Chuq Von Rospach is a Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management and amateur photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and landscapes. My goal is to explore the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found. You can find out more on the About Page.
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Monthly Archives: November 2006
Imagine that you’ve filled your flash cards and brought them home, fired up Aperture and started the import. You come back a few minutes later to check the import — and you see the error message. Read errors on the card.
uh, oh. Now what?
I recently had that happen. To make life even more fun, I recently bought a couple of new cards (Kingston 55x 2Gig) to supplement the SanDisk Ultra II 2Gig cards I already had. One of the Sandisk cards was the one showing the error, and the first thing I did with one of the Kingston cards, of course, was leave it in my pocket so it got washed and dried with the laundry.
Do you assume the card’s bad? Or do you verify it? How?
Here’s what I did. your thoughts are more than welcome.
First thing I did was put the two cards, plus a third card (the new Kingston) in my card reader to see if they’d mount on the computer. They all did. I did this for a few reasons — but the main reason was that if there was something electrically funky about the card that got washed, I wanted it to short out the card reader, not one of the camera bodies. It’s a MUCH cheaper fix to replace a dead card reader, so any card you don’t trust, you should never put in your camera. Paranoia is a good thing sometimes.
Once all three cards passed the sniff test, I pulled them and put them in the camera and formatted them. I always format my cards in the camera I’m using them in, because I believe that minimizes possible compatibility issues. They all passed that test.
Now, one at a time, I put them back in the reader, and grabbed a hunk of files and copied them onto the card, so each would be ~90% or more full. The first card I tried, the sandisk, started failing.
The first reaction, I bet, is to think that the card is bad. But what if it’s the reader? This could be an expensive assumption.
So I took that third card, the one I HAD NOT done dumb things to yet, and put it in the reader, and started copying.
Yup. It failed. So now what?
As it so happens — because James had flogged the Lexar compactflash readers, as long as I was buying the new cards, I picked up readers for myself and Laurie. so I unplugged the old reader, unpacked the Lexar, and hooked it up, and retried the copy to the card.
Of course, all three handled the write fine, as well as erasing the files again. A stong indication that card reader is going bad. Good timing on buying that new one.
I wanted to go further to verify the cards, though.
I took each card and stuck them in the camera, and shot pictures of my office until the card was full. It then got stuffed in the reader, and I let Aperture import all of the images, and then erase and eject the card. I then made sure the images imported looked okay — no corruption or obvious problems. I then erased them all out of Aperture and deleted them from disk again.
About 40 minutes later, and 650 shots later, all three cards tested out, a full format-shoot-import-erase-format cycle. I formatted each card again, put the two Kingston cards in the Canon bodies, and put the SanDisk cards in the wallet.
I can now trust those cards in regular use. If you ask me, peace of mind is worth an hour or so of my time; I don’t want to be reaching for the wallet on a shoot to get a new card, and find myself thinking “is that the card that was throwing errors last week?” I’d rather retire the cards than carry them and not trust them. Any piece of equipment you’re not comfortable with is more of a hazard in the field than a help — so get to know your gear, learn how it works and how you want to use it, and don’t carry it unless you’re comfortable with it and trust it. that way, when shooting, you focus on the shooting, and not on issues like “will this work?”
the end result for me: one retired card reader (inexpensive), and three good cards (not so inexpensive). That’s good.
I think this backs up an important idea: for critical items, have a spare. Card readers are critical now. So are cards. you might not need to carry two readers in your bag in the field, but if you’re travelling? It probably makes sense (both don’t need to be expensive ones, they do need to be reliable).
Ditto cards. I use 2 gig cards these days. In my Canon bodies (D30 and Rebel XT), shooting raw, a 2 gig card holds roughly 200 shots. I feel it’s much better off to carry a pair of 2 gig cards instead of one four gig card. The risk of catastrophic failure of the card is much worse than the risk of losing a critical shot because you have to swap a card once or twice during a shoot. So to me, the only nice thing about the 4 and 8 gig cards is they drive down the price of the 2 gigs (always a good thing).
Every time I leave the house now, I carry five cards: two Kingston 55x 2G cards, one in each body, Two SanDisk Ultra II 2 gig cards, and a SanDisk Ultra II 1 Gig card in the wallet. That gives me close to 1000 shots before I have to get to a reader and import to make space. that may seem like a huge # of shots — but I have taken more than 600 shots in a single day, and I’d rather carry an extra card or three than run out of “film” at a critical time. Cards are much cheaper than missing a lifetime shot.
