Friday, December 15, 2006

Fait à compli

Ever get those nasty little cheques in the mail, that claim to give you $1.00, $10.00 or $20.00 that hook you into a service in fine print? That should be illegal. Talk about a quick dup. It's a farce really, why is if i endorse these cheques to redeem the cash, they are legally allowed to charge me 100s of dollars per month for a service I'm not particularly clear on?

Term life insurance - do they actually do what they claim?
Auto insurance - how do you give me auto insurance without my VIN, Model and Make of my car?
Home insurance - how do you give me home insurance if you don't have my address recorded somewhere?

Honestly, this is a mild form of mail fraud in my opinion. Why is it legal? and Why can banks get away with this too?

Sooooo Windy

Wow! Severe wind and storm last night. It felt like I was caught in the middle of a typhoon or something. With winds in excess of 100km/h, 63mph according to The day after, light winds and over One million Western Washington residents are without power. Including the Microsoft Main Campus.

I hope the power comes back.

News source: [link]

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Music I Like: Keane - Under the Iron Sea

Artist: Keane
Album: Under the Iron Sea
Genre: Rock

U2-esque music that invokes deep feeling emotions. I gotta say, this English band delivers. Tracks like "Isn't it any wonder?" and "Crystal Ball" gets you humming along. After going through this album, I get a sense of U2, Radiohead and Coldplay UK mega rock band influences.

Solid album!

Cingular Smartphone, AT&T Wireless Account, I want 3G

This is pretty easy. After all, my friend Jeson has already gone through the trouble of groking through support forums to find all this info out:

1. GPRS, Menu-->Add (new connection)
Connects to: The Internet
Access Point: proxy
Primary DNS:
Secondary DNS:
IP Address:

2. GPRS Authentication
GRPS Authentication: CHAP

3. Proxy, Menu -->Add
Connections from: The Internet
Connects to: WAP Network
Proxy (name:port):
Type: HTTP

4. Under Connections (immediately from settings)
Internet Connection: mMode
Work connection: Automatic
WAP connection: mMode
Secure WAP connection: Automatic

You're done! On my Samsung Blackjack I am able to get a 3G connection: ~970kb/s download and ~116kb/s upload. Nearly 1MB :) However, this varies with the wireless connection I am able to get. I've seen it as low as 400kb/s download.

Vista: Tethering the Samsung BlackJack over USB

My not so reliable Comcast has conked out and I'm left to either "borrow" my generous neighbor's wifi (unsecure http transmission) or figure another way out to get Internet. Luckily, I recently upgraded my SMT5600 to a sexy sleek Samsung Blackjack.

Few easy steps:
1. Set the Settings-->(6) Connections --> (4) USB to ActiveSync. The reason why this setting needs to be set to ActiveSync as opposed to Modem, is to allow for the phone to be charged while in use. Otherwise, if you tether this baby as suggested by Cingular, 3g will drain your battery relatively quickly (1.5hrs or so).

2. Install Samsung's Blackjack modem drivers. I can't find these online, but on Vista, some of the drivers are available through Microsoft Update. Otherwise, they are available on the CD that the device comes with.

3. After the drivers are installed, plug-in the phone via USB and allow for Vista to auto detect the device.

4. On the Blackjack look for Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and set PC Connection: USB and Network Connection to: (Media Net if you're using Cingular or your custom mMode settings for AT&T Wireless).

5. Windows will now auto detect a Remote NDIS based Internet sharing device.

6. After Vista is done installing the Internet sharing device, presto you're ONLINE - BOOYA! :)

Note: I've been having some trouble with getting games to work online, particularly Warcraft 3 (port 6112), where ports have to be mapped and routed. Hopefully, I can find a reasonable workaround.

Oops! my bad :(

The day we were officially supposed to be working from home, I thought I'd be a winter-weathering trooper and decided to go into work. This is totally against the advisory information issued by corporate HQ, I just said to myself" "I've driven in worse before, psh this is nothing".

