Tag Archives: speed

Shenandoah National Park ‘Skyland Resort’ Does Have Limit Wi-Fi & TV In Certain Rooms.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access their Website.


Click to ENLARGE.



We spent 5-nights at ‘Skylands’ at the start of this month. It was wonderful & memorable. Definitely recommend it.

When I was looking through the reviews I saw a lot of conflicting reports about Wi-Fi & TV availability. So, let me please give you the definitive update.

Skyland has Wi-Fi. It is very slow (like 45kbps) BUT it is stable & reliable. Yes, you get more bandwidth the less folks using it. So, bandwidth is better late at night as folks go to bed. That is where the stability & reliability kicks in. Though it is slow, it is not erratic & as such does NOT kick you out. Why am I stressing this. It means that photo backup to the cloud happened.

That was my biggest concern. Having my photos from my Google Pixel 4 backed up to Google Photo. Though I was taking 200 pictures a day the Wi-Fi was adequate enough to back 90% to Google Photos during the night as I slept. I activated data when I wanted to access a Website. Cell reception isn’t great, so there wasn’t much bandwidth with data either.

Wi-Fi is better around the office & dining room area. But, there is plenty of space to hang out. So, that wasn’t a problem.

We (of course (SMILE)) opted for a SUPERIOR room in the main building — attached to the office. See above pictures. All those rooms had TV. When I heard that Wi-Fi was poor I wanted TV given that I am a news junkie. These rooms were good. Quiet enough & a rather nice view overlooking Luray — in the valley below. The cabins are more rustic. IF, I am lucky enough to go back again I might give one of the cabins a spin NOW that I know where most of them are. SMILE. Yes, I did a lot of walking & exploring.

Hope this helps. GREAT PLACE. We were lucky. Memorable.


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by Anura Guruge


 

English Can Be So Cruel To Foreigners Like Us, Even Those At The Indian “The New Camera” Website.

by Anura Guruge


From “The New Camera” page on Facebook. This was a post from yesterday, i.e., March 25, 2018. Click to ENLARGE and savor at your own speed.


Another “The New Camera” gem from August 2016.

Refer to this July 16, 2016 post for previous examples.


Why does English insist on being so confusing, confounding, cruel and callous to us foreigners. Why can’t it be simple and logical like Sinhalese (my native tongue) or Hindi (that of “The New Camera”).

‘Fast’ refers to speed, so why is ‘fasten’ not related to speed?

So confusing. It is so bad like with ‘good’. I never understood why it is never good, gooder and goodest. Sounds good to I.

I am convinced it is a conspiracy to make us foreigners sound bad, if just having an accent wasn’t more bad.


Related posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Camera Notes’ & ‘Humor’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 — Long-Term Review After Taking 5,500+ Pictures.

by Anura Guruge


Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

My Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.

I got my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, as a short-term compromise, from ‘buydig.com‘, in a hurry, on September 29, 2016, when I lost 989 images on my brand new Sony a77 Mk II.

Since then I have taken 5,851 usable images with the FZ1000 (and I have probably deleted around 100 images that were not great). So I have taken close to 6,000 pictures with it in 118 days. That comes to 51 pictures a day! That is right, because I try to take at least 15 pictures a day, with the FZ1000 and my Sony RX100 Mk II (but mainly the FZ1000) EVERY DAY for my ‘6 Images a Day‘ project.

It is one heck of a camera. It takes amazing, very detailed, color-accurate pictures, most of the time — without the need for any post-processing. 99.5% of the FZ1000 pictures I have published on this blog, and I think I must have published at least 350, have all been untouched pictures.

The FZ1000 has been a revelation. It is a very capable and powerful camera, the built in 25 mm to 400 mm incredibly handy — especially when travelling. At a list price of $750 it is one heck of a deal. I see lots of new enthusiasts getting low-end Canons and Nikons, with kit lenses, to get into the DSLR world. They would be much better off with the FZ1000.

It is not an APS-C sensor and I know that. But the 1″ is plenty big enough if all you do is take pictures for display on the Web.

So here is my first long-term review of the FZ1000, after taking 5,500+ usable images.

Pros
1. It can and it will take very high quality, high resolution, color-accurate pictures, most of the time, in JPEG mode, without the need for any post-processing.

