hjertnes.blog

The art of SQL

05.09.2017 02:00

```text The way we have built applications (I’m using the term applications here for everything from web sites, to backends, apps etc) that had more complex requirements than some file based storage is databases, and most of them used to be based on the simple idea of tables and relations between them. You can look at it as a spreadsheet that can reference between sheets and have strong requirements to what kind of data is allowed, both per row and per table. Most databases use some variant of the SQL language. ```

```text Today many use a different data model than SQL databases like for example the document based model of MongoDB. There are many good reasons to go for either. The good thing about something like mongoldb is that you don’t need to think that much about how to design the database to make it scale well enough. And it is much easier to get it to work in a distributed model. ```

```text While to good thing about SQL databases is that many of us know them really well. We know how to design them to be fast, flexible and scale really well. Not to mention how to tune the database servers behind them. And we also have really good systems for abstracting away some of the more complex parts of it; like Django’s ORM or .NET’s Entity Framework. ```

```text There is an art to designing good databases, that perform well and solve the problems you want to solve. You can ask for just the data you want, and do a lot of the heavy lifting on the database server instead of on your webserver or in your application. By using stored procedures (small programs that live in the database) or using views to simplify complex queries(a view is a way to make a “table” out of a complex query) ```

```text I love SQL and have spent a lot of time over the last fifteen years or so to learn it really well. And I don’t think SQL will go anywhere. But using SQL is in many ways a tool where it isn’t any better than the developer behind it is. Kind of like C. It is a absolute nightmare if the developer don’t know what they are doing, and it is amazing if the developer is. ```

```text What I hope is that those who don’t care move over to SQL, and those who do take their time and learn how to master this amazing piece of technology. ```

Lamy 2000 vs the Pilot Vanishing Point

04.09.2017 02:00

```text The Lamy 2000 and the Pilot Vanishing Point are probably the two most common “first expensive” fountain pen for many. They are two very different pens, and what makes each of them great is also very different. ```

```text What makes both of them great are the fantastic nibs and you get a lot for your money. But there are some good and some bad about both of them. ```

```text The Lamy 2000 has a hooded nib, I love it, but it isn’t a good fit for everyone. Some people can never get a hold of how to angle it. And it can be a little bit big for some users. But you get one of the best designed fountain pens, if not the best and a lot of ink in each filling. ```

```text The Vanishing Point on the other hand is a cartridge converter pen instead of a piston filler; this means that the ink capacity is much lower. And this pen is also much more right handed friendly than left handed. This is because of the profile and position of the clip. I’m not bothered by it, but a lot of people are. ```

```text Both of these pens are something you either have to risk or need to try before you know if it is something for you. It isn’t the biggest risk, because both of them would be fairly easy to sell used without too much of a loss. ```

```text You probably want both. ```

```text What I love about the Vanishing Point is how quick it is to unretract, write something down and retract the nib again; compared to taking the nib of a regular pen, write and then putting it on again. The thing that drive me nuts about it is how poor the ink capacity is. ```

```text What I love about the Lamy 2000 is that the ink almost lasts forever, and the nib is my absolute favourite. And there are nothing I dislike about it, but it is just much faster to use the Vanishing Point. ```

```text I would get both again without having to think that much about it, but the Lamy 2000 is without doubt the one I think is the better out of the two. But one of the reasons it is the better, is that the Vanishing Point is a pen design with a lot of constraints that are needed to give it the one killer feature that is the reason we buy it: the only good retractable fountain pen in existence. ```

Cloud backup in 2017

29.08.2017 02:00

```text I’m a little bit more interesting in backup than the average person because I did lose a lot of data, including all the pictures I took before 2006 or something. And I am a strong believer in having a cloud copy of all your important data. It doesn’t have to be a “backup”, but I recommend it, but Dropbox could be good enough for many people. ```

```text It was three obvious options when I came up with my previous online backup strategy: ```

- Use Dropbox if you just want a online copy of your data

-   Use Backblaze if you want a “set it and forget it” type solution.

-   Use Crashplan if you have more complicated requirements; like backing up external drives or network storage.

```text My storage requirements used to fairly simple, but after close to five years of using a DSLR, my raw files take up far more storage than I want to pay for on a MacBook Pro. ```

```text The way I have been doing it up this point is to use Backblaze for everything on my SSD, and upload a copy of “archival stuff” to Dropbox. But I started to investigate other solutions this summer, because it had become way too cumbersome. And I wanted to have a single solution for everything. ```

```text Backblaze is a great app, and I think it is the best option for most people. But it is a little bit too hard to make it do exactly what you want, if you are a little bit picky. ```

```text So, I decided to look at Mac OS software that backs up to Amazon Glacier. Glacier is either a service or a storage class for S3 (another service) where it is very cheap to upload and store data, but more expensive (and slower) to receive data. In other words, it is cheaper than S3, if you only upload data and don’t access it that often. Which is exactly what I need for a backup solution. ```

