Category: Tools

Microsoft Word and Death of the Past

I have a bunch of files I’ve created over the years in various flavors of Microsoft Office. Some of them are old articles or even attempts at fiction that I abandoned, but became curious about them. Imagine my surprise when Microsoft Word refused to open them, generating the somewhat incoherent error you see on the …

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The Wheels That Keep Me Rolling

When you buy a bicycle, it typically comes with wheels. Unless you’re buying a super-expensive racing bike, or a custom build where you spec out all the gear, the wheels you get with the bike are OEM wheels. They’re typically pretty average wheels, even for relatively pricey bikes. Even if you’re something of a duffer …

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The Favorite Son: Nikon D300

I learned more about photography shooting with the Nikon D300 than any other camera I’ve ever used. Because Nikon designed the D300 as a pro-level body, the camera offers little in the way of hand-holding features. The camera lacks scene modes or other souped up automation. A single program mode came the closest to hand-holding …

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The Nikon D80: Relearning Composition

The Nikon D80 shipped late summer of 2006, representing the high end of Nikon’s emerging prosumer product line. The D80 superseded the D70, which I wrote about earlier. The D80’s sensor size increased to 10.2 megapixels, almost doubling the 6 megapixels used in the D70. I bought my D80 in early 2007, looking for a …

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Furnace Failure Or Nest Nuisance?

I bought the first version of the Nest Thermostat back in 2012. After installation, the thermostat worked flawlessly with my now 19-year old Rheem gas furnace for almost four years. Last week, the furnace stopped heating. I’d recently read about problems with Nest Thermostats tapping power from furnace circuits which lack a common wire, which …

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Death Of A Switch

My morning commute consists of walking down the stairs most mornings, coffee cup in hand. I love working out of my house, but that makes me dependent on Internet connectivity. One recent morning, I fired up my PC and discovered no internet connection. So I swore under my breath at Comcast because, you know, it’s always …

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The Mirrorless Versus DSLR Conundrum

I converted from using Nikon DSLRs to Olympus mirrorless digital cameras in 2013. The photo above pretty much illustrates why. My full-frame, Nikon D600 body weighed 359 grams more than the OM-D EM-1 body I use now. That’s a pretty substantial difference. Differences in lens weights matter, too. The 24-70 f/2.8 Nikkor lens weighed 900 …

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QLite Pro: Mobile Phone Ring Light

I’m a terrible photographer. Okay, maybe not terrible. Give me a decent DSLR or my mirrorless Olympus OM-D EM-1, and I’m actually pretty good. But when it comes to photography with a mobile phone, I’m pretty much inept. It’s partly because I keep switching camera phone apps, and partly because I’m used to the more forgiving nature …

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