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Most recent entry: 2010-06-27 00:00:00 -- Generated on 2014-09-17 11:34:11 by Rig3 0.4-440






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2010/06/27 Hike/Night at Angel Island and Hike to Alamere Falls at Pt Reyes
π 2010-06-27 00:00 in Hiking
Jennifer tried to get us a good camping site on Angel Island. That's a bit hard since there are only 3 really good ones with view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate, and they are taken months in advance. That said, we figured we could camp closeby and just eat/go see the sunset by the nice vista point, which we did.

We were early for the Ferry in Tiburon, so we went to the vantage point to have a look:




Short ferry ride
Short ferry ride


Angel Island is a peaceful little island to visit. You have to plan your trip carefully to match ferry times (there aren't that many ferries during the week), and find parking that isn't outragerous. Leaving from Tiburon is the best bet but the closest parking lot is $25/night, whereas a farther one at a closeby bank is just $5.










Going around the Island was pretty scenic, and doing some of the hiking on the perimeter road is actually where you'll get the best views in some places. It's a little bit sad that they refugate campsites so tightly since they have loads of space where people can actually pitch tents, but so it is.

After setting up our tent (a jackhammer to put the stakes in would have come in handy), we continued going around the Island counter clockwise towards the nice vantage point and had dinner there, and stayed for some night shots. After that, we headed back to our tent for the night.











The next day, we hiked to the top for a panoramic view, and just made it back to the 11:20 Ferry (the next one was 2H later). This allowed us to drive to Point Reyes for our next hike.


old buildings used by the army
old buildings used by the army







Point Reyes was a no frills hike. Outside of some asshole driving 15mph on the entire 30mn twisty piece of hwy 1 (where are the cops to pull those idiots over when you need them), we eventually got to the parking lot at the end of the paved road, and hiked to the falls from there.







It was a nice scenic hike, one however had to be careful and avoid the poison oak on the very overgrown 0.4 mile portion of trail going to the ocean. Also, the path down to the beach is very non solid rock that you can't grip to since it breaks in your fingers. Hiking down with a backpack was a bit dicy and I can see people falling and hurting themselves there every so often.
Once down, though, the view was quite nice and a good place to have a late lunch.

climbing wasn't as dicy as getting down
climbing wasn't as dicy as getting down



All in all, it was a nice little hike.

2010/06/27 Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco
π 2010-06-27 00:00 in Public
Well, since I happened to be in SF already, although I spent the morning at the Science Museum, I had no excuse not to join the parade mid-way. I actually managed to drive down from the Golden Gate Park and find street parking within walking distance without getting stuck in a non moving stream of cars.

I can now see how it actually takes forever since after arriving about 2H late, the parade was around group #140, and still going strong. I basically joined from the end, by civic center where everyone was ending up, and worked my way back up the parade, still in time to see some nice floats, including my coworkers from Google. Yeah!

Street Blocks filled around Civic Center
Street Blocks filled around Civic Center

Pick your color, shape, and size :)
Pick your color, shape, and size :)

Most companies were present
Most companies were present

Although Gold's Gym did win by having the best male bodies :)
Although Gold's Gym did win by having the best male bodies :)



My coworkers
My coworkers

Where's Waldo? :)
Where's Waldo? :)

See more images for Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco
2010/06/27 California Academy of Science in San Francisco
π 2010-06-27 00:00 in Public
I had a few hours to kill in San Francisco while Jennifer was volunteering at a wine event, so I went to the California Academy of Science, which was on my list of places to go one day.

To be honest, as a science museum, it's a bit undewhelming: I got through it in about 3H and that included their planetarium show which was more an Imax movie (although it was actually a good one).

For the rest, it was more a museum on animals of many kinds, which was interesting. It was however lacking on sience in general: computers, optics, genetics, medicinal sciences, math, physics, computers and so forth. On the upside their aquarium was good.





the biosphere was reasonably good
the biosphere was reasonably good

for people who don't dive, lots of nice things you'd see during dives
for people who don't dive, lots of nice things you'd see during dives


Anyway, it was an ok few hours, but not the best science museum I've seen in the US, I expected a bit more after having seen some in St Louis, Portland, or other places.

2010/06/25 Rfxcom, W800, and MR26a on misterhouse, X10Sec Garage and Mailbox Setup
π 2010-06-25 00:00 in Linuxha
I spent a long time reading and writing documentation on how to use those RF interfaces with misterhouse, and how to use XPL in general.