Well, as I'm heading out to lunch for some delish sushi with a couple of my friends, I mistakenly back to a car scuffing it's bumper. Regretfully, as no one was around I left a little note, owning up to the mistake and awaited contact.

I found myself being contacted by corporate Senior VP of Windows Core OS Division via email with the subject title "bumper". Hmm, this can't be?! Fortunately, Mr. DeVaan appreciated the note i left and my honesty. In reflection, I really appreciate you (Jon DeVaan)'s refreshingly cool attitude and nice demeanor about this situation. Thanks!

Bad Weather

Snow on Tuesday nearly shut down the Microsoft main campus (Redmond) and snow on Thrusday night made it look like we were in some Eastern state city in the heart of winter. Honestly, what's going on with the weather?! Toronto's been receiving anomalous weather as well, upwards of 14C to 16C. Wait a minute, why are we getting Toronto like weather and Toronto getting Seattle like weather?

Recently, I watched An Inconvenient Truth and it brought to light some interesting global warming facts and dispelled some "cyclic pattern" myths. I can't help but wonder, are these strange weather phenomenon a sign that things are not going to get better unless we, as in global citizens promote proactive activities greenhouse gas reduction plans like the Kyoto Accord.

Rain, rain don't go away just yet, please stay a little longer to play.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Zune head-to-head with iPod

While reading reviews, I came across an interesting point - How is Microsoft going to erode Apple's market share, when happy iPod users are locked in with Apple's DRM? Uhmm, with this "Locked-in" monopoly, Microsoft can only compete with the 25%+ market share that Apple doesn't already own. Ouch! Zune marketeers cannot expect iPod users to throw away hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of Apple DRM'd content.

Call to action:
Microsoft needs to either create or endorse porting kits/incentive or creative licensing to lure iPod user's to the neat Zune platform. Say, port the DRM over with the consent of the music industry backers - the 'owners' of the IP.

Just food for thought.

Congrats Zune! - but i think you need to loose a bit of weight

Today's the day that Zune debuts! W00 hoo! I've been eyeing this little device for quite sometime. I mean there was all that hype at the Company Meeting, people were soo excited! Cheering whenever there was a whisper of Zune mentioned on stage.

Anyway, so 11.14.2006 Microsoft officially enters the consumer digital media player market. This lucrative market has made and broken many players. From the failures of S3/Diamond's RIO to the hyper success of the iPod. Everyone's asking, is Microsoft next in line to take over the throne?

Here's my take in a few parts:
1) First impressions
2) Look and feel/Sex appeal
3) Service + offerings

First impressions - Zune, you need to trim the fat...
Well today, I rushed off to go take a peek at the Zune right after work at the local Circuit City. Overall, the buttons take a minute to get used to - things are not exactly where you think it would be... after all I'm an avid iPod user.

The video resolution is beautiful and the real estate is generous. I couldn't really get a sense of the weight of the thing as it was tied down in the kiosk, but i did get a chance to really check out it's exterior. The two tone casing is decent, but is it really worth the 3mm extra layer of "Fat?!". I could definitely do without it, especially to make it look slim and sexy compared to it's killer competitor.

Tactile comparison:

  • Plastic - feels cheap, talks cheap
  • Polished metal - speaks money and value
  • Thin - feels refined, minimal, is not intrusive to carry around
  • Thick - bulky archaic, undesireable
Overall, I kinda got a so-so feeling about the device after fidgeting with it for a bit. Not an overwhelming impulse. The I got to HAVE this thing reaction - as encountered with the v1.0 Nano.

2) Look and sex appeal

Two tone look is nice, but is it sexy? - I can't get over it's chunkiness - Zune you're fat. Also, what can you say about this user experience?! Installation Error and you show this girl who looks a) having so much fun her stomach hurts b) is having an orgasmic of a time listening to the music (wait no Zune or headphones) c) is in so much pain because of this error message she wants to cringe - yikes! bad image to burn into the user's minds.

