Cameras, Photos, and Linux From Scratch

2004-10-27

As you can probably tell by the time of this post, I have just finished a really cool project. I spent the approximately the last 24 hours building a photo gallery for my pictures. It is written in PHP5 with a MySQL backend. Not bad for a day's work I might say. There's still a lot of work to be done to clean it up and make it XHTML compliant. I used a lot of little tricks that break specs to get it to look right. I noticed that it also looks terrible in Internet Explorer. This will probably be a higher priority concern because I want to be able to showcase my work. Either way, it is a functional design and seems to be serving it's purpose quite nicely. I don't plan to post every picture I take, just the good ones. Influenced by this small fact, there is very little content at this point. Don't worry, it will get better.

In other news... I managed to weasel my way out of work for a few days this week to give me more time to work on some of my projects such as the aforementioned photo gallery. I have also started work on a new Linux From Scratch system. I have taken quite a bit more time on this one to get it done right. One of the major factors in this was getting it to cross-compile correctly for i586. There are plenty of hacks out there but I wanted to do it right (eg. using --build and CHOST flags). In my endeavors to create a more precise LFS system, I have also successfully setup a small DistCC cluster of my most powerful systems. This allows me to compile packages at almost double the original speed. The SBU (or Standard Binutils Unit) for this setup is 2 minutes flat. Before enabling DistCC, I was straining to keep 3 minutes, 42 seconds. These speeds are greatly impacted by the fact that I'm building it on top of VMWare on my Windows XP system. I am doing this because I don't have the time to backup and rebuild it right now. But because I am using DistCC and pulling power from a few other systems, I am able to make up the difference and then some.

I also recently received a Canon Powershot A75 digital camera as a late birthday present. I have to say that it isn't a bad camera at all. I'm able to play with some of the finer tweaks like ISO speed and shutter speed, but am still able to use it as a point-and-click camera. It's exactly what I was looking for. I'm sure you've guessed by now that this camera was my motivation for writing the photo gallery. Indeed, you are correct. I played with a few gallery services and scripts but didn't find anything I liked. It wasn't an extremely hard task to complete and gave me a chance to brush up on my PHP and take a glance at PHP5.

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