Saturday, 27 December 2008


What do we computer/photo geeks people need most, beside time? Disk space of course!
Man, it's that time of the year again, doing the cleanup on my drives and discovering I'm in a desperate need of MORE DISK SPACE! :S There's never enough, NEVER!
So, a visit to the local PC store, got me more bills to pay and two brand new 1TB WD Green drives. Since I plan to use them as external drives, I got two external hard disk enclosures from Thermaltake as well. Since they hava eSata connection, speed shouldn't be that much of a problem.

Drives installed, all I need is to connect them to PC. No problems there, XP finds the drive straight away, I format the drive (have to mention, out of 1TB of space, you get 931GB, so 93GB lost in a second (1TB = 1024GB - 931GB = 93GB) SUCKS!!), put some data on and that was that. Until I restarted the PC that is. After reboot drive was nowhere to be found. I checked the cables, everything was ok. Run "find new hardware" from Control Panel and XP reported it found the drive. Phew, I though.. only for a second though. Drive was found, XP also installed it, but it showed up as 32MB (yes, 32MB, MB) drive and unformatted as well. My pulse went through the roof at that moment. What the?!? How the?!? Safely removed the hardware, rebooted, again, same problem. Tried USB cables, same thing. Drive wasn't found, when it found and installed it, only 32MB of space was reported and unformatted as well.
So it was time for uncle google. It found a few identical problems with the same drive and same motherboard. It appears mobo only sees the drives memory (this is a 1TB drive with 32MB cache), and not the drive itself. Some said it was/is a XP SP3 problem. Anyhow, spend 3 days doing the research, posting on half a dozen computer forums, tried a bunch of ideas, bios setting, chip drivers, etc, etc, nothing worked. I connected the drive to my laptop, same thing. That showed me there was something wrong with the drive itself, not my XP or Gigabyte mobo. So more research, bunch of programs that reset factory size on the drive (few people posted this fixed their problem), and on and on, NOTHING worked. Was it the MBR? Should I connect the second drive and hope it would work the first time like the first drive did? Copy the MBR from that onto the first one? Man was I desperate, I almost gave up and looked up the warranty.
Then I simply rebooted the PC and something new happened. CheckDisk found the drive prior to XP boot and it started to scan it. After an hour or so and a bunch of problems, it got into windows. Windows found a new drive straight away, with all 931GB of space and all my data intact! Problem solved! How? No idea :D
Was it the drive, was it SP3 or something else? Who cares really, as long as it works, right, but I do think SP3 has some bugs. I keep having a redraw problems in my Photoshop, and monitor settings keep changing after reboot. I use 2 monitors and after some reboots second monitor doesn't even show up in the settings. But that's another story..

Be safe and have multiple backups, internal as well as external.

Monday, 22 December 2008


This is one of many overdue post I was planning to put up a while ago, but you know how it goes, tempus fugit and all that.. There's never enough time. Anyhow, some folks bugged me about this one, so here it is.

What do you do when you have a few black straws?

Yes, you could have a drink, true.
What do you do when you have more then a "few"? Think in 100's, even thousands?

If you're a photo enthusiast, total Strobist, a bit of a technical person and a bit of a geek, you could make one of these:

What's that, I hear you ask? Here, from another side:

Got it now? No? You must be on the wrong blog ;)
Yes, it's a grid spot or simply grid for you speedlight.

Since we PHOTO GEEKS have loads of speedlights all different sizes of course, you might need a few. Size matters as well, in this case at least. Long for narrowed spot, short for wider.

So, there you go, homemade grid spots. I won't write about how to make them, ask uncle google or better yet, check It's quite easy to make them, the main thing you need is TIME! Some straws, paper, glue, tape and you're set.
I have 6 now, for my 4 speedlights and am planning to make 2 more. With the stock of straws I got, I might even open a production line ;)

Keep it tight ;)