Wednesday, May 30 2012

Lytro Photos
[05:09:15] matt []/Psi.generay The Lytro cameras have an unfortunate propensity for blowing highlights, blooming, and related sensor issues. The one thing I noticed looking over my travel photos that I took with the Lytro was that the blooming (which can often spill over, innundating a large portion of the sensor) leads to an surreal quality at times, although frequently is just frustrating.

One of the few photos that I actually liked the affect was this one that I took in Narita Airport waiting for the flight back to the States:

. The window is blown, and there's obvious colour shifts because of the over saturation, while most of the people are very underexposed. I actually like the way that much of the waiting area itself seemsto be reasonably exposed, with the blown windows re-inforcing the focus in the room. The underexposed people are really not very important in themselves to other travellers, but their actions and obvious localized concerns are still visible: the family seated in the center conversing, the girl towards the right excitedly asking her father questions about the trip, the single traveller nonchalantly walking across towards the board, gate, or back towards the stairs--it doesn't really matter to anyone else.

While I like how this photo turned out, I'm still not a fan of the camera, and actively trying to recreate it is too dependant on the environment rather than ability; and carrying it around for just the right environment seems silly, especially given other limitations such as resolution--not to mention that annoying lens cap that always seems to dissapear when you remove the camera from the bag.

Wednesday, November 2 2011

The Economist Renewal Offers
[22:50:14] matt []/Psi.generay I received two different eMail offers from the Economist for an early Renewal offer (I have at least one more year on my subscription). One for 80% off, $69 a year; the second for 85% off, or $51 a year.

Ordering magazines is oddly reminiscent of buying trinkets on holiday.

Friday, September 17 2010

[21:19:53] matt []/Merch One annoying thing is, like with the N900, the phone can only be used in two positions; you can't flip it 180 or 270 degrees.

Thursday, June 24 2010

[18:28:42] matt []/dementia Everyone seems to be dissing Nokia these days; geeks love the Nexus One. The whole reason I got the Nokia E61 was because it supported the IDLE extension for IMAP; and Nokia seems to have lost how important this feature is to those who know about it--even the N900 was released without support.

Tuesday, April 13 2010

Fancy Small Computers
[19:49:41] matt []/kerberos I remember a time, not so long ago, that it was difficult to find a small computer that was portable and had a long battery. The OQO looked intriguing, but it would continue to be vaporware for several years. The only thing I could find was the Fujitsu Lifebook P-series, which at the time was using the exciting new Transmeta Crusoe chips designed for energy efficiency. Unfortunately, even compared to the computers of the day, that laptop was slow.

These days "netbooks", much to the shagrin of Psion, are bountiful--often running on Intel's x86-compatible Atom processor, although increasingly running on ARM Snapdragons (supported by Maemo, Android, and Ubuntu Linux distributions among countless other variants). Jamie just got an Assus EeePC that's running Ubuntu; my mother has an Acer Aspire One running some MicroSoft version. I borrowed the EeePC and didn't want to give it back, it's really well done given a single-use mentality (the Netbook Remix variation of Ubuntu is very Mac-like).

The question I find myself pondering is what do I really want? I recently picked-up the Nokia N900 which runs at a decent clip, the Maemo 5 (Fremantle) interface is pretty snappy, and I've really gotten used to the touch interface for anything non-productive ("consumptive") tasks. It's actually a very amazing machine that in practice is very much like that P-2110 but smaller.

In the end there's a lot of small options, and they each have a different niche to fill--but I'm not sure how much overlap they all have. It could be that one covers too much of another's niche, making two distinct devices redundant. I can carry the N900 instead of the E61; but it doesn't replace the Neo when I need a small pocketable phone. I could carry the EeePC on trips where it would take-up less space than the MacBook, and still have a phenominal-for-a-laptop keyboard to compose messages or configure machines, or even do work albeit on a small screen. But what does that really get me? A slightly bigger screen (2") and a bigger keyboard, at the cost of another device--and one that doesn't have a ubiquitous Internet access at that.

If more areas had converted to municipal WiFi, it might be a different situation.