Uncle!!! I am switching to Lightroom 5 from Aperture 3.

After many years of using Aperture, I decided to switch to Lightroom.  Switching is not an easy thing to do.  I have been happily using Aperture from version 1.  In fact, I have switched once before and switch back.  But this time its different, the nails in the coffin are the following:

  • No new versions from Apple, and no word from Apple either.
  • I have an Austin Healey Sprite that I painted bright red.  Bright red cars had a crap load of noise; Lightroom’s noise reduction is the bomb.
  • Clarity, works better then highlight and shadows.
  • Better Photoshop integration, like open multiple photos in layers and photo merge

What I will miss about Aperture:

  • Faces, but I have that in iPhoto.
  • The clean interface.
  • Vaults.
  • Easy integration with iCloud.

Now comes the time to migrate my photos to Lightroom.  I am not a fan of day forward. Day forward is “Starting today all my new photos will be in lightroom” in a deep voice. I prefer migrating my current projects and used catalogs to lightroom.  I don’t want to look back and if I need a photo I don’t want to change from “Lightroom Mode” to “Aperture Mode.”

Here are some bullet points to take in account when switching:

  • There is no conversion process, you will loose all your aperture image edits.  What you can do is export your “Selects” to PSD from Aperture and at least get the finished product into Lightroom.
  • You will need a bunch of hard drive space, so get over it and go get some 2TB drives.  Remember if you screw this up and delete photos, you can’t recreate them.
  • Be prepared to learn a new way to doing things and a new way to thinking.
  • I know there will be things I don’t like about Lightroom, but I am mostly an adult and should be able to cope.
  • Be ready to spend some time with the migration.   Don’t think you can get this done right before a deadline, because you won’t.

So here goes nothing…..

I will keep posting with my findings and discoveries.

1967 Austin Healey Sprite

Here is my Austin Healey Sprite edited in Lightroom. The image that made me say “Time to switch!”

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History of the Austin Healey Sprite Part 1

I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned about the Austin Healey Sprite during the first year of ownership of one of these cars.
Back in the 1920’s the Morris Minor M-Type Midget was developed, resulting in basic, cheap, fun two-seater. The Midget series had established MG as a manufacturer of sports cars with an excellent reputation in motor sport. In 1953 final version of this midget was the TF, by this time the design was out of date and out of step with what the car buying public wanted. Cars of the 1950’s were becoming bigger, more sophisticated, more powerful, and more expensive. After the production of the TF ended in 1955, we thought that we would ever see a Midget sized sports car again.

In 1958 Donald Healey introduced a new sports car, its was designed to be a basic, affordable and most of all a fun two-seater. Using parts from the BMC, the Austin A35 and Morris Minor this new two-seater, the Austin-Healey Sprite, appeared. It was to be built at the MG factory Abingdon because the deigned of car required the engine be installed from above.

1960 Austin Healey Sprite

A 1960 Austin Healey Sprite on display in Indianapolis Photo by Dan Smith. {{cc-by-sa-2.5}}

The Sprite was designed to use a many off the shelf parts as possible. This approach minimized development costs and thus lowered the overall cost of the car. Austin provided the A-Series 948cc engine and transmission, The Austin Engine was a 948cc pushrod, overhead valve, four-cylinder A-series unit, with its twin SU carburetors it developed around 42bhp. The suspension and brakes were from the Austin A35. With its power plant along with its light weight the little car had a top speed of around 80mph, and was its suspension was agile enough to hug the corners.

With Sprite’s design for its headlights mounted on top of the hood, it quickly became known as the “Frogeye” or “Bugeye” Sprite. Healey’s designers wanted the body of the car to be of unitary construction, that is the entire car was its frame or structure. The Sprite was the first mass-produced car with this type of structure.  Although it can’t be called it a true monocoque structure because of the front chassis legs in the front of the car.  Nevertheless it proved to be a very sturdy and practical design.

