My Mom Gets a Fancy Kaleidoscope for Her 60th Birthday

For my mom’s 60th birthday, I got her this kaleidoscope. We just received it from Amazon (this was also our first package shipped by Amazon). It’s a solidly built product. She really likes it and was surprised to receive it because I had told her I wasn’t getting her a kaleidoscope.

My mom looks through the kaleidoscope
One of an infinite number of patterns when looking through the kaleidoscope

Twin Cities Met With Coldest Weather Since 1996

By tomorrow morning, the Twin Cities will be slammed with the coldest weather since 1996. Where I live — in Chanhassen, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis — wind chill values will be as low as -53°F. I’ll be holed up inside for today and tomorrow. I already had to see a doctor last week about possible frostbite on my fingers (I was talking on my cellphone outside without gloves while walking between classes at the University of Minnesota — lesson learned!). I’m not taking any chances this time.

Speaking of the University of Minnesota, my journalism professor informed our class that the University had only closed once in the last 40 years due to cold weather, and that was in 1996. I was, therefore, overjoyed when I received an email last night from University President Eric Kaler. In the email, he announced that the Twin Cities campus cancelled classes after noon today and all day tomorrow. (Note: While writing this post, I received another email from President Kaler saying the Twin Cities campus will close after 5 p.m. today through Wednesday [tomorrow] and that classes will resume after noon on Thursday. Even better!)

I thought I needed to document this somewhat historic weather with my camera, but I didn’t want to venture too far outside. So I took this photo of my front yard around 3 p.m. today, when the wind chill was -41°F.

My front yard in Chanhassen, Minnesota, when the wind chill was -41°F

A Sun Dog in Downtown Minneapolis

A cold snap is beginning in the Twin Cities, with a low around -13°F and wind chill values as low as -29°F tonight. It was a little warmer this morning when I saw this sun dog (if you don’t know what they are, read the Wikipedia article).

Close-up of a sun dog in downtown Minneapolis, January 24, 2019, 8:42 a.m.
Sun dog in downtown Minneapolis, January 24, 2019, 8:47 a.m.

Out and About in My Neighborhood

I took some photos today in my neighborhood in Chanhassen, Minnesota. I initially wanted to highlight the fact there’s been barely any snow this January because of the relative warmth and lack of snowfall. But then, when I got back, I realized how nice the photos turned out because of the clear sky. These photos were taken over the course of 13 minutes on a 12°F day.

[UPDATE, 2/10: I changed my Twitter username to @ns1988.] For those interested, I created a Twitter account two days ago. My Twitter username is @pugsounds. Can you guess what famous album that’s a reference to?

Pugsley and Missy on a rug
Most of the snow has melted in our front yard
Pugsley and Missy look out the front door’s window, a favorite pastime
Stop sign for Audubon Road and Valley Ridge Trail South outside my neighborhood
The National Weather Service’s Twin Cities forecast office is literally right outside my neighborhood, with the Doppler radar serving as a sort of landmark that looms high over nearby houses. It’s been a favorite photographic subject of mine since I took a film photography course in high school (that was in the spring of 2007).
A close-up view of the Doppler radar
Technically, this is government property and no trespassing is allowed. When I was young, however, I would often get much closer to the Doppler radar for photos. I’m much more polite now.

I Installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS From Scratch in Two Hours

This evening, I did a clean install of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS in just a smidgen over two hours.

It took 2:05:58.81 from the time I sat down at my desk this evening to get Ubuntu up and running

That photo shows my Ubuntu desktop after it finished installing with my stopwatch in the foreground. I will even admit that I was going very slow and being extremely cautious. Installing Ubuntu is super easy, and I think anyone that can follow instructions can get it set up without any problems. The reason I did a clean install is that I felt like I corrupted my previous system in some way when I originally tried installing Corel AfterShot Pro 3. You can read this tutorial I just made that explains how to install AfterShot Pro 3 on Ubuntu step-by-step.

This brings me to my last point. Because installing FreeBSD seems a bit harder than I thought it would be at first (because most laptops aren’t fully compatible with the OS), I probably will not be installing it anytime soon. You can therefore ignore this post I made last week about switching to FreeBSD. Maybe some day I will learn how to use FreeBSD. I hope so, at least.

How to Install Corel AfterShot Pro 3 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

I just finished doing a clean install of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The reason? I felt like I might have corrupted my computer in some way when I did a previous attempt of installing Corel AfterShot Pro 3. The tutorial below is designed to help anyone install this application on Ubuntu Linux so they can avoid the mistake I made (which had to do with downloading the wrong file from Corel). Note that this applies to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and AfterShot Pro 3.

When I first tried installing this program in August 2018, there was no official documentation on Corel’s website. That seems to have changed in these four months, and there is now an article up on Corel’s support website that explains how to install this program in a small number of steps. I personally find this YouTube video made by Corel much more helpful in showing how to set up this application. That is what I used to successfully install this application on the first try. I wanted to make this process even easier for others and me in the future by including this detailed tutorial based on the YouTube video.

