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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Friday July 23 2004

It's been a while

since there was any submarine porn on this blog, but I'm making up for it now with this site.

U-boat? Check.

Rare type? Check.

Newly discovered? Check.

Loads of info and pictures on the site? Check.

Go to it, conning tower fanciers...

Posted at 5:32 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday July 21 2004

I am not meant

to experience the joys of digital photography. The idea of taking loads and loads of pictures at very low cost - after the initial cost of the equipment - is tremendously appealing to me, and presumably to a lot of other people as well. The reality is somewhat different. Let's have a brief summary shall we?

A couple of years ago I purchase a Nikon CoolPix something-or-other. It works well, and I take a lot of good pictures. My only criticism of the camera is that it eats batteries at a voracious gallop, so much so that am stranded without power on several occasions and sometimes with the optical zoom sticking out in a disconcertingly vulnerable way; I conclude in my naivety that this is down to the particular model or even example of camera, so I return it for a refund and keep looking at what's available - after all, technology improves over time doesn't it?

With hindsight, I didn't know when I was well off.

An ex-girlfriend needs a bit of undercover investigative journalism done, and for this purpose she finances the acquisition of a digital camera which I will be the user and keeper of. I look at what there is with great care, and we get a Fuji FinePix 2800. It takes about five excellent pictures and then simply dies. I return it for an exchange, which Argos do not have, and then end up with the nearest equivalent in stock - a Konica something or other with optical zoom and three-odd megapixel resolution. It's a big beast, but it should in theory be a good beast. Mindful of the ceaseless lust for current displayed by this and others of its ilk I also buy the best computerized charger I can find and some NIMH batteries. I am rewarded by the camera devouring all charge so often it's virtually unusable, and the charger soon fails. Unbelievable.

Yesterday I see the Fuji Q1 digital camera at a rock-bottom price. It's small, with decent quality and battery life (at least according to Fuji) so I buy the last one. It proves dead on arrival, exhibiting a wide range of misbehaviour... I now have to make another trip to town to return it for a refund.

These digital cameras. They are all power hogs, and they are all flimsy as hell. If keeping them in a proper heavy duty photographic bag and treating them with kid gloves will not result in reliable performance, then what will? I am now forgetting all about the whole idea until further notice.

A friend who has a Nikon, the brand with which I have had my happiest experience of the breed, is on his second unit - the first failed well inside the warranty period. Another friend has a Sony with such appalling thirst that if he gets ten pictures on a set of batteries he's pleased. So it's not just me then.

Posted at 3:43 pm by Jim Woods

Downwind of Amsterdam,

the blog of an American living in Holland for a year or so and relating his experiences cycling around it, has come to a close. It's like losing an old friend for those of us who have been following it more or less since it started. If you've any interest in Holland at all, or even in what's going wrong with America these days, then might I suggest that you read the whole thing? There are loads and loads of excellent pictures, and many insights. It makes me homesick for Holland, if you can be homesick for somewhere that isn't your home - which I think you can. I'm sure that I've linked to this before, and I've certainly mentioned it a fair few times, but here we are one more time for one of the best blogs I've seen.

Posted at 3:38 pm by Jim Woods

Tuesday July 20 2004

Life still

conspires against any lengthy editorializing on my part. Might I suggest you get hold of the new Toots and The Maytals album and listen to it while you wait? Alternatively, spy on your friends. I know which I prefer.

Posted at 12:41 am by Jim Woods

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