Category Archives: Gear

Asus Eee First Impressions

Well, the first impression is that it’s small. Really small.

And cute! Holding in my hands, I get the feeling that it’s my best new friend and I’ll never let it go again. The only reason that I’m not writing this using it, is that it’s charging. I can clearly understand why this it the new hot sell. Once you had it in your hands you want to own it. Turning it on only makes it better – the screen is just beautiful.

I went by the office today to pick it up, and turned it on (it booted in 16seconds) and walked down the hall to find somebody to show it to. Handing to our (female) secretary, she exclaimed “wow, that’s cute. And it will fit right into a ladies handbag. How much is it?”. Handing it to my wife when I came home, the first thing she says, is “wow – it will fit right in a ladies handbag”. Any gadget that has that kind of instant lady appeal has to be a winner. I can’t wait until I can bring it to a café and see what kind of effect it will have :-).

The “simple” user interface is nice, but I’m not sure I understand the idea behind it – starting any application will reveal a normal, not the easy GUI. But I guess that it’s better then the usual “Start” menu. All the needed applications are there, as expected. Inserting my wife’s 2GB usb key had the desired effect of giving my a choice to open a file explorer, and it was easy to find a document, and a double click opened it in (started in seconds).

I haven’t tried to change the keyboard to a Danish one yet and I haven’t tried to install any software, but everything seems to work.

Things to do:

  • Open it and see if I got one with a Mini-PCIe or not.
  • Set up mail.
  • Make sure flash and stuff works in the browser.
  • Add Adblock and Google Sync plugins to firefox.
  • See if there’s any linux Pentax RAW support, so that I can view pictures from my camera as I take them.
  • Possible add a bluetooth dongle and see if I can get Dial Up Networking to work over my phone.

(hey! Merry Christmas!)

Asus eee PC – in the mail…

I’ve ordered an Asus EEE PC – or rather I’ve asked my boss who’s currently in the US to buy me one and he assures me it has been ordered. Not sure exactly which model he has ordered, but the white 4G surf model seems to be the only one in stock, so it’s probably that one. Which is fine. Anything by the 2G model…

I intend to use it as a couch computer. Something to do a bit of surfing on while the wife is watching TV. I’ll tell you more when I get it…

Dell Axim x51v WM6 (Football Edition)

I have been fighting with ActiveSync (on my home XP box) and SyncCenter (on my work vista box) for the last couple of week. Couldn’t sync my Dell x51v PDA with any of them. Was driving me nuts. Tried all kinds of … crap.

So I decided to try a home brewed Windows Mobile 6 rom. And it works! No wifi problems. I tried to do a back up and restore, but that soon got to messy, and I’ve decided re-install everything from the top. Only thing is that, most of my programs where registered so long ago, that it may be hard to find a version to download. On the other hand, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a new (WM6 compatible) version.

Anyway. I’ll try to report back when I’ve tried it a few more days. And a big thank you to “football” and the people at xda-developers. And a big F… you to Dell for not providing this.

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New Box

I’ve finally gotten around to building a new box.

My old was an AMD Athlon 2200+, with 512MB ram and a couple of 120Gb Drive. Still up to most tasks, but getting a bit hard driven in some cases.

New one is build around an Intel Duo 2 Core E6320 (running 1.86Ghz), with 2Gb ram and a 400Gb Samsung hard drive. I’ve mainly build it to be silent, but it can be over clocked if I so choose (an Asus P5B motherboard helps with that). I tried running it at nearly 3Ghz for at bit, but haven’t tested it extensively.

One benchmark

LightRoom 1.0: Export 16, Dng files to Jpeg. 10MP.

New: 47 seconds (33 seconds overclocked)

Old:  345 seconds

Yes, the SSE2 instruction set is really important for LightRoom and makes all the difference.

