Damaged films

One of the main advantages of digital photography over film is that all the process is in your hands. With film at least its development is usually left to a laboratory. And this is a problem, I’ve experienced a lot of troubles with it: scratches, sticked garbage, fingerprints, even exchanging my roll of film with one of another customer. In the better case I can partially repair some of the damages spending a lot of time on retouching, in the worse case the shot is lost. I’m not a photographer who takes a lot of pictures and then chooses a few pictures from a roll of film, I usually spend significant amount of time on taking each shot and don’t shoot the same picture twice. So if they damage my shot, it’s completely lost.

I don’t want to risk those problems anymore. As I don’t know how to find a good laboratory in Brno, I have two alternatives. Either sending my films for development to PHOTO life’s CREATIVE LAB (they claim they handle everything in the process very carefully) or developing the films myself. With my low-volume production I’ll probably try the first choice. It means about 3 € extra cost for postage, but it still looks like the cheapest way to get the thing done right.

BTW the laboratories in Brno that show complete incompetence are Fosh foto and Fotex (at Kobližná).

Memory hogs on my computer

My first X Window workstation ran pretty will with just 8 MB RAM. Nowadays even 2 GB RAM (i.e. 256 times as much) is not enough for personal use. My workstation runs 24/7, so I sometimes check what consumes all the memory capacity. I can usually identify the following processes being the cause:

  • Firefox 2. When I upgraded to it from 1.5 I was happy my web browser didn’t crash anymore. But there’s another problem with it: it can easily consume up to several hundreds MB of RAM, so it has to be restarted from time to time. This is the most embarrassing case, the flagship free web browser is a memory hog even after so long time of its development .
  • Vlc serving my DVB-T card. The vlc server gets sometimes completely crazy and starts consuming a lot of CPU time and memory. This is the most dangerous case because it can put the computer out of normal operation if the vlc process is not restricted.
  • Some Xfce applets. There are clearly memory leaks in them. Well, unlike GNOME panel and applets, Xfce applets work as expected otherwise.
  • Amarok audio player. I really don’t understand why an audio player needs more than 100 MB of memory.