December 12th, 2005

preoccupied

a relatively twisted perspective

While changing my desktop background, I decided to rotate some of the pictures in my Cornwall folder to be the right way up. I was simultaneously using Picasa to find pictures of flowers that I might want for a new background. I needed one that was vertical, because of the tablet orientation. (Before, I wanted one that looked good both ways, but I only use my tablet sideways when I'm doing something fullscreen anyway.) I noticed that the pictures I'd just made vertical somehow had horizontal thumbnails. I was surprised for a second, but I realized that earlier I'd fixed their thumbnails using Picasa, rotating them 90° ccw. The photos are apparently stored (quite logically) as an offset from the actual picture's orientation.

It's an interesting example of how the interface between real and virtual storage systems is difficult to manage when the user can choose to manipulate either. It's one of the things I'm leery of with Picasa; I purposely don't use the database management that comes with my iRiver because I like my mp3s the way they are. I find it slightly confusing to be able to "change" my pictures without really changing them, and I don't seem to do well confining myself to the virtual and pretending it's real.