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Comment: Re:Not likely. (Score 1) 365

by wwphx (#47307377) Attached to: Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3
I didn't retire my MBP until the video developed a problem and I didn't want to drop $500 to fix an old machine, so I got an Air. I'm going to go back to a Pro when it's time to upgrade my Air, I hate the 4 gig memory limit and lust after my wife's 16 gig limit.

My MBP served as my desktop, connected to an external monitor, until we had a lightning strike that actually scorched the chassis next to the power plug, it also popped the sound. Insurance bought me a 27" iMac, bumped the memory to 16 gig and I'm very happy. I just love the stability: my desktop has been up for 50 days (powered it down for an extended trip out of town), my laptop had been up for a month but I installed some new software that forced a reboot.

Comment: Re:reverse it & you'll see M$ is desperate (Score 2) 365

by wwphx (#47307327) Attached to: Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3
I switched to Macs maybe eight years ago or so, largely because of my wife: she's an astronomer and the observatory that she's at uses linux as their core with Macs as their workstations. I definitely agree with your colleague, I've found that Windows under Parallels is extremely stable, more stable than I've experienced on dedicated hardware, and I would imagine more so if you were running it under Bootcamp, which I haven't done yet.

I have two complaints about Parallels. First, they don't support fooling the OS in to perceiving different video cards so you can run old games under it, second they are very aggressive about planned obsolescence when a new Mac OS comes out, i.e. every year, or a new Windows OS comes out, every couple of years. As a result, I only upgrade when I absolutely must, and I expect Win 7 to have pretty long legs.

Comment: Re:Administrators (Score 1) 538

by wwphx (#47299391) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job
Not all libraries require an MLS for full-time work, but enough of them do that it's problematic. A woman I know worked for a library system for ages with a BA, was stuck at part-time with no benefits. Had to have her gall bladder removed. It was cheaper for her to fly to Thailand with a companion for a week or two than to have it done without insurance, but that's a different rant.

On a more direct note, my sister-in-law with a BA has worked for two library systems without a MLS, full-time, and is even doing research for profs.

Comment: Re:The actual appeal (Score 1) 240

DLSRs can produce great images but there are so many times it produces cold, lifeless images. You can take hundreds of images and choose the best.

When I used film, a cheapo camera produced more brilliant pictures per shots. Yeah, you have to wait and have them developed but in every reel there were always some amazing shots. Now, with DLSR there are thousands of lifeless images and you edit them and enhance them until they are good. There is just so much rubbish and then a good one among them.

I think a lot of it is on the dynamic of knowing that you only have 24 or 36 shots in your 35mm that you pay more attention to the photos that you take, versus being able to shoot hundreds of hi-res images on a DSLR for zero expense and weed them later. But it can also be a question of skill or luck, being able to get that peak moment that makes the shot.

Comment: Re:The actual appeal (Score 1) 240

My first camera was a Yashica Mat-124G 120 roll film camera, 6x6cm negatives. Manual everything, and only 12 or 24 shots per roll. I worked the summer of my freshman (HS) year mowing lawns in Phoenix earning money for it. In my opinion, it is unsurpassed as the best camera to truly learn photography if you are serious about it as you must pay very close attention to composition and exposure. Plus, the prints that you get out of a 2.25 square inch negative can be amazing.

I sometimes think DSLRs make everything too easy. Now everyone has a camera built in to their phone, and anyone can buy a good digital camera for very little money. And it's ruined a lot of markets for photography. A friend of mine worked for years developing very good skills, got a great set of pro equipment, and was making a decent living shooting weddings, quincenaras, and kid soccer team shoots. A woman came in with an entry-level DSLR and started shooting weddings for $100. Her quality was absolutely crap, but she ruined my friend's business because he refused to shoot weddings that cheap, and people wouldn't consider the additional skill and service that he brought in to the equation.

A good camera does not a good photographer make. A good camera can take good pictures, but I'd hesitate to call them photographs. But then again, I'm a snob who's been shooting for 30+ years.

Comment: Re:The actual appeal (Score 1) 240

There's a Brit (IIRC) who took an 8x10 view camera and mounted a flat-bed scanner to it. I think it produced hundreds of megapixels, but with very slow exposure and B&W-only. Unfortunately the site that I saw it on is long-gone. You remove the glass from the scanner and mount it to a film slide, carefully aligning the scan plane with the film plane. Focus and compose on the ground glass, make the swap, and you're off and running. You just need a scanner that can be powered by USB, so the capturing laptop can do it all.

To say it was awesome is to do the results an injustice.

Comment: Re:The actual appeal (Score 1) 240

I've been shooting for over 30 years and love working in the darkroom, I've always found something viscerally satisfying about inserting a white sheet of paper in the developer and watching the image emerge. But those days are pretty much over for me. I don't have access to a darkroom, I don't have a place to set one up in my house, I don't like the continuing cost of chemicals and paper since I'm unemployed and there are no good photo labs near me, plus the unemployed bit. My Canon 6D is a one-time expense (well, maybe in 5 years I'll buy a new body), and I don't make a lot of prints. I also prefer filters, I've got a 77mm circular polarizer on order and I'm very intrigued by these variable neutral density filters, but I also use Photoshop and Premiere. I've scanned something like over 100 rolls of film and just found another box of negatives, so I'm looking forward to finding out what they reveal. I just wish I could find my 6x6cm negatives.

Comment: Re:The actual appeal (Score 1) 240

Audiophile isn't exclusively quackery, it's personal preference plus discretionary funds. When I bought my first receiver, the store was having a two-for-one sale on B&W speakers (which I still have, probably close to 30 years old). I was doing A/B comparison between two comparable receivers from the same manufacturer, and settled on the old one because I liked the sound better. The salesman didn't believe me. When I went back a few days later to pick up my kit, he said 'You're right, the receiver that you bought does sound better. I went back in and did some more A/B comparisons, and it's a better-sounding receiver.'

For me, now in my early 50s with horrible tinnitus and sometimes needing hearing aids, MP3s ripped at max settings sounds fine as far as I'm concerned. Which is sad, but that's the way it is.

Ah, memories. Buzz Jenson's Sound Advice was a great place. I don't know of any audio/video-only stores in Phoenix anymore that are only A/V.

Comment: Re:Good news for BN? (Score 1) 218

by wwphx (#47083351) Attached to: Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers
In a way, this is a core question in library science regarding censorship: does failure to carry an item constitute silent censorship? In libraries, the effort is to carry quality representations of multiple sides of an issue, even one that you may personally disagree with. But in this case, considering the bajillions of books and other items that Amazon carries in its cavernous warehouses across the United States and the world, operated by low-paid drones, also assuming they carry many other titles by the same publisher or author, then yes, it would seem to me to be abusing its position.

Having said that, there are other posts to this story that say the book is available on Amazon in a variety of formats.

This is the theory that Jack built. This is the flaw that lay in the theory that Jack built. This is the palpable verbal haze that hid the flaw that lay in...