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Optical Slave Unit

Optical Slave Triggers – a piece of accessory which is tremendously useful if you work with strobes/speedlights. These are tiny in size but can help you accomplish wonderful photographs. It simply is a light sensitive sensor within which senses the light and triggers the circuit which then ultimately triggers the attached strobe or speedlight.
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Ganesh Visarjan in Mumbai

Ganesh Chaturthi has begun & it’s already in the third day. The city is painted with the fervor as the elephant headed lord makes his stay in homes of the devotees. Yesterday, some bid adieu to their lord at the completion of 1.5 days. The chowpatty painted colored scenes. Here is a glimpse through my lens.

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Timing in Photography

An important aspect of photography is ‘timing’. Often a millisecond separates a snapshot from an award winning shot. Timing comes only from proper judgment and foresight of the situation. A photographer should be patient & calm as he shoots.

Timing1
Timing2
Timing3

Out of the above three images, the second one is perfectly timed. It tells a story. The rest two are simply snapshots with no engaging quality. The three were taken just a few milliseconds apart.

Altering a process priority is indispensable when you wish to change the behaviour of a running program on the system. Most of the times, when one wants a program to complete its processing faster, tuning its priority holds the key.

Under Linux, this can be accomplished by two ways – GUI & CLI. For this article, we will look at changing a process priority the GUI way. The CLI warrants a separate article.

Once you have the process running, simply open the “System Monitor”. Do note, I am under KDE for this demonstration. So the system monitor options may vary as per your desktop environment. However, the corresponding options should be self explanatory.

Process Priority GUI

Once in System Monitor, click on the “Process Table” tab for a summary of running processes on the system. Here identify your program. In my case, I wished to increase the priority of the Openshot process so it may process my video faster. So upon highlighting the Openshot Video Editor’s process in the table, I hit F8.You should now notice a similar window like one shown above. Here drag the sliders to the right for faster processing. You will be prompted for the root password as you do so. That’s all, the process should now conclude faster.

Many a times, one needs to keep an eye on certain aspects of a system. Be it verifying transfer of contents over to a host or scanning log files as they are written to, these tasks need constant supervision. Wouldn’t it be better if there was some automation to accomplish this? Thankfully, there is one.

Most Linux distros have an inbuilt utility known as ‘watch’ which essentially keeps running a particular command, every ‘n’ number of seconds. The watch command is very simple to use.

Recently, I was rendering a video in Openshot. To my inconvenience, the progress bar within the Openshot failed to show any visual indication. Here I quickly fired up a console & navigated to the location where my video file was to be rendered by Openshot. After this, it was simply a matter of running the mundane ‘ls -lhtr’ command using watch. The ‘ls -lhtr’ lists the files by their recent modification times & presents them in human readable size output. I used the following format;

$watch -n 5 ls -lhtr

Watch Command

Here the ‘-n 5’ option tells watch to run the command ‘ls -lhtr’ every five seconds. One can notice the increasing file size of the file which was rendered by Openshot as the command ran at five seconds interval. Thus, I was guaranteed of Openshot doing its work smoothly despite the conked progress bar in GUI.

The ‘watch’ command is regularly used by system administrators to check the output of a log file as it is written to viz. apache access log. Of-course, one can even use the ‘tail -f’ command to check the output of the log file in this scenario. Watch is a nifty tool in any administrators toolbox and its utility is limited by your imagination.

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