BLAST! the Movie at Fermilab

This is a documentary about scientists sending a telescope into space to look 6-10 billion years into the past. On a balloon. From Sweden and Antarctica. Actually, seeing the Antarctica stuff is worth it, the rest is better. Lou and I screened the movie as part of the Fermilab lecture series with Mark giving some background before the movie and the two brothers answering questions afterwards.

Paul and Mark Devlin are two science brats – their father is a high-energy physicist and they spent a lot of time at FNAL with Dad. Paul made the film, Mark the science. Good thing they are both bald, cause what they had to go thru would have made me rip out my hair.

Mark is really a good speaker, smart and engaging. Worth seeing in person. It is an entertaining hour, even better if you are into tech. The Fermilab crowd ate it up.

I checked out the DVD – it is only for a Educator license for schools for $250. Most interesting – the f-bombs are bleeped, and it comes in two versions, one with the discussion about God (pro and con) removed. I guess science in education is OK as long as it doesn’t interfere with your religious beliefs…

A small boy in the audience asked if they ever got the glove back. Brought down the house. See the movie and understand…

In the pre-talk, Mark mentioned he had been on the Colbert Report so I looked up this video

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mark Devlin
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Skate Expectations

BLAST! the Movie website

ESET vs Kaspersky

Our AVG subscription was expiring and I was having 2nd thoughts about renewing – it was periodically crashing Bette’s underpowered computer. Ralph at work recommended Kaspersky Internet Security, and I got a trial of that and ESET Nod32 Security to try out. Both were well reviewed. ESET has a more techie interface, and a smaller memory footprint (important for little machines) and I wanted to like it more, but both machines started crashing randomly on startup and when the computer went into screen save or hibernate after installation. So we went back to Kaspersky and so far it is running great. Plus I have the option to not install the email or IM filters at installation since PocoMail does not use PST files or such – as soon as the infected file hits the disk it is detected.

I did find a good Forbes article on Anti-Virus, and from that found a nonprofit review of AV software where ESET and Kaspersky both do well but behind two others I never heard of. Ralph plus it works sez I think we will do Kaspersky.

Expressly Leslie for Lunch

First I had the Foule platter. Good and a lot of food for 8 bucks.
“warm fava beans richly seasoned with garlic, lemon and cumin. ” It comes with a hard-boiled egg boiled in tea which gives it a brown color clear down to the yolk, and a bright pink pickled something. With hummus and pita. Yum.

Leslie is a fellow North Shore transplant, we chatted about Evanston, Skokie, good deli and our wedding reception hummus.

Again on the Square at lunchtime. Ordered the Shakshouka which they didn’t have before. It was worth the wait, with two eggs poached in a spicy salsa with warm pita wedges. Yum.

Expressly Leslie - Shakshouka

Note: don’t go if you are in a hurry. She likes to talk (which I don’t mind), and depending on the line, it can take 15 mins for them to cook. Worth the wait.

Expressly Leslie
110 S. Johnson St, Woodstock, IL

Photo Mechanic

So I am trying to archive the check scans. TIF files named “donation-2010-DEP01-01.TIF” to identify the year, deposit batch number (01) and the scan number within the batch.

I first just entered the keywords using Thumbs Plus 7. Pain. TP8 is not much better – cannot keep the image open while I add the keywords. Small monitor.

Then I tried the user variables in Photo Mechanic. This was better, but I would need to change the settings for the user variables for each deposit.

Then I considered the filename. I can read the data right out of the filename using the variables. For the file donation-2010-DEP01-01.TIF, I use a caption definition:

{filenamebase:-13,4} Clinic Donations Deposit {filenamebase:-5,2} Page {filenamebase:-2,2}

which results in the caption of

Clinic Donations Deposit 01 Page 01

I can do the same thing with keywords. I entered the keyword phrase into the IPTC Stationery Pad:

Clinic, {filenamebase:-13, 2}, deposit_{filenamebase:-5,2}, DEPOSIT{filenamebase:-5,2}, donation, Page_{filenamebase:-2}, SMCORG

to end up with the kewords:

Clinic, 2010, deposit_01, DEPOSIT01, donation, Page_01, SMCORG

But when I reopen the pad, I see:

Clinic, {filenamebase | -13, 2}, deposit_{filenamebase |-5, DEPOSIT{filenamebase | -5, donation, Page_{filenamebase |-2}, SMCORG

which keywords as

Clinic, 20, deposit_01-03, SMCORG

Note the lost 2nd arguments and closing braces on some of the keyword terms.

I researched a bit in their forums and found a similar problem in this article, Colon in Keywords. It was mentioned there that PM had a problem with leaving colons alone in keywords, and 4.6.3 (recently released) fixed these problems. So I downloaded and installed 4.6.3 and the vertical pipes now work, but the problems with the closing braces are still there. Boo. I might have to go back to user variables.

Saturday night I posted a question on the Camera Bits forum. Sunday morning Kirk the developer posts a “I’m on it” message. Then he posts that yes, it’s a bug, it will be fixed, here is the workaround. Nice. I post a followup. He posts one an hour later.

A good reason to support little companies with specialized software. Now I just scan, rename the file, and apply the Stationery Pad. Bam! Fill in the donors – done.

Photo Mechanic 4.6.3 from Camera Bits
Camera Bits Forum
Thumbs Plus from Cerious Software