This is how I learn

So, it’s Thursday morning and I’m ready to start work, and I remember that I wanted to start logging my diet. Just write down a note to myself, every time I eat something: what did I eat? how much? when?

I’ve sort-of tried to do this with Listacular.com, but the process was too cumbersome, or else something else must have inhibited my doing it more regularly. I’ve had better success with using a paper and pencil approach, carrying a small notebook and pen or pencil with me at all times, and just making the note.

OK, fine. I’m thinking about how much simpler it would be for me to just use my phone because I always have it with me–and, finally, the lightbulb went off for me and I realized that I could take pictures of whatever I eat much more simply: just 2-3 finger-presses on the iPhone and I’ve got a record.

A record: and now I recall that there’s all that EXIF data associated with the image file, and then I wonder, just how much data can I pull out of a picture, and is there a way to add data–super-easily–when the photo is being taken?

So, the first question, what data is there, I ask Google:

what information is stored in photo in iphone

and the first link is this one:

What information is stored in EFIX/JPEG photos taken on the iPhone with geotagging enabled?

and just click it and see how easily a person could be drawn into just going and installing that software (exif) on the Mac. But first, figuring out if I have Mac Ports installed, and so on and on: install this, enter that command.

But this kind of page helps me out, even if it’s not really an exact answer to my question, it raises (and even sometimes answers) other, related, questions about what I want to do and how I might want to do it. It gives me some rationale about how the thing works, and gives me actionable information: install this, type that. I know how it’s supposed to work, and I have an example of something that I can do to further my knowledge.

A bit of googling tells m fiddling with EXIF data is not a new idea, and there is a LOT for me to learn about EXIF–and there are a lot of resources for learning about it.

So, this is how I learn: get instructions with explanations, and context for how it all works, and an assignment to take action.

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