Kyle Crumrine – Picture takin’ fool.

In an attempt to lift my spirits after a brutally depressing and upsetting week I caved and purchased my new camera. As I said before my intent was to get the Olympus E520, which I did. I was originally not going to get the kit lens, but on amazon it was only $7 more expensive than the body only version so I figured what the hell. Plus, a new 14-54mm lense comes out in Jan, which is an upgraded version of the lens I wanted. Cant wait till it comes in!

Crumpler Bags

As I’ve said, I plan on getting a camera soon. With that, there comes a need to buy a camera bag among other accessories. My friend Jason clued me into a really good bag manufacturer called Crumpler and said he was looking into getting a larger “6 million dollar home” bag so that he can fit all of his lenses and stuff. This leaves his older “5 million dollar home” bag available for purchase at a discounted rate, so I think I’ll probably buy that off of him when he gets his new one.

Prestige? More like… Shitige!

The saying “If its too good to be true, it probably is” generally is pretty on point. Last night I was looking for some sweet deals on the camera I want and I found one. This place called Prestige Camera (which I wont link to for reasons i’ll explain shortly) had a deal on an Olympus Evolt E-520 that comes with a high end 14-54mm Zuiko Digital lens for a suuuper low price of $693 (the body is normally around $511 and the lens is around $399 from amazon which is the best price for both that I’ve been able to find). Something about “Prestige Camera” rubbed me wrong though so I did a little snooping around.

A few simple google searches reveal tons of horror stories including several 1 star yelp reviews where the reviewers describe bait and switch, forced upselling, refusal to cancel orders, etc. I guess this place also does business under other company names, which in itself is pretty shady (A&M Photo, Broadway Photo, Cameratopia, Digital Liquidators LLC, Ghu LLC, Preferred Photo, Regal Camera, Tronicity).

It’s safe to say that I wont be buying from them, despite the “really good savings”.

New Final Fantasy EP

Last night I picked up Spectrum, 14th Century which is the new EP from Final Fantasy the one man band by musician Owen Pallett. Of the included 5 songs, I think my favorite is The Butcher which is a brilliant tune about the end of the world and, what I gather from the lyrics, a priest that turns to cannibalism. Its a really great song and has wonderful vocals and really interesting violin riffs.

Spectrum, 14th Century is only $4.95 on Amazon’s Music store. Check it out.

Camera Salesmen Suck.

I was just walking through Chinatown in San Francisco yesterday and I stopped into quite a few Camera stores. Almost all of them didn’t even want to talk to me unless I was going to put my money on the table first. One guy actually asked me “So are you going to buy a camera or what” and I started saying “Not today” and he was already saying “Goodbye”. If I tried to continue our conversation he would say “goodbye!” again. This same asshole was trying to convince me that the Olympus E420 has image stabilization when it does not. WTF!? You guys deserve to go out of business. If I buy this shit online I don’t have to deal with shitty customer service.

New iPod Touch!!

So I got my new iPod Touch. I am typing this on it right now, in fact! I really love the new form factor and the built in speaker and hardware volume rocker are great. The screen has slightly better color than my version 1 iPod Touch, and I may be imagining things but it seems like wi-fi is drainging the battery a lot slower as well (though that would make sense because they’ve extended the battery life from 22 to 36 hours). I haven’t picked up a nike+ receiver yet, so I haven’t tested that out. Overall I’m pretty damn happy with the upgrade. Most people probably wouldn’t get as much out of the extra features as I do, but if you don’t have version 1 it is definitly worth it.

Lenovo Y510

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510

So I got myself a Lenovo Y510 as an early birthday present yesterday. I got the lowest end one possible, which came with a dual-core 1.6Ghz processor, 2GB of ram, a 160 GB hard drive, and Windows Vista Home Premium. I’ve been wanting a laptop for years now, and I felt that this purchase could be justified by the fact that it will ease the load on the house’s circuit board when we’re streaming video to my PS3. Until this point, the AC, the PS3, and the Computer have been a pick 2 type situation for us, because if all 3 are on at once the fuse blows. Now we wont have to be hot when watching stuff, which is a huge plus. Also, it will cut down on the amount of power that is wasted by having my gaming rig on just to browse the internet, as well as reduce the amount of heat produced.

