Macro photography

As my compact digital camera (a Fujifilm Finepix F100fd) lacks a big zoom lens I have to exploit its strengths: a wide angle lens. It plays out its advantage on group photos in small closed rooms and in macro photography. Suitable victims to train how to take macro photos are flowers: Pretty, colourful and — especially — static. It took me some time with my first camera to properly use the focus and know the limits (minimum distance) of the camera. An “AF!” warning is a good sign to not take the picture but reset the focus on another point of the object.

Architectural details (like a statue in the Zwinger in Dresden) or interesting objects (a beamer lens, a blue-glowing artwork on Tollwood, sunglasses) are other motives worth being captured. Insects usually are too fast, but when you are lucky you can find an unlucky exemplar (like the sitting bee)…

Amish82 – [2009] Shovels And Cava

Amish82 - [2009] Shovels And Cava (Sutemos024)

Phew, what a nice electro release! Amish82 remind me heavily of The Knife and Fischerspooner. While this release is very simplistic in construction, the resulting arrangements sound surprisingly rich and danceable. Some kind of “flaw” are the remix version tracks (6-15) while there are only five original tracks. But those five tracks deliver enough quality for many hours of joyful listening. But hear, judge (and download) yourself… Continue reading “Amish82 – [2009] Shovels And Cava”

How to use custom-made Themes under Windows XP/Vista/7

Deskmodding is the art or the act of customizing the appearance of the graphical user interface. Usually this is done on the level of the operating system, but there are also single applications that allow to modify their appearance by so-called skins. For the operating system Windows it is not possible to easily change the default appearance as the selection of themes that can be selected is limited to a handful of designs like the classic Windows interface, Luna for Windows XP and Aero since Vista. Windows Media Center Edition brought a revamped version of Luna which became very popular.

But apart from those designs, Windows does not permit to select user-made themes. This is due to a check in the file uxtheme.dll in the system32 folder. There are dozens of downloads of patches that promise to replace the file with a patched version that permits so select whatever style one prefers. But it is easy to download the wrong patch or even get a virus on one’s computer this way. But there is an alternative: UxStyle. Continue reading “How to use custom-made Themes under Windows XP/Vista/7”

Using Funambol to sync Thunderbird(s) and Windows Mobile phone

This is an article explaining how to synchronise one calendar (+tasks) and one address book of two PCs with Thunderbird (Lightning plugin for calendar) and a Windows Mobile phone. It is based on the open source synchronisation server Funambol and needs one of the computers to act as a server. The advantage to other solutions I tried (like FinchSync or the Addressbooks Synchroniser add-on) is that it covers all synchronisations even between different device types.

One disadvantage of my how-to is that the data which is synchronised is transmitted without encryption. However, it is possible to somehow use SSL encryption for the data transfer, but so far I am afraid of the effort to reconfigure all again now that it works. Another disadvantage concerns the fact that currently only one calendar and one address book can be synchronised. While this restriction does not bother me now, it might render this solution useless for you. Continue reading “Using Funambol to sync Thunderbird(s) and Windows Mobile phone”

Munich glows

Once in a while it is good to have the camera with me nearly all the time: one day I rode back home in the evening and passed by a sports field which was illuminated. The sun just had set behind the horizon and the sky was still in a dark blue colour. The yellowish illumination combined with the bright green grass and the blue sky made me think of Michael Mann’s films Heat, Miami Vice or Collateral which all feature footage in the same colourful style. Later that evening I took a picture of another bicycle rider in the park and a train arriving at the central train station. The last picture was spontaneously taken at the Pinakothek der Moderne.

The appeal of scepticism


The philosopher Bertrand Russell states in an article written (but not published) for a magazine in 1952:

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.

Continue reading “The appeal of scepticism”


Last weekend I had some time to take some photos of my home town Regensburg; unfortunately I had forgotten my camera, so a mobile phone camera had to do the job. The sunny weather motivated me to take a walk along the Danube. The old town with the cathedral (just called “Dom”) reside above the river which is crossed by an old stone bridge. The other pictures were taken near the train station at Ernst-Reuter-Platz and in front of the Arkaden, a commercial centre with a bridge connecting it to the station.

Santa Inferno – [2009] Desert Music

Santa Inferno - [2009] Desert MusicThis is the first review I write in which my opinion about the music is ambiguous. Santa Inferno has released this very intense rock album, yet in a – probably artistically justified – horrible sound quality. While I find this style fitting for their more aggressive tracks it spoils my listening experience. Let me show you what I mean by two representative tracks. Continue reading “Santa Inferno – [2009] Desert Music”

Diablo Swing Orchestra – [2009] The Butcher’s Ballroom

Diablo Swing Orchestra – [2009] The Butcher's Ballroom

Take Nightwish’s voice, add a Cello played like Apocalyptica and mix it with a skilled hard rock band and – voilà – you can imagine how the Diablo Swing Orchestra sounds.

Their music is a wild mixture of (partially Symphonic) Metal, Rock, Jazz, Swing and Blues; sometimes they make me think of Mr. Bungle (another great Band, by the way), yet they always stay within the limits of melodic music. Continue reading “Diablo Swing Orchestra – [2009] The Butcher’s Ballroom”