Thursday, April 24, 2008

A swing and a miss

I got a call from Black's Photography yesterday saying my camera was ready. It took only three weeks this time to get it back to me in the same condition it was when I sent it in. The Commander mode still isn't working which means I still can't use my new flash (see this, this and this for background).

So I'm headed back to Blacks tomorrow or Saturday to see what they can do for me. I'm not a pushy person, but this is getting ridiculous. I've never had to deal with a warranty issue before - any suggestions from you who have?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Photoroam at Snyder's Flats

I went out to Snyder's Flats today with a bunch of people I don't know. Martin from work mentioned yesterday that a bunch of his friends were going and he asked the photogs at work if any of us were interested. Turns out the Carolyn and I were (we both have free weekends without our spouses).

I had a really good time - I met some cool people and I took some photos I'm really happy with. Plus the weather was warmer then it has been since the fall.

A few of my photos (more on flickr) ...

Tack Locker

So I'm building a tack locker for Tara's birthday. Don't worry, it's not a surprise. It's coming along pretty well and Tara said I should post some photos of it. If anyone out there is interested, I can write down the rough plans I have in my head that have gone into this.

For those of you not part of the horse world, a tack locker is a cabinet/cupboard piece that horse people put the horse equipment in. It's like a tack box, but upright and larger.

This is the first draft. When I'm older and I have an extra $1000, I'd like to make another one out of a nice hardwood. Cherry perhaps as it reacts nicely to the ammonia in horse barns. Or a nice walnut. Until then, this will have to do. Plus it gives me time to hone my woodworking skills.

The locker is about half done. I'm soon adding a top shelf, plus the doors and sides. I'll also put that drawer that slides in the bottom (but for now Tara will use rubber maids down there). The saddle racks are adjustable height-wise to maximize space usage and flexibility.

Sorry for the poor quality photos - I wasn't planning on showing them to anyone except Tara.

[update - see this for the completed locker]

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quote of the day

Overheard in a meeting today about customer supplied code
"Hitting F5 is not unit testing"
This probably won't make sense to my non-computer industry reader, but it's funny to those of us in the industry (or at least me).

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival; Copious Amounts of Food and People

The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival was this weekend. After a couple of botched attempts I made it there. Tara and I were going to go but at the last minute she had a couple of patients in hospital that she had to see that morning. My backup plan was to go with some friends from work but that fell through as well. My third option came through - I ended up going with Laura and Tim (Tara's sister and brother-in-law) plus a bunch of Tim's university friends.

We got there about 3 hours later than Tara and I usually do and it was packed. P-a-c-k-e-d. We hit the pancake tent (a first for me) and I ate two plate sized pancakes with loads of maple syrup. With three bites left, I had to tap out. It was too many carbs without enough meat or something else in my belly. So off we went in search of meat.

Aside: About 20 minutes after we got our pancakes, there was word that they ran out of pancake batter. I didn't think that would have been possible.

We pushed our way through the crowds and I found some meat on a bun (back-bacon and sauerkraut - mmmmmm). It was exactly what my stomach needed. After that we wandered a bit, as much as you can wander with people pressing in on all sides, and then headed for the car. We didn't even see a quarter of the booths, but we all agreed that there were too many people there.

And that sums up the typical Elmira Maple Syrup Festival experience. Too many people and too much food. It was good.

Here are a few shots I took with Tara's D50.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Grumble grumble grumble

I'm in a foul mood. It turns out there was a very good reason why my camera came back so quickly. It didn't get fixed.

I tried out the flash on the camera at work today and nothing. Not even a glimmer of light emited from the flash (except when we pushed the Test button).

So I called Nikon to see what was what. After going through an automated voice system, I was plunked to a helpful young man who, despite having to "install software" (ya, right) to look up what they did to my camera, was patient and friendly. He told me that all Nikon did was re-flash the firmware and clean the sensor. He also told me that the problem as reported to Nikon was "pop-up flash doesn't work". I told him that wasn't the case, that the pop-up flash worked fine except to trigger another flash. He didn't say much to that.

He had me diagnose the camera and flash on the phone with him.
"First reset the flash by pressing this key combination. Then reset the camera by pressing the two buttons with a green dot. Then reset the menu. Then change the camera to Commander mode. Then put the flash about a meter away and press the shutter button."
I did all that before I sent it in and I told him so, but I followed what he told me again. Sure enough, just like before, the flash went off the first time, but not the second, third, forth, or fifth. He had me move the camera closer to the flash. He then told me to try a different flash. When I told him that I already did, he said to send it in again.

So I did. I dropped it off at Black's tonight. And now I get to play the waiting game again. Only this time I'm going to call Nikon every day to try and catch the camera while it's there and make sure that they know what the problem is. I'm not convinced that Black's is relaying the information properly to Nikon.

And the kicker is that Black's wants me to pay for shipping for the camera even though I had bought the extended warranty which explicitly says that all shipping and insurance changes are covered. The main office has changed their policy apparently. The lady at the front was nice and just waived the charges without a fuss

OK, my rant is over. I feel better now. And hey - who knows I may be getting that D300 after all (probably not, but one can dream). I double checked my extended warranty and it says:
If your camera need repairs on three separate occasions under the terms and life of your warranty, we will replace your camera with a new or similar model at our discretion.
Two down, one to go I guess.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Three and a Half weeks

Colour me impressed. Black's called today to tell me my camera was back from the shop. I took it in three and a half weeks ago. I haven't checked to make sure the problem is fixed because I lent my flash to George. He's bringing it to work tomorrow and then we can test it out.

I am impressed with both Black's and Nikon. A turn around time of less than a month is pretty exceptional if you ask me (and this is coming from a guy who knows way too much about the pain and problems involved with repairing electronic devices).

And it looks like they even cleaned my sensor for me. I love you Nikon.

The only downside is that I won't be upgrading to a D300 any time soon.