Macro Photography – Classic Prime SLR lenses vs Cell Phone with a Loupe

January 28, 2018

The capabilities of cell phone cameras are amazing, performing better than my classic SLR lenses. Here is how I used a simple analog loupe with my cell phone to do some great macro photography.


Recently I went to change the keyboard of one of my Acer laptops. As I disassembled it, the tiny mainboard connector part came off . It clamps the keyboard ribbon to the laptop’s mainboard.

It just wasn’t going back on. Part of the issue was that I was not sure which way it went back together. This side down, or the other side?

So I got out my photographer’s 35mm loupe to take a look. I could see a lot of very tiny teeth that had to be matched up. Read the rest of this entry »


Trying and Cracking Steganography

January 4, 2018

Once I read about how some spies were saving messages in pictures. Cool. So I thought I’d try it just for fun.


It was a lot different from invisible ink we played with as kids. 🙂

First I looked at an article on StackOverflow

Read the rest of this entry »

Successful Audio and Video Screen Capture on Windows 7

August 9, 2017

Occasionally, I see some great videos online, and I download them to my hard drive for my personal use. One reason, some videos can take a long time to watch.  So I download them and watch them at another time, like using a DVR.

Recently, there was another webinar. I thought it would be easy enough to download. But like so many other times, I had to spend a LOT of time installing and fixing the software first.  Here’s how I made it all work.  Read the rest of this entry »

Review – Nikon CoolScan 5000 ED

December 7, 2014

For over a decade, while I went to university, and for a few years after, I owned and operated a photography business. At that time, cameras were film cameras, not digital. After a few years, I had a big collection of negatives.

In 2007, I bought a film scanner to scan some family pictures, the Nikon CoolScan 5000. It’s been fabulous to use.

Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED

Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED

Recently, I’ve been using it again to scan some more 35mm negatives and transparencies. The software is so intuitive, the results so good, and it’s such a pleasure to use, that I’m inspired to write about it.


Traditional Darkroom Techniques:

For those of you who have never worked in the darkroom, it’s a very laborious process. Read the rest of this entry »

Some Great Software To Capture Analog Audio

October 30, 2014


Audacity Recording

Audacity Recording

I have a nice cassette deck that you would use with a stereo system and there are some old cassette tapes that I have never thrown out. Finally I’ve got around to copying some of these cassettes to files on my hard drive.

Here is a review of some software that I test drove on an old underpowered Windows XP machine: Exact Audio Copy, Wave Repair, and Audacity.        Read the rest of this entry »

HD Tune – Fabulous Windows Hard Drive Testing Software!

January 1, 2013

Recently I tested a number of my older Windows machines with HD Tune. It’s fabulous performance testing software!

HD Tune

HD Tune

HD Tune tests the slowest part of any computer. The hard drive.

If you have seen my database tuning presentation, you will know that it always amazes me why so many developers don’t realize that the hard drive is the slowest part of any system, and look to remove lines of code that run in memory. Sometimes only once! Duh!

What was really interesting was the the hard drives of three of my old machines ran at an average speed of 20, 50, and 70 megabytes per second. But one machine was running at less than 10 megabytes per second! It confirmed what I knew; that computer was really slow.

HD Tune is fast, easy and intuitive. Reading manuals is not required. Installs in one motion. Only works on Windows though.

The other really good testing software I’ve used is Passmark, that I reviewed previously.  Although, by just looking at the hard drive, HDTune seems to approximate the entire performance pretty closely.

Now, should I just get some solid state drives? Or just buy some new computers? Hmm.

Do check it out!

Review of Colasoft – Network Activity Analyzer – It’s Awesome!

January 23, 2012

The other week, I downloaded Colasoft’s Network Activity Analyzer, and took it for a test drive. Colasoft is a fabulous network analyzer, intuitively obvious and such a pleasure to work with. It installs and works in a few minutes. It’s highly recommended!

Colasoft Network Analyzer

Colasoft Network Analyzer

I was prompted to download it, because I’ve often wondered about network activity on my machines.

In addition to seeing the total network activity on the machine, I’d like to see the network activity by each browser window. And further, by each tab in each web browser. So far, I haven’t found a product to do this. If anyone knows of a such a product, please leave a comment. I’d love to see the product.
Read the rest of this entry »

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