Archive for March, 2008

More Blue Beak Ducks

I took these pictures just outside of Tesco in Clitheroe, I have often seen blue beaks here but never had a camera, but now I have my camera on me at all times and I have got these great pictures of these strange ducks which few people believe in. There were two there at the same time which was a bonus, I will continue to collect pictures of blue beaked ducks and continue to post them, and please anybody who has their own pictures please send them to me (contact information to the right).

 

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Blue Beak Ducks

Finally got a picture of a near blue beak duck (thankyou new camera). Now I am carrying my camera wherever I go I can now go on the hunt of these blue beaked ducks which nobody believes in. I know the one shown above looks more grey, but right at the tip it is turning blue and I have seen some full blue beaks in my time of looking for them. Joe Pennock has seen one when he was with me so you can ask him if they are real, because they are. So I am one step closer to proving their existence to the non-believers. If anybody out there has a picture of a full blue beak duck please send it me at leebialecki@gmail.com so I can convince my Dad of their existence.

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Eyes

I like eyes, but mine seem to have changed a few times through my life. I know it sounds impossible, but I am just going off what people have said to me. Of course I started blue like most people, then the earliest I can remember after blue people said green, then I have had people say hazel and grey, and now finally people on the bus a few days ago said they were green. The picture above does not show much green really, but that could just be my camera. I often think it might be cool to have purple eyes, like if somebody asks what colour eyes I have I could be like “purple” and they would be like “you sure? *person looks at my eyes*. WOW! They ARE purple!” eye think that would be quite good (bit of a pun there for you).

But people’s feelings on eyes seem to differ a lot from person to person. I like eyes in every way, look, feel or anything about them. Some like the look of them but can’t stand thinking about anything touching them or eye injuries and stuff like that, but each to their own. Looking back at my youth I can remember always wanting contact lenses so I could have some weird coloured eyes, but I wouldn’t want contacts now because I enjoy wearing glasses.

I actually quite enjoy wearing Glasses, it’s like I can change shooting mode from sharp to softfocus. I always forget that wearing glasses is not the norm, but I don’t think I would ever get eye surgery or contacts or anything because I like my glasses too much. I would enjoy some contacts which did not alter sight though, so I could have little pictures in my eyes to freak people out, like I could have a picture of myself in my eye (if you can order custom contacts) or I could just have like a multicoloured eye and love it forever more. (I like how you can see the reflection of the camera in my pupil)

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Broken Image Necklace

This has to be the best necklace I have seen in a while. How great would it be? It’s like somebody carrying a picture of somebody around your neck, but the website maintenance is lazy and hasn’t spotted the image is broken! Sadly I cannot find any uk sites selling this, only US so the postage would cost more than the product. Oh well, if anybody would like to thank me for my quality writing then please feel free to buy me this as a gift (ha ha, I joke).

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Sony DSC W80

So my new camera arrived today and I could not be happier with it (a few minor issues which I do not care about much at all). So I will just go through he good and the bad for you. But first I will tell you why I chose it over all the other cameras in my price range. What I was looking for was anything better than what I had (a horrible Olympus Camedia D-435 which my Mum bought a few years ago) The Olympus could take a picture, so my family would not buy a new camera if the one they had worked, but of course I have started using it more for blog pictures and its poor quality was beginning to annoy me. I had been after a new camera for a few years but something else I wanted came up around my birthday or Christmas so I never got one. So with my left over Christmas money and money in my bank I decided to buy a decent camera. I set my guide price to £100 and anything up to £150 if I found a really good deal.

There are a lot of good cameras out there in my price range, so I went for a brand I really liked, so I went in Sony’s direction because they have really quality products in the market and I imagine much effort has gone into he deign of their cameras. My first choice was the DSC-W70 which cost £99 from amazons, the W70 is a 7.2 megapixel camera but that is about it. The W80 was around £130 from Amazon which had double anti-blur (which actually works) and face recognition and all those little extras which the D70 didn’t have, I wanted a camera I would be happy with so I went for the W80 and I am very happy with it. So let’s talk about the good:

  • It looks great
  • Long lasting rechargeable lithium ion battery (no need to buy batteries)
  • It is small enough to fit in most pockets (91x58x23)
  • 7.2 megapixels
  • Double anti-blur which works
  • Great autofocus for both normal and close up shooting (with the macro function)
  • Full 1080 HD output (cable not included)
  • 2.5 inch display with analogue viewfinder
  • 3x optical zoom, 6x digital zoom
  • Video mode with sound
  • Great red eye correction toll within the camera, also image cropping and other effects
  • Auto-rotates pictures taken in portrait.
  • Face detection focuses on faces well to take a better picture.
  • Easy to use/read menu system.
  • 10 shooting modes (auto, programmable, video, snow, beach , landscape, twilight, twilight with person, landscape with person and high sensitivity)
  • Very fast boot and shoot time, you will never miss a shot with its fast start up and shutter.
  • Solid aluminium casing (but the battery/card flap feels a bit flimsy.