Instead of pasting the information here, here is the link with all the goods: http://misterhouse.wikispaces.com/X10RFX10SecRFXCOM

I did also learn about RF and antenna design in the process. Here is the quarter wave antenna I built and that I'm now using on my MR26a:




And the simpler, but actually more effective dipole antenna I made and that I use for the W800RF32:




The serial W800RF32 is easier to extend with a long serial cable
The serial W800RF32 is easier to extend with a long serial cable

One of my first applications was to read an X10Sec module in my mailbox to know when said mailbox was opened:



The next one was to know when my garage doors were opened or closed.
The first thing was to move the door sensors to be at the bumper level, which included drilling holes in the gardrail, no small feat without diamond tip drills which I didn't have. After several hours of making new holes and adjusting the sensors, they are now set to detect the car's bumper as opposed to looking for the car's tires which made it easy to close the door on top of the hood ...


Next, I installed X10Sec sensors on each door so that I know when they get opened or closed.



Technical notes:

  • X10Sec modules send their code 4 times, but if you miss it because the RF band was noisy or the antenna a bit out of reach (even though I tried hard with a dipole antenna put in the attic), then you have no way of querying the state.
  • X10Sec modules are however nice enough to rebroadcast their state every 4 hours or so in case you missed the previous state update.
  • Here is the code I wrote for misterhouse:

    #08/05/2010 11:34:22 State Garage2 is alertbattlowmin #08/05/2010 11:34:22 State Garage2 is normalbattlowmin

    my %x10rfstate; #noloop

    foreach my $dev (["x10sec_garage1", "Main Garage Door"], ["x10sec_garage2", "Small Garage Door"], ["x10sec_mailbox", "Mailbox"]) { my $obj = $dev->[0]; my $name = $dev->[1];

    $obj = &::get_object_by_name($obj); $x10rfstate{$obj} = $obj->state if (not defined $x10rfstate{$obj});

    if ($obj->state_now) { my $oldstate = $x10rfstate{$obj}; my ($sec,$min,$hour,$mday,$mon,$year,$wday,$yday,$isdst) = localtime(); $year += 1900; $mon++;

    print_log "X10SEC: $name is ".$obj->state." (was $oldstate)";

    open(LOG, ">>/var/log/x10sec"); printf LOG ("%.4d/%.2d/%.2d %.2d:%.2d:%.2d $name: ".$obj->state." (was $oldstate)\n", $year,$mon,$mday,$hour,$min,$sec); close(LOG);

    if ($obj->state ne $oldstate) { if ($obj->state =~ /alert/) { system('date | Mail -s "'.$name.' Just Opened" EMAIL'); } elsif ($obj->state =~ /normal/) { system('date | Mail -s "'.$name.' Just Closed" EMAIL'); } else { system('date | Mail -s "'.$name.' UNKNOWN STATE" EMAIL'); } $x10rfstate{$obj} = $obj->state; } } }

    # vim:sts=4:sw=4

    2010/06/18 3rd Upgrade for gargamel, my main home server, going for lower power
    π 2010-06-18 00:00 in Linux
    My first Gargamel started around year 2000, it was a dual P3 Xeon with the huge cartriges, with a Marlin Spike Intel motherboard (MS440GX) with 6 SCSI busses and 26 drives at its peak (a whopping 2TB of hard disk space back then).
    I don't have watt usage numbers on it back then, but I'm sure it was quite high (>400W with all the drives).

    My original gargamel server
    My original gargamel server

    This server worked a good 6 years or so, and I eventually replaced it in 2006 with a dual P4 Xeon server board I got from my new then work. Drives also got bigger, so I removed SCSI and the 3 external disk arrays, switched to SATA with port multipliers, and settled with 12 internal drives (2 boot drives, 5x250GB and 5x500GB) for a total usable space of 3TB with a "much lower" power usage. Typical power was now in the 280-300W range for the entire server closet.
    Note that my base usage in the closet with computer off is still 70W (UPS is 23W by itself, cable modem and 24 port switch is another 30W, and the other random stuff brings it to 70W).

