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Casio EX-Z850 Video Problems

May 11th, 2006  · stk

After buying a new Casio EX-Z850 digital camera, I was disappointed to find that the video quality wasn't as good as its predecessor. See for yourself.

Comparing video with the EX-Z750

When it was time to buy a new digital camera, I zoomed in on the Casio EX-Z750. After reading Ken Rockwell's review, it seemed that this camera had everything I wanted. Then I found out that the EX-Z850 was new to the market and I hunted down a good deal. I figured the EX-Z850 would be an improvement on the EX-Z750. Not in everything, apparently.

Shortly after ordering it, I read that the EX-Z850's video wasn't up to par, compared with the EX-Z750. These observations came from Casio Talk and Mike Davidson. The delivery truck was on its way from the United States to Canada, so I could only wait.

After receiving the camera, I tried it out. I liked the large, bright LCD screen, anti-shake function, superb ergonometrics, quick response, long battery life and past movie mode. But I had nothing to compare the video against. So, I went out locally and purchased a EX-Z750GY (a grey body and one of the few remaining EX-Z750's in town, as it is no longer being manufactured). If fact, Casio recently announced a newer 10 Mega-Pixel model.

Read on for the video comparison...

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Updated: 16-Oct-2007
Web View Count: 31803 viewsLast Web Update: 16-Oct-2007
Filed in:b2evo
Web Dev·The Web

A Target on Your Blog

May 9th, 2006  · stk

How about this: Software that targets b2evolution blogs and ONLY b2evolution blogs! We're talking comment SPAM here, folks. Ever wonder why you spend so much time deleting comments from your blog? Find out more ...

b2evolution Comment Spam Software

b2eblogger

Did you know that you can buy software specifically for spamming b2evolution blogs? How about that "howdy-do" with your morning coffee? Just think of all those SPAM messages you spend time deleting from your blog. Perhaps many are coming from this software?

It's enough to make steam come out of your ears.

Of course, if the programming is crafted as well as the banner ad (notice the spelling error?), then b2evolution owners don't have too much to worry about.

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Updated: 20-Jun-2011
Web View Count: 21569 viewsLast Web Update: 20-Jun-2011

Can it Be, Our PCT?

May 6th, 2006  · stk

A couple of months ago, we reported that six months worth of our adventure journals, covering our 2,650-mile wilderness journey along the Pacific Crest Trail, were lost. A few days ago, we received an email from an reader who says he might have them ALL. We are thrilled. Find out more ...

Journals Coming Home to Roost?

We don't often check our "Tuxnus" family email account, as Rachel normally uses her UofA email account and I use my business account at gMail. I got quite a shock to discover a 3-day old email entitled "Your PCT Journal". It read:

I just saw your website and the terrible events of your hard drive crash.

I think I have almost all of your journal downloaded as Word documents. I am a section hiker that has been working on the PCT for 7 years and found your journal in 2003 to be the most complete description of the trail, as well as very entertaining. I kept a complete copy as a reference document for my future hiking.

I'd be happy to send you any or all of what I have.

Regards, Tom

WOW ... There is HOPE!

If you didn't hear us moan about it, we lost the journals for our 6-month, 2,650-mile wilderness hike from 2002, in which we followed the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Canada. The adventure took us 6 months to complete and Rachel journaled (in the-color-of-our-socks detail) the entire journey. We lost it all in a HDD crash at our host diary-x.com. We had put out a plea to readers, tried to recover what we could from search engine cache pages and had all but given up hope that ANY would return, let alone the WHOLE LOT!!

We're hoping that Tom comes through with the Word documents and we'll be very joyful indeed!

We've sent him a reply email, only moments ago, and are sitting on pins and needles, waiting for his reply and maybe the return of our (very precious to us) journals.

We might have a new hero, named "Tom". :D

Update: Journals SAFE at Home!!

Tom, a reader who lives in Orinda, California, came through and emailed Word documents that contained our southern California journals. After verifying that we could open them, he sent the remaining on-trail journals! Wahoo!! The power of the Internet and a testimony to the completeness and descriptive writing that Rachel did, while we were on our adventure.

We're still missing a few of the pre-trip entries and quite a number of our cycle tour trip, back down the coast. We'll keep hoping that these turn up and hunting under every rock. For now though, we are ecstatic that our Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike journal entries HAVE BEEN SAVED!!

Thank you Tom!

(On a side note: proving once again that the world is a small place, both Tom and Scott received undergraduate degrees at the University of California at Davis. :D )

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Updated: 4-Jun-2006
Web View Count: 19759 viewsLast Web Update: 4-Jun-2006

Lights Out, Nobody Home

April 26th, 2006  · stk

SiteGround Suspends Randsco.com

We had been experiencing FTP problems at our hosting service, SiteGround, for several days. I opened a support ticket and was working at solving the problem (automatic disconnection after less than a minute of inactivity) when, all of a sudden, our site went down.

