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Urpo Lankinen
Lives in Oulu, Finland
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A few nights ago,  I went out to take some more long exposure photos of the awesome #nightsky . Working on a blog post about these efforts, meanwhile, here's  photos of Gemini and Ursa Major.

Jupiter shows up really bright, too bad my binoculars aren't very good so I can't see the Galilean moons and Jupiter pretty much looks like a bright star. As far as Ursa Major / Big Dipper goes, my camera lives up to the old Latin saying: "Vidit Alcor, at non lunam plenam" [can see Alcor (the faint pair of Mizar, one of Big Dipper's stars), but can't see the full Moon.] Still working on getting the exposures just right to properly photograph the Moon...

Oh and of course: I have been looking at the stars lately and haven't seen any space turtles, unfortunately. RIP #TerryPratchett  

#stargazing #astronomy #photography  
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#Photography musings: Attempts at scanning old negatives 📷

I don't have a film scanner at hand. Sometime in January I'm going to ditch my old Canon 600/1200 DPI goddamn slow USB 1.1 scanner (still works in #Linux but not in any #Windows versions after Win2K or so) and buy a modern 3000+ DPI scanner that can hopefully also do negatives (the current one does, but I think I may have lost the adapters). My only BIG worry about negative scanning is that I have negatives in slightly odd #1980s and #1990s formats (110/trippy-vision and 126/Instamatic) besides the familiar 135 / 35mm film format which every film scanner supports.

So currently, I'm trying to improvise a little bit.

I finally brought an old negative folder to Oulu. It has negatives from 1986-1992. (Another folder I already had at hand has negs from 1992-2007 or so.) It's kind of staggering to notice how few photographs I took in the film era and how easy the digital photography makes taking random pointless snapshots.

I examined some of the negatives from my 1990 trip to #Paris . Tweeted to a friend who likes 🐢 #turtles : "Unfortunately no prints. Can't tell if a large rock or a rock with legs & head."
...was fairly confident that the rock in question is not a ninja, however.

So I tried scanning the damn thing. According to many guides (such as this one: https://robertianhawdon.me.uk/2010/07/14/how-to-recover-photos-from-the-negatives-using-gimp/ ), you scan the negative, pick the colour of the film base, fill a layer with it, set it to Overlay, invert the colour on that layer, flatten, invert the whole shebang and then adjust the levels (auto-adjust works wonders here) and curves.

Scanning the negative with just backlight on led to... unsatisfactory results. I was able to confirm it was not a rock, however.

So I tried using my DSLR instead. I made a diffusor out of paper and lit it from behind. I got much better results. However, the annoying fact is that while proper, traditional Finnish paper - our proud, finest national export - is pure and white and devoid of imperfections... but at small enough scale, internal lumpiness of the structure can be of a hindrace. So the result is a little bit lumpily lit, to say the least. I need a better neg scanner and/or a better lightbox/diffusor.

But you can see that it definitely is a damn big tortoise in the photograph! I guess I didn't wait around to see if the guy wanted to move to a more photogenic location 😆

But the coolest thing is yet to be said. I stated wondering where exactly was this photo taken, and I started looking up zoos in Wikipedia. Then I noticed that the article on Ménagerie du Jardin des plantes ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9nagerie_du_Jardin_des_plantes ) has a photograph of the rotunda that is "today a home for giant tortoises" - and it's actually visible on the background of my photo!

...the article also says that the zoo was founded during the French Revolution. I need to play more Assassin's Creed: Unity to see if the zoo is actually included in the game and see if there's bumping giant tortoises in there. Like the sea turtles in the beaches of Assassin's Creed IV. 😁

So, most of the prints of these photos have been lost, and many (especially the black-and-white photos) have never been enlarged to begin with. Once I get this shit properly going, I'm probably going to find out awesome shit and write a proper blog post.

#parisphotography  
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Goddamn it. #Drupal can't do simple things like full SQL queries on raw HTML content, and of course, people keep making fantastic modules so that nobody will touch Drupal at SQL level, because THAT WAY LIES MADNESS.

So I'm a little bit weirded that I got this right straight away.