2. The built-in 25 — 400 mm zoom Leica lens is brilliant; handy and of high optical quality.

3. The automatic modes, ‘P’, ‘Ai’, Scene, work well and you can basically use it as a point-and-shoot.

4. Fair degree of customization options with the Fn buttons.

5. Built-in flash is adequate most of the time (provided you remember to take the lens hood off if the subject is close by).

6. Very high-quality video, in automatic mode, without having to change any settings, just by hitting the red ‘record’ button.

Cons
1. Not having a second control wheel is a real pain. Having to PRESS the control wheel to invoke ‘shift’ so to speak so as to access the 2nd function can get old very quickly. This is my main gripe about this camera. I use it in ‘P’ mode much of the time, BUT I like to adjust exposure control and do ‘P-shift‘ i.e., increase/decrease aperture/speed. I end up invariably turning the wheel when it is in the wrong mode. Yes, I can fix it, but it takes time. It is this that has convinced me that I am going to get an Fuji X-T1 (or a X-T2, if there is one) because in future I am going with dedicated control wheels for ‘everything’!

2. High zoom images, in other than perfect light, can turn out to be ‘waxy’; i.e., looking like a oil painting.

3. Autofocus/zoom motors can sometimes be very noisy, even when idling, to the point of being distracting.

4. ‘Auto White Balance’ (AWB) isn’t great THOUGH custom White Balance, IF you can find some true white to click on, is awesome.

5. Though the Electronic View Finder (EVF) is supposed to show you what the sensor is seeing, and you can even set a Fn button to force the issue, this does not appear to be case most of the time (and the EVF is a tad dark around the edges).

6. The lens extends/retracts, with a mind of its own, when you power on the camera and even when you are reviewing images. That can be annoying and awkward.

But, overall, I would recommend the FZ1000 to any enthusiast who wants a VERY HIGH QUALITY 400 mm power zoom for under $800.


Taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000,
in Philadelphia, on January 2, 2016.

Click to access the full-size, untouched 9MB 5472 x 3648 JPEG.

This is a 1024 x 683 reduced, 402 Kb JPEG. Click image for the FULL SIZE, 5472 x 3648 image, 9 MB.


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by Anura Guruge

Amtrak Handling Of Philadelphia Train Situation Following Tragic Crash Beyond Unacceptable.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘train’, ‘plane’, ‘cars’ & ‘automobile’ for other related posts >>>>


amtrakallatsea1212

Click to ENLARGE and read here.

Click here to access original at Amtrak.com.


Of course the derailment of Amtrak train 188, from D.C. to New York, north of Philadelphia, last night, and the consequent loss of life (7) and injuries is a tragedy. We should not has as many train accidents as we do — not in the U.S. and not in 2015. This to me appears to be another instance of human error, excessive speed due to some form of impairment — who knows, the engineer could have been texting or browsing his new Apple watch.

As the media have also been quick to point out Amtrak, especially of late, is no stranger to accidents.

So how come Amtrak is acting CLUELESS about how to deal with the aftermath.

Amtrak should have a detailed, bang-bang-bang, plan as to contingency plans after an accident — with no two accidents ever been the same.

Amtrak’s latest post is as of May 13, 2015, 2:45 AM!

That is NOT acceptable in today’s Internet world. We should have more regular updates ESPECIALLY about the train service — NYC to Philadelphia and beyond — given that this is the MOST travelled of rail corridors in the U.S.

Why am I so put out. Because I am on train 177 from Boston to Philadelphia tomorrow. It is 1:30 pm Wednesday and Amtrak has NO idea whether they can get me to Philadelphia tomorrow or not. All I want to know is should I make alternate plans. They can’t tell me.

I don’t think that that is OK. They should be able to do better. Don’t you think an Airline would handle this better?

I do understand that in the scheme of things, with 7 poor people dead and countless others seriously injured, this may sound like small potatoes. But my point is that Amtrak should be MORE on the ball. They seem, and I have spoken with them, by phone, all at sea.


Piers Morgan Of CNN Shows Why Cricket Is Best Played By REAL MEN.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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++++ Search ‘cricket‘ or check CATEGORY ‘cricket’
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Click to access CNN video.

Click to access CNN video.


To be fair it is NOT as bad as it looks.

Piers doesn’t cover himself in glory but he did ‘OK’ … I say, laughingly.
A bit dramatic, all that ducking and falling over.

