Smart Album that displayed only photos with that comment and then went through with a Finder window open to “spot check” to make sure Duplicate Annihilator had indeed only marked photos I could manually find a duplicate of. After I was mostly satifisifed, I used iPhoto to burn the duplicates to CD and then deleted them off of my hard disk. That brings my total library down to 11,112 photos checking in at 8 GB of space (13 movies are also in iPhoto, though I have more from my digicam that I took before iPhoto supported movies and have not yet added into my library).

It is good to try to clean things up, especially now that I've been taking photos at 3-5 megapixels (and hence each picture weighs in at between 850 KB and 2 MB). Until recently, I had been trying to economize on space by taking 1-2 megapixel images when I was just doing routine stuff. However, I have some really special photos I wish were at the highest quality possible, and, of course, there is nothing I can do about that. :( Given that I have close to have half terabyte of storage at my disposal, that seems silly. The practical bottleneck was my old camera's (the DSC-S75) support only for the old non-“Pro” Memory Sticks that only went up to 128 MB in size. Short of constantly swapping sticks, I had to weigh between quality and quantity of photos (even the four 128 MB sticks I own go quickly at that camera's full 3.1 MP quality). When a new Sony digicam went on sale recently, I upgraded (to the DSC-H1) and that allows me to use the newer Memory Stick Pro format. I have a 2GB Memory Stick Pro on order — via Amazon.com for only $129 — and that should clear up this long time annoyance. But, I digress. The long and the short of it is that I want to try to keep a closer eye on my photo organization; I take too many pictures to be messy about it.

Now that I'm organized and ready to go, I think I'll try to post some new shots online. I managed to get some really great bald eagle photos today in Winfield, MO at the Mississippi Lock and Dam No. 25. Maybe I'll post them tonight or tomorrow.