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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Motorcycle Pictures

Becuase of changes in the location I was working at, I was not riding my motorcycle anymore. It was fun to have and learn to ride on, but I figured the time had come to sell it. Here are a couple last pictures of me with my Bike.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Looks Like Google Relented On Blogger

Quick Note - It looks like Google has decided to "add" support back in for Internet Explorer and Firefox. The scaling is looking correct again, and I no longer get the warning to upgrade to Chrome. I will keep my eye on this though to make sure they don't revert.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Blogger Problems

Blogger just got a major upgrade to the management and posting interfaces. However it appears that Google is forcing use of their own browser Chrome only. Forcing exclusive use of their product is something Google has accused Apple of doing (which they have), so I am dissapointed to see Google following the same tactics. Internet Explorer and Firefox support has been officially deprecated and I get an anoying warning saying "Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger". Most things work ok, but they don't scale right and multiple buttons are mostly hidden behind other screen elements making posting difficult. I will see if they add more support soon, but I am considering looking at alternatives to Blogger (namly Wordpress).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Scanning Software Upgrade - Vuescan vs Silverfast

So as part of the upgrade I retested Vuescan (made by a former Boeing Software Engineer who was a part time photographer) which is the main alternative photo scanning program to Silverfast (which I have been using), and finally got some decent results on Kodachrome Slides. This was the sample slide that I had really wanted to get a better scan of even though I knew it was a difficult slide to scan (not the best original exposure due to hard lighting conditions). But using a combination of Vuescan with RAW output file I finally got a scan that looks very close to what I can see with my eyes.

3600dpi scan in Silverfast, Multi-Exposure, and iSRD defect reduction on - saved as Tiff File and post processed.

3600dpi scan using Vuescan, Multi-Exposure, and IR defect reduction on - saved as RAW and post processed

Scaled for details:

Silverfast close up crop

Vuescan close up crop

Using the combination of Vuescan and RAW output I was able to pull a lot more detail out of the shadows and to get the colors looking a lot more accurate. I have pretty much switched all of my scanning over to Vuescan as I like the program a lot more. Maybe just becuase I share a lot in common with the primary developer, but I definitly like the flow of the program and shortcuts it allows as well.

Vuescan Pros: 1) Faster - it is roughtly 25-30% faster for me that Silverfast was, which is a big deal when you have as many pictures to scan as I do.

2) Works with all my scanners - I really like the pricing model for Vuescan - one price and it works with thousands of scanners where as silverfast is over twice as expensive of a program ($200+ vs $80) and only works with one scanner it is licenced to. It has replaced my HP scanning program for print scans as well.

3) Superior performance on Slides and Kodachrome. Maybe someone more versed at Silverfast could get better results, but in 2 hours I figured out how to improve my slides scanning substantially. Negative scans are about the same between the two programs, although I give a slight edge to Vuescan in quality.

4) IR defect reduction works with Kodachrome. Silverfasts IR defect reduction created artifacts on a lot of the Kodachrome slides so i wasn't able to use it. Vuescan doesn't appear to have the same problem.

Vuescan Cons:

1) IR defect reduction isn't as effective at removing the dust. This is significant, but doesn't come close to out weighing all the other factors.