Article History

February 2011

March↪↩January

⇑2011

Bathurst 12 Hour

Andrew has a three-day ticket to the Bathurst 12 Hour for me. I should pay him back somehow, especially as he'll likely also be my transport for the event.

Based on my experience at FoSC in April last year, I think I'd better spend most of my time in the paddock, photographing cars and the pits up close. There's a lot happening on Friday and Saturday with Group N, A, C, and Formula Vee teams practising, qualifying, and then racing.

The pits are reserved for the 12 Hour participants, so these other teams will be using tents, etc in the open area behind the pits. So I should be able to get very close and get some good photos.

The plan is to shoot a combination of B&W and colour — Ilford FP4+ in my Electro 35 and Fuji Velvia 50 in my XR-20sp. I have a few rolls of each, plus I'll take my last roll of (bulk-loaded) HP5+ and Superia as back-up film. The weather may turn bad, so they may be needed.

As for the 12-Hour race on Sunday, I‘m not sure. It could involve getting up early to be at the track before sunrise. Andrew has gotten some good long-exposure and sunrise photos in previous years, but I’m not sure it would be worth it, nor that I could get any usable shots. And then the rest of the day might not be of much use to me since I don't have the lenses or camera to shoot cars on the track. So I might let him use my ticket on someone else for Sunday.

1st

The “end game” of IPv4 address allocation has started i.e the last five /8's have been handed over to the regional RIR's for them to allocate in smaller blocks. So the discussion naturally leads to how quickly IPv6 can be transitioned to. How smooth will it be? How long will it take.

Someone on Slashdot suggested test-ipv6.com. I had thought my setup here was ok, but it complained about large packets and linked to a page suggesting I lower the MTU of our tunnel to 1280. That seemed to get it all working, but the test-ipv6 site still only gave me a 7/10 score. It didn't seem to like our 6to4 tunnel because it's not explicitly connected to someone - anyone could be responding to the 192.88.99.1 anycast address. Oh well.

2nd

Setup a v6v4 tunnel with the AARNET broker. This required hacking the provided setup script so that radvd broadcast two networks with separate prefixes - wired and wireless. This involved writing a Perl script to merge the provided prefix (/56 at the moment) with a provided network suffix. But in the end it worked. Then I had to remove the old IPv6 addresses on all machines. I also had edit a few config files that had hard-coded IPv6 addresses and otherwise restart a bunch of daemons e.g PowerDNS, Apache, PostgreSQL (oops, temperature readings weren't being collected for a few hours), Postfix, Amavis, etc. And I had to replace the DNS entries in the Pg tables used by PowerDNS. Whew.

After all this work, test-ipv6 now gave me a 10/10 score. What's more, it also worked on Dad's laptop running Ubuntu and even Mum's computer running XP! Later I should check the setup of XP he has running in a VirtualBox VM on his laptop (and seems to have running all the time too).

Ah fuck. Yesterday with all the concern over IPv6, I visited DynDNS looking for news or info on IPv6. They provide our testers.homelinux.net domain (for free) and am interested in being contactable over IPv6. I had checked them a while ago and found a news item about them supporting IPv6, but only for paying customers. This still seemed to be the case.

While I was there I logged in and checked on my “account” to see if there was anything I could add, etc. I opened my “hostname” record and everything was okay. There were some new buttons down the bottom to tell them what you were using the hostname for e.g web, email, voip, etc. I selected the ones that seemed appropriate and hit ‘save’. What I didn't notice was that the “wildcard” option was greyed out because it's now only available as a part of their “DNS Pro” service, for $15 a year.

So now ian.testers.homelinux.net does not resolve. There are some other hostnames I used, mainly in eJabberd, but that's the really important one.

This has caused me to scramble and re-examine my plans to one day get a domain or two and have a proper Internet presence with web sites, email, etc. So I went off to look at my options. Right now I can get an .id.au domain for pretty cheap. I think that's what I'll do, right after paying DynDNS $15 to get ian.testers.homelinux.net back. Then I'll redirect it to whatever.id.au.

