The Washington Monument (and me)

From my [Uncle Francis](http://terrychay.com/tags/francis-ree):

> Hello Terry,
>
> Your birthday is coming soon (6/9/12). Happy birthday to you, Terry.
>
> We hope for your & Marie’s continued success & happyness.
>
> I am sorry for not communicating with you. I am still OK but have to do many medical checkup and others.
>
> I have been looking at old photos in an album was sent by my + your mom’s mom after we lost our home by fire in 1991.
> I found a photo of you, Ken, & your mom at the Washington Monument, all in smile. What a happy time that was! I often
> wish that your mom is still here. She would have be mighty happy and proud of you and Kenny becoming so successful.
>
> Uncle Francis & Auntie Clara
>
> PS: I am a novice at Photoshop to retouch, hence, sorry for the photo being a kind of old faint yellowish look. A higher resolution (but without retouch) picture is attached.

Terry, Mom, and Ken at Washington D.C. (1973)
Me, Mom, and Ken at Washington D.C. (1973)
National Mall, Washington D.C.

Pentax K

(Of course, I retouched it in Aperture.)

Here are two stories inspired by the photo, I’ll share with you on my birthday.Continue reading Washington Monument stories after the jump

Emma (and DxO Optics Pro 7/FilmPack 3)

It’s time to stop [recharging my batteries][recharging batteries] and start blogging and photographing again.

The first long slog will be starting to bring my Aperture Library up-to-date, but when I started, I got distracted that [DxO Optics Pro][dxo optics pro] was upgraded to version 7. I decided to spring for an update for it and the [FilmPack][dxo filmpack].

I dug up an unprocessed photo of [Kara’s][kara] daughter, Emma and took tested my two new toys ([via Catapult][catapult workflow]):

Emma
Emma
The Richmond, San Francisco, California

Olympus E-PL3, Lumix G 20/F1.7
1/60sec @ ƒ1.7, ISO200, 20mm (40mm)

You can mouseover to see the original image. Even at thumbnail size you can see the distortion fixes an that DxO recovered actually recovered some extra data. The color and saturation improvements are mostly due to picking the right film stock to emulate.

It’ll nice to get back out into the world again. :-)

[recharging batteries]: http://terrychay.com/article/recharging-personality-batteries.shtml “Your personality recharges your batteries”
[dxo optics pro]: http://dxo.com/us/photo/dxo_optics_pro “DxO Optics Pro: Introduction—DxO”
[dxo filmpack]: http://dxo.com/us/photo/dxo_optics_pro “DxO Filmpack—DxO”
[kara]: http://www.karaemurphy.me/ “karaemurphy.me”
[catapult workflow]: http://terrychay.com/article/unsupported-raw-apple-aperture.shtml “Unsupported RAW workflow in Apple Aperture”

Join Wikimedia (Senior LAMP Software Developer)

> “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. **That’s our commitment.**”

If you don’t know already, [I left Automattic (WordPress)][leaving automattic] and have joined the [Wikimedia Foundation][wikimedia] ([Wikipedia][wikipedia]) in February. Before this, I haven’t posted our regular jobs because I wasn’t too sure how relevant they were, and because I got burned by the Jobvite system spamming [my twitter][twittertychay] followers with jobs. (I apologize profusely!)

This is despite the fact that our infrastructure is PHP ([obviously][mediawiki]).

Until recently the Foundation has had lacked mostly Javascript and UI engineers and not senior-level PHP ones. But I guess when I joined all of the good PHP developers left! j/k 😀

Currently and in the coming months, we will have had three positions open up for a Senior Software full-stack LAMP/PHP engineer. If you want to work for the 5th most popular web property in the world with nearly half a billion monthly uniques (and probably the largest single-install open-source PHP project), you should really consider working [here][wikimedia]

### Job description: [Senior Software Developer at the Wikimedia Foundation][jobvite]

Be a part of a newly forming team that will be tasked to entice new authors to Wikipedia. You will create responsive UI-driven software components in a highly iterative environment to support user engagement experimental features for Wikimedia websites using JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5 and PHP.

#### Some of the projects you’ll work on:

– Develop new experimental editor engagement features for Wikimedia sites.
– Extend MediaWiki software to support new experimental features.
– Participate in periodic technology meetings for design, development and testing of experimental features.
– Scrum master for development team.

#### Required Qualifications

– 5+ years of web development experience, including front-end development (JavaScript/jQuery/HTML5/CSS3), and server-side development using PHP/MySQL.
– 5+ years experience with rapid iterative software development processes, ability to quickly grasp requirements, derive UI workflow and develop functionality.
– Experience deploying code into high transaction volume production environments.
– Experience with A/B testing, cross-browser testing, debugging.
– Knowledge of Agile Methodologies such as Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP). ScrumMaster training preferred.
– Familiarity with version control systems/continuous integration tools (we use Git/Gerrit/Jenkins).
– Must be able to meet aggressive timelines, iterate rapidly, and switch rapidly across multiple projects.
– Strong communication skills: Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively; have strong written and oral communication skills as well as be able to collaborate easily within a cross-functional team.
– B.S. or M.S. Computer Science or related field preferred.

