Minolta MC/MD lenses on Canon EOS cameras 
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 09:38 AM - Photography
Today, I found a webpage about using Minolta MC/MD lenses on EOS cameras. Using some clever mechanical engineering, this one allows infinity focus without any alteration of the lenses (ie no need to modify lenses).
The problem of MC/MD lenses with Canon EOS mount is that the registration distance between flange an film (or sensor if using DSLR) is shorter on Minolta MD mount than the EOS one, which imply that it should be impossible to use an adapter without optical element that would keep infinity focus.

This adapter is a replacement for the EOS flange, then allowing direct use of MC/MD lenses on the modified EOS. It also seems that camera modification is totally reversible.

Adapters are for sale on eBay, with a quite reasonable price considering the benefits.

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Pixmantec RawShooter Essentials and Samsung GX-1L 
Saturday, August 18, 2007, 05:56 PM - Photography
RawShooter Essentials is commercially dead since Adobe bought Pixmantec. However, it's still a quite useful little application, that you can find using your favorite search engine.

RSE doesn't know about Samsung GX-1L. This camera is in fact identical to the Pentax *istDL2, with a different brand and a bit cheaper. The raw file format of both cameras is identical, except for the camera identification string.
If you edit the RawShooter Essential 2006 executable, and replace the "PENTAX *istDL" string with "GX-1L" (add some extra spaces at the end of the string to keep the same string length), then RSE is able to open raw files (.PEF) from the GX-1L.

This trick is also likely to work (but not tested) with Samsung GX-1S, which is identical to Pentax *istDS2.
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Running LightZone under Ubuntu / AMD64 
Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 11:16 PM - Photography
If you want to run LightZone under an 64 bits version of Ubuntu (in my case Feisty/7.04), you will quickly discover that it does not work out of the box.

Here is how I solved it:

*download latest LightZone 2.4 from here

*download LightZone 2.1

*unpack both versions

*replace the java runtime of version 2.4 by the one provided with version 2.1

*in jre/lib/i386/jvm.cfg, add "-client KNOWN" at the first line
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A 64 bits version of Windows Vista? 
Saturday, May 26, 2007, 06:05 PM - Operating systems
I recently bought a new laptop to replace my old one (an antique PIII-1100MHz).

I naturally bought one able to run in x64 mode. It was bundled with a professional version of Windows Vista. That's nice, as the home version would have annoyed me, due to the lack of many things that I consider to be mandatory for a sane operating system (real user rights management,...)

As we are in 2007, I naively thought that I should be able to use it in 64bits mode. After all, there was many reports during the Vista development stating that Vista would be bundled with both 32 and 64 bits versions.

The real situation is unfortunately different.
The OEM version pre-installed on my laptop is still a 32bits version, even though the computer is perfectly 64 bits-able. On the positive side, the Vista license agreement (professional version) clearly states that you can use one of those alternative versions of Windows if you want:

*Windows XP media center edition
*Windows XP tablet PC edition
*Windows XP professional
*Windows XP professional x64
*Windows 2000 professional/workstation

Those are the so-called "downgrade" rights granted by Microsoft.

This seems to be a positive thing to me, but I initially thought that I would have no use of it (after all, I already paid for a Vista pro version).

As this laptop only features a 32 bits version pre-installed version, I downloaded a 64 bits version of Vista professional.
Surprise, surprise...
The OEM key of my 32 bits version does not work with a 64 bits version!
I asked Microsoft (in my case Microsoft France) about it, and the reply was that if I was interested by a 64 bits version of Windows Vista, I should ask my usual software retailer about it in order to buy one. In other words, even if I already bought (bundled with the computer) a Vista professional version, I should buy once again a new one in order to have access to the 64 bits version.

A bit pissed (well, more than a bit) about it, I still decided to try installing an x64 version of Windows XP. First task: locate CD/installer. Microsoft silently ignored my question regarding how to obtain a genuine installation CD, so I had to download an ISO image from a peer to peer network.
After installation, I have unfortunately found a big stopper: as my laptop is relatively new, a few drivers were not available for XP x64, including the Nvidia graphic driver.

The unfortunate conclusion is that I had to revert to the 32 bits version of Vista that was bundled with my Laptop.

As I really want a 64 bits able operating system (in order to develop 64bits applications), I decided to download a 64 bits/AMD64 version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

It seems that in my case, Microsoft did a really smart marketing/commercial decision leading to:

* an annoyed customer
* a good way to slow down 64 bits adoption
* made me download and try a Linux distribution

Way to go!
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