Tech Changes at Home

I’ve been busy with a lot of technology changes at home…

One of the hard drives in our home server was failing so I decided to replace them all with 2 new 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black Hard Drives. Whenever one fails, I always assume the others are close to failing as well.

I got sick of the slow internet speeds we were getting with AT&T Uverse. Just a few years ago, it was the fastest technology around. Now it’s one of the slowest. Since I was maxed out on their available internet options, I had no choice but to switch to Comcast Xfinity. While I was at it, I decided to switch over all services: Internet, TV, and Voice.

When the Comcast installer arrived, I was surprised to see that they install the same idiotic cable boxes they were using over 4 years ago when I left their service! Motorola DCT6412 – sound familiar? LOL What a joke. I recorded one HD basketball game and the DVR was 33% full. In under 24 hours, I switched out the boxes for a cable card and purchased a TiVo Premier XL4 DVR with Lifetime Subscription! This would be our 4th TiVo – I don’t know why we ever left!

This TiVo rocks! It allows me to record 4 HD streams simultaneously! I didn’t realize how much I missed TiVo until I started using the peanut remote again! Ahhh, feels like home! No more crappy vendor boxes!

BTW, after switching from Uverse to Comcast, it made me realize that Uverse uses way too much compression for their video streams. The Comcast picture is SO much better.

Since I changed out our internet service, I thought it would be a good time to get rid of all the old wireless access points in the house. I bought a second Netgear WNDR3700 (N600) Wireless Router and am using it as another dual band wireless access point. No more 802.11G in our house! It’s all 802.11N and in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz! There isn’t a weakspot in the entire house!

Future tech plans…
Time for me to replace our printer – it’s been about 3 years and it’s starting act up.
I want to buy 2 more 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black Hard Drives to give me a total of 8TB storage on my server.
Almost time for another iMac!

In non-tech news, I tuned my camera and lenses using LensAlign.

I also got my photography project off the ground – pseudo Polaroids will be surrounding my home office!

All this “work” has been making me so damn tired! Time to take a break from tech!


Halleluja – My lens is calibrated!

After a week or two of testing out my new 14-24mm lens, I was a bit disappointed. At first I thought it was poor technique or over-expectations from all the hype with this lens. Images I had captured up to this point were blurry or out of focus – they ALL really sucked. I knew something was out of whack when SheryAnne’s point and shoot photos were coming out light years better than the photos out of my rig. Since I am an amateur at photography, I figured it had to be me. I focused on improving techniques to keep the camera from shaking, shutter to focal length fundamentals, and lighting fundamentals. So I continued to shoot, test, learn, and study how to use this lens…but my photos were still coming out poor. After reading Seb’s review on the LensAlign focus calibration system, I thought I’d give it a try to see if I had any calibration issues – it turned out that I did! The calibration system revealed a significant amount of back focus at 14mm and by the time I stretched the lens to 24mm, it was front focusing! After fine tuning the lens and camera using the LensAlign system, my photos have been more in line with what I expect out of this lens – sharp and consistent! Here are some samples after calibration:

Now I understand why photographers love this lens!

And for you geeks out there my final AF Fine Tune settings ended up being:

50mm f/1.4 -2
14-24mm f/2.8 -18
24-70mm f/2.8 -3
70-200mm f/2.8 0

So now you can see why I was tripping over my photos prior to calibration! LOL