3) Servicing + Offerings
Welcome to the social - Great selling point, but will it be as pervasive as marketing and business strategy hopes? I can only hope, over time the service will enable Zune not only to exchange music wirelessly, but also purchase music and eventually access rich online services - be it, a personal digital wallet :)

I still gotta check out the Zune music service - aside from the pain point above, the screen shots look awesome.

Vista compatibility is limited yes, but hey this thing's gotta ship right? I'm sure Vista updates will be out and ready by the time Vista for the consumer is ready in Jan '07.

Subscription based music leasing - Dude! Make this a selling point! for 15 bux a month I can lease any music I want?! I wonder what the cost would be to convert those music leased to music bought. This is a key differentiating factor from iTunes and iPod - I hope that Zune's Music service exploits this difference.

Overall, my impressions of the Zune is that it's an average music player. Nothing to de-throne the iPod from it's overwhelming 75%+ market share, yet. Hey Microsoft's always in it for the long haul, let's see what V2 is like.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vista RTM'd

Yeppie! Vista is locked, loaded and ready to go. Enterprises, here Vista comes!

Now this begs the question, as a consumer should I go get Business Ed. For my desktop? Or should I wait till Jan for the consumer versions: Home Basic, Premium and Ultimate?

Well, Microsoft not just going to hold their breath from now until Jan. There are going to be subtle improvements on the way for sure. The bottom line, it's always worth the wait for quality... Right?

Speaking of quality check out these sweet new boxes:

What's cool in Vista that I like?
1) Organization via search - no more poking around to find your app and docs, just search!
2) Eye candy: Aero (glass), improved Alt-Tab (sticky is a nice feature), 3d-flip (kinda gimmicky), sidebar gadgets
3) More security conscious - reduced access while running software (UAC), IEs security offerings
4) Somewhat faster network access
5) DX10, yet to be seen what kind of awesome games this can help produce

With that said... how many people out there are going to be lining up at Best Buy to get a copy come January??

My guess.... not too many. The feedback i've been getting from the consumer land is that:

1) "...This product has been pegged with delays, and they still don't have it all right.. "
2) "...Microsoft never gets the OS right on the first try, I'm going to wait for SP1 or even SP2..."
3) "...Where are all my drivers? I want to game, use cool hardware, do things i could do on XPSP2, but better!..."

I guess you can't argue with those above points. ISVs (Independent software vendors) and IHVs (Independent hardware vendors) need to catch up and revise their products to be compatibile with Vista.

My take...
Well, my finger print reader software doesn't work, but most of my other peripherals work out of the box. My iPod (Zune isn't out yet so chill), my SD card reader, my webcam and all the little gadgets on my motherboard, all seem to work with Vista. I'm ready for it. I say try it out.

Wikipedia has an entry that describes the new features quite well: [link]

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Music I Like: Kaskade - Love Mysterious

Arist: Kaskade
Album: Love Mysterious
Genre: Electronic, Down-tempo

Seductive, cool, and chill, what more can you ask for soft easy listening while driving to work or just hanging out on a Sunday afternoon reading a book. This guy can really produce awesome tracks, from his ground breaking In the Moment and his double 'best of' album Here and Now. On Love Mysterious, I find myself listening to the catchy club antheme 'Be Still' and chilled out track of 4am. Never the less, another great production, good job!

In search of sashimi

Ah... Winter is starting to settle in. As I sit here blogging, I stark crave for some SUSHI. In a recent trip back home I had the fortune of making a trip to an all you can eat buffet @ Masion du Japon in Toronto. (Go figure with the french name for Japanese cuisine).

MMMMMmm (pulpy salivation), doesn't this look awesome!

