Emulating the Nikon D80


Once upon a time I had a Nikon D80. When I revisit the pictures I took back then I notice two things. The first is that I didn't give a damn about image sharpness and almost all my pictures are blurry in one way or another (camera shake, slight misfocus or lens aberrations). The second however is how much I like the way that camera failed in low light.

Landscape shot during the day with ISO3200

The D80 is a product before the age of insane ISO ratings and aggressive noise reduction1. Being able to take noiseless images above ISO1000 was still a dream but the images the D80 took even in...

Hissing sounds on RODE videomic and friends


My brother bought a RODE videomic for his short movie needs. The sound quality on his D610 was awful. On my D750 and due to the better controls it was... less awful. There was a hissing sound that was very noticeable and disturbing.

With careful settings and then noise-cancelling it out in audacity it could be made bearable but the sound was somewhat degraded.

Then he went on to get the VideoMic Pro which seemed to have some more controls and better reviews and the sound is the same awful thing. In the meantime he gave me the "old" non-pro VideoMic and I started playing...

Epson L310 under linux, plus an optimized gutenprint configuration


While I do have a Pro-10s, printing photos on it is quite tedious, (and more so since I cannot print to it from Linux.) I tried the TurboPrint driver but the quality far from what I was expecting (and far from the proprietary driver), even after quite some tweaking and costly.

Most of my prints just hang on my wall for a few months until I get bored and replace them, so I wanted a small, efficient and economical printer for quick prints. I decided on the L310 because Gutenprint supports it and the reviews on the web were all raving about EPSON's ink tank system. On the other hand photo...

Everything is hackable; but it's okay.


Media, be it reputable news outlets, yellow press or the latest hollywood blockbuster, love hacking. Hacking however is infinitely nuanced and anything produced by individuals who fail to capture these nuances is in grave danger of perpetuating misinformation. Combine this with the fact that fearmongering sells and you have a reality where the majority of "hacking" news in non-tech publications (or maybe I should say non-infosec, but I would be too harsh on some tech blogs who do respectable work) is rubbish.

So while you have to ignore most of this fearmongering, you still have to follow...

How many sesame seeds are there on a burger bun?


Somebody posted a quiz question on a prominent social network that asked how many sesame seeds there are on a burger bun.

My, first reaction was "I'm definitely not gonna count them" but then I thought I'd love to make a computer count them for me. And so I decided to try it.

First thing, take a photo of the bun. My experiments showed that it's best to use the flash, because overhead lighting minimizes the lightness variations due to ridges of the bread.

burger bun

Then fire The Gimp and make sure the seeds stand out more.

Crop the photo tightly around the burger. You might want to...

Musings (short story)


At first I liked it very much. I suppose it's the same feeling that fills the arsonist's mind when he watches a forest burn to ashes after he's set it on fire. I imagine it's the same drive that keeps the serial murderer, killing victim after victim even as he knows the good coppers are inching closer to him after each crime.

That is what the dopamine rush did to me when with a few of my (seemingly innocuous) words I managed to bring up a flamewar on the forums. Every time I managed to turn two of my fellow netizens against each other and leave, whistling indifferently I felt powerful, I...

The portal (short story)


I was then actually ready to hit the button. Well I've had hit the button so many times before but there was always something wrong. This time though it would work. Just like the last one. But lo and behold, it did work. A thin film appeared in the ring. It actually looked like a soap bubble. I hesitated a bit and then stuck my finger through. In retrospect I should have poked through with an inanimate object but you know, excitement.

It felt warm, and humid; wet even. I pulled my finger quickly back. It smelled flowery, in a comforting way. My second attempt revealed that it was probably...

California Dreamin' (unfinished)


We have to write the beginning of a story both in first and third person narration as an exercize for a creative writing class I'm doing. Here's my take. I'm sorry the story never finishes, but if you like, take it as a #writingprompt

California Dreamin' (1st person)

It started out as a business trip. I never thought it would end up to be a honeymoon. It was a hot June day. One of the first of the year. I wanted to feel that heat we used to feel before A/C's were a thing, so I'd secretly mangled the cirquit breaker earlier in the morning. Alice booked me first class tickets to SFO the...

