Thursday, March 25, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I never really considered that digital data is actually encoded as an analog signal. Magnetic data on a hard drive is supposed to be 1s and 0s, but magnetism can be unreliable at the microscopic level of a hard drive platter. Those 1s and 0s have to be stored in larger groups, so that if a few individual bits flip, the end result will still be mostly 1s or mostly 0s. Error checking is introduced into each section of data, and that overhead means that only about 81% of a disk can consist of your data -- the rest is error checking. New drive technology is striving for 4% overhead, so that you'll get to use 96% of the disk drive.
And Windows XP won't support the new drive format.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Last Friday, I shot this panorama from the building where I work.
Raw, f/5.6, ISO 400, using a polarizer and a graduated filter. Compared to my earlier panorama attempts -- hand-held camera and no filters -- this picture sucks. The sky is noticeably grainy at 100% resolution, and you can see obvious vertical bands where the photos were stitched to create the panorama.
What caused these problems? I'm inclined to think it's the filters, because they're the major difference from previous attempts. As a matter of fact, I quickly discovered that the filters were wreaking havoc with my camera's autofocus -- unlike all previous attempts, I had to disable autofocus and shoot this with manual focus.
This is a classic example of how better equipment does not assure better photographs. :-(