Have you backed up your data today?

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Today is World Backup Day, I’m told, but to be frank, every day you should be think­ing about the safety of your data, there’s just too much of it that’s irre­place­able.

So, today, I’m going to take a quick look at some of the backup sys­tems I use and have in place. Yes, I said sys­tems. No one backup sys­tem is infal­lible, so redund­ancy is import­ant.

And, of course, this is my think­ing on the sub­ject. You may have dif­fer­ing opin­ions, which is great, as long as you are back­ing up :smileyhappy:
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Have you backed up your data today?”

How-To: Streaming stuff around your house

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In this increas­ingly wire­less world, it seems odd that it’s actu­ally kinda dif­fi­cult to get music or oth­er media from one device to anoth­er.

In my case, I have pho­tos, movies and music all stored on a cent­ral stor­age device on my net­work — a Net­work Attached Stor­age device, or NAS.

Get­ting to that media eas­ily with oth­er devices means I have to have a some­thing run­ning and act­ing as a serv­er to man­age access to the media. In my case, it’s a small win­dows based com­puter that acts as the serv­er.

Or should I say ‘serv­ers’ because to get my media streamed around the house is a feat that requires more than just one piece of soft­ware.

ituneslogo.jpgLet’s start with iTunes
I have that run­ning  and shar­ing its lib­rary (which is poin­ted at the media on the NAS). iTunes allows any oth­er copy of iTunes run­ning on my net­work (and that I’ve enabled Home Shar­ing on) to see the shared lib­rary and use the media on it.

So now any com­puter run­ning iTunes can play music from my shared iTunes lib­rary. This means my Apple TV (2nd Gen) can see my media lib­rary too.

But mov­ing a com­puter from sound­sys­tem to sound­sys­tem is a little clunky, so read on, gentle read­er, read on.

iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone
It’s fairly easy to plug your iDevices into most home sound sys­tem these days, so I won’t go into details on that, but that’s how I get the music to the room I want listen in.

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WiFi2HiFi

Now things get a bit more com­plex. Stream­ing media to these devices requires anoth­er piece of serv­er soft­ware run­ning on that serv­er box. And a match­ing applic­a­tion on the iOS device.

The iDevice is the receiv­er, and the Serv­er is, erm, the serv­er.

There are cur­rently three sol­id iOS receiv­er apps (and match­ing free serv­er soft­ware):

With all three, the basic prin­cip­al is the same:

1) Point the serv­er soft­ware (on the PC) at the dir­ect­or­ies you want to share with the iOS devices
2) Let the serv­er soft­ware build a cata­logue

Now things get a bit dif­fer­ent
With Air Video and Stream To Me, you just:
3) Point the app (on your iOS device) at your serv­er (usu­ally using an IP address).

If you’re using WiFi2HiFi, it’s easi­er — you just start the serv­er soft­ware, and it auto­mat­ic­ally detects your iOS device with the app run­ning and streams all your computer’s audio to it. So whatever you’re play­ing on your com­puter will be streamed to the iOS device.
4) With Stream-To-Me and Air Video, you have more con­trol. The match­ing serv­er soft­ware lets you view your media lib­rar­ies and select the media you’d like to stream.

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Stream-To-Me

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Air Video

As of this writ­ing, Air Video only streams video (with on the fly con­ver­sion or queued con­ver­sion), while Stream-To-Me sends most video and audio formats without con­ver­sion.

So depend­ing on your needs, you’ve got hard­ware and soft­ware options for get­ting your media to you using your exist­ing devices. Very cool, and con­veni­ent way to get your stuff to where you are.

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Free photo app Instagram just got better

iglogo.jpgThe free and pop­u­lar instant pho­to­graphy shar­ing app for iOS, Ins­tagram, just pushed an update through — and it’s a nifty little update too!

Aside from some bug fixes, two new fil­ters were added in the 1.0.7 update;

Walden
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Hefe
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And one has been retrieved from the cut­ting room floor after a bit of a pop­u­lous revolt;

PopRock­et
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I love the fil­ter upgrades, but the app upgrade didn’t go off without a hitch.

In my case, Ins­tagram lives on my iPad, which I use for post-pro­duc­tion edit­ing and shar­ing of my pho­tos. I like to think of it as my iPad Dark­room.

And this update to Ins­tagram had me wor­ried for a moment — it wouldn’t read any images from my photo roll or photo albums.

But after a full shut­down and restart, whatever data­base issues it had seemed to clear up, and I’m hap­pily play­ing in the dark­room again.

iOS devices seem to be the most pro­lif­ic when it comes to mobile digit­al dark­room apps, for now. I’m think­ing that once more developers get busy work­ing on the oth­er devices, there’s going to be a whole lot more awe­some pho­to­graphy hap­pen­ing out there… and I can’t wait!
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Havin’ a ball

Some­times it great just to kick back and play ball with the dogs. Espe­cially when it’s -20 some­thing out­side and the little Daschunds just don’t enjoy play­ing out­side. Yes, they like their squeaky balls.

Red Ball FTW

As you can tell, I’ve been play­ing with pho­tos in my iPad Dark­room. This shot was taken with my Panason­ic FZ-30, expor­ted from the SD card to the iPad using Apple’s Cam­era Con­nect­or Kit. There, I cropped it using Pho­to­Pal. Then loaded it into Cam­era+ for a bit of fil­ter­ing (Tail­fins fil­ter) and a nice ‘film look’ bor­der.

Then, shared on flickr and on #mostly365, and Cam­era+ page.

When is an iPad not an iPad?

sj.jpgOk, per­haps it is actu­ally “magic­al and revolu­tion­ary”. Or per­haps we’re just mov­ing toward the day that yes, there really is an app for that.

Smart phones and tab­let com­puters are set to explode this year, but what will really move the hard­ware is innov­at­ive soft­ware cre­ated by developers who can see bey­ond the tra­di­tion­al fare that is cur­rently avail­able on the soft­ware menu. Con­tin­ue read­ing “When is an iPad not an iPad?”

Revisiting an old friend

It’s a new year, so the slate is clean and there’s lots of new things to try. Or old things that dropped off the radar to revis­it.

In my case, it’s pho­to­graphy and image pro­cessing. I used to enjoy work­ing in a wet dark­room and watch­ing images mater­i­al­ize on paper. That was years and many moves ago. My wet gear has long since van­ished, and my atten­tion turned to oth­er things.

Recently, you’ll have noticed I’ve star­ted explor­ing iPad Dark­room apps and tech­no­logy — and have once again become inter­ested in mak­ing and enhan­cing images in post pro­duc­tion.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Revis­it­ing an old friend”

Christmas Lego

Just anoth­er excuse to take some pho­tos of a couple of Christ­mas lego con­struc­tions. Simple lay­out:

  • Drape a bright red scarf as a seam­less back­ground
  • Pos­i­tion Lego object
  • Shoot with the zoom racked in to tele­photo
  • Off­load image to the iPad
  • Pro­cess / crop with Instra­gram
  • Upload to Flickr
  • Blog about it 🙂

Last year's Lego tree Hey you kids, stay off my snow!