Doom 3 for macOS


I wanted to play Doom 3 on my mac. I know that there's an App Store version but I had just bought the Windows version from steam and I didn't want to pay the extra $10 to buy the game again.

The game engine is open source and some good folks had already made it work on macOS so I just downloaded and compiled. I also fixed some configuration so that you can just unpack a zip file in the windows installation folder and run it with double click.

I tried creating a standalone .app but I failed as the app didn't seem to be able to find bundled libraries unless I set DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH so I did...

Open image location extension for darktable


I find it useful to be able to open a picture's location with nautilus using a shortcut in darktable. This is only for gnome for the time being but I'm posting here in case somebody else finds it useful.

    This file is copyright (c) 2017 Michael Demetriou
    It is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.
    This file is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY...

How to connect a cheap laser kit to your reprap


If you want to engrave things with your reprap you can add a laser diode. I have come across some guides that explain how to salvage one from an old DVD burner. There is also the quite expensive JTech Photonics addon which I'm certain would provide some advantages over this solution, but it was out of budget.

However I saw that these things are available quite cheaply from the usual places on the net and promise 3x the power of the DVD burner diode.

Laser Diode

You will need a heatsink for that and a driver, that looks like this

Laser Driver

There are quite some variations so I will...

How to launch two instances of spotify at the same time on linux


I have a PC at home that works as an entertainment center. I run spotify on it and control it with my smartphone so I don't even have to turn on the monitor to listen to my tunes.

However, I'm not alone at home and I'd like my SO to be able to do that too, without having to log in and out of spotify all the time.

I triede creating a separate user account and run it as that with gksudo but I ran into a number of permission issues. I was able to run it by doing xhost + but it still was unable to play music.

The next step was to just override $HOME, which worked, but when I tried to...

A review of the D610 and the D750 from a long time D300 user perspective


My digital photography journey started with a 2mpix HP photosmart 315, and went on to a Pentax S4. In 2007 I decided I had to get on the DSLR bandwagon.

Note: I digress quite a bit in this article. As I find background info useful to understand if the writer fits my style and if I should actually give weight to the opinions present, I decided not to shorten it. But if you don't care about why I decided on the D750 and just want to actually read about the D610 and D750, scroll down to The present

The 350D

It all started with the Canon 350D, the kit 18-55 and a Sigma 55-200 which was soon...

How to import firefox passwords to KeepassX2 on MacOS


I wanted to import my firefox passwords into a keepass2 .kdbx database. This guide was very helpful until the point where neither KeePassX2 Alpha nor MacPass have a way to import from XML (MacPass has the menu entry but as of this time it is not implemented)

From there, I downloaded the regular KeePassX (version 1.x) imported from the XML and saved as a normal .kdb file. MacPass fortunately handles .kdb files, and you can easily drag and drop groups from one MacPass window to another.

Thus the only thing left to do was to open the .kdb with the imported firefox passwords side by side...

Hackers keyboard for android with greek tonos character — τόνος στο μικρό ελληνικό πληκτρολόγιο του hacker's keyboard


Greek has only one (actually two, but the umlaut (διαλυτικά) is rare) accent character and it is used once in all words with more than one syllable. As such it is waaay faster to type the character before the corresponding letter than long pressing the letter to choose from the alternatives, especially since it is so frequently used. Most people leave this task to the auto-correct but as there are words that differ only at the place of the accent, and as I don't use autocomplete I prefer having a dedicated accent character.

Very few android keyboards have this and I couldn't find...

Would a blender style node editor make sense in Darktable?


I've been playing around with blender and darktable recently. I was trying to use a highpass filter as a mask for soften in darktable but not have it affect the final image, which (except if I don't understand something correctly) is impossible. Immediately the node editor of blender sprang to mind.

This would allow the result of any filter (especially low and high pass) to be used as a mask (or factor as blender has it) of another filter. Another bonus is that it allows reordering of the filters, and that two completely different pipelines could be mixed right at the end.

Blender has...

New Blog

Hi there. Mix't is my new weblog. I'm still debating if I should move over some, or all my blog posts from the old place, but from now on, you will find here lots of different subjects about the things I'm doing from time to time. Welcome, and I hope you enjoy the read.