Category: Gadgets

Digital SLRs

{moszoomimglink:canon_eos_digital_rebel_xt}I have been a fan of digital photography since the early days (for amateurs). My Nikon 950, despite its shortcomings, shot wonderful pictures. So did the 990 that replaced it. Unfortunately, I was always dreaming of something better. I remembered my old days with the first autofocus cameras, my first EOS 650, and the beautiful pictures it shot. Stolen by a vandal in Amsterdam, it was replaced with a Minolta that, I am sure, was state of the art back then.
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Garmin ForeRunner 201

I just ordered a ForeRunner unit to replace my Polar HRM. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow, and I am all excited. I always thought that GPS is the way to go for cycling, because it doesn’t require modifications to the bike, is more precise, and it gives you a better indication of location.

For a while I was toying with the idea of using my Zaurus SL-5500 as a bike computer. I have a GPS receiver, and it would have been great to write the software that goes with it. It would indeed have been quite easy to do, since the connectivity with the GPS unit is a problem already solved and there is no problem with decyphering the output.

Some time later is was clear that the battery life of the Zaurus is just not good enough for the application. I get maybe a continuous five hours from the Zaurus on a good day, and I tend to spend more than that time when I am on my bike.

Now I will have to find a way to integrate the new data with my training software. That shouldn’t be much of a problem. Additionally, it would be great if I could generate real maps given satellite pictures!

CanoScan N1220U

Yet another maddening piece of hardware that resists all attempts to make it run under Linux… SANE is kind enough to tell me the chip is a National Semiconductor, and that support is going to be built-in very soon, but I’ve had the unit for two years, now, and still no resolution in sight.

Who’s to blame? Canon and their blind policy of not releasing information? Linux and the lack of central authority? Marco and his attitude towards sitting down and write the friggin’ driver himself?

Well, maybe it’s all of the above. And maybe I should start trying to convince people to use, if not Linux itself, at least software and hardware that runs under Linux. If I had bought an Epson scanner, this would not have happened.

Live and learn…