Category Archives: Geeky

Digital: A Family Tragedy

“In the transition to digital many of them stopped printing their images. And that’s a family tragedy because although it’s a business, we’re looking after people’s memories,”  – Paul Curtis, Photo Imaging Council of Australia

The above is the closing quote from an ABC article lamenting the closing of most of the countries independent film processing businesses.

As a digital camera user who has never had any of his (~10,000) photos printed I am going to believe that his lack of comprehension of reality as a symptom of while his whole industry is failing: People like photos to be on their computers.

A digital photo is more convenient. I can send a copy of any of those photos to anyone I’d care to send it to for no cost. Regardless of where they are in the world. When I want to show my Grandmother my photos from my trip to the US last year I’ll walk over to her house with a DVD full of photos. I’d hate to think how heavy that’d be walking over with photo albums. Continue reading


Portable & Editable: PDF + ODT

This is a little tidbit of information that I’ve recently come across that I think is really cool. I’m sharing it because I want to see more people use it.

For many years now (longer than I’ve been using computers in a productive way) PDF files have been the de-facto standard for creating portable documents that look good. By and large this has worked but the down side has been that Adobe charge a lot of money for their editing software and PDF files are not meant to be editable. This is all fine and good if you don’t want your documents to be edited but that isn’t always the case.

When someone wants to distribute a document for editing they tend to use one of various closed document formats, which is fine if you have the same editor as the author but pretty clumsy if you don’t. Sometimes the person viewing the document can’t see it at all till they download and install another piece of software. Continue reading

Telechoice, Optus, Apple and Fraud

So on the 13th I received a call from a fairly nice guy from Optus, lets call him Steve because I don’t know any Steves. He was offering to sell me an iPhone, which was convenient because I’d been thinking of buying one.

I settle on the 16G 3G S model on a $79 cap with $10 per month cash back. Which while being a fair bit more than I spend on my $39 plan that I was currently on, it sounded like a decent deal for two reasons: The iPhone appears to be a fairly nice piece of hardware, crippled with some DRM crap but I can choose how to deal with that later; and my last two bills had come in at ~$80 so I might actually save money.

After spending what felt like 3 days on the phone answering and asking questions I get told that my new ‘Phone will be arriving in 7 days time. That sounds like slow processing, but I’ll deal especially as I will be interstate for work for what ended up being 9 days so it wouldn’t matter to me. Continue reading

Apparently the ebook market in Australia is still pretty terrible. I’m looking at the iPhone question (I think its a yes) and being able to read ebooks on what ever I do buy seems like a plus.

The but is that I can’t find a way to buy some books from Australia. I tried to find the cost and formats available for the book I was reading at the time (Twilight, just finished Eclipse last night), and saw that it was a very reasonable $USD12.00 from the first site I found). Then I noticed that I couldn’t buy it as an Australian, so I tried some Australian ebook sites and they didn’t have the Twilight series.

So then I tried looking at Amazon, who were 100% prepaired to sell me a physical copy of the book, but couldn’t sell an Australian an ebook copy. Why is the world so silly?

Anyway the Poll question is, what is the best option for getting hold of ebooks not available in your region. Please comment after voting.

New Lense Purchase – Asahi / Pentax 50mm F1.2 Prime

My new lense, very artistic.

My new lense, very artistic.

I’ve been looking at buying some lenses since I brought my Pentax K20D in November. Straight after buying it I borrowed Dad’s old Pentax lenses so I’ve been carrying around:

* 18-55mm F3.5-4.5 DA kit lense that came with the cammera. This is very handy for those situations where you think a bit of weather proofing would be useful. With the crop factor putting the range to 27-82mm it is a very useful range of zoom as well. Continue reading

Australia’s New Broadband, Yawn, Plan

Prime Minister Rudd announced this morning our new National Broadband Network plan. Apparently the only different between Telstra and the other players in the tender process was that Telstra worked out they couldn’t make a worthy tender before submitting, everyone else just submited something anyway.

So now that the government has no worthy tenders they have decided to do it them selves (with 49% private ownership, the other 51% to be several years after completion). Which is a nobel idea, but I do wonder how this is going to interact with Telstra. My ability to find stock prices online is apparently bad enough that I can find out what has happened to Telstra stock price since this was announced.

I would expect it has tanked.

Continue reading

Racing ‘Simulators’

I’ve never seen a racing simulator game with realistic controls. Nearly every one has the following controls on modern consoles:

Stick (left<->right): Steering
? Button: Accelerator
? Button: Brake
? Button: Gear Up
? Button: Gear Down

Last time I looked at a car (well a manual one) these were the inputs you have:

Continue reading