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Installing Python 3 on a Mac

Python is a very popular interpretive language for computers. Interpreted means that programs written in Python are generally not compiled, but rather are converted to machine language a line at a time on the fly, each time they are run. This has the advantage of avoiding the sometimes long and confusing process of compiling an executable file, but may be slower in execution of computationally-intensive programs. For people learning programming and for program development work, the speed of interpretation over compilation is a big win.


Live Browser Updates


Editing an HTML document frequently involves typing the code in an editor, saving and publishing it to a website and then refreshing your browser to see the latest updates. While really not particularly onerous, doing these steps save-after-save does get tedious.

Toolkit for Beginning Web Developers


World War III is inevitable if you ask a group of people what the best code editor is. The EMACS people look with disdain on the VIM users. They both smirk about the various fancy, graphical tools, suggesting they look like refugees from Mario Cart. And then there are buckets of alternatives, some free and open-source, others proprietary and costly.

That said, here are my picks for highly useful web and program editors. Most are free. All do code coloring (syntax highlighting), tag completion, while some do lots more.

Working with git


Over the past couple of days, I have reviewed several beginner tutorials on git and am now going to try to adapt to a workflow with a drupal 7 site. Because of the complexity of working with the sql database that drupal relies on for content, I will initially concentrate on simple file updates as with css or templates, or image file additions.

Focus Stacking in Photoshop, Helicon Focus and ZereneStacker

I began experimenting with a depth-of-field extension technique today called Focus Stacking. Analogous to HDR in some respects, this technique takes a set of images with overlapping zones of sharp focus and combines them into a single image exhibiting crisp focus throughout.

Pangur Bán, my cat

The Long Room

While in Dublin recently I visited Trinity College's library (the Long Room) and saw again the Book of Kells. This manuscript rightly is a major tourist attraction. I am fascinated by both its timeless beauty and its role as an example of the effort by Irish monks in keeping classical culture alive in the face of barbarian depredations.

What we forget sometimes is that the faceless scribes were real people, subject to boredom and flights of whimsy. A library brochure called my attention to a poem written by a monk on a manuscript that for me at least cracked open a window on his life and work.

More Film Scanners

Further look at slide / film scanners:

Flat Bed

One of the big surprises in my current quest for scanners is that flatbeds have jumped up in quality to be serious alternatives in the scanner wars. They can do anywhere from 4 - 12 slides at a time and work with popular scanner control software, e.g., VueScan or SilverFast. Following are a few that caught my attention.

Epson Perfection V750-M Pro Scanner

Maybe this is an alternative to outside slide scanning services? See B&H's page on it.

Slide Scanning

My CanoScan FS4000US has broken down for the second time and I am thinking of scrapping it. Unfortunately new, high-resolution slide scanners are very expensive, so I will first try some of the slide scanning services.

Google search for "slide scanning service" yields these (and several thousand more):

Emailing backup file

The bash script I wrote worked well, stepping through and backing up the 9 individual databases to a temporary directory, then archiving that directory. Unfortunately, the desired next step of emailing that file turned out to be an issue. The version of mail on the host company's computer did not handle attachments and building the mime headers and converting the file to 7-bit seemed like a pain, so I thought I would do a little Python scripting. Unfortunately, the story there was the same -- the appropriate python email modules weren't there either.



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