```text I tired Freeze and then Arq; but ended up sticking with Arq because it was much more mature and rock solid. After using Arq on my MacBook to backup both the internal storage and an external archive drive, I have no big complaints about it. It was all the features you would expect from a premium backup application. But I do miss a pause function that isn’t based on time; some times I just want to pause it until I resume. And the drive scanning is a little bit slow. ```

My notebook system

28.08.2017 02:00

```text My notebook system or set up (the set of notebooks I use and carry every single day) consists of a Travelers Notebook, two A5 hardcover notebooks and a pocket sized one. ```

```text The Travelers Notebook always have two lined refills in it, and I use it for my daily journaling, or long form writing when I carry as few things with me as possible. The only accessory I own for it is their excellent pen holder. But I only use it when the Travelers Notebook is the only stationary thing I carry. ```

```text My pocket sized notebook is currently a blue Nock.co notebook, and historically I have been a Field Notes user. But I finally got fed up with their paper quality. I use it for shopping lists, keeping track of hours I work etc. The basic rule for what I write in it is stuff I need to reference when I’m out, or stuff I felt like I had to remember when I was out. ```

```text My two A5 notebooks are usually Leuchtturm1917; lined and the bullet journal version. But I’m currently using a dot grid Rhodia Webnotebook instead of the Bullet Journal because I tested the Webbie out, and I have a rule against having notebooks I just tested a few pages in laying around in my home office. ```

```text The lined on are used for long form writing, like this article for example. And the dot grid are using to manage tasks. Think of it like the bastard child of bullet journal and the dash plus system. ```

Book review

25.08.2017 02:00

```text Jeffery Saddoris of the co-host of the On Taking Pictures podcast, the podcast that inspired me to move from being someone who enjoyed to take snapshots to becoming someone who has photography as a serious hobby, recently self published [Photography by The Letter](Home – Photography by the Letter) the most enjoyable photography book I have ever read. And I have read an embarrassing amount of photography books over the last four and half years. ```

```text This is the book I wish was there when I first got my Canon 650D. ```

```text It is a beautiful, straight to the point, concise and informative book. ```

```text My impression after reading through it during the train ride back home from work yesterday and the rest on my way to work this morning is that this book has everything you need to know until you want to take a deep dive into a certain area. ```

```text The problem I have had, and still have to this day with most photography books is that they are written in a overindulgent manner with a serious case of “word diarrhea”. Isn’t more information better? In general yes, but the devil is in the details. You don’t want too much details that can confuse you in a general overview. More details is good when you know the basic, know how to use it, and wish to take a deep dive into to get a deeper understanding. ```

```text This is the perfect book to start out with, and I also enjoyed it as a more experienced photographer. ```

What is the deal with Pilot and Cartridges?

21.08.2017 02:00

```text One of the things I think is very weird is how many of their pens that I’m interested come as a cartridge / converter pen instead of for example a piston filler. While they at the same time use a converter that don’t use the room available in the pen that well and have a boring line of cartridges. ```

```text If I get a Pilot pen, let’s say a Vanishing Point or a Falcon. Then I’ll use the standard cartridge, which I would have to use a syringe in order to fill it up properly, and I would still only get a fraction of the ink of a TWSBI Eco or a Lamy 2000. ```

```text Second, their ink line up. Pilot have some amazing ink, many if not all of them from the Iroshizuku line. Why aren’t they available as cartridges? ```

```text I don’t get it… ```

X-Pro 2

21.08.2017 02:00

```text I loved my X100T, and I love my X-Pro2, but it is a little bit too small when I walk around for hours after hours shooting non stop. If you are going to get one accessory for your X-Pro 2 or X100 then I’d get a thumb rest. ```

```text The basic idea is that you are this little piece of metal to the flash hotshoe, that extend a curve against the right side of the camera. Giving you a surface to rest your thumb on. The result is a more ergonomic experience, if you have larger hands. ```

```text The good thing about smaller cameras are that they are smaller, easier to have with you everywhere, while the bad thing about smaller cameras is that they are way less ergonomic in many ways. Or I do at least think so. ```

```text I added one of these to my X100t, and it made it much more comfortable to use. And I did the same with my X-Pro2. I either had to do this or add a larger grip. I personally prefer this because it doesn’t make the camera larger, while giving me more or less the same thing. ```

```text You’ll find cheap ones, and you’ll find expensive ones. They do more or less the same thing, and both work. The more expensive ones are much better; the paint don’t rub off; you don’t have to use a screw to secure them. I use the ones made my Lensmate (order them directly if Amazon won’t ship them to your location). ```

Analog Photography

14.08.2017 02:00

```text Let me preface what I am about to say by defining what I mean by analog photography. Because analog cameras comes in many shapes and forms. Everything from point and shoot, to very advanced SLR models to the ones that might have one but don’t require a battery. ```

