Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Camera Really Does Make a Difference

My wife bought me a, long yearned for, Canon EOS Rebel T4i for our anniversary.  Fittingly, I gave her a photo album of our trip to Nicaragua including commentary.

Canon has been used in both our families for years so it's a trusted brand here.  She did a ton of research to find the best value for features and I am super excited about the camera.  I've already been able to catch the kids in action better than I was capable of with previous point and shoots.

Most recently I have been using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 (great but it picked up a scratch recently and photos were showing up with a blur), the Sony Cybershot (bought in Tunis, Tunisia when I realized I forgot to pack the charger for the Panasonic and could not find a charger in the city), and several over older models.

For our trip to Nicaragua I got to use a Nikon Coolpix AW100 waterproof point and shoot.  This camera took great photos, had very little options (good for some), and was waterproof.  But not waterproof enough.  It gave out on us part way through the trip unfortunately when some water leaked into the housing and fried it.

I've also been a firm believer in not picking up a Digital SLR until I was no longer carrying diapers, emergency changes of clothes, and other items for young kids.  So, the time was right to move up to something new to play with.

Here are a couple of the pics I've taken so far.

This one is of my youngest.  He is super active so getting a non-blurry photo of him can be difficult.  I went with the Moving Subjects mode for this photo to catch him in action as we played outside.

Tonight I tried taking a photo of the boys Dragon Castle, first with the Fully Automatic Shooting mode, flash on:

Then I tried with HDR Backlight Control, meant for backlight conditions but which works in low light conditions as well.  This mode takes 3 photos rapidly, with each photo at a different exposure setting.  The photos are then combined to make one photo.  Here is the same castle with HDR in the same lighting conditions with flash:

I also experimented with one of my favourite techniques of focusing on the foreground and blurring the background.  Technically, this has to do with focal length and such but basically, tilt the camera to cause it to focus at the close distance of your foreground, then tilt it back up to take in our background and you'll get the effect.  This can be harder with point and shoot cameras.  Here's one of those using my sons table top soccer game from earlier in the evening:

Well, that's one of my current new pastimes.  Now back to practicing another, guitar.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Xcode: unexpected unqualified-id

I just ran across this error "unexpected unqualified-id" and several other strange ones that reminded me of working at a dev shop that used just Windows PCs.  As was the case way back then, sometimes someone would send a snippet of code in an email.

Or through email code reviews that we did.

Sometimes, an unsuspecting dev (read me) would cut and paste some of this code into a file and get compiler errors out the ying yang.

The culprit was Outlook's way of putting unprintable characters into rich text.  So, when you cut and past the string into most IDEs, they did not show the character either and everything looked great.

In the case of Outlook it would convert spaces to some other character than the ASCII space char.

Ok, with that in mind, I just ran into the above error "unexpected unqualified-id" while grabbing a snippet of code from a code review.

I ended up just looking at where Xcode's ^ indicator said there was an error and deleted around that area until I found the bad char.  How do you know you found it?  You hit delete and your cursor does not move and nothing on screen gets deleted.  It's like a hiccup in your backspace.  Then you are good and can add in the couple chars you deleted.

Presto magic, compiler errors fixed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wireshark on Mac Crashes When Changing Time Format

Ok, once you know why you will say, "Ya, what did you expect?"  But hey, I have been a bit sleep deprived so give me a break.

If you are using Wireshark (on Mac) and say, man, that Time column is messed, let's see some Dates with time instead of what Epoch time?

Ok, great, right click the column, choose to edit the column details and change it from the default to "Absolute date and time".

Now, why does it hang for a bit?

Well, if you are like me and left Wireshark running for a day or so while you are tracing a networking issue you might not notice how many frames you captured.

Say just under 2.5 million.


Wireshark now has to reprocess each of these packets to convert the time to your desired format.

I said you'd say, "What did you expect?"

At least the reprocess is only going to take about 7 minutes.

.....about 7 minutes later...

Ok, not so good.  Maybe that would be, reprocess and then crash.

Serves me right.

Time to go sniff some more packets.