Sunday, August 26, 2007

GTiR Pulsar conversions

At the moment we're selling my wife's 2000 Nissan Pulsar SSS. It's never been modified, and is listed on at the moment. So I was just looking through the other ads, and it's amazing how many "GTiR conversions" are for sale.

For those who don't know, there was an all wheel drive, turbocharged Japan-only model called the GTiR, of which there are quite a few here in Australia brought in as second hand imports from Japan. A friend of mine had one, and had it up for sale for around $14000.

Now, the SSS is worth about $10000 - $11000 unmodified, and is front wheel drive, and doesn't have a turbo. Now, these conversions; the GTiR engine must cost at least $4000 to put in, plus extra for the turbo and exhaust - why on earth wouldn't you just buy the real thing for the same price or less?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poetry and Linux

I was browsing KernelTrap today, and came across a report on a thread of Rusty Russell writing documentation in poetry. It's worth the read - this is funny stuff. The funniest of the lot for mine was one from Rusty:
There was a poetic infection
Which distorted the kernel's direction,
The code got no time
As they all tried to rhyme
And it shipped needing lots of correction.
Now that's just all class, isn't it?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cleaning out the photo collection

About two years ago my old Minolta "point and shoot" camera, which I paid $1000 for around the turn of the century. I sent it back once to be fixed (zoom was stuffed), and it cost $500 to fix. Two months later it was stuffed, so I decided to replace it. My thinking was "bugger it - lets buy something that doesn't suck".

Canon had not long released the EOS 350D (sold as Digital Rebel XT in some markets), an 8MP digital SLR camera aimed at the enthusiast market. At the time I didn't know much about photography at all, so it was an ideal camera. Cost about $2100, including two lenses - an 18-55mm, and a 75-300mm kit lens. Of course, the current equivalent kit from Canon costs under $1500, and if you're looking for a camera, it's probably a good pick.

The bit I didn't realise was how average the lenses are that are in the kit. Earlier in the year I started doing some photography courses with Ben from Fusion Photography, who's a real passionate professional wedding photographer. I think we've done about 12 hours worth of lessons with him, and it's amazing the difference it has made to the photos I'm taking. A mix of skills learnt from Ben and better lenses (my latest purchase is a 70-200mm L-series Canon lens) has made quite some the difference.

Earlier I ran out of disk space on my laptop, and needed to clear some space, as I downloaded the trial of Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Mac (Intel). Over one third of my disk space was photos, so I decided to clear them out. First time I'd looked at some of them since 2005, and there were some shockers there which I had once thought were ok. Lots of them were so dark, and it made me realise how good the f2.8 L-series lenses were compared to the f4-5.6 lenses you get in a kit. Might put my old lenses up on eBay, and just get rid of them.