```text What I am talking about here is: ```

```text
  • A system camera: you can change the lenses and set settings like shutter speed and aperture manually.
  • It is mechanical. This means that the only thing that require a battery (if there is one) is the light meter. Everything else works fine without a battery.
  • There are no “auto” modes.
  • ```

    ```text There are many reasons to why I love analog photography: focus, simplicity and relatively cheap gear. I think digital SLR or digital range finders are the best place to start learning because you can shoot so much, without costing you that much money. You are set if you get a crop sensor camera, a 35mm lens, some batteries and SD cards. And the only cost moving forward after that and a Lightroom license is electricity and external hard drives if you fill up your computer. While analog have a real cost connected to it. Around $10 USD per roll of film, and usually 2-3x the cost of a roll to develop it; if you dont do so yourself. ```

    ```text My current camera is a silver Nikon FM that I inherited, it came with a 50mm f/1.8, and I also bought a used 24mm f/2.8. I mostly use the 50 because it is my focal length, and it is so much lighter. ```

    ```text If I go out with my FM to shoot, I usually just bring a few spare rolls of films. And that’s it. I have used it for around a year, and the battery is still going strong. What would be the result if the battery died while traveling or being a place I could not get a replacement? Well, I’d just use the f/16 Sunny method (Sunny day, 1/100, f/16, ISO 100) . ```

    ```text My X-Pro 2 is a little bit more of a drag to get it all sorted. I usually havet o check how much room I have left on my cards. Then I usually bring at least one spare battery. ```

    ```text You can probably get set up with a excellent analog SLR + a really good lens for less than the price of a entry level DSLR kit. And if you are willing to pay a couple of thousands of USD, you could get the camera I really want: a Leica M6. ```

    ```text The most important thing I have gotten from shooting film for around a year now is a much better understanding of focusing, exposure and speed / ISO. ```

    ```text When you shoot digital, you are used to being able to change the ISO as you please. This is not the case for analog. Instead of having a sensor, you have a roll of film. This means that you need to figure out what is the best compromise for the kind of shooting your are doing the next X. In other words: until you have shot 24 or 36 shots. ```

    ```text You can push or pull (shoot at a higher or lower ISO than it is rated as) but you need to do so for the whole roll. ```

    ```text My personal preference is to shoot 400 films. I prefer Fuji Superia for colour and Ilford HP5 for black and white. Sunny day: ISO 400, and I usually push to 800 in general or 1600 if it is really dark. ```

    ```text Again. You can’t switch it up in the middle of a roll. ```

    ```text The first thing you learn when you start shooting analog, with the kind of cameras I like is how focusing really work. I kind of knew how it worked. The basic idea is that you twist the focus ring until what you want to have in focus are in focus. You can also do so by using a distance scale on many older lenses (and Leica lenses). The F-number shows you what will be a focus in terms of meters / feet with your current focus point. ```

    ```text The second thing I got into my fingers is how different exposure settings impact each other. For example: with this film I can’t shoot here, because it is too dark. Or I can’t go down to F2 here, because my camera don’t go above 1/1000th of a second, and I use a ISO 100 film. Or I either have to go for a very slow shutter speed (potential shake / blur) or I need to go for really shallow depth of field). ```

    ```text You have all the same problems wit ha DSLR, but you almost always have extreme shutter speed and ISO options that you can get a compromised version of what you thought you wanted. ```

    ```text If you think it is a hassle to adjust all of it yourself, you are kind of right. But it is much easier when you have physical dials for everything. You usually just pick “I want this shutter speed” or “I want this f-stop” and adjust accordingly. And it is much easier to focus manually on cameras that are made for it. SLR’s often have a micro prism and range finders are rangefinders. Both are based around the principle where you only need to make sure that the stuff in the “focus area” line up. ```

    Pen Addicts Norway

    14.08.2017 02:00

    ```text Karl, the owner to Tudos the only Norwegian web shop that carries the kind of stuff we all love have recently started a Facebook group for Norwegian Pen Addicts. ```

    ```text This is kind of weird for me, because before the Pen Addict Slack I thought it was just me, because of the lack of stores that carried fountain pen products in Norway. Then after the Pen Addict Slack I thought we were maybe two people? Now we have a real webshop, and there are aperantly as many as over twenty people that care enough to join a Facebook Group. ```

    ```text Amazing. ```

    The clear TWSBI ECO.

    14.08.2017 02:00

    ```text Two of my all time favourite pens are the Pilot Metropolitan and the TWSBI Eco. I think an Eco is the best TWSBI pen you can buy, and probably the best bang for your buck in any pen. ```

    ```text I loved everything about it, except for the black / white parts. TWSBI finally fixed that by releasing an clear version. And the result is an pen that looks almost as good as a 580. It looks cheaper, but not by much. ```

    ```text I love the Eco, while I’m not that fund of most of the other TWSBI pens because they are a little bit too expensive to make sense for me. Why buy that when a little bit more can get you a Vanishing Point or Lamy 2000? ```

    ```text Anyways. I’m loving my clear Eco. ```