Thursday, April 30, 2009

Push your Netbook limit and Play HD Video Smoothly

The Story
A friend says Netbook can’t play HD video from Youtube or his BT download. Maybe he is wrong.

The Solution
I found a great software which allows you to overclock the graphic card of your Netbook. Once you overclock your Netbook to 250MHz, you should be able to play the HD video smoothly.

gma

Windows version download here
Linux version download here
Mac version download here

Please make sure your Netbook is using Intel GMA 950 graphic chip. Overclocking to 250Mhz should be able to get more than what you need. Use it at your own risk! If you burn your Netbook, I may not be able to help you.

NOTE: Overclocking your graphic chip may also heat up your Netbook and reduce battery life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Correct Way to Protect Your Data/Photos

The Story
One of my co-worker came to me and asked if I can help her recover data from her external hard drive. I know how to recover the data which was deleted by accident or from a formatted hard drive. However, If the hard drive is really physically damaged or hardware failure, I can only say I will try my best.

Solutions
I shoot a lot of photos every week and I found the best way to protect my photos is by using RAID storage. What is RAID? I don't want to go into too much detail and the short answer is a RAID system uses more than one hard drive and even one hard drive fail, you still have your data well protected on the healthy one.

I had a chance to try different RAID Storage recently, and I found Drobo from Data Robotics is the most interesting one. It has a special function "Beyond RAID" which allows you to increase storage space by replacing bigger Hard Drive(s) while you don't even need to turn it off.
Drobo
Amazon has Drobo 4-Bays $449.00 Free Shipping with $40.00 Mail in Rebate
If you want to know how it works in action, Amazon is so kind to put up a product video as well. Click the link below to watch it.
Drobo in Action Video

There are other RAID storage that offers similar functions. But If you don't wanna get in to details with technology, get the Drobo, it will make your life easier.

p.s. Some people ask me what if my house catches on fire or someone steals my Drobo. Don't worry, I also backup my photos with to online storage as well. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Who Should/Shouldn't Get a Netbook?

The Story
You may not know some of the post on alohaeveryone.com are being posted by a Netbook (I have the Dell Mini 9). Also, some people may be confused between Netbook vs Notebook. When they try to make a purchase, they will wonder why the screen and hard drive are so small, why there is no DVD-ROM and CPU seems too slow. In normal situation, Netbooks are devices designed purposely for the Internet, to communicate, and view information. They have in common a compact form factor with light-weight, longer battery life and they may contain more than one wireless method to connect to the Internet.

I understand I shouldn't be too technical at on my blog. So, I kinda make it simple


People who will love Netbook
• Hangout at Starbucks and update your Facebook at the same time.
• Keep chatting with friends all day while share the youtube video you like with them
• Travel to other companies with PowerPoint while they provide you a projector only.
• Like to watch portable DVD player but too lazy to burn downloads to DVD.
• Wanna get updates for the score of the baseball team while drinking with friends
• Update the blog which wife/husband sleeps next to you.
• Hack other people's WIFI network (oops)



People who will think Netbook sucks.
• Think they can do video or photo editing (Man... get a desktop)
• Burning games, videos, music downloads to CD or DVD a lot.
• Think Warcraft, Crysis or Sims 2 is their life.

If you are a Netbook person, I find the new released Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix to be the best Operating System among Windows and Apple. Take a look at the beautiful desktop below.
ubuntu

Ubuntu 9.04 is a free OS with ultra fast boot up time and able to get the job done nicely. You can download and Install if by yourself if you have some OS installation experience. On the other hand, if you know me in person, I can do that for you as usual and please make sure you backup all the important data.

p.s. If you ask me what Netbook you should buy, Dell Vostro A90 is my suggestion at this moment. Click Here to shop Vostro.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rechargeable Battery Recomendation (Eneloop)

The Story
Friend ask me which Rechargeable for his Flash. I am not too sure which is the best at this moment since technology keep improving, but I would like to recommend the one I am using (Sanyo Eneloop).
eneloop

What makes Eneloop different from others?

Sanyo Eneloop is low self-discharge NiMH battery (LSD NiMH). It reduces self-discharge and, therefore, lengthens shelf life compared to normal rechargeables. It's voltage is more stable, reduced heat buildup when the battery is quickly charged or discharged and higher efficiency. Which make it good for photography and other high energy requirement applications.

I have been using Sanyo Eneloop for my TV remotes, my camera flash and toys over a year. All I can say is, this batteries has been doing so good and none of them fail on me.

If you wanna give it a try, Amazon has the whole product lines available here.

Also, I find the La Crosse BC-700 Charger maybe the perfect charger for the Enoloop. Amazon has it for $26.82 with Free Shipping.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sigma DP2 Avaiable to Pre-Order Again

The Story
I would say, possible the best image quality point and shoot camera is coming soon. Amazon has it pre-order for $649 with Free Shipping again.
sigma
Sigma has special website up for this baby at http://www.sigma-dp.com/DP2/main.html

Sample images are up as well. Click the images to download the full size sample.
