Long term, I'd like a .com.au (or .net.au?) domain. But for that I need an ABN, and the domain must be an almost exact copy of the name on the ABN (or an abbreviation, etc). To get an ABN I need to be in business, and that might not be happening soon.

3rd

Andrew came over to drop off my ticket for the 12 Hour weekend. He brought the whole family with him for a visit.

Paid DynDNS for their “DNS Pro” service to get my web site back on the internet. Not too happy about it. Will look at getting a more permanent domain of my own later on.

4th

Got up a little early and managed to get up to the mount by about a quarter to twelve via two buses. I texted Andrew to let him know I had arrived and started wondering around behind the pits looking for cars to photograph. I still had a roll of FP4+ in my XR-20 from Canberra so I had to finish that off first.

Andrew rang me and said he had gotten off work early - he was already at Yetholme. He'd be there in a half hour and would ring me as he was coming over the foot bridge.

I then started back to the rest of the paddock area where the teams participating in the support events (today and tomorrow) were setup.

Mum rang then to find out if she still needed come pick me up. Obviously not. I soon finished off that roll in my camera and Andrew rang. I walked down towards the foot bridge to meet him.

I put a roll of Velvia 50 in my XR-20 then and we walked up behind the pits. I soon also put a roll of FP4+ in my Electro 35 because I wasn't too confident about how well the Velvia (and the light meter on my camera) would handle the lighting in the pits.

We ended up at the top of the pits. Andrew got a few shots of cars leaving pit lane from there, then we went up to the inside of Hell's corner. I got a few shots of cars coming around the corner. It was at this stage I realised I had done my now-usual trick of leaving my XR-20 on 1/2000th from loading the film and winding on the leader. Damn. So most of my previous photos are likely ruined.

We went to get lunch and found a covered area with tables and chairs. I should mention at this point that it was quite hot and the shade of the plastic tent did not offer much relief. I ordered my lunch and mentioned to the young woman “geez, you‘re in a shipping container!”. They were. She started telling me she was having trouble handling the heat and needed a break. The drinks were sold from a half shipping container next to the other one. Perhaps ordering hot chips and chicken schnitzel on a hot day wasn’t the best idea. Oh well. As I slowly ate my lunch (blowing on every piece trying to cool it down), the girl who had served me sat at another table trying to recover.

We hung around behind the pits for a little while and then Andrew left to pick up his family. I walked upstairs and found a “public café” where I could sit in air-conditioned comfort. I had seen it earlier when I first came in but Andrew had said he thought the areas above the pits were reserved for the racing teams and other “VIP”'s. But I had walked straight onto the first floor from the foot bridge. A security guard there had simply asked me if I had any beer or glass on me — the whole place is a public area and only certain areas are licensed for alcohol consumption.

So I cooled off there for a while. The girl from the other “café” was also there, cooling off as well. Andrew was taking a while and I'd cooled off sufficiently so I eventually left and went looking for more stuff to photograph. But that's when Andrew rang so I went to meet up with them. We marched up behind pit lane again, letting the kids see some of the cars and getting more photos.

Andrew then wanted to take the kids up on the roof of the pits complex so they could watch the cars.

But Sarah starting having a fit going up the stairs. She's really scared of heights. She came all the way up to the top but was in tears. So we headed down. I said we could go to the café and cool off and Andrew agreed. Even though she had started getting upset earlier before even getting to the first floor, Sarah calmed down when it came to choosing a drink. They had a great view of the main straight and even had a small outside area. The girl from the other café was still/again there.

After resting there a while we went back to find John Bowe. He hadn't been in the garage when we walked past it earlier. Andrew had met him at a sausage sizzle on Thursday, at which he'd said Zac could sit in his car. So Zac got to sit in his Ferrari something. He also got his photo taken with him, and a group photo with Liss and Sarah.

It was then time for Andrew to take the family home. I wondered up to the roof of the pits and under the central commentator's area. I photographed the start of the Group N race. Andrew rang then — he had rung just as the race had started but I hadn't heard it — he was back and at the bottom of the foot bridge (we could see each other).

