Monthly Archives for March 2020

Lexar Professional UDMA 300X CF card, and the Lexar Professional UDMA Firewire 800 reader.

Guide - Lisa - March 25, 2020

We get some great new toys to play with on occasion. The latest was sent to us by Lexar when they introduced the Lexar Professional UDMA 300X CF card, and the Lexar Professional UDMA Firewire 800 reader.

While most people specifically those renting digital cameras from rental companies find a Sandisk CF card included with the rental package. These new offerings from Lexar are well worth taking a look at.

Though Sandisk may have the strongest brand name in the flash memory market, they are not without their short comings in terms of the cards life span based on read/write capacity, and they also are the most expensive.

Lexar is actually a wholly owned subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc. A company that like Sandisk manufactures there own flash memory chips.

For those not familiar with Micron Technology who markets there DRAM as Crucial memory and Flash memory as Lexar; Micron and Crucial memory has been the brand of choice for those building hard-core gaming computers and home computer enthusiasts that have been over-clocking their processors since the days of the Pentium 166.

The reason these computer users have chosen this brand of memory is because it takes the abuse, it runs fast, stays cool, and rarely to never causes system errors. This has also been my personal experience. I have been over clocking my PC’s including this sites servers for years using Crucial DRAM. And MAC users will find the Crucial memory is more stable and less expensive than other memory for Mac’s.

So during our last Digital Tech Workshop we put the Lexar Professional UDMA 300X CF card, and the Lexar Professional UDMA Firewire 800 reader to the test. I made every attempt to abuse it beyond what is was designed for.

This UDMA 300X card was tested in the Phase One P25+, P30+ backs, the Leaf AFi that was presented a few weeks ago by FotoCare and Leaf, and it was also used in the Canon 5d, MKII & MKII cameras.

After capturing to the card, and reformatting after every download, reformatting for every system change, including formatting it to both MAC and PC operating systems and using it to transfer video files; the UDMA 300X never had any problems.

The fact is when used in conjunction with the Lexar Professional UDMA Firewire 800 reader this is the fastest CF card data transfer combination that you can currently buy including any offering by Sandisk.

“..Blazing Fast!!” was what everyone that tried the card and card reader combination said.

Since we don’t have any speed test software the best we can offer is our opinion. But when compared to the Sandisk Ultra III that we have here. We saw data transfers taking seconds with the Lexar UDMA 300X as opposed to minutes with the Sandisk card.

Now as you can see below the Lexar option from a cost/performance stand point is by far the better option.

The above table represents the current comparable high performance CF card and CF card reader options from Lexar and Sandisk

Once again we see that checking out all of the options can not only save us money it can boost our workflow performance.

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PhotoAssistant.Net – Photo Assistant Boot Camp

Guide - Lisa - March 20, 2020

The first thing I found when I plugged in the drive was that one of the Firewire 800 connectors on the back of the drive did not work.

The drive comes with 3 cables; Firewire 800 to 800 , Firewire 400 to 800 & USB 2.0. These fit the two Firewire 800 & single USB 2.0 connectors on the back of the drive. The drive also come with a power adapter which is needed when using the USB connection.

Once connected to the computer the drive heated up pretty quickly. Under a constant work load of transferring 9 gigs of data the heat sink got blazing hot. I took apart the drive to see if there was away to get things cooler. Once opened the real surprise came when I found that the heat sink is neither connected to the hard drive nor does it come in contact with any of the IC chips on the circuit board. In fact it seems that the sole purpose of the Heat sink is to act as a tray to hold the circuit board which slides into the heat sink via two narrow groves. the hard drive is then connected to the circuit board and faces out and away from the heat sink. So the hard drive is enclosed in a somewhat air tight container with no direct way to transfer the heat that is being generated by the hard drive. Though there are four mounting holes on the heat sink that could have easily allowed for connectivity to the hard drive no screws were attached. I found some spare mounting screws and attached the heat sink to the hard drive simply in hopes of extending the drives life span. While the drive was still running hot under a heavy load I have to believe that once the drive was actually attached to the heat sink at least some heat was being drawn away and the drive running just a bit cooler.

The heat sink displayed here is not connected to the hard drive. Which seems foolish considering the amount of heat being generated in this almost air tight container.

The sole propose for checking out this drive was for use as a way to transfer data between computers during our workshops. This drive would also be great as a small data storage device that is only connected for very short periods of time, or as a small back up drive that is used briefly and then gets stored away, or even as a drive to hand off to clients with the days images. This is not a drive that should be connected and running 24/7.

