Photo Organization

Started looking at various methods of organizing photos. I want a program that allows me to categorize my images, archive them to CD if required, and generate a web gallery. I want to have total control over the output from the Web Gallery.

Looked at a few. Adobe Photo Album, JASC Photo Album, and a few others. Decided to buy IMatch by photools.com.

I decided to go with IMatch because of its flexibility. It isn’t the prettiest, or the easiest to use (not that it’s hard), but it is very powerful and customizable. The scripting language allows you to do most anything you want, and the user community is also very good. It uses scripts for generating web galleries, so I was able to customize it to fit my web page requirements. Now I can generate the pages for my web gallery and not have to do anything to them afterwards.

Very well setup for categorizing images. Supports IPTC and EXIF information. User-defined properties for associating whatever information you want with an image. And a reasonable price too ($49.95 US right now).

It also recognizes and displays the various RAW formats used by the manufacturers, and he’s quick to provide support for new cameras.

Noisy PC Continued

Finally did something about the noisy video card. Decided to buy a Zalman ZM80C-HP VGA cooler. Took awhile to install it, just because there are a number of parts, but the instructions were very thorough.

Got it installed, and now my PC is significantly quieter. Still not quite as quiet as I want it, but the most annoying fan is now silenced.

Pontiac Vibe

Was just in California and had a Pontiac Vibe as our rental.

Overall, very nice car, but a couple minor things. The biggest was the steering wheel position. Sitting comfortably for the pedals meant I was too far from the steering wheel. Driving for any length of time, and my arms would get sore.

Also, even for its class, it’s underpowered. Just a bit too much weight, plus the automatic transmission. I own a Civic with a manual transmission, and even though it isn’t a real quick car, it’s faster than the Vibe.

Visibility was ok, but like all hatch designs, there are a lot of big pillars that interfere with vision to the rear.

Great storage for a small car. I really like hatchbacks, and fortunately we’re starting to see more of them.

Digital Camera

Just recently purchased a digital camera. Decided on a Minolta A1.

Would have liked a point-and-shoot model, but they are too slow. Even the A1 is barely acceptable speed wise and it is significantly faster than all the point-and-shoot versions.

By slow, I mean the lag from when you push the shutter to when the picture is taken. How long it takes to focus. How long it takes to turn on. How long it takes to store a picture.

The A1 isn’t perfect, but it is quite good. It also has a very good, wide and long zoom on it. 28-200mm in 35mm equivalent, whereas most point-and-shoots are 35-110mm.

So far, we’re quite happy with it. Wish it’s built in flash was stronger, so we may have to purchase an external flash, but at least we have the option.

Also, it’s a bit larger than we would like, but we didn’t notice it too much when we were on vacation recently.

My new, but not so quiet PC

Just bought a new PC on Nov. 5, 2003. I’m very happy with it, except I find it noisy. Done some reading at various websites about noise, and even went as afar as replacing the processor heatsink with a Zalman CNPS7000A-ALCU, removing 1 of the 2 fans in my Enermax power supply. Of course all of this accomplished nothing other than making me waste time and money.

So, I took the side-panel off today and disconnected all of the case fans (5 of 7 are currently running). Still noisy. The Zalman has a speed control for the heatsink fan, so I turned it up and down to get a feel for the sound of the fan. That definitely wasn’t the source ( and the fan lives up to its reputation of being quiet). So, I did the unthinkable and stopped the fan on the power supply. It makes more noise than the Zalman fan, but still not that much.

Thinking to myself ‘ now what?’, I finally remembered there was 1 fan I still hadn’t given any thought to… the one on my video card. It’s not particularly larger (I have an AIW 9600 Pro), but as soon as I stopped it, the noise went away!!! Did I ever feel stupid wasting all this time to figure that out!

This fan must be spinning quite quickly to make as much noise as it does, so now it’s time to do some research and figure out how to quiet it down!