OK. It says that Brett Lee is hurling them down at 90 mph. That is distinctly quick.

I don’t think I have ever faced 90 mph, but I know I have faced and scored off bowling in the high 70s.

Piers is padded to the gills and is wearing an helmet — something I refused to do, and helmets were NOT popular when I was playing cricket. I have been hit on the head a number of times with a cricket ball which, of course, explains why I am so strange.

To me this video illustrates one and just one point. Cricket is for real men and I do include Piers in that. Cricket is a contact sport. Bowlers do aim (in every sense of the word) to maim.

Watch and be amazed.

Deadly Train Derailment In The Bronx. Train Was Being PUSHED By Locomotive, Not Pulled. End of Story! Explains Everything.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Railroad Alaska — Nov. 26, 2013.
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#### Search ‘trains’ on ANOTHER of my blogs ####


Click to ENLARGE. From 'NY Times'. Use link below to access their original coverage. The red circle marks the engine -- the locomotive.

Click to ENLARGE. From ‘NY Times’. Use link below to access their original coverage. The red circle marks the engine — the locomotive.

Click here to access ‘NY Times’ coverage and other pictures.


I don’t have the time to go into this in detail BUT I have been a train buff all my life — more so at times than others.
I have even driven actual passenger trains pulled by Canadian diesel engines!
That I have a fairly large collection of train books will attest to this interest because I only collect books on fields that I follow …

A train being PUSHED from the back, especially when negotiating a sharp bend,
is NEVER as stable, and as such safe,
as a train being PULLED from the front.
PERIOD.

Push-Pull commuter trains is a peculiar, COST CUTTING U.S. operational mode.

When I first saw it in the U.S. I was horrified. Aghast! 

It is basic intuitive physics. Try it.

Why do we invariably PULL heavy things. The stability.

This train that derailed would have had a BETTER CHANCE of staying upright if it was being pulled.

Why do they do it. COST SAVINGS.

Commuter trains. Go from A to B and back to A again.

Ideally you have a double track system with switching so that the engine can be moved from front-to-back so to speak so that on the way back it is also still pulling.

Or, as they do in other countries you use TWO power units (locomotives) — one at the front, one at the back. Then you always have one unit PULLING the train.

In the U.S., with the mania for cost savings, they don’t do either.

They PULL the train one way and they PUSH it the way back.

Then you get derailments like this.

Mark my words. I do know about this stuff.

NTSB, aware of the economic impact, will FUDGE their report.
They know that they can’t ban this type of operation.
A few deaths, every few years, is worth it per their calculations.


Click to access. Google 'push-pull safety'. Mark my words.

Click to access. Google ‘push-pull safety’. Mark my words.


Comet ISON, C/2012 S1: Upcoming Dates & Viewing Opportunities.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.ISONPrintCover150206
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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Comet ISON presentation —
>> Oct. 22, 2013.

>> Comet ISON looking good —
>> Oct. 21, 2013.

>> Comet ISON over NH —
>> Oct. 16, 2013.
++++
Search on ‘Comet ISON’ on sidebar for other posts >>>>
**** Check my ISON blog.


Click to ENLARGE. From NASA - Hubble.

Click to ENLARGE. From NASA – Hubble.


Comet ISON prospects, quite literally, are getting brighter by the day.

It is intact and is becoming more ‘active’, i.e., spewing out more gas and dust which is what leads to the coma and tail, by the minute.

Right now it is travelling at more than 10 miles PER SECOND. That is in excess of 38,000 miles per hours. So it is getting closer to the Sun at a very fast clip.

Ameteur astronomers using backyard telescopes are capturing some amazing pictures. Check this one from October 5, from Austria (that is in Europe).

On November 2, 2013, i.e., next week, it will cross Earth’s orbit for the first time, i.e., inbound (towards Sun) crossing. Check this post for orbital diagram.

But, on that day Earth is way off to the right — 112 MILLION miles away, that is 1.2 x the Earth-Sun distance.

So, we will not be able to see Comet ISON, naked eye, on November 2.

The EARLIEST possibility for a potential glimpse is November 17 — some of this also having to do with moonlight getting in the way.

Closer to the 17th, as things become more clear, I will post an update.

Enjoy.