Pros: “Its’ pretty” like all things Mac, Small light weight, very fast, quiet. Seagate link.

cons: gets real hot real fast, poorly designed and lay out make the heat sink virtually useless since it is not directly connected to any part of the drive or circuit board. Not all connections worked on our test model. Pricey. the model tested listed on their web site for 259.99 plus tax and shipping. The Seagate drive alone can be found on the internet for as little as $148.00

Now for those of you that are not faint of heart, here is one method that will help to disperse some of that excess heat. — PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PROCESS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY AND MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE CIRCUIT BOARD. ——-

Ok, first we remove the two small screws on either side of the case, that are holding the back face plate covering the 1394b connectors.

Next remove the 4 screws holding the heat sink in place.

At this point the drive assembly should drop into the case and with a slight shake (over a soft surface) you should be able to remove the hold hard drive, circuit board and heart sink.

slide the heat sink off of the circuit board.

Now for the next steps you will have to make a decision; Leave the hard rive connected to the circuit board or remove it?

I chose to leave the drive connected since it added stability to the circuit board during the next steps.

In order to get the heat sink in closer contact with the hard drive we are going to attach the drive to the heat sink. The problem here is that the circuit board is wider that the inside area of the heat sink. In order to change this we will need to file down the circuit board so that the heat sink will completely wrap around the hard drive and not touch any portion of the circuit board.

To do this you will need a rasp or file preferably with a handle.

Now rather than drawing the file or rasp across the fiberglass printed circuit board, we will be sliding the edge of the circuit board accords the length of the file or rasp.

Before doing this I would suggest wrapping the drive circuit board combination in several layers of paper towel with only the surface to be worked on left exposed.

Before beginning, take notice of the tiny resisters attached to the edge of the circuit board. You will be filing right up to the point that you could knock one of these off; and they are on both sides of the board.

Set the edge of the circuit board on the file and with just a small amount of pressure begin drawing the board back and forth across the files surface. be extra careful to apply even pressure across the entire surface of the circuit boards edge so that you are not taking too much surface area off of the front and or back leading edges of the board while the center remains intact and becomes rounded.

You will be doing this to both side of the board, and you should be checking regularly to see which Side of the board needs more filing so that it will fit inside of the heat sink. Do not do all of the work on one side because it just won’t work.

This should take around 40 or more passes over the file, but check on the progress continuously to ensure that you don’t break any of the on board connections.

Now as your doing this and checking the progress you will notice that you are now exposing the top and bottom layer of copper on the circuit board. this is ok as long as you are applying constant even pressure as you are filing down the edges.

Once you have the desired width check the edge of the board for stay pieces of copper along the edges and clean them off either with the file or with emery paper.

Use dust off to completely remove any dust left behind. You may even wish to take the drive off of the circuit board to blow any dist out of there too.

Now its just a matter of reassembling the drive and putting it all back together.

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Lenovo K900: A New Kid on the Block

Gadgets - Lisa - March 15, 2020

While Lenovo makes desktops, tablets, and laptops, it would delight you to know that they also manufacture mobile phones. Yes, indeed, Lenovo is also making some noise in the mobile phone industry as they introduce their new baby – the Lenovo model K900.

The Lenovo’s K900 is the latest creation in its line of smartphones. It boasts the following features and specifications:

• None This phone comes in a dual-core 2GHZ Intel Atom Clover Trail+ which is inserted inside its 6.9mm stainless steel and polycarbonate body.

This phone comes in a dual-core 2GHZ Intel Atom Clover Trail+ which is inserted inside its 6.9mm stainless steel and polycarbonate body.

• None It is equipped with 401ppi pixel density as sported by it 5.5 inches FHD display.

• None The phone has no microSD slot in it, which is quite a disadvantage for those who would like more storage capacity in their hands. However, it has a 16GB internal storage capable of storing just a fair amount of files.

• None For people who love capturing still-life, the phone allows you to capture videos in a 1080p format that is operated by its 13MP rear camera.

• None It has a 2MP front-facing camera that allows video chatting and self-portrait shots.

• None Installed in this ‘beast’ is a 4.2 Android operating system while it is powered by a 2500m Ah battery.

Impressed? Let’s try to break it down a bit more.

Design:

The K900′s body design is very modern. Most of the big-screen smart phones use the rounded corners, while the K900 gives the opposite approach with its sharp-edges and boxy design. Also, this phone gives it its classy look with its rear having the brushed aluminum look that gives it a unique touch from other smartphones in the market.

Display:

The Lenovo’s K900 is a large phone matches the Galaxy Note 2 of Samsung when it comes to its 5.5-inch screen.

Because of this feature, it will be counted out by some, but for its size, it seems distinctly light and slim as well. This phone utilizes a LCD screen IPS that offers neutral looking colors that other top-end phones in the market do not provide.

