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Showing posts from January, 2010

In Atlanta

Up in Atlanta this weekend to see my parents and family. Round trip on Delta. Took my new Olympus E-P2 with me, along with three other lenses, in a compact Domke F6 Little Bit Smaller bag. The other three lenses (besides the kit lens) was the ZD 50mm, the ZD 9-18mm, and the Sigma 30mm. I've got the MMF-1 adapter for those lenses. I've also got my charger and an extra battery pack.

I've been quite happy with the E-P2. I want to work with the camera a little while longer before blogging about my experiences. It isn't perfect, but it certainly is fun, and it's far less intrusive than the E-3. And grumbling about the price aside, it's worth what they charge for it. For those on a budget, the E-P1 is now around $600, but it also comes without the EVF. This type of camera is indeed the future of digital photography.

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

Fairy Linux Progress Report

Back on Christmas Day I proposed the creation of yet another Linux distribution, which I named Fairy Linux. I am pleased to report that I have come up with a release name for the first iteration of this fabulous distribution. Borrowing from the pattern made most famous by Ubuntu Linux, it is (drum roll please)...

Alluvial Alligator

Careful study of the entomology of the release name will illuminate why I chose it.Alluvial - something that is created over a very long time. This should be your first Big Clue as to what is to come. Since I am a group of one, don't expect this product to come flying out in record time. In other words don't hold your breath. And since I want a quality release (where I define quality to include as few bugs as possible), you really shouldn't hold your breath.
Alligator - I live in Florida after all. We have a fair number of Alligator mississippiensis roaming about the state, through canals and retention ponds. We also have Gainesville and the Univer…

Do NOT do business with Cheap Tickets

I don't know how I managed to screw this up, but I've lost the cost of a round trip ticket from Orlando to Atlanta. And that cost is $219.

Three days ago (5 January) I tried to book this trip with Cheap Tickets, and I thought I had booked the flight correctly. In all the years I've flown around the country, first via phone, and later via the web, I've never had the kind of screw-up I ran into with Cheap Tickets. As I've stated already, I wanted to travel, round trip, from Orlando to Atlanta and back. I went to Cheap Tickets, thought I had set up the departing and arriving cities correctly, then clicked through rather hurriedly to finish the transaction. I got, via email, confirmation, and then forwarded that to my mother. My mother sent me a response this evening saying that she was confused, as the flights had me traveling in reverse, from Atlanta to Orlando and back on the correct dates. Sure enough, she was right.

I then tried to contact Cheap Tickets and see if I…

Going 6x6 Again

I got a new camera during the Christmas break (essentially a new body to compliment the larger E-3), and I've been shooting with it and the lenses I already had in my kit. The following four photos were all shot with the Olympus ZD 50mm f/2 Macro lens. The body was programmed to shoot a 6x6 aspect ratio.

For those old enough and with memories intact, this is the format of 120/220 format film. Up to this point I had been shooting 4x3 (4:3rds), but I decided to see what it was like to 'go retro' with the aspect ratio.

I had a Mamiya C330 Pro/F in the mid 70's, and shot nothing but 220 black and white with it; primarily Tri-X (ASA 400) with some Plus-X (ASA 125). I'd purchased the body used along with a 50mm (wide angle) and 80mm (normal) lens. I got a lot of good negatives out of that rig. In the end I wound up selling it because I needed the money, a decision I have lamented to this day. With this particular camera I can go back in time as it were and relive those day…

Christmas 2009

I had a great three weeks with the whole family back in town. It was a shame to have to see everyone scatter back to school, but that's life. The tree this year was all "grown up"; white lights with red and white ornaments supplied by IKEA. In the past the tree would have been lit up with multi-colored lights and equally multi-colored ornaments.

While Megs was home, I went to the local Apple store and purchased Snow Leopard. What was so nice about the Apple store staff person we talked to was his laid-back honesty. I was ready to buy the 'family' version (five licenses) when he told me that I could upgrade our two Macs with the single license version. The key reason being that Mac OS-X doesn't ask for a license key like Windows does. We'd already purchase an iMac and Macbook from them over the past few years, so they didn't see us as shifty-eyed pirates bent on ripping off Apple. While it only saved us $20 ($30 vs $50), it was the really decent way we …

Day 3, 2010

There's something wonderful about waking up to the second decade of the 21st century. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I suppose it comes from finally realizing that yes, I am indeed living in the future. Not quite the future I was led to believe we'd all find ourselves in back in the 1960s and '70s, but it is the future, right now.

What got me thinking about the year 2010 was an old science fiction movie, "2010: The Year We Make Contact", the sequel to 2001. "2010" was released in 1984, another year laden with significant literary meaning. Of course, 1984 was the year when we discovered that "1984 won't be like 1984", but that's a different story. But what makes 1984 truly significant for me is that was the year I married Jude, a significant step on my path to the future. But once again I digress...

I remember "2010" because of its stars, Roy "We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat" Scheider, John "It'…

Day 2, 2010

It is 'tradition' that everyone who keeps some sort of weblog publishes their predictions and/or resolutions for the coming year. So, keeping with tradition, I will now publish both predictions and resolutions for 2010.

Predictions
Apple will produce some interesting new hardware for 2010 (a tablet), and will update most of its existing line, while ending just a very few of its products that no longer excite the masses. And in the process it will make insane amounts of money.
Microsoft, to spite its legion of critics, will continue to rake in vast sums of money on Windows and Office. Bing will be marginally successful, just enough to annoy Google's legion of supporters. Microsoft will kill the Zune when they announce the integration of Zune's capabilities with Windows Mobile 7. And XBox 360 will get another platform refresh.
Google will discover with Android what Microsoft discovered with Windows Mobile; that letting the handset makers and the wireless providers they sell …

A New Year: 2010

Happy new year. Same as the last year. I open the new year with a post about a subject that's been obsessed over since 2006; the poor state of the economy. This time I'll be looking at International Drive.

Top left: Old Harcourt Brace Jovanovich building with "For Lease" sign visible from the south end or International Drive.
Top right: Out-of-business Steak & Ale, with an old mattress up in the entrance awning for someone to sleep on. It sits right next to a out-of-business Bennigan's.

Second row, both pictures. What's left of the old Mercado shopping complex. There's but one entrance that still shows its name; the rest of complex was torn down and the wreckage removed, turning this section of I-Drive into a vacant field. According to several locals, Mercado died after they built Pointe Orlando a block further south.



Third row left: A shot down one section of International Drive, between Sand Lake and Kirkman. On the day I was walking about, there were f…