Archive for September, 2005
I found this site while looking for info on 35mm sized sensors. (See the post below). I don’t know if I agree with his argument. The SLR lenses if have for my camera are designed to project an in-focus image onto the film plane of my camera, whether analog or digital. if the silver halide crystals or digital pixels capture that information with the desired detail then I have captured my image.
I know that analog film can capture a much denser amount of light than a digital sensor. The example used inthe article is that a 35mm neagtive is equivalent to 22Mpixels, which is equivalent to 25.5K P/sq mm.
Hmm. That’s pretty close to the 20D and XT densities. Of course those chips have much less area than a 35 mm frame.
I found it an interesting article to read. Beware of people who warn of pipe dreams.
Canon EOS 5D Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review
Oh, they are making this so difficult for me. I really want to upgrade to a digital SLR. I already have a Canon EOS film camera with lenses, so I want to get a Canon D-SLR. They are generally reviewed as the best ones out there. Nikon can match some Picture Quality measures, but when you have the excellent lenses that both companies produce, that should be expected.
So, I started by looking at the Canon 10D which has been replaced by the 20D, with even better features. The 20D runs about $1500.
The Canon Rebel XT is running less than $1000. It has a lot of the features of the 20D, but, it has a plastic case. I am leery of plastic cases since I know how rough I can be on cameras while scrambling around looking for the perfect shot.
The one problem with the 20D and the XT is that their sensors are smaller than a 35mm film frame. This means that the sensor will only capture the inner two-thirds of the image seen in the view finder. The outer portions of the image, when the shutter opens, won’t be on the sensor and won’t be captured. I am sure that is something I can adjust to and, with the lenses I have, I can compensate to ensure that the portion of the image I want will be in the area that the sensor will capture. But, it is a waste.
The 5D has an image sensor that is the same size as a 35mm frame, so that 1.6 FOV (field of view) crop isn’t a factor. This is what I want. Unfortunately, the 5D runs about $3300
What to do? what to do? Starting with the 20D, costing $500-$600 more than the XT, seems like a bad starting move, especially if I want to go to the 5D as soon as possible.
Christmas is coming soon, I have to decide.
The 20D and XT have 8.2 and 8.0 M pixel chips, respectively, and the 5D has a 12.8 M Pixel chip. (Although I haven’t really seen anything on the effect of pixel density on the quality since:
the 5D has 14.8K Pixels/sq mm
the 20D has 24K Pixels/sq mm
the XT has 24K Pixels/sq mm
which implies, to me, that the 5D will be more lossy and lesser quality than the other two, especially if you were blowing up the middle of the image.) But I don’t know how many Pixels/sq mm are considered good enough to blow up a digital image into a wall poster, or 16×11 print. Maybe I should start with the XT and wait until the 5D gets its P/sq mm number up to the 25K range.
I just checked the ultimate, top of the line, Canon EOS, the 1Ds Mark II, and see that its P/sq mm number is 19.2K. The 1Ds is a 16Mpixel camera, with a 35mm equivalent sensor, in the $8K range. It is for the pros.
So maybe 24K P/sq mm is overkill, or maybe the 1Ds is obsolete. It’s over a year old now.
EU Tries to Unblock Internet Impasse – New York Times
Hah! And they said the internet could survive any disaster.
Lunar colonists decide to declare their independence from Earth and start flinging rocks, with a magnetic rail gun, at Cheyenne Mountain (need to knock out Space Command).
Hopefully we will have a day warning, since I think I would want to evacuate a few hundred miles in case the boy genius on the moon who is programmming the rail gun misses a decimal point.
So, it is into the truck with the animals and supplies and off on the road.
This one might not be a problem for a few years…
Posted by Jack in General
AQTrends2003.pdf (application/pdf Object)
My brother-in-law made a comment the other day that Colorado Sporings has really great air quality. I drive in from the north every morning and when I pass the AFA I overlook the basin the COS sits in and there is usually a grungy haze hanging over the city. Not nearly as bad as Denver, but noticable. So I had to check it out and, from I have found, COS ain’t Los Angeles, Houston or Denver, but we don’t have the pristine mountain air that some people expect.
An interesting survey from 2002.
What if some terrorists decide that Colorado Springs is a target and they set off a dirty bomb or other WMD? After all, we do have Cheyenne Mountain, Pikes Peak, The Air Force Academy, and other symbolic places. But, they don’t often appear in movies.
Then, I could imagine a lot of panic, mass evacuations, traffic jams, people scrambling to get as far away from the Springs as possible. We have a limited number of roads leaving this area. Not sure that I would worry about leaving right away unless the winds weren’t favorable. Then it becomes the snowstorm scenario of being trapped in the house for a week, probably without power or communications.
