Inadequate Preparation

I seem to have left the house without a record of my home server static IP address. Also the Dreamhost server my stuff is on. Best place for this is built in to Putty records and perhaps Thunderbird (so I’m not dependent on DNS working to get to my own stuff at least). Having it in the Palm Pilot address book and/or Passwordsafe would be nice, too.

I apparently don’t have my registered Focus Magic on this laptop.

I don’t appear to have the Photoshop plugin for Noise Ninja on this laptop at all.

I didn’t have Photo Mechanic on this laptop (thought I had the demo). Got the registration info off my server via ssh once other things got working.

Would have been nice to have a lightstand; but it needs to be in a portable light kit with a good bag to carry it in, or it’s too much trouble. I kept having to put the slave flash too far away and not high enough.

Not being able to put tags on the raw files on this laptop is a pain; means that doesn’t happen until late, and that the early postings to the snapshot gallery are mostly missing that information (and sometimes those postings are all that ever happen). (Thumbs Plus won’t put IPTC data into NEF files currently; Photo Mechanic will put the data in sidecar XMP files but I don’t believe Thumbs Plus doesn’t pick that up. Attaching it just in the database means it’s lost when I transfer the files from the laptop to the desktop. If I had permanent connectivity to an SQL database I could share a database between the two, and then do the transfer in a way that kept database info, but that depends too much on net connectivity, plus might have performance issues. Maybe Thumbs Plus 8 will do better with NEF, or understand sidecar files.)

On the plus side, I not only brought a swimsuit, I used it (in the hot tub).

Minicon Volunteering

Mostly a memo to myself; to keep track of what I actually did, and things I learned and will need to look up in the future.


For programming, I printed badge-back labels (with people’s schedules on them), tent cards (for each panelist on each panel), and door signs.

Data Receipt

I got a table in a Word document, which I turned into a spreadsheet, massaged some, and eventually made into an Access database.

It’s important to put day or date, start time, and end time in separate columns. The times should have colons in them. Without, they weren’t recognized as times. So I had to transform them manually, and apparently I made one search and replace error (that’s where the one consistent time error came from).

Tried using the HSQLDB support in Open Office, but it’s not up to this yet.  Maybe by next year. Looked at an open source report writer on Sourceforge (OpenRT?) but it wasn’t able to connect to a local file via ODBC the way Access can, or at least it doesn’t help you.

Schedule Labels

I couldn’t get Access 97 to respect label boundaries; specifying that each group started a new page started a new full page. So I printed these on full-page labels and cut them out by hand. Furthermore, I had to piece together two of them that wrapped columns.

This was done late enough that finding new software wasn’t a reasonable option, and I’m not buying a new version of Office for any trivial reason.

Tent Cards

I couldn’t get Access 97 to rotate text, so the information used to sort (and find) the tent cards was upside down to the participants. This was just a minor annoyance, since that information isn’t there for them. However, putting upside-down text in front of people when you can avoid it is a bad thing.

Room Signs

Turns out the sign holders are landscape format, not portrait format as I was told. (Veranda rooms)

Artist Guest Presentation

I got called on to help transfer a 250MB file from out east, in time for a presentation that afternoon.

First try: created an FTP user on my Dreamhost account, and tried to upload into it using the Macintosh ftp client that you get to through “Connect to server” using an ftp URL. Juan told me later he thinks it’s read-only, but the error you get when you try to write looks like a weird protocol error rather than the Mac refusing to do what you want.

Second try: Another convenient geek created an account on a server. Same problem.

Third try: command-line scp. This eventually works, but it turns out to be quite hard to talk somebody not used to it through cding to the correct directory and then typing the correct command (mostly the filename was hard; for example it included spaces, and there was resistance to using tab completion which is the good way to do it).

Juan told me later that dragging a directory to a terminal window pastes in the path to that directory; that would have helped. I wonder if dragging the filename works too?

Other people ran around coordinating laptop, cable, and software, and that all came together too.

We’ve Reached the Deceased Canines

Running a bit short on Minicon here.  Although there’s a nice music circle going, and lots of gaming and conversations in other spaces.

And there may not be a lot more photos coming; haven’t been shooting much since closing ceremonies.

And, from closing ceremonies…the death of the President for Life rapidly approaches.