Not Tekserve!


Tekserve is closing. For those who don’t know, tekserve was the oldest, originalist, apple store in NYC. They were where you went back when apple stores didn’t exist, back when apple was actually the struggling upstart. And even after apple became the behemoth it is today, Tekserve was still the place to go if you wanted anything other that basic service – if you wanted to upgrade your hard drive or RAM and walked into an apple store, they would just try to sell you a new computer. Tekserve would actually help you – my second most recent iMac has additional RAM installed by the tech guys as Tekserve – it was underpowered for whatever OS had come out at the time, and instead of scrapping it, I realized I could extend its life by at least a little bit if I just added some more RAM. I figured I’d get another year or two. That machine is over 8 years old and in active use at my parents’ house. They were the guys who helped me soup up my powerbook before I moved to Italy a decade ago, so that it could go from being a ‘peripheral’ device for my main computer to my primary device for that trip.

But, in honor of their closing, I present to you the ultimate in Tekserve adventures, the saga of attempting to repair my G4 iMac. in NINE parts.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

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instagram update | october through february


This is a massive photography catchup, going back to october. I didn’t post a lot of photos in general that month, so i figured I would wait another month, and then things just got away from me. And as with anything, the longer one waits to catch up, the harder it gets to actually do the work. So now that February has ended, I’m biting the bullet today and getting everything through the end of the latest month up. pre-spring cleaning, shall we say. As always, this wouldn’t be a roundup of my instagram without coffee and cats. plus subway kvetching, pretty much the entirety of winter this year (of which there wasn’t much), and some more baking experiments.

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casualties | 365:047


I’ve spent the past few weeks/months working on a plan to improve my apartment. The largest part of the project is redoing the bathroom, and I will hopefully be able to submit the paperwork to my board in the next week or two. A smaller project involved rearranging all of the stuff in the living room (and eventually replacing some of the furniture). So today was the day for the big “moving all the stuff” piece. I planned it for a holiday weekend so that I’ve have the extra day for recovery.

All went fairly well until I went to put the TV in its new place, on top of my bookshelf. I didn’t drop it, but apparently jeans with rivets are a really bad clothing choice when picking up an LCD display with both arms. Needless to say this was a bit upsetting. At least it’s Presidents’ Day weekend, and everyone’s having sales on new TVs.


The second casualty was my toe. I managed to drop something on it (NOT the TV – just an old, small, camera I had lying around that fell in the exact wrong way), and I’m pretty sure it’s broken. It’s certainly bruised. You’ll just have to trust me on it, because a photo would be gross. And just when I was getting back into wearing heels. At least it’s not the big toe like last time – although I should have some extra tape lying around so that’s…something.

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friday sadie | 365:039


another week, another cat picture. I know I should be posting pictures of the absolutely ridiculous snowstorm we’re currently getting hit with, but that can wait until tomorrow morning when i have time to go to the park. if the snow has buried the first floor of my building, of course.

Recently I decided to do some living room revamping. It’s slow-going, mainly because I decided to actually plan out where I wanted to move all of the furniture rather than simply moving everything on a whim and hoping for the best. But as part of that plan, I decided to get a new sound system. my old stereo was finally in its death throes, with the not responding to remotes anymore, and only two of the inputs actually still working, and one of the speakers being dead. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of space a 6 speaker plus receiver system takes up in a small apartment. so i went with a sound bar. two pieces. as a bonus, the one I got actually acts has a subwoofer that as a receiver for all of my HDMI tv inputs, switching between them, and only requires me to have one HDMI input into the television. This solves my other lingering “older technology” problem of having an 8-year old TV (state of the art when purchased!) with only one HDMI input.

of course, in order to ship an oddly shaped sound bar, they filled the remainder of the shipment box with oddly sized empty other boxes. so Sadie is in cat/cardboard box heaven.


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dodo | 365:028


I had an original black ipad2 dodocase that I bought soon after I got my iPad. Not only did I like the moleskine-esque design, but the fact that they are attempting to move classic 19th and 20th century handcrafted “technologies” (bookbinding, tailoring) into a 21st century space appealed to me. But, alas, my old case finally bit the dust when I thought it would be brilliant idea to pile a bunch of crap (including laptop) on top of it while it was open, breaking the spine. Duct tape was an interim solution, but I finally bit the bullet and ordered up a new one – this time custom made.

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prints now available


Once in a very blue moon, someone approaches me about buying a print of one of my photos. I end up having to deal with this manually, given that I don’t upload hi-res images here for copy-protection reasons, but I recently saw that blurb was testing out fotomoto, and I thought I’d give it a try. I had two big concerns – first, whether fotomoto would be able to take into account the slimbox plugin that I use to create the lightboxed albums on some of my entries, and second, whether it accounts for the fact that I upload low-res copyright bugged images to my site (no one would want to buy those!). It handles both issues. In particular for the latter, if you were to attempt to purchase one of my photos, I would get a notice and then have to upload a ‘clean’ hi-res image directly to fotomoto for the print to be made. If I failed to do so within a limited amount of time, the sale wouldn’t go through.