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Actually, I explain the reasons why DP2 can get you such great image quality from the older post. Please check
Point and Shoot Camera with SLR soul (Sigma DP1 and DP2)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Whats Make a Good Portraits Lens?

The Story
Friends ask me what lens he should get for portraits. In normal situations, you want to get the sharpest image as possible. Also, female models will complain if you make them looks fat. Under those conditions, you would like to get a sharp lens with at least 50mm or above (longer focal length can make models looks skinny :p ).

Solutions
If you have a Canon camera, I suggest to get a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM for around $400.00. It is a very sharp lens and didn't cost you much for taking good photos of pretty models.

Samples
model
Click "here" for the full size image. You can see her in detail and find out how sharp the lens is.

If you are Nikon user, Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens maybe what you should look for.

Message from a Nikon Pro: Nikon 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro or Nikon 105mm f/2.0D AF DC should be better for Portraits.

Beginner: What lens should I get?

The Story
If you guys read my blog, you will notice I really suggest getting a 35mm or 50mm prime lens to get the maximum SLR experience for cheap. Getting a prime lens really help you to make decision for your next lens choice. While you find the 50mm is too close to your subjects which you normally shoot, then you need to get a wide angle lens; While you find the 50mm make you walk closer to the subject, then you need to get a tele lens.

Solutions
Actually, if you don't agree my point of view, there is another solution for you to find out what lens you should get. You can go to the Tamron website "here" and use the tool they build for you to understand what lens you need. Following is how the website looks like.

Tools

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dell Mini 9 Evil Twins Vostro A90 $199!!

A90

The Story
Dell Vostro A90 is the Business version of Mini 9 in black dress. Technical parts are the same as Mini 9 which I use it for web browsing, movie and chatting. I find this better than other Netbook since It doesn't included any moving parts. No moving parts means, no Fan and hard drive spinning which allow zero noise operation. This is a perfect Netbook for me to use while my wife is sleeping next to me. :)

Some of the post from alohaeveyone.com you have been seen are done by Mini 9, the battery last pretty long (3-4hrs base on my test) for my slow typing and chatting at the same time.

Spec
Intel® Atom Processo N270 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache)
8.9 Inch Wide Screen WSVGA TL Display (1024x600)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
8GB Solid State Drive
512MB,DDR2,533MHZ,1 DIMM
Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
WEBCAM Integrated 0.3M Pixel Webcam
COLOR Obsidian Black
BATTERY 35WHr Battery (4 cell)

Click the following link to get the deal.
Click here to shop all Vostro laptops from Dell Small Business!

p.s. This post is also created by Mini 9 :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is Spring! Get a Macro Lens!

The Story
Is Spring, good timing for flower photos. Friends told me they can’t get too close to the flowers because the camera cannot focus. There is a very simple answer for point and shoot users since most P&S cameras come with macro function. However, for SLR camera, you may need to get a new lens.

Marco Lens
Macro lenses are for focusing on things very close up like a few inches away. The lens is typically optimized to focus sharply on a small area approaching the size of the film frame. Most 35mm format macro lenses achieve at least 1:2, which means, the image on the film is 1/2 the size of the object being photographed. Many 35mm macro lenses are 1:1, meaning the image on the film is the same size as the object being photographed. Another important distinction is that lenses designed for macro are usually at their sharpest at macro focus distances and are not quite as sharp at other focus distances.

Example from Macro Lens

flowers

The Images you see above are from a Sigma Macro Lens. I believe the Sigma Macro 70mm really did a good job for flowers. It has 1:1 Maximum Magnification and the minimum focusing distance is 25.7cm which make it perfect for this situation. Around $400.00 and you can click the link below to check pricing.

Sigma 70mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens for Canon

Sigma 70mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro Lens for Nikon

If spending too much on a new lens is not an option for you, there are two other options.

Extension Tube
You can get closer to the object by adding an extension tube between your lens and the body of the camera. Since there are no optics added, it wont reduce the image quality but you lose the infinity focus while it is being mount on the camera. Usually, it's between $70.00 to $150.00 and should able to get the job done. Following photo is how it will look like.


Close Up Lens
Personally, I don’t recommend close up lens as a solution, because in most cases it will reduce the image quality a lot. However, some of the close up lens a very cheap and is still fun if you are tight on cash. Since close up lens is being mount on the front of the Lens, you need to make sure it match with the filter size of the lens you are going to mount it on. The following link may be able to help you.
Search for Close Up Lens

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Canon 5D Mark II up on Amazon Again $2699 for Body Only

5D2
Seems more inventory coming to Amazon. Canon 5D Mark II was shortage everywhere and price got mark up. Now Amazon has body only for $2699.99 with Free shipping. Don't know how long if the inventory last. But I see "more inventory coming" on Amazon page.
Click the link below to get the deal.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)