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Showing posts from October, 2009

Introducing hushnote

This weekend I decided I wanted to fix my password problem. That is, I wanted my passwords secure and managed in the cloud. Let me introduce hushnote , yet another host-proof , web-based password and secret information manager. I was inspired by the simplicity of Aaron Boodman's halfnote and Brett Cannon's Oplop . Combining the two felt natural. Here is my suggested usage pattern for hushnote: Think up a master password and enter it into the "Oplop password" box. Think up a label (for instance, "hushnote", "foo", or "spam") for hushnote and enter it into the "Oplop label" box (which replaces the password box after entering your password). The Oplop algorithm will generate a new hushnote password for you based on the combination of your master password and hushnote label. Copy the password into the "hushnote password" box and fetch your encrypted note. Now, use the encrypted note to store your Oplop labels for
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How to use Manual Focus (the easy way!)

For about as long as I've owned my camera (four or five years now), I've used its automatic focus. I tried manual focus a few times and got poor results. Tonight, I got a new Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II lens for my Digital Rebel XT. It is by far the fastest lens I own (the next fastest is my Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM ) and I love the limited depth of field I can get with it. I'm looking forward to trying it out while I'm in Italy next week. I haz no depth in my fieldz! My new lens inspired me to revisit manual focus. I've always found it difficult to use manual focus on my camera because I can't quite tell when the picture is actually in focus. However, I just learned a new trick that makes using manual focus easier. If you hold the shutter button halfway down—like you would if you were using autofocus—while adjusting the focus manually, the AF points will light up as those parts of the picture come into focus.
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Finding Unique Files

I've posted before about finding duplicate MP3 files . The other day, I found myself needing to do the opposite; this time with pictures. Pictures are a little easier to identify (at least in my case) because an MD5 over the entire content of the image is sufficient to identify images (MP3s require only hashing the non-ID3 portion of the file). Here's what happened: After a small mishap with my photos, I needed to do a partial restore from backup (a nightly rsync -a --delete ). I restored some files and then ran fdupes to remove any duplicates. However, since the mishap involved moving photos between folders, renaming some files, and deleting others, I wasn't sure if I had restored all the affected photos. To find out, I used a little shell foo: $ find /pictures/ /backup/pictures/ -type f -exec md5sum {} \; > md5sums $ sort md5sums | uniq --check-chars=32 --unique This results in a list of files that only exist in either the primary or backup location. I expected to fi
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