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Other Gear / New Nikon Bodies
« on: August 26, 2007, 07:26:26 AM »
Looks like Nikon just joined the world of Full Frame:

and the new D300:

Other Gear / MOVED: Mint Emerson Dagger, Ltd Ed., Black as Death
« on: August 22, 2007, 08:31:09 PM »
Ask and ye shall receive...

This topic has been moved to Garage Sale.

Other Gear / MOVED: iAudio MP3 Player Plus Extras
« on: August 22, 2007, 05:06:34 AM »
Welcome, Scott--but you posted in the wrong place.

This topic has been moved to Garage Sale.

Other Gear / New Canon bodies
« on: August 19, 2007, 12:16:02 PM »
40D (September 20)

1DS Mark III

I hate being poor...

General Flashlight Discussion / New Boker Flashlights
« on: July 03, 2007, 11:19:16 PM »
Just saw these new Boker lights at  Looks like 2 different 1w (2AA and 2x123), a 3w, and a Xenon.  Too bad they aren't crees, but they might be interesting.  They list the 3w at 65 lumens and both 1w at 35 lumens.  The xenon is listed as 80 lumens for 70 minute runtime (no runtime listed for the LEDs.

[edit]--hmmm...are these new?  They're a new item listing at Knifecenter, but not sure.  Judging from the old Boker lights which look like rebranded Nuwais, I'm thinking that might be all that these are.  I did run a search to see if there was any mention of them, but didn't see anything.  They also just might've come out when I wasn't paying attention to flashlights.  :icon_scratch:

Talk Story / Movie discussion thread
« on: June 25, 2007, 09:58:48 AM »
I thought it'd be cool to have a thread to discuss the movies we watch (I assume a lot of us watch movies).  It can be current movies in the theatres, or it can be something on DVD, or maybe even a favorite movie we watched a long time ago that we want to comment on.  Since I started my Netflix account a while back I watch a lot of movies and thought it'd be nice to hear the opinions of others--maybe there are some great movies out there that I'm missing (although there are a couple hundred movies in my queue right now).  Anyhow, I've got to say that I'm not really a movie buff as I really just like to be entertained.  I generally like action movies and comedies, but will watch even bad horror movies for some reason and certain dramas.

I also think it's best to avoid spoilers--especially for current movies that people are likely to watch later, or at least use the spoiler tags so people can avoid ruining the end of a movie by reading this thread.  I'll also add a star rating on mine (10 stars max).  I made it 10 instead of the usual 5 because it allows for more leeway on the ratings.

The two most recent movies I watched were Ghost Rider and Stomp the Yard.  Both rather recent releases on DVD.

Here's my take on them:

Movie title:  Ghost Rider
Type:  Recent DVD release
Genre:  Action/Comic Book
My rating:  5 out of 10 stars
Comments:  I was a Ghost Rider comic book reader, though I did not read the original Johnny Blaze series.  As most comic based movies are, they messed with the story a little just to try and put together an interesting movie.  They pretty much failed at that part, though.  The inconsistencies that I can recall are that Johnny Blaze rode some kind of Harley or something and Danny Ketch rode a street bike.  Danny Ketch also had the chain that he fought with and I believe (but honestly don't remember) Johnny Blaze used a shotgun that fired hellfire.  Nicholas Cage's character was named Johnny Blaze and did use a shotgun with hellfire at some point but mostly used the chain.  I don't recall Blaze (comic) having a penance stare either, but am not sure about that.  In any case, I gave it a 5 because the special effects were interesting enough, and while it wasn't a great comic movie, it was still a comic movie and I like to see comics come to life.  Also Eva Mendes is pretty hot.  I'm not sold on Cage as Johnny Blaze but he did okay.  The Rider character was kind of cheesy despite the cool effect.  It also wasn't nearly as bad as the Hulk (most recent), which I think may be one of the worst movies I've ever seen.  If you're a fan of the comic, you may want to see this one just for the hell of it, but if you're not a fan, then I'd say don't really waste your time.

Movie title:  Stomp the Yard
Type:  Recent DVD release
Genre:  Drama
My rating:  6 out of 10 stars
Comments:  I refer to this one as "Drumline II."  If you saw Drumline, then this movie is a near match in story, it just uses dance instead of a band.  I won't go into details about the similarities just in case you want to watch the movie, but a lot of the story points match up with Drumline.  With that said, it wasn't really a bad movie.  I like to watch dance movies just for the dancing.  Love to watch breakdancers and stuff (like in "You Got Served"), it's just fun to watch.  The dancing didn't really match up to what I saw at the end of You Got Served (only saw the end of that one), but it wasn't bad either.  Then again, I ain't no dancer so I don't know much of anything.  I'm not disappointed in it, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to watch it again.

