Fun with Dell computer recovery

Last night reminded me why I really prefer Mac. Trying to get the XPS13 laptop (model 9350 for those that are reading this that might have come here looking for clues) ready for sale and of course a factory reset can’t be straightforward. Dell has options for just this scenario but once I ran the factory reset the first time I wasn’t able to do it again because the recovery partitions, which were still on the drive, were no longer available because the boot loader was changed. Not sure why a recovery tool would do that but it must have because it ran once.

I needed to run it again however because instead of just shutting the machine off where the configuration of Windows starts I went thru the whole process. After a lot of messing around trying to get the bootloader configured again ( still have access to the settings on the image of the machine I made in Parallels) I finally just downloaded their cloud-based repair tool to redownload Windows and do a new install. That process ran overnight and I turned the machine off at the point I should have early last night. What remains to be seen today is are the recovery partitions available.

For those who might be interested the tools at, especially Visual BCD Editor in my case, can be a life saver. If you ever dual-booted a Dell laptop with Windows and Ubuntu and want to get back to “normal” his other repair tool is excellent.

Why do I photograph?

This question, via Om Malik’s excellent blog, is an interesting one that I haven’t asked myself. So why do I photograph? I love the process of trying to see things differently and a camera helps focus (no pun intended) that process. Whether its a different angle or crop, or different light, I always enjoy the challenge in trying to see things in the world differently.

As stated in other posts here I am also an iPhone photo app fanatic. I love playing with VSCO and Hipstamatic and the endless possibilities they bring to photography. Sometimes the tools are useful to make things look more like what your eye saw (top) vs. what the camera produced (bottom). Thanks Lightroom!

More often than not it’s to bring a sense of something else to the photo, a vintage look, a fantasy aspect, or maybe a sense of motion that wasn’t there in the first place. Whatever it is I love doing it and its the thing about my iPhone that brings me the most joy.

The building I work in is on the grounds of what was the Glenview Naval Air Station. When they turned it into commercial and residential use they created a park, Gallery Park, with a lake. This is an overlook on the lake. Edited with Hipstamatic Jane lens, Irom 2000 film, and Apollo flash.

The Jane lens adds a vignette around the outer edge of the photo it’s operating on and boosts the brightness in the middle, that’s its signature effect in my opinion (I’m sure it does more with the colors but in my mind those are the main things). Irom 2000 is borderless and warms up the photo a bit. The big surprise in the combo for me in this picture was the Apollo flash. Not only did it up the contrast in the photo but it really boosted the greens. I’m not sure if this was intentional or a bug but it worked wonders on this picture.

It stuns me that expectations are still so high for Apple every year that a 4 to 5 hour jump in battery life is considered a “minor tech upgrade”

Apple “Impressionism” Playlist

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Impressionist movement of the classical music genre but something about this playlist really worked for me. There is some staggeringly beautiful music here. Well-known pieces like “Clair de lune” from Debussy’s “Suite bergamasque” as well as his “Danse Profane”.

Currently the track list sits at 50 songs with about 4 hours of music to listen to. If you’re a neophyte to this genre this is well worth a listen. Highly recommended!

Bear to DEVONthink 3

I spent a lot of time looking over DEVONthink 3 beta version yesterday after talking to a friend about it during a discussion we were having about replacements for Evernote.

I used DT 2 to store all of my paperless storage stuff for years and moved it out at one point when I felt like I needed access from everywhere. It lived in iCloud for a bit, Google Drive, OneDrive (currently). Easy access, easy sync, and easily searchable either via Spotlight on the Mac or the web interfaces for those systems. However it never felt right with my stuff just in the file system. So last night I moved some of the more sensitive documents back into DT3. I’ll move other stuff a bit at a time (sensitive stuff first) from OneDrive. It feels like coming home again after years of being away.

Also planning on giving it a shot with my Planning documentation that currently resides in Bear. Actually planning on giving it a shot with all of my documentation in Bear. I can create different databases for everything. For the stuff I need to be able to access from work (work notes and planning documentation) I’m hoping I can take advantage of the WebDAV storage I have with FastMail. Pretty sure I can get to that right now from work. Unfortunately iCloud is off limits from the corporate network.

They’ve added a lot of power in the new version of DEVONthink and updated the UI. It looks like it can do a lot more and they’ve fixed some of the gripes I’ve had with it over the years so looking forward to trying this out. Bear will always be there to go back to for my notes. OneDrive and the file system are still there for my paperless storage needs. What fun would life be without changing note storage apps once in awhile?