The Sprite’s styling was originally by Garry Coker with Les Ireland taking over following Garry’s move to the United States. One of the famous styling changes was to the headlights, originally the headlights where to rest inside the hood, and pop out when the lights were on. This design was change because of cost. I for one am glad they decided to make this change.  The headlights are what gave the first sprite its charm, and why today they are beloved by their owners.

Some of the other signature design elements given to the sprite was it’s single piece hood that allowed easy access to the engine compartment. Its lack of trunk or boot lid was inconvenient get the spare tire or luggage out, but it did add to the strength of the car. The Sprite also did not have door handles or locks, to open the door you simply reached inside the car and opened the door.

The Sprite was introduced to the public on May 20, 1958.

“Today the Austin Motor Company makes motoring history with the announcement of a completely new and inexpensive sports car … the Austin Healey Sprite. It is some 20 years since Austin made a small sports car, but the Sprite lives up fully to the fine traditions established in the 1920s and ’30s, and more recently by the Austin Healey 100. It has maximum speed in the eighties and rapid acceleration, but with fuel consumption ranging from 30-45 mpg.”

 Soon after the sprite went on sale in the U.K. for £669, and proved successful for British Motor Company and Donald Healey.  46,967 Sprite Mark I, as they became known after the restyling in 1961, were made in the three short years between 1958 and 1961.

Posted in Cars, Needs Editing Tagged with: ,

The Austin Healey Sprite is painted.

Got the car back from Maaco and it looks good,  not great but good.  There are a few issues one with the hood, and a few spots here and there where I could have done better. Live and learn I guess.  The hood was not Maaco’s fault but the fault of the PO, as they did a bad repair job.   Overall I am happy with the outcome, but as with most projects I did learn a few things:

1. Either do all the body work yourself or hire who ever does you paint work to do it.  That way the blame is squarely in one direction.

2. You really can see every little imperfection in the body after it is painted.

3. Don’t try to match factory colors on a old car, unless you really want original.  Find some touchup paint you like the color of and have them match that.  That way you always have touch up paint.

4. Pay to tow the car to and from the paint shop, if you can’t drive it that is.  Don’t rent a trailer, the price difference is not worth it,  I think I “saved” $20.00 but the damage cost me $140.00.

All in all I am glad I got the car painted, it looks so much better.  Now I can enjoy driving the car around town.  This weekend I will be taking it up to Redrock Canyon for some photos and will post them here.

1967 Austin Healey Sprite after paint.

1967 Austin Healey Sprite after paint.

IMG_1449Next mission:  Interior, break squeak, fix the lean.

Posted in Cars, Needs Editing Tagged with: ,

Off to Paint

Off to Paint.Well I am off to paint!   After almost a year of fixing things I decided to get the little car painted.  I thought long and hard about when to paint the car, and if you know anything about me I am not one that thinks about something too long.  I like to just get it done and over with, sometimes with less that desirable results, but most of the time with great results; some call it luck.  After much thinking I decided to get the thing painted and not painted as a show piece.  There are just too many other things not “correct” to win a concourse at a show.  So the best corse of action is to get the thing drivable, and presentable.

I first thought that using the paint that came with the car would be the cheapest, but as it turned out ChromaBase paint requires hardener and clear coat to really make it work. The quotes I received were twice my budget, and that would not fly.  So I decided on going with Maaco for my paint.   You may think “Maaco are you crazy?”  yes and no.  Bob at Macco in Las Vegas seem to be the most knowledgeable and cared the most about my little car when I got the estimate.  That is why I decided on Maaco, it was not price as they were right in the middle of the estimates. It all came down to a feeling of trust.

Where did the car go?


I could not help myself by assembling the parts I removed from the car in the garage and take a photo.  But none the less its time to start clean and polishing chrome and aluminum.

Stayed tuned for the results of the paint job.