So I walked around there and we spend some time next to the track in the shadow of the bridge. It wasn't a good view; my previous location was much better. So we walked over the foot bridge and into the public café again. Andrew spent a while photographing the Group A & C race from their outside balcony while I rested inside again. It was such a hot day. It had gotten up to 35°C around midday.

That was the last event of the day so we soon headed home.

5th

Despite previous arrangements, Andrew sent me a text message just after 7am, waking me up, asking I wanted a lift up to the track. No. Ugh. Back to sleep.

Mum and Dad were going to a lunch at 12 and then driving to Grandpa's for his regular computer fix and check up. I was originally thinking that one of them could drive me up before they left but I'd gotten up a little late and then Andrew offered me a lift. He was going home and would be heading back up for the second qualifying session at 13:30.

So Andrew picked me up and drove us to the top of the mount. The outside temperature was similar to yesterday but there was a good wind (especially up on the mount) which made it more bearable. So we sat at around the John Hinxman Vista (I think) and watched the 12 Hour cars do some more qualifying. I got a few photos, but not many.

When that finished we headed back to Andrew's place. I think he had forgotten his schedule or something. The kids were happy to see me, but boy was it hot in their house. We stayed a little longer than intended and missed a few events. We got back up to the mount to watch the Improved Production, HQ Holdens, and Group A & C races.

I had a crazy plan for tomorrow: nap as much as possible, then “stay up” to get to 5 am — when Andrew would pick me up — and then continue on into part of the day. Unfortunately, I didn't start “napping” until a little late - around 9 pm. Then around midnight the plan changed to simply trying to get as much sleep as I could before 4 am, the time I had set my mobile phone's alarm for. I figured I needed more than half an hour to get ready.

6th

Ugh. I had hit “snooze” on my phone once, so I was starting at 4:10. I had breakfast and started preparing everything I thought I would need. Whilst trying to get to sleep I had kinda planned what I wanted to photograph. I know, not a good way to get to sleep. I wanted to put my Delta 3200 to use, and that meant using my Pentacon Six because it's 120 format film. So I threw in two rolls and a roll of 400H, plus two rolls of Lucky just for flexibility. I packed it all into my big Lowepro backpack along with my XR-20. I left my Electro 35 in my little backpack, which I would take as well.

Since Mum and Dad were away, I was looking after Con. So shortly before I was due to leave, I toasted him some bread and stuck it in his cage along with an extra biscuit. He was happy to see me but I don't know what he thought when I left him in the dark.

Andrew hadn't turned up by 5 am so I texted him. He replied "We're coming to get you", which sounded a little threatening. And I was wondering who was joining him. He turned up a little while later and it was no surprise that Alex was with him. I threw my backpacks in the boot and got in the car. We turned up at the front gate and showed our tickets.

We walked across to the embankment along main straight and started setting up. Andrew had his tripod so he could do long exposures. I pulled out my Pentacon Six and started the tricky procedure of loading the film. Andrew got a phone call from another of his friends, Dick, who soon joined us on the embankment. I took some meter readings on the inside of the pits (1/30th, f/2.8) and started shooting, walking along the embankment. Up near Hell Corner it gets quite high and offers a good view back down the main straight.

I soon finished that roll and walked back to where Andrew and his friends were making slower progress. I loaded the second roll of Delta 3200 and walked across the foot bridge into the paddock area behind the pits. I kept metering things but was able to mostly use the same settings, only switching down to 1/60th a few times.

It was getting quite light by the time I finished the second roll. I loaded the roll of 400H and put my fisheye lens on. It was useful for capturing a wide view of most of the garage while standing just at the back. By this time the 12 Hour race had started and many of the teams in each garage were collected around their television watching the live coverage. I got a few photos of that with the fisheye.

to be processed

I finished that roll too and headed back across the foot bridge. I thought I could switch to my 35 mm gear in my other backpack so I walked back towards the front gate. A guy there stamped my hand, but only when I got out did I realise I didn't have Andrew's car keys, so how was I going to get into his car?!? Oh well. I turned around and headed back in to find Andrew and his friends.