I gotta find a place here in the NW with similar offerings.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Music I Like: Hello Goodbye - Here in your arms

Artist: Hello Goodbye
Album: Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
Genre: Electronic, Rock

I like,
Where we are,
When we drive,
In your car.
I like,
Where we are;

Cause our lips,
Can touch,
And our cheeks,
Can brush.
Our lips,
Can touch;


Hello synth pop! On my drive home, I couldn't help but to have a big *smile* across my face as the song Here (In your arms) pumped my radio. Something about how the melody and chorus stirs up nostalgia and warm fuzzy feelings of the now.

I think I'm going to have to check them out... As for now, this is my tune of the moment.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Wiki for Gentoo

Man, installing has never been easier. Just searching for your favourite package, live or google it, check the portage tree and emerge. Yeppie! I have my new wiki.


Incidently, I chose moinmoin, being the most popular.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

xGL - desktop composition for Linux

Watch the video, all I can say is *wow*. You can really make a bleed edge looking desktop with high quailty 3D and 2D desktop effects.

I happened upon the video from here.

More info:
Ubuntu Howto
Gentoo Howto

Note to self, I gotta get me a distro and try this out!

Liquid Desktop

You can do it yourself! Check this out, the parameterization of screensavers allow you to pass in arbitrary HWNDs to parent the screen saver. Meaning.. hmm what if I used the desktop as the parent?

Check this out:

yourfavscreensaverhere.scr /p 65552 and voila, you have an animating desktop!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Congee Explained!

Wow, talk about learning something new everyday. Congee, a rice porridge typically eaten at breakfast, is a word derived from the Tamil word kanji. I've always been puzzled how that term came about.

In Cantonese, one would phonetically pronounce it as "jok" or in Chaozhou it's prounced "mwyeh". It's funny how sometimes the Chinese phonetic pronunciation never make its way to the Latin/English phonetic-based word.

On the same 'word history' topic, it appears that China, a term used to describe porcelain and the nation the People's Republic of China. It could have been derived from the name Qin (may be pronounced as Chin), the first imperial dynasty that ruled the region in around 200BC. Curiously enough, today in mandarin, it is pronounced "ZhongGuo" -中国 literally middle country.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bats in Downtown Seattle?!

There are bats downtown Seattle?! Well, I suspect at least near the corner of 4th and Pine st.

While walking home from the flick 'Departed' (which is a mighty good show might I add), my friends and I noticed hundreds if not thousands of chirping nocturnal creatures fluttering about in the trees on 4th across from Macy's. On ground near the inhabited trees, I found what looked like drops of bat poo aka guano. Hmmm... I wonder if Batman is lurking around the corner somewhere.

I Live'd it and found, yes indeed there are bats to be found downtown and up in Greenlake. Unfortunately, with Google I had a tougher time in coming up with relative hits.

UAC & IE7 Toolbar hell

Now with Vista's security, and User Account Control (UAC) are our PCs really much more safe?

I just read this amusing article on how a user experimented with toolbars on IE6. Quite a telling tale: [link].

My bottom-line opinion:
Yes, Windows has created features to make it more difficult to accidentally hose your PC.

However, when it comes down to it.. NO users still need to have a great deal of knowledge to make decisions about whether installing X will be safe. Also whether installing safe X will come with an annoying Y.

User account control is just that - it gives users control to decide when to install something or not, while running in a more restrictive default environment. IOW, I can't accidentally install some foreign ActiveX control that causes spontaneous pop-ups, but I can however still do it, after clicking several dialog boxes.

I would still argue that Windows Vista is probably the most secure version of Windows ever produced. The problem with installing and running software, unfortunately is still a guessing game.

p.s. I'm glad to see a neat reset feature obfuscated in the Internet Options [advanced] Panel.

Reset Internet Explorer settings....

Deletes all temporary files, disable browser add-ons and resets all the changed settings. You should only use this if your browser is in an unstable state.