To install AfterShot Pro 3, follow these steps:

  1. Download this file from your Corel order email: AfterShotPro3-system-Qt.deb
  2. Make sure the file saved to your Downloads directory
  3. Open the application Terminal
  4. In Terminal type the following commands, making sure Terminal finishes before entering each one (do not type steps in italics verbatim; they are instructions):
  5. cd Downloads/
  6. sudo apt update
  7. Enter your password
  8. sudo dpkg -i AfterShotPro3-system-Qt.deb
  9. sudo apt -f install
  10. y
  11. Close Terminal

Congratulations, it should be successfully installed! Open the application the way you would normally open applications. If you ordered the full version, you will be asked to enter your serial number.

Did you find this helpful? Please let me know in the comments!

I’m Switching to FreeBSD

I’m planning on switching to FreeBSD as my primary operating system in the coming weeks. Don’t worry, I will continue to update this blog.

Even though I created this blog, LinuxPhoto, last June, I haven’t really used or learned Linux all that much in this time. I will continue to use my Linux laptop for editing and posting photos on this site, but I am planning to use FreeBSD as my primary OS indefinitely. I actually have been using either my Windows 10 laptop or my MacBook Pro most of the time. I think forcing myself to learn one of these professional operating systems (e.g., FreeBSD, Linux) by using it as my primary computer will greatly help my understanding of the way these operating systems work. Initially, I will use my FreeBSD laptop to do all the basic stuff I do on a daily basis: browsing the web, listening to music, and editing office documents. Later on, I might decide to learn some more advanced features of FreeBSD.

To help me with all of this, today I got a book from Amazon titled Absolute FreeBSD, 3rd Edition: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD:

Absolute FreeBSD, 3rd Edition

It’s written by Michael W. Lucas, who I saw had a number of reviews commending his writing style on Amazon. Before purchasing, I read the introductory material, and I can attest to the quality of his writing. I also own another book on No Starch Press, Automate the Boring Stuff With Python, which I haven’t yet read, but I did at least enjoy the design and writing style (of what little I did read). Seeing that the third edition of this book on FreeBSD was just released in October 2018 and that version 12.0 of FreeBSD is slated for release on December 11, 2018, was enough to tell me now is the time to switch.

What is FreeBSD, and why am I interested in switching to it as my main OS? First, if you want to know what it is, I suggest reading the Wikipedia article on FreeBSD. To answer the second question, I would just say that FreeBSD is the operating system I have always been most attracted to for some reason. It always seemed more advanced than Linux, and I liked the name and the BSD Daemon (devil mascot). When it was time for me to find a new web host the answer was simple: one that uses FreeBSD. I, therefore, use pair Networks to host this website and many others; they are one of the first web hosts and offer FreeBSD as a hosting option.

The intended purpose for this blog is to show people that Linux is a viable alternative to managing and editing photos. That is not going to change. I still think Linux is probably better than FreeBSD for managing and editing photos because of the larger number of applications available for Linux (for example, Corel AfterShot Pro 3, what I use to edit my digital photos, is available for Linux, but not FreeBSD). I also think people are more inclined to switch to Linux than FreeBSD, because most people haven’t even heard of FreeBSD, and it is a more advanced operating system that requires more technical knowledge.

In conclusion, I am excited to switch to FreeBSD as my primary OS and hope to learn much about the way these professional operating systems work. Probably by the time the next LTS version of Ubuntu is released (most likely April 2020), I hope to also become more knowledgeable in Linux. I will continue to use Linux to post photos to this site, and I still believe it is a good alternative to Mac or Windows for managing and editing photos.

Peak Fall Colors at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Minnesota Fall Color Finder map for October 19, 2018

As of today, it’s peak fall color time in the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) updates a map every day with the level of fall colors everywhere in the state. As you can see in today’s map, everywhere in Minnesota is either at peak or past peak. This means this will probably be my only time visiting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at peak, and I’ll maybe only have one more post with fall colors at their peak. In the map to the right, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, which is located on the border of Chanhassen and Chaska, would be southwest of Minneapolis. It’s located less than four miles from my house, and I get in for free because I’m a student at the University of Minnesota (they run the arboretum).

Acer saccharum, Sugar Maple

Betula papyrifera, Paper Birch

A pond covered with leaves

Thuja occidentalis, ‘Hudsonica,’ American arborvitae

Origami in the Garden, created by Santa Fe, New Mexico, artists Kevin and Jennifer Box

Wild turkey

Autumn path with bench

Ginkgo biloba, ‘Autumn Gold,’ Maidenhair Tree

Yellow maple leaves against a bright, blue sky

The Sculpture Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

I visited the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota, after school today to get some photos of the Harrison Sculpture Garden. The last photo shows four steel rectangles that somehow move perpetually.

Antoine Poncet (b. 1928, French), Fugue Processionaire, 1997, rose marble

Rene Kung (b. 1934, Swiss), Stone Harp, 1993, limestone

Malus, ‘Red Splendor,’ crabapple

Rene Kung (b. 1934, Swiss), Stone Arch, 1995, limestone

Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975, British), Construction (Crucifixion), 1966, bronze with color

Mimmo Paladino (b. 1948, Italian), Canto Notturno, 1984, bronze

George Rickey (1907-2002, American), Four Open Rectangles Diagonally Jointed II, 1986, stainless steel