Hard Drive Failures

May 30, 2008

A hard drive is the most important piece of hardware in your computer. Sure, without all the other pieces your computer would not work. However, I feel that it is the most important because of the valuable data we store on them. Without hard drives, you cannot store the hundreds of family photos, the hours of homework, or the deal-making presentation on your computer. You may argue that we could store these things on removable media, but this is far less cost effective and convenient. Hard drives will continue to be the #1 choice for storage for many years.

Companies spend tens of thousands of dollars each year to employ competent technical personnel who ensure that their data is not in danger of being destroyed. Why? Because it is not a question of if a hard drive will fail. It is a question of when a hard drive will fail! Read more

Midweek Geek Links for 05-29-2008

May 29, 2008

Here’s some interesting links that I’ve come across in the past week.

  • Vincent Versace was recently a guest blogger on Scott Kelby’s blog, Photoshop Insider. Check out his article on Being Taken by Your Pictures.
  • Learn lighting with the Strobist Lighting DVD set. David Hobby, the man behind one of the greatest lighting blogs on the web,, recently released a set of DVDs that discuss his favorite topic; off-camera lighting. You get eight DVDs with around ten hours worth of quality content for $139. I suggest skipping lunch for the next 3 weeks and grabbing a copy of the DVDs.
  • There are some interesting ideas being posted in the comments section of The Best Photo Tip I Ever Received… over at Check it out and post your favorite photography advice. Personally, mine is “Get closer.”
  • Interesting in taking your photography to the next level? If you’re interested in evolving your hobby into a business, Dean over at suggesting finding a specialty. This is a bit of advice that is echoed in Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow. A good way to set yourself apart from the competition is finding a niche and focusing on it. Find out What it Takes to Build a Photography Business.

Intro to Light Meters

May 23, 2008

Light MeterA light meter is a tool that photographers use to measure the amount of light in a given scenario. There are both digital and analog meters available and they all help the photographer determine the correct exposure for particular lighting situation.

Most meters are capable of giving two kinds of readings; reflective and incident. With reflective metering, the meter reads the amount of ambient light that is coming into the scene and reflecting off the subjects to be photographed. This is very similar to the built-in metering of many cameras. Read more

3 Tips for an Improved Help Desk Experience

May 22, 2008

help deskIt is a vicious cycle. We buy a product, the product does not work, we call for support. Does that just about sum it up? Companies spend a large percentage of their income on supporting consumers who may have bought a “lemon.” Unfortunately, companies also have to help out those individuals who are… well, let’s just say less informed.
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Shooting in Shutter Priority Mode

May 19, 2008

Shutter speed is a good starting place to get your feet wet and begin using the manual features of your camera. Your camera’s shutter is a mechanism that allows light to pass for a certain amount of time. You can think of it in terms of a window shutter that you open to let light into a room. The longer the shutter is left open, the more time that your camera’s sensor is exposed to light. The sensor being exposed to light is what creates the photograph, or exposure.

Shutter speeds are typically displayed on your camera as whole numbers–125, 250, 500, etc. These numbers are abbreviations for fractions of a second. For example, 125 would be 1/125 of a second. Read more

Be a Responsible Geek

May 17, 2008

Not awesomeThere’s no doubt that geeks love their gadgets. But like my uncle always said, “With great power come great responsibility,” and one of those responsibilities is to be courteous and considerate. Something that happened to me today made this more than clear to me and anyone else nearby.

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Shooting in Aperture Priority Mode

May 14, 2008

Aperture IntroAperture Priority mode (Av or A) is a semi-automatic mode where you determine the size of the aperture and your camera handles the rest.

Just to give you an idea of what aperture is, it’s the opening in your camera’s lens that determines how much light passes through to the sensor (film). Think of the pupil and iris of your eye. In bright settings, the iris contracts and the size of your pupil shrinks to help cut down the amount of light that passes through. The aperture of your lens acts in much the same way. What we’re about to learn is how to control the size of aperture and use it creatively in our photography. Read more

USB – Universal Connections

May 12, 2008

USB Logo USB (universal serial bus) is a standard serial bus that is used to connect devices together. The most popular application being connecting an enormous amount of peripherals to your computer. It’s not uncommon to use three or four USB devices in any given day (keyboard, mouse, USB Flash Drive, blackberry). What’s that? You’re still stuck at “serial bus”? Please, allow me to explain! Read more

Get Your Pictures Ready for the Internet

May 9, 2008

Upload Your Photos to the InternetThis article is a continuation of How to Import Your Pictures to you Computer. Now that you have your pictures downloaded to your computer, it’s time to get them ready for the web.

As you may or may not know, the pictures you download from your camera are generally far too big for practical use on the web. The first step will be to get them to a good usable size, in regards to both the picture’s dimensions and file size.

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Firefox is the Better Browser

May 7, 2008

Firefox LogoI’ve been using Firefox for the past couple of years and ever since I made the switch I haven’t looked back. Sure, Microsoft has made an effort to play catch-up with the release of Internet Explorer 7. But, for me it just doesn’t cut it. This post is dedicated to Firefox and all of its great features. Before I get down to the details, lets revisit just what a web browser is.

A web browser is a piece of software that allows you to view a web page (which is just a html file). It takes the HTML code that makes up a web page and translates it into what you see on your screen. Different browsers interpret this code in different ways which can change the web page’s appearance. This is a subject of great debate amongst techies as web designers are forced to design their sites in such a way that they look the same across the 4 most popular browsers, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera. So why do I like Firefox so much? Keep reading!

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