Mail In Rebates woes

Great marketing plan! Let's sell consumers products at a 'discounted' price, but infact charge them full price, and where applicable collect taxes on the full inventoried price. So, let's sell goods and services for full face value, give our customers a coupon that gets thrown into a rebate system. After which, it'll take 6-8 weeks of 'processing' time to which we may or may not decide to cut a cheque based on eligibility ;^)

Sound familiar? Ughk, it's such a pain in the butt...

Why do retailers do this?
1) Manufacturers or wholesalers want to rush out inventory through incentive based liquidating
2) Stores will co-market this inventory liquidation
3) Manufacturers + stores will co-market to produce incentive and buzz to buy a particular high value product

The process of photocopying receipts, meticulously cutting out the UPC and mailing several forms with several pieces of info to various mailing addresses can become daunting. On top of that, you may have thought you've fulfilled the retailers + mfgr's requests on the rebate forms, but you may in fact may not have checked the right box, or neglected to sign a dotted line somewhere. Thus invalidating your rebate request, hence after all this processing - the goods or service purchase becomes much more expensive than anticipated and desired.

Bottom line, something advertised for 59.99, may infact be 149.99 with serveral stacked coupons, let's say 50$ from mfgr + 40$ from retail hq. On top of that, you may or may not get these rebates. Sounds like a professional 'scheme' to me. As of lately, I try to avoid these like the plague.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mozilla meet Microsoft

Oh what a cool night, I got to have dinner with the core Mozilla team. It's amazing how organized open source projects can coherently bring a project together to strive towards the same vision and goal. To bring the ultimate browsing experience to consumers.

My experience with software development has mostly been in the domain of commercial/for profit software. It's amazing how much co-ordination goes on with open source projects like Firefox and to see the organization ship version after version in a relatively short time period (12 months).

Overall, the meet and greet was very humbling, we talked shop - browsers, extensions, plugins DOM interactions and talked about how to integrate in the next revision of Microsoft Windows aka Vista.

There's nothing like swapping tech stories and drinking stories a like over steak and gorges of wines and spirits.

I gotta say, Chris Ruth's steakhouse has a decent selection of single malt scotches and unique desert wines. *yumm*

On top of all that, I learnt that they have facilities in Toronto! How about that, it's one of their core centralized dev centers. Way to go T dot. Their operations are pretty small there compared to those in Mountain View, CA. It's still an HQ in Canada.

Tomorrow morning, I get to meet with the core Mozilla team to talk more about UAC. I'm excited to see a fully Vista capable release of Mozilla products, like Firefox and Thunderbird.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Wii + Twilight Princess = Awe inspiring

Wow - I'm pretty excited about this new gaming system, I mean who wouldn't be with capabilities like nun-chucks, sword fighting, fishing, archery all in a full featured adventure action game. I WANT ONE!

Check it out:

Where did I go today?

International District

After some Dim-sum I whipped my camera out on the hunt for some photo ops.

Distinctively Asian - Walk about the I-district it can become very apparent the differences between Chinese and Japanese architecture. In particular, the cultural significance of the colour red as well as the larger accents tend to be traits of Chinese structures. Whereas Japanese structures will tend to stay more towards neutral colours, with accents that are not as bold.

Supportive pillars

Gene Coulon Beach Park

After poking around at Fry's - I decided to take a random road and see where it would lead me.

Mighty powerful sun! - pretty blinding actually was seeing dark spots after taking this shot.

Distinctive poise - Her arched back can almost be conceived as aristocratic.

A conversation to be had - to be shared with a loved one or a good friend

E-Commerce the love/hate relationship

E-Commerce, the 90's answer to superfluid commerce for the purpose of exchanging goods and services over a ubiquitous network 24/7/365. The utopian dream suddenly bursted early in 2000 when vendors realised they have to keep expensive inventory and stay on top of the logistics of fulfillment, VC's realised that not all [dot] com ideas were worth 10s of millions and not all customers were wired to the internet.

