Archive for August, 2004

Digital SLR photography

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Canon just came out with a new 8 megapixel digital SLR. 6M is plenty for 12×18″, I’ve found (say about 8″ or further away when viewing).

In any event, with the Nikon D70 I have, I have now tried in all the various modes with which I’ve done pictures in the past, and it can do the work of 4 35mm cameras all at once and do it better. It can do shots I couldn’t even dream about before whether its portraits, action, astrophotography, night shots, dim indoor shots, posters etc. I seriously doubt I will be using my (otherwise very nice) 35mm camera any more. Instant-feedback, 4 frames/sec continuous shooting, it’s all great.

Of course, high-performance photography is one of those disenchanting activities the powers-that-be are so afraid of so 6 O’clock-news-faithful should steer clear, and likely have already been programmed to do so (so be warned).

Getting around the DVD Conspiracies

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

I was in Europe recently and knowing I could get around the Region-coding, CSS coding, user-restrictions and PAL & NTSC coding as well as some cultural road-blocks, CCTVs, identity checking and.. or sorry, wrong conspiracy, I bought a few DVDs. Some for the kids, some for myself, etc.

Here are my notes:

1. All of the discs I bought will play using all-region players on my PCs.
2. Some of the discs are PAL, but “All region”. These do not play on certain DVD players, and do not play on certain TVs even if the player can play them. My cheapest DVD player can handle it just fine. The other 2 commercial players do not like them.
3. Naturally, region 2 PAL discs must be played on an all region player that can also convert the PAL output to something your TV likes.
4. You could also have a fancy TV that can handle multiple formats.
5. If you buy a new DVD player, make sure it can handle at least 6 of the major media-outlet conspiracies (DVD+-R/RW, PAL/NTSC decode & down-conversion, Region RPC-1 & RPC-2, CD copy protection, and of course DVI copy protection).

The moral of the story is, do like me, assume only a region-free player on your PC can handle it. It is possible, with some effort, to watch the movies as intended on a big screen TV, but if you know me, drop me a line to test your set -up with some of my discs prior to shopping the Champs E’lysee.

It looks like from here on out, its only worthwhile hooking up a PC to a TV — all commercial DVD players are too conspiracy-wired to be bothered with. Alas, I don’t have a DTS-EX capable sound card yet.

And remember to conform, wear your cultural blinders and be sure to report all persons with cameras to Local Party Headquarters, and remember there are terrorists everywhere, probably with their families on vacation somewhere. Don’t get conned into spending $30 on a DVD by someone claiming you’ll learn something, your money is better spent on $6 bottles of pop at Euro Disney provided at great effort and expense for your convenience under highly competive free-market conditions, of course, just like DVDs.

Blu-Ray finalized.. but what about HD-DVD?

Friday, August 13th, 2004

Xbit Labs
reports that
Blu-Ray BD-ROM format has been finalized,
and people can start designing their 23 Gig BD-ROM/-R/-RW drives for mass distribution in 2005.

Notably absent from the announcement were Microsoft, NEC and Toshiba, who are developing a different high-capacity disc format, called HD-DVD. Disney is also backing HD-DVD.
Sony is putting BD-ROM into the Playstation 3, while
Microsoft will put HD-DVD into the XBox 2.

Of course, along with BD-ROM and HD-DVD, we also have
EVD and FVD.
FVD is basically Windows Media format.

OpenGL 2.0 is finished

Thursday, August 12th, 2004

OpenGL 2.0
is finally finished.
It’s nice, but it’s taken soooo long to “catch up” to DirectX’s support of programmable shaders.
This kind of lag will kill the API in the future I think.

Doom 3 is out

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

.. and it is instantly available all over the ‘Net in the usual places..



20 separate sources for Doom 3

Personally, I think I will wait and buy it in a store.

RAID-0 on the G5

Thursday, August 5th, 2004

I wasn’t too clear in that last post about that hard drive.
Along with the gig of RAM, I also bought a 250 Gig hard drive.
Together with the existing, Apple-installed 250 Gig drive, I was able to do a RAID-0 setup.
It’s software RAID-0, and it’s built in to Mac OS X.




How my RAID setup looks in the Disk Utility.
Click for full-size pic.

Like the slight pun in the name?

So far I have noticed a bit of an improvement, but I haven’t really tried hammering the drive.
I think the main place I might notice it easily would be loading levels in Quake 3.
But first.. I have to re-install Quake 3!
:-)