It also means that card failure doesn’t shut me down. Since I tend to believe failure happens at the most inopportune moment, I try to plan for how to minimize those disasters; it’s my way, if you want to look at it that way, of convincing Murphy to go annoy an easier target.
No film photographer would go out with a single roll of film in their camera — even though cards are much higher capacity, I think the same idea applies, though. To be honest, card failures happen, and if having a spare doesn’t convince you to carry two two’s instead of one four, then consider that carrying two two’s gives you a much better chance at salvaging some of the shoot if you lose a card in the middle. And finally, if a card fails, losing a two is a lot cheaper than losing a four.
All things considered, think about how many shots your camera can fit in a gigabyte of card, and how often you want to change them as you shoot, and buy the right size, but not too large. Don’t go too small, either. I won’t bother carrying less than a 1 gig card these days — 512m would be maybe 50 shots, and that’s just too few for me. I don’t want to be changing cards every ten minutes any more than I want to lose all of my shots on my only card. Cards in the 100-200 shot range seems “right” to me. Figure out what feels right for you, and buy to that size.
For what it’s worth: the Kingston 55x cards are MUCH faster than the Sandisk, both in accepting shots from the camera and in the import/erase process on the Mac. Very nice so far. And I noticed a huge (5x or so) difference in speed between my old reader and the Lexar. Using the Lexar AND the Kingston was faster than using either part with the slower alternative — so all of the pieces in the puzzle matter here. Something to consider as you’re buying these things — spending more on a top-notch reader is worth it in time saved, and faster cards also speed up the import process, and also reduce the number of times you’ll be waiting for the card during burst shots.
All things to consider. Sometimes a small investment ($20 more in a reader, $15 in a card) can significantly improve your workflow and cut the time you sit waiting for things to finish….
It’s thanksgiving in the states, and this year, I especially feel there are many reasons to be thankful:
I am thankful that George Gund was willing to bring the NHL to San Jose, a choice that was a lot riskier in the eyes of many at the time than it turned out to be. And I’m thankful that Greg Jamison came on board, and steered this franchise forward towards both success on the ice and profitability.
I’m thankful that both the owners and the players finally sat down and got serious about fixing the financial problems in the league. And I’m even more thankful that, while not a perfect solution, it’s made things better and more stable.
I’m thankful that the league got serious about making this a league for talent and not violent pylons. And again, while it’s not perfect, it’s a damn bit better than it was.
I”m thankful that hockey in San Jose has given myself and Laurie something we could do together and enjoy together, something that more or less acts as glue to our relationship. I am VERY thankful to be able to enjoy sports without guilt, because I know my partner enjoys them at least as much as I do.
I”m thankful that hockey has allowed us to meet folks like Vickie, and Jeff and Alanah, who’ve made our lives more interesting and fun by being a part of it (and in the case of J&A, fed our addiction to things paper and inked)
This year I’m especially grateful for these things this year. You might have noticed that there’s been a relative shortage of postings from me recently, and an absolute lack of postings from Laurie despite this being a blog for both of us. We had to put Laurie on the Injured Reserve for a bit (to quote our favorite Darryl Sutter playoff-time injury report parody: he’s pregnant, and we’re listing him day to day). While she’s not quite ready for a regular shift yet, she has promised me she’ll start getting involved again and getting some of her hockey thoughts and photos posted (or I’ll hack into her Mac and post them for her). And the fact that we’ll have this thanksgiving together, and many more into the future, makes me most thankful of all.
When I left Apple, I started a series of articles as kind of a post-mortem and view on things that I really shouldn’t have gotten into when I was an employee. As those things go, I ran out of interest in writing it before I ran out of things to write.
Left unsaid are three more topics:
Part 6: Should Apple blog?
Part 7: The Marketshare “problem”, (aka, damn you, Mike spindler, or why Apple’s Marketshare only matters to analysts you shouldn’t listen to anyway)
Part 8: Where Apple fits into the big picture.
And at this point, I’m frankly more interested in looking forward instead of looking backward, so I felt it made sense to just close the loop and mark this series done (but not complete) and move on. If you disagree — well, let me know and convince me to carry on. Me, I’m looking into 2007 for the launch (finally) of the Outsider’s Guide, and spending more time on my hockey writing and my photography, and Apple is probably happier if I just stop digging up skeletons, no matter how minor and trivial.