Anyway, enough of history today 10/01/2006 we as consumers are exposed to a variety ways of conducting business through a mash of mediums with a variety of currencies. Business through the internet, over the phone and in good 'ol brick and mortars. Here's my take on why I like and dislike about buying stuff over the net.

What I like about online transactions:
1. Instant gratification (zaaaaap, in an instant I've bought new songs, movies, e-books, and game/movie/show tickets) - As digi-cams have become extremely popular as I can preview my shots right away or decide if need to re-take another shot. Instant gratification works great for services and electronic media delivery. Instantly you can receive what you want the instant you want it.

2. All the convience sans the drive - I can do everything from the convience of work, home or an internet cafe (wifi permitting). I can go out and pre-order the next new video game, book or whatever without having to change from my PJs.

3. Best prices EVER - No tax, free shipping competitive pricing what more can you ask?

What i don't like about online transactions:
1. What you see isn't always what you get - buying shoes, shirts, jackets or pants isn't the same if I can't physically try them on.

2. The waiting game - the cat and mouse game with the mail/post dude. The game becomes especially irrtating when they leave those delivery notes stating that they'll be back between the hours of 9am-5pm. Alternatively, instead of waiting for the package, I could go out of my way to the delivery center to pick it up. *ughk* this system is defintely not tailored for those who work during core business hours or those who do not have someone at home to help sign packages.

3. Shifty deals - I find myself scouring and often. However, buyer beware there are a lot of con artists/bad vendors out there. There's nothing to say other than proceed with caution.

Anyway, this is just a silly rant that came about when I was decide to a local electronics store to buy a new SD card reader.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Music I Like: Bitter:Sweet - The Mating Game

Artist: Bitter:Sweet (Kiran Shahani & Shana Halligan)
Album:The Matting Game

Dance with me across the ocean floor,
Sail away to heaven's open door...

A hint of latin, a bit of funk, soothing chilled out downtempo, a mix of sultry, funky and cool, Bitter:Sweet. I happened across Bitter:Sweet while watching Grey's Anatomy and again on Nip/Tuck. I couldn't help but find myself 'Google'ing the lyrics (sorry Live, you're still not quite there yet).

Tracks on my playlist: Don't Forget to Breath, Our Remains, Salty Air and of course The Mating Game.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Cool features in Windows Vista !! Folder redirection and sync

I'm so-called 'self-hosting' Windows Vista RC1 and I came upon a neat expanded feature, falling under 'Documents management'. Check it out!

[Location] under the properties of some key special [Explorer] folders like:
Documents, Downloads, Pictures to name a few.

What does this do?! - well not only does it redirect your documents to some arbitrary location, IT ALSO, 'syncs' with a network share if you point the darn thing to a fileshare somewhere, utilizing Windows Sync center. It automatically sets up a partnership with the network share. HOW COOL IS THAT!

Look for the Sync Center sync-up - to know your documents are being replicated.

Screenshot of how to get this all setup.

It's really super easy, just select the location you want to point to, and Windows takes care of the rest. ta da!

Ah, all is not perfect. Even though there is syncing with Explorer and the network share, I suspect there's still lots of traffic between the two when you conduct file i/o on your redirect documents.

Recently, I tried manipulating large RAW (NEF) Nikon images, these things are 10MB 10MP monsters. As a result, you should expect application hangs, delays and worst yet Explorer.exe hangs which may lead to Explorer restarting :(.

Also, if you so happen _not_ to want to sync with the remote share, but keep everything living remotely and not replicated then you can unselect offline files.


You might find it annoying when sync center has to de-select each individual object from syncing. Ughk! This was quite painful when I pointed it to my music collection.

All in all, a really cool feature. Especially, if you're going to have a network appliance/data server sitting in your closet somewhere to keep your data backed-up in some raid configuration.

Re-learning how to take night shots pt. 1

Well, after "upgrading" my digicam from a Sony F717 to a shiny new, err should i say matte new Nikon D80 and whoa... I gotta re-learn how to take pictures! So to learn what my lense and I are capable of, I decided to fool around with some settings.

