Everyday Photo project

Following watching the fantastic ‘Noah takes a photo of himself every day for 6 years‘ video last January I decided to try my own. I didn’t do any research, so the results are nowhere near as good as Noah’s. Here was the process:

  1. Save photos to a folder some place (obviously)
  2. Batch resize the images to 640×480 using the batch conversion function in IrfanView and output to a new folder called resized. (don’t want to touch originals).
  3. Manually aligned the images so my left eye aligned with pixel 284×225 and saved to a new folder called aligned. I used GIMP 2 for this.
  4. Imported all the aligned images into Windows Movie Maker and set the transition time to 0.25 seconds.
  5. Added a backing track and aligned to start at the right time

Now, I made some big mistakes along the way! I found out I am crap at taking photos and only realised after 300+ shots that I should use no flash and have a light source behind my camera. You will notice the last 5 seconds of photos are quite good.

Another mistake I made was in how I aligned the photos. Because I moved and cropped them I ended up with a ‘shifting’ white background. I am struggling to work out a way round this. I also mis-aligned a few photos.

Finally, I need new clothes and hair style as I hardly change in the photos 😉

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Backups and robocopy

After many years of computing I thought it would be a good idea to back my data up properley instead of ad-hoc CD burns here and there. I opted for a 120GB Western Digital Passport USB hard drive. Couldn’t be easier to use just plug in and copy your data. What I decided to do was employ a tool I use at work which is part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. The tool in question is robocopy. If you are using XP then you can install the toolkit to gain access to robocopy. If you are on Vista it is part of the OS, just type robocopy at a command prompt.

This tool is great for copying large amounts of data between servers. It is robust and has plenty of options. <geek> Best of all it gives you stats at the end of the copy.</geek>

If you want, you can get robocopy to ‘mirror’ (/MIR) your data between target (usb disk) and source (main disk). This works both ways though, if you delete a file of the source it will delete it off the target aswell! One other thing to note about robocopy is that it copies at the folder level.

An example command would be: robocopy /s /e /r:1 c:\mydata e:\backup\mydata

This command copies  c:\mydata and all subfolders including empty ones to e:\backup\mydata retrying a file copy once if fails. This assumes c: is your internal local hard disk and e: is your external disk.

Copy the above command for each of your other main folders on your system, stick it in a .cmd script file and schedule it to run monthly with task scheduler andyou are well away to a clean backup solution.

Peggle

One of the most glorious, bonkers and happy games I have ever played. Peggle is well worth a download. At first the game seems completely random as you fire your metal balls (ooerr) at the coloured pegs trying to clear the red pegs. After playing it for a good while though you will find there is *some* skill involved. The graphics are gorgeous and very well drawn, the music and sound is bonkers and it goes completely over the top when you clear a level. Brilliant stuff.