Performance:

The K900 is similar to any Android phone that runs under the Android Jelly Bean. But what separates it from the rest is its cutting-edge engine. The K900 operates with a dual-core 1.8GHz Z2580 and regarding its mobile processor, which carries the latest Intel Atom. There is no doubt that this powerful chipset will not be underestimated.

Camera:

The 13MP camera of this phone matches the Sony Experia Z and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4. It is also equipped with dual-flash for low-light shooting. On some reviews, they call the camera of K900 as the 13 Megapixel Super Camera.

Summary:

Performance is the Lenovo K900′s biggest advantage. As the first Intel dual-core mobile phone, it has an edge running on the quad-core processor performance level. So if you want to buy a large screen smartphone with a dual-core Intel Core processor, Lenovo K900 will be your new starting point.

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HTC One X: Is it still worth getting?

Tips - Lisa - March 10, 2020

A look back review on the the existing HTC One X, prior to the upcoming release of the HTC One.

Should you or should you not get it?

Taiwanese Firm recreates the old HTC into a new birth. The HTC One X comes with a High Definition screen, excellent processor and explicit thin chassis.

Ever since HTC was purchased by One & Co, their phone designs evolved into a sleeker format which has genuinely applied to the HTC One X.

The HTC One X falls under the large-sized categories of phones. It has a stunning large screen size of 4.7 inches. Its 8.9 millimeter chassis integrates the 720p HD display. One X produces high quality videos and images as operated by the Super IPS LCD technology thereby bringing movies and games to life.

HTC One X displays a pixel density that rivals the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S however applied on a larger screen.

For such a large phone to use, One X is significantly lighter in weight, 130 grams considering its size. It is lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S3 and a bit heavier than the Galaxy S4. Surprisingly, HTC One X literally fits in the pocket.

There are quite minimal changes in the over-all design of the phone. At the top of this phone is a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. The volume rocker switch is situated at the right hand side. While, at the left part of this phone is where the micro-USB slot is placed. Also at the left section is a Mobile HD Link that can be easily connected to any LED or LCD TV.

The HTC One X is very thin in design but offers a lot in features. For those who are contented with a minimalist finish, the One X is certainly a good choice. This effect is defined by the presence of a micro-SIM hole at the rear portion of said phone, which needs to be opened by an Apple-esque device. The battery is embedded in the body. The micro-SD support is non-existent on this phone.

Since large games and HD movies can be played on the HTC One X, the lack of micro-SD slot is quite a worry. Apart from this, a smaller SIM can also cause annoyance to those who wish to upgrade from the full-size form.

HTC One X goes with a 32 GB storage just enough for the regular user. But, if it could be raised to 64GB, it can positively compete with its opponent.

An 8MP camera protrudes at the back of this phone. Although protruded, its curvy chassis keeps it intact when placed on the table.

The power button is quite difficult to hit especially if you have small hands. Nevertheless, you can still hit the button accurately unlike those present in some smartphones which takes time to turn on and off.

The focal point of the HTC One X is its large size, light weight, sleek-looking that is truly appealing to both men and women. It only seems to be a disadvantage to those with smaller hands.

It is worth noting that the white version of the HTC One X gets quite dirty in just a few hours. A phone case can just keep the surface clean.

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Why hire Adam Gongwer?

Guide - Lisa - March 5, 2020

After I was born near the end of the Vietnam War, my mother divorced and moved us to Lexington, Ohio – south of Mansfield. While growing up in a small mid-Ohio town with only a few friends, I developed an interest in technology. I played chess on an A.I. computer board from Radio Shack and learned how to program “if-then” statements on a basic text editor. I quickly realized I could not write more than 10 lines of code before it would break and gave up a career in C programming. (See picture below for my early experiences on a TRS-80 computer at the local public library in 1983). In the early 90’s, I replaced a typewriter with a 386 PC for writing college papers in Cincinnati. Who can forget that unique noise from the DOT Matrix printer….I went from DOS to Win 3.1 during my two year stint in Bible College.

After moving back home to Lexington in the mid 90’s, I upgraded to Win 95 and began experimenting with HTML coding. The most annoying noise was a V.34 modem trying to connect to the internet.

View a clip of me predicting ‘the internet’ will be the “next big thing” in a 1996 newsclip (while on the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society board of directors).

