A couple weeks ago I purchased a new to me Canon 5D, Mark II, 21 megapixel, full frame, DSLR. It was a top of the line Canon 14 years ago and takes some of the most amazing photos I have taken in my life. It is my first full frame camera. For those not familiar, this means the sensor is larger than the size of 35mm piece of film: a whopping 24x36mm, over 43mm across. Over 20x larger than any cell phone camera. That being said, some cell phones take some amazing photos, but they really rely on digital manipulation to stitch together several images from up to 4 different cameras together. DSLR and Mirrorless cameras use the old fashioned way, huge sensors and huge glass to capture images. I am going to do my best to take a photo a day, or more.
An open letter to Elon Musk re: Twitter
A month or so ago you completed your acquisition of Twitter, a social media platform. Not a software company, not an engineering company, a SOCIAL MEDIA platform. You have laid off over half your staff and with your ill worded ultimatum, the remaining half of your staff left as well.
In the meantime you have been holding ‘code reviews’ which are pointless in terms of fixing what is wrong with twitter. You then add a cherry to the top of the crap cake and allow a known traitor, Trump, back on your platform. I have been an engineer, a real, degree engineer, for 24 years and I can tell you are not facing a technological issue, you are facing a psychological issue.
I am part of your target audience, a late 40’s, white male, and I abandoned the platform even before you announced your acquisition earlier this year. Why did I leave? It was boring and there are better alternatives out there. Too right wing, too full of stupid, and just too boring to top it all off. The major technological gripe was how difficult it was to engage with others. In fact, this loops back to the social, psychological issue with Twitter. It is not compelling. The content is not unique, the whole microblogging idea has been done to death and no amount of software engineering will fix that.
I honestly don’t know how you can fix Twitter. It may just be an idea that has played out, like America Online, Myspace, Geocities and Angellfire. Websites and social media come and gone and it may be time for Twitter to go. When a traditional message board like Reddit or social media like Facebook exist, what’s the point of Twitter? With ad free alternatives like Mastodon, what compels me to use Twitter? All of these points are psychological, not technical. Forget code reviews and hire a team of psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists.
I would wish you luck, but to be honest, I, like millions of people will not miss Twitter one bit.
Trying something new, by trying something old. I really enjoy digital photography. I never really owned a film camera and am an early adopter of digital cameras, going back to before 1999 with cameras like the JamCam 2.0 and i/o Magic Magicimage 500. That being said, my first ‘real’ digital camera was the Olympus C3000, released September 4, 1999, was a fantastic camera at the time. I picked up a well maintained example off eBay for a song and decided to see how the now 23 year old technology holds up.
As you can tell, for a camera over 2 decades old, it is not that bad. I think the most noticeable flaw is the purple fringing and not processing blue all that great, but this was a very common issue with the CCD sensors used at the time. That being said, you really would not know with the fire hydrant and path photos above these photos were taken with a camera built during the Clinton administration.
All the photos are relatively sharp and my biggest complaint is when taking photos the shutter lag is frustrating. My main camera is a Canon Rebel T1i, and even though it is a 13 year old camera, dSLR cameras shoot almost instantly. In good lighting, the C3000 still performs reasonably well, but the limited ISO range really forces you to use a flash inside or have a very steady hand.
That being said, the photo above was taken on our wedding day, almost 20 years ago, and I am sure am glad I had this quality of camera in 2002. I love going back to our old photos and they are just as clear, sharp, and colorful as the day they were shot.
Here are some more photos taken on the same walk.
I’ll take more photos with some of my other collectables in my collection, along with photos taken with a newer dSLR with very old glass, in some cases from the 1960’s.
Back to my old self.
After losing a job that I had for 7 years, it has taken a while to really get back to my self, or, a better way to put it is my new self. Getting laid off is very disappointing, but looking back, and looking forward, I am truly in a better place now. My new position is more intellectually challenging, the highest level position I have ever had, and I get paid more.
For those of you out there who have lost a job of no fault of your own, it does get better. In the beginning, you thing, what could I of done better? Why was I chosen? To be honest, I think it was a short sited dollars and cents decision. We were all late on our annual review/raise, and with new owners, I guess they figured it was easier to just cut all the higher paid employees and hope the lower experience/cheaper workers can take up the slack. There is really nothing you could do better. All of my reviews were great, even though the average raises were inflation level, at best.
With hindsight, it really was a good thing I was laid off. Even with great reviews, they were late and the raises sucked. I was getting bored working on the same project for years with no end in sight. Now that I am working again, I saw just how far my skills were wasting away. So far I have completed several tests that have been waiting in the wings for month, repaired broken test equipment, and participated in a new program from the very start, helping with specifications and adding standards. For the first time in a long time I finally feel like I am making a difference with my efforts.
For those of you that have lost your position of no fault of your own, don’t despair, it will get better. In fact, this may a time to start that small business you always wanted. Take some time off, regroup, and whatever path you are going to take will almost certainly be better than the one you were on. Remember, a business that has to make layoffs is, odds wise, more likely to fail in the next few years. This is not to be confused with selective terminations for ‘dead weight’, this is your classic someone drew a line in ledger and decided this is who is getting let go.
I’ll try to keep up the blogging, it is a good way to finish processing what has happened and I have more happy news to report as spring turns into summer.