Personal Computing Photography

Taming the Photo Image Catalog Problem

The Dismal Retired Moocher has been taking photography since high school and digital photography since the early Oughts. His first camera was Dad’s Argus C3 bought when we moved to Gales Ferry, Connecticut. Dad didn’t use it much so it went to college with DW.

DW’s first digital camera was a Sony point and shoot styled like a range finder camera. It had a built in flash, optical finder, and a bit of a zoom lens. Later, a Panasonic Lumix point and shoot replaced it. Then a series of iPhones and iPads, and Sony mirrorless DSL cameras. And a sequence of photo editing and managing applications, Apple iPhotos, Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom, Phase One Capture One Sony Edition (retired by Phase One), and most recently Skylum Luminar in its various editions.

So we have a lot of files in a lot of places dating back to the beginning of digital photograph time here at Dismal Manor. It became a mess with multiple copies of everything as Apple struggled with iCloud’s hierarchical file system and the iOS services that used it. And various MacOS updates forced photo product updates as Apple had “better ideas” and migrated from one product to another in a forced photographical death march and DW flirted with various “serious photography tools” like LightRoom and CaptureOne.

This post is about our journey and how it led to some of the workflow I now use and the photographical computing problems that they solve. In particular we look briefly at CYME’s PeakTo product. The more you fiddle with it, the more it amazes

Personal Computing

What’s a NUC

NUC is an Intel trademark for its line of IA64 small form factor computers. Intel offers a broad palate of NUCS. Some are designed for general use and others are tailored for various OEM channels. NUC is often used as a workstation device in industrial control systems. These may have specific legacy interfaces for FieldBus, Control Area Network, and VGA for legacy displays mounted in industrial control bench boards.

Dismal Manor has a NUC. We use it as a host for our Roon ROCK music server. An earlier post talked about putting our ROCK together. Here I want to spend a little more time with NUC.

Audio Home automation Personal Computing

Dave Rolls over a ROCK

For many years (2017 or so), Dismal Manor’s Roon Server has run in a virtual machine on a TrueNAS Mini or home-brew storage server. To do this Dave installed a BHYVE virtual machine, added a System76 POP_OS guest, and installed Roon IA64 Linux edition. It worked but TrueNAS had its own agenda. That got old so Dave opened his purse. Read on to learn about the Roon ROCK experience.

Personal Computing

A Desk Stand for the Dismal Wizard’s Desk

Desk litter had taken over the Dismal Desktop. It had become time to bring some order to the chaos present. Gadgets had overrun the place and there was no room to put away the keyboard, mouse, track pad, and other magic things that let me drive my Apple Silicon iMac. The reporters at 9 to 5 Mac came to the rescue.

Personal Computing


Dismal Wizard had heard about NextCloud in several YouTube software videos and got curious. TrueNAS, our file server system, can run NextCloud in FreeBSD Jail. And there is a plugin installation procedure for installation. So, Dismal Wizard had a go and he’s learning what NextCloud can do.

Personal Computing

Apple Time Machine SaveSets on TrueNAS

Apple MacOS Ventura Time Machine and TrueNAS Core 13 are a match made in heaven (well Unix heaven). TrueNAS Core 13 combines the OpenZFS file system, FreeBSD, and an IXsystems user interface as a convenient home or small office file system server for people knowing just enough UNIX admin to be dangerous. This article outlines the work flow for creating a TrueNAS Core spool volume for a MacOS user client and user account on that client.

Personal Computing Technology Video

Introducing Channels DVR

In the beginning there was ATSC 1.0 off air. With Dismal Wizard’s return from Rhode Island to Virginia, we installed a TV antenna and set up our first TabloTV DVR. Ten years later, ATSC 3.0 has been rolled out. ATSC 3 continues with the 8VSB waveform but has changed the protocol data unit formats to allow additional video codecs to be used including the recent H.256 codec. These changes allow more on-air channels than were possible with the original ATSC 1 codec suite.

The ATSC 3.0 signal has 2 parts, a bootstrap sent periodically that describes the signals available in the channel and the various program frame streams. The receiver listens to the bootstrap to determine what is available and what can be decoded.

After the break, I describe the changes we made to move to ATSC 3.0 here at Dismal Manor.

Home automation Personal Computing

Home Bridge Update

The Ubiquity UniFi Protect cameras went missing from Apple HomeKit Secure Video. Some updates and some reconfiguration were needed to revive them.

  • The nodejs library had gone out of date
  • The various plugins had been revised
  • The UniFi credentials system had changed
  • The beast needed reconfigured

Just the usual DIY bit rot and acts of Apple. There is nothing hard here but it took some effort to gather together the needed instructions and to locate the Home Bridge reset procedure. To save others this leg work, I’ve gathered together the work flow and primary references.

Personal Computing Twittering

Is There A Pachyderm in Your Future?

Well, Elon Musk did it, he bought Twitter. And he hung a $44 Billion millstone about Twitter’s neck. The debt service on his borrowing is $1 Billion per year. And what did he put up for collateral, Twitter? Unlikely, not even his billionaire buddies would smoke that crack. So there is probably a big chunk of Tesla stock on the line. Will it be interesting? You bet. $44 Billion controlled flight into terrain will make a spectacular kaboom!

So if you have a social media habit, and the Dismal Moocher does, what are the alternatives? Everything out there has wealthy owners except for one, Mastodon and the Fediverse of social media applications. More after the break.

Car talk Driving Electric Personal Computing

EV Voyage Management for the Rest of Us

Those of us not blessed with Telsa vehicles are unable to take advantage of Tesla’s voyage management tools and navigation. We have to make do with third party tools that are not well integrated but perfectly adequate. This post examines electric vehicle voyage planning and voyage management in an Apple Car Play and VW ID.Software environment.