Monday, September 29, 2008

Canon Cashback at Amazon

It is expected that Canon will slash their price for the current models to make way for the coming one announced at Photokina 2008. If you looking to upgrade your camera, now is the time. You can find the cashback deal at Amazon.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nikon D90 is out in Cardiff

Went to Cardiff today and saw D90 box! It is finally out.

Update 28/9: The cheapest D90 body I can find is £619 from UKDigital, which I think is reasonable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Orbit AF Webcam as Remote Home Monitoring Webcam

I've been looking for a decent webcam for my HTPC for almost 6 months but I never committed in getting one. At a point I'm thinking of getting Creative Live Cam, Microsoft webcam, then Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 and finally decided to go for Logitech Quickcam Sphere/Orbit AF. Thanks to Malcolm (Cherlyn's friend), he helped me bought it at for USD91.99 (£53) as compare to £74.9 here in UK. Singapore only has latest pricelist for older model; Sphere MF at about SGD180 (£72).

Not only Sphere AF support Skype High definition streaming, it also comes with motorized Tilt/Pan, auto zoom, auto focus, motion detection and built in microphone. Perhaps the greatest reason for me to buy it is the ability to remote tilt/pan using a 3rd party software such as remotecontroleye, roborealm, eyespyfx and orbsecure.

Moreover, Quickcam team release public API to control the camera if anyone like to take advantage of the webcam for other purposes.

There is another £40 linksys wireless webcam that doesn't required connection to the pc and it does has a good review here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Got my Nikons gears

I got my AF105mm f2.8 D lens and speedlight sb400 from my sis on Sunday. There are both 2nd hand gears but very well maintain, I got both in Malaysia.

As I was not present, my sister deal on my behalf. when I tried to take some sample shots with it, I got this weird fEE error displayed on my camera. Everything was setting properly, but I just can't take a shot. Apparently I need to get the aperture to the smallest at f32, and lock it.

Upgraded my Asus Nova P20 RAM

Updated on 25/1/2012 - Finally after 3.5 years, I'd upgraded the CPU to C2D E6420 and it is running fine, paid £28 from ebay.

Asus Nova P20 has no upgrade option as the reseller in Singapore told me. In UK, there is no P20 model but PX24, P244 Black and P22. The initial look inside the box was very complicated but not impossible. It took me 5 hours to reach the RAM, but probably 1 hour if I would to redo again. Most of the UK models comes with 2GB ram, the maximum for the board, but if you do like to upgrade the processor or HDD, it is possible.

My unit comes with 120GB SATA hdd and a low end Intel Core 2 Duo E2160 processor. I was thinking of putting a new 320GB SATA2 HDD and any of the higher processor such as E6550 as I already gone thru the hassle of opening the box. In the end, I only replaced the RAM with a new 2GB Kingston DDR2 PC5300 667Mhz ram into it. Processor and HDD will be my next upgrade, perhaps early next year when the price comes down 20%.

It is now performed way better than before, for my WMP, Teamviewer and some graphic tools. This made it a better HTPC.

First look inside the box

HDD and holder bracket, without dvd drive

motherboard without the hdd & dvd drive bracket

Intel E2160 Desktop processor

the other side of the motherboard, and most importantly, the 1GB RAM

Asus Nova P20 Components & Tools I used

Friday, September 19, 2008

Huge Market Rally of the year 2008

Today marked the best market rally ever for FTSE, a massive 8.84%. This comes after investor confidence on Gov't rescue plan and ban on short selling.

20% off at Waterstone Bookstore

Waterstone 20% off on spending above £20, which will be expiring on 21th Sep 08 midnight, using code AA6000 upon checkout.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

UK Lloyds TSB takeover HBOS

The UK's biggest mortgage lender Halifax has taken over by Lloyds TSB, and it means upto 40k job losses are expected. However this prevent Halifax from collapse. It is quite obvious why Halifax is not doing well and as the UK biggest mortgage lender, we know Halifax doesn't tighten on lender criteria and required a low deposit of 5%. Also, Halifax has a strong portfolio in buy-to-let market, which is quite volatile.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HD Contents streaming from Tudou

Tudou (黑豆) now streams Chinese HD contents. I can't believe the quality is so good and without any lag for their beta site, and I'm putting high hope on it upon go live. For long run, this will definately save my hdd. The only downside I noticed was slight lag when display under full screen.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, G10 and SX 10 IS

This morning I got shocked by Canon new announcement, the 5D Mark II apparently beat my expectation. It comes with 21MP CMOS sensor, an expanded ISO range of 50-25,600 and a wealth of improvements and new features including full 1080p HD movie recording, live view, 3.0" 920k dot LCD, DIGIC IV processor, increased battery capacity and sensor dust reduction, for US: $ 2,699.

While the consumer range share the joy with G10's spec and design. It comes with wide angle (28mm) and a comfortable grip. SX10 IS offers 20x zoom lenses, DIGIC IV processors, improved image stabilization system and wealth of new features. The SX1 IS is particularly interesting as it is the first PowerShot to feature a Canon CMOS sensor, which allows the camera to offer 4.0 fps (full resolution) continuous shooting and true 1080p HDTV movie capture at 30fps.

