Getting new lenses for Lensfun

Rosen sind rot… And yes, by another name, they do still smell sweet! The focus of this image is two red roses seen from the side, positioned in the right-hand third of the picture and in focus. The rest of the image is out of focus. The power half of the image is rows of distant green grape vines. The next quarter of the image is out-of-focus homes, mostly white with red-orange roofs. And the last quarter right at the top of the image is a mostly cloudy sky.

Since moving to Germany, I’ve started taking pictures. Lots here is beautiful, and my cell phone camera just didn’t seem to be cutting it. So I bought a camera – a (used) Canon G5 X. The photos at the top and bottom of this post are a couple I’m proud of.

Of course, using a real camera means using real photo editing software. I run Linux on my laptop. Specifically, at the moment, Ubuntu. Ubuntu comes with ShotWell. I chose to shoot raw photos, so that I would have the maximum flexibility in editing them. In turn, this means I need software that can edit raw photos. For that, I chose DarkTable (which could probably do all the photo management, but I just haven’t gotten around to trying that workflow).

I’ve only got one major pain point with DarkTable: Lens correction. When a camera takes a photo, the lens typically causes certain distortions. For digital cameras, these are easily corrected in software – if you know what the distortions caused …

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Living in Germany: Converting a Driver's License

I don’t ever plan to drive in Germany. The public transit here is amazing, and in 7 months of living here, I haven’t once wished I had a car. But there are some things one can’t do by public transit (like moving furniture or appliances). I will eventually have to do those and would like to have the flexibility to drive if needed. So I want to keep my ability to drive, which means converting my US license to a German one.

As it turns out, Massachusetts (where I lived before moving) is one of 11 US states that have full reciprocity with Germany. That means that converting my MA license to a German one should be a matter of just some paperwork. This page is the list of countries and states which can be converted into German driver’s licenses, and whether or not the theoretical or practical tests must be done.

So… How does one actually do this?

There are many articles out there promising to tell you step-by-step how to convert a driver’s license. Many …

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I'm moving to Germany!

I’m moving to Germany in March! I took a position as a researcher at HLRS (in Stuttgart, Germany), where I’ll be working primarily on SODALITE.

I’m really excited about this for a number of reasons. The largest is simply that I miss being in a research environment. I miss being around people thinking about big problems in a variety of ways, just for the fun of thinking about them. Over the last few years, I’ve published two papers, been issued a patent, and spoken at three conferences. Only one paper and one speaking event were through work and that was a rather unique opportunity. I find the process of starting with a problem and building up a novel and unique solution to be really fulfilling. If engineering is the process of building things, research is the process of proving things can be built. And it turns out I enjoy both parts and am most fulfilled when doing some of both.

This does mean leaving HPE/Cray. I’ve been there six years and worked on 3 …

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