And while we had a big mosh pit over my comments on Apple’s blogging policy (and lack of one), it just reinforced to me that so much of the blogosphere is a self-reinforcing echo chamber, with people not really interested in hearing or learning, but merely making sure everything that gets said gets interpreted to reinforce what they already feel like thinking, or gets ridiculed and ignored. In that way, Blogging has turned very much into USENET of old, only with CSS formatting and moving pictures; the technology changes, the human interactions don’t. Sometimes, it seems blogging isn’t so much the conversation pro-blogging advocates want to promote it as as it is a bunch of people lecturing, all in the same lecture room with microphones. Everyone talking, nobody listening.
Of course, that’s unfair. There’s also a strong group of folks who ARE actually interested in discussing and thinking — but sometimes, it’s hard to hear them through the noise of the “loudest blogger wins” group. If people care about those topics, I can be convinced.
The executive summary of part 6, though, is worth a couple of paragraphs:
Should Apple have a blogging policy? In my mind, definitely, even though I could never convince the folks who needed to agree of that. One reason is simple: a standardized blogging policy would put all employees on the same footing, and it’d be understood what was acceptable and what wasn’t. As it stands, this decision often is made by a direct manager, or perhaps one or two levels up, and different parts of the company create restrictions (some of them very strict) well beyond the intent of the existing policies, and in some areas, in ways that significantly poach into Apple employee’s personal lives and personal time, which I feel is inappropriate (many areas of Apple retail, the brick and mortar part, simply outlaw employee blogs in any way — not just talking company stuff, but talking about anything, including Aunt Jenny’s wedding. That, I think, is excessive, and the reason I felt a blogging policy was needed in the first place. At the same time, however, I think that blogging policy, while making personal blogs acceptable, should clearly put “shop talk” out of bounds, unless blogging about Apple is part of your formal job description. This would (more or less) keep Apple’s blogging reality to the status quo, while making it explicit that non-work blogging is okay — and that’s the balance I think is needed and appropriate at Apple. As it is, Apple employees that want to blog personally simply hide their affiliation, which I think is silly, but in the current environment, necessary.
And should Apple blog? Absolutely, but not in a way that Scoble would promote or consider acceptable. I certainly wouldn’t create blogs.apple.com and open it to all employees the way Sun has — the situations are different — but I’d want to have a blogging system that execs and product managers and people who ARE allowed to be company spokesbeasts in a formal way could use as a communication channel. this is the path I think Dave Hyatt was trying to blaze with his safari stuff, but I don’t think the Apple culture was really capable of embracing it, and Apple management just doesn’t seem to understand how this can be used to advantage — or if they do, didn’t make it any priority to get done.
ohwell. At this point, it’s probably opportunity lost for Apple. I’d still argue “better late than never”, but Apple is definitely missing out on some significant and substantial changes in how people communicate and how companies interact with their customers; here’s hoping they don’t guess wrong and open a market opportunity to a competitor by not doing this.
I will also, just to close this all out, talk about one time when I brought all this up — waiting for a meeting on some subject I don’t recall with some apple managers from various parts of the company, and a couple of Apple’s finest legal beagles, we were basically shooting the breeze waiting for a couple of others who live in the Apple “chronically late” time distortion field (the one in which, despite best of intentions and hard work, all meetings start at 10 after the hour, because everyone is so chronically over-scheduled that they simply can’t get from meeting to meeting in time, because every meeting ends up running the full hour and so many people are booked back to back to back) — and blogging came up as a discussion point.
And I suggested that we have Steve blog. Silence in the room, followed by a few muffled giggles.
But think about it. Is there one person in the universe, who, if they blogged, every person on the internet would read? Imagine the ability of Steve to create a buzz, push a product, set up a marketing program, create an agenda. He could, merely by saying “hello”, give half the internet the vapors, and the other half heartburn.
you’ve seen Steve with the keynote bully pulpit he uses a few times a year. Imagine Steve with the bully pulpit of “Steve’s blog”, available any time he felt like talking about something — Apple or no.
The folks I tossed it at agreed it was a powerful idea, but couldn’t decide if it was one of powerful genius or merely an insane one. The one thing everyone was unanimous about was that they’d die before suggesting it to him.
And they’re probably right — but man, I always felt that would have been such a fun hack. Steve unplugged. Or maybe Steve unfiltered. Is the world ready for it? (is Steve?)
but I guess we’ll never know. As the folks in that meeting who worked directly with Steve all agreed: “Never happen”. But they said so with that look on their faces that indicated they saw the possibilities too — and the risks.
