Monday, December 28, 2015

On iPad Pro

So yes, I got myself one. Bought it in London's Covent Garden Apple store. No, they did not have an Apple Pencil - I had to get this one post-factum while roaming in Warsaw.

Impressions?
This is awesome piece of hardware. Really stunning display. But this device has its quirks and issues. Lets go through these step by step. First of all...

This is not just a bigger iPad Air. This is totally new device with expanded functionalities.

Again: expanded.
I use it for all things I used my iPad Air 2 plus a few other uses.

My main motivation was in-situ photo editing. Why? I often take photos during various Aikido events and I am asked to provide results in real time. I wish I had like 3 days, to go home, transfer the pics to my Vaio Pro and play with them with Adobe Lightroom for several hours while sipping single malt and listening to Yusef Lateef. No, I am expected to provide results within the timeframe of the event. So I am dumping the photos from my Nikon to iPad Pro (via use of this and this device), there I have Lightroom and Photoshop Fix for photo manipulations. Then I can post directly on FB, other social media or just email the pics. Easy, right?

No.
First issue - uSD to CF converter allows for any size of uSD, but my Nikon D700 does not recognize SDXC, so I can not use my 64GB card, only the 32 GB one. This is still more than my 16GB CF, allowing for 1.3K photos. Speedwise I see no change. OK, 1.3K photos is still an improvement.

Bigger issue is in software - once card is connected to iPad - it automatically launches Photos and imports all pics (shot in Nikon *.NEF format). But neither Lightroom not Photoshop Fix see these pics in gallery. So I have to go through another program - Procreate to import NEF as a new layer, flatten image, then export as JPG back to gallery. This workaround is unnecessary annoyance. Blame Adobe.

Bottom line - with some idiosyncraties I achieved my goal - I can use iPad Pro's amazing display for image processing.

Second major usecase... Apple Pencil allows for interesting interactions.

I started taking work notes, private notes on iPad, I started (finally) designing my tattoo, I drew the house I lived in till I was 3, I built and expanded mind map of my over 20 years worth of Aikido notes...
And I doodle a lot.
Preferred app - Concepts.

My only other complaint is that I have such a huge screen real estate and I still get to keep only 6 icons in launchbar (its not jailbrokem).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On Cathedrals

It is pretty obvious why.


Recently went to Prague, visited St.Vitus Cathedral.

And also flew to Barcelona, with its beautiful cathedral

And then, of course, Sagrada Familia

The first question is - why is it that I do not have any pics from Westminster Abbey? Is it possible the Brits did not allow photography?

The second question more interesting. Sagrada Familia is finished on the inside, all they have to complete are towers and some portals on the outside. It took them what, 133 years so far? Long project. And then when you think that building St.Vitus in Prague took 300 years... Then you wonder - how do you build WBS and whole project plan for something that will take 300 years to complete?



Thursday, July 9, 2015

On Coffee

So today on my way to work I decided to stop by at Starbucks.
I ordered the usual and then noticed that they have this new beans Kati Kati - blend of Kenyan and Ethiopian. I got a brewed sample to taste, and I have to say that I do not like coffee. I don't even know why I drink Cafe Latte. I guess it's for its milk?
Lets face it - I am a tea guy.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Wakizashi - final chapter

So, you might have read here on this blog that sometime ago I bought mumei koto wakizashi.
It was in shirasaya.

It has beautiful rain-pattern silver habaki:

Then I had it mounted.
Initially I wanted to have it in aikuchi, but Daniel sensei said it's too beefy for aikuchi. So I went for traditional set, only - as you can see - I have had the tsuka made longer:
It is well balanced and has nice harmony to it. The furniture is from Higo school. Unfortunately, I did not have proper tsuba, so I just had something put inside as a gap filler.

Then I went for search of the tsuba I wanted. I knew: no aikuchi, but still wanted a small tsuba. Eventually (with Daniel's blessing) I found this Owari-school gem. Seller estimated it's from around 1550:
It took me like 2 hours with the file on the copper inserts and now I have it mounted:

Exams in June 2015

Some pictures from kyu exam in June.

Pre-exam stress

And so it begins

Slow beginning

All photos taken by Piotr Masztalerz ;-)
More pics available at Wrocław Aikikai Facebook profile.
And there is a video there too...

Monday, June 1, 2015

On last weekend

Due to some bizarre coincidences and strange alignment of stars I did take the exam this weekend seminar and was promoted to sandan. This whole aikido thing never stops surprising, does it?