Upgraded WordPress to 3.5.1

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Let me know if you see any problems.

Camera Straps Suck

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Making a quality camera strap suitable for large, 400mm+ lenses must be harder than making high quality 400mm lenses, because we have many choices for excellent lenses in the 400mm range; and no good reliable straps for those lenses. You may recall that a couple of years ago a Black Rapid RS-7 strap disconnected and dropped my Canon 7D and 70-200 f/2.8L IS II lens onto the street, severely damaging the camera. It ended up costing me several hundred dollars in repairs. That was not the first time the Black Rapid strap dropped my camera onto the ground; but unfortunately I was too stubborn to learn my lesson the first couple of times my camera fell off the strap because the camera wasn’t actually damaged.

Since then, I’ve been using a Carryspeed strap. The original plate was prone to disconnect, and it too dropped my camera on the ground once and almost dropped it several times more. Fortunately, the one time I didn’t catch it before it hit the ground, I was on the beach and the camera fell into soft sand. Since then, Carryspeed has redesigned the plate; and the new plate seems to be somewhat more stable and reliable, so that’s the strap I’ve been using. However, on a recent trip to Costa Rica, a new failure mode appeared. The Neoprene shoulder strap tore several days into the trip, not so badly that the camera fell; but badly enough that I wasn’t comfortable using it any more. Unfortunately I had not brought a spare camera strap with me so I had to shoot off a tripod for the rest of the trip, which was especially inconvenient with a group in the tight spaces of some of the rain forest trails.

Torn Carryspeed Neoprene Strap


Dragon Dictate 3

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

I’m trying out Dragon Dictate 3 for the Mac. Is it ready for primetime? You tell me:

One of the most impressive features of brains – especially human brains — is the flexibility to learn almost any kind of task that comes its way. Given apprentice the desire to impress his master and a chicken-16 past, and his brain devotes its massive resources to distinguishing males from females. Given unemployed aviation enthusiast a chance to be a national hero, and his brain learns to distinguish enemy aircraft from local fly boys. This flexibility in learning accounts for a large part of what we consider human intelligence. All many animals are properly called intelligent, humans distinguish themselves and they are so flexibly intelligent, fastening the neural circuits to match the task at hand. It is for this reason that we can colonize every region on the planet, learn the local language were born into, and master skills as diverse as playing the violin, high-jumping and operating spatial cockpits.

–David Eagleman, Incognito, p. 71, as heard by Dragon Dictate 3.0