Andre's Blog
Perfection is when there is nothing left to take away
Drowining in Gitflow

Many software development teams at one point or another look for that perfect branching strategy, one that would make release management straightforward, while keeping their source repository manageable. More often than not many end up trying heavily promoted Gitflow workflow, without realizing that Gitflow doesn't work for products with more than one actively supported release.

Roger Dodger

Remember the times when you could do simple things with your TV and VCR, like use picture-in-picture and to rewind the tape, and they just worked? Those were simpler times and those simple user controls worked 99% of the time and it seemed that things will only get better from there as technology evolved. Right? Not if Rogers Canada has anything to do with that.

Building Google v8

Google's JavaScript engine is a wonderful C++ library that works on many platforms and runs JavaScript code with speeds that are comparable with a natively built and fully optimized C++ code. Awesome. Sign me up. All I need to do now is to build this wonderful library, which should be as easy as saying: "Hey, Google!". Right? I wish... Once you start the process, you quickly learn that writing up-to-date documentation isn't one of the qualities Google excels at.

You #include'd!

The C++ #include directive is probably the most commonly misused construct of the language. Generally accepted and rarely disputed practice today is to use angle brackets for standard headers and double quotes for internal header files and, sometimes, for 3rd-party libraries, which at the first glance is well-aligned with the C++ standard that suggests the following use of the #include directive:

Note: Although an implementation may provide a mechanism for making arbitrary source files available to the < > search, in general programmers should use the < > form for headers provided with the implementation, and the " " form for sources outside the control of the implementation.

Choosing a new camera

It would be great if there was a pocket-size camera that could capture any possible scene in any possible light, but, just as there is no one type of a car that is equally good for off-road driving and Formula One racing, cameras come in a variety of types and shapes and sometimes it is quite daunting to pick one off the wall of cameras. This post offers some thoughts on how different types of cameras work out for various types of photography and, hopefully, will be useful for someone who took occasional pictures with a randomly-picked camera and would like to take photography to the next level either by learning more about the existing camera or getting a new one.

Cameras range from a cell phone camera, which is always with you, but is quite limiting in its capabilities, to a DSLR that can capture just about anything, but requires some skill to operate and some upper body strength to carry around. The rest of this post describes almost everything in this range and how each choice works for specific types of photography.

Airline Security Theater

I recently visited Newfoundland for a few days and traveled to Elliston, which is famous for their puffin viewing site and root cellars. One of the information signs next to a group of root cellars described how people of Elliston harvested partridge berry in the past and, inspired by this story, I bought a couple of jars of partridge berry jam at Nanny's Root Cellar Kitchen, as small a present for my friends back in Ontario.

When I was leaving Newfoundland, I didn't want to put glass jars in the checked-in baggage and took them with me to the cabin instead, without a smallest thought that a couple of jars of jam could present any trouble at the airport. How wrong I was.

Storage tale

When I just started taking digital pictures, I thought a 320GB hard drive coupled with an occasional backup will last me for years, which worked quite well for the first 5-10 MP digital cameras I owned, but as soon as I upgraded to an 18 MP DSLR and started shooting RAW images at a high frame rate, I quickly realized that I need to find a better storage solution.

Just as many others, I first set my eyes on a hardware RAID device and bought the Addonics RTM435R5 four-bay enclosure. I set it up as a RAID1 mirror with four 2TB drives, which gave me 4TB of mirrored storage for me and my family. I honestly thought that this is the last time I bought storage, but once again things didn't quite work out as well as I hoped.

Tamron 18-270 f6.3 PZD - impressions of a daily shooter

After going through two Sigma 18-250 lenses in two years, I decided to give a Tamron 18-270 f6.3 Di II VC PZD a try. Tamron promised improved AF performance with a new ultrasonic AF drive and offered a five year warranty, which was definitely something I could use after spending over $800 on a Sigma 18-250 designed to last only 50K shots. The new lens was also much smaller and lighter, which made it easier to carry it around, given that sometimes I spend hours with a camera in my hand.

Power Struggle with Samsung Galaxy S3

Right after I got a Samsung Galaxy S3, I came to a realization that I'm practically tethered to a USB cable - a freshly-charged battery would last at most 10-12 hours. I bought an external battery, just for my own peace of mind and as well to convince myself that I actually do have a mobile phone. However, the external battery and cables turned out to be a lot bulkier than I thought and I decided to figure out what's wrong with the phone.

M vs. Av and Tv

Manual exposure mode (M) is often perceived as a mode that only most advanced photographers can use. While it is true that manual mode will immediately highlight any exposure errors, which is why it is also often used in photography schools to teach how exposure works, manual mode also provides some advantages when compared to aperture priority (Av) and shutter priority (Tv) modes. Let's take a closer look.