Monday, December 13, 2010

Prices are coming down...

Ordered and received a 32 gig MicroSD card and adapter. Expected a Class 2 (picture shown online was a Class 2, and the one that came with the Evo was also a Class 2) and got a Class 4, so good news for me.

The price was higher than I would have liked, but low enough that I took the plunge. Just wish the adapter would have arrived earlier, then I probably wouldn't have had to reset my ringtones and notification sounds.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Completely reset the Jawbone Prime

Press the buttons in this sequence: Noise Assassin, Talk, Talk, Noise Assassin, Talk, Talk.

The above sequence will reset the Jawbone Prime to its factory settings. Why would you need to do that, you ask? Well, the reset procedure found on Jawbone's website doesn't unpair the Jawbone from your previously paired device... at least, not as far as the Jawbone is concerned.

That creates a problem because the Jawbone Prime supports multipoint--that is, the ability to pair to more than one device at the same time. So even if you remove the Jawbone Prime from your previously paired device, the Jawbone will still try to connect to it. And when it does that to a device that's no longer on, it wastes a lot of battery.

The reset procedure on Jawbone's website might unpair all but the first device the Jawbone paired with, but what happens when the first device you paired it with is no longer in use? Your new device becomes the second device to the Jawbone, and in my case, the battery life became halved from what it used to be.

By resetting it to the factory setting, all devices become unpaired, which should eliminate the multipoint/battery problem.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Download this from your iTunes Store

Oh, right, new phone

So two weeks ago, the new cell phone that I ordered from Radio Shack's website arrived via FedEx. It wasn't activated until Friday night (hence the posting of 4G speed test that night), and I didn't take any size comparison pics until now. I did take a picture of it earlier, a few days after I got the official Android 2.2 update (codename: "Froyo").

Anyway, it's a pretty "big" phone. The screen size is 4.3", which is actually the same size as the original PSP, although the resolution is a lot higher, making for a much crisper display. It is pretty thin, however, about the same as my previous phone, the Sony Ericsson W580i. The phone's camera protrudes a bit, so to be on the safe side, I bought a silicone case to make sure that the lens wouldn't touch anything when laid down on a flat surface.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sprint 4G

So, apparently, I do get Sprint's WiMAX network in my area, although just barely. And as Sprint has yet to announce service in my area, that means they're still in the testing phase.

Nevertheless, I've run some speed tests, and after 15 tests, the average download/upload speed is 2905.6Kbps/630.9Kbps. That's not too bad, but there were also several times where it could not connect to the test servers at all--in fact, that happened during my first three tests. It seems that during those tests, it tried to connect to some very far away servers, perhaps the GPS could not properly locate the location... So when I made the video, I was fully expecting the same terrible result, and to my surprise, it got the highest download speed (4493Kbps) of all my 4G tests--I haven't been able to replicate that speed at all. (The fastest upload speed in my tests was 988Kbps, by the way.)

Compared to Sprint's 3G, the average after 10 tests is 1785.1Kbps/795Kbps, with the fastest being 2598Kbps/922Kbps, and the slowest at 661Kbps/637Kbps.

It is also interesting to note that, when Wi-Fi is enabled, while the speed tests consistently showed around 9.xMbps/0.9xMbps at the same test server, the phone only showed up to around 6Mbps for download, though it did get around 1Mbps for upload. So perhaps the actual download speeds when not on Wi-Fi could be faster. When I get the Froyo update next week, I'll try the USB tether and test it from the laptop, and see if it makes any difference.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So-called "Retina Display" is nothing new

Much has been made about Apple's "new" Retina Display that they're using in the iPhone 4. People are saying how amazing it is to look at, etc. Of course, shortly after Jobs announced this new achievement in technological wonders, experts have come out to take him down a notch. But that's not what this blog posting is about.

There's no question that a display with higher pixel density, or pixels-per-inch, will help make the display crisper. When I noticed that my sister's Panasonic DMC-TZ5 had a sharper display than my DMC-TZ3, the benefits were known to me immediately. I have since gotten the DMC-ZS3, which retains the same 3" LCD, 460K pixels display.

Out of pure curiosity, I decided to crunch some numbers to find out how many pixels-per-inch (or ppi) my more than one-year-old camera's LCD has (which is the same as the more than two-year-old camera my sister has). Before that, I did a quick measurement of my 17" laptop, which has a native resolution of 1440x900... the display measured 9" from top to bottom, so it's only displaying at 100ppi. Not very impressive, but to be honest, it works well enough for my day-to-day use.

Anyway, knowing the my camera's display uses the 4:3 aspect ratio, it was not difficult to figure out, without using a ruler, what the length and width of the display is, since the 3" number is for the diagonal length. (It's 2.4" x 1.8", by the way.)

The next step was to figure out approximately how many pixels run through the width and height of the display, as the 460K count is for the total number of pixels in the entire area. The count may not be exactly 460,000 pixels, but should pretty close. Employing some simple algebra, it appears that the display on the 3" LCD is roughly 783x587. (If you do the math, you'll see that brings the total pixel count to just under 460,000 pixels; if you increase the pixels by just one to each side, you'll get just over that count.)