It might not be the ‘Comet of the Century’, but it is still on track to be one heck of a comet.

 

 

Have YOU Been Watching The Latest (34th) “America’s Cup” Races From San Francisco? Wow. Today MIGHT Be Last Day.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Click to access the official "America's Cup" Website.

Click to access the official “America’s Cup” Website.


Wow. Wow. Wow.

This year’s boats don’t sail. THEY FLY. It is bloody amazing to watch. NASCAR, which I find tediously boring and would rather sit on my steps and watch the grass grow, has nothing on this. This is Formula 1 on water.

And the TV coverage technology. Mind blowing.

Plus the COMPETITION. Larry Ellison’s Oracle U.S. money & technology against Emirates-financed bravado from the cricket and rugby playing ‘All Black’ New Zealanders (though I always get confused watching the TV because the Kiwis are using a red flying machine while Oracle has a black one).

Sailing is not my thing. I was into motor boats. But, I love speed whether it be with cars, running, skiing, boats, computers, planes … The America’s Cup is all about speed and technology. Wow. Wow. Wow.

A couple of nights ago I heard an NBC commentator claim that the America’s Cup was the world’s OLDEST International sporting trophy. I was sure that he was wrong. International cricket goes back a long time. But, I went and checked. He was right. I was mistaken. ‘The Ashes’ is 20 years younger!

I was introduced the America’s Cup by Gregory W. Koss, my most loyal and lucrative client when I used to be a consultant. He hired me, more or less on a daily basis, for over a decade across multiple companies spanning: CrossComm, Andrew, Sonoma and SavaJe. Greg was and still is a passionate and very capable sailor. His lifelong ambition was to sail in the America’s Cup — ideally emulating Larry Ellison. In 2002 he might have got close but the dot,com bust kind of put paid to that. Greg still follows the Cup avidly. Greg is a member of the New York Yacht Club which as its Club House in Newport, RI. That is the symbolic home of the America’s Cup. Given that Greg is one of the most hospitable and generous Americans I have ever had the fortune of meeting he invited me to the Club. I got to see all the pictures and memorabilia. I loved it.

I keep on promising myself that I will follow the Cup. I really haven’t because time has been scarce. This year I caught the last few races. I have about 9 hours on ‘tape’ (DVR) right now.

Today could be the last day and NBC is not covering it. I am bummed. I am contacting as many folks as I can to get it put right.

There is an underlying story here too. The All Blacks, no doubt using American technology, is beating Oracle on the technology front! Kind of funny. Larry must be livid. He is being kind of humiliation. Adds to the drama.

Google Chrome On Windows XP Does Not Properly Support GoDaddy eMail! That Is Diabolical.

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Anura Guruge


A Few Pertinent Posts:
  +++++ Do a SEARCH (>>>>) on ‘FireFox’ or ‘Chrome’ for others >>>>>
1. Switching from FireFox to Chrome  — Mar. 23, 2013.
2. Two things I like about Chrome … — Mar. 25, 2013.


I have now been using Chrome, exclusively, for just under a month. On the whole it has been ‘seamless’. I can’t believe that I was able to walk away from FireFox that easily, without nary a backward glance after over 12 year association. I really haven’t encountered any insurmountable problems with Chrome, on Windows 7, though I will continue to contend that I find it a tad sluggish compared to FireFox!

Last night I used Chrome on my Windows XP machine (which I still keep around because I still, alas, use FrontPage 2003). I was all excited that Chrome was going to automatically sync all my bookmarks, extensions etc. as soon as I signed in. It did all of that and I was happy.

But, I noticed that it would not render [i.e., display] my Bookmark Toolbar icons! That is a bummer because in some cases, especially with the very distinctive icons [e.g., Marketwatch, Bloomberg, Yahoo] I do not have any text next to them. Just the icon. On Windows 7 this works like a champ. On XP you get the generic ‘page’ icon for all. I thought this was a screen resolution issue so I ‘reduced’ my screen resolution to make the icons bigger. Still no joy.

Then I went to access my e-mail and I nearly fell off my kneeling stool seat. I reloaded and reloaded again. I even restarted XP!

GoDaddy e-mail, the e-mail service that I have used for eons (if not longer), just does not render in Chrome!

