On Camera Reviews

I started writing camera reviews back when I had my old mapgeek.org website. Alas, hosting your own site is problematic and I lost pretty much all of the original content. Well, I’m going to start again and will create a web page for each of my review but will create a short blog post for each as well.

First up is the Minolta SR-T 202. Why? Because that was the camera I had in my hand when I decided to write again. It’ll be a work in progress so keep visiting this blog for updates.

On New Projects, Part 2

I wanted to write something about tackling new computer/technology projects but then the holidays happened… Anyway, my plan was (still is) to get back into GIS–specifically geospatial data analysis–and eventually find paid work again.   The field of GIS (and other such computer-based technologies) is changing fast and I need to keep pace if I’m going to find work. Another reason to do it is that I have some projects waiting when I go back to my hometown. I’ll post something about it when the time comes.

So, I was taking some online courses through Coursera and will do so again once I start keeping up with my schedule. Coursera offers a lot of courses from a lot of different fields. I got started when I received an e-mail from the U of MN’s alumni association offering a course called Creative Problem Solving. The class was well done and the assignments were very challenging–not hard but meant to make you think and do something outside of what you normally do. It got me inspired to take more courses. I took a couple of Python classes and was doing really well until the last two weeks of December. That’s not really an excuse but when you start doing something else other things get dropped. Online courses are easy to drop because, well, you can always get back to it… Not. Watching course videos take a little bit of your time and, like, traditional courses it’s hard to catch up when you fall behind. It doesn’t help when you take more than one course–those videos will eat a lot of your time.

I do recommend looking at Coursera and picking a class you’re interested in. Avoid taking more than one class at a time unless you’re unemployed and need those classes to build up your resume. If you’re not sure if taking an online class is worth the money, try auditing a class first. You won’t have to pay to audit a class but you won’t get a certificate of completion. Try it. It’s a good thing.

On New Projects…, Part 1

Winter in Minnesota can be long and hard… one of the many ways to pass time is to stay active–ski, snowshoe, do indoor climbing, go out to watch plays or concerts. I do all that and I occasionally go out to take photos. This winter, I resolve to do a little more photography by taking photos whenever I do something outside of work. Go out to dinner? Take a photo or two. Go for a hike? Take a bunch of photos. So, photos as mental exercise. Physical and mental conditioning go hand-in-hand when it comes to improving your general health so I plan on doing a bit of both.

I also recently moved from the western suburbs to the North End neighborhood of St. Paul. The room I’m renting from a friend, Jake McKean, is in the attic/loft/garret and has one window facing west. Another friend, Andy Amundsen, who has been taking photos off windows in his own loft room recently challenged me to do something similar. So, this morning, when I woke up with a substantial snow accumulation on the ground (the trees and on our roof) I felt inspired to take on the challenge. Andy calls has a tag for his photo series, #loftviews. I think I will call mine either #atticlookout or #aviewfromagarret. Or, if I’m really not that serious (which I’m not), I will call it #viewfrommyroom. Anyway, here’s my first pic of the series…

A view from my room…