Happy birthday Amie Green!

Awhile ago I wrote a blog post regarding a funding one of my team members (in the MySQL Support at Oracle) have started, to cover the costs for his wife’s medical treatment. Today it is Amie’s birthday, so I would like to share the funding once more. Please see: Amie’s lottery chances were better..

When someone you know, or somebody close to someone you know, get sick, it is hard to know what to say. While the illness may be a nightmare, needing to pass around the hat, like Shawn have to, does not make things better.

I did not know what to put in my old post, but I did get quite some positive feedback on it. If you would like to read it you may find it at When one of our most talented MySQL Support Engineers asks for help, let’s give him and his wife a hand!

Let’s send our birthday greetings to Amie at http://www.gofundme.com/5p6lq4 or PayPal to dba_doctor@hotmail.com (Jeremy is Shawn’s son)

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When one of our most talented MySQL Support Engineers asks for help, let’s give him and his wife a hand!

Dear MySQL Family,

Soon before Christmas I read these lines Shawn Green (one of our most talented Support Engineer) had written about his wife at Amie’s lottery chances were better..:

What can you do when you are one of a 1000 people out of the 7.5 billion on the planet who have been diagnosed with this particular disease. Imagine having your guts knotted up as though you had Crohn’s disease, add to that fever and aches as though you had flu, add to this the feeling that you have the arthritic joints of a 80 year old and you are 42… Now you have a idea of what T.R.A.P.S syndrome is like. Now imagine having cancer as well. The money that is being raised is going to offset the cost of Mayo clinic in Minnesota…as well as current medical bills. We have discovered that her cancer has spread..but still treatable. We are home finally and will find out when next surgery will be.

There are two technical parts on the page:

  1. Medical
  2. How to make a donation using a credit card.

I have to admit I’m no good on medicine or medical terms. However, the second technical part using my credit card was easier for me. If you, just like me, prefer to make anonymous donations there is a checkbox for it.

So when one of our most talented MySQL Support Engineers asks for help, let’s give him and his wife a hand!

Wish you all a happy new 2014.

Sincerely, Gustaf

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Little model fly

Those who have been looking for a model who:

  • Can show up in the middle of nowhere
  • Work late evenings
  • Do not mind getting a flash placed about 3 cm from the eyes
  • Who can be placed on a tray
  • Works for free

Will know they can be hard to find. One in pretty good shape 1 was found in our house some days ago. So I decided to give it a shot or more.

First I put it on a white plate but when I saw the reflections in the plate I got the idea to put it on a stainless tray instead. The light sources was: Ambient light (through windows and a lamp in the room), a torch, and external P-TTL flash in wireless mode. I used a 100 mm macro lens and the camera in manual mode on 30s, f/32, iso 100. This gave an under exposure of about two steps that the flash had to compensate for. I also used some paper 2 to make the light softer.

A first sample where I had the flash from the right and some papers to reflect the light in (but no paper between the flash and fly).

The flash light became a bit too hard on the fly so I put the flash outside the paper instead.

Now I got a softer light.

The torch I used to add some extra light from the upper left side during the 30 seconds exposure. It was placed outside the paper all the time.

Maybe I treated my model too bade anyway since it tried to find some help.

(Swedish->English: Hjälp->Help, Avbryt->Abort, Upprepa->Repeat)

Finally the model found the right way out.

So now I will have to look around for a new model

For post processing I have RawTherapee and Gimp. I set the white balance and adjusted the exposure a bit. Then I removed some dust, marks, and disturbing reflections to make the background cleaner.

  1. Considering it was already dead. 

  2. Standard A4 office paper, but in theory even letter format should work fine. 

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Same place & five months between

A Friday night (at about 16:40) back in December I took this picture:

Last Friday afternoon (at about 16:55) I was around at the same place with my camera. With the old picture in the back of my head I took this picture:

Looking at them they are not taken at exactly same place. They are not even taken at same focal length, but I’ve cropped them afterwards. I’ve also straighten up the perspective and adjusted white balance using RawTherapee.

I should really try to take the second picture later in the evening. Then I could also try to locate the same place I took the winter picture from.

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Playing with ice

My daughter made me some balls of ice to take photos of. For this she put a water balloon outdoors to freeze over night (was some weeks ago). Some of them also got some pearls in them. Her is one of the pictures:

I have cropped it down a bit and it is also scaled down in size (click on it to get a bit bigger picture).

And here is one that my youngest son did.

I think he used an ordinary and straight balloon instead of a round water balloon.

The set up was to put a lamp inside a glass put upside down. Kept the room as dark as possible to make this light the main light source. On top of this I put the ice.

The pictures was taken with a 100mm macro lens at f/32. With ISO 200 I got an exposure time of 15 seconds. Sometimes I had issues with the ice gliding around so using a flash as light source would probably have helped to freeze the motion.

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Macro photography at about 4:1

When starting to look at macro photography I saw a not too expensive way to get started would be to revert my 18-55mm lens in front of my 50-200mm lens.

Trying it out

I soon realized I needed to have the tele lens at about 200mm to not get black borders around the picture. Since the focal length of the normal mounted lens should be divided by the focal length of the reversed lens to get the magnification I got a magnification for 4:1 and closer with the tele at 200mm (was hoping to get 1:1 and closer).

Since my lenses doesn’t have any aperture rings I made the reverted lens wide open manually and only stopped down the normal mounted lens.

I focused both lenses on infinity and focused on the subject by moving the camera forward and backward.

To get some light I put a couple of lamps around to be able to focus (by moving the camera back and forward). Then I held up a paper to reflect some of the light from my built in flash down in the spoon.


I did some attempts with the reversed lens zoomed out a bit to get higher magnification, but then I set it to 50mm so I got a 4:1 shoot. After this I cropped it down to about half size and got this image:

Since the result was not too obvious I posted the image as Quiz #1: What’s on the photo?.

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Quiz #1.2: What’s on the photo?

One more picture to guess what I might be:

Don’t know if this one makes it harder or easier. Guesses what the green thing might be is also welcome!

Feel free to add a comment if you want to guess what it might be. I’m happy to answer yes/no questions.

I think this one should be easier then quiz 1 and quiz 1.1.

Posted in Photo, Quiz | 4 Comments

Quiz #1.1: What’s on the photo?

Here are two photos of something. Hope this will make it twice as easy as Quiz #1: What’s on the photo?.

One direction... Another direction...

If you want to guess what this is, just add a comment.

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Quiz #1: What’s on the photo?

Here is a photo I have taken. Want to guess what it is? Add a comment on my blog. Then we will see how long time it takes for someone to figure it out :)

Hint (added 2011-01-21 21:52 +0100)

Matthew 17

Posted in Photo, Quiz | 7 Comments

New year & new blog

The new year is here and I have moved my (so far quite silent) blog to use WordPress and MySQL 5.5 GA.

Since I am using Ubuntu I downloaded a compressed tar archive. I installed it in a custom directory and for starting I wrote a little upstart script.

$ cat /etc/init/mysql-5.5.conf
start on startup
stop on shutdown

env basedir=/opt/mysql/mysql-5.5
env defaults=/etc/mysql-5.5/my.cnf

        cd $basedir
        $basedir/bin/mysqld_safe --defaults-file=$defaults
end script

In wp-config.php I have set:

define('DB_HOST', 'localhost:/var/run/mysqld-5.5/mysqld.sock');

This lets me use a non default location for the socket too.

Posts from old blog

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