#### Extra Points if you have:

– Experience with MediaWiki and other open source PHP-based content management systems
– Experience in the Wikipedia community
– Experience contributing to a major Open Source project
– Understanding of free culture / free software /open source
– Experience working with online volunteers.
– Experience with wikis and participatory production environments.
– Good sense of humor
– Being creative, highly motivated, hard-working and ability to work effectively in multiple cultural contexts are great assets
– Comfortable working in an open, highly collaborative, consensus-oriented environment

Please provide URLs to any existing open source software work you may have done (your own software or patches to other packages) if possible. We’d love to see what you can do!

#### About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 482 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property worldwide. Available in more than 270 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 21 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants. The Wikimedia Foundation was created in 2003 to manage the operation of Wikipedia and its sister projects. It currently employs 130 staff members. Wikimedia is supported by local chapter organizations in 38 countries or regions.

[Apply by clicking on this link][jobvite] or contact me personally. :-)

### Why working here is totally awesome

Wikimedia Foundation 90 second HR Video with Disclaimer

Transcoded from original created and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by WMFer, Victorgrigas.

(It’s probably a good thing this was filmed before I joined the Foundation. A version with me in it would have been rated R due to strong language. 😀 )

You should seriously work here. :-)

[leaving automattic]: http://terrychay.com/article/automattic-outro.shtml “Automattic Outro”
[wikimedia]: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home “Wikimedia Foundation”
[wikipedia]: http://www.wikipedia.org/ “Wikipedia”
[twittertychay]: http://twitter.com/tychay “Me @ Twitter”
[mediwiki]: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki “MediaWiki”
[jobvite]:
http://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/Job.aspx?j=oHDiWfwi&c=qSa9VfwQ “Senior Software Developer—Wikimedia Foundation @ Jobvite”

Wikimedia 503 Accessibility Hack Day (May 19, SF)

[The Wikimedia Foundation][wmf] is organizing a mini hackathon related to
accessibility (ensuring [our software][mediawiki] is usable by people with
disabilities or special needs). We’re working with Lucy Greco, an
Assistive Technology Specialist at the Disabled Student’s Program of
UC Berkeley on this.

If you’re a front-end developer or UI/UX designer, you can help. We’ll
work with a user of Dragon text-to-speech, a user of
on-screen-keyboard technology, 2-3 users of the JAWS screen reader,
and 1 user of a Mac screen reader. So you can directly help improve
the experience for real people who encounter issues with [Wikipedia] and
our other sites.

The event will be at the Wikimedia Foundation offices ([149 New
Montgomery Street][wmf hq], third floor) on Saturday, May 19, beginning at 10
AM and ending probably in the late PM. Lunch and dinner will be
provided.

Please RSVP with Rachel Farrand rfarrand [at] wikimedia dot] org by May 15 if
you’re interested in attending.

[wmf]: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home “Wikimedia Foundation”
[mediawiki]: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki “MediaWiki which powers Wikipedia”
[wmf hq]: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=149+New+Montgomery+Street&client=safari&oe=UTF-8&hnear=149+New+Montgomery+St,+San+Francisco,+California+94105&gl=us&t=m&z=16
[wikipedia]: http://www.wikipedia.com “Wikipedia”

Automattic outro

[The company I work for][automattic] is distributed [around the world][map]. Automattic is the company behind WordPress so we keep in track of each other using a hundred different internal blogs known as “[the P2s][p2].” Since we might not see each other for over a year, someone (probably [Sara][sara rosso]) got the crazy idea of that new employees should record a video introducing ourselves to the rest of the company. Later, around my birthday, some of the old hands also belatedly created and posted videos to the P2s.

I secretly recorded one.

Since I am leaving Automattic, it made sense that I had better posted it before I leave.

By the way, Automattic is a great company, [you should work there][work at automattic]. As Marie said to me once, “It’s like a big company picnic…[with BBQ][matt bbq].”

