Tuesday, 30 December 2008

First and Last? Astro from 2008

Got the telescope out yesterday and proceeded to spend ages trying to setup. Eventually got bored of Polar Alignment and just stuck a camera on top and tried shooting Orion.

a) still haven't got the hang of Polar alignment - need practice
b) top / DEC motor on AP900GTO is not functioning - need to figure out why
c) Loads of Skyglow (even pointing away from London) - need to remember how to EASILY get rid of it in post-processing
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 You wouldn't believe the backlog of photos I have to blog.... this one is from the Harvest Fayre at RHS Wisely.

Some updates also to The Pinnell Family blog - take a look!
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Saturday, 30 August 2008


Virgin Atlantic Inflight Messaging
Visit www.virgin-atlatic.com
From: BILL , [While Flying on Virgin]
Subject: 35000FT HELLO

This email has been sent from 35000ft onboard a
Virgin Atlantic flight.

This email has been sent from 35000ft onboard a Virgin Atlantic flight.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Solar eclipse

Chris brought his solarscope projection gadget into work on Friday. We
all gathered round his desk at 10.15am to watch the partial eclipse of
the Sun

I wish I'd had my big scope and camera setup for it!

Here's a snap I took with the iPhone.

Testing blogging from iPhone

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Took the 'bent up Box Hill

After some furious, tiring peddling (and wobbling at low speed) I managed to get the grasshopper to the top of Box Hill this morning.

Lovely view, beautiful weather.

The return journey was much easier but I still need to get the hang of fast twisty descents - its great when you get it right - but was often being too cautious breaking heavily into corners and trying to steer to much rather than lean more.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Gillian's Birthday Bash

Check out the photo's from Gillian's Birthday here (Photobox

They are looking little less bright than when I processed them in Lightroom. I may try uploading to Google Albums as well (which has a higher quality slideshow option)

Here's a link to the photos stored at Google Web albums - should be much better for viewing and downloading:

Gillian's Birthday

Friday, 1 February 2008

Not much room!

PC Build-20080201-6, originally uploaded by Billius.

Everything is in now - just cabling to sort out

Tuniq Tower 120

PC Build-20080201-3, originally uploaded by Billius.

A lot of fins...

PC Build-20080201-4

PC Build-20080201-4, originally uploaded by Billius.

New PC Build

HDR Raptor

HDR Raptor-20080201-1, originally uploaded by Billius.

Before I stick this in the new machine, I thought you'd appreciate a quick picture - afterall it would be a bit of a waste of that nice window in the top of the drive if we didn't have a peek inside

Its actually a 150Gb WD Raptor 10,000 RPM hard disk.

I'm going to use this as the system drive in the new machine.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

New Pinnells Blog

By the way - if you want to see what's happening with Denise, Ethan and Toby - rather than my geeky stuff - head over to Pinnell's Family Blog

Friday, 25 January 2008

New Computer

Recently I’ve been thinking that I need more gaming and photo-processing power than my current AMD 4400+ X2 / 7950GX2 system provides, so I started looking at buying a new computer.

Overclockers (http://www.overclockers.co.uk) do some good deals on pre-overclocked systems. Lots of Q6600 quad-cores which are overclocked from 2.4GHz to 3.3GHz. Nice as the Q6600 is £160 rather than over £680 for the 3Gh QX6850!!

Anyway, the only problem was that they didn’t have exactly the spec I wanted. The nearest to it had a 8800GTX and 4x1Gb memory modules – rather than the newer G92 based 8800 GTS 512Mb and 2x2Gb memory.

So after lots of indecision I’ve decided to buy all the components separately (apart from a bundle on the Mobo/CPU/RAM/Cooler) and put it together myself (and learn how to overclock it which should be interesting)

Here’s the parts list:

Intel Core 2 Quad Pro Q6600 "Energy Efficient SLACR 95W Edition" 2.40GHz (1066FSB) - OEM
Asus P5N-T Deluxe nForce 780i (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard
OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) PC2-8000C5 1000MHz ReaperX HPC Enhanced Bandwidth Edition Dual Channel DDR2
Tuniq Tower 120-LFB CPU Cooler (Socket 478/754/939/940/AM2/LGA775)
Point of View GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail
Western Digital Raptor X 150GB 10000RPM SATA 16MB Cache - OEM
2 x Samsung SpinPoint T 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM
Pioneer BDR-202BK 4x BD-R/RE Blu-Ray Serial ATA Dual Layer DVD Writer - Black
Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gaming Case
OCZ GameXStream 1010w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Power Supply
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit Edition DVD - OEM

You’ll notice I’ve gone for Vista 64-bit. Well I want DX10 support for Crysis, and also lots of memory support for Lightroom – so not much choice really.

I’ll post some shots when all the bits arrive….

Sunday, 20 January 2008

HDR Beer

Beer HDR 20080119
Originally uploaded by Billius
9 Exposures Bracketted on D300. 1/2 EV increment (set on b2 I think) 105mm VR Macro

Wanted to crop - so batch cropped in Lightroom, exported as DNG but PhotoMatix choked - so exported in TIFF.

Processed in PhotoMatix

My First HDR Shot!