Baltics Photos Trickling In

Between addressing mysteriously non-functional contact forms on this site and pulling my hair out because of a massive amount of corrupt image files, I’ve managed to upload a group of galleries of photos from Vilnius Lithuania. There is plenty more where that came from and sometime tomorrow (depending on where in the world you are), there should be a complete set of my photos from that beautiful city.

For those of you who are curious, those corrupt files of mine are, in fact, my Baltics photos. All the RAW files that I had sorted seem now to have corrupt headers and Photoshop won’t open them at all. All these RAW files are saved elsewhere, but they are unsorted and unprocessed, so this glitch is more than a little bit irritating. What’s strange about it though: All the files still open in Lightroom. I guess I’ll be learning that app pretty quickly! So, the data is all there – it’s just some messed up header or something that’s preventing the files from opening.

The files seem to have gotten corrupted when I (and apparently, this was a foolish mistake) renamed my folder from “Baltics” to “Baltics sorted.” After that, every RAW file in there got sick.

I don’t know if this is related to the problems people are experiencing with OS 10.5.3 and Photoshop CS3, but it seems like it might be the case (even though I wasn’t saving remotely). Either way, for all you users out there who have this combination of OS and software: back up now! Now!

To top it all off, since the forms on my site aren’t working, (cross your fingers for a good reply from my host!), even if someone goes to my contact page and mails me a miracle fix, I won’t get the message! Best to leave it in the comments. Any happy thoughts are welcome too.

Update: Why didn’t anyone tell me to update my Camera RAW plugin? That fixed it all up. No corrupt files, just a messed up plugin. Too bad I panicked when I saw my files wouldn’t open and immediately assumed they were corrupted. Rookie mistake.

Oh well. All’s well that end’s well!

Photoshop CS3 Public Beta Available this Friday

AppleInsider is reporting that Adobe will be releasing a public beta of PhotoShop CS3 this Friday:

“The Photoshop CS3 beta, which will be posted to the Adobe Labs website on friday, will include Adobe Bridge and Device Central components, and be available simultaneously for both the Mac and Windows operating systems.”

In addition to the feature additions that will be available, this release should get a lot of people excited for the fact that it will be a Universal Binary release meaning that it will be natively supported on Apple’s Intel-based computers. Unfortunately, for owners of those machines, they will have to wait a little longer to try out the UB PhotoShop CS3:

“People familiar with the Macintosh version of the editor confirm it to be a Universal Binary which ‘simply screams’ on Apple Computer’s new Intel-based hardware. However, they tell AppleInsider that this week’s beta will include only the standard version of Photoshop CS3.”

For this Friday’s release, it’s only PhotoShop CS3 that will make its debut. Other Creative Suite applications will stay under wraps a little longer:

“…the San Jose, Calif.-based software developer does not plan to release or discuss details of other Creative Suite 3.0 applications, such as Illustrator, Dreamweaver and InDesign.”

Head to AppleInsider for more details.

Photography Links for June 27th, 2006

Creativebits has a brief look at PhotoShop 1.0 that will undoubtedly spawn some sighs of relief that the product has come so far from its early days. Though, one screenshot does reveal that even in 1990, PhotoShop had support for 32-bit colour!

If you’re a Mac user and Software update hasn’t told you so yet, OS X version 10.4.7 is available.

Microsoft has announced the acquisition of iView media whose Media Pro software is an invaluable tool for photographers seeking to organize large collections of images. The iView line will continue develop under Microsoft and will likely serve as part of a larger Microsoft foray into digital imaging.

Lastly, DIY Photography, in this article, shares some musings on the art of photography.

Hello, I'm a Mac

Yes, I’m posting to tell you to watch some commercials. Mac commercials specifically. A clever little series of spots are up on the Apple site to pour fuel on the fire of Mac Vs. PC debates the whole web over:

Get a Mac.

Apologies from Laos

I know it’s been a while. Sorry about that. But i have a good excuse.

You see, I write all my journals on my laptop before posting them online. That’s why a couple weeks worth of writing will suddenly appear en masse – that means I’ve found a good Internet cafe where I can plug in my Powerbook.

Unfortunately, right now, that Powerbook doesn’t really like working. Sick of its job, it has decided to take a bit of a leave of absence and now won’t start up unless I boot in safe mode. And even then, it still takes a good ten minutes.

Since I’ve tried every solution I know with no results, the next step is for me to wipe the hard drive and hope that I don’t have a disk problem. Everything’s backed up, so I’m not going to lose any photos. And once everything is somewhat fixed, I should be able to update this page to give some details about my time in Vietnam.

For now, I will bid you fond greetings and some apologies for my e-absence from Laos. Luang Pranbang is a fine place and I hope i will be able to tell you a bit about it soon!

Apple Aperture

Apple today announced a new RAW file processing application called Aperture. Check out some of the videos on the site – it looks impressive.

If it’s as speedy as Apple claims it to be and with some of its sexy features, it could end up being my new tool of choice for RAW processing. Tools like the loupe tool, the project management and the dust removal all within one single application could potentially make it find a place into my workflow.

