I Miss My Camera

The feeling I had today said that photography is one of those things that will stick with me for a long while yet. The University of Waterloo Electrical and Computer Engineering Department held a barbecue for the 4th year students, and I spent most of the time as the photographer. My D90 is at Nikon for repairs (bright pixel nearly in the center of the frame), but a friend lent me her D80, along with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens (I also own a copy), so it felt pretty comfortable. After familiarizing myself with the few minor button differences from my D90, I was off the the races.

It was the thrill of getting into the right position and catching that expression at the precise, perfect moment. The first bite of a burger, a throw-back of the head in laughter, the serious conversation with the professors, I sought them all out to capture the moment. Some wondered if I wouldn’t rather eat, but in all honesty, I didn’t. I did wish, however, that I had a lens with more reach than 50mm (or 75mm in full-frame equivalent) at the long end. Most people will act quite differently, with a big camera shoved in their face (I don’t blame em). Consequently, there was quite a bit of walking around, camera behind me, prefocused at a certain distance, and then swinging it over to take a picture before there was time to react. It was a lot of fun overall. The barbecue was very well run – lots of great food and a decent number of people showed up (around 100).

Lately, I’ve been running my Dell M1330 with one CPU core disabled to see if I could make do with a single core, low-voltage processor. The 13.3″ Acer Timeline that I have my eye on is most reasonably priced in its single core variant, at under $700. I plan on running this way until the end of the exam period. I figure that will give me enough data to decide whether a single core is enough for the workload I put on my laptop. Thus far, about a week into the experiment, it’s looking like I may be able to get away with a Timeline. I notice the performance drop in certain situations (resuming from sleep takes longer, for example), but all in all, my laptop use isn’t particularly stressful, as I suspected in the first place. I think I’ll be happy to trade the performance for triple the battery life in a lighter package.

It’s about time for bed. These last few weeks have been horrifically tiring, and with only 2 days to go before our fourth year design project prototype demo, 4 days until my GRE examination, and less than a week until a digital circuits project is due, I’ve become inured (like that use of a GRE vocab word?) with the pain and suffering. Sad as it may sound, I’m looking forward to exam period, in a couple weeks. At the very least, it’ll be less stressful!

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