So any movies you guys want to do a quick review of?  I'd love to hear about Fantastic Four (2) if anyone's seen it.  I generally try to stay away from theatres just because I don't like crowds or irritating people.  Right now the next movie that I have on DVD is "The Messengers" so my next review will probably be on that after I watch it.  Any favorite movies out there that you guys want to recommend?

Talk Story / Destroyed! (UFC content)
« on: June 24, 2007, 07:14:30 AM »
Congrats to BJ Penn who absolutely destroyed Jens Pulver.  I have been waiting for this rematch for a really long time and it did not disappoint.  I would love to see BJ get back and fight GSP again and then take another shot at Hughes.  Hughes is a great fighter and I love to see him fight, but a Hughes/Penn rematch is a long time coming.  The funny thing was BJ saying if you want to know how he feels about the fight then go to right now.  I just checked it for the hell of it and it looks like his server got overwhelmed because it's down right now.

The Diaz/Gamburyan fight had a disappointing finish, but I'd like to see a rematch on that one.  I didn't see much of the earlier fights since I was doing some other stuff at the time, but I'm happy that BJ got his win.  I can't wait to see the new Pride fighters coming in to challenge the UFC guys--it's like a whole new world in the UFC now.  That Rampage/Henderson fight also looks to be a killer.

Other Gear / I need to build me a new PC...
« on: May 28, 2007, 08:42:04 PM »
I'm having some issues with my current build and not real sure where the problems are coming from.  I had originally planned to just reformat and reinstall everything but now I'm considering a new build.  My current build is an AMD Athlon 64 3200 with an MSI mobo and 1 GB of RAM.  I'm running an ATI All-In-Wonder PCI-E card and a single 300GB SATA HD and an Ultra 500w X-Connect power supply.  My issues right now are startup time--sometimes it'll take 10 minutes to startup (just sits at a black screen before the Windows screen comes up), but more recently it will just freeze on me (locks up completely and I have to do a hard shutdown) and I have trouble starting it back up.  This morning it took me about twenty restarts to get it to boot and it'll get stuck at a point where it's "locating IDE drives" of which I only have one--a DVDRW--and then it'll just stick.  Last night it also just shut down on me completely and the power light on the computer was just slowly blinking and wouldn't restart until this morning.  I'm picking up an external HD to back everything up (yeah, I know I should've been better with it).  I actually had tried to get one earlier this week but Best Buy screwed me--online inventory said they had it in stock and then told me they didn't so they'd have to ship it.  Now it looks like I'll be buying one today just in case and then getting the other one through the mail.

Basically I'm looking for case/mobo combo suggestions.  I'm likely to keep my video card, but I may just go buy a new one in.  I'm also looking for good, solid case suggestions--I like the plain Lian-Li ones, but the ones I want are all $200+.  I want all aluminum and it can be mid or full--preferably mid but will go full if necessary.  I'm likely buying two 500GB hd's--one for backup in addition to the 500GB external backup--but I doubt I'll be doing RAID.  I don't have a surplus of money right now but my PC is important to me and I can't afford to have these constant problems so it's worth it for me to start rebuilding.  Just looking for suggestions right now.  Also, I'm not completely sold on my Ultra X-connect so other power supply recommendations might be helpful.  I'm not convinced that the PS is working properly since the internal UV light no longer works.

Thanks in advance.  :thumbup:

[edited to add]:  By the way, I'm not a gamer so that's not an issue.  Main functions are web surfing but I intend to do photo editing (photoshop) and video editing along with general office apps and web design stuff.  Cost is definitely an issue but I won't skimp if it means getting a crappy machine.

Talk Story / Vista Sucks!!!
« on: March 06, 2007, 03:35:08 AM »
Okay, actually Vista isn't that bad, but Office 2007 is a freaking nightmare.  I have 35 new Dell Laptops sitting in my office with Vista on them and my Office 2007 CD just arrived today and I have a major headache right now.  There are a bunch of things that changed in Vista--some for the better and most for the worst, but that pales in comparison to the changes in Office 2007.  I'll try and get a screenshot up later but from the moment you open the program you know you're in trouble.  I also have 33 more Vista machines on their way to me right now and I am just dreading having to teach the faculty how to use it.  At least Vista allows for the classic (XP) view--I don't see anything like that in Office 2007.

