Yes, as it says above, this is CallMeAlan.uk, the personal website of a guy called, perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, Alan.

alansworld {at} [gmail.com] will find me, should you care to discuss anything I've written about. I welcome any feedback.

Hey gringo, we don't use no steenking cookies here



About me and this site.

It's mostly about photography. I offer my opinions about RAW photograph processing applications and narrow the numerous software offerings down to just two worthwhile packages. I then talk about how to drive the software using physical control surfaces.

I also talk about my obsession, taphophilia, explaining what it is, and offering numerous albums of taphophilic photography.

I live near, and love, Greenham Common. If that place sounds familiar, look it up. Once a US airfield during the cold war - with much evidence thereof remaining - it's now a public place of lakes, birds, flora and buzzy bees and other insects. There is even a small herd of wild ponies roaming, which seem to get on just fine with the most laid-back cattle imaginable.

I'm also constantly adding albums to my general photography pages. Albums mostly about nature, in its widest sense, but I reserve the right to include anything I want in there. Albums pages coming soon.

You'll also see my lighthearted interpretation of the rules of the road in Russia. I say rules, but perhaps imaginary suggestions would be a better description.

Venturing into programming, I'm putting before you a programming challenge, looking for a pseudo language-independent coding approach to a words and letters television game called Countdown.


Before we go any further, I'm going to save you 500 pounds/dollars

DJI, a wonderful Chinese company, are the manufacturers of the world's best drones and stabilised cameras of various descriptions and types. But recently, maybe within the last 6 months, not sure, they released their Robomaster product, a supposedly programmable wheeled robot vehicle. Beautifully made (by you - it arrives as a kit) but, in my humble opinion, it is unmerchantable, meaning it should never have been released for sale. Please don't be tempted to splash out on one; you will probably regret it.

This is why



RAW photographs, their many application software packages filtered down to two, and the use of control surfaces

I talk about how I've reduced the vast number of RAW processing software packages down to just two that work well and work quickly enough that you don't need to go get a coffee every time you click Process. It also happens that these only two worthwhile applications are the only two which can work completely and efficiently with control surfaces.

Read about *proper* RAW software and control surfaces

Some December 2019 news. Anybody visiting my site, and who may understand, use, or read about RAW processing, will be aware of the product called Capture One. It happens to be one of the only two *proper* and worthwhile packages out there, and I talk about it in this section via the above link.

Keen RAW photographers who are familiar with C One may be aware that Phase One has now (4 Dec 2019) released the much-teased version 20 of Capture One. I had previously mentioned here that I had seen a beta pre-release of 20, but was unable to talk about what it featured. Well, as of now, it is in general release. I'm not going into what's new as there's plenty of Youtube material out there. However, as a very early initial personal comment, I must say that, wow, it's become sloooow! In version 12 I could twist a knob or push a button on my control surface and see instant results. No longer. Increase the exposure and watch as the program slowly brightens the picture in little hops and skips. Yawn. Trouble is, you think, oh, it needs a bit more, twist the knob further and bam! You've grossly overshot the mark into an utter washout because your previous twist was still grinding away.

Hence - and I've been patient, tried everything, rebooted the computer, all of that - due it having become as slow as various other RAW products I've trialled and rejected I must change my views on Capture One : There is now only one contender in the RAW processing arena: Adobe Lightroom. I can no longer call Capture One one of my two worthwhile RAW products. Lightroom reigns supreme.


While we're talking photogaphy . . . I'd like to talk about photograph storage strategy, and the use of software to keep track of what I've photographed and the details of the photographs. As an ex-software engineer I know my way around software programming and databases and so on, and I've used my knowledge and skills to create what I think is efficient strategies to store and understand my pictures.

Folders, and PhotoDB.app

Enough of the technical. Let's see some photographs:-

I am a taphophile
Enough theory for now. Let's talk about my incurable chronic mental aberration, taphophilia, and have a look at some pictures which explain the condition. Hint: a taphophile is a grave hunter and photographer. If you don't need to read about my taphophilia you can hop straight over to
My catalog of grave photography albums


Greenham Common: former US nuclear airbase, now a public common again
This is a series of my photograph albums about Greenham Common, near Newbury, Berkshire, in central south England. I live in Newbury, and the Common is where I'm often to be found, invariably with one or more of my cameras slung around my neck. It's a wonderful and often quite surprising place, and my intention here is to give you a flavour of what it was, by looking at how it looks today.

Greenham Common used to be an American nuclear airbase, until that closed, roughly at the same time as the Cold War was called off, and they ripped it up with big yellow tractors and things. But they left behind many many enticing clues and photogenic reminders of its past. So this is my acknowledgment and thanks to those who, when ripping up the former airbase, left us those reminders of what it was.


General Photography
This is the index to my general photograph albums. Elsewhere on the site are my graves and graveyards albums, and also my special Greenham Common site and the story of Sterling cables.

But I take lots of pictures and it's only fair to you to allow you the opportunity to have a look at them. So here goes.

Sterling Cables, a piece of Newbury history
This is my look at a piece of Newbury history - an illustrated look at the old Sterling Cables site, which featured the derelict cable building, once the tallest building/eyesore in the town, now demolished


Some stuff unrelated to photography:-


My programming challenge
I'm challenging you to offer a programming solution to the UK TV game Countdown - you get given 9 random letters and from them you have to offer the best word, 9, 8 or 7 letters, found from a plain text file full of 180,000 real words.

Driving in Russia
Driving in Russia. Based upon what I've seen on YouTube I've derived a list of rules, advisories and suggestions for driving in Russia.

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