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… In mid-2013, I sprung for an amazingly useful EyeFi card which automagically beams photos to my phone and my computers.
A mini tripod. 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). My first was the incredibly cute bendy-legged one pictured, but it eventually wore out under the extra weight of the Powershot; I now have a less-adjustable collapsible little one that can handily be permanently attached. 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. I also now use a whole bunch of handy modifications from their Jetpack plugin suite.
- 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 run Ubuntu Linux on my desktop (a Frankenstein’d-together thing mostly of my own making), my slowly-retiring netbook (an Asus Eee), and my laptop (some kind of newer Asus) — and use Dropbox to synchronise files between them all (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. Untappd has proven a genuinely helpful crutch for my pathetically poor memory — though I still decline to actually rate anything. Embrace subjectivity!
- Since the demise of Google Reader, I’ve found Feedly even more adept at making keeping up with the wide world of beer writing super-convenient — to the point where I’ve started attempting to share the best bits of what I find.
- 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.
- The Beer Project is the work of Jed Soane — someone who always makes me want a flasher camera and more using-it know-how — 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. After retiring from rambling about beer, she’s moved on to questionable foods.