Category Archives: Technology

Canada Must Wake Up When it Comes to War

I cannot believe the Federal Liberals in Canada are still waffling over ever reaching our NATO committment to 2% of our national budget going to Defence.

Since WWII we’ve steadily deteriorated from leaders to laggards.

In WWI and WWII Canada was respected. Canadian troops were feared by the Axis. Canada punched way above its weight.

We had farmers, trappers, hunters, and First Nations who grew up with rifles, with hunting, with living off the land, and who were deadly in war.

We are now for the most part urban softies who have no clue about the likely impact of wars “far away” that will impact us sooner or later.

Our “leaders” appear to have their collective heads in the sand.

You never win with bullies with appeasement.

We are witnessing bullies on a massive scale with Putin and Xi Jinping.

Good luck. . . or, wake up, eh?

Adding 12TB Drives to Storage Arsenal

New pair of hard disks arrived today. 12TB — if my poor math is right, that’s about 600,000 times larger than the first hard drive I bought and installed in the late 1980s — I think it was 20MB 🙂.

The computer was a no-name 8088 that was built from parts from Akihabara in Tokyo, originally with a pair of 5-1/4″ floppy drives. There was a foreign guy who built PCs. Adding the HD was a huge advancement back then!

12 TB Seagate Ironwolf HDs

Holy Crap, 1970s Nikkor Works on Mirrorless Z50

Holy Crap! Just discovered that my ancient, circa early-70s, 105mm/2.5 Nikkor P-C lens will work on my latest Nikon, a digital mirrorless Z50.

Of course it’s all manual — focus, aperture, etc, but it works!

The 105mm/2.5 Nikkor lens was considered a classic in its time, the epitome of sharpness.

Man, I going to have fun playing with this . . .

Thank you to the Ken Rockwell website for pointing me in this direction.

manual nikkor 105/2.5 on Nikon Z50

And I have 1970s 24mm/2.8 and 50mm/1.4 manual Nikkors, too. Yoikes. Lenses that fast are expensive. Well, they were expensive back then, too.

Some say the Nikkors of film days are not as good as current ones for DSLRs, but hey, will mostly be playing with these near wide open anyway. . .

I put in a lot of babysitting hours and photo documentary jobs for community groups in my teens to upgrade to Nikon systems. . .

I started out in my teens with Mamiya and Pentax film cameras with 42mm screw-mount lenses. . .

‘Early Adopter’ Me Appears to be Slowing Down

Funny how “early adopter” me has become “things are running fine, why change?” me. . . 🙂

I wonder if that’s a reflection of age?

I began building my own computers back in the mid-1980s, and in those days I was always tinkering, swapping video cards, adding memory, installing larger hard drives, upgrading fax/modems (remember those?). . .

I’ve had an “upgrade to Windows 11” icon sitting in the taskbar on my notebook computer for many months. OTOH, my tower computer is so old, it won’t run Windows 11.

I’m starting to itch to click that icon on my laptop. . . . At least if there’s a bit of a learning curve, I’ll still have Windows 10 on my tower, eh?

And since my tower and my laptop pretty much have all the same applications and utilities on them, if something breaks, I’ll know what else needs upgrading before going Win11 on a slightly newer refurbished tower computer that I’ve never used yet.

Metro Vancouver Watershed Tour

We took in a Metro Vancouver watershed tour today. We visited the Capilano Watershed, getting a behind-the-scenes look at where much of our drinking water comes from in the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area of BC.

It was fun and informative — highly recommended. We’d been to the Cleveland Dam several times before, but had not taken the tour into some of the restricted parts of the waterhed.

Also cool to see some signs of early water supply infrastructure still visible though slowly being reclaimed by the forest. . .

Capilano Dam spillway


Masks optional on the bus — most folks were still wearing them

Interesting seeing the forest gradually reclaiming old infrastructure from long ago. Settling ponds, a furnace for thawing frozen filters . . .

Testing the structural integrity of a back-country bridge : – )

metro vancouver capilano watershed tour
Bear calling card

Looks like a Sapsucker was at work?

Rotary traps for moving fish

Nets for moving fish

Bald Eagle in the mist

Another Eagle

Spring Cleaning the Photo Drives

Spring cleaning the photo drive(s).

I have a pair of 6TB external drives that I download (and mirror for backup) my photos to. They were nearly full, so eventually I’ll have to get a larger pair, but I wondered if I could delete some photos and put off that expense to later in the year.

It turns out that apparently I used to be much less stringent about immediately deleting photos I didn’t like, be they out of focus, repetitive, badly exposed, poorly composed, or whatever.

This evening in an hour or two I cleared nearly 100GB of space just by going through a couple of years of photos. I suspect a few more hours over the next few days and I’ll be able to clear another 100-200GB.

I also have an 8TB RAID NAS (Network Attached Storge) that I back up to.

You can never have too many backups!

Parting With Some Older DSLRs

nikon D300 D7200 for saleA couple of old(er) warhorses ready to be assessed at Broadway Camera in Richmond, BC. The chain is having a trade-in/buy-out event.

Kinda sad to see them go.

After owning several Nikon 35mm cameras starting in the early 1970s, the D300 was my first DSLR, a solid beast of a camera that lasts forever. I bought it in April 2008.

The D7200 also got a lot of use, and I have a AA-battery grip for it that added vertical shooting controls in addition to holding the extra battery power. I shot plenty of events, anniversaries, and a wedding with it over the years. I’m including a well-worn but optically good Nikkor 18-200mm zoom with the D7200.

DSLRs are gradually being phased out. I have a small Nikon Z50 mirrorless that I really like, and will hang on to a Nikon D7500 DSLR for awhile longer. And some day I’d love to get a mirrorless Nikon Z9 — an amazing camera that one of my fave camera review sites calls “a stills/video monster.” 🙂

I usually sell gear through Craig’s List and other similar online venues, but I’m tired of the runnaround. Will get less going to a camera store, but if what they offer me is in the ballpark of what I’d like to get — sold.

Tokyo Computer Club Memories

Blast from the past. . .

My (younger) mug on the cover of the Tokyo PC User’s Group monthly newsletter that I helped edit and publish for a few years back in the mid-to-late 1990s.

I was an active member for about 14 years.

We’d build and mod PCs, have guest speakers on “new” developments like the Internet 🙂.

As I recall, this cover was, to my surprise, a recognition of my modest contributions to the club. This was just before I was leaving Japan
back to Canada.

Don’t remember if I’ve posted this before, just took a look through a pile of old AJs in the garage. . .

P.S. The club is long gone, ASFIK, but I’m still in touch with a few members from back in the day.

May be a black-and-white image of 1 person and text that says 'Algorithmica Japonica November 1998 Release15.11 Release 15.11 Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group'