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Comment: Re:next step for photography (Score 1) 422

by chappel (#49014929) Attached to: What Happened To the Photography Industry In 2014?

I know Pentax has had the 645 'cropped sensor' 4x5 out for quite a while - I watched an interesting youtube video comparing it with the d800e when I was trying to decide if I should buy the Nikon; I guess I discounted it because I haven't heard very many good things about it. I was really hoping for something that produced an image that was worth all the additional effort (weight, expense) to capture it. As for the lenses, my understanding is that much of the older 4x5 glass from decades of film cameras will still work (at least in full manual) - maybe to augment just one new crazy-expensive leaf-shutter lens.

I've read that it's possible to get good results in medium format by purchasing 30 yo film gear, processing the film then scanning it, for $500-$1000(?) - but that sounds like a LOT more effort than I'd see myself undertaking often enough to be 'in the right place at the right time' to really get outstanding shots on a regular basis, and over my pain threshold for a novelty.

Comment: next step for photography (Score 3, Insightful) 422

by chappel (#48994011) Attached to: What Happened To the Photography Industry In 2014?

Personally I think the next big thing in photography will be digital 4x5 medium-format cameras for the 'serious amateurs'. It's already taking hold with the high-end pros, but current tech for a digital MF system is $50,000+ (Phase One / Mamiya, Hasselblad - especially the 'full' 4x5 sensors) - well beyond what any sane 99%er would pay for a 'hobby'. It looks like some low-end digital backs have already dropped to the $15k range (Pentax, low-end Hasselblad?, older, refurbed Phase One gear) - within a few years (I'm hoping anyway) they'll be into the $6k-$8k range to match higher end current DSLR cameras, but with even better low-light sensitivity, dynamic range and color gamut. Until then it'll take a LOT to get me to spend real money to upgrade my Nikon D800e - I'm just not a good enough photographer to need a better camera (yet).

Until they figure out how to make the entire screen on an iPhone Plus act as an image sensor I don't see cell phones competing in that market.

Comment: Re:The content of this article was lost in the noi (Score 1) 422

by chappel (#48993899) Attached to: What Happened To the Photography Industry In 2014?

My understanding is that the DSLR auto-focus technology is VERY mature and works astoundingly well by redirecting ALL the light from the lens up into an entirely separate focusing system right up until the time when the shutter is tripped and the image is captured - mirrorless cameras have to figure out how to focus based on what's analyzed through the live view sensor, and they just haven't been able to get it to work as well... yet. That, and I suspect the mirrorless cameras eat batteries faster while running their electronics constantly (electronic view finder or 'live view' screen) while a DSLR is just idling, letting a mirror do all the work. Otherwise they seem like a great idea.

Comment: Exact same thing happened in Monticello MN in 2009 (Score 1) 204

The same thing happened in Monticello MN in 2009 with TDS, the local ISP. The community requested that TDS upgrade their services to make it more attractive for telecommuters working remotely from Twin Cities business; TDS said that 'wasn't on their road map', so the community went ahead to install their own fiber network. TDS found out, sued the town to halt their install while at the same time rolling out their OWN fiber network, and doubled all their subscribers speeds at no additional cost, then claimed that the original municipal plan was 'flawed' because there was now a 'cheap alternative'.

I'm not fond of government, and doubt a municipal fiber system would be perfect, but it sure couldn't be worse than what we have now.


Comment: Windows should have similar feature (Score 3, Insightful) 231

by chappel (#36431540) Attached to: Mac OS X Lion Has a Browser-Only Mode

I've thought for years that windows should have a 'boot to Outlook' feature for executives; allow the entire available space of the drive to be used for indexed email storage to avoid having to decide which emails to delete, and load office programs by clicking on attachments, but don't confuse them with any other interface than just Outlook.

And optionally support rebooting by holding it upside down and shaking.


Comment: private pilot (Score 3, Interesting) 264

by chappel (#36413054) Attached to: My last airplane flight ...

My last flight took off when I pulled back on the stick (which was a good hour later than I'd originally intended, but it's different when it's your own fault), and landed early due to a tailwind. If I weren't able to fly myself, I'd do a LOT more driving - I don't think I could stand all the security BS anymore - although the average coach seat is probably roomier than my little plane.

Comment: Re:Great but (Score 1) 437

by chappel (#36019054) Attached to: iMac Gets Thunderbolt I/O, Quad-core

My yearning for a 'mini-Pro' is the current inability to install two drives internally on native SATA ports. Three times now I've had drive issues that I could fix using tools that worked fine on the drive on a native internal SATA port, but the utilities wouldn't see the drive (or at least couldn't fix the issues) through an external USB or FW converter / enclosure. Once I was able to borrow a Pro, the second time I tore apart an older iMac and ran the utility (paaaainfully slowly) off a bootable DVD.

I'd love to get a full-blown Mac Pro, but can't afford to blow $3k. I'm tempted to save a bit and build a hackentosh, but I'm afraid just when I need it for something it'll blow up and require days of intricate patching to restore, all without any 'official' support (for whatever that's worth). I'd settle for even an eSATA port, or the ability to add a card that has one. I'm definitely not buying a Pro until it supports SATA3.