Just a few things--they replaced the "File" menu with the stupid office logo and they changed all of the menus around.  They changed the default font to something called Calibri and I can't even find the place in Excel to change the default (took me ten minutes to find it in Word).  They got rid of the Chart wizard in Excel and while it's easier to make a simple chart, I cannot for the life of me get the horizontal axis label right on a combination chart.  Just another example of another brilliant change in Excel is that "Insert Row" isn't even in the "Insert" menu.

Now I've only had Vista for a week and I've only had Office 2007 for a few hours so maybe it'll get better when I'm a little less frustrated but my first impression is that I absolutely hate it.

Anyone else sharing my pain here?

ps...just found out today that the Office 2007 files are not compatible in the older versions of office unless you "Save As..." one of the older formats or you install Microsoft's conversion pack.  The default file extensions are now .docx, .xlsx and .pptx.  Awesome  :thumbdown:

Talk Story / What do you tell a friend...
« on: January 20, 2007, 12:32:10 PM »
when they lose a child?  I don't think there's an emoticon even close to what I'm feeling now.  Earlier today I got the bad news about my friend's baby.  Apparently the baby sitter had put him down for a nap and they discovered him later not breathing.  They said it could have been up to twenty minutes before they discovered him.  The babysitter performed CPR and called 911.  At the hospital the doctors worked on him unsuccessfully for 10-15 minutes before calling my friend in.  Amazingly after my friend came in to talk to him and hold his hand they got a heartbeat.  He was on machines but he was alive.  Unfortunately the latest word I got was that an MRI revealed almost no brain activity and that he was likely brain dead and they were going to pull the plug.  I don't know if they ended up pulling or not, but the doctor had said it would be a miracle if he were to come out of it.  He is something like 6-7 months old.  I've known the guy since my freshman year in high school and his wife since my sophomore year--18+ years--and while we weren't exactly close, we have played a weekly poker game for the last couple of years.  It seems like a nightmare--I can't possibly even begin to imagine what they must be going through right now.  He's their first child and he was/is the first grandchild for both sides.  To make it even more uncomfortable, one of the other poker buddies just had a baby a month or two ago (and uses the same babysitter) and two more of the guys are expecting in the next month or two.  It's hard to be happy for those families when that kind of tragedy just happened, and I don't know what I could possibly say to them when I see them again.  I have a two year old nephew that means the world to me and I can't imagine losing him.  My friends also had been trying to have a child for a long time before they finally got pregnant so it makes it even worse.  It's just so sad when a child dies.

Beginning from around Thanksgiving last year, I've seen my cousin's wife die after a long bout with cancer (leaving behind my cousin and their 15 year old daughter), and then his mother had two heart attacks and surgery while they were down here trying to help.  Then one of my cousins died (I didn't know him but i think he was only in his 30's, leaving behind a young son) and last week my parents had three funerals.  One for my aunt's grandmother (102 y/o), and for another aunt's mother (103 y/o) and I believe another cousin that I didn't know.  Right before Christmas my good friend's good friend died suddenly of a brain aneurysm at 34 y/o leaving behind a son and daughter, and just last week (same time as all the funerals), my uncle died (they pulled the plug after a heart attack) and my mom had to take a midnight trip to the emergency room (she's fine now).  With my uncle everything's jacked up because his wife turned into a total bitch the last few years.  My uncle was suffering from dementia and maybe Alzheimer's and she got a restraining order against his kids (my cousins, her step kids) to prevent them from seeing him despite the doctor telling her that he needed to be around his family.  She put him in a care home that she never even saw (never visited him after he went there) yet told the caretaker not to let him go with his kids anywhere even after saying she would let him go to our annual family Christmas party and other various meetings.  After the heart attack she gave the order to pull the plug the next day after the heart attack and while the rest of my family and I were there for the actually pulling of the plug, she and her daughter were nowhere to be seen and he ended up dying on his brother's birthday the next day.  She also ordered that the names of his brothers and family be kept out of the obituary and didn't tell anyone when the funeral will be.  My cousins are making another funeral for next week but the whole situation is so unbelievably messed up I can't even believe it.  Now this thing with my friend's baby happens and I don't want to see what comes next.

Sorry--I just needed to unload all of that somewhere.  I can't really sleep since I haven't been able to get it out of my head since i heard the news.  Just tragic...

