noun. 1. an inscription placed usually at the end of a book, giving facts about its publication. [Late Latin colophōn, from Greek kolophōn, summit, finishing touch.] (The American Heritage Dictionary)
I’m a bit of a publishing / typography nerd, so I do love that word. But the general idea is a good one, too; a less-personal sort of ‘Acknowledgements’ page. A lot of useful things go towards making something like this much easier, so here are a few notes in the spirit of Credit Where Due — and in case they might help anyone else.
- My first camera was a Fujifilm ‘Finepix’ v10, a ludicrous special at $150 or so back in 2008. It performed admirably for a fairly bog-standard digital camera, and can take credit for basically all the photos here from Badger ‘Tangle Foot’ right up to Rogue ‘Mocha Porter’. Using it gave me enough entertainment that I was able to eventually convince myself to get, in 2011:
- The new camera, a Canon Powershot G12. It suitably débuts with Little Creatures Pale Ale (I made sure of it, in fact) and essentially takes over full-time at Moa ‘5 Hop’. For all its baffling potential seriousness, it is still an utter joy to use, I must say. I’m slowly getting to learn its tricks (credit has to go to Jed Soane and Emma Dacey, for that) and hopefully my photos are steadily improving…
A mini tripod with bendable legs. In my experience this is the bridge too far that turns you from ‘oddity’ to ‘weirdo’ in the eyes of the public. But they’re an absolute must for low-light photos, unless you’re very, very good at balancing your camera on upturned spirit glasses or whatever (to which I resort, on occasion). Also: use the timer, even if it’s just set at 2 seconds — the slight wobble from pushing the button can easily ruin a shot, especially in dimly-lit bars.
- I’m using WordPress, running their default theme (as of v3.0) ‘TwentyTen’. It’s rather lovely pretty much straight out of the box, so I’m more than happy with it for now.
- On top, I run the ‘Lightbox 2’ plugin to handle the fancy little popping-up images, and the ‘WP Random Header’ plugin to cycle the images at the top of the page — they’re all close-up crops from a selected few of my nerdy beer photos. I attracted some comment spam surprisingly quickly, and so am also using the ‘WP-reCAPTCHA’ plugin which should get around such annoyances by effectively implementing a Turing test and helping to digitize old books at the same time — genius. And since I’ve started Twittering (which makes me feel so very Web 1.9), the ‘Wickett Twitter Widget’ reposts recent babblings in the sidebar, here.
- I run Ubuntu Linux on both my desktop (a Frankenstein’d-together thing of my own making) and netbook (an Asus Eee 1005HA) and use Dropbox to synchronise files between the two (and any other machine I happen to be working on).
- Nautilus (the default file manager in Ubuntu), is suprisingly handy as an idiot-proof and transparent ftp client; gthumb (available in the software repositories) and The GIMP (available cross-platform) have proven capable of all the image-editing work I’ve needed so far. In editing-together and cleaning up the podcast, George has found Audacity a nice combination of simplicity and power.
- The blog is hosted on the server of my friend and former colleague, Peter Moran, who also provides regular help with relevant webstuff.
- Beeradvocate.com and Ratebeer.com are very handy resources, even though I am (perhaps obviously, if you’ve read any of my notes) not personally fond of assigning numerical scores in my own note-taking. But that’s just a philosophical difference; both sites are wealths of information, and it is very useful to read what other people make of various beers. RateBeer.com, though, is still pretty damn ugly. Someone fix that for them, please.
- Martyn Cornell’s ‘Zythophile’ blog is a great place to go for long-form, ludicrously-informative, charmingly-grumpy writing about the history of beer — which hugely distinguishes itself by actually giving a damn about history, and not letting myth and nonsense stand.
- Beer Lens is a great collection of beer-related photography. Inspiring, frequently gorgeous, properly geeky, and a firm motivator for me to buy a better camera…
- The Beer Project is the work of Jed Soane — someone else who makes me want a flasher camera — and is a great collection of photos documenting the New Zealand craft brewing scene as it grows.
- And Alice Galletly’s ‘Beer for a Year’ was easily my favourite blog of 2011, and is a regular source of good writing, good humour, and inspiration to post here more often.