I'm sure the Thunder-whatever port will be cool; I'm looking forward to the prices dropping - but I have my doubts it will work any better for drive tech work.


Comment: Re:see what happens when point out holes in the TS (Score 3, Interesting) 239

by chappel (#34683476) Attached to: Auditors Question TSA's Tech Spending, Security Solutions

I've got an IFR pilot rating and an RV-8 - which gets about 170 knots and a decent range, although it's pretty cramped (better than coach, though), and lacks de-icing capabilities, I regularly fly it around the central US, and for most flights it's faster than commercial (counting drive-to-airport, checking in, waiting, flying, retrieving baggage and leaving airport), and no 'freedom fondle' or worrying about breakage, theft or the TSA rule-of-the-week. As an example, from my home in west-central MN to a client site in Dallas is about a 20 hour drive (direct), about a 6 hour flight in my plane (with one pit stop), or about 7 hours commercially (3.5 hours to 'real' airport, 1 hour AT airport, about 3 hours in air). Fuel is a bit more than a typical coach fare, but less than two tickets if I bring a passenger (it's a 2-seater). I occasionally have to wait or divert for weather, but I get to do it on MY schedule, not the airlines. It isn't for everybody, but it's not as far fetched as many think. I've had the plane about 6 years and I've been (for business or recreation) all over - Fargo, Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, DC, Orlando, Key West, Dallas, Phoenix, St Louis, Atlanta, and hundreds of smaller towns around the country.

On top of that, the plane is fully aerobatic and fun as hell.

Comment: appliance support? (Score 1) 406

by chappel (#34625212) Attached to: Military Pressuring Vendors On IPv6

I'm a networking guy excited to play with some new tech, but I've been putting off converting my 'basement' network to IPv6 because sure, all the PCs (mac and linux) and routers (cisco and openWRT) will be easy, but what about all my legacy appliances? I check HPs website every 6 months or so to see if they've released a firmware update for my multi-function printer/scanner, but nothing. So far Polycom hasn't mentioned any support for their SIP phones, and Asterisk is still just dabbling with it - so far only SNOM and Yealink (and yealink only as of November) support IPv6 SIP phones (that I've been able to find), and SIP is supposed to be one of the IPv6 'killer apps', since all the hassle of transitioning NAT goes away. I won't even go into my mvix media player, chumby alarm clock, or nabastag wifi talking rabbit. Is it safe to assume the Wii doesn't do IPv6, either? I have yet to find an ISP that is even considering IPv6. I was impressed apparently the iPhone supports IPv6 since iOS v4, and that my folks Brother LaserJet (wifi/ethernet) supports IPv6, but I don't want to upgrade my printer just to not have to mess with dual stacks - I guess we'll get there eventually.

I'll start playing with dual stacks one of these days, but at the moment it doesn't appear to get me anything beyond novelty and geek cred.

Comment: color e-ink killer app: digital picture frames (Score 5, Interesting) 164

by chappel (#34167232) Attached to: E Ink Unveils Color E-Reader Display

I've been waiting for years for color e-ink to mature enough to make a good digital picture frame. Something cheap, lightweight, with great viewing angles, daylight readable, non-reflective, awesome resolution, takes no power in between refreshes - heck, you could set it to only switch 1x day and run it for a year on a small battery.

Sounds like they are getting closer - keep at it, guys!

Comment: Re:Maybe a solution? (Score 1) 642

by chappel (#34085806) Attached to: TSA To Make Pat-Downs More Embarrassing To Encourage Scanner Use

I'm a private pilot, with my own plane, and have also been through lots of airports - mostly tiny ones, but I've been to some larger ones, including Dulles, Indianapolis, and Orlando. I must have been to at least 150 different ones within the US. The most security I've seen consists of the cute girl behind the service desk needing to push a release button for you to walk out the doors to the plane, the next most security has been several airports with a white stripe painted across the parking area delineating the 'private' from the 'carrier' areas, which you aren't supposed to walk across on penalty of a stern warning - although all the larger ones have a considerable distance between the ramps for private planes and the commercial ones. So far the only effective security I've seen is at the little strip where I learned to fly, where the owner lives along side the runway, and keeps an eye on things.

I always fly with a pocket knife, and have flown with a handgun in a waist holster. I don't ever recall seeing a security agent; there are no checkpoints. If your plane doesn't crash, explode or get a 'ramp check' from the FAA (which I've heard about but never witnessed), no one would ever know what you had on board.

Comment: Re:How long until Sony starts subtracting features (Score 1) 124

by chappel (#33889846) Attached to: Sony HDTVs To Come With Google TV Interface

Wow, guess I struck a nerve with the Sony Fanboys. Sure, I could research and find out if a particular Sony product does something underhanded and unexpected, and should have researched the walkman, but I had been really happy with my previous sony products, and had no reason to suspect that if the box SAID it was an MP3 player that they'd be lying. After the ensuing years of proprietary hardware, root-kits, and support for the RIAA, I don't care if they DO happen to puke out a decent product, I know part of the proceeds from it go to screwing people, and that just doesn't sit right with me, and I encourage others to spend their dollars more wisely whenever I get the chance.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!