Saturday, January 29, 2011

On Anonymous Pranks

I'm fortunate enough to be a member of several communities which enjoy pranks, shenanigans, gags, and other mischievous hijinks. Many of these activities are carried out anonymously, and I'm sometimes asked if I am involved or know who is. However, I believe that discovering who is behind an anonymous shenanigan does not enhance the fun.

Thus, my policy is to neither confirm nor deny involvement in any given anonymously-perpetrated shenanigan, nor share any knowledge I might have of the the perpetrators' identity, regardless of my own actual involvement or knowledge and regardless of the evidence which the asker has otherwise obtained (correct or not).

And yes, I may or may not have some things cooking. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Photography Workshop, Session 1

I'm taking a photo workshop. Here are my favorites from the first of four sessions.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Walk Around the Moore Farm

When we were in Crawfordsville at the end of the year, Erin's crazy uncle Raoul led us in a walk around the Moore Tree Farm and some other cool places in the countryside.

The second two photos aren't on the tree farm, but I'm too lazy to come up with a different title. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snowmaggedon II

This Wednesday we had a major winter storm, one of these famous nor'easters that we keep hearing about (maybe?). It left us with a lot of snow, well over a foot and maybe pushing twenty inches, with lots of drifting.

It was the second major storm of the season. The day after Christmas we also got about a foot of snow, but almost all of that had melted; just the big snow piles were left.

The first batch of photos were taken during my morning commute (yes, I did go to work - the roads were pretty much impassable but the T was running fine).

This second group is from my evening commute.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why Republicans Really Do Have Blood on their Hands

Ezra Klein and others correctly point out that one can't infer causality from the direct inflammatory statements (e.g. the Sarah Palin's crosshairs map) to the shootings in Arizona yesterday, particularly if the shooter is mentally ill.

But, it's deeper than that. Causality is about the over-the-top Republican rhetoric that passes for policy argument these days. The health care bill isn't just policy we disagree with, it's unconstitutional. President Obama isn't just someone we disagree with and didn't vote for, he's illegitimate and has a secret Muslim agenda. Gay people are destroying American families. Democrats are socialists threatening our basic way of life. Throw in some violent imagery and veiled threats from Rush, Glenn Beck, Sharron Angle, etc.

Given that many people learn about current events only from Fox News and other conservative commentators that use this kind of "argument", it's absolutely no surprise that violent crazies emerge.

Republicans created and/or condoned a rhetorical environment which fosters violent acts. Thus, they share responsibility for the injuries and deaths which took place yesterday.

If you're a Republican or a conservative "independent", you should be deeply, deeply ashamed. You have blood on your hands now. As you always did, but now more than ever, you have a responsibility to object, both publically and in private with your like-minded citizens, to these absurd, offensive, and un-American ways of discussing our (legitimate!) political differences. And if you're a famous Republican for whatever reason, that goes tenfold for you.

Edit: Please note that the comments are not a space to post inane right-wing drivel. Such postings will be deleted. Thanks!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend To-Do List

  • blog post
  • tidy/organize bedroom
  • tidy/organize kitchen
  • think about ideas for trip
  • calibrate display again
  • re-order prints
  • date night with lovely wife
  • visit friends in Dorchester
  • eat n00dles with Jenn
  • finish Braid
  • clean out e-mail
  • post photos?
  • write in thank-you notes

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Calibrating a Display Using ArgyllCMS under Linux

Calibrating a display using ArgyllCMS, which is a pretty high-end color management system and (AFAIK) the only serious tool to calibrate a display under Linux, is, shall we say, an adventure. Here are my notes on doing it so I don't have to figure out everything again when I recalibrate again down the road. These were created by walking through the documentation's Profiling Displays scenario and also looking at the docs for each individual program.

Anyway, here's the steps I followed.

0. cd to a directory where you can store some temporary files.

I leave the final profile here too.

1. Make sure you can talk to your display properly.
dispwin -?
The latter will list appropriate arguments for -d in later tools (specifying which of multiple displays to work with). In my case the tool saw both displays, but X11 limitations mean I can only work with display 1.
dispwin -c

This clears the active monitor profile. It's unclear to me whether this is actually needed, but it seems like a good idea.

2. Calibrate colorimeter (optional)

If you have a wide-gamut display and your calibration instrument is a colorimeter (you probably know if you have a spectrometer, as they're significantly more expensive), a CCMX colorimeter calibration file is helpful, if you have access to one. Creating one of these requires buying, borrowing, renting, or stealing an expensive spectrometer; fortunately, my upstairs neighbor has one and was kind enough to lend it to me (thanks Doug!).

Graeme Gill (ArgyllCMS creator) keeps a database of contributed CCMX files, though there appears to be some disagreement about whether variation between colorimeters and displays prevents these files from being useful to others.

If you do not have or need a CCMX file, then omit the -X arguments below.

Connect both the colorimeter and spectrometer and say:
ccmxmake -v -d1 -yl -s4 -I "HP LP2475w" reids_huey_x_lp2475w.ccmx 

Note that since the .ccmx file is of general use for future recalibrations, I put it in a common directory and not with the profile.

3. Adjust and calibrate your display.

In this step, you'll tweak your display's physical controls and measure its response to specific color inputs.

Plug in the calibration instrument and attach it when the software asks you to. Be wary of the suction cups coming off at inopportune times.
dispcal -v -d1 -yl -X foo.ccmx -t6500 -b110 hp
This sets adjustment targets of color temperature 6500K and luminance 110 cd/m^2. As far as I can tell, choosing these targets is voodoo, so these two are somewhat arbitrary.

Mess with options 1-5 until you're happy (I haven't yet figured out what values indicate a "good enough" adjustment), then choose option 7 and watch the pretty colors.

This will emit a file named

4. Create test patches for profiling.

It is useful to have a "close" or old profile handy, here called old-hp.icc. (The docs refer to a .icm file, but this worked fine.)
targen -v -d3 -f500 -c hp-old.icc hp
Note -d does not indicate a display number, but rather the colorant type (3 is Video RGB).

This will emit a file hp.ti1.

5. Measure the display's response to the test patches.
dispread -v -d1 -yl -X foo.ccmx -k hp
This will show a bunch of patches on the screen and produce a file hp.ti3. It takes a little while.

6. Create the display's profile.
colprof -v -D "HP LP2475w 2011-01-06 night" -as hp
This produces a file hp.icc and prints a report of the profile's error. I'm not sure how to interpret the numbers to know if it's a good profile.

7. Install the display profile.

For me, that's four places:
  • Run the command dispwin -d1 -I /storage/photos/cms/argyll-1.3.2_20110105/hp.icc
  • Place that command in .xinitrc
  • Tell GIMP about the profile (File -> Preferences -> Color Management -> Monitor profile)
  • Tell Bibble about the profile (in the same place, believe it or not)
The end!


1/9/2011 – remove CCMX arguments, change color temperature & luminosity, add dispwin -c.
2/2/2011 - add CCMX creation step.
2/12/2011 - change luminance target to 110