    Gargamel V2 with Sata and PMP
    Gargamel V2 with Sata and PMP

    Eventually, another 5 years later, I was tired of debugging a couple of issues with the server that was sometimes low on memory that was hard/expensive to find vs bigger DDR3 dims. I also wanted to reduce the power consumption of that power hungry P4 Xeon Server board. One thing I did that helped a while ago was to write some software to make sure all the drives suspended (spun off), which explains the big spikes in power (drives spinning or spun down). See my Spinning down WD20EADS Drives and fixing load cycle page.
    Thanks to help from coworkers who followed PC trends, I went for an Intel Sandy Bridge MB (it was hard to find one with a serial port for serial console booting, and onboard IDE, and 2 PCI slots, but eventually I think I got the last one available :) ). I paid a few dollars extra for an Intel i3 2100T dual core CPU, which is only 2.53Ghz, but that's more than plenty and it only uses 35W, which is awesome.

    As a result, I came down to about 270W average for the computer closet (200W for the computer) to about 210W average (140W for the computer). It will now full idle at 180W (110W for the computer). Sure, one might say 110W is still a lot, but for a server with 10 drives, I/O cards, around 16 USB devices connected, dual ethernet, and dual sound (5 + 7 channels), that's not so bad. In the end, the power graph looks better, so that's good enough for me :)

    The hole is where I changed the server
    The hole is where I changed the server

    The here Christened Gargamel V3!
    The here Christened Gargamel V3!

    all wired up
    all wired up

    100_Gargamel_i3-2100T 101_Gargamel_i3-2100T 102_Gargamel_i3-2100T 103_Gargamel_i3-2100T 200_Power
    2010/06/18 Powering UPSes with Marine or AGM batteries
    π 2010-06-18 00:00 in Linuxha, Solar
    So, isn't it a bit ironic that if I have solar panels that power my entire house and then some during the day, if PG&E power goes off, my inverter has no choice but to shut off too, likely both because it uses PG&E as a phase offset source, and because it would likely be bad to feed power on a down PG&E line (or at least would make it harder for PG&E to diagnose, not counting the fact that the power grid acts as a regulator in case there is too much or not enough power).

    Anyway, I wanted to have power a bit longer than 10mn when PG&E power went out, so I looked into UPS solutions while powering from a Marine or a AGM (Absorbed Glass Material) battery, both being better options than a car battery (car batteries are not meant to be deep cycled or use for extended periods of time and they do put out hydrogen when you charge them, which is undesireable inside a house).

    Interesting bits I found out:

  • This page http://www.type2.com/library/electrip/battbas.htm has decent battery info, and this one gives a bit more about AGM batteries http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm . Yet, even marine or AGM batteries are not meant to be discharged at high rate. If you do, they may not even put out half their rated capacity.
  • UPSes aren't meant to be used as inverters for long time power off situations. Some will actually use more than one battery (increases voltage, decreases amps, which is good for lowering draw, but makes it a pain when you need multiple big matching marine batteries).
  • Drawing 1400VA from an APC UPS at 24V is about 60A! That's about 3-4 times what the average copper wire going to your house outlet is supposed to carry. These pages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge and http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm give some guidelines, but long story short, you need a very thick wire to carry that many amps over more than 10cm without heating up your wires (never good) and wasting a lot of power through resistive loss.
    I first quadrupled up my initial wire but then realized that it only took me from 18 gauge to 12 gauge, which was a bit low, so doubled that up with a cable I cut off from a jumpstart cable (that one was plenty thick, it was more an issue to solder it to the rest due to how massive it was and how underpowered my soldering iron was for the job).
  • In the end, I got a couple of mostly matching AGM batteries and went ahead with those for my 24V APC 1400 SmartUPS. I know my runtime wouldn't be fantastic but good enough considering (at least until I can find another free marine battery :) ).

    At 400W of actual use, that was 40% of the load for the APC 1400 inverter and a self test estimated that I would get about 1H of runtime, which gave 16Ah usable for my AGM batteries instead of about 55Ah at a lower draw (when new, and they were not new). It's a bit disappointing on one side, but on the other side, 1H of runtime for my computer gear ain't too bad, especially for AGM batteries that cost $20 a pieces (cheaper than the stock 7Ah batteries).


    first I quadrupled the wire.
    first I quadrupled the wire.

    this is a big ass gauge jumper cable
    this is a big ass gauge jumper cable

    what it looks like connected
    what it looks like connected


    Anyway, even if this isn't quite the runtime I was hoping for, and it seems hard to find any UPS with a good VA rating by using a single 12V battery (not too surprising due to the amp problem I pointed out), this is still pretty cool.