I did just remember that we have 50 gallons of water in the water heater to use, if needed.
Unless there is a complete breakdown across the state and/or country, we should be able to manage a week or two before venturing out. By then, the traffic should be manageable.
We try to keep the truck topped off with its two tanks of diesel. I think we have about a 400 mile range, with the horse trailer, before we need to fill up again. I wonder if we should plan to tow one of the cars behind the trailer. Nah. That may be excessive.
If we need to evacuate right away, I expect we would head north, towards Denver. My preference would be to head in to the mountains, since I figure that anything drifting in the wind would not be going uphill.
Rather than Denver, I will head up Mt Herman Road and make for Woodland Park. The Rampart Range Rd shouldn’t be too congested since it is a rutted dirt track. The truck can make it, but the horses might not. (Providing it isn’t winter.)
Winter adds a bit of complexity to the problem.
I think for an evacuation scenario, I need to acquire some land somewhere that we can retreat to. A mountain lot would be good, but inaccessible in the winter. A place out east, on the plains, may be more useful, year-round.
Load up the truck with food and water for people, dogs and horses, load up the camping supplies, and take off.
I wonder if I should keep a stash of 50 or so cartons of cigarettes on hand for trading supplies.
It’s Mad Max time…
A winter storm rolls in and dumps 5 feet of snow over the region. The Result: we aren’t going anywhere.
The worst case scenario is that we are unable to leave the valley for a week, the power lines go down, and power crews can’t get to the break(s) to repair them. We are without power for a week.
Power is a critical part of our survival. We are on well for starters, so without power we have no water. We installed a propane heating system several years ago, replacing a set of electric baseboard heaters, but the furnace needs electricity to run the blower motor and to spark the ignition. So, no central heating. The one spot of hope is that the range top is also propane-powered and can be lit without electricity. So heat and hot food is available in a portion of the house.
As the rest of the house freezes, water pipes become at risk, so even when power returns, we may have burst pipes to contend with. It will be necessary to go into the crawl space and empty the pipes as best as possible. I don’t know that we have drain valves on those pipes.
We can stay in the house most of the time, keeping the heat in the house and conserving our energy as best we can.
And without power we will lose access to the internet.
If the power lines are down, the telephone line is probably also down. Our cell phones will have limited power and the cell towers will probably be out, as well. We could use the cars to charge the cell phones if needed. Car radios or battery radios will be useful to find out what is happening elsewhere, but we shouldn’t expect to be able to communicate with the rest of the world.
How dangerous is it to use propane cookers in a sealed house? Need to check it out. I expect that we can put the patio grill in the mudroom/garage and keep those fumes out of the main house. I wonder what the range top will do?
The propane tank is usually filled when it is half empty, so I expect to have at least a week’s worth of propane in the tank, and without the central heating and water tank going the propane should last longer.
I see that there are vent-free propane heaters available. I think one of those in the back part of the house would help keep it warm, and ameliorate the burst pipe scenario.
One option I have considered is getting a propane generator and getting it hooked into the house wiring so I can keep power in the house even if the grid goes down. And I think I would upgrade the propane tank from 500 gallons to 1500 gallons.
This approach would restore central heating and water, end worries about burst pipes and give us a nice comfy nest. Whether communications are restored depends on the rest of the world.
So, is the likelihood of being knocked off the grid for any length of time worth the headaches of installing a home generator? I assume that these things need regular maintenance and need to be actually used every once in while. I can’t even keep my house stained every other year (important for UV protection of the wood siding) and here I am thinking about maintaining machinery?
A quick google indicates that a generator will run up to $3000. I need to calculate how much power I will actually need to back-up. Refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, etc don’t have a high priority for me. Then there will be some work to get it wired into my home power system, with a cut out switch to the generator when needed. And the new propane tank will need to be located much further from the house and I will need to get the piping run out to the new tank site. Overall, I think it could run up to $4000, plus annual maintenance. Is it worth it?
I should note that an underlying assumption to the stranded for a week scenrio is that we have over a week’s worth of dry and canned food to live on. The five gallons of water in the mud room will come in handy, too.
There’s fire and ice, to start with:
Wildfire destroys house and belongings. Almost happened a few years ago, The Hayman fire got within 10 miles of our house, with nothing between the house and the fire but tinder. Fortunately, the winds shifted and the fire stopped its advance. Our planning for that was to be on a cruise ship in the Caribbean listening to CNN newscasts about a fire in the Denver suburbs. Not the most effective plan, but we didn’t worry about it since Denver is 70 miles away.