[automattic]: http://automattic.com/ “Automattic”
[map]: http://automattic.com/about/#where “About Us—Automattic”
[Automatticians]: http://automattic.com/about/ “About Us—Automattic”
[Lloyd Dewolf]: http://foolswisdom.com/ “A Fool’s Wisdom: A Fool and his wisdom are soon parted”
[office porn]: http://terrychay.com/article/office-porn.shtml “Office Porn”
[gravatar]: https://en.gravatar.com/tychay
[p2]: http://p2theme.com/ “P2 WordPress Theme, like twitter”
[sara rosso]: http://www.sararosso.com/ “Sarra Rosso: Technology, Communication, Photography, Food & Travel”
[work at automattic]: http://automattic.com/work-with-us/ “Work With Us—Automattic”
[sopa blackout]: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/18/tech/sopa-blackouts/index.html “Wikipedia, other websites back after anti-piracy bill protest—CNN”
[wordpress]: http://wordpress.org/ “WordPress: Blog tool, Publishing Platform, & CMS”
[Wikimedia]: http://www.wikimedia.org/ “Wikimedia Foundation”
[matt bbq]: http://ma.tt/?s=bbq

What follows is a slightly modified version of my Automattic farewell.

Continue reading my farewell after the jump

Nikon D7000 availability

> When will the d7000 be availible in stores again cant find one anywhere?

The Nikon D7000 is produced in the superfactory in Thailand. This means that production was halted because of the flood in Thailand last year. The supply channel has emptied out during the holidays. Production should be back online this month and you’ll find availability you should find the stores will all have availability by March at the latest.

Try to get onto a waiting list at your local camera store. Due to the way Nikon is regulating prices, other than sales tax, the price should be the same as online. It will be much lower than trying to purchase on eBay today.

Will my D40 lenses fit the D5100 or D7000

More fun on NikonUSA

> Will my D40 lenses fit the D5100 or D7000?
>
> Subject says it all–will my D40 lenses fit the D5100 or D7000? And how, in general, can one tell which lenses will fit which cameras?

The short answer is: Yes, all lenses that “fit” your D40 will fit the D5100 D7000 and later Nikon dSLRs with an F-mount (that’s currently all Nikons dSLRs).

The only Nikon F mount lenses that will not fit on these cameras are some that were designed to operate with the mirror up and had different box dimensions. These mounts would crash the reflex mirror. Fortunately there are very few of these lenses around and most are collectors items so you won’t run into it. A quick google will warn you if this is the case.

But what you are really asking is do they mount and work the same? The answer is still: Yes, but with one exception. Nikon lenses with a “G” designation but not an “AF-S” one will not auto-focus on the D5100 or D7000, but will on the D40. Fortunately, there are very few lenses that qualify for that, and those that do are low-end lenses that have since been replaced by better/cheaper models—the only time you have to worry is when someone is trying to pawn off a dud second-hand.

Note that any old AF lenses you purchase for the D40 will now auto-focus on the D7000. Whereas before they didn’t at all because the latter has an in-body motor while the former does not. You do lose matrix metering capability vs. the D40, but most people will take AF over the matrix meter.

As for understanding the smorgasbord of compatibility, [Nikonians has a friendly chart](http://www.nikonians.org/nikon/slr-lens.html). (There may be a slight error. I don’t believe the D5100 has an AF motor in it.)

Another thing to note is that where the Nikonians chart has a big “No!” for pre-AI lenses, you can use a [John White’s conversion service](http://www.aiconversions.com/) to “upgrade” the pre-1977 lenses to an AI lens so that the aperture functions correctly when the shutter is pressed. (These lenses, with the exception mentioned above will mount, but they the aperture controls won’t be automatic.)

This is one of the strengths and pitfalls of the Nikon system. Nikon has decided to ensure mount compatibility for the F mount since its inception (it predates Pentax and Canon). But advances in technology need to be incorporated into the lenses also. Other companies either break backward compatibility across the line or are slow to implement new features to ensure body/lens compatibility at the right price. Nikon splits this difference with deciding how much of the old lens suite to build in the camera based on the price point/budget and usage scenario (size/weight) of its typical shooters.

Monitor cover for Nikon D5000/D5100?

Sometimes I get bored and answer questions on the Nikon USA forum:

> Is there a monitor cover which will work with the D5100? I am thinking of a cover similar to the BM-8 that came with my D70.

The 5100 has a flip out LCD, so there is no need for a monitor cover. Instead, just flip out the LCD, rotate it, and flip it back in.

There are third party sites that make “[screen protectors][google screen protector]” which are thin films designed to protect the LCD from scratching. I don’t know how effective or useful they are since the glass or plastic used to protect the Nikon LCDs has improved over the years and quality varies from model-to-model. Plus, it is simply not very likely that a dSLR camera LCD will get scratched—dSLRs just aren’t often found in your pocket along with your keys a la iPhone 😉

For instance, my Nikon D3 with a glass screen and no plastic protector doesn’t have a scratch even though I’m and outdoor shooter and have tens of thousands of shutter clicks. Similarly, my GF’s Nikon D5000 doesn’t have a scratch because it is easy to rotate the display to a safe position for storage and transportation.

