What Steve Did

Professional geek. Amateur human. Likes to take photos and hit tennis balls.

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Well, there’s a lot going on right now. This is the soundtrack to help with that.

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Photography gear and ‘GAS'

Photography can be an expensive hobby, there’s no doubt about it. When you’re just starting out and decide that you want something more than a smartphone, then you’ll probably pick up a low/mid-range camera body plus a kit lens. It doesn’t take too long before you pick up the obligatory 50mm prime lens, and then it spirals from there. We’ve all been there.

Photography has been my primary ‘hobby’ outside of tennis now for around 15 years. I’m a decent photographer, I think. I’ve sold photos and receive plenty of praise for my photos - but what’s really important (for me) to remember is that more than anything I make photos for myself.

Over the years I’ve spent thousands on camera gear. Most photographers experience ‘GAS’ - gear acquisition syndrome - and that can really be expensive. I find myself guilty of convincing myself I need a piece of gear. This usually happens when I find...

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My lockdown Spotify playlist

I think it’s far to say that I’ve got a bit of a ‘varied’ taste in music. I listen to all sorts of stuff, but I often find myself listening to a certain type of chilled, electronic track late at night - headphones on, darkened room, music fairly loud.

I’ve decided to share a playlist of the tracks I’m listening to while we all navigate these really uncertain, unsettling times. I’ll keep adding to it as I come across more tracks that I really like. Enjoy.

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Fujifilm APS-C crop sensor dynamic range - is it any good?

So for whatever crazy reason I’ve bought into two separate camera systems - I’ve got a Sony A7Riii with a load of very decent glass, and I’ve got the Fujifilm X-T3 with fairly decent glass. I won’t go into the reasons for having the two different systems in this post; though that’s a good question as well as a long story.

It’s fair to say (and probably quite obvious to those who are interested) that the full frame Sony gear has superb resolution as well as dynamic range. When I went to Iceland in December I shot almost exclusively with the A7Riii and the 24-70 f2.8 G-Master lens - and I’m very happy with the results I got. But when I’m not on trips where photography is top priority, then I find I really enjoy using the Fujifilm gear, probably more so than the Sony gear. We’re going through this COVID-19 epidemic right now so none of us are travelling, but I’m fortunate enough to at...

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Creating a parity disk array in Storage Spaces / Server 2019

So when I decided to repurpose a microserver with a 4-bay SATA disk enclosure as a NAS drive to host my local backups, I had a few different options. I could have gone with something like ‘FreeNAS’ or one of the many other open source options, but I decided that I fancied seeing what Windows Server 2019 could really do. So I installed that on an SSD within the server and went to work.

Windows Server 2019 is a good operating system. Its familiar, stable and is guaranteed support for a good few years. The biggest challenge I had was making best utilisation of my 4 SATA drives. Out of the box, there was no obvious way within Storage Spaces to do anything other than create a JBOD — essentially the equivalent of RAID0 which would give me no disk resilience. Not good for something I’m going to trust to hold my local backups. So, knowing that Storage Spaces supports parity disk layouts...

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