Monday, 25 December 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Denise, Ethan, Bill & Toby!
Larry, Andy, Rebecca and Daniel and Wayne joined us for a lovely (slightly hectic...) Christmas Lunch! Posted by Picasa

Friday, 24 November 2006

New AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

This finally arrived the other day after being on order for more than 6 months. This means I now have a 'spare' Tamron 90mm Macro - probably will try and sell (its a lovely lens but I like the VR on the Nikon)

You might have already seen the shots I took using this at Richmond Park (remember to go to to see all the latest photos from ALL the blogs). This is the first macro shot I have taken with it though. Inside, hand-held, using SB800 speedlight. Nice Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Bluebell Railway Photos

Some more pictures from our day out at the Bluebell Railway for Ethan's 2nd Birthday

Saturday, 21 October 2006

Red sky in the morning

No time to get d200, tripod out, so this was hand held on the Ixus against the window. Posted by Picasa

Monday, 16 October 2006

The Tech Report - Power consumption and Vista's Aero interface

Great article on power consumption on new systems running Microsoft Windows Vista Aero Interface.

Bottom line - brief spike up to 15% when doing 3d task view/switcher but apart from that you get the nice 'Glass' UI features for only marginal power consumption increase.
The Tech Report - Power consumption and Vista's Aero interface

Sunday, 15 October 2006

More Macro

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Some of you may have spotted that some photos are either not showing up on blog entries, or are truncated (in small version or large version you get when you click on them) - this is not intentional but is caused by some bug between Picasa 2 "Blog This!" function being selected and pictures being uploaded to my ftp server via Blogger... :(

I've been trying to find a fix - trawling through Picasa Help Groups - but no luck - just downloaded slightly newer build of Picasa2 - but hasn't improved things.

Meanwhile the Whisky bottle looks nice.

Full Bodied Spirit

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Thursday, 28 September 2006

What the heck is this?

Found this little guy out by the compost heap - no idea what it is. Anyone got a clue?

used my 18-200mm AFS DX VR telephoto for this (as this is what was on camera at the time) probably should have changed it for the Tamron 90mm Macro for a better shot. Posted by Picasa

Monday, 25 September 2006

New Combined Pinnells Blog

From now on you'll be able to track all posts from Ethan's, Toby's and Bill's blog on a new combined or 'aggregator' blog called 'Pinnells' at

This is only for new posts from today - so if you want to see older pictures and posts then look at the existing blog in the normal location.

test post from bill's blog

this post should end up on pinnells blog too

Friday, 22 September 2006

Warning - I think IKEA Poang Footstools are dangerous!

Toby shouldn't be lying underneath the footstool frame - he should be on top of it...
Unfortunately Denise didn't know that the wooden rest would collapse when she put her knee on it whilst buttoning up Toby.
Toby's fine - but Denise has badly bruised her leg - hopefully some frozen sweetcorn will reduce the swelling

I just phoned Ikea to complain about the damn thing - they said 'it is only meant for resting your feet on' - yes - but obviously given its general height and appearance people are going to be tempted to sit on it, kneel on it, use it to put something on etc - if it is so liable to collapse then they should make this clear in store/or in product documentation - where there is no warning that I can find.

[update: I just talked to Chris at Ikea Croydon, basically held to the line that this was only designed to "rest your feet on" - therefore they were not responsible for anything that was caused by misuse/unintended use. Nor would they look into making changes to any documentation to provide any form of warning about misuse. I suggested that they put enough warnings on other products - but Chris was adamant that "it is commonsense" to only rest your feet on this.

He was polite enough - and also open to me taking this further through trading standards etc - or bringing in footstool for them to look at - I think I'll try and find out if anyone else has had similar problems with this item. (Chris said this is one of their most popular items and they hadn't had any other complaints about it!)

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Thursday, 21 September 2006

Links to Toby and Ethan

Some people have asked about what blogs / websites are updated for members of the family. Here's how it works:

Toby's Blog ( - what Toby's up to.
Ethan's Blog ( - what Ethan's up to.

When Toby and Ethan do something together we post an update (normally with picture) to one of the blogs then I copy the blog link to the sibling's page so it appears in both places (but I only need to store one set of pictures)

This Blog (Bill's Blog - I use for events concerning Denise and my friends, activities, technology and other boring geek stuff [that would be my geek stuff - not Denise's] - obviously it's also common for the boys' and Denise's activities to get posted to this blog too!