This has happened before and service is usually restored in a ... matter of minutes. As usual, I spot checked site access at Alertra (checking availability from a half-a-dozen world-wide locations). Nothing but errors. It was not our ISP. Randsco was definitely down.

I submitted a trouble ticket and received the usual prompt reply from SiteGround, only a few minutes later. The contents were unexpected:

Hello Alertra,

Your account [is] currently limited. I will now forward your ticket to our abuse department.

LOL ... my name isn't "Alertra"! What does "limited" mean? The Abuse department?

Our site remained down, as I patiently waited for word from SiteGround. A half-hour later, I received the following email/ticket entitled "Abuse".

Dear Scott,

During the last 24 hours your website ... overloaded the server several times ... dangerous for the other users ... transferring your website to a special server ... will take up to 24 hours ... website will remain accessible ... but will [have] some limitations ... may result in occasional server error messages. ... will NOT experience any downtime ... Once the transfer is completed you will be notified ...

Best Regards,

And just like that, Randsco was off the 'net.

If you have a shared hosting account, or have shared hosting and your site has overloaded a server, you will be interested to read about our experience and "post mortem" of the event ...

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Updated: 28-May-2006
Web View Count: 14359 viewsLast Web Update: 28-May-2006
Filed in:Alexandra

State of the Oop Address

April 21st, 2006  · stk

Wow, it's been three months since we last reported on the Oop, our daughter. She's grown a lot since then and we thought that we'd bring you up-to-date. She recently celebrated her two-and-a-half birthday and in true Oop style, she devoured the half-cake and ice cream ....

Living Through the Terrible Twos

half birthday

It's been too long since we've written about Alex. The last Oop-post was about her first ice skating experience, in January, nearly three months ago. Let's bring everyone up to date.

The Oop recently celebrated her half-birthday, on April third. She's now in the middle of her "terrible twos" and let me tell you, there's a REASON they call them that. Oh my God! The tears and the fits!

The last one was just moments ago. Rachel is out (at an orientation meeting for her new, part-time job) and I'm trying to write this post. Alex is eating breakfast, at the kitchen table (Rice Krispies cereal with bits of fresh banana and a glass of milk).

"All done Daddy," she says.

I look over and see that most of the cereal has indeed, made it into her gob, but half of the glass of milk remains.

"You're not going to drink your milk?" I ask.

"No Daddy," she says, "Finished."

"So I'm going to have to throw it away?" (We don't like doing this, but it doesn't bother the Oop.)

"Yes," she says, "All done."

Because the milk was in an open glass (and no doubt her hands went into it) I decide it's best just to toss it. But then, I spy Tuxedo, lounging in his cat bed and decide to give him a rare treat. (Shh, don't tell Rachel.)

"You won't mind if I give it to Tuxedo?", I ask.

I don't wait for a reply and this is the pivotal moment, which I fail to recognize. After all, she says she's done, doesn't want it, doesn't mind it going down the drain, so (of course) she won't mind if I give it to the cat. It's only logical. (What two and a half year-old is logical?)

I pour the milk into a bowl and whistle for the cat, who is quick to capitalize on an infrequent indulgence, moving faster than I thought him capable. Quickly, he's hunched over the bowl, lapping the milk.

I look at Alex and what I see is not a happy face.

"My milk," she says, with a pouty frown.

"Uh oh," I think.

Tears well up and I realize that we're heading into a storm. Sure enough, she becomes red-faced and tears begin to flow. She wails as if the milk were the most important thing on Earth and through the sobbing, wailing and mixture of tears and green snot (she's getting over a cold), she cries, "No ... no ... no ... no, I waaant my milk. Daaaddy."

I try to mollify her by patting her on the back and cleaning her face with a tissue. "Look how happy you've made the kitty cat. He likes milk. Don't you want the kitty cat to be happy?"

She's beyond reasoning and her entire world is focused on the fact that the cat is now drinking HER milk. It doesn't matter that, only moments before, she was happy to watch me pour it down the drain. She is completely distraught, because she doesn't want the kitty cat to be happy and it's her milk and NOW she wants it back.

I calmly ask her if she'd like to have a little more milk. She does and the sobbing subsides. I pour her another small glassful and she drinks it. The end-of-the-world, kitty-cat-has-my-milk incident rapidly fades from her mind (though not entirely from mine).

"All done Daddy. Look!" she says, "I go play now."

There will probably be three of four more similar crying fits today. Some might be predictable (not wanting to go down for an afternoon nap, being told 'no' when she wants something), but others (like this one) will just pop up, out of the blue. It's a part of life, with Alex, now that she's two.

It's not all bad though, because (most of the time), she's happy and content, a wonderful, beautiful, cute, engaging and outgoing daughter. If you ask her how she feels, she'll generally say, "Happy". We must be doing something right. :D

To learn more about our life with Alex at two and a half, read on, as I try to put into words, some of her antics, discoveries and joys.

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Updated: 21-Feb-2007
Web View Count: 20227 viewsLast Web Update: 21-Feb-2007