Friday, July 28, 2006

28 years old

And someone i don't feel that much different to when i was 27 :). I've had two birthday wishes so far, From my mother and a flight consultant i used a year ago. I wonder if anyone else will rememember?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Well, I've been in melbourne for over a week now, Working a lot but getting out and about a little, I've taken a lot of photos, in particular some fantastic sunset shots (a few hundred :) down at the St Kilda Pier. (I'll upload a few once I've had a chance to resize them).

I like melbourne, it's not a hot city, but winter feels more tolerable here than in wellington, maybe because it seems to be sunny more often, maybe because the biting wellington wind is absent, or maybe because of the unbelievable number of bars, clubs & restaurants in this city!

I've even run the idea of moving to melbourne through my head, I'm starting to believe the catch line, Melbourne really is one of the worlds most livable cities!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bugatti Veyron

Stuff has an article about the performance of the most expensive production car in the world (Approx $2.5Mil NZ)

But the almost two-tonne Bugatti ripped through the gears to hit 60mph (100kmh) in 2.8 seconds and 100mph (160kmh) in an astonishing 5.5 seconds. Towler
then managed to pull it to a standstill in just 3.4sec, which gave the car a
0-100-0mph time of 9.9sec.

I don't know about you, But I wouldn't say no to a car that pulls more G's than an F16 at take off :), I think my skyline would probably manage this test in about 25 seconds which might have been enough for me, If i wasn't aware of the veyron!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

First few photos from my 350d

Travelling to Melbourne

My work is sending me to australia again!, To melbourne this time for almost 2 weeks. I doubt i'll get much time to see the city as i'm expecting to be working pretty solidly, but I am hoping to get at least a couple of days at the end to explore. This should be a good chance to get some use of my new camera!

Another new Camera!

I've entered the world of Digital SLR's with my new Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT). Finally a fully fledged interchangable lens digital SLR with a reasonable sized sensor (APS-C sized, approx 2/3 of the size of a full frame 35mm camera). So far i've brought the camera, 2 GB of CompactFlash storage, 3 Lenses, 3 filters (polarising and UV) and I have a set of 'close up filters', a 52-58mm stepping ring and a spare battery yet to arrive. This is definately a more expensive package to own than a simple 'point and shoot', but I'm feeling much more comfortable, and much more powerfull with this camera than i was with my old Olympus C8080WZ Digital point and shoot camera.

The Camera

Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT), 8MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, Interchangable Lens Digital SLR, Canon 'EF' mount. This camera is very small for an SLR, its actually smaller and lighter in most dimensions than my olympus (unless you have a 300mm lens attached of course), A lot of the reviews on the web complain that this camera is too small for their hands, I'm over 6' and while i could possibly do with more finger room on the grip, I have no real complaint. Those coming from point and shoot cameras will find the 350d's size to be ample, I can see however, how those who are coming from full size SLR cameras may find the larger Canon 20D a more natural fit.

Compared to my old camera, the Canon focuses extremely quickly, starts up practically instantly, has virtually no shutter lag and can take continous shots with full autofocus at 3 frames per second,which, while not substantially faster than the olympus on paper, certainly feels faster!

The manual controls are easily accessible and despite what online reviewers have said, I've never had a problem pressing the wrong button by accident (perhaps this is just due to my computer programmer fingers, your mileage may vary)


The camera came with an 18-55mm kit lens, This lens appears reasonably competent to an entry level photographer like myself although it does feel somewhat light and 'plastic'. For many of the users of this camera though, I believe the light, small lens will be a plus rather than a minus, being easy to carry while travelling or walking around.

I have also purchased a 90-300mm Canon USM lens and a 50mm F1.8 Canon prime lens, The 90-300mm has had minimal use so far, really requiring a tripod in all but the best light (those with steadier hands than me might get better results shooting hand held at 300mm, With the 1.6x crop factor of a digital slr, this is effectively a 480mm telephoto!) The 1.8 Lens has been my favourite so far, although it does present limitations in being a fixed focal length. I have enjoyed taking extremely shallow DOF (depth of field) photos with this Camera and lens, something virtually impossible with my olympus.

In total my lens selection, together with the 1.6x crop factor of the Digital sensor, gives me an effective 28-480mm zoom (about 17x) which provides plenty of flexibility, albeit requiring changing lens occasionally. If/When finances allow, I intend to move towards also having a canon 10-22mm lens for wide angle shots, a 17-85 mm IS (stabilised) lens (this is a 5x zoom, equivilent to my previous camera) and a stabilised 300mm+ telephoto.

In general I'm very happy with my new camera purchased, although i did agonise over spending an additional $500 to purchase a 20D or trading lens flexibility and some Canon features for the Image stablisation of the Minolta 5D, but i'm confident that with an amateurs budget and with the potential to upgrade in the future while keeping my Canon lenses, I made the right decision!

I'll be posting some pictures soon!

Are we too connected

The editor at Tucows thinks so ...

Am I TOO Connected?
Many of you are, and if you're honest with yourself, I
hope you'll realize it. Let the phone ring. Don't take your cell phone in the
car. Leave it in the car when you go into the store. Remember, things that are
too connected blow fuses and don't last as long.

Are we too connected? I for one don't always answer my cellphone, I don't always return sms messages, I'm happy to let the phone ring when i don't feel like answering it. But I know others who simply must answer whenever anyone tries to contact them, I've known people who are offended when their cellphone calls go unanswered.

Are we too connected?.. Every child has a cellphone these days it seems, training young minds to be a part of our 'global community' from earlier and earlier ages. Am I alone in believing that the birth of the 'global community' is heralding the death of 'real community' ?