I’ve tried to keep the pricing reasonable, while not undervaluing my work (such as it is). I’m still working out the kinks on how the ‘buy prints’ link actually looks, because it’s defaulting to something kinda ugly in the lightbox, but it’s functional.

In any event, this isn’t an attempt to push sales or anything, it’s just to address an issue that has come up a handful of times over the many years that I’ve been posting photos.

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21st century seder


As I may have mentioned before, my brother is getting a (second) master’s degree, this time in international development (his first is in education), at the London School of Economics. Because he’s such a slacker, he obviously couldn’t make it home for Passover. But that didn’t stop us from trying to include him in the festivities, even if he couldn’t actually partake in the wondrous density of my annual matzo ball failure.


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Labor Day Weekend (and tech issues)


So, I finally decided to download my photos from Labor Day weekend, given that it’s almost November and I haven’t even put up a post since September. I’ll blame that part on the whole ‘having a job’ thing, even though, truth be told, I do have my weekends free. I’m just lazy.

But that started me down a wonderful journey of discovering that there was some sort of script error in my blog installation, which forced me to spend the last three hours venturing further down the rabbit hole of wordpress reinstallations, backups, “emergency” password fixes after wordpress decided to no longer recognize me…fun stuff.

it all appears to be (hopefully) working again, at least insofar as I can actually log in and write a post, but I had to delete a lot of plugin customizations particularly around stats. Not that anyone reads this thing anyway, so I guess that’s no great loss!

Anyway…on to the original point of this post. Labor Day weekend, as usual, was spent in the Berkshires. This year it was very rainy, so we ventured up to The Clark in Williamstown to check out some of the art. The coolest thing was an exhibit by El Anatsui, a Ghanaian artist who refashions the multitude of liquor bottles foisted upon the local population into beautiful wall hangings. So this is mostly that. As always, click on the thumbnail to get the full image.

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365:113 (nook! (fail))


Finally got my nook today, and it was very exciting. until, of course, the latest software patch got uploaded automatically, and apparently killed my ability to access one of the features called “the Daily”. Luckily, this is the least essential feature because it only relates to B&N updates and magazine subscriptions, and since they haven’t actually offered most of the newspapers and magazines that I’d even want, it’s, at least right now, not very important to me. Doesn’t mean that I don’t want it to work forever though! Which is why I spent 2 hours this evening on hold to get through to a digital support person who, after listening to my issue and talking to his colleagues, informed me that I had stumped them (go me!). They’re going to try to replicate the problem, and if I haven’t heard back from them in 2 days, I need to call back and they’ll either have a solution or they’ll have to send me a new one.

But in the meantime, I can read books, and since I’m using calibre to side-load all the newspapers and magazines that I wouldn’t have access to because B&N isn’t actually offering them yet anyway, I’m not losing (much) functionality in the interim.

Product launches are fun!


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365:79 (my tools)


This is my baby (someday, I hope to have another baby that takes pictures in full frame, but I need to get another job first).

Nikon D80, purchased in August 2007. I’m up to 3 lenses. The small 18-55 kit lens that came with the camera, and which I rarely use. It’s a perfectly adequate lens, and when I’m in hyper tourist mode I’ll sometimes throw it on because it’s really light and it’s the widest angle lens that I’ve got, but otherwise, it stays tucked away.

The lens on the camera is a discontinued 35-70/2.8 macro lens, that is my “primary” lens. This is the one that lives on the camera, and i bought it at the same time that I bought the camera, at the recommendation of my former boss who is a huge Nikon fanatic. He still uses film, but owns a ridiculous number of different format cameras and lenses, and when I was looking at what to buy, he dug up the research on this and told me I needed to get one, especially because they were killing the model. And I have to admit that I love it. It’s pretty heavy because it’s metal (the newer lenses are plastic) and it’s got a ton of glass in it. but it takes great pictures and it goes down to f/2.8 regardless of the focal length. It’s also got a macro feature that lets me take all of those close up shots of the tiny things on my desk. It’s also the reason I haven’t splurged on a true 35mm or 50mm prime lens. While I’d like the option to go down to f/1.8 or f/1.4 on certain occasions, this gives me the 35mm (prime for a digital) and 50mm (prime for a film) focal lengths (plus a bit more leeway), and f/2.8 is pretty big and gives me a pretty nice shallow depth of field when I want it.

The third lens is my most recent acquisition – a really cheap grey market 70-300mm zoom lens. Again, while I need a job before I do crazy splurging on the high-end stuff, I was looking for something that would give me more telephoto range above my 35-70. While that one is great 90% of the time, there are times that I wish I could zoom closer in on an object that I couldn’t physically get closer to. This one doesn’t have built-in autofocus (so you need a body like the D80 that’ll do it), no VR, and no aperture ring. Like I said, cheap. On the flip side, I did take all of my marathon pics with it, which came out pretty well (if I do say so myself).

and then, of course, there’s my iphone, which was necessary because I couldn’t take a picture of the Nikon with the Nikon.


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