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Leesburg Airshow – Rob Holland

Arrived near the end of the airshow at the Leesburg Executive Airport today, so I only watched the last event, but it was amazing. US and World Freestaly Aerobatic champion Rob Holland performed some amazing stunts. I never took photos of an airshow before, so it took me a while to figure out some usable settings. I used Nikon D500 with a Sigma 100-400mm lens.

How to create banners for your sports team

Many high-schools in our area create banners for their sports team to display in the gym during the season. Sometimes the photographer that does your official team photos will offer to make such banners, but that may cost $40 or more per player. Here is how to do it for about half the price and with more flexibility. How to take the photos Find the right spot The priority is to find a spot with a nice background and good light. Using a tripod or stand keeps the camera stable and stationary. Mark a spot on the ground for the…

Ergonomic keyboards

I have spent a large chunk of my life typing on a keyboard, but I did not start having tingling and pain in my hands until I also began using a smartphone. In other words, repetitive stress was not bad enough until my posture worsened as well. Or it was only a matter of time… so I started looking into ergonomic keyboards. In any case, I switched to the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard but that only helped for a while. My right hand was especially a problem because of the mouse use. I even tried switching the mouse to my…

From a developer to a photographer

Ever had a blog and then did not write anything for five years? Here is how it happened in my case. Kids got bigger, got into volleyball, and one day I found myself trying to take pictures of fast moving subjects in badly lit gyms with no flash allowed. Phone cameras are not designed for that, and even a decent digital camera can not handle that situation with a kit lens (I had Canon Rebel T3i at the time.) After some research I got a Canon 70d with 85mm f/1.8 lens and that worked quite well for a while, but…

How to open ODS file in Numbers app on a Mac

To actually open an ODS file with all the formulas you need to install Open Office or Libre Office or some other program that understands ODS format, but if you just need to quickly get the data and the basic structure of an old file: Right-click (or two-finger-click/tap) the ODS file and select Open With -> Other Select TextEdit app Select all of the content Paste it into a new Numbers spreadsheet If you had formulas in some cells, they will not have (correct) results of those calculations, but at least you will have something to work with in another…

Tunnelblick error (status 244) ocurred

This morning I got this message when attempting to connect to my VPN on OSX Mountain Lion: An error (status 244) ocurred while trying to check the security of the … configuration. Please quit and relaunch Tunnelblick. If the problem persists, please reinstall Tunnelblick. It turned out that Verizon Wireless VZAccess tool I installed last night changed permissions of my /Applications folder so it is writable by any user. Tunnelblick makes sure that the folder(s) it is in do not have such lax permissions, so it would not connect until I did this: sudo chmod o-w /Applications Probably you would…

Sphinx Search 0.7 for MediaWiki Released

After over a year of on-and-off tweaks and updates, I have finally released version 0.7 of SphinxSearch Extension for MediaWiki. There are several new options, support for latest version of sphinx, initial support for MW search API, and the extension now follows the usual MW conventions for localizations, autoload, etc.

Download PECL Extensions for Windows

UPDATE: I removed my previous content from here because someone copy-pasted it into StackOverflow. Google “thought” I stole it from there and “accused” me of hosting scrapped content… StackOverflow removed the offending content as soon as I reported it, but I did not want to risk Google comparing my site to some cached version they may have, and it was all outdated anyway. The current state of affairs for downloading PECL extensions for Windows is still suprisingly bad. The only way I found (other than building your own) was to browse this list. Some of the extensions there will have…

SphinxSearch Extension for MediaWiki

While helping maintain the New World Encyclopedia, I tried to install the LuceneSearch extension to replace the default MySQL-full-text-based search used by MediaWiki. Since our server did not come with any pre-requisites necessary for compiling and running Java applications, I spent quite some time on it, and still did not get it to work. All of sudden (hint, hint,) a message came to the mediawiki developers list about a new search extension that uses Sphinx search engine. Installing Sphinx was a breeze! The extension was an initial “request-for-comments” version, so I started working with the author to spruce it up.…