Oh one last item.  Don’t do the 6′ x 12′ Uhaul trailer to tow your Austin Healey Sprite to the paint place.  It just fits and I took off some of the old paint loading it on to the trailer. The only saving grace was I was headed to the paint place, and they could fix it.  So my estimate just went up.   Needless to day I will be using a tow service for the extra $10.00 to get the car from the paint place.  I just got another point in the DPO column.


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Different approach to Restoration

I read an interesting post today on MG Experience, it talked about how in the UK there is a trend of not fulling restoring cars.

The idea is to keep the car original as possible, you see an old car deserves to show how well it has aged. I have decided that I will try to keep my car as original as I can. I am no longer going to worry about returning it to “new” it’s not a new car. I new goal for the car is to make it road worthy and enjoy it. I enjoy fixing, learning and driving the car.

So, if you are on the fence about enjoying your LBC or full restoration. Pick one and do it, I did and fell glad that I finally mad yo my mine. I can’t wait to see how my car ages with me.

Posted in Cars, Needs Editing

Ultrasonic cleaner

Wow, all I have to say is wow!   If you don’t have an ultrasonic cleaner yet you need to get one today.

I decided to purchase the little version of the ultrasonic cleaner from Harbor Fright.  I must say it works quite well for a little $30.00 device.  Here are some before and after photos.

Master Brake Cylinder Cap after cleaning.

Master Brake Cylinder Cap
after cleaning.

Master Brake Cylinder Cap

Master Brake Cylinder Cap
after cleaning.

I ended up using Zep degreaser from Home Depot as the solution. I was worried at first that it may bubble over, but it worked great.


Posted in Cars, Needs Editing

Replacing the turn indicator switch

Working on the turn indicator switch on the 1967 Austin Healey Sprite today.  I know I sounds like a broken record when I type out 1967 Austin Healey Sprite, but if I don’t then the search engine will not pick up all the information.    I picked on up from ebay, hoping it would work.  Well it seems to work, I have tested the wiring an its all connects and beeps the meter so at least I know the thing works.  I you are looking for a new one you can get it from Moss Motors.

I got it mounted, but after a few months of the thing off, I had forgotten how the it went on.  I forgot how the horn switch connects so here is a photo of how the connection works.

1967 Austin Healey Sprite Horn Connection

1967 Austin Healey Sprite Horn Connection

Notice how the horn brush connects to the steering column, I also needed to clean up the brash on the steering column to get the connection to work.  It is still a little dirty in some spots that that will work its way clean over time.    The hardest part of the job it putting the bottom cover on, it is a tight fit.

Now to figure out why the right turn flasher will not work,  it must be low on turn signal  fluid.

Update: Feb 10, 2013

Fixed the right turn signals!   It was an easy enough fix, the rear bulb has a ton, well way too much anyway, electrical grease in it. I cleaned out the grease then went to check the front bulb.  The front bulb was not even in its holder, I think it may be the wrong bulb because it was a very tight fit to get it in there.   But after fixing both issues the signal started working again.


Posted in Cars, Needs Editing Tagged with: ,

Tune and Tech with Las Vegas British Car Club

Today I drove my 1967 Austin Healey Sprite to the Las Vegas British Car Club Tune and Tech event.  This was the farest I have driven my car, about 30 miles one way.  Well the car made it without issue, every now and then the speedo would make a weird skipping sound at highway speed. But never the less I made it without calling for help or stopping to fix something.


I had to stop at the Las Vegas sign to get a quick photo along the way, too bad I forgot my Moss Motors sign for their contest, but I am sure I will be back to get the shot again once the car is painted.  If you look close at the enlarged view you will see Elvis.

There were a bunch of different British cars there and it was fun to see the different breeds as well as some very nice people.

Tune and Tech Feb 2013

Tune and Tech Feb 2013

Here is a panorama photo of some of the cars at the event today.  Click on the image to see the full size.  You will see my car right in front of a nice Morgan.

