Mar 102015
 
Learning Lightroom

Since I purchased my first Apple device, a MacBook Pro, over six years ago, I have used iPhoto and latterly Aperture to manage and edit my extensive photo collection. Having over 32,000 photos, I relied heavily on Aperture to sort and search my collection. Imagine my shock when I heard that support for Aperture was being discontinued and iPhoto was being replaced by a new application, Photos. Needless to say, I was upset to hear that an application that I use almost daily was being fazed out, although Aperture will continue to work after the release of Photos. I received [Read more]

Dec 312013
 
2013 - thanks for the memories

2013 was a year that will always by in my memory, thanks to the wedding of my eldest son Jamie, to his long-time partner Alice, and four amazing holidays. My trips this year took me to the Outer Hebrides, along the railways of North Wales and return visits to Tromsø and Herm. Jamie’s and Alice’s Wedding The wedding took place on June 8th and was a day to remember. The ceremony took place in the Booking Office of the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley and was followed by lunch on a steam train, which made several journeys along the line [Read more]

Jul 042013
 
Time lapsing in Herm

Since I bought a webcam for my weather station a couple of years ago, I have been interested in time-lapse photography. My weather station software uses still images taken by the webcam and makes them into a video. Every ten minutes, hour, day and year, a video is produced and uploaded to my weather site. Bracken House Weather videos page While these videos show some interesting weather events, I have recently been experimenting with creating my own time-lapse videos. For my first experiments, I chose the island of Herm in the Channel Islands. I downloaded an application called Webcam Time [Read more]

Feb 092013
 
Upgrading the display adapter

My Mac Pro is now over four years old and I have already added more hard drives and extra memory. The most important component not yet upgraded was the display adapter. More commonly known as a graphics card, this adapter controls the display on both my monitors. The original card in my machine was the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of RAM. This was showing its age and struggled to cope with intensive graphical work. So, after months of deliberating, I decided to upgrade to the ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1024 MB of RAM. The device cost £377.00 from [Read more]

Aug 072012
 

My Mac Pro is now over three years old, though the design is Early 2008 – four years ago. When I bought the machine, I had 8 Gb of RAM installed, which was fine back then, but now, when I have a large iTunes database, thousands of photos and many iMovie projects, the Mac was starting to crawl a little. Running Windows 7, under Parallels, for my weather station, was also using up vital memory. To bring my machine back up to acceptable levels of performance, I replaced four of the 1 Gb chips with 4 Gb chips to push [Read more]

Mar 172012
 

It’s been a bad week on the computers this week and I have wasted hours sorting them out. The biggest problem was the Windows XP Parallels partition which is running the weather station software. For some reason, it became corrupted and all I got was the blue screen of death. I managed to get the weather station running again by using a 24 hour old snapshot, meaning that I lost a whole day’s data. However, when I re-booted Windows, it crashed again and I was back where I started. After scouring the internet, I found that the best easy to [Read more]

Feb 022012
 

After a month of testing and configuring, I have finally got a page on the Bracken House Weather site that displays the latest videos from the webcam. The page displays the last 10 minutes, last hour, all day and yesterday videos. The videos are constructed by capturing images from the webcam every 30 seconds and then combining them to create the video. You can find the latest videos page here.

Jan 122012
 

Over the last two weeks, I have be re-writing the Bracken House website. Although using the same template, the site has been given a cleaner look, with larger, easier to read fonts. Readers using mobile devices should find the site much better now. I have also added an image gallery and improved navigational system. All pages on the site can now be accessed from the sidebar at the left hand side of every page. The image gallery is driven by Plogger, an open-source photo gallery system. I have put many hours into the re-write and I am very pleased with [Read more]

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