There is little I can fault in this camera but here are a few things that aggravate me a little bit:

  • The battery charger is not built into the camera; it is an external device so you remove the battery to charge it.
  • Camera takes Memory Stick Pro Duo, these are not commonly accepted in card readers (does not fit into my photo printer or my laptop’s card reader) so the USB cable is needed.
  • Power button a bit fiddly to press.
  • I would have liked a second battery so if one runs out I am not stuck with a useless camera for the rest of the day.

 

That is about all I have to say really, it is truly a great camera for any point and shoot camera user, great for holidays or taking any general pictures.

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TouchPad Pro

Sorry I have not talked about my iPod much recently, there just has not been anything decent to talk about except new jailbreaks for new firmwares which I will talk about soon. But I am staying with 1.1.1 so the new jailbreaks do not interest me, but what does interest me is what I am about the show you now. So here we go, Touchpad Pro. I have been waiting for something like this since I bought my iPod, something to use the multi-touch capabilities with your computer. And this is better than I could have wished for.

So the basic thing about this is that it makes your iPod/iPhone into a mouse and keyboard for your computer. It is very simple to set up and my iPod is now going to be added to my computer setup for a tiny keyboard and mouse for late at night. So firat I will tell you how to set it up, then I will run you through the features.

Set up

  1. Open installer and make sure you have the “community sources” source installed.
  2. Go to “Utilities” and install “Touchpad Pro”
  3. Then on your computer go to http://www.tightvnc.com/download.html on your computer and click on “tightvnc-1.3.9-setup.exe” and install it.
  4. Now go to the start menu and go to “TightVNC” and “launch TightVNC Server”
  5. When it opens choose your passwords bellow 8 characters then close the window.
  6. Now go back to your iPod/iPhone and open “Touch Pad”
  7. Click the + button in the top right corner.
  8. Give your session a name.
  9. Enter your password
  10. Then go back to your computer and find the V icon in your taskbar. Hover over the V and make a note of the number it shows.
  11. Enter the number you just noted down in the address field on your iPod/iPhone and save your session.
  12. Now just tap the name of your session and you are good to go.

This will only work if the TightVNC sever is running on your computer, so you will need to launch the server every time you boot up your system. The screen you will see on your device now will be black with some buttons on the bottom, the black serves as a trackpad like you will find on a laptop. Now I will go through the gestures to make the most of this application.

How to use

The black part of your screen is the trackpad, move your finger across the screen and you will see the curser move on your computer. One thing I would like to see with this is the ability to have it set up similar to a graphics tablet, where the screen on your device is a scale model of the screen on your computer. I would prefer it set up as a graphics tablet, but it is more like a mouse, but it is still 100% usable. A quick single finger tap will left click, and a quick two finger tap will right click. Two fingered vertical swipe scrolls and pinching zooms in some programmes.

Tap the keyboard icon in the bottom left corner of the screen to bring up the keyboard, this is just the device’s system keyboard, but with the shift, ctrl, alt and fn buttons along the bottom you can execute keyboard shortcuts normally. This keyboard feature is great for me because you may already know that I love small keyboards to just quickly pick up and use, I spent ages finding a perfect small keyboard and thankfully found one. But of course now I have this on my iPod much smaller than any keyboard you will find anywhere.

Another great feature of this app is that it has a remote for your computer with the arrow, enter, esc, back, tab and space buttons. These buttons give you control over media programmes on your computer which use these keys as shortcuts. Most media players use space as play/pause and arrow keys to navigate, so that is all you really need, but then you can find the other keyboard shortcuts for the software and execute them through the keyboard. If I did not have a media centre remote then I probably would not get one if I found this first, because the iPod works and a real remote is only a little bit better.

 

 

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Terracotta Army

These are among my most favourite things in the world. The first Emperor of China, Qín Shǐhuáng líng, had to be the coolest political figure in history ever. He could maybe even rival me in my rise to power, good job he is dead then. So good old Qin, he did some crayxy stuff in his time, he once punished a mountain by removing all its trees, he believed mercury had magical life giving powers (horribly mistaken) and of course he had his people construct a Terracotta Army to protect him in the afterlife.

Any person crayxy enough to build a huge army out of terracotta in the belief that they will protect him in the afterlife gains immediate respect from me, I would have loved to be under his rule (but he killed everybody who worked on the army so they would not tell people where it was) They have not yet opened his tomb because of all the mercury enclosed, silly mercury man. Once a German man made a terracotta costume and stood with the warriors for a good few minutes before he was seen, it think there I a video on YouTube about it, but he did look very convincing and I doubt he would have been spotted if nobody had seen him walk into the crowd of statues.

My Aunty and Uncle went to see this army in their travels of china and brought me back some souvenirs. They are little tiny terracotta warriors.

They are lovellyly detailed and made of terracotta, they are really beautiful.

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