Author: George Burgyan

Then there were three

First there was Spin — the Orange bike. About a week later LimeBike joined the bandwagon. Yesterday, Ofo piled themselves onto the party. Seattle now has three dockless bikeshare services! Each of them, at this moment, can have 1000 bikes in the city. In a couple of months, there will be no limit. I’ve even heard rumors of a fourth company adding themselves into the mix. This is a huge shift from Pronto, the previous service which failed, got bailed out by the city, then failed again. The problem was they were tied to “docks” that you had to...

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Working

On Broadway in Capitol Hill. I was walking with a lens I’m not 100% comfortable with, the 90mm Summicron. That was the only lens I had with me that walk. I looked to my right as I walked past an open window looking into a restaurant. I focused — and the moment I clicked the shutter she was looking at me dead on. One of the advantages of a rangefinder is that there is absolutely no blackout at all. The viewfinder is a very finely crafted, though inert, chunk of glass and metal. It doesn’t know you took a picture. It just… is. I saw her look as I heard the shutter snap. Leica M10, 90mm Summicron @ f2 or 2.8, 1/180s, ISO...

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About that squiggly underline…

Amazon has posters — all over. In my building they are prominently featured in the elevators. There are unsecured buildings in Amazon that you can also seem posters, but I’m blurring the content anyway, despite the fact there’s nothing at all secret on it. So, let me tell you something, I would absolutely love to know how minks use technology. Perhaps even hang out with one of the fuzzy critters; they certainly seem cute enough. Oh, why am I talking about minks suddenly? Vison. Or perhaps more correctly: “visón.” It’s a mink. I showed this picture to a slew of...

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Life at 21 (mm)

Normally, when I take a walk with a single focal length lens I take the 35mm or 50mm Summilux that I typically have with me. Today I took the 21mm Super Elmar-M. Walking with a single lens — a single focal length at that — is simultaneously limiting and freeing. You’re not looking for all shots that might be possible — you’re looking for the set of shots that work in the world that you’re in. In my case, it was a 21mm lens generally shooting at around f/5.6 – f/8. Zooms are convenient for sure. Sometimes the limitation is part of...

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The Coverup

As much as I dislike graffiti I wind up drawn to it in terms of a photographic subject. It’s strange. Today was the opposite. Seattle, like many big cities, has a problem with graffiti. It has a tendency of getting everywhere. Sometimes it happens over legitimate art as well, which makes me want to hit someone. Most often it’s over random walls or abandoned buildings. It’s like an illness though; a wall can be plain for a long time — the moment one tag goes up it’s fair game to do whatever next to it. Today someone was busy...

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How to try to lose a customer

Amazon has done a job of trying to lose me as a customer. En ordered an outdoor grill table: http://amzn.to/2fEkjVo (No, don’t buy this, it’s crap) It arrived earlier in the week and I got the assembling the flatpack this morning. I got most of the way snapping it together when I got to the problem point: the top table was bent. The problem is that it snaps together and doesn’t snap apart. En called Amazon’s customer service. We can’t take it apart without destroying it. We don’t have a box big enough to ship an assembled table. “Wrap it in kitchen plastic.” The fuck? “But if it arrives scratched we’ll have to charge you.” What the serious fuck?! If I wrap it in Saran Wrap and slap a waybill on it would wind up destroyed. After half an hour of going back and forth with both the original CSR and then his supervisor, I gave up. I forced the table back in the box. Yes, it broke in the disassembly and packing process as I told them it would. It turns out that it’s also cheap polystyrene. This was the worst customer service experience of my life I think. Ever. I’m also quite disinclined to shop at Amazon, honestly. I’m actually considering dropping my Prime membership after almost a...

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Smoker Controller – V1

Today was a day of looking at datasheets because it’s fun. I will be the first to admit that I have a strange definition of “fun.” Basically, I have an electronic mock-up of a smoker controller. I made room for six RTD sensors to use in various ways, a capacitive touch controller with a 4×3 matrix of “buttons” and a touch “slider” as well. On the display front, I’m driving an SPI display. From there all that’s left are digital controls for the blower fan and the auger that dispenses the pellets. Other than a few external decoupling capacitors, power supply, and connectors for the RTDs (resistors that vary resistance based on temperature) this is about as close to a single-chip solution as I can even think about getting...

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Did I finally make it in YouTube?

I got one of those emails that want to help monetize my channel. It’s the same stuff that Dave from EEVBlog has warned about in the past. They’re nothing but leeches trying to make cash on someone else’s labor without actually doing anything. Ok. So I’m not getting rich off YouTube by any stretch. I make a couple bucks a day from there. It’s enough to buy a coffee or two, but it’s not anything that will let me quit my job by a long shot. But it’s still something cool to work on and keep my creative energies going in ways that are different than normal...

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