I like G10 in particular as it comes with dedicated control for ISO and exposure.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Arctic Buttlerfly SL700 free with magazine subscription

If you have several camera lenses and change them constantly on the dlsr body, you will not escape from having some ducts in your sensor or mirror. If you can't blow them away, you might need to send them back to professional cleaning service. I know VisibleDust 1 year back as it was mentioned in some forum, but have not bought their solution as it is expensive. Arctic Butterfly SL700 cost about £50 retail price, but it is free when subscribe to Pratical Photography for 1 year for £45. What a steal!

Use evoucher "GMags£5off" to further reduce the price (Orders must be over £10, not available with direct debit orders). So effectively you save £2 for 1 off subscription at £43.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Share Market Meltdown

With Lehman Brothers leading today news of bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch sold to Bank of American and AIG in possible restructuring, the market has react with 1 of the biggest drop of the year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Micro Four Third Camera from Panasonic

Today Panasonic makes the headline. Not long ago Panasonic and Olympus signed into Micro Four Thirds standard - and the Panasonic G1 - represents the first complete break with legacy SLR technology going back well over half a century, and as such represents an important moment in digital photography's short history.

Panasonic's stated reasons for introducing Micro Four Thirds are simple; to produce smaller cameras that act more like compact DSCs whilst offering the quality and versatility of a DLSR - and in doing so to convert some of the millions of compact camera buyers who - according to research - are put off digital SLRs by the bulk, complexity and lack of user-friendliness.

Compare the size of micro four standard G1 in the middle with a prosumer on the left and standard dslr on the right.

In my opinion, Panasonic G1 and Nikon D90 will be the popular upgrade path for compact camera consumer as G1 has the comfortable size and weight (aprox 380g w/o batt) while D90 (aprox 620g w/o batt) has the movie recording function. It will be interesting to know what Olympus will announce in the coming weeks as Photokina 2008 is coming close. I do felt Pentax and Samsung have left out from the race as they have yet to find a way to come back into the game.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Food Deals

Pizza Hut 50% off dine in bill, expire on 5th Oct 08.

Burger King 2 for 1 voucher, end 12th Oct 08.

Ha!Ha! 2 for 1 deal before 23th Nov 08.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Photo Contest 2008

There are plenty of photo contest that either accept submission from September like Nikon or ending by end of September, DCMag. So submit yours before the contest close.

National Geographic International Photo Contest 2008

Nikon Photo Contest International 2008

Smithsonian magazine 6th Annual Photo Contest

Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2008

The Pilsner Urquell International Photography Awards Competition (more for commercial photographers)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Language Translator using MSN TBot

All you need to do is add to your MSN list, and type anything. You will have several language options to choose from.

1 Arabic2 Chinese Simplified3 Chinese Traditional4 Dutch5 French6 German7 Italian8 Japanese9 Korean10 Portuguese11 Spanish

Give it a try, it will definately reduce the language barrier gap.

bRiaN says:
TBot says:
The Microsoft Online Privacy Statement ( applies to all information you provide to this Windows Live Agent.
TBot says:
Hello bRiaN. My name is TBot.
Your source language is ENGLISH. Please select your target language
0 Change source language
1 Arabic
2 Chinese Simplified
3 Chinese Traditional
4 Dutch
5 French
6 German
7 Italian
8 Japanese
9 Korean
10 Portuguese
11 Spanish
bRiaN says:
TBot says:
You can always type: TBot ? to see everything I can do for you.

Monday, September 08, 2008

UK news of the day 8/9/08

House prices 'to reduce by 25% - BBC

The chief executive of the Nationwide Building Society has told BBC News that he thinks house prices could fall as much as 25% from their peak. This prediction implies that 2.5 million homeowners could be pushed into negative equity. Read more here.

All-party call for 20,000-a-year cap on migrants arriving in UK - DailyMail

An unprecedented coalition of public figures will today call for a limit on migrant numbers settling in the UK. The group of MPs and peers, including a former Archbishop of Canterbury, want a policy of 'balanced migration'. Read more here.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Fire drill came at bad timing

It was raining outside when the fire alarm started to rang. What a bad day for fire drill.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Finnair promotion to Asia

Finnair is having promotion when travel to Asia. It only cost £443 return to visit Osaka, Japan :)

Travelodge £9 deal for winter

Travelodge launched yet another cracking deal, price per room as low as £9.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sweet Vinegar Pork Rib for Dinner

Cherlyn cooked this dish for the first time to try out the taste, and it turned out to be delicious. It will be one of my regular dish now :)

Sandisk 20% off on 2 September 08

MyMemory is having promo tomorrow, with extra 20% off all Sandisk product on top of the existing discount.

8GB Ultra 2 SDHC will comes at £13.592 delivered and that's a great deal!
As for Sandisk CF Extreme 3, it will only be £16.792 delivered.