As I was walking back the Mosler crashed just before The Chase. Andrew and his friends hung around a little longer before deciding to head up to the top of the mount for the rest of the race. So we all walked out and piled into Andrews car. At the top we got out the camping chairs and set up just behind the fence at Skyline.

I had a dagwood dog and later a cup of wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce to keep me going, but I was soon exhausted. I actually nodded off a few times sitting in the camping chair. This concerned me since the chairs were sitting on the front of the embankment and leaning forward slightly. Even though they normally place you in a slouched back posture, at this angle I was close to tipping out without a constant (but small) pressure. I was afraid of tumbling forward in my sleep, into or even through the fence.

The original plan had been to give my ticket to Belle, Alex's wife, sometime around midday so I could go home to sleep. This plan also included her possibly giving me a lift home in exchange for the ticket. But when I mentioned this to Alex not long after we set up at Skyline, he said she would just buy a day ticket at the gate. Oh, okay. He seemed pretty certain so I didn't push the issue. But around 10 am Dick said he had to go home for something. This meant Andrew would have to drive him back down to his car, so he asked if I wanted to come too. Andrew asked Alex if Belle would want my ticket and this time he agreed to the idea. Dunno why.

So Andrew drove us down to the front gate, Dick drove us to Alex's house for me to give my ticket to Belle, and then drove me home. Thanks for the lift. I put Con out (at about the same time I've been putting him out recently) and stayed up a bit more before crashing in the spare room around 1 pm. Mum and Dad arrived home just after 7 pm and I got up then.

7th

Okay, lets get to processing film. I looked up development times for FP4+ (ISO 125/22°) and Delta 3200 (EI 3200) on both Ilford's datasheets and the massive devchart. Times for HC-110 dilution ‘B’ (1:32) are 9 and 14.5 minutes, respectively. I like to use dilution ‘H’ (1:64), which requires twice the development time. I didn't like the idea of sitting for almost half an hour nursing a development tank.

Furthermore, I was concerned about discussions on Flickr about Ilford's development times for Delta 3200 being one stop off — they figure that most people's meters are inaccurate in low light (where you‘re likely to use EI 3200) and compensate. So the development times for EI 3200 are really for EI 6400. An examination of the times for increasing EI’s showed an odd jump in the geometric series at EI 3200 i.e 6 × 1.25 ⇒ 7.5 × 1.2 ⇒ 9 × 1.611 ⇒ 14.5. So something was up and I wasn't sure how to proceed.

So I started on the roll of FP4+ started up on Black Mountain Tower on Scott's birthday. I developed in HC-110, dilution H (1:64), for 18 minutes. I definitely have focus problems with my XR-20sp. There are several photos with a fairly deep field and the focus is not at the distance I know I set through the viewfinder. I wonder if the mirror is out of alignment. The negatives are a little dense.

I then decided to process one of the rolls of Delta 3200 to see how the time faired. I was initially going to “randomly” pick one to be my guinea pig, but noticed/remembered that they would have been on different spools. The first one would be on a Fuji spool from the 400X I shot at Black Mountain Tower, and the second would then be on the first's Ilford spool, which turned out to be almost featureless. So now that I knew which roll was which, I decided to process the second one first because it was shot in more light, as the sun rose in the morning.

I processed the second roll of Delta 3200 in HC-110, dilution H (1:64), for 29 minutes. Urgh, that was so boring. Okay results, but a little thin.

I scanned these first two rolls. The Delta 3200 scanned okay, even though it was a little thin. The grain wasn't too bad either. I wouldn't have minded some grain on night photos like these.

I then processed the first roll of Delta 3200. This one I developed for 34 minutes! It's harder to tell how well these negatives came out because the photos are inherently higher contrast — brightly lit pit garages in a sea of darkness.

8th

Scanned the first roll of Delta 3200. These photos are looking pretty good too.

