Friday, December 29, 2006

Dell Outlet changes checkout. Is it for the better?

Dell Outlet has recently introduced a new screen to the selection of a system for purchase and checkout. This means that every time you want to purchase a system (or multiple systems) then you need to enter a verification code on what they call the "Add to Card Validation". Here is what Dell says about the page:

"Why do I need to type characters from a picture before I add a product to the cart? Typing the characters from a picture helps ensure that an individual, and not an automated program, is adding a product to their cart.

This is important because hackers use harmful programs to try to reserve large amounts of inventory, which then means inventory is unavailable to our customers. To protect the integrity of your purchase, we ask you to take this step. In most cases, an automated registration program can't recognize the characters in the picture."

You are then prompted to enter an eight digit alpha code. For all those "retailers" using scripts to grab large amounts of inventory and then sort through them while in your cart this will hopefully level the playing field for the rest of the regular users. In general this seems like a step in the right direction as I have purchased many systems off of their web site and have been frustrated more than once to see a system, selected it to add to cart to find out that it and all the rest of the items are all of a sudden gone. I only wonder if you are too slow on typing in the verification code if someone else can grab the system out from under you.

All in all I think this is a good step for Dell and I applaud them on this effort. Now if they can work on their support side I will be one happy camper!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Very Cool Stop Motion Movie

Ok, this was just too cool not to post! These guys have some real talent! Enjoy...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another Aerial Photo

This one is for all the golf fans out there. This is an aerial shot of the Rogue Valley Country Club in Medford, Oregon. I wonder if anyone ever thinks about this stuff in advance. And for what its worth, this is not a doctored picture, it is right off of an aerial photograph used by the City...

Google Earth Image and others

My son was asking me about Africa and we were using google earth to look at the area. We came across this cloud and I thought it was pretty cool. What do you think?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sunrise in Ashland

I just got my early Christmas present (Canon EOS 30D) a few days ago and then this morning this is what I saw outside my window. I decided I better get a few quick snaps before it changed. Sure enough, within minutes of capturing the shots, everything went very grey and dark as the sun rose above the clouds. It was quite spectacular to see in person, hopefully these pictures represent just a little of what the eye saw. These pictures were taken from my backyard at approximately 7:15 AM. The lens used was a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. The particulars of each shot are slightly different but for the most part I shot around an f/5.0 with an ISO of 400. Unfortunately I was in such a hurry that I did not get to shoot at an ISO 100 with an f/2.8. So far I am really impressed with the camera and the lens, thought the lens is quite heavy. I am now in search of a good prime lens, maybe a 14-70mm f/2.8 or faster. Might have to save a little and wait until after Christmas for that one, but it will be nice.