Posted by Deliverator on June 18th, 2007
* Hurricane Cafe now has free wifi. I will be camping out here quite a bit more from now on.
* Got my 18-135mm Nikon lens repaired. The ultrasonic motor started making weird noises and autofocus was malfunctioning. All started day of ROV competition. I honestly wonder if the lens had issues with the high humidity around the pool. I simply took the lens back to Glazers Camera and they handled all the paperwork and processing for me. Glazers even offered me a free loaner lens for the duration my lens was out for repair. Yet another reason to buy local.
* Bought a 4 GB Sandisk SDHC card for my D80 for a mere $30. It can hold over 1000 jpeg images at 10 megapixels. I might pick up a couple 8 GB cards for my Nokia N800 and use it as my mobile media player as soon as Nokia provides official SDHC support. The N800 has two SDHC card slots, but the kernel they use doesn’t support it currently. Without a supported kernel, those slots can only use 2GB SD cards officially. A few 4GB SD cards (non SDHC) are known to work, but 4GB cards are outside the SD card spec as I understand it and I have heard countless reports of problems with these cards. It is pretty easy to swap in a kernel that does have SDHC support and many people in the community have done so, but I can wait. The two Sandisk 2 GB SD cards in the device currently are filling my Maemo Mapper map and podcast storage needs quite nicely at the moment.
* Bought a Holux M 1000 Bluetooth GPS off eBay. The DL200BT datalogger was fun, but just isn’t sensitive enough for urban navigation needs. This new Holux uses the MT3318 chipset from MTK. This chipset is supposed to be on par with the Sirf III in terms of overall performance and uses significantly less power.
* Ordered a Xenarc 7″ touchscreen for my car from mp3car.com. The monitor mount for my Lilliput 7″ broke a few weeks back and the touchscreen has been “off” for quite a while. Xenarc’s LCDs are generally considered to have better overall build quality than the Lilliputs. The Xenarc LCDs have brighter backlights and use a 5 wire resistive panel instead of a 4 wire on the Lilliput. I now have two 7″ Lilliput displays with dubious touchscreens in need of a worthy project.
* SIFF is over and somehow has left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied. I saw a couple truly excellent films which I hope to recap/rave about here in the next week, but overall I felt the selection was kinda meh. My brother and I are discussing doing the Toronto Film Festival in September.
* Been playing far too much Desktop Tower Defense. Despite coming up with a half dozen fiendish map designs/strategies, I seem to consistently stall out at around level 78 or so in the 100 level challenge mode. I came up with my latest map design literally in a dream and am now at the point where I can close my eyes and play games in my mind with a high degree of accuracy. Crazy.
* Read Neil Gaiman’s early novel Stardust. Despite having swallowed whole Neil’s entire cannon of literary works, somehow never got around to Stardust and forgot that it existed until I learned it was being made into a movie . I enjoyed the book, although it is somewhat of a departure from Gaiman’s usual storytelling styles/influences. The movie’s trailer looks wicked and the cast is replete with well known stars and starlets (pun intended). Look for it in theaters this August. In other Gaiman related news, it looks like he just won the Locus award for best short story for How To Talk To Girls at Parties and also for best collection! In addition to Stardust, it looks like a number of Gaiman’s stories have been optioned and are at various stages of production. Go Neil!
Some of Gaiman’s previous movie forays have not met with the degree of success they deserved. In particular, Mirrormask, with its amazing visual flair courtesy of Dave McKean and the Jim Henson Company, didn’t get nearly the promotion or support it deserved to have a strong showing at the box office. Despite amazingly low production costs of ~$4 million for such a visually stunning film, it earned something like a quarter that much in box office receipts, although it made enough in DVD and VHS sales to put it in the black. I look forward to seeing more of Neil Gaiman’s work on the silver screen in the near future.