Club spokesman John Hahn said later that Williams was “fine.” Hahn said X rays and a CAT scan showed no problems. He also said Williams might have lost consciousness briefly and suffered a cut on his forehead.
Williams may have suffered a concussion, but his main injury stemmed from his helmet taking the brunt of his impact on the ice. The pressure wave from a severe impact can cause the skin to basically peel apart at the juncture of helmet and forehead.
If he lost consciousness, he has a concussion, at least grade 1 — by definition. Now, is it serious? Not necessarily. Hopefully not, but losing consciousness is a basic symptom.
Saw the hit on TV. Painful to watch — and legal. Just as it’s painful to watch stevens on lindros.
After the game, we were watching TSN, and there was discussion about how the league needs to do something about injury causing hits.
you know what? NO THEY DON’T. Not unless you want to turn it into ringette. Hockey is a sport that is attractive for it’s combination of strength, speed, and finesse. It has a strong fan base who are attracted to the power and emotion of the game and its players. Some of the talking heads on TSN last night calling for the league to fix this are the same talking heads whining about how teh rule changes have taken the battle out of the slot and hamstrung defensemen’s ability to defend around the crease.
You can’t have it both ways. That an injury occurred doesn’t imply the hit was illegal or wrong. If you keep trying to make the game “safe”, you’ll simply drain the game of what makes it attractive to people. The players know, and we should realize, that injuries are part of the game. How players and teams react to them and compensate for them is a big aspect of the difference between a contender in October and a champion in April.
So you can’t keep this a fast, physical game AND take the injuries and big hits out of it. The league has to do what it can to make the game safe — but it can’t make the game safe, any more than Nascar can remove car crashes without destroying nascar. You have to do what you can to minimize them and their impact, while recognizing that they ARE part of the game. It’s a grey area, but life is grey, not black and white. The trick is finding the balance between “safe” and “boring”. You can kill the sport by moving too much in either direction.
I don’t know what’s left to say about Mick McGeough’s blown call on Friday night that cost the Oilers at least a point that Jes GÅ‘lbez hasn’t already compiled at Hockey Rants.
As it turns out, the online petition to relieve McGeough of his duties already has 800+ signatures.
McGeough is far from a perfect ref, but name one that is. Mistakes happen in hockey — goals score when players make mistakes, teams win when the other team makes more mistakes than your team does. Referees make mistakes; linesmen make mistakes.
Hockey is, ultimately, a game of mistakes, of limiting mistakes, of capitalizing on them.
Right now, McGeough is the donkey — and deservedly so. But it’s being blown out of proportion, as it always is, because now, every time he sneezes, it shows up on TSN twelve times in super-slo-mo and Bob McKenzie throws off some cute one liner about it. And that’ll continue until they get bored or some new donkey is annointed to make fun of, while more significant mistakes by refs that aren’t currently being declared “league clown” are ignored.
So it goes.
Five years ago, we’d have been having this same discussion — only we’d swap out Mick’s name for Kerry Fraser. Of course, Fraser is still in the league, and trust me, he’s still a LOT less popular in some arena’s than Mick McGeough is today. Ditto Rob Shick.
Heck, I was in the arena for Steve Walkom’s first visit to San Jose. It was maybe his second or third game in the NHL, and it was less than memorable. For the next couple of years, fans who found out he was coming to ref a came brought signs asking for donations for the Walkom eyeglass fund. You know what? Walkom not only turned into a pretty good ref over time, he’s running the joint now.
Here’s something folks asking for McGeough to be fired or suspended should keep in mind: if you take McGeough out of the reffing rotation, who do you replace him with? Yes, that’s right — one of the part-timer’s wandering the NHL waiting for their shot.
Do you really — be honest with me here — really think the league is better off with Eric Furlatt or Mike Hasenfratz or Tom Kowal reffing your team’s game instead of McGeough? Because if he’s not reffing, all of the more junior (and/or less capable) refs get bumped up the depth chart — just like what happens when your first line center goes down and gets replaced by a guy from your AHL team. Does that EVER make your team better?
UPDATE: Be sure to make your donations to the Craig MacTavish Relief Fund.
There are times when MacTavish needs to stop being such a freaking player. He’s in management now. Did he have the right to jump down McGeough’s throat for the blown call? sure. But he went over the top, and deserved that call. His reaction was very close to the infamous “have another donut” from a previous era — and so MacTavish deserved that fine. that fine wasn’t over complaining about the mistake — it was about a lack of professionalism in doing so.
