Looking for a New Lens……..for my iPhone??

If you haven’t already read my opening iPhotography post (http://www.mygeekinterior.com/professional-iphotography/) I recommend you do before reading on.  If you don’t have time or need a bit of a recap – I’m going through all the components of my iPhone photography kit that I have assembled so far –  starting with the lens kit.

So, the iPhones built-in lens is usually more than adequate for everyday fun snaps.  The iPhone 6 spec sheet says it has an 8-megapixel iSight camera with 1.5µ pixels, ƒ/2.2 aperture and Five-element lens.  What the hell does that mean to us? basically all this fancy talk means that the your iPhone has the equivalent focal length of about 30mm and its a great piece of kit for taking digital snaps.

Most DSLR cameras theres days come with an 18mm to 55mm adjustable zoom lens – so the 30mm focal length of the iPhone fits nicely in the middle and suits most situations.  If like me however, you want to go to the next level and take some landscape or macro photos.  You are going to want to have a bit more focal length flexibility.  So how can we achieve this with our phone?

Continue reading…

 

Professional iPhotography

Four years ago I bought my wife an entry level DSLR camera.  She wanted to use it to take photos of our kids, events, holidays and the like.  After a year or so of using the automatic settings she decided she wanted to know more about photography and how to use the camera.  So for he birthday I bought her a voucher for a one on one lesson with a renown landscape photographer.  As it so happened he was also happy for me to tag along for the session and learn what I could.

I have always liked being in nature and enjoy its beauty and grace.  I particularly enjoy the natural contrasts between colours, shapes and shades that different landscapes exhibit.  Learning how to emphasize these in photographs during our three hour session really stimulated my creativity side……….well the little that I have anyway…….and I wanted to explore this world a little bit more.

For a week or so after the lesson I did go out of my way to keep up with the landscape photography, but after a while my motivation slowly dissolved.  While I did stop activity going out of my way to take photos with my wife’s nice DSLR, I did keep on taking photos when moments presented themselves using my phone.  Obviously this was a function of convenience (insert laziness) more than anything else.

I found that most of the moments I really wanted to capture were in the middle of a bike ride or just before going for an early morning dive.  Who wants to lug a big DSLR around on a bike or with their dive kit just on the off chance you find an amazing moment that you want to capture in a photo.  Your phone however, you always have with you.

Some of the shots come up really well (such as the one below I took just before a morning dive)

IMG_1055

Continue reading…

 

Efergy Ego – The Smart Socket

So, if you’re anything like me you probably have a small transformer farm hiding behind you TV cabinet. Not including my TV I have over ten other devices connected to one double GPO stuck away in the back of my TV. Like most people, once my bum hits the couch it’s not getting off again. So what does this mean about the small transformer farm? It means it buzzs away for 24 hours a day, 7days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Ten or so years ago this wasn’t a big deal. Firstly, you didn’t have that many devices connected to the telly (well at least I didn’t). Secondly, we weren’t all worried about climate change and lastly power cost diddly squat. However, today that’s not the case. The effects of Climate Change are rife and the cost of power is going through the roof. So what do I do about the devices that are multiplying like rabbits around my home theatre? Do I actually get of my behind and turn everything off that I’m not using every night and then remember to turn it on again in the morning? The answer is hell no – you buy a smart socket.

Continue reading…

 

Smart Notebooks – Moleskine Versus Whilelines

Paper is back baby! – but with a twist. With the emergence of the computer and most recently the tablet people are moving away from the trusty old notebook in droves. I must admit I am one of these people that just can’t move on.

For us purists it seems that some companies are listening and are trying to combine the best of the Analogue (pencil and paper) and the Digital (documents and text). The two leading products at the moment are the Moleskine Evernote and WhiteLines Link notebooks.

IMG_1181IMG_1178

I am interested to see how the rocketbook is going to stack up as well but since it is yet to be released I only have the two above to work with.

Continue reading…

 

Threadless – For the Artistic Nerd

If you missed my first post – I’m on a mission to review as many online stores as I can in the quest to find the best value geeky tees around. The reviews are based on:

  1. Cost;
  2. Quality; and
  3. Design.

My first post focused on the clever slogans and old-school logos found at 6dollarshirts.com.  Click the link below if you missed it.

http://www.mygeekinterior.com/category/reviews/fashion/

My second review is going to move away from funny prints and old-school logos and instead look at the artistic stylings available at Threadless.com.  Read on after the break if I’ve pipped your interest.

