A Swan and the Fire Department

Our Fire Inspector in Liperi is an active bird watcher and our resident bird expert. He is the one that takes care of most of the bird rescue calls we get and handles the care of the birds from there on. During Juhannus he got a call about a small swan chick that had been abandoned. He went to rescue it and has been taking care of the little fellow ever since.

A three week old swan chick

The chick has become attached to its care-takers and follows them around all the time. Today the chick came to visit us at work and kept me captivated for some time. Even at this young age its feathers are very water resistant and it keeps grooming itself to keep the feathers in good shape.

Unfortunately it’s already a week late in development and will be taken to a zoo for care for the rest of the summer and winter. Next spring it’ll be placed in a duck pond that migrating swans use and will have the chance to revert to natural life. If that doesn’t work out, it’ll be placed in the zoo permanently.

EXIF fun and some F-Spot

I recently started playing around with F-Spot, an application for personal photo management for Gnome. The functionality of the program looks promising and might end up being the program we use to manage our photos. After all, we do have enough of them… But don’t get me wrong, F-Spot still needs quite a bit of work before it’ll be usable for the masses.

What interested me and got me to start hacking with the F-Spot code was the ability to export to Original galleries. During the export I noticed one interesting problem with the EXIF data that is saved in the image. Most applications use the EXIF field DateTime as the time when the picture was taken when the EXIF specification clearly states that it is the file change date and time. What should instead be used is the attribute DateTimeOriginal. The attribute DateTimeDigitized could also be used for images from digital cameras, but with scanned images it won’t work (as it should state when the image was digitized).

F-spot correctly changes the DateTime of the images output to Original galleries (as the filenames are changed), but I wonder why no other image manipulation program that I’ve used changes it. I do know that I’ll have to revisit the code that creates the Life of Jalo so that the correct attribute is displayed just in case image manipulation programs start working like they’re supposed to.

Emacs, Fedora Core 4, and .Xdefaults

I just upgraded my laptop to Fedora Core 4 and noticed that my carefully crafted .Xdefaults stopped working with Emacs. For some odd reason FC4 has changed the window name (?) of Emacs from emacs to emacs-x. Changing all references in .Xdefaults respectively will let you benefit from your modifications.

And now, all is well once again and Emacs can again be used. And remember kids: vi is not to be trusted.

John Cleese and backup failure

As a recent victim of backup failure (although not due to tapes failing) I loved the John Cleese video on backup failure (via). Even if it is an ad for LiveVault, go take a look and have a laugh. Why, oh why, can’t we have better systems available for backups? I know that I’m simply too lazy to set up anything complicated for backups. And this is even after I’ve suffered the consequences…