Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunderland Airshow

Went to the Sunderland airshow on Saturday..... heaving with people but it was such a lovely day. Ideal weather for the display, fluffy clouds, clear, dry, perfect! Here are a few sample shots of the day. The display was held over the sea so it was difficult to get any close up shots and my lens is only a 70-300mm which is pretty soft on the long end. Decided my next lens has to be a 400mm prime lens but I don't think I will be getting it anytime soon....

No mishaps at this years show, the last one I went to was in Lowestoft when the Harrier crashed into the sea which was a little surprising to say the least! Fortunately the pilot was ok.

The Red Arrows as always were the stars of the show! Jas Hawker in his final year as Red Leader.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Whitby & Robin Hoods Bay

Had a great day out at Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. The last time we were there, Sam was sick alllll night in the bed and breakfast we stayed in. He had food poisoning from the evening meal in the local fish restaurant.... What a disaster it was!! This visit was much more pleasant, sunny day, fish and chips out on a stone wall!! Got some great shots, these are a few examples of the day. I pushed the processing up in PS quite high, lots of contrast, lots of saturation etc!! Used the sigma 10-20mm lens for most of the shots.

Monday, 13 July 2009


Took a few snaps whilst out on my power walk this morning using my 'point and shoot'. England is sooo beautiful in the summer when the weather is lovely!!

First photo was with a little bit of selective colour, taken at Studley Roger, second was in Studley Royal grounds and the third was in the village of Studley Roger again, North Yorkshire.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Vista problems and cures

Well I just had to blog about the problems that I have had with Vista Ultimate on my laptop and Vista Home on my husband's laptop. Both new laptops with the same problems. Of course to add confusion to the equation, I bought a new wifi router too!! I figure somebody will appreciate reading my findings and save them the headache that I have had.

Problem 1: Internet cuts out about every half hour. I could still read emails in Outlook, use MSN, download torrents etc.... but no browsing using Firefox 3.5 or IE 8. On closing the browser, I found that it was still showing in the system processes and would not shut down however hard I tried. Restart of the router didn't help because it wasn't an internet problem. A complete restart of laptop was the only cure... and it seemed to take ages to shut down, to the point I thought it had frozen (but it hadn't). As I say, this problem was on 2 brand new laptops and to a certain degree affecting my son's Vista laptop too.

Problem 2: Thumbnails and other images not showing on certain web pages, namely ebay, deviantart and this blog!! Again on both laptops but seemed worse using firefox.

Now, when I got these laptops I uninstalled Mcafee from Mark's laptop and Eset NOD32 Antivirus from mine. I then installed
AVG and Zone alarm to both. What I have discovered are various problems. Firstly, I needed to use the Mcafee and Eset removal tools to eliminate all traces of the programs, and check the registry was completely clear. This alone could cause problems with any newly installed antivirus software. Secondly, I found that Zone Alarm and probably AVG just don't run too well with Vista. On many, many hours of research, I decided to uninstall both, clear the registry again and install Avira Antivirus and Outpost Firewall. Lo and behold, problem 1 is solved instantly. Not one cut-off since I did these things.

Problem 2 of not seeing images, I found out that some routers have a setting called 'SYN Flood protection that stops DOS attacks. For technical reasons that I don't really understand, some sites, including Firefox and Google Maps have concurrent connections to a single server and can cause these false DOS attack alarms and therefore affect your routers connection to these sites. On investigation you will see messages like this in your routers status page:

02/02/2008 20:12:34 **SYN Flood to Host**, 3350->>, 80 (from WAN Outbound)

Many routers have the following option:
"Maximum incomplete TCP/UDP sessions number from same host"
Commonly the default value is 10. People report that changing it to 30 or 50 solves problems.

I took the advice above and changed my TCP/UDP setting to 50 and that has solved problem number 2.

It has taken me about 3 days of research to find the underlying problems because these problems can be caused by many different reasons, so it was a case of elimination. I'm damn sure I won't be the only person experiencing all this and I do hope that I have helped somebody and saved them the trauma of trying to find answers!!

Now my internet is super fast with my new
SMC N router with no cut outs and I am really happy with Vista after being a bit unsure at first.

Monday, 6 July 2009

New Laptop

For the past week I have been configuring my new laptop. Installing Photoshop (CS4) and all the plugins etc takes ages! Just when I think I have it all finished I remember something else that has to go on... Then to find all my serial numbers! If only I was organised...

Anyway here is the spec:
  • Intel® Core™2 Extreme X9100 3.06GH
  • Intel® Centrino® 2 PM45
  • 4096MB DDR3 1066MHz
  • 640GB SATA2 7200rpm in RAID 0
  • nVidia® GeForce® 9800M GTS
  • Graphics/Video Memory
  • 1GB GDDR3
  • 17" Widescreen Ultrabright™ WXGA+
  • 9-Cell 7800mAh Lithium-ion
  • Intel® Wireless Wi-Fi Link 802.11a/g/n
  • 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • High Definition Audio
  • 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • 3 x USB 2.0 Ports
  • VGA Connector
  • RJ-45 LAN Connector
  • RJ-11 Modem Port
  • Headphone / SPDIF Audio Out
  • Microphone
  • Kensington Lock Slot
  • AC Adapter Connector
  • eSATA Port
  • v1.3 HDMI Connector
  • 5-in-1 Memory Card Reader
  • Memory Stick®
  • Memory Stick Pro®
  • Multimedia Card™
  • Secure Digital™
  • XD
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP2
  • Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD
Anyway, it's really fast in photoshop!! Tasks that used to take me ages take seconds now. I also have a labelflash drive that prints directly onto the dvd from the drive but I haven't tried that out yet.

I even have a couple of computer games which I didn't bother with before as the old laptop ran too slowly. Let's hope the new one doesn't get laggy with time but at the moment using it is bliss!!