Technical

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    Technical Details   

The site was created using a computer, which I built myself, based on an AMD Athlon 950, overclocked to 1052 which seems to remain stable, 120 Gb IDE hard drive, 768 Mb RAM .  However I have now updated and use a Toshiba Qosmio G20 laptop computer.  This enables me to create pages whilst at the Buxton Festival instead of having to do everything when I return home.  It also has the added advantage of being able to play the festival DVDs in our caravan and it contains a digital/analogue TV tuner!

The software used to create the pages,  web site and also to publish and manage the site is FrontPage 2000 - I find this program excellent!  However, it has recently been a problem to upload the pages using FrontPage - I don't know if it is because the website is so large or what?  So I now use SmartFTP Client to carry out the actual uploading.  Also I ran out of webspace a long time ago so I now have the site split between two host areas which does cause a few problems - wondering where I have sent things!


I capture graphics using either a scanner or a digital camera.  The pictures up to 2003 were taken using a Kodak DC210 Plus Zoom Digital Camera. The camera has a megapixel resolution (almost) of 1152 x 864 pixels, rather low by modern standards but the best I could afford in March 1999.  It has a x2 optical zoom lens - again rather too small but better than none.  It will not take close ups of the performances at the Opera House but whole stage shots are fine.  Also it will take shots using only the stage lighting in the Opera House - I do not have to use flash!   

    

In May 2003 I purchased a Fuji S-602 Zoom Pro.  I was offered 10 for my Kodak in part exchange - you can imagine what I told them!!!  I keep it as a back-up camera and also use in situations where the new camera is not appropriate. My grandson also uses it when we go taking pictures!

   

The Fuji S-602 Pro which I had for my 60th birthday and hence in time for Buxton 2003.  

It has a wonderful X6 optical lens and can go to ISO 1600 so I don't need to use flash very often.  It can take pictures at over 3 mega-pixels but does something magic to save them as 6 mega-pixels - although each photo can then take up about 16Mb of space!!  I tend to use just 3 mega pixels for general use and 1 mega pixel if I am taking things just for web use.  Using the latter resolution I can store over 1100 pictures on my IBM micro-drive which came with the camera - so there is no panic over having to have access to a computer to store the photos. 

2005 Update - I now take the photos using the 3 Megapixel resolution on automatic and at 400 ISO in the Opera House - I found I was getting too much "noise"  if I used the 1600 ISO which also limited me to one megapixel.  I now have a 512 Mb Crucial Compact Flash Card - although it proved  the theory that what ever you upgrade to you will fill it - and I did with 3 days to go - lucky I had the old IBM Microdrive along as well!  I have since bought another 512Mb card.

All graphics are converted into JPG format and then cropped and sized.  They are saved for the web which produces a small file, for quick downloads, but still retaining reasonable sharpness and picture quality.  I use Photoshop CS2 to manipulate and convert the images. It has an excellent routine which saves specifically for the web - really compacts the files without too much loss. I use a USB card reader to speed up the input of my CompactFlash and IBM Microdrive memory cards into the computer.

Any of the more recent photographs are available in higher resolution and should you want any I will either send them to your email address or make them available on my site.

For the first few festivals which I reported onto this website I would make notes in longhand about each performance we saw and then type it up on returning home - a huge task! Then I keyed in the reports as soon as I could after the performance using a "beat-up" old 386 mono notebook using a DOS version of Word. The battery had long since expired and hence I had to use the mains adaptor.  Here you can see me in the awning of our previous caravan.

(I now use a Toshiba Qosmio laptop computer both at home and also at Buxton)

 


I use Tiscali as my ISP to host the Web Site and to make access easier I "hide" the complex address by using my own URL  www.savoyopera.co.uk .  If you need a web address try 1&1 they are very good and cheap!   I have since obtained www.savoyoperas.co.uk and www.buxtonfestivals.co.uk  both of which are redirected to the ISP I use to store the material.

The rotating Gilbert & Sullivan logo on the home page was created using Xara 3D - available on most computer magazine CDs.  

The animated G&S graphics are created, by me, in Animation Shop 3 which comes as part of the Paintshop Pro 8 software.  Other animations are collected from download sites.

The coding for the message which appears in the status line at the bottom of the screen can be seen in lines of the HTML for this page - feel free to copy and then modify it for your own use.  If you need the code to stop people left clicking then use the code from this site.  The code for the arrow at the end of the page which, on clicking takes you to the top of the page is near the bottom of the coding (You must have an appropriate graphic and the name of the graphic and its location must replace  the file name in inverted commas after the img scr =) 

Since going onto broadband things have been much easier and I have been able to increase the complexity and size of the graphics used - I just hope that it does not become too slow for dial-up viewers?

 

Here you can see me at work in our office (a posh name for the converted small bedroom!!)

For the section on the 2001 festival I took over 200 photos and made 84 A4 pages of notes!!

For the 2002 festival I used the "beat-up 386 mono notebook" running DOS Word and this save a lot of time on return home - I also took over 200 photos.

For the 2003 festival I took nearly 800 photos - due in no small manner to the microdrive capacity of my new camera.

By 2005 I was up to 700+ photos! and again in 2006 it was up to the 800 mark - I now had a much higher capacity CF card for my camera - 512 Mb!


I thank Anne Greenhalgh for the excellent photos of the street names in Perth - Western Australia, Elizabeth Pugh of the Yukon - Canada for some of the samples in the autograph section and also any others who have supplied materials or information for this site.  I also collect  graphics from the internet.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the website please mail me at david@savoyopera.co.uk

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