Experiment #1 Shooting at Dusk - how to hand hold a non VR (Vibration Reduction) 18-55mm f/3.5-5 lense

1. Knowing what F-stop I can stop down to
1/80 - produces really blurry pics
1/100 - produces soft blurry pics
1/125 - ok, given suffucient light, pictures start to become 'soft' and may start to blurry
1/160 - ok, good hand holding shutter speed

2. ISO sensitivity
1. ISO1600 produces noise in regions where one would expect gradients
2. ISO 1250 starts to produces visable noise
3. ISO 1000 noise is present, but no longer annoying

This experiment leaves out apperature, as I'm playing with shutter and ISO.


Lower Queen Anne
f/7.1, 1/125s, ISO100

Near Myrtle Edwards Park, on the Helix Bridge
f/6.3, 1/125 s, ISO1600

Myrtle Edwards Park, waterfront
f/3.5, 1/160s, ISO1250

MSN Messenger Error Code:81000314

Hmm, I wonder what Microsoft's official stance is on Web Services - 365/24/7?! All day Sunday, I found it extremely difficult to log on to Live MSN Messenger. Rather than signing on to chat with my friends and family, I'm greeted with this rather obscure message.

Scary looking eh? I'm a decently technical person when it comes to software related problems, but what the heck does 81000314 mean?
With my tech hat on I've started to polk around:
1) Same error code on another computer [Hmmm Server Side Error?]
2) Still can not log on via: [Defintely smells like server side]

After a litle 'live'ing and 'google'ing I think it means: Service Unavailable. Hopefully, all will return to normal tomorrow :)

*Call to action* Translate these weird obscure error codes! Not everyone has the will or luxury of decoding them via your favourite error decoding util/msdn.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Seattle Walk-about

The Seattle Tour:

Starting off from, South Lake Union...

This was a cute little dog lounge place near Glazer's camera. I was passin' by before checkin' out some camera gear.

This place just looked 'artsy' - I thought this is the kind of logo'ing an art conscious company like Apple would do.

So go downtown, things'll be great when you're, Downtown ...

Ooooo... reflections - those who gaze upon others are really looking deep within themselves...

Cal Anderson Park, definitely a cool people gazing, read a book and chill kind of place. Thank you Seattle for sprucing up this once slummy park :)

This kid was just having too much fun!

Perspective, perspective? perspective! - it's always interesting spotting those details outside of the focal length dictated by the picture.

Mysterious water cave...?

Light, water and stone - wonders of nature

The setting sun, as it buries itself deep into the horizon, to rest among mountains

Heh, it's a water space/lego dude, playing with his puppy dog, can you see it?!

Camera Bags

Hmmm.. Not too big, and not too small, which one should I pick above them all.

There are soo many different types of camera bags out there! I just want one that's:
1) Slick - doesn't look like an 'obvious' camera bag
2) Protects my gear
3) Comfy

Sounds straight forward enough... As I am from a 'technical' background I decided to first "Gather my requirements"

I would like it to first and foremost protect my new Nikon D80 :) I was thinking of getting a Tamrac Messenger style bag like the: Adventure Messenger 3. Unfortunately, it's not wide enough to fit my bulky new digicam. Then I started to think about the different scenarios I would use this new bag.

1) Day trips
2) Airport trips
3) traveling

Hey! Maybe I should get a new backpack. I've had my trusty MEC bag forever, maybe it's time for something new.

I came across these that I find interesting:
Tamrac Adventure 9
Crumpler Sinking Barge

They both offer ample space for a dSLR and a component for a 15" laptop. However, the padding within the Crumpler is much more plush and seems more protective than the Tamrac. On top of that, it looks like a stylish school bag.

Anyway, I think I'm leaning more towards the Crumpler, I can eBay it for a cool 119$ + shipping.


First public blog posting - let's see how far this goes :)