El Paso

We went to El Paso to visit family last week. Maya met her Great-Grandma for the first time, and she saw her Grandma (my Mom) for the first time in about 10 months. We also saw my cousin Patty and her kids, who Gigi and I haven't seen for 6 years or so.

We also spent a night in Ruidoso, NM, which is about a 3 hour drive from El Paso. We drove through the White Sands Missile range, and on the way back we saw a few military jets doing some interesting maneuvers over the desert. No pictures though, since no stopping is allowed on that highway, and they were gone before I could have stopped anyway.

5 Jun 2005 16:47

More site updates

The gallery layout now includes the basic template from the main pages. It's still not what they way I want it, but at least now the navigation links stay in the same place for all pictures.

I've also added new prototypes to my Tinderbox doc to make adding photos to notes easier. I'm still amazed at the simplicity and power of Tinderbox.

5 Jun 2005 16:41

Party in the Park

These pictures were taken at Marina's birthday party in the park on April 23. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the birthday girl. I did capture a few of Maya (surprise), and her enjoying a few bubbles and a balloon hat.

27 May 2005 22:20


I've been using Tiger for about 2 weeks now, and I'm impressed. Although it's clearly a .0 release with its share of quirks and rough edges, neither my laptop or desktop has crashed since I upgraded.

The most interesting new feature is the search feature Spotlight. It's reasonable fast and quite thorough.

The Dashboard is pure eye candy, but lovable in its own simple way. I'm not sure why I needed a pretty 3d rendered clock, but now that I've got one I'm hooked. I just wish it didn't take so long to update after it zoomed in.

Why does Safari always load PDFs into a browser window, instead of in Preview? And how do I fix that?

Overall I'm more or less happy with the direction Apple has gone with OS X since 10.0. I was happy with that version, and I'm still satisfied today. I only wish Linux had made as much progress in the last 4 years as MacOS X has.

Of course, just I was getting ready to publish this, my laptop crashed hard with a kernel panic. Quirks, indeed.

16 May 2005 21:52


I started working at XenSource in February. It's been a hectic couple of months so far, but our first product is starting to take shape and should be ready by the end of this month. Our project is a first cut at an enterprise-ready version of Xen, an open source "hypervisor" project.

27 Apr 2005 10:25

Trip to Philippines

Here are the pictures from our trip to the Philippines in January 2005. We went back for a funeral and a wedding, so we had a full range of activities going on, and not much time to really rest.

23 Apr 2005 16:54


I've just merged this main page and the blog into one page, and moved all the content into Tinderbox, a very interesting information management tool. None of this is particularly important to the dear reader, but just thought someone might be interested.

23 Apr 2005 13:52

A mood

After nearly three years, my time at CFS (not to be confused with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or maybe it is, I’m not sure) is over. I believe it is safe to say a mutual understanding of not understanding was finally reached and deemed insurmountable. A fun, crazy time is over for me, and I will miss the Lustre team.

4 Jan 2005 00:13

The RAW deal

Ever since I started shooting in RAW mode with my Canon 10D over a year ago, I’ve been struggling to figure out how to deal with the RAW images. iPhoto doesn’t support RAW at all, so that was a non-starter. Canon’s tools are clunky and slow, so that didn’t work for me. Photoshop CS’s built-in RAW plugin converts fairly well, but it is still quite slow to use and still doesn’t help much with managing all the images I was collecting. Photoshop’s file browser is dreadfully slow at indexing RAWs.

Eventually I settled on using iView Media Pro to manage all my images, and then open in Photoshop to print or convert. Although iVMP is not a perfect media manager, it is fast, handles lots of metadata, and, of course, supports RAW files.

This has worked reasonably well throughout the last year or so, but the weaknesses in my approach really showed when I made a year-end movie using photos taken throughout the last year. I converted and resized about 1500 images, and obviously had to use Photoshop batch scripts and rely on defaults for RAW conversion on almost all the images. Although this worked, it was tedious and resulted in a lot of non-optimal conversions.

The two most talked about RAW utilities are Bibble and Capture One. Canon’s new Digital Photo Professional also looks very cool, but is only available to owners of the 1D series cameras.

I was disappointed by Bibble. First, the interface made me eyes bleed, and, second, it crashed repeatedly during the 30 minutes or so I attempted to use it. It was fast, as promised, but such instability in a version 4 product definitely turned me off, no matter how good or fast its conversion is.

Capture One definitely captured my attention. It is stable, for one thing. As soon as I started it, it opened a dialog prompting to import the pictures on the flash card that was currently mounted. Clearly, this is a tool designed to be part of a photographer’s workflow. The image quality is noticeably better than Photoshop, and does conversion in the background, so is much faster to use. The only thing I wish it would do is process non-RAW files, so I could use one tool for all image processing.

Although it supports some basic tagging and some limited sorting, there is no capability to search or limit the current view of images, so it doesn’t replace iVMP. Getting them to work together might be a bit of a challenge, since both seem to want to be the “importer” of photos, but I’m still experimenting.

The downside of Capture One for me, though, is the $499 price. There is an LE version with limited features for $99, and I’ll definitely check that out next to see if it will work for me.

Of course, the other alternative to consider is whether or not RAW mode is worth it for me. I think it is - more and more I’m shooting manually, and the extra control afforded by using RAW provides a bit of a safety net. Hmm, perhaps I should buy a light meter first…

3 Jan 2005 00:00


We just had some after-market, custom work done to our girl. No, we didn't pimp out our wagon - we just cut Maya's hair. Actually, her San Francisco Lola cut it at her shop, and her are some pictures of the event. Maya didn't complain, too much, and was quite distracted by some hair rollers. She's a pretty little girl now, and she's all ready for her Uncle's wedding. I guess now that she actually looks like a girl, I'm going to miss all the compliments I got on my very well behaved son.

2 Jan 2005 15:29


There, a little bit of ugly css and html hacking, and it all looks more or less like one site. Now if I could figure out why the homepage does display correctly in Windows IE, but that’s just another reason to switch to Firefox.

27 Dec 2004 13:27

new blog - again

Just getting the new blog started. This is now the third time I’ve started one. The first (and so far most interesting) was deleted during an accident involving “rm -rf” and the second walked out the front door on the stolen server.

The first task here is to cleanup this template and integrate it with the home page here. What fun.

2 Dec 2004 18:44

Copyright 2005-2006 Robert Read