I’m in the process of getting my oldest daughter ready to head off to college. She will need a hard drive for backup and I wanted to get her something small and portable. My search led me to the Lacie Rugged All-Terrain 500GB Hard Drive. Besides being built to take a beating, the thing that I really like about this drive is the triple interface! It has Firewire 800, Firewire 400 and USB 2. It’s also bus powered over all 3 interfaces so there is no need to plug in a power supply to the drive itself.
Apple has announced that Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is shipping this Friday! As you might have guessed, I’ve already got my copy on order. While I’m sure I could go ahead and install a developer release GM copy right now. I kinda like to wait for the real deal disc. Also in this case I’m really not in any real hurry.
Snow Leopard is a different kind of upgrade
Each full version of Mac OS X is usually packed with hundreds of new features and enhancements. However, this time around Apple chose to basically make what was already good about Mac OS X, better with the much needed under the hood improvements to give us great 64 bit support and speed. This is also reflected in the upgrade price. If you’re a Leopard user the cost of upgrading (for the OS) is only $29 ($49 for the Family Pack) this time around. I am looking forward to one major new thing and that is the native support for MS Exchange 2007. We use Exchange servers at work for email, calendar, etc. and currently I have to use MS Entourage for work stuff. I’d love to be able to ditch Entourage and just use Mail, iCal and Address Book for everything. Looks like that day will come soon. So I’m very excited about that and of course who can complain about things working faster?
You might remember my review of the Lastolite KickerLite. Well Lastolite not only liked the review, they also liked my shots. They liked them so much that they asked for my permission and rights to use them on their site. Needless to say it really made my day.
If you’ve ever been the victim of a corrupted or damaged memory card that resulted in the loss of photos, you know how important it is to backup. I always travel with a notebook computer even when I go on vacation. However, if I’m out shooting on location, I don’t carry my notebook with me. It’s usually left behind in the hotel. That being said, I have been a fan of having a backup device on location with me.
I rely on my Epson P6000 Multimedia Device to backup my memory cards when I’m on the go. I really like the device and gave it a favorable review. The only thing that I don’t like about these Epson devices is the price. In my review I noted that you can bet a full blown notebook computer for what Epson charges for their backup devices. Today I’m reviewing a competitor in this important category.
The HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA Photo Backup Device
At the end of the day these devices combine 3 things: a hard drive and LCD display and a couple of memory card slots. Now of course there has to be an operating system and controls to be able to use the device for its intended function, but as far as hardware goes, there really isn’t that much there. That’s why I never understood why the Epson devices cost so much other than they probably felt that they could charge it if people are willing to pay it.
The HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA is a lot more "open minded". First off they use standard notebook 2.5" SATA hard drives. I’m sure Epson does too, but the difference is with the Colorspace you are free to swap out the drive yourself without voiding the warranty. As a matter of fact they even sell the base model without a hard drive so that you can put in one of the ones you may already have. Although I probably do have a hard drive that I could have used from a previous notebook upgrade, I decided to start fresh and order their next model up, which comes with a 120GB hard drive. This should be more than enough for my needs since I really don’t use these devices for long term storage. Also keep in mind that my Epson P6000 only has an 80GB drive so this is an upgrade in terms of storage.
One of the most anticipated 3rd party apps for the iPhone is here! A few weeks back I reviewed the first full featured turn-by-turn stand alone navigation app for the iPhone – the Navigon App. See that review here. Navigon kinda stole TomTom's thunder a little by being first to market. However, before I passed judgement (and recommend it) I wanted to see the TomTom app.
First off, like I said in my last review, I had no idea how much these apps were going to cost but the $69.99 introductory price seemed high to me. Well now that price seems like a bargain! The TomTom app came out at the full $99.99 price for the US/Canada version. I'm going to put aside the price right now and concentrate on the features of the app. We'll get back to the price at the end.
The TomTom app performs as I would have expected it to. The apps starts up a little slower than the Navigon app, but otherwise is very snappy. I must say that I like the layout and number of options in the TomTom app menus over that of the Navigon app. Also Navigon has an annoying habit of using really small fonts, the TomTom screens are very easy to read.
Points of Interest (POIs) also load very very quickly. I was stunned by the number of voices available in this app. You can have just about any voice you want including several just in the US language alone both male and female. No custom voices though.
See it in action
Rather than trying to explain how the app works, I recorded this video of a live demo of the TomTom app. Check it out. Caution: some parts are shaky.
I find myself using my Canon VIXIA HF10 more and more. My friend Bruce turned me on to this "cool" LED light panel for video.
The R-50 LED Video Light Panel
This thing is perfect for my camera. It runs off 4 AA batteries. It’s small enough for travel and EXTREMELY BRIGHT! I was blown away by the amount of light this thing puts out. You get everything you need to make it work except the batteries. The kit includes:
Last month I did a review of the Lastolite Kickerlite Softbox. It’s a great light modifier and I’m using it more and more. However, there are times where you may not have an extra stobe/speedlight to use in it. So you might be interested in the Lastolite UpLite as an alternative. They look very similar and the setup is almost the same. The big difference between them is one is a reflector and the other is actually a light (well a softbox with a light in it).
What makes TripIt so cool is that it doesn’t require you to manually enter the information about your trip. You simply forward your itinerary from your airline, hotel, rental car company, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address(es) that you registered from and TripIt.com will automatically add all of your travel information to your online itinerary. I was blown away that this even worked with the PDF itineraries that I get from my work travel agent.
Now what makes this even sweeter is that they have a Free iPhone App. The TripIt iPhone/iPod touch app allows you to see all the pertinent information about your upcoming trips.
TripIt also allows you to subscribe to an iCal/Outlook calendar of all your trips.
Well today is the big day! Today Scott Kelby will unveil the winning photo from his Worldwide Photo Walk that took place on Saturday, July 18th, 2009. While I have no idea who the winner is or who the runner ups were, I thought I would share my pick for the Detroit walk that I led and the other 9 runner ups. Now keep in mind there are no prizes for my picks. However, I thought the folks in my walk would appreciate knowing which pictures were my favorites and which ONE I submitted for the over all selection process.
Let’s start with runner ups:
Missing Stairway by Sten.sjoberg
The Joy of Photography by David Birdsong
Guardian Light by Thom Briggs
Go by James Howe
Water water everywhere by Michele
A City of Fighters by XAOSQUEEN
Space Available by Nick Edwin
Spirt of Detroit by Abdul Aquil
Hand by MDecker
My Top Choice and the Detroit Winner is…
Sky by Bill Stevenson
Congratulations Bill and to the runner ups! It was a tough choice and I was only able to submit one photo. There were several awesome shots to choose from, but there was something about Bill’s shot that kept me coming back to it.
Like I said, I have no idea who won or who Scott will pick as the runner ups for the overall walk, but these are the winners from my walk hands down.
This is one of those apps that you should have, but hope you never have to use. Having been in a few auto accidents in the past myself, I know how much of a daze you can be in even if you’re physically OK. If the police come, you’re all set as they’ll make a report. However, if it’s a minor fender bender, then you may be on your own to collect all the details for your insurance claim.
That’s where iWrecked comes in
This app aims to be the data collection point for all the relative information regarding your accident. It prompts you to enter the information that you may not be thinking about at the moment. Since your iPhone is also a camera, you can even insert the pictures you take. Also don’t forget to take pictures of the road conditions and surrounding area. There is an Emergency Call area to call 911, towing in the area you’re in via Google Maps and for a Taxi.
Once you complete the accident report you can preview it and then send it via email in PDF format.