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!Impossible

Posted 2012.07.26 12.19 in Photography, Pointless Blather

I think people have gotten confused about what the word Impossible means.

A lot of times I get told this is impossible, that is impossible. I think the word is over-used. There’s a big difference between Impossible and Not Easy, or Not Worthwhile, or even just I didn’t think to try it yet.

Really, when people say Impossible, I just assume they mean that they either can’t figure it out, or haven’t even been arsed to try.

Today’s impossible thing was taking a 15 year old film disc, that I exposed a year ago, and processing it myself here at home.

For those of you who missed it, Disc cameras were a very short-lived thing that came up in the ’80s and died by the ’90s. It was a tiny format, smaller even than 110 film. The only thing going for it was that the cameras were flat and skinny, like two decks of cards side-by-side. Easily fitting in a pocket or handbag.

But the film was expensive and the quality was terrible, while 35mm P&S cameras got smaller and smaller but their quality remained acceptable (a 35mm neg is at least 6x larger than a disc negative.)

Anyhow, I had come across a couple un-used film discs, and had to give it a shot. I found myself a wonderfully horrible little disc camera, an Ansco VR-1, for which I paid 99 cents. The VR-1 is plastic, powered by springs, and used a Flipflash if you needed light. No exposure adjustments, no focus, it is amazingly light and cheap and plastic. I believe it is a re-branded Halina, just bearing the Ansco name on the outside. It is exactly the same as this camera here.

So the shots I took were simple snapshots, using a Konica ISO200 disc that had spent at least a decade gathering dust at the local Goodwill. That was the easy part. Today I did the “impossible” and processed it myself.

It wasn’t all that impossible actually. I just improvised a way to sit it inside my developing tank then used my worn out old C41 chemistry, happily ignoring the fact that disc film uses the “C41a” process (about which I could find no information.)

So what came out of it? Small, crappy, grainy, miscoloured pictures. Just like back in the 1980s!

Well actually mine are crappier and grainier but I attribute that to the film being 15 years past its best before date. I’ve had similar results from other old cheap film, like Sooters 126 colour film from the 90’s.

So what was the point of this whole grainy excercise? I just had to prove I could do it. Although I have two more unopened film discs, I can’t imagine any reason to try and use them.

What matters is that I now know that I could, if I really wanted to.

Pointless Dingoo Mods – Redux

Posted 2010.05.07 8.50 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Not long ago I did some pointless mods to my Dingoo game device. I added a power LED and a good old fashioned serial port. I called them pointless because the LED just tells you it’s on, and usually you can tell that from other hints. As for the serial port, at the time I put it in, I didn’t even have a way to connect to it, so that was even more pointless. At the time.

Since then, I’ve ended up using the serial port quite a bit – I had an FTDI prototype chip in my parts bin, and made a USB to Serial converter to connect the port on my Dingoo, then installed Minicom on my linux laptop. This has come in handy a few times as I’ve been hacking around with the linux kernel and trying to learn more about the boot sequence. I’ve baffed up the Dingoo a few times such that the serial port was the only way to access it.

As for the LED, when I wired it in originally I just connected it directly between Vcc and Ground. The LED is rated for 3.2 to 3.5 vdc; the battery in the Dingoo is rated at 3.7v nominally. I’ve seen its output as high as 4v though. Needless to say, the blue LED was fried in only a matter of days. Ooops.

So I had to go back in again tonight, and while I was replacing the blue LED (and adding a resistor to limit the current) I took a couple pics.

Do I Need A Telephone?

Posted 2010.01.08 18.02 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Family/Friends

I find myself questioning whether or not I still need a telephone. I’m talking about the landline kind of phone. My iPhone and I are in a committed relationship and I’m certainly not thinking of breaking that off. But the old fashioned, twisted-pair, landline kind of phone. Do I need it? More and more, I think the answer is no.

It’s costing me over $40 per month, for a basic standard no-frills telephone line. The only extras I have are call display. And using call display, I can see that on average, 2.5% of my inbound phone calls are legitimate. The other 97.5% are telemarketers.

Pretty piss-poor numbers. There are only three legitimate sources of inbound calls who use my phone on any kind of regular basis – my parents, perhaps once a week. A friend, once or twice a month. And my sister, a handfull of times per year. Other than that – bumpkiss. Telemarketers. Mysterious 800 numbers. For this, I’m paying about $500 per year?

I rarely dial out, either. I don’t have a long distance plan so I can’t call long distance. All my friends and family are long distance. That leaves me with… occasionally calling an 800 number? I don’t even use the phone to order pizza, thanks to teh interwebz.

Yeah, I think I’m gonna cancel me a phone line…

Tag-A-Thon

Posted 2009.07.20 9.03 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

So for no reason in particular I have been going through all my old posts and adding tags. Out of 25 pages of posts, only the past 7 or 8 pages were tagged. I know the first 2 1/2 years my software didn’t have a tag option, then when I started with WordPress at first I didn’t use tags.

So, there’s probably in the order of 200 or 220 posts that didn’t have tags. I’ve got through all but the last 50 or 60, and I’ll do them later.

No reason I guess, other than to see what happens.

Update: I finished the tag-a-thon this morning — I’m pretty sure now that all my posts are tagged. Yay! I think.

Cheers!

Excercising Futility

Posted 2009.07.08 13.47 in Photography, Pointless Blather

What if you set up a web cam that would only be active during daylight hours? What if you pointed it at a small open area? What if you were using it to try to capture images of a shy creature that didn’t often come out in the open? What if that creature was mostly nocturnal?

Why, if you did all that, you’d have the Snail-Cam!

Yes, Snail-Cam! is here and its live! Every two minutes, from dawn till dusk (or times thereabouts) it is uploading pictures from inside my aquarium! Pictures of plants! Gravel! Bubbles! And maybe, rarely, once in a while, a glimpse of a snail! Weeee!

There’s also the zebra danios in there, but they are way too fast for the Snail-Cam! to catch. You might see a striped blur here and there, that’s the danios.

So, let’s hear it for the Snail-Cam! Yay!

Snail-Cam!

Pointless Stuff FTW!

Posted 2009.03.21 14.11 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather

I used to think that I posted a lot of pointless stuff…  but this site puts me to shame!

PointlessSites.com is a one-stop-shop for all your pointless intertubez needs.

Among my favorites:  RGB, a tribute to Red Green and Blue, and of course, Hypnotoad!  All hail the Hypnotoad!