Cinderella at the Everyman

Cinderella

Last night I went to my first panto (that I remember anyway). Oh no you didn’t! Oh yes I did! Oh no… Well, never mind!

Anyway, Cinderella is on in the Everyman in Cork with a great cast who put on an amazing show for kids and adults. It was so much fun, and I laughed so hard at times I had a three year old in the next seat look at me strangely. The singing, dancing and music are top notch and entertaining. I haven’t enjoyed myself at the theatre so much in a long time!

It would be a crime for these shows not to be sold out, and if the page above is anything to go by there is some availability. I checked their booking page however and it’s showing other show times as sold out so book your tickets quickly.

TCP B22/BC 10 Watt LED 60 Watt Light Bulb

TCP LED 10w BC GLS Light Bulb

OK, this is an odd subject for my blog. A lightbulb. The TCP B22/BC 10 Watt LED bulb is the first LED bulb I’ve bought and there’s not much to say about it except that it’s wonderfully bright and only uses 10 watts of energy but is the equivalent of (or brighter than) an old 60w bulb. I replaced several bulbs in my home with them and I’m really impressed with how bright they are. As they’re LED bulbs there’s no warm up, they’re instantly bright as soon as you switch them on.

All the CFL bulbs that were replaced like this Solus model used more energy, from 15w for that Solus one to 20w for a cheap Tesco model. The TCP bulb is rated for 25,000 hours too, much more than the Solus one (10,000) and a gigantic step up from the Tesco one of only 3,000 hours.

The bulb isn’t cheap. You can buy them for €9.99 in Woodies, and they’re even more expensive on Amazon UK. A quick Google search shows Homebase have them cheap however.

In the course of researching this post I also found out that the bayonet mount so familiar to everyone in Ireland and the UK isn’t used everywhere.

The bayonet mount is the standard light bulb fitting in the United Kingdom and in many countries which were members of the British Empire including Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, and New Zealand, parts of the Middle East and Africa and, historically, France and Greece.

The real advantage of LED bulbs is their longevity which is difficult to review, but I’ll update this post or leave a comment here when I have to replace any of them. Leave a comment and subscribe to the comment notifications if you’re curious how long they last.

RIP Oscar

2006-10-22-5689-m

2010-04-17-7217-m

2013-08-11-2510-m

Oscar, a rescue dog who came into our lives just two weeks after we married, who was an ever present fixture in our son’s life, was put to sleep after suffering a serious injury to his eye tonight.

We had fun, we had scrapes, we played fetch until we learned his heart was dodgy, but he still survived for years! He was a fighter.

“Where’s the ball Oscar?”

He was our beloved dog. He’ll be missed.

Beware! The Java Updater installs the Ask Toolbar

I had to update Java this morning and I was in a hurry. I clicked through the first page of the install wizard without really looking and then remembered I should have paid attention and noticed it said it would install the Ask.com app. Grrr.

Java Updater
(Here’s a screenshot I captured a few months ago)

I could have cancelled it but I ploughed on. However there was no sign of the extension after the install. When I restarted it, Chrome reported that the extension “Search App By Ask v2″ was added!

Search App By Ask v2

I did not enable it of course, and checked my search engine settings. The site ask.com had been added, but was not set as the default engine. Gone with that then!

I hate that Oracle put a browser toolbar in the install of the Java runtime. I wonder how many kids who installed Java to run Minecraft have this toolbar installed now?

Delete the junk that games and apps leave behind in Windows

Use CCleaner and winapp2 to clean out the junk left behind by Steam installers, temporary files, cache files and more.

Before you run this make sure you play all your Steam games at least once or you’ll have to “verify integrity of game cache” of each which will force a download of the install files again. The UI is basic, you can click a box to select all games plus Desura and Steam install files so I went for the big one. I saved 17GB of space by deleting Desura game cache files I didn’t know I could delete. I found out afterwards that there’s an option in Desura to “Clean up MCF’s after use” too which is probably worth doing if you’re running short on space.

There’s also the Tikione Steam Cleaner but it’s written in Java and it’s 195MB when installed! Check out this thread on Reddit for more. I found out about winapp2 there.

While we’re on the subject of saving space, download Space Sniffer to see where all your space is used.

Raw DNG Samples from the Nexus 5

Android L, the next major release of Android will allow apps to get raw data from the camera. This lets photographers extract more information and develop photos a lot more than they could with simple Jpeg files. They’ll be able to “push” the image further to recover blown out highlights and recover detail from shadows.

At least that’s the theory. You’re still working with the relatively small lenses and sensors in camera phones so they’re not going to compare to a DSLR or dedicated camera but images will get closer in quality.

This thread on r/Android has some samples of DNG files you can work on in Lightroom or whatever your RAW processor of choice is. The photos were taken with lcamera as the official Google camera app only records to Jpeg images. I took a stab at the “auto exposure” image here and came up with this:

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That’s pretty good for a photo taken by a Nexus 5 at ISO 1635. Lightroom settings were as follows:

Settings:

  • Temp: -1.65
  • Tint: +59
  • Exposure: -1.65
  • Highlights: -100
  • Shadows: 100
  • Whites: +2
  • Blacks: -29
  • Clarity: +22

Detail

  • Sharpening
    • Amount: 67
    • Radius: 1.0
    • Detail: 10
    • Masking: 70
  • Noise Reduction
    • Luminance: 20
    • Detail: 50
    • Contrast: 0

I’m really excited to see what Android L will bring to camera apps once it’s officially out in the wild and more phones have it installed!