News – Wilson Not Happy With Mental Mistakes – San Jose Sharks:
Thursday nightâ€™s contest with the Rangers did not go quite as planned for the home team. New York had played the night before and had backup netminder Kevin Weekes in the lineup, but virtually nothing went Team Tealâ€™s way as New York used an empty netter to finish off a 3-1 victory.
The play of the game was one the Sharks would like to quickly forget. With San Jose pressing for a late first period tally, a puck bounced above the stick of a pinching blueliner and sent Matt Cullen in on a breakaway. When his shot hit the back of the twine, there was just seven-tenths of a second left in the period.
â€œWe made a brain-dead play,â€ said Ron Wilson. â€œWe played a great period and made a mental blunder. Hindsight is 20/20, but it was the critical play of the game. When youâ€™re the last defenseman back, you canâ€™t get caught in that situation. Iâ€™ll ask the people on the ice about it tomorrow.â€
How to explain the game from the point of view of someone forced to watch it?
The Sharks looked tired and sluggish. They picked it up late in the first with some real physical play and looked better, but while they controlled the puck and played much of the period in the Ranger zone, they didn’t do a good job of putting quality shots on Weekes, and they were rarely, if ever, second shots. Play was on the perimeter. I called the first period by both teams “very european”, and not in a bad way; the sharks were the better team, until the last five seconds. Then they got a bit too aggressive a couple of seconds too early, a bad bounce and a 3-0 breakaway for a Ranger score at 19:59.
Ugh. but it happens.
But in the second, the sharks faded. The radio team said they got in very late (or very early, depending on how you view 6AM in the morning), so perhaps the dead legs were unavoidable. didn’t make it fun in the arena, though. Ron Wilson started pushing buttons, re-arranging lines (thornton-cheechoo-marleau; later, thornton-marleau-smith?????), looking for anything with a spark.
The sharks ground it through, but the Rangers were the better team for two periods and deserved to win. The sharks? Played well enough to keep it close and lose.
In an 80 game season, it happens. you just don’t like paying to see it.
There’s a bigger problem, though. This team just isn’t quite right. It’s playing consistently well enough for a 64% winning percentage, but you watch this team, and it’s clear it’s not right. Not WRONG, but not firing on all cylinders. Goaltending is fine — Nabokov is the best 3-4 goalie in the league (with 2 shutouts!) –= GAA of 2.14, save percentage of .914, and under .500? Toskala’s numbers are slightly better (2.14, .921) — and is 6-1. Go figure. The defense is fine, too.
But the forwards? Perimeter play, lack of intensity. Thornton and Cheechoo seem very human, it’s really been the “second” line that’s been supporting the team. The Sharks effectively have two first lines, and two third lines, and any of the lines can be dangerous when they’re playing well. There isn’t a player on the roster that the Sharks have to hide or protect. But for some reason, this team isn’t playing to potential. It’s merely (I almost hate to say this) MERELY pretty good.
Watching them, they’re searching for something, some missing bit of chemistry up front. Mark Bell’s fought a groin, and that may be part of it — he’s been pretty invisible most nights. cheechoo, too. I’m not seeing him penetrate into shooting positions, he’s staying in the perimeter and that line tends to get in a cycle and not try to break into an offensive position. Getting too fancy? Trying too hard? Hard to tell. Against the Rangers, Cheechoo finally got frustrated and tried to put an elbow through someone’s ear, and got whistled for it. At least it shows that whatever’s going wrong, he’s both aware of it and it’s pissing him off, but the line simply isn’t generating consistent results on 5-5.
I”ve been unimpressed with Niemenen, too. Ryan Clowe’s a real throwback, to the Tim Hunter look of a hockey player, but he and Doug Murray generate a physicality the team needs. I’d sit Ville and Josh Gorges and let these guys bang around a bit.
The good news is — there’s really nothing seriously wrong here, and the team is well into playoff position.
The bad news is — you look at the team in any depth, and you know that it’s misfiring, and it should be a lot stronger and a lot better offensively.
And yet — there’s no obvious problem or weakness. It’s just that the Joe line is MIA except on the power play. That takes this team from being elite to merely pretty good.
And when is “pretty good” not good enough? When it’s clear this team needs to be much better, and can be.
gah. Here’s hoping a day off makes the pens game more interesting.