Saturday, June 4, 2011

Always have a camera with you..

.. even if it's "just" an N8. In my limited experience, chipmunks are incredibly hard to shoot. Normally they're skittish and don't come near humans. When bribed with a peanut, they don't stay long. And when they're on the move, they're fast. But yesterday a co-worker spotted this little guy while crossing the bridge that joins our building with the south parking lot.

The N8 was fully zoomed in (about 2x digital), and held about 10-15 cm from the subject. All the other settings were on automatic or default. I managed to get six shots off before I and not it(!) decided to move on. Miraculously, only one of those was blurry enough to warrant throwing away.

The above shot was enhanced in GIMP with a touch of unsharp mask (radius 1.0, amount 0.50, threshold 1) and cropped. Here's the entire set, shrunken by the upload process but otherwise unmodified:

Hat's off to @PhoneDaz and the rest of the N8 team!

Friday, June 3, 2011

USB rescue drives

Turning a USB thumb drive into a Linux rescue disk from Windows proved to be a little more time consuming that expected. Here's what I've found works:
  1. download the USB Universal Installer from here
  2. run the installer
  3. agree to the licensing terms
  4. select the distro you want (e.g. Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.04)
  5. if necessary, download the iso (the installer may offer to find the URR iso.. it did for me!)
  6. if necessary, browse to the iso (again, the installer remembered where the URR iso was)
  7. select the thumb drive's drive letter (it should have already been formatted for FAT32)
  8. if desired, set a size for the persistent drive
Once that's done, do this to avoid further frustrations:
  1. browse to syslinux folder on the thumb drive
  2. open the syslinux.cfg file and make sure the initrd option points at /casper/initrd.gz instead of initrd.lz
That should be it, as far as I know.