So I fired up FireFox. E-mail is just fine. I fired up this Windows 7 PC. Accessed e-mail. Just dandy. Went back to XP. Damn thing looks like somebody puked on the screen.

Here. This is what it looks like on Chrome on Windows XP.

Remember how GoDaddy rushed to my aid when I ran into traffic issues on my blog when the pope resigned. That is GoDaddy. Google should learn from them (though I have to say that Google was pretty awesome when we have had hardware issues with our Google Nexus 7 pads).

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

For a start, look at the parts I have underlined, twice, in red. Look at the BIG button. Notice that you can’t read the TEXT … which actually says ‘Move’ because it is displaying white text on a white background! All those little blobs you see, like bleached mouse droppings … those are supposed to be full size buttons.

This is crazy. This is stupid. This is unacceptable.

So, I Google. A known problem, going back to at least 2011. That is diabolical.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Notice that there is now a Chrome APP to access GoDaddy e-mail. I refuse to go that route. I have accessed GoDaddy e-mail from a browser for longer than most Google programmers have been out of diapers. I am not going to go down the slippery slope of relying on an APP to access Web-based e-mail.

That Chrome can be site-specific, depending on the version of the Operating System is beyond pathetic — and I am here talking as an ex-professional programmer for IBM, an ex-microcode programmer, a person who started programming in 1969, somebody with both a B.Sc (Hons.) & M.Sc. (Distinction) in Computer Technolgy/Science and somebody who taught computer programming at College level. This is just piss-poor programming. Simple as that.

I am not amused. Can’t believe that Google hasn’t fixed this or that GoDaddy, with their enormous clout, hasn’t leaned on Google and forced them to do the decent thing. Amazing.

Two Things I Like About Google Chrome 25 Over FireFox 18.

Dec2013x125

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Anura Guruge


A Few Pertinent Posts:
  +++++ do a SEARCH (>>>>) on ‘FireFox’ for others’ >>>>>
1. Switching from FireFox to Chrome  — Mar. 23, 2013.
2. FireFox 18.0.1: ‘Clear History’ hang — Jan. 30, 2013.
3. FireFox 16.0.1 to 18.0.1: — Jan. 27, 2013.


I have now being using Chrome Version 25.0.1364.172 m full-time as my default Web browser for 2 days.

I am getting used to it. 

There are two features that I found that I think are dynamite:

1/ As long as you permit it to logon to you Google account (and why not given that I am logged on anyway for Google Search, Google News and Analytics) Chrome automatically synchronizes your Bookmark Toolbar anytime you invoke Chrome on another machine — provided, of course, that you are logged onto the same account. For me this is a lifesaver since I keep a backup machine. With FireFox I had to manually synchronize the Bookmark Toolbar. I found out today that I can even access the Bookmark Toolbar on our Google Nexus 7 pads. Remember, I am not talking about Google Bookmarks. Of course you expect that to be available across machines. I am here talking about the Bookmark Toolbar. I like that feature.

2/ This actually has to do with WordPress and is kind of ‘cute’. When creating a post, such as this, I use the standard WordPress editor. This editor has a title trench up at the top where you enter the desired title for the post. With FireFox there was NO SPELL CHECKING of that title line! Honest. I had got into the habit, when I remembered, of copying the title and then pasting it into Twitter to see if there were any spelling errors! Yesterday when I was typing in a title the squiggly red lines appeared in the title bar. I nearly fell off my chair. I had always assumed that this was a WordPress anomaly. Never thought it would be browser related. Just shows ya.

A few other things I have noticed. No question, Chrome consistently gets lower download and upload speeds on speedtest.net. We are not talking in the 1% to 3% range. But it is consistent. Maybe it is the rendering engine. Google must know about this.

After complimenting on its spelling prowess with WordPress titles, I have to now say that Chrome’s spelling dictionary is not as good as that used by FireFox! Again something that Google could asily fix.

One last thought. Did Avast, with their invasive Release 8, which promotes Chrome, set out to sabotage FireFox. I did a quick search. FireFox users with Avast 8 are noticing erratic performance. I had noticed this too which is what promoted me to switch to Chrome. So if this was a dastardly conspiracy between Google and Avast, it worked.

I had one inexplicable quirk last night. My whole PC blinked twice, momentarily, last night, i.e., both my monitors went black and just came back up again! Related to Chrome or is it Avast?