Archive for January 4th, 2005

What about a tip, then, Guv?"

I have just heard, on BBC Television News, for London, that Taxi Drivers are going to refuse to give a receipt if you don’t give them a tip.

Well, that’s OK with me. Next time I get a taxi I will pay just the money on the clock, and when (not if) the taxi driver moans, “What about a tip, Guv?” I will say simply, with a waving of my arms…

“It’s OK, I don’t want a receipt!”

So what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!!!

Added the following day:

The next day, on BBC’s “written version” – the story reads slightly different. It seems they are refusing to use the machines as they feel they won’t get any tips if they do.


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Freedom of Information Act

The UK’s Freedom of Information Act came into force on Saturday 1st January 2005.

The link below shows all the governmental and local authority bodies which are covered, and who will have an obligation to supply, information to enquirers:


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Compact Flash Cards

I have acquired some information through using these cards in three different cameras, and other gadgets – including my Psion Netbook computer.

First of all, as you already know, they come in different capacities up to, at the present time 8GB. They also come allowing the host equipment to access at different speeds.

When I owned a Minolta 7Hi I learned that the write speed as extremely slow and that I wouldn’t gain anything by buying any card faster that that running at the slowest speed. However now that I have learned a little lesson from this I have changed my way of thinking.

If you are going to stick with the equipment you are using the card in for the whole of its usable life – the above may be a really good philosophy. However if, like me, you are forever buying the next “new boy on the block” then you might get the fastest you can buy at the time so that it will still be relevent when you update your “gear”.

I have just purchased the Minolta SLR digital camera (the D7) and will be using this far more than I ever did the 7Hi. So I decided I needed enough capacity to cover me for my holiday next April – for three weeks – in South Africa. I thought along the lines of seven or eight Gigabytes. I tend to take RAW format photographs and only get just over 100 on a 1Gig card.

But this was going to be expensive, so like “Edward de Bono” (Lateral Thinking), I thought around the problem. This was when I decided to buy one 80x WA enabled card ( you can read the White Paper on WA here) and one 80GB Flashtrax. Why the 80GB model I hear you mutter – well, OK it was because these were on special offer and only a few pounds more than the 40Gig models!

On one charge of the Flashtrax battery, I could empty my one gig card five to six times. Which gives me 500-600 shots in a day. If I take the charger with me and the restaurant at lunchtime allows me to plug it in then these figures could be greatly extended.

Also I can take all my music with me – At present I have about 5 gig of MP3s of my collection.

The Minolta D7 is not WA enabled so the 80x speed reduces to 40x. However as WA becomes more widely used (the Kodak pro cameras and some Nikons use it now) then it will be a blessing to everyone. My Lexar 80x card writes now at half speed at 6MB/s but if Minolta update the firmware, it will write at 12MB/s.

When I test the camera on motordrive with the 1MB/s old card and the 6MB/s new card the difference is really noticeable. To such an extent that if I were doing a lot of rapid shooting I would bin the old card. As I don’t I shall keep it for an emergency. If my Lexar fails I have a backup until I can get to a camera shop.

I hope you will get something out of this article as it can be costly to make mistakes and you are always welcome to learn from mine.

A good place to start checking Lexar WA cards is at Clove Technology. And remember, although the Lexar WA card is classed at 80x, you will still get a dazzling fast 40x if your gear is not WA enabled. Another point though, 80x WA only starts at 1GB – although the white paper link above mentions 256MB and 512MB these were the older slower cards…

Have fun in 2005


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