10.13.2018

Kodak DC25 Digital Camera from 1996!

Hi everyone!
Just picked up a bunch of retro tech stuff, so it's back to the '90s for a little while here on coolstuff4819.
First up, a camera that I've seen very little written about (past its release date), so I'll introduce it here.
The Kodak DC25

Released in 1996, the Kodak DC25 was the first consumer digital camera to support CompactFlash cards for image storage. At this time, many cameras only used internal flash storage (like the Apple QuickTake series). Of course, CompactFlash cards were not cheap, with one writer linked here noting that he paid $150 for a 10 MB card in 1998 (about $230 in 2018). However, this eliminated the need to rely on an extra cable and special driver software for your PC to get the files off of the camera, provided you had a way to read the CompactFlash card. (Since USB was not common yet, the easiest way would have been to use a PCMCIA to CF adapter, with a laptop computer.)

This was not the end of the story, however, as the camera records images in a proprietary .k25 raw file format, which then need to be processed into standard .jpg files. A utility was included with the camera in the box, but that program did not allow for batch processing of images, and was extremely slow. Fortunately, Rick Kaseguma at the previous link wrote a fast, compact file converter for Windows 95 (which runs on my ThinkPad X220 tablet running Windows 7). This, combined with a simple USB card reader, is all I need to get the pictures off the camera.

DC25convert:


Though 1GB cards hit the market six years after this camera was released (Q1 2002), the one I've got seems to work fine with the DC25. However, given that the "fine" images are only 137KB each, and that Windows reports 976MB free on the card, the theoretical maximum would be 7124 images. Either way, this shows that even super-high capacity CF cards are supported. I'll bet that the maximum number of standard images is actually 10,501.
Status screen with a totally blank 1GB card
Actually taking the picture is as simple as can be. Put the batteries in (2x CR123A lithium), turn on the camera, aim using the viewfinder (the screen is exclusively for reviewing photos), and press down the shutter button. Flash can be turned on or off, but that, along with a resolution selection (standard vs. fine) is the only control accessible to the user.
Reviewing a picture
Since the camera has a fixed-focus lens, there is no "halfway down" shutter button position - just point and shoot.

Through the viewfinder

Buttons on top. Note
The screen, viewfinder, and buttons for picture reviewing
Information and screen brightness control wheel

And what pictures they are! With a resolution of just 493x373 pixels, and a fixed-focus lens, this camera's output can hardly be considered "hi-fi," even for the time. But the do have a certain charm; they remind me of the stills from my parents' Handycam when I was a kid, and that makes this camera a valuable addition to my collection. Here are some of the shots that I've taken with the Kodak DC25!


5.07.2018

Ghost Signs

KC Crossroads

KC Crossroads

KC Crossroads

KC Crossroads
Tower East District
Tower East District


4.30.2018

Koss PortaPro Typewritten Review

I figured I'd do a quick review of one of the best electronic devices I own, the Koss PortaPro portable headphones. They've been with me through tough times in college, and I still enjoy using them. Here it is!



side view - note the firmness selector



the temple pads allow for even distribution of clamping force across the sides of the head

Folded up - the clip/hook design is not very "locked in place" and springs open readily. Case recommended.

Gold 3.5mm plug.

This is how they look - very '80s, but they work! They also conveniently bypass the glasses "support beams" and so do not press them against my head.

4.26.2018

1967 Underwood Touch-Master 5!

Hi everyone,

I thought I would flesh out this review a bit more, but realized with all that's going on (major changes happening lately) I would never have the motivation to really do this typewriter full justice with a thorough cleaning and review, so here is what I had typed up, and some pictures from my phone, on and of this new typewriter!
(Typewriter repair manual mentioned in post: http://typewriterdatabase.com/1968-Ames_Standard_SVC.underwood-repair.manual)
This is the spring-assembly I needed to re-seat.




4.17.2018

First Poem in Years

Hi everyone,
Figured I'd write another poem - this one took three tries but I think I got it to a point where I could post it. This is my first poem here in at least 2 years, I think...

This poem was brought to you by my new typewriter! Stay tuned for the full post about it!

3.28.2018

On Resurrecting One's Blog

As I opened up my Blogger feed for the first time in an embarrassingly long time, I saw posts from kiwi-d at http://davesmechanicalpencils.blogspot.com, which he resurrected after a nearly three-year hiatus.

It got me thinking I ought to update this blog more often as well. After all, it started off as a place for me to share what I thought was "cool stuff," and only evolved into a typewriter-centric blog a year or so on after my discovery of the typewriter, and the Typosphere thereafter.

But it got to the point where I was only sharing when I felt like dragging out one of my typewriters, which, while I still find it fun, I was finding myself doing less and less often. Eventually I only posted when I found a new typewriter to add to the collection.

Rather than limit the blog to typecasts and typewriter-related/retro-tech related things, I'm going to take it back to the general-purpose blog I remember from when I started coolstuff4819 in 2011 (heck, the first post was about my brand-new camera, the Sony DSC-HX1!). 

Typewriters will certainly make an occasional appearance, but so will my myriad other interests, which have definitely evolved in the interim.

To those who still read this blog, despite the draws of microblogging via Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, thanks!

--Vikram