SELECT n.nid AS nid, n.title AS title FROM node AS n, node_revision AS rev, field_data_body AS b WHERE n.nid = rev.nid AND b.revision_id = rev.vid AND rev.status = 1 AND b.body_value LIKE '%[[%' ORDER BY n.nid;

...for searching all of the bloody nodes where I used Freelinking pluging. I can't use it because there's a chicken-and-egg problem with Media right now. On one site, of course, not the other.

#techsupportproblems  
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October is here, so I suggest everyone starts doing what's going on in this little strangely captivating video I found a few days ago - preparing for #Halloween! Warning: this video is excessively cute and has brilliant #Commodore64 music too.

The thing in the video is a Valiant Turtle, a #turtle #robot that came to the market in the #1980s. I was pretty surprised to learn that these were actually made until 2011! Turtles were basically the sort of awesome #geek toys no one could afford when I was a kid, and I was amused back in the day to see an article in a computer magazine that had a turtle robot that actually looked like a turtle! 
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Arr, mateys, happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Y'arrrrrr! I be seen need to to play a pirate video game, #AssassinsCreed IV: Black Flag, on mine #XboxOne. Shiver mine wireless controller and um, stuff like that. ...I'm not good at this.

One of the things you need to remember about AC is that the ambient background characters sometimes do very strange things! Here's a clip of a SUPER HORRIFYING and THRILLING collision, complete with scary bumps and spinouts! Completely reckless - a nasty accident could have happened here! Sheesh! DON'T BLINK OR YOU MISS IT.

#AssassinsCreed4 #XboxOne
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#Rammstein is obviously a group of angry German FORTH programmers.

#geekhumor  

(Via Reddit)
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Holy crap. Why, why, why, why, why would anyone bother doing this sort of scams? OSFirstTimer isn't even that big a target, you usually only see this sort of impersonation attempts with much larger channels. Guess it only shows that if you're planning on launching something that may eventually get big, it pays to take the trouble of registering and setting up an official website as early as possible and not just rely on free hosting. 
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For laughs, and slightly out of spite.
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Small summary of what I've done tonight. It has not been much, but it has been so far basically fucking awesome.

I get this weird idea that I should install Luminance HDR and practice some HDR #photography it all went uphill from there. Hey! The previous set of photos I did around 23:00 didn't turn out too well. It's 1:20, but fuck it, I'll just go out there and do some random snaps! Ooooo, look at that clear sky and stars and shit!

 #Android #Finland #astronomy
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I've (once again) found the Quintessential #Nineties   Video! Shit was awesome back in the day!

As I recall, +Mirja Lankinen found the "matchbox" bit bloody hilarious back in the day. =)

#Commodore64 #Amiga #nostalgia  
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Random nifty tip: I've been looking for a good video editor lately, and turns out there's a pretty good piece of software out there - Lightworks.

The free version is pretty damn good (apparently there's a plan to go open source too), and you can actually use it for everything a hobbyist could ever want right now (e.g. editing and exporting HD clips for YouTube and like), and there's no ultra-stupid demoware restrictions, except of course you don't get the very highest end features that pros would need for free.

One pretty big drawback: It doesn't work ANYTHING like other video editors, and newbies will stare at it in bafflement and will totally let out a few curses while learning it. But there's very good video tutorials that show just how nifty some of the tricks you can do with it are. It's logical, just not the kind of logical I'm used to. 😃

Been very happy editing some short test clips with it, will soon learn more of it!

#video #YouTube #software #videoediting #Lightworks  
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+Urpo Lankinen just a comment, I LIVE on DVDs and USBs these days.  If you haven't at least looked at AV Linux
http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html
I have it in my pocket this instant because this Lenovo won't let me boot it.
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(Yeah, should post more public posts in Google+, I know... And also silly because I normally don't post about #food.)

My first time trying to eat #sushi. As I was already aware of a few properties of this food, I placed wasabi and soy in a traditional Finnish completely impermeable drinking cup. 😁
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Jeps, pakastesushia. Ei pahemmalta maistunut. Koska Oulu on aika legendaarinen paikka pikaruokien suhteen, on täälläkin ilmeisesti kaksi sushilaa kaenkky.com mukaan, ja toinen niistä jopa sattui silmiinkin, mutta en ole katsastanut sitä tarkemmin.
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Urpo Lankinen

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In Finland we also had (or still have?) vaguely construction toy-esque candy. Except it's more like Tetris blocks, not Lego. 
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