Saturday, October 31, 2009

Neurojobs and Firefox 3.5.3 on Mac

The multi select does not work, unless you use user agent switcher to pretend you are IE6

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Adjusting focus on d40

There are people, apparently, who use hex keys and whatnot to mess with the focus calibration of their nikon camera. I prefer to take pictures with mine.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

HP Pavillion Dv2700 intermittent fan

Problem: Laptop (HP Pavillion DV2700) has an intermittent fan. Fan goes on for a second and then stops, goes on again, stops. While this may be OK for the hardware (but who knows) it drives the user nuts.
Cause: Laptop bios upgraded to F.2E (latest)
My Fix: Downloaded and installed F.25 (older version) and this stopped the intermittent fan. I hope that this does not lead to overheating problems, I should monitor CPU temps.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

50mm f/1.8 AF-D

I'm talking about this lens.
Its made in China, it costs about $130 now, bumped up from about $100 a year back. The focusing ring is dampened and easy to grip (Its a MF on the D40). The mount is metal, but not machined accurately - mine is a tight fit on the camera (and others have commented on this).
The image quality is excellent. This is a set of images of a deck of playing cards shot at the nearest range and at different apertures. The images are 100% crops from center (left) to edge (right). The DOF at f/1.8 is really shallow. The cards look washed out at f/1.8, but if you look at the red diamond and the edge of the middle card, they are sharp, indicating that the DOF is shallow enough (.1" or less) that the card goes out of focus by the time you go from center to edge. At f/2.5 the sharpness and contrast are remarkable:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The spelling is 'coArse'

So here I was, sitting at a class in MIT and the instructor puts up a slide and there is a legend that says 'course coding'. It is clear from the concept that the meaning is 'coarse coding', with 'coarse' being the opposite of fine. I keep my big mouth shut, because we are here for the science, and I don't want to side track people pointing out pipifax things like typos on a slide. A few slides later we come across coarse coding, and it is again spelled 'course'. I keep quiet. Again, and again repeatedly on different slides. Now I know its not a typo. The instructor thinks that's the right spelling. I keep quiet.

Some days later I come across the misspelling on some website. Then again on slashdot, and now I have to open my big mouth to relieve the pressure.

Its 'coarse'. 'COARSE'. Meaning...well, not fine. 'course' means a path, like a race course, or the course of a river.

Buyer beware

A month or so ago, my spouse got me something from Brookstone. It was a great idea, but I realized that the product did not work out for me. On the receipt there was a note saying that returns could be made up to 60 days. We went a month or so after purchase and were told that Brookstone's policy was to refund the money before 30 days were up and to give store credit after that.

I personally think this is misleading. That store policy should be prominently displayed on the receipt where it says 60 days to return. Otherwise its a shady move - probably false advertising. A little bit on the range of mail in rebates - the whole idea with the mail in rebate is that a certain fraction of people will forget to mail it in, so you get more people to buy (they think they are paying less for it) but your actual revenues are more (because the average price is more than you say it is with rebate).

Brookstone's policy is in the similar vein. A certain fraction of customers (like us) will see 'Returns in 60 days' and assume its the regular return policy as you get in most stores (money back), while really after 30 days, they actually have your money and you have no merchandise. Clever.

I found nothing in the store I liked, but they have my spouse's money, so I need to get something. But never again.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

iTunes 9 : Aaargh

It just works. Not. Updated iTunes to 9, now it freezes, uses 100% CPU and locks up, randomly. Why do I mess with something that was working?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Slashdot QOD

Q: Choosing a Personal Printer For the Long Haul (Writer is asking for advice on what printer to buy that will last him for ever and ever and cost nothing and will take direct hits from meteorites and keep working)
A: The best laser printer is the one that uses the same toner cartridges as the one at work. (by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01, @10:38AM)


VisionEgg compiles and runs fine on Mac OS X using sudo python install, just make sure you have Pyro if you want to use the experiment server and GUI