* Posts by Paul Docherty

16 posts • joined 19 Jun 2008

Nearly 2 MILLION US Facebook users quit social network

Paul Docherty
Megaphone

... and that television box nonsense too - and the gramophone.

Oi! Get off my lawn... etc.

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Paul Docherty
WTF?

Re: Stability?

Something smells a little inconsistent here:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/divine-intervention-googles-nexus-7-is-a-fantastic-200-tablet/4/

When reviewing the same device, same settings and even the same file, they got over nine hours battery life. 25% variance is pretty high...

Also, Ars didn't mention any stability issues, and managed to get a impressive array of benchmarking done.

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Did your iPhone 'just stop working' - or did you drop it in your BEER?

Paul Docherty
Boffin

Re: They've done this for ages, haven't they?

Sorry if someone else has already said this but...

A little household bleach (diluted to perhaps 1:4) is enough to oxidise the dye molecules back to colourless. Dipping something like an unwound paper-clip in the dilute bleach solution and then touching the indicator paper with it is enough in most cases.

Better living through chemistry...

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HP elbows Apple off global PC throne

Paul Docherty
WTF?

Re: iPad?

To quote the sadly missed genius, Adams: "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands".

Defining a product by what how it is constructed is basically pointless - the important thing to almost all consumers is what it does, and how you interact with it. If a car manufacturer start selling a model with 6 wheels, or with a joystick rather than a steering wheel, that doesn't mean said model isn't a car. Likewise, the device I read El Reg, post comments, listen to spotify, watch iPlayer, send/receive email, process photos, present slides, do real, proper work in SAS JMP and TIBCO Spotfire (and so on ad nauseum) is to me a functional facsimile of a PC. So why quibble about the label??

What we have here is a Duck. (Except it isn't... it's an iPad)

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Hands on with the Apple iPad 3

Paul Docherty
Go

Re: Connectivity

I can't speak authoritatively here - just give my experience. I've got an iPad 2 with the Camera connection kit, and use it frequently with my Canon EOS 5D mk1 and EOS 400D. Direct connection to the cameras works reasonably well, but connecting the iPad to a Belkin CF card reader gives a speedier and happier experience.

Having to pay for the Camera Connection Kit is annoying, but it does work rather well. At one point, I mislaid it, and bought a 3rd-party knock-off adaptor. This was worse than useless, as it very rarely worked, and once corrupted the contents of the CF card.

I have to say I'm looking forward to trying the combination of the Canon 5D and iPhoto when on a shoot...

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Apple's iPad not so shiny once you get it home

Paul Docherty
Thumb Up

Very Satisfied

...but then I bought my iPad 2 for content consumption. Had me laptop theived, and decided to junk whole laptop idea since it spent most of its time interwebing and iPlaying. I use it every day - its even packed alongside my unloved (work) HP Elitebook - it's faster and easier to deal with email on the train on the fondleslab. I've got the 3G 32gb version, and have to say the WiFi only version doesn't appeal in comparison.

I'm pushing for our IT bods to approve it as an alternative to laptop + blackberry combination. I'd rather have a laptop (for longer business trips) + iPad (short trips). It can't replace my work laptop, but it's certainly more convenient about 75% of the time.

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Hands on with Canon's EOS-1D X full-frame DSLR

Paul Docherty
Go

Why not buy a full-frame DSLR?

Okay, so the Canon 5D mkII is pretty amazing, but also pretty expensive. So have a play with a second-hand 5D mkI. I bought a great example for £800 last year, with only 3k shutter actuations. Feels just like my EOS 500N film SLR, but with so much more flexibility. And 13 MP is a decent enough resolution.

No video on the 5D mkI, but I couldn't care less.

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Canon EOS 600D 18Mp DSLR

Paul Docherty
Paris Hilton

Horses for Courses!!

I've had quite a few Canon bodies - a EOS500N film body being the first, then an EOS300D, both now gathering dust. But for both random event photography and the occasional wedding I do, I use a 400D as a back-up to a 5D (mk1). Quite different cameras, but the lenses I use are perfectly happy on both cameras. Here's my bargain-basement route to lens nirvana:

EF 50mm f/1.8 : Awful plastic body, stunning results on both bodies. Flash-free portrait photography indoors and in low light - what the hell else do you need? I've done several events with just this lens. £110 new.

EF 85mm f/1.8 : More expensive than above, but better build all-round. Has quite a long reach on the 400D, which is quite useful. £250 new.

EF 70-200 f/4 L : The best value for money 'L' lens available - and nearing perfection for a short telephoto lens. Lighter than the f/2.8, but with better sharpness and contrast. If you need more light, just use a damn flash. And if I need more reach, I stick on the 400D and get the 1.6 multiplier. £440 new.

