The personal weblog of Jack Baty

My Blog from 2002

This blog ( goes back to sometime in 2000. I was poking around the Internet Archives and ran across from 2002. It looked like this…

I can’t explain why those old posts aren’t here, but I’m grateful that the Archive has copies. Wouldn’t want writing like that to disappear, now would we?

The Lost Picture Show

The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence

The most chilling prediction I heard came from a top technician at Technicolor. "There's going to be a large dead period," he told me, "from the late '90s through 2020, where most media will be lost."

This sort of thing terrifies me. I still feel that film stock has a much better chance of survival than digital files, especially for the creators who can’t afford to constantly migrate to newer formats ever few years.

“We know how long film lasts,” says the USC archivist Everett. “And archives were designed to store things. They’re cool, they’re dry, and they have shelves. Put the film on the shelf, and it will play in a hundred years.”

“Put the film on the shelf, and it will play in a hundred years”. It may not be easy to maintain the shelves, but at least it’s feasible.

I now have an account on Manton Reece’s new micro-blogging platform is a new social network for independent microblogs.

I’m here: It’s a hosted blog, meaning I can post and host there. It’s a paid option ($5/month) and seems to work well so far. I need this because creating and publishing short, title-less posts using Hugo just isn’t worth the effort yet. I like having a quick and easy web UI for posting.

There’s also a timeline of sorts at I’m not completely clear on the differences between this and I guess I can think of as a micro blog that could be anywhere, but happens to be at
It feeds into my timeline just like any other RSS-enabled micro blog could. I’m still figuring all this out, and Manton has not yet enabled all of the features so things will probably become clear over time.

I love the idea of publishing somewhere “mine” and having it just flow into and end up as part of both my and others’ timelines.

The more tools based on the “open web” we can move into, the better.

I Wish I Loved Digital Photography

I recently bought a fantastic digital camera, the Fuji X-Pro2. It’s fast, well-constructed, and works in a way that a camera should work. It looks and feels great. In fact it feels almost like using a Leica film rangefinder. I take more photos with the Fuji than with film cameras and nearly all of them are exposed correctly, in focus, and contain 24 Megapixels of raw data to work with.

Popping a card into a computer and playing with the infinite processing possibilities using Lightroom is fun. I can make technically fantastic images that way; simply and quickly.

And yet, I don’t enjoy shooting digital. I wish I did. Making photographs would be so much easier.

I sometimes poke fun at film photographers claiming that they dislike digital photos because they don’t have the same “soul” as film photos. And yet I have to admit that I agree with them.

The difference is having a negative.

When viewing a scanned film photo on my phone or computer, I know that there’s a film negative in a binder somewhere containing a permanent, physically-rendered image created by light originally reflected off the photo’s subject. For me, having a negative imbues film photos with a sense of realness not found in digital. I don’t care that shooting film is difficult, more expensive, and sometimes a complete pain in the ass. I don’t care that there are fewer “hits” and that sometimes the image is scratched or has dust spots or is grainy.

My film images mean more to me than my digital images That’s why I go through all the trouble of shooting film.


After a couple of weeks on Mastodon I’m cheering for its survival. That’s not correct, Mastodon is federated, so any single node (instance) is only part of the network. So maybe it’s better to say I’m cheering for whatever new thing gets us on the federated bandwagon. Right now Mastodon is the strongest contender.

I have accounts on three instances, and I’m using each of them differently.

The first is Since this is the flagship instance, and the first one I’d heard of, it’s where I first joined. They’ve since disallowed new signups and that’s probably a good thing. Best not to think of any particular instance as the One True Instance. I am not using this much yet. It was just about the only option so I made sure I registered my favorite username, is all.

The second is This was one of the early “other” instances and, well, “technology”. I like the Home feed on this one as it’s fairly tech-focused. This is where I’m doing the things I would otherwise do on Twitter. (Note that most people on Mastodon refer to Twitter as “birdsite” which I refuse to do as it strikes me as insider nonsense.) If the instance stays up, I’ll likely focus there.

I began doubting the sysadmin chops of the person running (which turned out to be entirely unfounded), I looked for an alternative. I noticed Leo Laporte posting on so that seemed as good as any. Plus, the instance was running on a couple of load-balanced servers which is a good sign. I’m now there as I’m using this one to post photos and other photography-related topics.

There’s no rhyme or reason to any of this yet, but I’m having fun figuring it out.


Also, timelines are chronological, as any user-respecting timeline should be.

Hope to see you there.

UPDATE 04/21/2017 “the person running” is Ash Furrow (Ash Furrow) and while new to Mastodon hosting, he appears to be active, smart, and a fast learner. He’s also actively contributing to the community and the code. I’ve made my home and signed up as a Patron to help keep things running. Patreon/ashfurrow.


I don’t want to jinx it, since she’s only been with us for a few hours, but I think I love her.

Josie's first day at home (2017)

Snaps From My Dad's Birthday

I shot a roll of Tri-X with the F3 at my dad’s house while celebrating his 76th birthday.

Dad. Nikon F3.

Crystal and Tillie. Nikon F3.

Dad and Jess. Nikon F3.

Mom. Nikon F3.