Mac OS X 10.8.5 update breaks Skype video

Apple_logo_black.svgSkype_logo.svgI updated to the most recent version of the operating system on our Mac laptop a day or two ago. Suddenly, Skype stopped recognizing our built-in Facetime video camera.

I googled around for a bit and quickly found that other users were reporting the same symptoms.

Here‘s where I found the fix. Continue reading Mac OS X 10.8.5 update breaks Skype video

Raise a glass…or five

This past weekend we had a really nice time with some local pals at our place. We invited a mix of natives and transplants, but most of the natives already had other plans (note to selves: a mid-December gathering requires 4+ weeks lead time).

We told everyone we need help drinking all that wine we brought back from the Chianti and Veneto regions of Italy, but that was just a clever ruse to bring some friends together. Thankfully, no one brought wine, and our stock was reduced by about half.

Nikolaus brought me a new lens for my E-PL2 and the f/1.7 aperture was fast enough to mostly not need a flash. I’m kind of fascinated by the moody depth-of-field side effect, and from the looks of it, lots of attendees were.

I got a new camera; I think I’m going to like it.

I got a new camera recently, thanks in part to some recommendations from the fine folks at residentevilonearth.com and schnitzelbahn.com. I had an Olympus E-500 before (still have it, looking to get rid of it, leave a comment if you’re interested in an aging DSLR with moderate use and a fair number of accessories) and really like setting up shots. But, even as one of the smaller DSLRs on the market (at the time in 2007 and even now), the schlep factor was starting to get to me. I wanted DSLR-like control over exposure and aperture and white balance and stuff, but without having to wade through an endless mess of menus and scrolling, and without all that weight on my neck. The Micro Four Thirds format is really a great compromise in that regard. I’ve known for a while that I wanted to upgrade downgrade modernize my camera. But I wasn’t ready to commit to more Olympus gear, and I wasn’t ready to jump into a whole new line of other gear (most likely Canon or Nikon). I definitely wanted some better high-ISO performance than what the E-500 could offer and wasn’t opposed to the dimensions of a full-blown DSLR; but those Micro Four Thirds cameras were another class smaller and though I am loath to admit it, those PEN models sure look slick. And I’ve discovered

  1. my Metz 48 AF-1 flash works with through-the-lens (TTL) metering on this PEN, and
  2. one of the kit lenses for has a threaded diameter of 58mm, the same as the lenses for my E-500, and matching my circular polarizer

both of which mean I get some re-use of previous equipment purchases.


So I pulled the trigger on an E-PL2 after pricewatching at amazon.de for a few months and pestered Herr J and Frau A at schnitzelbahn.com about low-light performance, lack of a viewfinder, and other stuff like that. I am seeing much better (though still not excellent) low-light performance, and playing with the art filters (for example, Dramatic Tone, like in the two larger shots above) is pretty fun. I like that I get that effect in-camera or by applying it to the RAW images in the supplied Olympus software. And the video quality seems great (to me, because I’ve never had an HD-capable video camera before, much less as a secondary feature on a DSLRish camera).

I think this little camera and I are going to have a lot of fun together.

Random Scenes of Regensburg

There’s something happening at the renovated building on the corner of Andreasstraße and Stadtamhof where Netto pulled out about two years ago. Looks to us like they’ve removed the step and are rebuilding the entranceway into a … ramp? Perhaps one intended for shopping carts?

This was a great day for sitting out in the sun watching the river cut its slow swath between the islands, and they picked a perfect spot.

I thought this was a kayaker at first glance; didn’t notice until I got home that he’s paddling a surfboard of some kind upstream.

Just downstream from the Schifffahrtsmuseum (I love that triple-f) there were three river cruise ships parked. That’s fine for a weekend. I just hope they’ve all unmoored and motored off with their cargo of bike-path-sheeple before I head into work on Monday.

I keep seeing this guy all over the place in Regensburg — at festivals (of which there are plenty) and just in the course of running errands, like at the grocery store. My nickname for him is The Admiral. I have also seen him in a glorious purple jumpsuit, but no other outfits.

Our Asian market kicks butt!