Saturday, October 25, 2014

Napoleonic Wars 1810

Years ago I used to visit the occasional historical re-enactment. One such visit was to Lincoln Castle, parts of which date back to the Roman Occupation. This time the re-enactment was of a battle which took place in Central Spain when it was occupied by French troops. It was a very lively event and, believe me, even when muskets are firing blank rounds they are still loud!  I happened to be shopping in Lincoln that day and the sound of musket fire was what caught my attention. These photographs were taken with a Ricoh XRX SLR and are scans from the remaining enprints I have. It was also an excuse to try out PhotoScape some more:

Scan 6      Scan 4

napol02      drummerb

Scan 5


Scan 2    

Scan 3

Friday, October 24, 2014


PhotoScape collage

I tried out a few free programs / apps while trying to create an animated GIF header with the above nine pictures. The simplest for Mac is PicGIF Lite. Add the stills which will make the animation, set the output size by choosing from preset sizes or make your own custom size, chose forward or reverse, choose number of frames per second then save the GIF. Included are some picture processing facilities. The only problem for me was not having the choice of no repetitions as I wanted the animation to run once only.

That brings me to my discovery of the program / app PhotoScape  which is free and available for Mac and Windows. Not only can it make animated GIFs from a series of pictures but gives individual control of the timing of each frame and can make non repeating GIFs.

PhotoScape is not just a GIF maker but also has photo viewing and editing facilities,


includes collage making (one example is the top collage)


and can batch process photos.

A few trial efforts made last night:

 collage 1



Pencil Flower 2

The main facility missing is the lack of layers, otherwise there are a vast range of effects to play with. There are many more facilities in PhotoScape including text and speech bubbles, red eye removal, etc..

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Twister - Guess What



Once again everyone who made a guess for last week's Guess What was correct. Congratulations and virtual gold stars to Adrian, Ragged Robin, TexWisGirl and Wilma for correctly identifying the church stained glass window.

IMG_0761     SGW Image1

On to this week's twisted photo. Although the programmer who wrote the Living Planet app I used to use for twisting photos told me there is an update with Apple, so far it hasn't been released so here is another from the Circular app which makes kaleidoscope like pictures:

Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Tuesday.
No prizes, just for fun and maybe a virtual gold or silver star.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Just as we returned home from our early morning walk the clouds rapidly changed colour as the rising Sun illuminated them. All taken with the iPhone4:


Sunrise 201014

Sunrise 201014

Sunrise 201014

 Sunrise 201014

 Sunrise 201014

Sunday, October 19, 2014



We had a Sunset worth watching last night. The first part which caught my attention was this cloud formation:


I had a look through a Met Office pdf of examples which can be used to help identify different cloud formations but I still can't decide what type that was.

The gradual deepening of colours made a perfect end to a day which saw mid October temperatures reach 19.3C here.

Temp 2014-10-18





I also set up the iPod Touch on the off chance of getting a decent time lapse:

That was 944 stills taken at 2 second intervals.

Friday, October 17, 2014

No Friday at the Flicks

There seems to have been nothing new to video this past week. Partly due to some cool, damp days and partly having to reduce the amount of seed I put out while finch disease is in evidence.

The only bit of video is over on MidmarshPi as I spent today tinkering with some aircraft plotting software.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Watching the Weather

For some months I have been using an Oregon WMR180 weather centre but found it far from satisfactory. Wind speed measurements seem very low. Even in a good gusty wind it only just gets into double figures for mph. The rainfall gauge works when it feels like it. Worst of all to keep continuous records the computer has to be running 24hrs a day. My last station had a built in data logger which stored overnight readings. As seems usual with cheap systems the wind direction and speed detectors gave up the ghost and I had to repair the rain gauge.

I didn't particularly want to spend several hundreds of pounds for a more reliable system as I only keep a cursory watch on the weather. Having had a think and look round I decided to try a rather different type of weather station.


I bought the netatmo set up. The basic parts consist of two metal cylinders. The indoor one measures indoor temperature and humidity along with barometric pressure and, unusually, CO2 and sound volume levels. The idea being to indicate a relative comfort level indoors. The smaller outside unit just measures outdoor temperature and humidity.


Added to those there is now a rain gauge which I also purchased.  The indoor unit receives wireless signals from those parts outdoors and connects to my WiFi as it sends readings to netatmo's servers. The data can be recovered and displayed on several devices. There are free apps for iOS and android phones and tablets. Also there is a web connection which can be used on PC or Mac.

The web display:

This can be scrolled to show all the various readings as graphs.

As displayed on an iPad:

The top part of the display can be changed to show the rain gauge readings:

Also graphs can be displayed - this from the iPod Touch:

I read that the company is developing a module for measuring wind so I will have to wait before I can add that.

There are other facilities with the basic units like sending warnings of, for example, low temperature to phones or tablets. Also, using the free app from ITTT (if this then that), something like a high temperature notification can be sent to a WeMo wireless electrical socket to switch on aircon for example.
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