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Australian Open with no fans

Here’s what it was like covering the Australian Open during a snap 5-day lockdown with no fans in the stands. A moment in time, recorded. Let’s hope it never happens again.

February 13, 2021: A match being played with no public crowds on Rod Laver Arena at the 2021 Australian Open as the state goes into lockdown due to an outbreak of the Covid-19 Corona virus from a hotel quarantine worker. After 5 days of tennis being played in stadiums with crowds the tournament is permitted to continue by the government without spectators. The match between 25th seed Karolina MUCHOVA of the Czech Republic and 6th seed Karolina PLISKOVA of the Czech Republic in a 3rd round match on day 6 of the Australian Open is the first match since the lockdown began at midnight today in Melbourne, Australia.

Canon EOS R6 Rolling Shutter Example

Canon has made huge strides in their mirrorless line of cameras. Sony’s A9 Mk II is generally agreed to be the current benchmark, especially it’s ability to shoot at 20 fps with it’s electronic shutter without any noticeable rolling shutter. So is Canon’s current EOS R6 rolling shutter acceptable? Here’s a photo from The Australian Open showing distortion of the tennis ball and racquet.

FTP servers compatible with Canon EOS R6

The Canon EOS R6, along with the R5, 1DX, and the newer 5D cameras have a FTP client built in. This allows images to be sent via Wifi or Ethernet to a FTP server. One of the use cases is to send images to a computer. This works very well and if you’re using a Mac, they come with an FTP server which just needs be activated. However, since version 10.13 (High Sierra) of the Mac operating system, Apple removed the FTP server from the operating system and a 3rd party application is required.

I have been using the app QuickFTP v1.0.6 for several years and it has worked fine with Nikon and Sony cameras. But, it seems that Canon’s EOS R6 doesn’t want to send images to it. The camera reports a successful connection but when an attempt is made to send an image, the camera just doesn’t. So, I found another app Ftp-Serv which does work with the Canon R6. So if you’re using QuickFTP server and pulling your hair out, you can stop it now!

Apple’s iCloud Drive Slows Down a Device’s Download Speed by 10Mbps

Was tuning my home Wifi and noticed that some of my Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, MacBook Pro, iMac Pro) were not getting the same download speeds when testing via Speedtest. On a Mac with two user accounts, one account would consistently get about 10Mbps faster speed than another account. Initially thinking that there might be a user-level app that was running on log in, a launchdaemon or launchagent process, or a browser extension that was causing the slowdown in the affected account led to a process of turning everything off. But still, the slowdown didn’t go away.

As this was affecting not only Macs, but iPads and iPhones, I started looking deeper into what was similar with the accounts and devices that had the slow speed. It turned out to be Apple’s iCloud Drive feature. All the slow devices were logged into iCloud, and specifically, had the iCloud Drive feature turned on. When that is turned on, the download speed is slowed by about 10Mbps. It’s like it reserves this for it’s own use and is not available for other applications. And it’s not just in http web traffic, it’s at the device level as testing via Speedtest in a web browser or using the CLI test via Terminal yields the same reduction in speed.

You can do this simple test yourself. Just run Speedtest on any of the devices with iCloud Drive on, and then off. If you have a 100Mbps connection I suppose it doesn’t matter much, but losing 10Mbps isn’t what I signed up for in using iCloud Drive. Needless to say I’ve disabled iCloud Drive across all of them and reclaimed by DL speed, and will use one of the other cloud storage services like Dropbox or OneDrive that doesn’t silently take away my download speed.

Affected devices: Macs running 10.15.7 and 11.0.1; iOS and iPadOS 14.2

Migrating WordPress and setting up SSL on new host

I’ve just gone through moving a set of WordPress sites that was part of a multisite network on a Digital Ocean droplet. The motivation was having the multisite move off Ubuntu 14 to the more recent version Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS so I could use certbot to install and keep up to date SSL certificates from LetsEncrypt.

There’s a lot of opinions, suggestions and tips on how to do this. One of the most informative is here. Essentially, there’s two approaches. Use the built in Export/Import fuction that exports an XML file that can be imported on another WordPress site, or a plugin that backs up everything and migrates it on another host at the filesystem level.

The benefit of the latter is that if you have a highly customised site with lots of plugins, after migrating to a new host, everything should just work. The downside is that there are many tools, none are free, and it’s not clear if it will work until you pay for the plugin.

Since my sites were relatively straightforward, I used the built in Export/Import function and then manually installed the required theme and settings. This might not work for complex e-commerce and customised sites.

To get SSL working, these tips on Digital Ocean is helpful: enable-https and apache-virtual-hosts. After setting it all up, you should check that you have all your virtual hosts setup properly.

Then check to see the quality of your SSL implementation at ssllabs.com. To get an A+ you might need to disable old protocols like TLS 1.0 and weak ciphers. And enabe HSTS. When that’s done, sit back and smile.