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The End

Today, 08:50 AM

Posted by raymac46 in Bruno's All Things Linux
For a while now I have been giving my wife the Toshiba netbook to take when she goes down to see her mother. But I think that's reached the end as far as this old Atom based machine goes.
The combination of a slow network, a creaking underpowered processor, minimal RAM and a resource hungry browser (Firefox) is absolutely lethal. My wife gave up in frustration trying to look at some photos on Facebook. Mind you she is used to a quad-core i5 desktop with 16 GB of RAM, discrete graphics, and 150Mbps bandwidth.
Even with Arch Linux, Xfce, and an SSD the netbook can never match this.
I tried Midori and it works a bit better - but this is on my own home network. My wife wouldn't want to use Midori either. All she wants is Firefox and Facebook to work.
I guess I'll keep the Toshiba here and let my wife take the Thinkpad next time. It runs Debian, has an i5 mobile processor, 8GB of RAM and an SSD. I can't do much about slow wifi but it's got to be better for her with a more powerful laptop.

42 Views · 4 Replies ( Last reply by abarbarian )

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Flash Photography

18 May 2018

In my more than 50 years of taking pictures, I don't think anything has changed more than the use of a flash to assist with exposure. Mind you each change in technology meant buying a new flash unit but hey...that's progress for you. We have seen that with computers and smartphones, so why not with flashguns?
My first Ansco Cadet II camera used a screw-on flash unit that needed flashbulbs. The camera was crude, film was slow and without a flash, you could not take indoor photos at all. Flashbulbs were one-time use, all or nothing light sources. If you were too close to the subject things got washed out or if too far away things looked dark and shadowy, And of course, you didn't find this out for a couple of weeks till the film was developed.
My first 35mm rangefinder was a bit better - but not great. I had a cheap Metz flash that connected to it via cable. The flash was not controllable, but the camera had some rudimentary exposure control. And I didn't buy flashbulbs anymore. Still got a lot of deer in the headlight poses though.
The Nikon FE I got in the 80s was still pretty much a manual camera but the flash - a Sunpac - had improved dramatically with an automatic sensor on the flash to estimate how much light was needed. I got the occasional clunker with this setup but some fairly good pictures as well.
My Nikon F80 in the early 2000s featured a new technology called TTL (through the lens) and I had a Nikon flash to go with it. This was absolutely great - almost foolproof. The camera worked with the flash to balance the ambient light with the flash. It worked great as long as you had a film camera. TTL really sucked with digital because light falling on an electronic sensor doesn't work the same way as it does on film.
It took Nikon years, but at last they have come up with a new digital technology called iTTL - which gives great results once again. Of course, I am now on my 4th electronic flash. Fortunately, there are good iTTL generic models which cost $70 instead of a $250 Nikon unit.
I guess I could just use a smartphone but I doubt I could get a photo like this without proper flash.

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Rechargeable Batteries

18 May 2018

10 years ago I had a digital camera that used 4 AA batteries for power. For best results I got a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries. They were a PITA back then. You had to be careful to keep the batteries charged or they would be useless in a few months.
Things have really changed. I use the newest rechargeables in a camera flash and they hold their power for years - even come from Amazon pre-charged. Some things do get better.
The Amazon Basics high capacity batteries are really good and about 1/3 the cost of the brand name Eneloop ones.

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