I've just started experimenting with Picasa Web Albums - where you can download original hi-res image from uploaded photos - at the moment I'm only using this for photography items (e.g Macro shots - see below) - for family photos we tend to use photobox to keep original res photos for families and friends to print direct from - though I'll review this if we get lots of people asking for original photos to download and print themselves.

Mike and Jennie pop in

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Toby's very happy to get a cuddle from Jennie and Mike. Plus I'm more than happy to celebrate Toby's birth with a few choice ales and wines!

Desk for Sale!

Due to removal of "office" from "family room" have to part with cherished Ikea Prioritet Computer desk (in Birch Veneer no-less). Pick-up only. Beer money and good home essential. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 9 September 2006

Toby Oscar Pinnell


Hello world!

I'm the new addition to the Pinnell family - I was born today, on 9/9/06, weighing 8lb 12oz. Mummy and me are both fine. You can find my own website at Toby's Blog Posted by Picasa

More Macro Shots

The depth of field on the 90mm Macro when it is F4->F15 is tiny! Very hard to get more than a sliver in focus - so experimenting a bit at the moment
Macro Stuff
Sep 6, 2006 - 5 Photos

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

New Dell Ultrasharp 2407 WPF


Here's an example of what some classic games look like on my new LCD monitor (24" 1920x1200 LCD monitor)

Also - this isn't a screen grab - its an actual photo using my new Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro lens - nice! Posted by Picasa

Googled Up

Had lots of problems today trying to get Picasa Hello! working correctly with Blogger (through BloggerBot).

Hello seemed to Log on and Off from Blogger/BloggerBot making picture upload nigh on impossible.

So I decided to have a look at whether my Picasa/Hello was out of date - yes - a lot. Now there is Picasa 2 which seems to do a whole lot of photo/album/web stuff.

Anyway - as soon as it loaded it started importing all of 'My Pictures'. 29000 photos later I was very impressed with the nice smooth scrolling and simple UI - but was less pleased to find that it didn't seem to be able to handle NEF files (from my Nikon D200) correctly - they were a horrible green shade with all the colours screwed up.

Searching the web I came across two posts - one from a user who had basically figured out that NEF files from a D200 were using slightly different format/algorithm from those on D70. (some debate over whether this is only on uncompressed NEFs vs compressed NEFs but I never got to the bottom of that). The second post was from the Picasa development team who were proud to announce that in Build 32.41 they had fixed support for D200 NEF files - great.

Not so great - you can only get access to build 32.41 if you're a PicasaWebAlbum beta tester.... okay...

Not okay - you can only be a Picasa WebAlbum tester if you are also a Google Mail (Gmail) user... which I'm not (some friend sent me an invite years ago which I never got round to using - unfortately its now expired)

So... next option - you can apply for a gmail account via mobile phone - if you live in the following countries (this list accurate at time of going to press):

New Zealand
The Philippines
United States

What sort of country support is that! Turkey but not United Kingdom! (Nothing against Turkey - but come on......)

Anyway - came across the following help entry at Gmail site:

"If you want to open an account a different way, you may want to ask a friend with a mobile phone to receive an invitation code for you or to ask someone you know who already has a Gmail account to email you an invitation"

Excellent - quick SMS to my good friend Derek in the US followed by lots of assertations that black helicopters and FBI wouldn't be knocking down his door any time soon - and hey presto got an 'invitation code'.

Climbing back out of the rabbit hole I fell down:- got Gmail account, became Beta Picasa Web Album tester. Downloaded latest version. Updated all thumbnails - hey presto!!! NEF files work.

And I'm now totally totally owned by Google.

Oh, and here's a web album I prepared earlier:

Ethan at Nonsuch Park
Aug 19, 2006 - 4 Photos

Tamron SP 90 Spider

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Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Elyot looks the part (but arrived by car!)
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

Hilary and Elyot
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

Hilary, Elyot and Jackie await the bride
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

Sunday, 30 July 2006

Mike and I wait nervously, melting in the sun for the bride to arrive
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

The cake!
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

Mike does Freddie Mercury meets David Brent singing Bohemian Rhapsody.... nice
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

Lightning over Cambridge (un-processed image)
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

Elizabeth, Danny, James and Lindsay
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

Daniel, Ingrid, Eleanor, Luka and Hana
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

The Pinnells
(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004

(c) Ethan Pinnell 2004