IMG_1252

Continue reading…

 

Lapdock – The Raspberry Pi Laptop

The Problem

I have a problem (well lots of problems really – but I’m just focusing on just one at the moment). I live in a three by one house which I share with my wife and three kids. We already use laptops as our primary computers as we don’t have room for a desktop. My problem is I have just bought a Raspberry Pi (well three actually but that’s another story) and I have no room for an extra monitor or keyboard etc.

Easy you say – there are heaps of options available to use the Pi without a dedicated monitor – just Google it. Well these are the ones I have tried so far and why they don’t work for me:

  • Connect it to your TV and use a wireless keyboard. Yep – tried this and it works fine – but we have only one TV so the wife does not like being relegated to watching shows on her Macbook while I use our 50inch TV to muck around with my Pi’s. So that options out.
  • Setup the Pi on the TV and then use a remote connection to access the Pi (see my article on how to use remote connections here – once I write it of course :-$). So this is the technique that I have used mostly up to now. However, I find I spend most of my time playing with multiple Pi Operating Systems (OS) and variants of these OS’s.  This means setting up remote access every time I compile a new kernel. This just gets tiresome as I need to wait for TV time each time I want to setup a new image on the Pi – so this is not the best solution.
  • Surely you can get a cheap small HDMI screen of Ebay. Actually, this is more difficult than it sounds. It’s easy to find 5”-7” sized screens for the Pi reasonably cheap. Some of them even have a touch screen interface but if you are looking for anything larger than 7″  you are going to be disappointed.  At this size you start entering GPS screen territory and a big jump in price.

The options above seemed to be the only ones I had available to me – unless I start using a dedicated monitor (which, as I said earlier is not an option)……………….that is until recently. I was trawling through some Raspberry Pi forums and came across a post about a Raspberry Pi laptop. Intrigued I had a read and found the answer to my problems – enter the Lapdock! Continue reading…

 

Nerdy is the New Black

It seems Nerdy is the new black and this means that tees with tech slogans, science grabs or old-school computer logos are all the rage.  I’ve been wearing these for years but just recently my group of mates has introduced me to the plethora of online stores that are starting to stock cheap tees with geek prints.

To help in the hunt for the best value tees available I plan to try as many of these stores as I can find. I’m going to base my reviews on the following loose criteria:

  1. Cost;
  2. Quality; and
  3. Designs available.

First cab of the rank is 6dollarshirts.com. I ended up buying ten shirts off this site (three of them can be seen below) so lets see how they stacked up!

6dollartees

Continue reading…

 

Adventure Time…….Every Second Friday

It has been my MO for a fair while now to listen to podcasts on the way to, from (and sometimes during – shhh don’t tell the boss) work. I’ve been through a few different podcast series now – some good, some bad and some freaking awful.  To stop people subjecting their ears and minds to the same abuse I have – I’m hoping my podcast reviews will steer you towards the better end of the spectrum. Obviously most of the podcasts I listen too have a nerdy bent to them so I’m thinking that most people that visit here will also enjoy them.

My inaugural write up is for a reasonably new podcast that one of my mates at work put me onto.  It’s innocuously named The Adventure Zone.  The premise of the show is pretty straight forward – it involves three brothers (Travis, Justin and Griffin McElroy of My Brother My Brother and Me fame) and their father (Clint) playing through a game of old school dungeons and dragons or D&D as it is typically referred to as. To find it just go here:

http://www.maximumfun.org/shows/adventure-zone

Continue reading…

 

A Pebble in the Hand

four_half-stars_0

Pros:

  • Battery Life;
  • Easy Setup and Integration with Phone;
  • Phone App is Simple to Use;
  • Notifications are Easy to Read;
  • Can View Screen in Any Light; and
  • Water-resistant.

Cons:

  • Charging Cable and Connection; and
  • Looks Hideous.

Usually when I go about acquiring a new gadget I research it extensively. I look at all similar products available and benchmark them based on features, build quality, price and how best they fit my needs. The one time I didn’t do this was when I purchased my first Pebble………and it was one of the best purchases that I have ever made.

Needless to say I am pretty excited about the announcement of the Pebble Time’s release – particularly the Steel version. So in anticipation of the new Pebble’s release I thought I would outline what I like and don’t like about the current Pebble.

459794-pebble-time-steel

 

Continue reading…