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Crane camera shots with just a tripod

When shooting footage with a motion camera, one of the most important things to achieve to avoid it looking like a home-barbecue video, is stable motion, normally achieved with a crane. A simple way to achieve this, is by retracting one leg of your tripod, and then tilt it forwards and backwards. This video gives a good demonstration. The difference between the tripod shots, and the hand-held shots (the shots made to demonstrate the technique) is astounding. Read More »

Remote pair programming with GNU Screen

I like pair programming. So much, in fact, that I want to do it even if I can't look over the other person's shoulder due to some geographical offset. Since I'm a real command-line freak, I can get what I want easily by using GNU Screen. Read More »

Hardwood Investments Wiki

Before the company was forced by the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) to seize most of its activities, Sicirec had always used it website to provide teak investors with a somewhat independent view of the hardwood investment market. It has to be said that Sicirec's critical view on the management of various teak plantation made the company a little unpopular with said managers (such as Ebe Huizinga of Flor y Fauna fame). Read More »

Using Caps Lock as an extra Control key

With me mostly posting about computer stuff on this weblog, it might surprise you that, until May this year, I hadn't owned a personal computer in years while the last one that I did own was a slow pig grown from some old parts of an even slower pig and some second-hand replacements. So, you can image my joy when I got a shiny, new Lenovo Thinkpad 61 this spring. Read More »

My CD-RW drive can read everything it writes

The HL-DT-ST CD-RW/DVD drive in my Lenovo T61 laptop, has a certain peculiarity. I was burning an ISO image, wich exceeded the supported size of a standard 80 minute CD by 7 MB. (The image was 707 MB.) Using cdrecord with the -overburn option seemed to work, until I tried to mount the CD-ROM. It would inevitably— Read More »

New theme

After upgrading to WordPress 2.5.x, I had to fall back on a stock theme because my old customization of the Sandbox theme no longer worked with the upgrade. But, then, it was time to redo my theme anyway. So here you're looking at the first version of my new theme. I might have let it stabilize some more before putting it on-line, but who cares? My reader maybe? Let's just hope he or she doesn't use IE. ;-) Read More »

The joys of being well-known to Google

The "Places" system in the new Firefox 3 is great. I'm still getting more effective usage out of just the location bar every day. But, sometimes I'm on a different computer, or I haven't been to one of my web pages for a very long time. Read More »

Purging a MySQL database without losing meta data

When I clone a production database to a development database, I always need to empty the development database first. I could never find an SQL command to completely purge a database, bur, recently, I learned something about MySQL that surprised me: MySQL doesn't lose the user rights for a database when you drop it. So, purging a MySQL database (without losing any access data meta data about that DB) is as simple as issuing the following statements: Read More »

Separate development/production environments for WordPress

When you're out Googling on how to maintain a separate development environment for a WordPress installation, you will only stumble across information about how to install all kinds of WAMPP packages. Well, I don't care about WAMP (or WAMPP). I want to be able to edit my theme, change my plugins, mess with my database locally and then deploy my changes when they're ready and well-tested (as if I ever...) Read More »

Creating a bash fork bomb

Logged into a Unix machine? Does "ulimit -a" say that the max number of user processes is unlimited? Then type the following to crash the machine (provided it uses bash, or another shell with compatible syntax): Read More »