    2010/06/17 Dealing with many USB to Serial Port Converters on linux and device naming
    π 2010-06-17 00:00 in Linux, Linuxha
    So, if you have more than one USB to serial adapter, you might have issues with which order they load in, causing the serial port numbers (/dev/ttyUSB0 .. x) to change pseudo randomly at boot, it's pretty annoying.

    In my case, I picked up an 8 port ftdi usb to serial converter for only $15 on Ebay (woot!) but even its ports may not come up in sequence at boot time if other modules are loaded at the same time (a race condition can cause the pl2303 port to be in between one of the 8 ports from the ftdi hub).

    Turns out there is a solution to this problem with udev, iff your usb to serial adapters have serial numbers (my ftdi ones did, but my pl2303 ones did not), or if you only have one serial adapter of each brand (like ftdi, pl2303, keyspan).

    In my case, I have (don't laugh), 11 serial devices on my server:

  • Server serial console
  • 1-wire serial adapter
  • Insteon PLM
  • APC ups
  • W800 X10RF and X10sec gateway
  • X10 MR26a X10RF gateway
  • First ECM 1240 power meter
  • Second ECM 1240 power meter
  • Brand One Meter serial adapter
  • HAI thermostats (2 on one line)
  • Rfxcom 433.92Mhz (433.92Mhz RF gateway for Oregon Scientific Weather Sensors)
  • This is what you do with udev:

    gargamel:~# cat /etc/udev/rules.d/50-local-usb-serial.rules 
    # /etc/udev/rules.d/50-local-usb-serial.rules
    

    # http://www.reactivated.net/writing_udev_rules.html#udevinfo # was udevinfo -a -p /class/tty/ttyUSB0 # now udevadm info --attribute-walk -p /class/tty/ttyUSB0

    SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvN", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_1" SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvO", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_2" SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvP", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_3" SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvR", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_4" SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvQ", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_5" SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvS", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_6" SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvT", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_7" SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A7006gvU", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-ftdi-8_8"

    SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="FT232R USB UART", ATTRS{serial}=="A800dMFk", SYMLINK+="rfxcom"

    SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{product}=="USB-Serial Controller", ATTRS{manufacturer}=="Prolific Technology Inc.", SYMLINK+="usb-serial-pl2303"

    After making a change udevadm trigger will update symlinks.

    2010/06/14 My house, for sale
    π 2010-06-14 00:00 in Public
    This replaces my older post about my house going for sale. I had put it couple of years renting it. I never quite wanted to be a landlord but the 2 year wait allowed for the market badness to flush itself somewhat.
    Unfortunately, even 2 years later the market has barely recovered and it's really cheap considering it used to be valued $700k, but for tax reasons and not wanting to manage/landlord a house any longer, I decided to put it for sale after my last tenants just left.

    I hadn't gotten around to post pictures of my house after it had been staged, so it's done now.

    Chen-Chen really did a fantastic job taking the place over and getting it ready for selling in a record time.

    A few are picked here:











    The virtual tour is sweet (I recommend that for as long as it's up):
    http://www.tourfactory.com/623341

    and the MLS listing for whatever it's up too: http://www.mlslistings.com/Default.aspx?pp=-1&pg=0&idx=1&l=19$978330$RES

    But for posterity, here's the youtube video made from the virtual tour and embedded in this page (this will stay forever since it's a local copy 100% served from my server, gotta be careful with WEB 2.0 nowadays):


    After the original post, 2 weeks later, we got several offers and I'm currently in contract with an old couple downgrading from a more expensive house in Palo Alto. I'm kind of relying on their house closing to happen for them to close with me, but they offered more than other folks as a way to make up for it, so I agreed to take the slightly extra risk.

    2010/06/06 New Compact High Zoom Camera: Panasonic DMC-ZS7 (TZ10) vs Sony Cybershot DSC-HX5 vs Canon PowerShot SX210 IS vs Samsung HZ35W/WB650 vs Ricoh CX3
    π 2010-06-06 00:00 in Public
    I have to replace my Panasonic DMC TZ5 camera as I need to buy a water housing, and at $300-ish, I'm not buying one for a 2 year old camera. Also, I had been wishing for a built in GPS in my camera since I am tired of having to geotag my pictures after the fact (it's not that hard, but it's time consuming, see my geotagging page.