A Birthday Update

I’m not a terribly materialist person. Fancy cars, expensive watches, gold-plated diapers; these mean little to me. I tend to go for function over form with most of my possessions.

The lone exception may be gadgetry. I like having nice toys. While my financial situation rarely affords me the opportunity to indulge in my fantasy of an unlimited shopping spree through Yodobashi camera, I do have a few chip-laden tools that are near and dear to me.

The most prized of these possessions is my computer. My lovely little Powerbook, over the course of the last year has become my darkroom, my journal, my stereo and CD collection, my DVD player, my video arcade, my answering machine, my post office, my newspaper and even my television.

So, when my hard drive on said Powerbook decides to quit the world of the living, I get sad. Fortunately, however, before slipping into eternal slumber, I was able to diagnose its terminal condition and backup the contents of the drive. Very little data was lost, so that was a big plus. The downsides were the big sum of cash I had to pay to get it fixed and the two-week delay in its return to me.

So, that explains why I haven’t exactly been punctual with my journal entries as of late.

Instead of the verbose, bored-in-the-office-with-little-else-to-do entries that could have occurred in the last couple of weeks, you will now get the condensed version.

The past couple of weekends have featured a couple birthday parties. The first was Brent’s whose bash included a great deal of food consumption and another spectacular round of karaoke. Sarah and I spent a good part of the day grating the raw materials necessary to create Sarah’s delicious veggie sausage rolls. Every tear shed into the grated onions just added the flavour of devotion to the project.

Sarah was also the mastermind behind our gift to Brent: a shrine devoted to the legendary Cliff Richard. Now, Brent holds a large place in the bottom of his heart for the master English songsmith, so it seemed only appropriate to find a leopard-print picture frame to house a photo of the young Mr. Richard at his pouty, come-hither best. Add to that some incense and candles plus a custom-made CD of Cliff’s magna opi (or magnum opuses to all you folks you don’t like to try to conjugate Latin) and Brent was pretty much in hysterics. Mission accomplished.

The next day, a group of us headed north to Kitakami for Italian lunch then a performance by Kodo, the drumming troupe from the Japanese island of Sado. An ear-ringingly good time was had by all.

The next five days counted as my fourth successive week of elementary school teaching. Even now, after being here for a year, I am still going to new schools and giving, self-intro lessons. That made for a few fun moments on June 21st when I inevitably had to tell the curious class when my birthday was. I was treated to numerous choruses of ‘Happy Birthday’ with each of them stumbling when they had reached ‘Dear Da-bi”

That evening, Sarah was kind enough to cook a quiet dinner for me en lieu of a party – that was coming later. Gnocchi was followed by brownies that were destined to become the first in a long line of heavily-sugared foodstuffs to be delivered to me as a birthday gift.

Everyone here knows that I’ll be heading off to Malaysia soon and I don’t want to pack along a lot of extra baggage. They also know I have a sweet tooth that can bite through just about anything. What they may have overestimated, however, is the ability of my body to actually process the amount of refined sugar that now sits in my apartment. Maybe if I had a few months to eat it all, I could manage, but with only a month before I live, I suspect I will be passing out sweet gifts here and there.

My birthday party this Saturday was a well-attended affair, but there were a few people I would have loved to have there that couldn’t make it. Despite a few absences, a great time was had at a party designed to have me feel like a twelve year old instead of a thirty year old. It was pizza and bowling and the only thing that could have heightened the sense of youthful nostalgia would have been a local Chucky Cheese’s franchise. For the record (and because this is my blog and I’m allowed to be a little vain) I did manage to record the highest bowling score of the evening, a respectable (for me) 141. Jonathan was inches behind with a 140 in a hotly-contested match that came down to the last pin.

Yesterday, Sarah, Josh, and north-side Sarah returned to Kitakami to witness the awesome cinematic spectacle that is Batman Begins. A great movie topped off a great weekend.

Now, with my computer back, I can resume my insatiable consumption of information (though I did manage to finish off a few books while it was gone). But more importantly, I can resume work on my now behind-schedule website. I had hoped to have it finished before I left for Malaysia, but that may now be a difficult proposition. If only all this teaching nonsense didn’t get in the way’

Apple Switches to Intel Processors

Well, the rumour sites were right and Steve Jobs announced today at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference that Apple will be making the switch to Intel processors. See the keynote speech here and read the Apple press release here.

At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh computers using Intel microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007. Apple previewed a version of its critically acclaimed operating system, Mac OS X Tiger, running on an Intel-based Mac to the over 3,800 developers attending CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address. Apple also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system along with preview versions of Apple’s software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs…


Friday, April 29: Tiger will be available.

The Future of Apple Innovations

Business 2.0 has published this article detailing the possible innovations Apple may have in store for consumers. Wireless iPods, portable video displays, home entertainment networking, iPhones and car-stereo/iPod integration are the major speculations here. Worth a look for the Apple fanboys in the house.