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Showing posts from June, 2009

Deep Thought for the Day

Nuisance - that which causes offence, annoyance, trouble or injury.

gNewSense - pronounced nuisance - a derivative of Ubuntu which causes offence, annoyance, trouble or injury by stripping out what few bits actually make Ubuntu usable, all in the name of "freedom".I posted this almost verbatim as Anonymous on LinuxHaters. It differs by but one very special word. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find the original and discover that very special (missing) word.

Olympus E-P1 Very Near Release

Olympus is in the midst of releasing a new camera line based on the µ4/3rds camera standard. The µ4/3rds sensor is the same size and type as in the regular E-series 4/3rds DSLRs (such as my E-3 and E-300), but the lens-base-to-sensor distance has been reduced to make the body smaller as well as the lenses. You can use regular 4/3rds lenses with the newer body buy using an adapter.

The best roundup of news and rumors seems to be 1001 Noisy Cameras. You'll find a whole slew of pictures, images, and links to other stories there. From what I've seen it looks to be a sweet little camera with a power punch. Whether I'll buy one or not is another matter. Because it uses the same sensor as a regular Olympus DSLR the image quality will be the same (as will the image size). The question for me is how would I use it. I've got both an E-3 and E-300, and I'm quite satisfied with both. But I must admit to a little Olympus fanboydom, and sometimes something is worth owning for its…

Twitterific Whole Again

Looks like Apple sent a new upgrade to Twitterific in record time. I was able to download a working upgrade midnight last night. Right now it's back to work, and it's in sync with the PC Twitter clients. I'm amazed by both Twitterific and Apple. Thanks guys for working together in a timely fashion.

Olympus E-3 System Six Months On

It's been six months since December of last year when I first opened all the boxes on my E-3 and its lenses and equipment. While it isn't perfect (what camera truly is), I'm satisfied with it to the point where I'll give it up when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

System Specifics

With the exception of two lenses (the Zuiko 9-18mm and Sigma 30mm) every piece of equipment was purchased back in December of 2008, when the prices were anywhere from 35%-50% off of MSRP. It was remarkable. Since that time the prices have risen back to reclaim half their mark-off. I wish I'd purchased more, but my budget had a firm fixed limit.

My system is composed of the following:E-3 BodyHLD-4 vertical gripFL-50R flash12-60mm Digital Zuiko High Grade ED SWD 5:1 zoom50-200mm Digital Zuiko High Grade ED SWD 4:1 zoom9-18mm Digital Zuiko Standard Grade ED 2:1 zoom30mm Sigma DC HSM f/1.4 primeOther bits and pieces include a pair of SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s Compact Flash cards, Hoya Pro…

Twitpocalypse? No, just sloppy design

Ars Technica wrote a little article about how the interwebs were all a-twitter over its belief in a looming Twitpocalypse. Everything Twitter was supposed to shut down because somebody, somewhere, decided to use a signed 32-bit value as a unique key for every tweet posted to Twitter. Once the value rolled past 2,147,483,647 and into negative territory then everything was supposed grind to a screeching halt. And then all those Twits who couldn't tweet would just shrivel up and die. If only.

Well, things didn't turn out as catastrophic as many had feared (unfortunately). I've been experimenting with three Twitter clients. One of them has failed, I would suspect, due to the 32-bit value roll-over. The client that failed is Twitterific on my iPod Touch. The other two clients, twhirl for Windows and the regular Twitter web interface, seem to be cooking right along.

I can't complain too much about Twitterific. The Touch (and by association the iPhone) make a poor Twitter clien…

Fedora 11

I decided to try out the latest Fedora, 11, over the weekend. The biggest reason is that the company I work for "sanctions" the use of Fedora on corporate machines. Rather than go through the trouble of installing Fedora 11 on my company notebook I decided to take the lazy way out and run the Live CD on europa.

I know that europa is getting on in years; I purchased all the parts to the machine Christmas 2003. Over the years I've upgraded the video card and replaced one of its two drives. The primary drive, the one on which Windows XP is installed, has worked tirelessly since initial installation and power up. If I'm to believe Palimpsest, Fedora 11's latest utility, then that drive has some problems.

Which, I suppose, is to be expected after such a long period of use.

As is usual I've just poked around Fedora 11 a little bit, noting the obvious in-your-face deficiencies. One of the biggest worth noting is the wildly inconsistent default font sizes that come on t…

Let Detroit Die

Like everybody else in the world I've been listening to the drama unfold around the Big Three automakers; Form, GM, and Chrysler. Chrysler has already traveled so far through bankruptcy that it's preparing to come back out as a "leaner" automotive company. GM has just started it's tortuous walk through the process, with GM's spin twisting reality so much they're claiming this "isn't about going out of business - this is about getting down to business."


GM had the EV-1 in the late 90's. They then worked to destroy the car and any ability to manufacture more, turning instead to SUVs and big trucks. My wife and I wanted an EV-1 in the worse way, regardless of the warts. And we lived in Florida, not California. For normal small cars (i.e. non-hybrid or pure EV), GM had not one but two high-mileage brands, the Geo Metro (via Suzuki) and the Saturn. The Geo Metro was an inexpensive car with gas mileage that stretched up to the mid-40&…

OpenSolaris 2009.06 and USB drives

I was asked by Beranger in a comment to the last post if OpenSolaris 2009.06 would detect and automount USB drives. Yes, it will. See the screenshot to the right.

This test was conducted using the LiveCD only. The USB thumb drive I tested this with was an older SanDisk cruzer micro 1GB. It was formated as FAT 32. When plugged in the desktop mounted the thumb drive fairly quickly, then popped up two dialogs; one informing me I had installed an Audio CD and asking what application I wanted to launch, and the other informing me that it contained "software intended to be run automatically. Would you like to run it?" I found the second dialog rather interesting since the application it detected was a Windows executable. This particular USB drive still contains LaunchU3.exe. I've changed the Windows registry on my machines to essentially block this feature and thus ignore it. I find it interesting that OpenSolaris still detects the "fingerprints" of the automatic exe…

OpenSolaris 2009.06 Live CD

I downloaded and booted the LiveCD version of OpenSolaris 2009.6, more for consistency than anything else I suppose. Europa booted into the OpenSolaris graphical desktop at 1024 by 768, which is too low for the card and the monitor. When I changed the resolution to 1280 x 1024, the screen resized fine but the upper and lower Gnome panels didn't move to fit the new screen size (check screen capture left). Which brings up another nit. Normally on a Gnome desktop hitting PrintScreen will bring up the screenshot save applet. This desktop doesn't do that. Fortunately you can bring it up via the main menu (Applications | Graphics | Save Screenshot). Such are the minor nits to be found after five minutes of very casual use. Oh well.

Is this version fit to challenge Linux? That depends on who you are. If you're a Windows-Hater/Linux-Lover then it won't satisfy you. Not because if any specific inferiority of the system, but simply because ItsNotLinux(tm). At the other extreme, i…