The laptop itself feels really solid. Though some of the features it comes with are neat, they are ultimately not really practical for day to day use. The facial recognition login titled “Veriface” is much slower than just typing in the password to  log into windows, and once the novelty wore off, it had to go. Another feature which scares me is the “One touch restore”. If the computer is off there and you press this button, which is  right above the power button, it restores your C: to factory settings (and getting rid of all the programs you  have installed). Fortunately, it leaves the other partition alone so your data remains, but still. Its kind of terrifying to think of the accidents that could happen. I ended up using the features sticker that came on it to cover up the button. It is a pretty thick card stock sticker, so it should do a good job at keeping that button unpressed. I disabled Aero Glass in Vista to free up some memory, which seemed to give a bit of a performance boost.

I have most of the programs I use day to day installed, and it works fine for streaming content, even at HD resolutions. Firefox 3 runs well, and even Photoshop runs decently. I’m pretty impressed with this thing, and at $599, it was a pretty cheap for a laptop. Plus, now I’ll be able to bring it with me when I go back to Massachusetts to visit in August.

Call of Duty 4

On Saturday I went to gamestop to trade in some games, and I wanted a good first person shooter to play. I ended up picking up COD4: Game of the Year Edition. I played the single player for awhile on Sat, and the multiplayer that night and on Sunday. I am really enjoying the game so far. The multiplayer is really fantastic. I love the way that you unlock new weapon attachments, camo, perks, sights, and weapons, (primary, sidearm, and support). I am like level 12 right now I think, and I’m using an m16 with a red dot sight (which is a major improvement over the sight the gun comes with).

Upcoming Cosplay – Johnny (Akiba)

Johnny Akiba

Cosplaying as snake was so fun at SDCC last year that I decided that in 2009 I want to do it again. I wont be going this year, but next time I want to go as Jonny “Akiba” Sasaki from MGS4. Last night I was hunting around the internet for the right type of plate carrier that Fox Hound members use in the game and I stumbled upon the exact one.

MGS4 Fox Hound Plate Carrier

I ordered that, and a Fox Hound patch from this place.

The plate carrier is kind of expensive, but I figure i’ll be buying the costume spread out over a year so it shouldnt be as painful as assembling the naked snake costume in like 2 months.

QX6700 up in flames – Xigmatek HDT the cure?

So I bought a new computer awhile back. An Alienware Area-51 7500 (Version 4). For awhile everything was fine, but then in December after I had gotten back from a week trip out to Massachusetts it would refuse to start. I had to send it in to Alienware, and they said that they replaced the liquid cooling system (an Alienware exclusive cooling system called the Dual-Zone, if you’re wondering).

Recently, Liz has been playing lots of LOTRO and it’s been crashing a ton. For awhile I thought it was a software thing, but it turns out, that the CPU, a QX6700, has been over-heating. These suckers are pretty hot to begin with, but this BRAND NEW liquid cooling thing should be able to handle it, no? no.

My idle temps are around 50C with temps under load going up to 70C, so I got some OCZ Freeze thermal compound to see if that would help. Didn’t really do much. So now I’ve decided that I’m going to ditch the liquid cooler all together and go with an air cooling solution. Last night I ended up ordering the XIGMATEK|HDT-S1283. All the reviews I can find about it have been positive, so hopefully it will work out in the end.

Juno Bluray

Juno Bluray its mine

I just picked up the Juno on Blu-Ray in our most recent trip to Costco. Awesome! I saw it in theaters, but it was so good I wanted to have it PERMANENTLY (and in HD)!!! I cant wait to watch it and check out all the special features and such. Huzzah!

Argh Gamestop

I just called Gamestop to see what the deal is and why my wheel hasnt shipped yet. Turns out because I was trying to have it sent to work they need me to call my bank and have them add my work address to like an approved list of some kind. How fucking annoying! I realize they are trying to protect me, but still. Ugh.

I ended up just switching the shipping to my home.

Update on the mount for the wheel: I may be working on that this weekend so hopefully next week I’ll be able to get finished pictures up as well as in process shots.