Monday Aug 17, 2009

Fixing a Pentax \*iST DL DSLR

Update: While in Beijing I had the camera professionally fixed twice by repairmen in the basement of Top City electronics. I learned that one additional screw was inside the battery compartment. And I learned that they used a bit of fine sandpaper held between tweezers to clean the contacts.

Screws which must be removed to take top off Pentax \*ist DL In the wake of the cash for clunkers scam, the planned obsolescence of a few million televisions, and some misguided efforts to prevent electronic devices from being reused or recycled outside of the U.S., the obvious solution when my digital SLR began acting up should've been to pitch it and get another one. I'd already investigated and discovered that a newer model could be purchased for less than it would cost to send mine in for repair. But since I had nothing to lose, I decided to give it a try. I'm happy to report that this minor repair was a success! One less bit of e-waste.

I intend to put more of this kind of content on opensourcemechanic.com so this blog can grow more focused on Sun/OpenSolaris specific issues.

Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

What lies beyond the archaic 8 char FAT filesystem limit?

I took my family out to the Donegal this weekend. By coincidence my Pentax digital camera "rolled over" from IMGP9999.PEF to IMGP0001.PEF just before I took this picture:
Muckrosssun
So now I must move all new files to a new folder or change the names before I rsync to my photo backup space to avoid overwriting old files. Whoever decided 10,000 photos was a sufficient limit for a digital SLR never had kids or lived in such a beautiful country. I'm still amazed at how many modern standards (e.g. ISO-9660, DCIM, DICOM) still bow to the 8.3 limitations of Microsoft's old FAT filesystem. As far as I know, DOS and RT-11 were the only popular operating systems made after 1970 with such a SHRTFLNM.LMT. Solaris, AmigaDOS, VMS, Gem, Geos, even the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 filenames exceeded this limit! Yes, it's possible to work around this limit with CLVRABRV.NMS or DIRECTRY STRUCTRS, but it seems that of all of the Digital camera manufacturers, only Casio, HP and Kodak have reasonably long term naming conventions, but none of them is as forward thinking as ZFS would allow them to be.

We really enjoyed our stay at the friendly family run Ocean Spray Bed and Breakfast on Muckross head, just east of the Slieve League cliffs in Donegal. The fact that there were no nearby restaurants or other late season tourists contributed to that "edge of the earth" feel of Donegal.

Tuesday Apr 10, 2007

Risk of closed proprietary "RAW" digital imaging formats

After I published the entry on building the dcraw "RAW" image format converter for OpenSolaris I found an interesting post on the photography forums regarding Pentax PEF files:
Default Opening Pentax \*ist DS RAW .PEF files in Windows 98? Pentax say on the box that the Windows system requirement is Windows ME/2000/XP and they're not kidding... However, the software with the \*ist DS (including the software for processing RAW images) requires some methods in Share32.dll which simply don't exist in Win98...[Read More]
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