After checking some tail lights and adjusting breaks it was my turn to put the car on the lift. This would be the first time I was able to see under my car without being on my back.  It was nice to see that the body is in great shape and no rust holes to be seen.   My little car only need a few things done underneath, I put new brackets on the exhaust pipe and adjusted the parking break.

The car ran like a top, too bad I would have liked to learn a but more about tuning the car. But I will have plenty of time to get that down.

Overall I had a great time and can’t wait to get the car painted now.  I think all the hard mechanical work is done. After paint is interior and that will be an adventure.

Posted in Cars, Needs Editing Tagged with: ,

Micro Review: Surface Pro as a Revit Workstation

First what is a “Micro” Review, a Micro Review is simply my first thoughts on technology based on the stuff I have read on the internets.  I read from multiple sources and where possible I try to get information on the vendor itself. With that typed, lets move on to the review.

I have been playing with the Surface RT after enjoying the use of one in November. I must say its a nice computer, it connects to our Private BIM Cloud faster and more fluid than any tablet or laptop I have tested.  When Microsoft first introduced Surface Pro I was excited of the idea of having a “real” computer in a tablet format. Looking at the specs I can say that I am still very excited.

So far using the Surface RT the biggest thing that drives me nuts is you really can’t use it productively with its keyboard, and if you read my last review the keyboard is very uncomfortable to use. In fact I tried to type my review using the Surface and switched over to the Mac half way thought. Get the more traditional keyboard cover, its easier and more comfortable to type on.

Lets take a look at some of Microsoft Surface Pro’s specs highlights from Microsoft Web site:

  • CPU:  Is a Intel ivy bridge i5-3317U running at 1.7GHz with a turbo to 2.6 GHz.
  • RAM: 4GB of RAM not expandable.  This may pose a issue for Revit, because as we know Revit is memory hungry.   Don’t be mislead my the labeling in the tablet specs, the memory size that they tout is the storage space not RAM.
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB, remember that the OS and programs take up a far bit of storage. Get the 128GB, as its not expandable.
  • Video: The Surface has a full HD screen (1920×1080) driven by intel’s HD Graphics 4000 GPU, this GPU looks like it is sharing RAM, so this is going to take some RAM from Revit.
  • USB port: This is the biggest feature over other tablets for Revit users. An USB port allows you to connect a mouse. That mouse even work with our Private BIM Cloud.
  • Battery: Looking at different reviews it looks like your should expect 4-5 hours of battery life.

The disappointment for Microsoft’s Surface Pro is the lack of 4G or any cell service, its a WiFi device. This means that you need to tether to a phone, or other device that allows tethering, to connect this thing from the job site.  Is this a deal killer? maybe depends on you and your workflow. It also depends on how spoiled you are not having to tether your iPad now.

Overall I am looking forward to testing the Surface Pro, and playing with Revit and playing with Revit on our Private BIM Cloud.  I think we will all be surprised with this new class of Tablet.


Posted in Clouds, Needs Editing Tagged with: , ,

Cleaning Up "Open With" in OS X Mountain Lion

After using Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) for a little bit I noticed that my Open With menu was getting duplicates. You notice this when you open a file with by right clicking (or two finder click, or control click) on a icon in the finder.  After a while of this I finally go tired and decided enough was enough and found the fix. So here it is:

  1. Start Terminal from Applications -> Utilities
  2. Copy and paste this code to the terminal:
    /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user
  3. Wait for the cursor to reappear, this may take a few seconds.
  4. Command-Q inside the Terminal to close it.  (bet you did not know you could Command-Q to “Quit” an application)
  5. Press Option-Command-esc to start “Force Quit Applications” select Finder and pick Relaunch.
  6. Done.

You will now have a nice and clean “Open With” menu, like this one:

Mac OS Clean Open With

Nice and clean Mac OS X Open With

Remember to make a backup before you do anything weird to your computer. If you blow it up, shame on you for following my instructions.


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