Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Vista a dud.

When recently trying out Bioshock (which is a whole nother post), I installed Vista Ultimate on another HD to try it out and Bioshock with DX10. I couldn't get Bioshock to load in Vista. But I ran Vista for three weeks to give it a good old try. Needless to say I'm back to running XP x64. My primary purpose for my computer (other than writing blog posts) is for photography. Something as basic as, oh you know, file transfer speed is important. Sometimes you have to dump a gig or 16 from a days worth of shooting and you'd like to do it quickly. To that end I own Sandisk Extreme IV CF Cards and the FireWire reader that goes with them. In XP x64 using my motherboards built in FireWire interface I was getting close to the reported maximum transfer speed of 40MB/sec (somewhere around 36mb to be exact). You'd think, something as basic as this would just, well work in Vista. It worked... at 2MB/sec. I just couldn't beleive it. I heard file transfer was slow but geez. I downloaded was is being dubbed as "Vista Service Pack 0.5". It was a huge improvement, I went from 2 to 20MB/sec. Still 50% slower than what I'm used to.

There are a lot of issues that are now reported on the net. Most of them to do with file and network speeds. On the plus side, M$ did an amazing job with the Aero Interfaces performance. I don't actually think the interface is that good, but they made their attempt at "pretty" and "usable" at least work fast without any noticeable visual lag like simple dropshadows in XP does.

The average user it seems started noticing. Manufacturers are starting to offer downgrades to XP.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Canadian Dollar Equals US Dollar

For the first time since I've been alive the Canadian Dollar has hit par with the US Dollar. This has a whack of implications but here I'm only going to talk about how it effects us as consumers. The price disparity between Canadian and American goods. Canadians have always payed more for goods than we should. Considering on average Canadians make less money this is especially true. This new event though will remove that perception that exchange + shipping + duty will make it about equal. Well, one of those is now out of the question. If things keep going as they are, the duty factor will be wiped out by the exchange rate. So you have a Nikon D80 going for $150 less in the US. How about a Subaru WRX? $8k less. Books? I hear the publishers are re-considering printing prices on their books. It goes on and on.

For us it means that one of two things will happen.

A. The US Dollar will stay weak and our Dollar Strong. Suppliers will have to lower their prices to match and in turn Retailers. This unfortunately will take some time.

B. Our Canadian Dollar will weaken. Possibly even due to a weaker retail sector due to falling sales (everybody shopping online in the states now).

Currency rates are a complicated thing which I won't pretend to know about. I'm just happy that suppliers of goods to Canada will finally have to bring their prices in line or face loosing sales.

DPReviews Hands On Nikon D3 and D300

DPReview has posted both their Nikon D300 and Nikon D3 Hands On Previews. Let the drooling begin.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's a Beat

It's a Beat
Originally uploaded by tracer.ca
My friend Carl picked up this 1990 Honda Beat from japan. It's a K Class Micro car. 660cc two seater convertible from Honda. It's a blast to drive. Great on gas. Just gotta get used to the right hand drive and the size.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

iPhone in Canada

Though Apple is not releasing the iPhone official in Canada any time soon (probably because Rogers sucks), you can still buy one readily now.
Here is one place that has the iPhone available.

I'd rather buy the Sony P1 anyways as it's feature set is more inline with what I'm after.

Why the Sony P1?
1. Open Phone for less money (no worries about unlocking or updates etc)
2. Wifi (seriously, this is a basic phone feature now)
3. Cell Phone reception (apparently better but not verified by me)
4. Bluetooth Support (again, apparently better but not verified by me)
5. I hate touch screens (this is personal)
6. Upgradeable memory (M2 cards are currently at 4GB, 6GB and 8GB Coming soon)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nikon D300 Official Sample Images

Nikon also posted (but I missed) the Official D300 Sample Images. These, like the D3 samples are amazing. Nikon has really raised the bar on DSLR imaging.