EF 17-35 f/2.8 L : Buying a good full-frame wide-angle is difficult because they're mostly all crap. Even this one isn't amazing, but I get some stunning shots from it. The newer revisions might be a little better, but look at what I paid!! This also make for a great standard lens on the 400D. The range is a little short, but just use your damn legs. £280 second-hand.

The point I'm trying to make is that each lens is a different beast on each body. And that's a great thing, because it give me more value. I love that fact that my wide-angle performs as an awesome normal telephoto on my 400D. There are other routes to lens nirvana, probably cheaper that mine. But the point is, I've never felt the equipment was lacking.

Paris, because she knows how to use a wide-angle lens properly...

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Pictures of Ubuntu: Linux's best photo shots at Windows and Mac

Paul Docherty
Stop

So what is it then?

Rather than just insulting the commenter, why not tell us what the alternative/substitutes are?

I very much agree with McBread - Lightroom is lightyears ahead of any Linux-based solution I've tried so far. The killer feature isn't the RAW converter (which is pretty good), or the speed exporting (which is very good), but the workflow / UI combination. I frequently deal with thousands of RAW files per batch, so speed/quality of processing is key. The negotiable factor is price. I'd pay £££ to get a quality linux-based solution.

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Sony launches almost-flagship DSLR

Paul Docherty
Thumb Up

Gives Canon & Nikon something to think about...

Especially the Nikon d3x - the same sensor, but at almost a quarter of the list price?! Amazing. The reports suggest that the high ISO performance isn't any better than the a900 (no surprise), but the ISO 200-800 is super sweet. Also, the built in IS is a really useful little feature.

Almost enough to make me sell my Canon lens collection and get a a850 instead of the 5dmkII I've been getting hot and sweaty about.

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How to run Mac OS X on a generic PC

Paul Docherty
Gates Horns

Could MS cripple windows on Macs?

The war between apple and Palm just now is quite interesting... couple that idea with the requirement for EFI on Macs, and Microsoft has a worrying option. Cause Windows to spazz-out if it detects EFI. It's the opposite usage of that little chip, but would prevent non-virtualised/emulated use of Windows on Apple machines. It would be sad, pathetic and not in their PR interests... but since when did little problems like that stop MS or Apple?

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Microsoft to bomb Europe with IE-free Windows 7

Paul Docherty
Paris Hilton

@ David Ouillette

Exactly. There's been loads of MS-hating from the IT media about the number of version of Win7, but there was also a huge variety of WinXP editions. Except most only saw Home, Pro and Media Center Edition... so there was hardly any confusion at all.

I'm sure MS would be happier to sell us all copies of some Ultimate Pro Plus version for £300 anyway.

Paris, cause it's going to take her a while to figure out how to get 'blue e internet button' working...

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Microsoft gears up for Windows 8

Paul Docherty
Stop

I wonder if it'll fit the pattern...

Win 95, Win 98 ]- a lot of similarities, esp. in terms of UI. 98 fixed a lot of 95's problems, but 95 was the back-end revolution.

Win 2K, Win XP ]- again, loads of similarities, with providing the back-end upgrade and XP polishing the UI and fixing the usability problems.

Vista, Win 7]- Extremely similar. Vista pushed the technology forward, with Win 7 providing the more user-friendly product.

I guess this means that Win 8 will have 'issues'. Also, none of the above feature WinFS, and neither will Win 8 (unless the come-up with a fundamentally different FS and brand it WinFS do they don't look like 'tards).

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Microsoft SKUs Windows 7 clarity

Paul Docherty
Paris Hilton

XP Versions

Firgawdsake!!!

Can anyone actually remember how many versions of XP were released? Here's a reminder:

Starter

Home

Professional

Tablet PC Edition

Media Center Edition

Volume License

Home-N

Professional-N

Professional 64-bit

How many of you had trouble picking one of them?

Calm the hysteria - we only need to think about the editions that will actually be available to the average user. This leaves Premium and Professional. Ultimate is a stupidity tax, Starter/Basic versions will be on 3rd world PCs and netbooks (same difference), leaving Enterprise for those that *really* need it. Seriously, this will not impact us in any way, shape or form.

Paris, 'cause even she can figure this out.

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Today is not Hadron Collider Day

Paul Docherty
Alert

Closing Speed of Beams

The closing speed is at maximum 'c' - the speed of light. Nothing goes faster, full stop. Shine two torches at each other, and the beams of photons both are travelling at c, towards each other. Closing speed is exactly c. This is one of the weird bits about relativity.

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Oxford tops Blighty university rankings

Paul Docherty
Boffin

Went to both...

... and found that Oxford was better in my area, chemistry. Better facilities, and more people doing interesting stuff. And that's from a relatively unbiased perspective as I did my undergraduate at Heriot-Watt, so had no bias towards either Ox or Bridge. Better pubs in Cambridge, though...

However, it's time for change in the UK, and for a more research-focused institution, like the Scripps institute in the US, the Max-Plank in Germany or the ETH in Switzerland. Somewhere to put the academics that *can't* teach.

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