Other Gear / Pelican Cases--not waterproof?
« on: December 20, 2006, 10:51:49 PM »
I've been hanging around a lot and came across a thread about someone's Pelican case leaking and his photography equipment being ruined.  The thread is here but I don't know if you can read it if you're not a registered member.  Basically some dude took is pelican case into the ocean and his camera stuff was ruined when it leaked.  He called Pelican and

They replied by saying their definition of "watertight" does not mean "submersible" and that the cases are only designed to protect against water when "spalshed"

Now this bugs me a little bit since I had always thought of Pelican stuff being submersible.  I looked up the definition of "watertight"--which is the word they use in their marketing on site and in ads--and every single definition I've found of the word means that water cannot get in (or out).  I understand that there are standards for waterproofness but I feel like they falsely advertising their product as watertight if they in fact only meant that it is splash proof.  Now keep in mind that short of calling Pelican myself, I'm taking the original poster's word on what they said so there's always the possibility of a misunderstanding.

I don't know yet which specific case this involved.  Any opinions on this?  Supposedly Pelican lists their cases as following the MIL C-4150J  standard but I can't find the exact wording of the standard.  This one kinda bothers me because I have their lights and a few of the small cases and I expect that if they say that they are watertight that they ought to be.  Although I also think that I would never take expensive things into the ocean without first testing the waterproofness first. 

Other Gear / So I upgraded my camera...
« on: November 22, 2006, 10:45:21 PM »
The saga continues...

So after my trials and tribulations with noise on my D70 (all my fault, of course  :rolleye:) I put some serious thought into upgrading.  I went back and forth, went over all the advice and the reviews and lo and behold--this showed up late last week:

I will be paying this off for quite awhile but it's going to be a blast using full-frame and learning more about photography.  I've already picked up a bunch of extras that are on the way along with a Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW to keep it in.  That 70-200 f/2.8 L IS  keeps tempting me too, but I have to remember that it'll be awhile before I pay off my debt.

So I'm gonna have a great Christmas (Merry Christmas to me  :P ), but I think my friends and family will have to go without presents from me this year  :rolf: :evil4:

Other Gear / Thinking about upgrading my camera
« on: October 25, 2006, 11:11:13 PM »
I've had my Nikon D70 (not "s") for almost two years now and it has served me well (although only about 5000 clicks), but I'm thinking about upgrading to either a D80 or possibly a D200.  Some of the reasoning behind this was that I would like to go up from 6.1 to 10MP (D80 and D200 are both 10MP) despite all the stuff about the megapixel myth and all that.  I've also been reading a lot of reviews that say the D70 AF can't keep up with some of the other cameras and I've been noticing that myself.  But in that regard I've never tried the other cameras and I can't positively say that it's not an issue with the idiot behind the camera (i.e. me) or if it's the camera itself.  The viewfinder is also better on the D80 and D200 and I have some issues with the D70 viewfinder so that would definitely be a welcome change.  There's also no Nikon vertical grip for the D70 (which doesn't bother me that much, but it's something I kinda wanted).  This all coupled with the "I just want something new" factor and I have an urge to buy myself something new for Christmas.  So those are the pros--the cons would be of course price.  I could buy a new lens instead of a new body (been looking at that 70-200 f/2.8 VR).  Also, the D80 would mean a switch to SD cards instead of the CF cards that the D70 and D200 use.  Both the D80 and D200 also use a different battery so my spare battery wouldn't be useful.  The D80 also has a slower maximum shutter speed (1/4000 as opposed to the 1/8000 of both the D70 and D200) which kinda bothers me even though I rarely use 1/8000.  There's also the slimmest of possibilities that I would consider a switch to Canon (20D or 30D).

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?  Maybe something I haven't considered yet?  I'd end up selling my D70 but I don't think I'll get very much for it so that's not a major factor.  My current stable of lenses and accessories are as follow:

AF-S Nikkor DX 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G IF-ED Zoom (kit lens)
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6D ED
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D
Kenko 2x Teleconverter

SB600 External Flash

I'd be looking at around $1500 for the D200 body only or around $1000 for the D80 body only.

Talk Story / Playing Region II DVDs
« on: October 06, 2006, 01:18:16 AM »
I have to admit, I know nothing about Region I, II or whatever DVDs but an instructor wants to play a Region II DVD in class and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it.  We have regular Region I DVD players in the classrooms along with computers running Windows XP--anyone have any suggestions for playing the region II DVD?  Maybe a freeware region free player or something?  Any info would be appreciated--thanks.

Talk Story / The Crocodile Hunter is Dead (Steve Irwin)
« on: September 04, 2006, 05:53:33 AM »
Bummer.  I haven't watched him in awhile, but I liked the guy.

CNN article

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