11th

Nokia is teaming up with Microsoft to make WP7 phones — not that surprising after they chose an ex-Microsoft executive as the CEO late last year. This certainly removes any niggling doubt I had over whether to get a Nokia phone after all.

Nokia, you are dead to me. You made a huge impact on the mobile phone market, but now I‘m afraid you’re doomed to reap the same rewards as all the other companies who have partnered with Microsoft over the years — failure.

What should/could have Nokia done?

  1. Abandoned Symbian. It just is not up to the task of running a modern smart phone. It was going to take too long to modernise it, even if Nokia had been able to stick to the roadmap posted on the Symbian website.
    • It might have made a better “feature phone” operating system than their over-extended Series 40.
  2. Really gotten behind Maemo/Meego and the N900.
  3. Alternatively, jumped on the Android bandwagon. This could have just been a stop-gap measure until Maemo/Meego was ready, where Alien Dalvik (or something similar) would still allow Android apps to be run.

As to their lineup, they should have greatly simplified it. Do you really need a few dozen phone models to choose from? Pare it down to a handful of models, one or two for each target market.

17th

Babysat Sarah and Zac with Mum and Dad while Andrew and Alissa went to watch Jimeoin perform in town. The kids ran around a fair bit, but nothing really naughty. That is, until Zac swung a USB extension lead he had found and struck Mum near her eye. He was quickly sent to his room by an angry grandmother, who then came back and told Sarah “that's what happens when you muck about”.

We later split up to put them to bed, just like a previous time. I read Zac two Mr Men books on his bed. By the end of the second he was jumping on his bed.

18th

The moon is full, or just before full, and there is some light, wispy clouds in the sky. Early in the morning I used Mum and Dad's dSLR to try out exposure settings and then I went to set up my Pentacon Six. I loaded a roll of Lucky SHD 100 and put my fisheye on it. I pulled out my Gorillapod and attached it. I went out the front balcony and the sky was now clear. Damn. So I put it all away.

That night I went out to have another try at photographing the moon and lightly-clouded sky with my fisheye lens. I attached my Gorillapod to the trampoline in the backyard but found the ball head slipping when I tilted it too far back. The P6 is kinda heavy, the Arsat 30 mm fisheye definitely is. They must weigh over 2 Kg together.

So instead I simply lay the P6 on the trampoline mat looking straight up. I used the cable release and waited for it to stop moving before each photo. The previous experimentation with the dSLR indicated an exposure of 8 seconds was good, so I took a set of three bracketed photos to be safe — 6, 8, and 12 seconds.

19th

In the early morning I took another bracketed series of photos from the front yard. The moon was now at the front of the house and I included a rose bush and crab apple tree on either side of the frame. My Gorillapod didn't work so well in “mini tripod” mode. I had to make sure the legs were straight and the feet had a good grip, otherwise the legs would bend and it quickly came down.

21st

One an eBay auction of a second-hand Motorola Milestone mobile phone. I'm finally moving to Android!

23rd

My new phone arrived. The mail from the seller saying he'd sent the phone hadn't been picked up (technical glitch on our end) so I wasn't sure when to expect it. I had “stayed up” in an effort to be able to answer the door when it was delivered. I went to bed about 2pm and Dad arrived home not long after. He said a card had been left at the door saying a package was ready to be picked up from the post office in town. The deliver must have come while I was having a shower! Dad was heading off to Orange to pick stuff up for his work (TAFE) would pick it up on his way back.

Dad arrived back a couple of hours later and sure enough the package was my new phone. With only few hours of sleep I started playing with my new toy. I soon set about to root it and install a third-party “ROM”. The instructions weren't all too clear, made worse by my lack of sleep. But I managed to flash a vulnerable image of some sort, root it with “Androidani OpenRecovery”, and install Cronos Froyo 1.8.1, a ROM based on Android 2.2 a.k.a “Frozen Yoghurt” (Froyo for short). Motorola is still working on their 2.2 release.

I played a little more but called it a night and went back to bed for a few more hours of sleep.