    I found out that Panasonic had fulfilled my wish and did come out with a new camera that had GPS geotagging built in a compact high zoom camera, and that a few other companies did too. I spent a lot of hours finding and reading all the reviews and deciding which camera would work for me.

    Summary and ranking of each camera

  • Panasonic DMC TZ10 (aka ZS7 in the US) is my top pick for the good zoom that starts at 25mm, GPS geotagging with GPS fixes that are kept in the background when the camera is off, and the important diving case availability.
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-HX5 came as a close second: the zoom wasn't as big (only 10X), but its GPS would also log altitude and compass heading and its optics and picture processing are better than the Panasonic. Sony also finally wisened up and added SDHC support instead of their stupid memory sticks. Unfortunately, there are no underwater/diving cases for it and none planned that I could find.
  • Canon PowerShot SX210 IS likely was interesting with its 14X zoom, but it has a stupid pop up flash, non stellar pictures, no GPS, and no underwater/diving case available.
  • Samsung HZ35W/WB650 was an interesting new camera that had a 15X zoom (!), GPS support, but no diving case, bad support from Samsung, substandard picture quality, and is somehow missing an orientation sensor to tag picture orientation (!). Too bad because the bigger battery, lesser OLED screen draw and 15X zoom would have been nice.
  • Ricoh CX3 is last, and I guess least. It comes with a 10X zoom, no underwater/diving case availability, no manual controls and no GPS. You can't even zoom while taking a video. It likely takes fairly good pictures but its lack of features just put it last.
  • Raw notes gathered on each camera

    Panasonic DMC TZ10 (aka ZS7 in the US)

    links and quotes:

  • http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_TZ10_ZS7
  • http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_zs7-review
  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2010/02/26/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-TZ10/p1
  • http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-ZS3-Digital-Stabilized-Silver/product-reviews/B001QFZMD8/ref=cm_cr_dp_hist_1?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addOneStar

  • "I learned that Panasonic decided to include a restriction in their latest firmware version (1.2) that only allows the camera to operate with one of their $50 batteries."

  • http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_TZ7_ZS3/verdict.shtml

  • "Panasonic's Intelligent Auto is one of the best on the market, having an uncanny ability to figure out what you're trying to take"
    "In most respects, the ZS7 is better than the ZS3 that it replaces, offering manual controls, a built-in GPS, improved image stabilization, faster autofocus, enhanced image sharpening"
    "That brings us to image quality, which was kind of a let-down. If you keep the ISO low, you'll get pretty nice results from the ZS7 -- for the most part. The camera exposes photos accurately, though it tends to clip highlights easily. Colors look good, as does sharpness, especially if you've got Intelligent Resolution turned on. Purple fringing is automatically removed by the camera, and barrel distortion is removed as well"
  • http://avc-cs.panasonic.net/faq/1033/doc/html/dsc/en/index_dmc_tz10_zs7.html
  • Quick specs/notes:

  • diving case: YES
  • 12X zoom: 25-300mm
  • GPS built in for geotagging BUT only lat and long.
  • fastest GPS aquisition time.
  • zoom during video, infinite video shooting
  • manual controls: yes
  • faulty red eye reduction?
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-HX5

    links and quotes:

  • http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/dsc_hx5v-review
  • http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Cyber-shot_DSC_HX5

  • "this proprietary approach means you'll be forced to buy potentially expensive accessories from Sony alone. Ultimately we'd have preferred standard USB, TV and HDMI outputs, like its rival, the Panasonic TZ10 / ZS7."

  • http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_TZ10_ZS7/verdict.shtml

  • "The 1080i video coupled with 10fps burst shooting gives the HX5 two key advantages over the Panasonic, and while it may not display the name of locations on-screen, it does record altitude and compass data. Depending on your requirements, these could outweigh the TZ10 / ZS7's benefits"

  • http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Cyber-shot_DSC_HX5/verdict.shtml

  • "Moving on, Sony makes a big deal about the low light capabilities of its 'Exmor R' CMOS sensor, claiming high sensitivity and low noise. Unfortunately there was little evidence of superiority in our tests though, with the HX5 suffering from the relatively high levels of noise reduction we've become used-to from Sony with smearing of fine detail. Like most compacts the best results are had below 400 ISO, and side-by-side against the Panasonic TZ10 / ZS7 in our High ISO Noise results page, there was certainly no advantage to the Sony. Sure the HX5's images contained less visible noise, but this again was due to overly aggressive (and non-adjustable) noise reduction rather than a cleaner image. That said, the HX5's unique Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur modes delivered a genuine advantage over shooting in Program at higher sensitivities."