Fast Pentax Glass

I’m currently looking for some faster glass for my set of Pentax dSLR cameras. I already have a 43mm ltd 1:1.9 (auto focus) and an old Ricoh 50mm 1:1.7 (manual focus). What I would like is a 1:1.4 or faster. I’ll use this blog to get an idea of the marked. I’ll focus on fast glass and fairly cheap glass. It needs to be as short as possible – 50mm is okay. I may sell the 43mm towards this lens…
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Pentax K10D – Known Issues

I love my Pentax K10D. Very worthy replacement for my *ist DS.

As everything else, these days, it does have issues. I’ll try to keep up to date with them in this post, so that new owners for the K10D can be made aware of them and hopefully find help in here.

I’ll mainly list the issues that are firmware related (and there for fixable), but I’ve included a couple of issues that are, probably, not fixable by firmware, or even something you really want fixed. Things like the Jpeg Edge issue is not really something that should be fixed, it’s just about knowing that you need to switch from Natural to Bright mode if you want sharper jpegs.

This blog has a thread at – where I’m trying to get help to make the list complete.

Please try to keep further discussion about specific issues to the linked threads. This blog is not really a good platform for discussions (a real forum is a lot better for stuff like that).

Update Jan. 20th 2007: There’s a version 1.1 firmware to be found. It seems to be the real deal. It changes this. From what people have reported on dpreview and my own experience it fixes what’s the change document says and nothing else. I’ll move all the issues that a fixed my 1.1 to a separate section..

Update Mar. 6th. 2007: There’s a version 1.11 firmware. Only a couple of minor issue fixed.

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Pentax K10D

By sort of a freak accident I got a chance to buy one of these cameras today. I’ve had a Pentax *ist DS for a about a year and half. It’s been a great camera and there’s really nothing wrong with it. That doesn’t mean that it could be better.

The main selling points of the K10D is the 10Mp censor, Share Reduction and weather sealing. I want it for the 10mp and the SR.

Unfortunately I’m baby-sitting tonight, so it’s limited how much I can play with it. But I’ve been through the menus, clicked and turned all the knobs.

My first impression is that it’s quite heavy compared to the DS. And that it autofocues very, very fast, and that’s in a dimly lit apartment. Oh, and that I have to order a bigger memory card in a hurry, as the 16mb DNG files (the PEF files are 13Mb not much better, and unsupported by my raw software).

Autofocus: Even my Sigma 70-200 1:2.8 APO DG locks focus in my dimly lighted living room at 200mm and f/2.8. I’ll have to see how it does with the x2 teleconverter tomorrow. Something the DS had problem with in low light.

ISO Noise: Yes, it’s there and it’s quite visible at 1600iso. I’m not sure that it’s actually worse than the DS, but I’ll have to do tests to find out. The thing with it is that it seems more ordered and therefor more eye catching.

Pentax *ist DS: First impression

I never became really happy with my Nikon 8800 (loved the zoom and the Vibration Reduction, but it was also slow and had to much noise in the images), so I sold it and got a Pentax *ist DS D-SLR instead. My first impression is very positive.

I got the camera Friday evening and I had to use it Saturday for a wedding. That didn’t really leave me any time to get to know it, so I mostly let it do it’s own thing in auto mode, occasionally turning of the flash.

I took around 600 pictures and a no time did it handle unfavorably.
Always ready to take another picture and fast autofocus being the two high point. The final results where stunning. I’ll add some test pictures to this entry later.
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Dell Axim x50v – part 1

I’ve been a Palm man for a long time. I got a PalmPilot around 1997 and I’ve worked my way through a Palm Vx to my current Palm Tungsten T3. I’ve been happy with all of them. But two weeks ago my T3 died. So I send it of the the shop, and got back a message saying that it would be about four weeks until I would get it back. So I went out and got a Pocket PC – a Microsoft Windows Mobile based machine from Dell – the x50v, which is pretty much top of the line among PDAs. It’s sports Wifi, bluetooth, vga screen, CF and SD card slots, so it sounds cool, but of cause even the coolest hardware is useless if the software sucks.

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