That's enough for us to figure out how many dots (or pixels, in this case) there are per inch of the LCD display. Divide the number of pixels by its respective length in inches (783/2.4 or 587/1.8), and you'll get a few decimal points above 326ppi.

Now, what's that magic number which Apple has dubbed as the "Retina Display"? 326ppi.
(To be fair, using the same formulas, the iPhone 4 would have around 329.65ppi.)

I also vaguely remember a commercial for, I think, a Nikon digital camera, which boasts a higher resolution display than my camera, which was from a few months ago, so there's definitely no shortage of consumer displays that are better than what Apple is touting as their Retina Display. Further, I found through Google search that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G1, which was released in 2007, has a 3.5" display with 921,000 pixels. Working out the math, that puts it at 2.4" x 2.1", with a resolution of approximately 1108x831, and 395.7ppi.

Wow, technology that's at least 3 years old is so revolutionary.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Neither Radio Shack nor Best Buy had any in stock, so I had to order it online. Now it's just a waiting game.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Geography Lesson

...brought to you by CNN.

Let's play some Tetris, mother******

A compilation.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


In case you missed it, this is a clip from the Jimmy Kimmel Live show that aired after this year's Oscars. It's a parody of a recent viral video, which I'll embed below...

Monday, March 01, 2010

Dicapac Waterproof Camera Case

Back when I was checking the prices of the ZS3 with Google for price drops, I would always see underwater cases listed. Of course, their prices being almost as much as the camera itself (and now with the camera's prices having dropped, they cost more than the camera) meant that I would never consider them. I would rather just buy a waterproof camera than have to deal with the extra hassle.

However, recently I decided to see if there were cheaper alternatives, and found the Korean-made Dicapac. They're not so much camera "cases" as they are camera "bags." But they are waterproof (up to 10m/33ft), and much more affordable, so I decided to give it a try.

The bag is quite a bit bigger than the camera, but it was basically designed to work with almost all compact ultra-zoom cameras, rather than for one model specifically, which I'm sure also factors into the lower price. With exception of the mode dial, the camera's buttons are fairly easy to operate, but of course more difficult than if the camera wasn't in the bag. The camera's flash is partially blocked by the lens enclosure, but this will most likely be used mostly in the daytime, so probably won't be an issue. For recording video, audio will be somewhat muffled, which is hardly a surprise--you're basically wrapping the microphone inside a bag.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


As previously mentioned, I got a new camera. And with the full moon tonight, it's the perfect time for another moon photography test.

The first picture was taken with my new camera, while the second picture with my previous camera, taken last year. The pictures were cropped to 1600x1200 to keep the original size while getting rid of some unnecessary blank space. I should probably adjust the focus settings for a clearer shot next time.

Edit: Took a few more pics after the aforementioned adjustments. Much clearer:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Class 10

So last month I bought this new "Class 10" SDHC card by Patriot Memory... "Class 10" means that it's supposed to have a minimum sustained write speed of 10MB/s. Unfortunately, it didn't perform like a "Class 10" card, so I had to contact Patriot Memory to get a replacement. The replacement arrived today, and so far, it seems to work fine for the most part, although my camera still starts up slower with this card than my other cards.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Camera focal length comparison

A quick comparison of how wide-angle compares to regular cameras. Shot from the same spot, from left to right, is your (equivalent) standard 35mm, to a wider 28mm, to an even wider 25mm.

I've commented on the benefits of wide angle before, but perhaps an actual photo might make a better point...

I took this picture standing at the very edge of the corner of the room, not able to back up any further, and was barely able to squeeze everyone into the picture. This was with my 28mm camera. That means none of the standard 35mm cameras would have been able to get everyone in the shot, while it would have been much easier if my camera was 25mm.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New camera time!

So FedEx delivered my new camera today. I'd been waiting to get this for almost a year, but I had been holding off for the price to drop low enough. It's the Panasonic DMC-ZS3 (known as the TZ7 outside of the US), which is two generations newer than my previous camera, the DMC-TZ3.

It's still got some very similar physical aesthetics, although it's a bit smaller now, while Panasonic has succeeded into making the angle both wider and longer, from 28-280mm to 25-300mm. Of course there's also the increase of image size, up to 10.1 megapixels, and better video quality. There are many other changes that I'm excited about for this camera, which remains the top of its "compact ultrazoom" class in digital photography reviews, although I'm sure Panasonic will announce their next generation replacement before or at the upcoming Photo Marketing Association trade show.

For my own edification, this is my current history of digital camera purchases:

Jan. 2010 - Panasonic DMC-ZS3 (10.1 megapixels)
Jan. 2008 - Panasonic DMC-TZ3 (7.2 megapixels)
Nov. 2005 - Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50 (5.0 megapixels)
Dec. 2003 - Panasonic DMC-FZ1 (2.0 megapixels)
~May 2000 - Olympus D-460 (1.3 megapixels)

A wingman I can wear

Last night, CBS aired the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother, which involved Stacy Keibler as a new bartender at the gang's local bar, who hates men in suits, causing Barney to choose between her and his suits... The episode also featured Rachel Bilson, looking cute as always.