Our house sits on a non-treed patch of ground. The nearest real trees are hundreds of yards away. We have a lot of shrub oak in the horse fields but not anywhere close to the house. And the horses do their best to keep the grass non-existent in their fields. Our biggest concern would have to be the grass right around the house. We don’t keep it cut because it isn’t very thick. (We have no real topsoil.) It is deep, though. I don’t know if it would sustain enough fire to warm up our oil-soaked wood siding to the burning point, but, Elaine did cut the grass back this year. It will probably need cutting in another three years.
But, if embers did fly and our house were to burn; we would gather our precious papers, put the horses and animals in the trailer and take off down the road, ready to rebuild once the fire passed.
Most wildfires will give you some warning that they are coming. You can prepare and collect the essentials.
I did think about setting up sprinklers on the roof and wetting things down, but we are on well water and probably don’t have enough water pressure to make a difference. After 10-20 minutes the pressure would come down to a dribble. Better to fill up what tubs and vats we can and get out of the valley.
I did create a “go-bag” that carries a few items that would be nice to have and that might not get collected in an escape. Mine is not an urban bag. Then there is the sillier ‘go bag’. I know Making Light brings up the preparedness issue pretty regularly. My problem is to remember to replenish the perishables in the bag.
I also have a 5-gallon cooler of water sitting in the garage. I need to replenish that as well. If we need to evacuate from our home, I expect it will be by car (or truck with horse trailer attached). So we can carry some heavier items, like water.
My biggest concern about fire is getting cut off from the utility grid. Even if my house survives, the telephone and electric poles may not and we could be without power for a while. More on that in another post. And the Ice.
What is the worst that can happen, and how do you plan for it? Personally, I think having a fatal accident and not dying is about the worst that can happen. Because, if you don’t die, you probably won’t want to be living. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda reminds me of that thought. I do have the Living Will testament to avoid heroic resuscitation procedures.
But for property, and the aftermath of a natural disaster such as Katrina, how do you plan for the worst? And Rita showed that all your planning may not be worth a hill of beans if several million others are caught in the same boat.
I have created a new category to collect some thoughts on the subject.
What a waste. Spend your $10 billion now or your $200 billion later. We can’t tell you how much later, maybe next week, maybe next year, maybe next decade, but it will be spent, in your lifetime.
I think they ought fill in the below sea-level part of the city with the rubble of the world trade center and any other rubbish that can be gathered and bring the entire city up to sea level, at least. Then cover the rubble with a layer of good silt and, voila, instant city. I don’t know how long you have to wait for everything to settle to provide a stable foundation. I think a decade or two should suffice. Basically, if you owned the land at the bottom of the rubble, you would own what is directly above it.
I heard someone suggest that the New New Orleans should build houses on stilts, like the beach front houses. Then you don’t have to fill anything in. Of course, the house would be a bit more expensive.
I would also suggest that every house be built with a trap door in the roof to provide easy egress from the attic.
I imagine that if all the houses were built on stilts, that the builders wouldn’t make sure the stilts were properly anchored and that all the houses would fall down after the ground got soaked by a heavy rain. I wonder if that counts as flood damage?
I also heard that some states are planning to go to court against the insurance companies, saying that the companies need to pay for damaged houses even if the damage was all flood and the homeowners didn’t have flood insurance. What a crock. If you want ensure that all your citizens have flood insurance then mandate it. Make it part of the property tax.
Don’t go crying that you didn’t think you needed flood insurance but now your house is gone and you want another one, but you aren’t willing to put up any money to buy the insurance. That’s what insurance is all about, everyone pays to cover against the possibility that a natural disaster will happen to some of them. It’s like a collective helping individual members. It’s socialism.
Personally, I wouldn’t let people build within a 100 year flood plain without their paying a hefty amount of insurance, annually. But it is up to them. IF they build, or buy, where history says floods will come, and they don’t want to contribute to a disaster contingency fund, then they can live with the results.
I remember when we bought a place in Texas, our lot had a creek at one end and the part of the property bordering the creek was in the 100-year flood plain, (it’s marked on the plat). Our mortgage company wanted us to get flood insurance before they would give us the mortgage. We were able to convince them that the actual structure, (house), was 100 yards from the flood plain marking and on a slight rise so we were 2-3 feet higher. (Plano Texas is very, very flat) We looked over the situation and decided not to go for the insurance. We took a chance. I don’t think that house will be flooded until the 1,000 year flood comes along, and that will wipe out most of Dallas-Fort Worth and our house would be the least of our worries.
I also don’t think anyone should be allowed to build within a mile of sea level. (Horizontally, on the map, not vertically. It would get too crowded in Colorado.) Although I realize that that isn’t too realistic. Fisherman, and others who live off the sea, will want to be nearby. But that’s it. No ocean-front beach houses for people working inland. No sea-breeze tourist traps. Let them walk a mile to the beach.