  • http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/dsc_hx5v-review

  • "When you're ready to charge the HX5V's battery, just pop it into the included charger. And then be prepared to wait, as this is one of the slower chargers on the market. A typical charge takes 4.5 hours, with a full charge taking a whopping 5.5 hours. If this becomes a problem, you might want to consider buying the fast charger listed below."

  • http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/dsc_hx5v-review/using

  • "If you compare these images with those from the Panasonic ZS7, you can see the different approaches taken to noise reduction. Panasonic leaves the grainy noise behind, while Sony smudges the heck out of it. I'd rather have the grain and remove the noise myself using something like NeatImage, but that's a subjective thing. Regardless, neither the DSC-HX5V nor the DMC-ZS7 produce very good photos in these situations, especially at ISO 400 and above."

    Quick specs/notes:

  • diving case: NO
  • 10X zoom: 25-250mm
  • GPS with lat, lon, altitude and compass
  • 1080i video, zoom during video
  • 29mn video limit
  • zoom during filming
  • very nice built in panorama compositing by swaying camera left to right
  • smile detection
  • 10fps burst mode for 10 frames
  • does support SDHC (but not SDXC)
  • HDR mode which helps a bit for contrast in low light
  • better picture quality than TZ10:
  • http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Cyber-shot_DSC_HX5/sample_images.shtml
    http://cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_TZ10_ZS7/sample_images.shtml
    and http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/dsc_hx5v-review/using
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_zs7-review/using

    Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

    links and quotes:

  • http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_sx210-review
  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/news/2010/02/10/Canon-Launches-New-Compact-Cameras/p2
  • http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_PowerShot_SX210_IS/verdict.shtml

  • "PowerShot SX210 IS resolving slightly finer detail than the Lumix TZ10 / ZS7, which in turn slightly out-resolves the Cyber-shot HX5"
    "set the SX210 IS to its 'burst' mode of one frame every 1.4 seconds"
    "Unfortunately, it also has frustrating ergonomics, a weak flash, average performance (at best), and photo quality that could be better."

    Quick specs/notes:

  • diving case: NO
  • 14X zoom: 28-392 mm
  • NO GPS
  • zoom during video
  • stupid flash that pops out for every picture
  • Samsung HZ35W/WB650

    links and quotes:
  • http://www.dpreview.com/news/1001/10011903hz35whz30w.asp
  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2010/06/03/Samsung-WB650/p1
  • http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinion_text.asp?prodkey=samsung_hz35w&opinion=45152

  • "GPS is so slow to acquire a signal (even in wide open ground) that it makes it all but useless for giving a location to travel photos. You cannot even store the last position acquired. If I am going to have to use Flickr or Picasa to geo tag my pics I would not have spent on a useless function like GPS." "Contact with Samsung regarding the GPS and maps got no usefiull answer and obviously no interest in users comments/problems."

  • http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-HZ35W-Digital-compact-supported/product-reviews/B0036RBEFE/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_3?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&filterBy=addThreeStar

  • "The camera has no orientation sensor to tell which way you are holding it, so you have to manually rotate all your pictures."

  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2010/06/03/Samsung-WB650/p3

  • "At lower ISO settings it's certainly not a patch on the superb low-ISO results of the TZ10, but at 400 ISO and higher there's really not much in it. If only Samsung could sort out its image processing, Panasonic and the other manufacturers would be in real trouble."

    Quick specs/notes:

  • diving case: NO
  • 15X zoom: 24-360mm
  • GPS can show location on maps downloaded in sd card
  • zoom during video
  • no orientation sensor for pictures (!)
  • charges the battery in the camera over USB port
  • non standard USB cable
  • big battery and better life with AMOLED screen
  • Ricoh CX3

    links and quotes:
  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2010/02/23/Ricoh-CX3/p2

  • "Unlike its soon-to-be arch rival the Panasonic TZ10 the CX3 has no manual exposure controls"
  • http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2010/02/23/Ricoh-CX3/p4
  • Quick specs/notes:

  • diving case: NO
  • 10.7x zoom: 28-300mm
  • no GPS
  • back illuminated CMOS sensor
  • no zoom during video
  • no manual controls
  • HDR mode which helps a bit for contrast in low light
  • 5fps burst mode

  • More pages: September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980