Archive for September, 2005

Fujifilm FinePix F11 Zoom

Could this be the one?

I’ve been looking for a compact digital camera for a long time! I’ve been thinking that the Fujifilm FinePix F10 would have been a good choice for a while for several reasons:

  • It has a high ISO rating of 1600, meaning you can use it in low light
  • It has a large 2.5″ LCD (though I hear it is rather low resolution)
  • It has a 36mm lens (in 35mm terms). Not great but wider than a lot of compact cameras

However, it has been let down by the total absence of any manual control. The othe minor annoyance is the lack of a wide angle lens - 36mm (in 35mm film terms) is it’s widest focal length.

So how does the Fujifilm FinePix F11 improve on these features? Well, it seems to be the same as the F10, except it has manual controlls and a higher resolution display. So will I get it? I think so. Probably. I guess I’ll wait for some previews/reviews, and it’s not out until November so something better may come out from another company. Still, this looks like the best thing I’ve seen so far :)

Right. An early night it is!

Another busy day

Had another busy day today. Got lots of emails to catch up on - sorry - will reply as soon as I get a chance.

I’m trying to think about ways I can improve the directory structure of BritBlog. The category structure needs a lot of work, but there are some queries on the geographical directory too. Anyway, there are some comments in the blog about this, so chip in if you have something to say.

The weekend is nearly upon us (hooray!) so I hope to finish of the work on the XML-RPC ping service on BritBlog. This is once I’ve finished all my paperwork :-( I also plan on having a good sleep and a bit of a tidy up. There are just not enough hours in the day…

Newcastle

Had to visit Newcastle today for a meeting. Quite a long way for a 1 1/2 hour meeting, but worth it I think. I flew up last night, not landing until about 11.00 PM, so I was a bit late for any bars. I managed to find something with a late license, but it was almost empty and the beer wasn’t too good (though it was blooming cheep at £1.50 a pint!).

I was back at my ‘accommodation’ fairly quickly, so for the benefit of mankind, here are my findings.

Premier Travel Inn - First Impressions

Well, I mistakenly thought that a Premier Travel Inn would be better than your bog standard Travel Inn. Travel Inns are usually OK. Basic, but OK. This wasn’t the case with the Newcastle City Premier Travel Inn!

My first mistake was getting the brands muddled, and assuming that the former was a posh version of the latter. It isn’t.

My non-smoking room stank of cigarettes, and had no soaps/shower gels/shampoos and so on that you would normally expect in even the most basic of accommodation.

The extractor fan in the bathroom was very loud - to the extent that I thought smashing it off with my shoe would be a reasonable course of action.

Did I mention everything stinks of fag smoke? Even the pillows and sheets. Not nice.

The shower dripped very loudly all night long, and the extractor fan seemed to go on for ages. Oh yes, and the bathroom door wouldn’t close properly.

To be fair though, the breakfast was very nice (except for the tea) and the staff were fairly helpful.

However, my first impressions of this place were not good. To be more precise, I would say they were bad. Never ever consider staying in one of these places unless you really have no other option.

What about Newcastle?

I actually saw very little of the city, but I think I’ve seen enough to want to go back – maybe for a long weekend sometime. Flights up from Gatwick were really cheap, so it should be an affordable trip.

Right, it’s been a long day. Time for bed me thinks!

WordPress user levels

I’ve been looking at some of the less publicised features of WordPress, and have discovered pages and user levels.

Pages are handy of you want to write static pages (i.e. ‘about me’). They’re not ordered by date either. I’m going to use these in BritBlog so that the team of editors can help maintain some online documentation.

In this vein, I was wondering about how the user level stuff works in WordPress too, and found this page. It seems the user levels to have a purpose after all!

If you have some time, I’d suggest you take a good browse through the online codex. There’s tonnes if new stuff in there since I last looked.

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What a day!

Not had a good day today. Slept very poorly last night and have had a headache all day. I was either too hot or too cold in the office, and found it very hard to concentrate. I really really need a holiday!

On top of that the journey in was slow because of traffic, and the journey back was slow because of some twit doing 30 m.p.h on a 50 road (one without overtaking bits). Frustrating when all you want to do is get home and go to bed.

Bah. Still got loads to do though - it just seems to be accumulating.

On a totally different note, Nancy has joined the fold and become a BritBlog editor. And what can I say but I’m impressed? By my calculations she has been reviewing blogs for the last three hours and the queue (as I write) stands at just over 70. A remarkable feat Nancy - well done!

The weekend is over…

I’ve been down to Bristol this weekend, staying with some friends. I had a meeting there on Friday morning so went down on Thursday night. It’s been a good few days and much beer/wine has been consumed :-)

It’s all over now though, and after a really bad drive back have just come off the ‘phone to a friend. The call wasn’t a good one and I’m feeling a bit sad now :-( Think I’ll go to bed.

Got another exciting week of work ahead of me. Humph. I really need a change of scene or something.

BritBlog goings on

There is some activity over at BritBlog that I think I ought to mention.

First of all, I’m looking for some beta testers for our new XML-RPC updates service. This should make a huge difference to BritBlog (especially if the traffic kills the server!), and I’m quite excited about this.

Additionally, there has been some talk about setting up a traffic exchange-like system. I’m still not sure what the best approach would be, so if you have any thoughts please mention them over at the BritBlog blog.

Ricoh announces the GR Digital

Ricoh have just announced a new compact digital camera: the GR Digital.

Now I don’t make a habit of mentioning stuff like this on my blog, but I’ve been in the market for a compact digital for some time. My criteria have always been:

  1. Good wide angle lens - ideally a 28mm lens (in 35mm terms) - because it’s going to be used indoors for group/people photos
  2. Good low light performance - because it’s going to be used indoors for group/people photos
  3. Decent sized LCD screen - because my eyesight ain’t what it used to be!
  4. And of course, excellent image quality.

Those are my main criteria. So why do I mention this Ricoh? Well, it looks like it might come close to filling the gap. It has a 28mm f/2.4 lens, which should be great indoors and in low light. It has ISO speeds up to 800 in RAW mode, and 1600 in JPEG (not sure why RAW can’t go up to 1600, but there we go). It also has a 2.5 inch LCD, which is quite generous.

The only real failing (on paper) is that the lens is a fixed focal length. I never use a long zoom, but it’s nice to have something that goes to 70 or 80mm so you can take nice head shots of people. And with an aperture of f/2.4, I would imagine these could be quite nice. Ah well, you can’t have everything.

Just have to wait for the reviews I guess…