Archive for November, 2007

Patea: the town that Vodafone forgot.

November 28, 2007

I am now living in Patea, a small town on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, which does not have good cellphone reception. I am here because there is a meditation centre here run by a knowledgeable and accomplished yogi called Elysha. Elysha is an unsual character – similar to Nisargadatta Maharaj in a number of ways.

We do a lot of meditation – nine hours a day – most of it with our eyes open. Overall it is a
great experience being here – though very challenging. I’m here for six weeks as a visitor and may come back after Christmas and find a job. I’ll make up my mind at the end of the six weeks.

Here are some pics:

This is Princess Misky Arabella – aka “Kitty” She loves to playfight.

My awesome wagon.

I’m living in a flat with three others. There are two couples that live in another house around the corner and Elysha lives with his girlfriend up the road. It is a very happy situation – and lots of laughs. Which is a big plus and offsets to some degree the challenge of so much meditation.

Sign outside a shop in Hawera – the main town nearby. The next closest town is Wanganui – which everyone seems to hate. New Plymouth is about an hour away.

This is the main road in Patea with Mt Egmont in the background. Population is 1300.


Eye-Fi by Photojojo

November 28, 2007


First your phone went wireless, then your laptop, now finally, your camera!

Never scrounge around for a USB cable again! Eye-fi is a magical orange SD memory card that will not only store 2GB worth of pictures, it’ll upload them to your computer, and to Flickr, Facebook, Picasa (or 14 others) wirelessly, invisibly, automatically!

This little guy looks like a normal 2GB memory card and works with nearly any camera that takes SD memory. There are no antennas, no protrusions, no subscription fees, and no cables.

Here’s how it works: You set up the card once, then on you never have to touch anything. Just take photos. Whenever your cameras near the wireless network you selected and idle, Eye-fi will upload all your photos (JPEGs only) to your online photo sharing service. Next time your computer’s online, they’ll download there, too!

Yes, it is practically magic.

It’s amazing for anyone who loves photography, but also great for computer unsavvy parents and grandparents. Set up their photo sharing account, slip an Eye-fi in their camera, and your mom’s finally your Flickr friend!

Wow. All this for only $99. What will you ever do with all those cables now?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does it require a subscription fee?

A: Nope. The $99 fee covers all the features listed here.

Q: Will it reduce my battery life?

A: Advanced power management (the wifi is only powered-on when there are files untransfered and the camera is idle) keeps battery usage low.

Q: What if my camera takes CompactFlash (CF), MemoryStick, xD, or something else?

A: Purhcase your Eye-Fi with a bundled CompactFlash adapter and use it with cameras that support SD or CF cards. (DSLRs included!) Everyone else is out of luck. Sorry. 😦

Q: What if my computer’s off?

A: No problem. Your photos will download to your computer next time it’s on. (You can also choose to send your photos only to an online service, or only to your computer.)

Q: What if some photos are private? I don’t want everything on Flickr…

A: Tell Eye-fi to mark every photo upload as private, then just make the ones you want to share public via your web browser!

Q: Can I upload from more than one wireless network?

A: Yup. You can set up Eye-Fi to recognize as many wireless networks as you want. Whenever it sees any one of those networks, it’ll start uploaing photos. (If it sees more than one, it’ll pick the one with the strongest signal.)

Q: Can I upload photos directly to my computer without an Internet connection?

A: Yes! If your Eye-Fi is setup only to send photos to your computer, it can do this without a net connection. You’ll still need a wireless access point, and access to the Internet to complete intiial setup. (If you want to send photos to an online photo sharing service, You can still take photos without a connection. They’ll upload next time you have one.)

Q: Is this magic?

A: Yes

Walking with my uncle Geoff

November 1, 2007