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Archive for January, 2022

January Is My Poetry Month

Mendeliev would be proud to see the “Elemental Haiku” ;-)

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My first camera was an Olympus OM-1 – my father bought it for me in 1977. I loved that camera, because it (and its lenses!) was (were) small en light compared to the cameras of the big photo industry names at that time. I parted with it after the birth of our son: trying to shoot good pictures of a children without auto-focus capacity was too hard for me ;-)

Don’t ask me why I preferred this model over one from a more established SLR produces like Nikon or Canon – I can’t remember how the decision was made. But I never regretted owning and using it. In fact, today I only regret having parted with it!

So there I was with that svelte and light camera. What I did not know was that the designers of the OM-1 originally imagined a completely different device! Kosmo Foto tells the story: “This is what the Olympus OM-1 could have looked like“. The OM-X system was meant to produce a modular camera, somewhat like the Hasselblad system but for 35mm film.

The different elements of the OM-X system
The OM-X system (photo copied from http://www.maitani-fan.com/maitani_fan2/omx.html )

Luckily for me, Olympus did not start selling that system: I would never have been able to afford it (or let’s say that my father probably would not have spent money on that). I would have loved to play with it, just as I once dreamed of buying a second-hand Hasselblad… but never did – toys like that are too expensive for me.

What does surprise me, is that such a system has not yet been produced now that the “back” of such a camera can be a lot simpler in mechanical terms. Shouldn’t that be easier in this digital age?

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Critical Reality!

I’m catching up on a lot of reading, and this opinion piece on the Politico website grabbed my attention: “70 Years Ago Black Activists Accused the U.S. of Genocide. They Should Have Been Taken Seriously

The petitioners were taking the minimalist language of the U.N. convention on genocide, about things like conditions of life, and giving it shape and form with real-world examples. The petition outline the harsh living conditions to which Black Americans were subject: lives diminished in terms of housing, medical care, education, segregation, job opportunities, sharecropping, incarceration, housing, poverty and voter suppression. As a result, the petition states, 30,000 extra Black people were dying each year, and Black Americans were living eight years less than white people. Officials from all three branches of the U.S. government, the petition alleges, were guilty of inciting, conspiring to commit or being complicit in such genocidal acts, with examples ranging from police violence to racist laws promulgated by members of Congress.

Alex Hinton in https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/12/26/black-activists-charge-genocide-united-states-systemic-racism-526045

Not much has changed in the USA since then, unfortunately…

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Yesterday I was surprised to see that there was another software update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+: I did not expect two updates in just two weeks.

The announcement of the updated was surprising as well. I tried to capture it as a (long) screenshot… but that turned out to be impossible: at least in Android 11 the phone the maximum vertical dimension for screenshots is 17,658 pixels. And this announcement was longer than that!

Anyway: installing the update took some time, but it finished without a hitch. So now I finally have Android 12. But in practice that does not change much. I use the phone occasionally as a camera, photo editor and as an internet browser. Visually there a few slight changes and some extra functions, but that’s mostly it, for my part.

Here’s what the machine says about its software:

Now, of course, it’s time to wonder: will Samsung also deliver Android 13 to this device? Aaaah, progress never ends…

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I explicitly checked for updates a few times during the last days of 2021, since the previous version dated back to the beginning of November – we’re used to better these days! But Samsung did not come through with new patches for the Galaxy Note 10+ at the time. Yesterday evening however the N975FXXS7FUL2 software came through, and installing it brings the Security patch level to December 1, 2021 level. Here’s the full report:

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December 2020 was a dark month, as I reported a year ago. Unfortunately, the past month was even darker: our solar panels produced only 65% of what we expected.

What’s worse, of course, is that the whole year 2021 reported disappointing numbers. In all, 2021 delivered just about 90% of the average of the previous 11 years. And the year total has never been as low as in 2021. According to the Belgian Meteorological Institute sunshine was about average in Belgium in 2021, but that is clearly not what we see (but of course their appreciation does not include local variations in cloud coverage) !

We hope for more sun in 2022.

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All The Best In 2022 !

This hope is our door, our portal.
Even if we never get back to normal,
Someday we can venture beyond it,
To leave the known and take the first steps.
So let us not return to what was normal,
But reach toward what is next.

Amanda Gorman (see here for the complete poem, read by Ms.Gorman herself)

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