Scanning Family Photos: Some Initial Lessons

Family photos are one of the most valuable things for you and your family. They capture memories and are a record of life unlike anything else. We capture the important things, the silly things, the beautiful things, and the what-ever-that-was things. If you could rescue one thing from your home in a fire, many would say these images!

Apple’s New Swift Language and NetCDF

With the release of Xcode 6 and new OSs, Apple is pushing the use of a new language: Swift. Swift, unlike the venerable Objective-C, is meant to be a “modern” language, which means moving away from much of the computer language world that’s based on C. You can argue that the classes, structures, typedefs are all more powerful in Swift than in the C/C++/Objective-C world. Furthermore, Swift mostly hides one of the biggest banes in C programming: the pointer.

Astonomy Videos


Apple updates lots of stuff...

Updating software, particularly operating systems, can be scary.  Problems I’ve encountered in the past include failed updates, data loss, bad changes in functionality, and buggy software.  When you get a lot of software updates at the same time… well, that’s very scary.  So, along with releasing Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple also released iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for both iOS and MacOS.  That’s a lot of FUD!

Going paperless: an update

It’s been a long road, and a long road remains ahead. Given the power of computers, we were promised the “paperless” office. It never happened. I suspect like most people I have more paper to deal with than ever.

Seriously? I'm watching Anime?

Since giving up cable tv and going with other solutions, like Netflix, I’ve been enjoying watching TV more, while watching less. I spend little time just watching what’s on and more time watching what interests me.

Papers2 v. Medeley v. Zotero

If you’re like me, you have a lot invested in managing sources. For many years, I was an fan and heavily used Endnote. Over the years, however, the high cost of maintaining a license for Endnote (typically $99 per year) and how I use the application meant that the costs were increasing given how much I actually used the software. Eventually, new players hit the market. Zotero (a Firefox plugin), Papers (mac only), Mendeley and many other smaller players in the market began to appear. I started off working with Zotero. I really like Zotero. However, I liked the PDF viewing and management much better in Papers. That set up a problem for me… Papers to manage PDFs, but since Paper’s citation system left much to be desired, I kept using Zotero for the citations. Unfortunately, I’ve had to admit that this approach was untenable. Worse, I don’t yet see a good solution to resolve the problem.


Pyroclastic Flow, Unzen, Japan (Krafft)

Mass Wasting Videos

Dalhousie, northern India 2011

Why iCloud Does Not Mean You Can Stop Backing Up!

I was excited about iCloud.  I suppose I still am, to a degree.  However, I quickly figured out that you cannot count on iCloud as a backup solution for your apps and music.  Why?

A genealogical gold mine?

Over the last year or so, I’ve been interested my family’s genealogy.  It’s been quite the adventure.  Most of my mother’s side of the family has been done for some time, but my father’s side was largely unknown (and to a large extent, still unknown).   Much of my successes come from the relatively recent availability of online data, particularly census and marital records.

Why I sometimes really hate linux-y stuff

I’m one of those people always on the fence when it comes to open source software.  Sure, the idea is great, but when it comes to using it… well, I’m often disappointed.

Behind on accounting: Speeding it up with python and sqlite

Well, as usual, I’m behind on last years accounting and tax time is rapidly approaching.  I finally sat down and at least sorted my receipts saved from last year.  Now I’m faced with the horrible data entry phase.

Drobo Drive Failure: Lesson Learned? Again?

Well, my Drobo is up and running again.  All my data appears in tact.  Wonderful!  Now we go merrily along like nothing happened, right? Not quite.

Another drive failure in my Drobo

Drive failures are a fact of life.  We just have to get used to it and be prepared.  I have a stack of failed drives in my basement, destined for destruction and eventual recycling.  Losing a drive is never happy, is often painful, and is quite disruptive.

My first thoughts on the Second Generation AppleTV

My AppleTV arrived a while ago and I thought it might be time to share initial reactions.

Why I am getting an AppleTV

I’ve been wanting to get an AppleTV for years, but I’ve never pulled the trigger until now.  The machines were always reported as hot (and I recollect reports of noise).  Worse, it probably wouldn’t have worked on our TV.  The final nail was that it was too expensive for the risk of not doing the job we wanted.

Retro Movie Review: Rollerball

Rollerball started life as a short story by William Harrison called Roller Ball Murder.  This story, published around 1973 became the basis of the first Rollerball movie in 1975.  Rollball holds a special place of personal nostalgia because it was one of the first movie for adults that I remember watching (R-rated) and one of the first big scifi movies I remember seeing (there were other excellent movies before Rollerball, but I had yet to see them).

Beginning the process of dropping cable TV

In our house, we’ve decided to do the unthinkable: drop cable tv.  We haven’t actually gone through with it yet since it’s a little harder to do than you might think.  The idea isn’t to flat out give up on TV; it’s to get as much TV bang for the buck.

Welcome to Lost In The Mountains!

I’ve retired my old site and am building this new one.   Wish me luck!

Thomas L. Moore
Uninteresting thoughts while being lost in the mountains

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