Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Car Buying Advice?

For Europe where gasoline costs over 1.4 euros per liter. My parents are looking for a new little used one.

The old Opel had a trouble free ten years, and having another in the same line might be a good idea. At least it’s a marque where historically reasonably tall people could find a comfortable driving position. Vectra is the new model in question.

Mazda 6 has a good reputation for no faults and feels good, except it sometimes suffers from horrible rust because of some philosophical issues at the factory, it seems. The 6 year body warranty might not entirely give enough peace of mind. Is Japan even fine as a political statement, with their protectionism and other politics..?

Ford Mondeo. Related to Mazda. It’s a common car and seems to be ok. But friends and relatives know little about it. I read about some underside rubber cover failures in cold weather leading to expensive overhauls in the long run.

Skoda Octavia. Could be a winner. One might even get a diesel version relatively cheaply (ie not that much more expensive than gas). Even a new car, with a TSI turbosupercharged 1.2 liter gasoline engine that has a big torque right above the idle speed costs not that much more than a few year old ones of other cars and uses much less fuel. The problem is the “not that much more”.

Volkswagen. Seems overpriced. Is their quality any better compared to Skoda? They might be a tad more modern perhaps.

Honda and Audi seem even more expensive. Nevermind Toyota where people ask ridiculous prices even for 6 year old cars.

French cars might have good qualities but the stories of the number of constant pestering small faults from many examples rule that out.

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I might buy a cheap point and shoot digicam soon, just to enable me to at least document something, especially when traveling Shooting with film is so expensive (although some do it) and also it’s hard to put the stuff on the net anyway since you have to scan and it’s tedious and I don’t have a scanner at home. I’ll probably visit central Europe soon again so I might as well buy a digital camera.

What are my requirements?

  • It needs to be cheap
  • I don’t need a large zoom
  • I need very close focus (for digiscoping at times)
  • Good low light performance
  • No high megapixels
  • A rechargeable battery

Things could point towards a Fuji F series, except the price, one would have to pay 170 euros for a F70… and I don’t want a zoom monster really. It seems the Fuji A130 is a sub 100 euro camera that still has F 2.8 at the wide end, which many of its competition doesn’t seem to have. Hard to see any comparisons anywhere on these cheap cameras, nevermind sample pictures. It uses regular batteries for power so probably it’d be expensive to use.

Strolling by the nearby supermarket, it had an Olympus T-100 for 99 euros and I liked that it was thin. Older Olympus has awful XD memory cards, but the T-100 has standard SD. Canon A490 which it also had at 109 and Nikon S203 (which is probably elsewhere), the big names’ cheap ones, might be nice in image quality, though the Canon seemed a bit thick. Then there’s the 99 euro Panasonic DMC-F4 too which actually seems to have F 2.8 at the wide end. Nothing means much when you don’t know the sensor size anyway.

Most of the specs listed (megapixels, number of programs) by the sellers and companies are totally meaningless to me. The pics always look bad at full resolution anyway. I’d like to see perhaps:

  • lens diameter (I might elaborate in a future post)
  • or then the F number and sensor size
  • field of view at wide and tele
  • perhaps extra features like what video res and compression, close focus range

At times all this makes me wonder if all that stuff comes from the same factory and they just put it in different shaped frames, alter the menu texts a bit, fiddle with a few tuning parameters to give different image tones and then just sell more of them that way. We already know that for example in optics, there are Japanese subcontractor factories making lenses for many brands. Opticron is a UK telescope firm that orders its scopes from Japan from the same manufacturer that makes stuff for Nikon.

Oh, and I assume all cameras work with Linux just as normal USB drives, right?

EDIT: Found some unlikely T-100 sample pictures

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Espoo, Finland’s second biggest city, might be a confusing place for someone who doesn’t know it. It for example doesn’t have a real center and it is strongly divided into two parts. A map doesn’t mean much to someone who just glances it – you don’t know which places are important, where the bus routes go, where the main crossing places and services are etc.

So I basically removed almost everything from the map and left a few of the biggest places there. Anybody can then navigate in Espoo since then they can be explained where smaller places are in relation to these main “villages” or landmarks.

Espoo sits on the southern coast of Finland, right next to Helsinki, on its west side. It is a wide peninsula, so there’s water on both sides that make most of Espoo’s east and west border. There’s only sea to the south of Espoo.

Most of the north side areas are near the Rantarata railroad that goes across Espoo in the east-west direction, the biggest centers being Leppävaara and Espoon Keskus.

On the south side, the areas are alongisde the Länsiväylä freeway. Tapiola is the most important.

The south and north are connected mainly by Kehä 1, the nearest ring way of the Helsinki-Espoo-Vantaa capital area. It goes near both Leppävaara and Tapiola as you can see from the map, so that makes them important crossing points.

There are other roads and freeways and minor centers but this is a very rough overview that one could perhaps even remember and should cover maybe 70% of the population of Espoo. There’s much more stuff to the north that is completely left out too since it’s mostly somewhat sparsely populated. Let me know if this was of any use to you. 🙂

West from Tapiola are in rough order: Westend, Haukilahti, Olari, Matinkylä, Suomenoja, Soukka and Kivenlahti. West from Leppävaara are Kilo and Espoon Keskus.

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Ronnie James Dio

Rest in peace.

Here with Yngwie Malmsteen performing Aerosmith’s Dream On. Pay no attention to the picture of Yngwie.

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And it is awesome and Japanese. Just put a person on top and raise the speed.

[Embedding seems to have problems]


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Well, not real money. But Atmoz is discussing about when it will be reached with commenters. My bet is march 2018, though if you use woodfortrees to visualize, straight extrapolation seems to predict before 2015 already, for the northern hemisphere winter peak. Most seem to bet around 2014-2016.

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Sukhoi T-50 Video

Showing closeups of the new Russian stealth fighter on the ground, testing thrust vectoring, showing the drooping forward wing gloves, and then in flight. It’s a treat!

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