iPhone Girl

What happens when you do a functional test of the iPhone’s camera but forgot to erase the photos before shipping it out? Your photos appear on the internet and you become an instant celebrity! This was what happened to a particular FoxConn worker whose photo was found on a brand new iPhone by a customer after he activated it.

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Photos were taken on 7:20am, 26th July 2008.

Spokesperson for FoxConn has told reporters that the worker was not fired. Her identity still remains unknown as of today. But the camera quality sure looks good.

Further reading: original forum thread on macrumours.com that started it all, follow up thread on macrumours.com, report from china.org.cn, iPhonegirl.net and report from nddaily.com (chinese version) Continue reading

China's Earthquake

I got this from a forwarded email from Keng Hoo. The things people do during the disaster. If we all can be self-sacrificing like them then I’m sure this world will be a more peaceful place. I don’t know who the original artist is so I don’t know who to give credit for. But if you do know where they came from, please drop me a line and I will give credit where credit is due.

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Now what would you do in situations like those? For more stories on the earthquake, visit the memorial section of Sichuan Memorial. Continue reading

Busy Week

Been busy with exam and work and social life so haven’t got time to update yet. Busy getting ready to go back Kuching and maybe to Sabah as well for Merdeka. Will see how things go.

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One of the bridges of Putrajaya. Click on image to view larger photo.

I was at Putrajaya last Sunday with virtual mystic, Tan and Dr Razi (from Mercy Malaysia) to try out photographing fireworks. It was drizzling that night and it seemed that we would not be able to get our cameras to shoot. But as the time of the performance drew nearer, the rain started to subside. But winds were very strong which was not a good sign because that means the fireworks would get blown away.

When shooting fireworks, the rule of the thumb is to shoot using long exposures to get those colourful streaks. But after trying a few shots with long exposure, I realised that the photos weren’t as nice because the trail of the fireworks cause by the blowing wind made it look like camera shake. So I took out the 50mm and shot at wide open and 1/30 second exposure. Now I know why people shoot at longer exposures. Here are some photos that turned out OK.

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Reminds me of the construction of a virus.

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Coconut tree.

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Note the smaller explosion on the bottom. It seems as if the explosion happened on the launch site.

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Interesting colors.

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Sperms swimming towards 2 eggs.

All the above photos were taken using high shutter speed so you just see the instantaneous image of the firework. I wasn’t really expecting photos like that. I prefer smoother lines and longer streaks. I think one of the best photos taken that night was by virtual mystic:

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Taken by virtual mystic using 10 second exposure. Love the top explosion.

Anyways, this was my first time and I’ve learned that fireworks must always be shot with a longer exposure. At least I prefer it that way because of the smoother and more graceful results. So I’ve decided to postpone my trip back to Kuching to attend the fireworks finale at Putrajaya this Friday night for another shot at fireworks photography. I’ll be sure to set my camera to make long exposures this time. Continue reading

Weekend Photos

I woke up at 6am on a Saturday morning just to go catch the sunrise with a friend. But the sun decided to hide behind the clouds and give us nothing. Might need to sacrifice another morning soon.

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Long exposure at 6:57am.

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Afiq the photographer.

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Playing with the 50mm. Bokeh of the street lights on the right.

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Attempted close-up using the 50mm. Macro performance not as good as the kit lens. Click here to see a sample of a macro taken using the kit lens.

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The 50mm’s depth of field is so shallow that I can’t even get the whole stalk in focus, only parts of it. Bokeh of street lamp behind, not the sun.

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Nail.

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Shrooms.

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Lalang.

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Paper-thin depth of field.

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Grass. It was swaying under the wind so it was quite hard to get a focused shot on it.

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Anyone?

At night we went for a round of pool since it’s so cheap to play here. RM3.60 per hour. All photos taken using the 50mm at f/1.8.

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Marks the pro pool player bringing his balls together.

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Reflection of the 4 overhead lights can be seen on the blue ball.

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After a shot.

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Alvin pondering his next move.

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Taking a shot.

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Using the bridge.

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Overexposed balls.

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Cue ball looks like it has gone through some abuse.

Today I managed to finish the battery because I forgot to charge it since the Port Dickson trip. And I also notice that under some situation, the depth of field of the 50mm at wide open makes it unsuitable for some situations. But the low light performance of this lens still amazes me. Back to studying. Continue reading

Friday Once More

Once more it’s Friday again. Time to do a recap of the week.

Nothing much this week. Having classes, preparing for exams next Monday. Something very interesting about old plane technology. The 747 and older planes were designed well over 30 years ago. During those times, computers weren’t invented yet and some planes were still using valves.

The autopilot system is one of the most advanced system in a plane. It controls the attitude of the plane as well as providing automatic navigation through waypoints on the ground and a whole lot more. So these systems require a lot of inputs from gyros, static ports and pitot probes. These inputs need to be processed mathematically to produce a correct response. But without advanced electronics (processors) they have to find other ways to make those calculations.

One very interesting example is the conversion of a value to it’s logarithm. They actually use an eccentric cam to make the conversion! The value to be converted is fed as a rotary signal to the cam. When the cam rotates, it moves a cam roller and the cam roller’s movement will represent the log of the input! The diagram below will make the explanation clearer.

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Ps is calibrated altitude, which is converted to log Ps using the log cam.

Looking at the diagram above, the symbol on the right of the cam shows a differential synchro. There are 2 inputs and 1 output in this synchro system. Depending on the connection between the synchros, they will either add or subtract the input and the result will be fed to the output in the form of rotary motion! Addition and subtraction are done using mechanical means!

There is another type of synchro called the resolver synchro. This synchro can convert polar (angle and magnitude) to Cartesian coordinates (x and y) and vice versa depending on the construction of the synchro! It’s like a mechanical calculator with moving parts.

All these resolvers and synchros and cams are used in older aircraft mainly for autopilot purposes because it involves calculation to navigate the desired route. It’s very interesting how engineers solve mathematical problems before the invention of the computer. Now if I want to convert a number to log, I may just need to write 1 line of code.

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Visual Studio is a breeze to use when developing applications for Windows Mobile devices.

I’ve gone back to developing applications for Windows Mobile. This time round I’ve been playing around with serial ports and bluetooth. The possibilities are endless on a WM device because it’s not as locked down as the iPhone. It lets you do whatever you want with it. That’s why somehow rather I still prefer the WM platform. If only they make phones as desirable as the iPhone.

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Taking raw GPS data from the GPS receiver through bluetooth and converting the gibberish to useful figures. Look at the first 3 lines after “$GPGGA” and you will find the values that you seek. By the way, you should be able to find my house using the coordinates above.

For more information on the NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) formatting, click here.

I look forward to a weekend of studying. Continue reading