BTW, avoid most “anti-glare” thin film protectors unless you are sure you know what you are doing. They work by frosting the film to scatter the reflection. However the material used in the frosting may be too close to the size of the pixels in the high-density monitors of a camera LCD. When that happens you end up being able to see the individual red, green and blue pixels in the display making it annoying. :-)

[google screen protector]: http://www.google.com/search?q=lcd+screen+protector+nikon&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=PzF&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial&source=hp&q=lcd+screen+protector+nikon+5100

It's just a tool

Previously: [Part 1][programming1], [Part 2][programming2], [Part 3][programming3], and [Part 4][programming4].

I received an interesting question the other day from a recruiter:

> Would you be open to moving away from PHP?

My answer:

First, by analogy. I’m a photographer, most of the cameras I own are manufactured by Nikon. This is like asking if I’m open to using a Canon.

I happen to be very adept with using a Nikon. However, I don’t think [the photons bouncing around care much what logo sits on front of the camera][camera purchasing] they are in. I’d be a poor photographer if what I did was care about the brand of camera I carry instead of the picture I am taking.

PHP is designed to solve one problem: the web problem. It solves it very well—as evidenced by marketshare and its continuing durability. At nearly all other stuff, PHP happens to suck at.

However it (the web problem) [isn’t that difficult] of a problem (having been solved repeatedly by languages such as Ruby, Python, C, C++, Java, Javascript, etc.). The real difficult parts are invariably outside the “web problem.” (Example: Twitter’s web problem was solved in Ruby using Rails, but their real problems were not web problems and of those problems, the most prominent was solved in Scala.)

I happen to be very adept at PHP. That pretty much means knowing that there is a better tool than to use PHP to solve the problem at hand at hand, and using that instead of PHP: MySQL, Apache, memcached, MongoDB, CouchDB, Scala, Erlang, Puppet, CruiseControl, AWS, etc.—none of which, to my knowledge anyway, written in PHP.

I’d be a poor programmer indeed if I thought that the problems I solved cared much the language I was adept in.

I’m not a poor programmer.

The Short answer: “Yes. Depends on the problem and the existing environment.”

(Recruiter was amused by my answer because he was owns a Canon. I suggested we “get on either side of the street and start making threatening dance moves at each other like [the Jets and the Sharks][west side story].”)

Another question I got:

> Which do you think is better [some programming language] or [another programming language]?

My answer:

They’re just tools. That’s like asking a handyman which they think is better: a hammer or a screwdriver.

(That elicited a laugh.)

Using a programming language is simply [a choice][making choices]. There are many things that go into making a correct choice that are far beyond what language one prefers for a problem that happens to be not that hard to solve in the first place.

[programming1]: http://terrychay.com/article/learning-programming.shtml “Learning Programming Part 1: 5 million”
[programming2]: http://terrychay.com/article/learning-frameworks.shtml “Learning Programming Part 2: Programming Frameworks”
[programming3]: http://terrychay.com/article/learning-programming-part-3-c-cplusplus-superiority.shtml “Learning Programming Part 3: C/C++ superiority”
[programming4]: http://terrychay.com/article/programming-is-hard.shtml “Learning Programming Part 4: “Programming is Hard””
[camera purchasing]: http://terrychay.com/article/camera-purchasing-aphorisms.shtml “Camera purchasing advice”
: http://terrychay.com/article/is-ruby-the-dog-and-php-the-dogfood.shtml “Is Ruby the dog and PHP the dogfood?”
[making choices]: http://terrychay.com/article/simple-prescriptions-and-making-choices.shtml “Simple prescriptions and making choices”
[west side story]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Side_Story “West Side Story—Wikipedia”

Scrivener Ninja

I recommend [Scrivener][] as **the** application for doing long-form writing. But since I’m no longer in academia and I don’t write creatively, I don’t often use the program—unless my blog articles run away from me. (Besides, my [vim][macvim] keybinding addiction is enabled by [QuickCursor][]). Even when I do, it is pretty much limited to its [MultiMarkdown][] export to HTML for notetaking.

The other day, I noticed they added a tutorial document to the application itself. I decided to go through it.

Scrivener Tutorial
This screenshot shows both normal and “smart” collections, split screens with audio dictation handling, custom templates with custom icons, and that I love my boo :-)

Very cool. I learned a lot that I didn’t get (not) slogging through the complete(ly boring) user manual.

Now if only if I can figure out some reason to actually use the program… 😀

[Scrivener]: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php “Scrivener—Literature and Latte”
[QuickCursor]: http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/quickcursor “QuickCursor: Your Text Editor Anywhere for Mac—Hog Bay Software”
[MultiMarkdown]: http://fletcherpenney.net/multimarkdown/ “MultiMarkdown”
[macvim]: http://code.google.com/p/macvim/ “macvim: vim for the Mac”