July 2010 - Posts
So I spoilt myself yesterday with a new camera, a Sony DSC TX5. It’s small, slightly water proof (10 foot), and fits in my pocket easily. It’s a little awkward to hold at first but I’m adapting to it. Controls are all via touch screen. I like the form factor and the touch screen is nice and responsive. With indoor shots I tried last night, I found the anti red eye actually added an overall red tinge, but it has a really cool twilight setting that doesn’t use the flash, instead it takes multiple exposures and works it out. I haven’t got any of those photos to show right now, but I was very happy with the pictures: not having the flash makes them look far more natural. For outdoor shots, for a simple point and shoot, I’m pretty happy. These are some I took this morning: (you’ll probably have to click on them to see them in greater detail over on picasa)
The greens in the above, (and yellows) are pretty accurate. Also zoom in to see the detail around the ant on the lemon.
In the pictures of the kangaroo, one is ISO 200 and the other ISO 125. With the ISO 200 the face of the kangaroo is lacking detail (that water pastel brush looking effect). I’m guessing that is more to do with the camera trying to compensate for what it thinks is noise. The day was dull/overcast as well. The ISO 125 picture was better. Both were shot with full zoom (x4). With my other cameras I’ve had similar problems with kangaroo faces on zoom. The ISO 125 picture gives me hope it’s just the skill of the operator that’s at fault, not the camera. but in any case, in both pictures, the grass colouring and detail is pretty good.
Overall I’m really happy with the colour accuracy, especially the greens and the yellows (but perhaps that’s more because my old lumix wasn’t so good in that aspect). It’s got some nice ease of use features (and others I still have to read the manual about). But probably its best feature is it’s size: it’s just so easy to slip it into a pocket and take it with you.
Today I was running windows update on some virtual machines, and noticed that .NET 4 Client Profile is available via windows update. Seems it was released to windows update in June.
For Windows XP the update is optional. For Windows 7 and Vista the update is recommended. What this basically means is for XP users they will typically need to run windows update and select .NET 4 from the optional updates:
For Vista and Windows 7 the download and installation will be automatic if you select to automatically download recommended updates.
One great thing about .NET 4 is the installation is a breeze, especially in comparison to previous versions of the framework; distributing .NET 3.5 was a really a pain as it had dependencies on .NET 2 and the 3.0 additions. .NET 4 is a standalone installation with no other dependencies on earlier frameworks; it also runs side by side with earlier versions even in COM.
If you are running Windows Server (2003 or 2008), windows update will list the .NET 4 Framework as an optional update. Note: this is the full framework as opposed to the client profile.
If you prefer to download and install the full profile on XP, Vista or Windows 7, you’ll still need to go to the Microsoft download site. Currently you can download a Web Installer that then goes and gets the bits you need, or a full installation which includes both x64 (64 bit) and x86 (32 bit) versions:
.NET 4 Client Profile Web Install
.NET 4 Client Profile Standalone Installer (Full Download)
.NET 4 Full Framework Web Install
.NET 4 Full Framework Standalone Installer (Full Download)
So far I haven’t had any problems with distribution of .NET 4. The installs have all been really smooth. Now of course I can also point clients directly to windows update, making life even easier :)
There’s just so much wrong with Apple’s current iPhone spin; it really spells out a much bigger problem.
First, as you all probably know, Apple first denied and tried to belittle customers problems with the iPhone’s antenna design. Today they continued this approach saying other phones suffered “similar” problems. That of course is bullsh*t. The iPhone has an EXPOSED antenna, an the problem is not just interference, but one of conductivity and capacitance. This has been established by the work arounds presented. In fact the bumper cases do just that: they don’t stop the interference of the body, they stop the conductivity and capacitance.
Second, Apple reports only 0.55% complained to warranty, yet 2% returned the device. What the #### ???? Four times as many people returned the device than those who complained ? The only thing this tells us is Apple’s warranty dealings must be like it was widely reported: condescending and in denial of the problem. People don’t return things without a reason, without a complaint. That Apple’s warranty department doesn’t even count the returns is again sign of the disrespect they are treating customers with.
So Apple’s story here is clearly bullsh*t for anyone with any idea about electro-magnetism and conductivity and/or customer service. There’s a lot of good things about apple and a lot of bad things. Personally, I’ve never liked their lock-in marketing model; but one thing they have achieved is in presenting things elegantly and simply. That simplicity is what makes Apple devices so easy for young and old to use. It’s a real pity when they take that one step to far and treat their customers as simple.
Apple’s news conference on iPhone today: BIG THUMBS DOWN !!
The weather on Sunday was mild so we decided to head out for a hike along the Great Ocean Walk, from Cape Otway to Aire River taking in Station Beach and Rainbow Falls (see map)
The walking track is through heath land (shrubs), and you get glimpses of the ocean as you get nearer to the beach:
At the Cape Otway end of the track, it’s steep cliffs:
But after not too long you come to some magnificent views over Station Beach:
To get to Rainbow Falls you need to continue along the track for another kilometre or so and then you’ll find a track that leads down to the beach:
From the beach entrance you need to backtrack East about another kilometre to get to the falls. Make sure you don’t try when it’s high tide and high seas as in places there isn’t much beach, and no easy way around.
One thing that amazed me as we walked along the beach was the scattering of small bits of plastic along the high tide mark. This is pretty much a pristine area, one of the most southern points of Australia, miles away from anything. The plastic wasn’t rubbish people had left, it was stuff that had been washed in from sea. This is something that has happened within my/our lifetimes, and it’s kind of sad. Where we use to walk as kids and look at the sea shells, there’s now a mix of brightly coloured pieces of plastic. I’ve heard talk of oceans with small bits of plastic, but seeing this in this wilderness area really brought the message home to me :( It’s not like there’s piles of the stuff (yet), it’s just a fine scattering of small pieces, in amongst the shells.
Rainbow Falls gets its name form the mineral deposits on the cliff face:
There was only a trickle when we were there (more a seep than a water fall). It’d be interesting to see if they flow more in wetter years.
To get to Aire River from the falls you can either walk along the beach or take the track along the dunes/cliffs. As the tide was still coming in we decided to head back inland. The inland track does have some great views at places:
Eventually we popped out at a vantage point and caught sight of Aire River:
A bit further on we could see the bridge were we had left one of the cars:
The long shadows meant the sun was soon to set for the day
The track led us down to the river:
just as the sun was setting:
It was a lovely walk. On the section from Cape Otway to Station Beach we met a half dozen or more different groups, (families or couples etc). I could discern a couple of different accents, Irish, American, European (possibly Swedish), as well as Australian. Probably a 50-50 mix of Australian and Overseas tourists. On the lengthier section of the walk to Aire River, we didn’t see anyone else. It’s a lovely walk.
Oh, and be sure to check the tides before you leave as we didn’t see them posted anywhere. Use Portland as a good indication of tide times.