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 :)