This blog has moved!

17 11 2009

Hi there,

I’ve exported this blog into my new one: or you can access it via

For RSS use:



Flickr Upload: Analogue photography

15 10 2009

Analogue photography

For our 2nd year anniversary Lindi got me something I’ve wanted for a while, but I never considered it practical enough to justify the purchase being film and all. So here it is a 35mm film based Lomography Fish Eye 2 camera. I’m looking forward to playing with this crazy 10mm equiv fish-eye and getting some films developed! If you don’t know what lomography is… here are the 10 “golden rules”:

1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
2. Use it any time – day and night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
4. Try the shot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don’t think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
9. Afterwards either.
10. Don’t worry about any rules.

So really, it’s just a more care-free style of photography which does not worry about technical excellence, and actually embraces visual flaws… but most importantly it’s about capturing our lives. I’m looking forward to dropping the DSLR every now and then, and having some fun!

iPhone 3.1 Bug: No auto reconnect to hidden SSID wireless networks

14 10 2009

Sad iPhone

Problem: I’ve got an iPhone 3G running 3.1.2(7D11) and I use a WLAN network at our office which does not broadcast it’s SSID for obscurity security reasons. Since some version, I guess 3.1, when I get within range of the SSID hidden network it no longer auto connects. Frustrating.

Solution: Apple to fix it in the next version I guess.

“Work around”: Not really a workaround, but a sightly less frustrating way of reconnecting… when in range of the network… recreate the network by entering the SSID and leave out any of the security stuff then click Join. The join will fail (for obvious reasons), but will then “remind” the phone that that network exists and will then connect using the previously configured settings.

Canon EOS 400D & EFS 17-85mm Err99

15 09 2009

Er99The symptom:

My Canon EOS 400D (XTi in the states) along with my EFS 17-85mm f/4-5.6 was giving the famous Err 99 – “Shooting is not possible. Turn the power switch to <OFF> and <ON> again or re-install the battery” when I fully depressed the shutter button. It did not do it at all times, and also the problem did not occur with my EF 50mm f/1.8.

The problem:

I found through a process of elimination that the problem (Err 99) would only occur on the wide angle (17-35mm) when using an aperture smaller than f/4. So I guessed that either the lens was the problem, or perhaps the communication between the lens and body. I cleaned the contact points with an eraser… but no go… same problem.

The solution:

Took both the out-of-warranty body and lens into the Canon Service Centre in Singapore. They found the problem to be with the len’s power diaphragm assembly, and replaced it as a cost of S$111.28 (Part S$24, Labor S$80 & GST S$7.28). They also did a great job cleaning the internal lens elements and external housing, so it looks as good as new now.

Unrelated they found my focus screen on the body to be really scratched too, and replaced it for S$26.75 (Part S$5, Labor S$20 & GST S$1.75).

Image credit to Rowen Atkinson

Canon lenses – How they are made

9 09 2009

After watching this video on how Canon lenses, and in particular the EF 500mm F4L (~USD10K) are made… I can appreciate why these things are so damn expensive!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Linksys WRT54G Wireless Ethernet Bridge

6 09 2009

I found that our PS3’s streaming was pretty bad using it’s internal radio, so I setup a wireless bridge using two LinkSys WRT54G’s. One was a version 7 (non-hackable), and the other a version 4 (hackable). I loaded HyperWRT onto the V4 in order to activate the ‘wireless ethernet bridge’ mode.

After PS3 is wired directly into the V4 box, and establishing a wireless bridge between the routers… streaming has improved considerably. Here is view of things today:

Internet -wired-> *WRT54G v7* -wireless->*WRT54G v4* -wired-> PS3

I put the improvement down to the router’s having proper external antenna’s and prehaps more powerful radios. Here are the settings and firmware versions I used:

Main router
Firmware version: 7.00.6
Internet connection: Auto

DHCP server: Enabled

SSID: whateveryoulike
SSID broadcast: enable

Security: WPA Personal
WPA Alogrithm: AES
WPA Shared Key: whateveryoulike

Bridge router
Firmware version: 4.30.1, HyperWRT 2.1b1 +tofu13c
Internet connection: Disabled

LAN Gateway:
LAN Mask:
DHCP server: disabled

Wirless mode: Wireless Ethernet Bridge
SSID: same as main WLAN network
SSID broadcast: enable

Security: WPA Personal
WPA Alogrithm: AES
WPA Shared Key: same as main WLAN network

Gimp fullscreen previews

5 09 2009

I’ve always been frustrated with the lack of proper full screen preview in Gimp. By default if you enter fullscreen mode (F11), it just gives you a bit more screen real estate but keeps all of the menu bars, rulers and other things that distract you from the image.

I found that you can customize what is displayed in full screen mode, and also on what colour background your image is shown. By turning all things off in full screen mode, and selecting a background colour of choice (I like black) it works well as a full screen preview mode.

Here is what my preferences look like now (click here for a larger version):