Shepherding at (very) small scale

Ants shepherding their "cows"

I recently bought a (wireless) flashgun, a Nissin Di622 mark II for my Sony. And tried the Vivitar 100F3.5 Macro with a method I read from Robin Wong: I used the flashgun hand-held and the camera on the other hand. Firstly. Then I put the camera on a tripod, but with the flash still hand-held, […]

Macro lenses are expensive… all of them?

I have recently bought a new lens, on ebay, for around 100€, the famous Vivitar 100F3.5 Macro

They are quite right when they say it’s plasticky, noisy, and light; but I have to say that it autofocuses quite well on my Sony Alpha A55. And the performance… look for yourself. Click for bigger size.

With […]

Recreating bokeh (just an idea)

Bokeh is that nice off-focus effect that good lenses can give you on portraits or photos of details, helping centering your attention on your subject and not on the background of the photo.

Unfortunately, “nice” bokeh is well-tied to “nice” (==expensive) lenses. And sometime simply you just have a photo shot with too much depth […]

How to modify a gnome shell theme

comparison of the top bar, before and after

This is (I think) the correct way of doing what I tried to do with an extension. My objective was to reduce a bit the size of the gnome shell top bar, and especially the font size.

The correct way is to use a “user” theme. What I did is to create […]

Randomly change the background of your Gnome desktop

Nice background

One of the thing I never got to understand is why the Gnome desktop do not have the option (present in KDE) to use the content of a directory to randomly pick an image for the “wallpaper” of the desktop.

There are a lot of solution outside, but I would like to share with you […]

A Gnome shell extension to change the top panel look

comparison of the top bar, before and after

Notice: this is NOT the best way to achieve this. I have posted a much better way…

This is my first Gnome Shell extension… so that will not be a coding style gem, but it works for me and I think it’s quite useful, so…

The idea is to change the look […]

Xfig thumbnailers with Gnome3/Nautilus3

thumbnails for xfig files

Ok, after the upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 and the switch to Gnome 3, I discovered that my nice xfig thumbnailers stopped working. After a bit of struggle, I discovered why. The “gconf” mechanism of Gnome2 is being phased out, so now there is another way (simpler, when you know it) of doing the same thing.

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Fast copy of photos — a solution!

configuring gthumb to run a script after a key press

So, you have a (big) collection of photo, and you want to rapidly browse trough them and select a subset for further consideration for, for example, printing or editing them. What I would like was that, while in the image viewer, with a simple key press I could copy the file to another, pre-chosen directory. […]

Inherit the Stars: re-reading an old book

Cover of the italian translation of the book

Thanks to my new kindle, I was re-reading Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan, which is available for free at Baen. I was especially fond of this book when I was a teenager, for the crisp image of how the scientific thinking works towards the finding of solutions to apparently impossible problems.

Well, obviously […]

Adding a gnome/nautilus thumbnailer

thumbnails for xfig files

NOTE: this only works for Gnome 2. For Gnome 3, see an update here… What it is:

a thumbnail is the little image that Nautilus (the file manager of Gnome) shows to represent the file. Most of file types has a standard thumbnailer, and you see a representation of the file such as a […]