A Ciano Holiday

Over the past week, I’ve been doing my best to step back from the normal routine. This time of year is always good for reflection and for determining what I’d like to accomplish in the year to come.

I am working on several, new posts, but for the last one of the year, I’d like to share some holiday treats.

For as long as I can remember, my father’s side of the family has had an incredible collection of vintage photos chronicling his family’s journey from the beginning of the 20th century. Things like this always piqued my interest, and it bothered me to see the albums slowly decay.

About a month ago, with my stepmother’s help, I borrowed my father’s most treasured volume and started digitizing the set. Previously, I ran across a TechCrunch article on an app called Heirloom.


The idea is that, instead of removing and scanning each photo from an old album, you would simply take a snapshot of the photo with your smartphone’s camera. The app automatically finds the image’s borders and crops out extraneous material, performs color correction, and, if necessary, attempts to correct the photo’s perspective. There is an online component to Heirloom, as well, but I simply used the app to capture my images. It did an admirable job, and manually adjustments were rarely required. Thumbs up!

Next, I imported the photos into iPhoto and did much needed post-processing. To give you an idea as to what incredible feats iPhoto is capable of, check this out.

Most of the photos weren’t this bad, but I still find it amazing that the tools required to generate such a drastic improvement are available with every Mac. If you’re using a Mac as a $1000 YouTube machine, please take a few moments during the new year to explore what Apple’s native applications can do for you. This is a huge value and is one reason why I still believe Macs are the epitome of personal computing.

In total, there were almost 400 photos. Here is a selection of some of my favorite pics.

On Christmas day, my mother had a surprise for me. As I’ve previously mentioned, some of my fondest memories are of playing Atari games with my brother. It turns out that she had saved one of the 2600’s descendents, the Atari 7800, and all of our old games.

We hooked it up to the TV with this bad boy, crossed our fingers, and hoped it would still work. It did, and epicness ensued.

After the retro-gaming session was over, I decided to give my mother a Mario Kart 7 crash course. She did awesome and it was great to see that Nintendo magic make someone I care about happy.

I hope you and your family had a great holiday. Best wishes and I’ll see you in 2015.

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