Eventually, 56K modems took over the internet and more visually appealing websites were possible as I developed into a mature graphic artist. I built my own PC computer and soon realized that open-box display models at Microcenters were just as cheap. Working as a pre-press graphic designer for a few years, I was exposed to MAC and fell in love with the task bar placed at the top of the screen. After the turn of the century, I joined Ontario Police Department in 2003 and began assisting Chief Smith with I.T. responsibilities and evidence room management. I was added to the HNT team assisting with I.T. setup. I currently perform SRO duties which allows me to instruct in various classrooms on multiple topics including 7 years of DARE. I have participated in the following forensic classes: DOS, Internet Investigations 1, and Basic Computer Data Recovery.

At home, I soon found myself hosting other client’s websites and maintaining email pop accounts on a CentOS Unix server. Cpanel allowed for easy maintenance, upgrades, and installs. (For a full history of my graphic arts career from 1994 to the present, click here). I also represent citizens of Lexington as their councilman (cumulative total of 7 years dating back to the 90’s).

Ditching my old Blackberry for an android based phone, I could not convince the rest of my family to drop their iPhones. I co-exist in a world of Apple even though my inner heart has a Windows foundation. I even tried flirting with Ubuntu; however, I almost always chose Win 7 during the dual boot.

I also enjoy taking photos (portfolio) with my two Nikon cameras. I’m not anti-Canon but I do love Nikon and Nikkor lenses. I have been capturing HD video of my son’s high school band this year and posted his drum stick trick-throw on my Youtube channel.

I volunteer on the soundboard crew at my local church. Duties include Mixing, recording, mic setup, music and video choreography, and dual / split projectors.

I now look forward to a day where I can share this vast (almost expert) knowledge of computers with other law enforcement officers. My career goal now involves interviewing for and beginning an instructor position at OPOTA. After 8.5 years teaching various age groups in a school district as part of my SRO position, I attended “Instructional Skills” with Kerry Curtis in May 2016. That class has revolutionized my outlook on presenting material including utilizing a Student Centered Learning approach. Please review my computer history, instructional exposure, photography examples, and team work experiences or view a bullet point list of above.

In the meantime, if I could only get rid of all the Win 8.1 installations in the world and replace it with an updated “Win 7ish OS” look and feel…….

Adam began applying with OPOTA in July of 2016 while in his 14th year of law enforcement. Adam was hired by Ontario Police in 2003 after working as a Juvenile Corrections Officer. Adam has been a School Resource Officer for over 8 years with Ontario Local Schools, and taught DARE for 6 years. He has also been on the county-wide Hostage Negotiation Team since 2006. Adam received an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from North Central State College. Adam currently holds the Secretary/Treasurer position on the board of directors for the Ohio School Resource Officers Association and assists with training new SRO’s. Adam specializes in assisting the Police Department with computer I.T. issues and Evidence Room management.

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Developing website for non profit organisation

Website - Lisa - March 1, 2020

With the most basic requirements and functionalities of web development, how the organization or individual works on it, decides the fortunes of the internet. Today’s web designing service organizations are known to provide any kind of services. Interestingly, requirements of these web services and internet in the future will be distinguished on the basis of extraordinary capabilities those organizations have. What followed in the next years after the IT slowdown were requirements of outstanding and extraordinary capabilities irrespective of the business domain, and thus, required caliber of organization and individuals at a collective level.

Talking about web development, today’s web services mainly concentrates on developing creative websites functionalities as well as user interface. The interface requires the implementation to meet the technical functionalities requirements and a best user-friendly interface. Website design, as well as suitable user functionalities, depend on the initial designs of the site. From the developers perspective, website development and designing is not as tough as it used to be earlier. Taking as an example, we can observe that at present, most popular websites relate to content management system (CMS). Instead of developing a CMS website right from scratch, such websites relate to initial design as a Photoshop edited file that can be sliced to HTML. Thus, this process takes the consideration of PSD to CMS conversion as one of the basic requirements. Further, usage of the mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones has increased in the recent time, the PSD to CMS conversion accounts to the responsiveness of the site as well.

The attractive user-friendly design, as well as the perfect and efficient coding by the designers and developers, are utmost necessary for website development. In the areas of coding, PHP, HTML, JS as well as CSS are required for developers to have a good hand. In this dynamically changing IT scenario, the introduction of new techniques and technologies are continuously changing with the time-line. With this regards, most of the developers and designers keep them updated with any of the new technology or technique that might be helpful for them. At the moment, an extraordinary layout design has become one of the challenges to the designer and developers directly for a website, as readily made templates are available in the market.

No doubt, the website development perspectives are changing and platforms such as laravel, are used for the website development, the future the web development services will have will definitely relate in gaining a competitive advantage from other generic equivalent companies. From PSD to CMS conversion services to high-end language used by developers, each and every aspect will be matter in future developments , where 3-dimensional technologies and virtual realities perspectives will be common to every tech savvy.

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