A very brief post on the inflaton particle, or what created the Big Bang

Andromeda Galaxy by Spitzer Space Telescope

I’ve been completely nerding out with books on cosmology and looking over astrophysics articles recently. As a photographer I’ve been interested in space telescopes and I wanted to share this incredible view.

This is a false-colour image of the Andromeda galaxy by the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2005.

What’s more amazing to me is the analysis of the cosmic background radiation that surmises the need for an inflaton particle, or what we know was “the instant at or before the big bang”, and that due to it’s extreme energy and effect of quantum jitters on a Plank-length scale, the universe is at a macro-scale uniform, but at a micro-scale different enough to unevenly distribute the density of the Higgs field, allowing for particles to collide and create astroids, planets, stars and galaxies as we know it.

Without the inflaton particle and the quantum jitter to be just the way it was, we wouldn’t be here today.

This theory also surmises that there are an infinite amount of universes that were created in the same way, but most weren’t so lucky to have created the particle properties we see and feel today.

With an infinite amount of universes, an infinite amount of space and an infinite amount of time, our cosmic expanse allows us to also surmise that there are an infinite amount of lives playing out, just like ours, only with extremely minute differences.

And *boom* goes your brain.

How to speed up rsync on your Mac (and stop the dreaded “building file list…”)

UPDATED (2016-01-31): Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan still uses rsync 2 so as of early 2016, this tutorial is still required to speed up rsync. Check your version via,

rsync --version
If the output says something like, rsync version 3.1.2, then great, but for most of you, without manually compiling an rsync binary or installing rsync via Homebrew, you’ll have to follow this tutorial…

UPDATED (2013-08-06): Added notes about requiring Xcode to compile rsync (if compiling is the route you choose).

Quick Story

I have a 3TB hard drive full of my RAW (.CR2) photography files that I replicate to another drive every week or so.

For this, I usually run a simple rsync command as such,

rsync -av /Volumes/Photography/ /Volumes/PhotographyBackup/

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 3.14.55 PM

Easy enough, but the rsync command sat on “building file list…” for hours and hours and hours because 3TB and hundreds of thousands of files is a large “file list” for rsync to create.

A quick note on rsync flags

Do not use the -z flag for local hard drive to hard drive data transfers as -z is the “compress” flag and can bring your computer to a crawl when you don’t need to use it in the first place. This issue comes from copying and pasting commands without knowing what the flags were doing, so I wanted to point it out.

You can add –delete to remove make sure files deleted on the SOURCE drive are deleted on the DESTINATION drive. e.g. If I delete /Volumes/Photography/old_folder/, it won’t delete it off of /Volumes/PhotographyBackup/ without using –delete.

rsync -av --delete /Volumes/Photography/ /Volumes/PhotographyBackup/

You can also view statistics of the transfer when it’s complete.

rsync -av --stats /Volumes/Photography/ /Volumes/PhotographyBackup/

rsync Out-of-Date on Mac OS X

In Apple’s Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite, rsync is at version 2.6while rsync has had 3.0+ released for some time now. This is bad for performance reasons. rsync 3.0+ has a reduced memory footprint and creates a chunked (bit-by-bit) “file list”, rather than waiting for the entire list to be made first and then beginning transfer. This means moving to rsync 3.0+ will dramatically speed up the time before rsync begins its first transfer, e.g. fix the “building file list…” hang.

They state this explicitly in rsync 3.0+ by saying “sending incremental file list” rather than rsync 2.6’s “building file list…”.

Quick Note on Linux

I looked up Debians’s & Ubuntu’s, Fedora’s and SuSE’s package version for rsync and luckily they have been using 3.0+ for some time, so if you’re on a modern Linux distro, you don’t need to follow these instructions. If you’re on a Linux server or an old Linux desktop/laptop install, you may want to check for yourself using,
rsync --version

Installing rsync 3.0+ on Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10 & 10.11

Do not run all of these commands, you have a choice of which one you prefer.

A) Use Homebrew

If you use Homebrew, you can run this command,

brew tap homebrew/dupes
brew install rsync

That’s it, you’re done. You can start using rsync 3.

B) Download & Compile

i) Download the Stable Version

Please visit the stable folder to find the most recent stable version as the version numbers may have changed.

cd ~/Downloads/
curl -O https://rsync.samba.org/ftp/rsync/src/rsync-3.1.2.tar.gz
tar -xzvf rsync-3.1.2.tar.gz
cd rsync-3.1.2


ii) Download the (in development) Nightly Version

cd ~/Downloads/
curl -O https://rsync.samba.org/ftp/rsync/dev/nightly/rsync-HEAD.tar.gz
tar -xzvf rsync-HEAD.tar.gz
cd rsync-HEAD*

Then, Compile…

sudo make install
chmod +x ./rsync

Possible Errors

If you receive,

configure.sh: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH


-bash: make: command not found

It is because you don’t have the proper compiler tools installed. Apple requires Xcode to be downloaded and installed from the App Store and have the “Command Line Tools” installed to compile software.

Once the app has been downloaded and installed, to install “Command Line Tools” go to “Xcode” -> “Preferences” -> “Download” and install “Command Line Tools” there or use the command-line,

xcode-select --install

Running the Command

Staying inside the folder it was compiled, you can now run your rsync command similar to before,

./rsync -av /from/this/dir/ /to/this/dir/

Or because rsync 3.0+ has a full-transfer progress indicator, rather than a file-by-file progress indicator, feel free to use –info=progress2 as an option.

./rsync -a --info=progress2 /from/this/dir/ /to/this/dir/

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 4.05.33 PM

The iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 will be 1920×1080

SEPT 9, 2014: Turns out we had to wait for the iPhone 6 Plus for 1920×1080.

iPhone 6 Plus at 1920x1080
iPhone 6 Plus at 1920×1080. Attribution: http://live.arstechnica.com/apples-september-9-2014-event/

AUG 22, 2013: It appears mobile screens are now at a ridiculous 2560×1440 for a 5.5″ screen, or 538 PPI.

OCT 2, 2012:  It appears mobile screens are now being released as 1080p.

This is a personal estimate, but one I hold Apple to say “Why not?” because I’m sure they already planned ahead for this.

Their original iPhone, iPhone 3 and iPhone 3G were 320 x 480px . With a physical diagonal size of 3.5″, that made the screen 163ppi.

Their next-gen iPhones, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were 640 x 960px, still with a physcial diagonal size of 3.5″, giving them 326ppi — aka their “retina display”.

The iPhone 5, which was just announced on September 12, 2012, is 640 x 1136px, with a new physical diagonal size of 4″, keeping the pixel density at 326ppi.

Now, if you notice, the ratio of the screens went from 2:3 to 9:16 with the new iPhone 5. Do you know what screen dimension has a ratio of 9:16? HDTV. HDTV is 1920 x 1080px.

Assuming they’ll keep their new form factor from the iPhone 5, I predict the next iPhone, the iPhone 5S , iPhone 6 or whatever they call it, will be 1920 x 1080, giving them a whopping 550.73 PPI.

Think they will do it?