Sandisk Extreme Firewire Compact Flash Card Reader – Faulty

Well, being a wedding, and studio portrait photographer, I wanted to upgrade my crappy CF card reader for a riced, uber one.
The faster I could find, the Sandisk Extreme Firewire Compact Flash Card Reader. Product specs indicate it’s meant to copy at 40MB/s, run via Firewire, and requires an Extreme IV card to make the most if it.

Having a 2Gb Extreme IV CF card, I thought I might as well. I was hoping to be able to use it on my Laptop while out and about, or at the photography stall I have at the Fishermans Warf Markets in Port Adelaide.

So I hunted. While the Sandisk website indicated a few suppliers in Australia, I wanted to try before buying, especially as I was toying with the idea of the extreme USB card reader instead. Unfortunately none of the photographic stores in Adelaide seemed to have it. I couldn’t find any at Diamonds, Ted’s, or the Twin City Camera House.
Eventually I gave up and purchased the unit online from a store in Melbourne.

Finally, I received the unit, only for disappointment. It wouldn’t fit into my Laptop. It wouldn’t accept the 4 pin firewire interface. After doing some searching online I found that on most other online stores that was actually explained. Unfortunately it wasn’t shown on the Sandisk website, nor Camera Action’s :(
I then plugged it into my desktop. “Unknown device detected, please install the drivers“. WHAT THE??? Plugging the device in and inserting a CF card caused the LED to light up on the reader, but windows XP wouldn’t detect it. I tried on another computer, this one with a PCI firewire card, instead of built in… Nothing, Zilch, zip, nada, null.
This computer wouldn’t even detect the card reader, even though the light would come on. A check of windows XP’s device manager showed it had detected an unknown device, but unlike my other computer it didn’t even want me to trying installing some non-existent drivers. The device is meant to just plug in and work.

I then emailed the store, and sent the faulty card reader back. Unfortunately there are no stock of the Extreme USB card readers in Australia that I could swap it for, however the store did contact Sandisk who advised there is was a faulty batch of card readers. Arggh.

Anyway, hopefully some time this week I’ll receive a replacement Sandisk Extreme Firewire CF Card Reader, and not a faulty one.

-Crappy Product Shots-

Photo of the Sandisk Extreme Firewire Compact Flash Card Reader

Photo of the back of the Sandisk Extreme Firewire CF card reader

Note the weird plug on the back. This isn’t any standard firewire port I’ve come across before, however they come with an 8pin -> weird plug converter.

Say NO to Microsoft Office’s broken file format as an ISO standard.

Say NO to Microsoft Office’s broken file format as an ISO standard.

Reasons people should vote No :
1. There is already a standard ISO26300 named Open Document Format (ODF): a dual standard adds costs, uncertainty and confusion to industry, government and citizens;
2. There is no provable implementation of the OOXML specification: Microsoft Office 2007 produces a special version of OOXML, not a file format which complies with the OOXML specification;
3. There is information missing from the specification document, for example how to do a autoSpaceLikeWord95 or useWord97LineBreakRules;
4. More than 10% of the examples mentioned in the proposed standard do not validate as XML;
5. There is no guarantee that anybody can write software that fully or partially implements the OOXML specification without being liable to patent lawsuits or patent license fees by Microsoft;
6. This format conflicts with existing ISO standards, such as ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times), ISO 639 (Codes for the Representation of Names and Languages) or ISO/IEC 10118-3 (cryptographic hash);
7. There is a bug in the spreadsheet file format which forbids any date before the year 1900: such bugs affect the OOXML specification as well as software applications like Microsoft Excel 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007.
8. This standard proposal was not created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties (such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators), but by Microsoft alone.

Update : Google’s official blog has condemned Microsoft, and pushed for renewed support in the ODF. 

Google Maps Street View.

Google Maps new feature, Streetview!
It looks like they’ve hooked up a laptop and gps to a van with a 360° camera and taken photos of the streets every 5m or so.
I remember reading about the technology and they can make 3D scans of the buildings at the same time. Pretty nifty.

In case the above link doesn’t work try the Tiny URL version

I suggest you try clicking on the blue roads and having a look around. The links above go to the road next to the World Trade Centre site.

Google Maps Street View.

Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare

Well, I finished COD 4 a few hours ago, and have been playing the arcade mode, with the Mile High Epilogue quest.

It’s a lot of fun, although I’d think that playing it on Veteran is impossible because of the short time limit.

So far my High Score is ~ 78,000 which I did on Hardened, and still had 1 life left, having completed the mission with 7s on the VIP timer. I know it’s not an amazingly high score, but I’ve only been trying for ~40mins.

Welcome to 2008

Hello everyone! WELCOME TO 2008!

I hope everyone wonderful New Year.

Hopefully a year in which School Yard Justice is finally completed and I’ve actually finished the website (a working gallery page is almost finished, which is hopefully the hardest of the programming I can envision). Once School Yard Justice is release we can look at showing it at some film festivals, then

I also hope that my girlfriend Anna will get her visa and move from Russia to here, long distance long term relationships are very hard, but I hope rewarding.
Another thing I would like to be rewarding is my photography stall at the Fisherman’s Wharf Markets. Every Sunday I go down to the markets at Port Adelaide and I am planning to have general themes. Starting next weekend I will start a Valentines themed stall, aiming to take photos of couples, singles, or anyone who wants their photo done with a rose and a big love heart shaped Potatoshopped© frame and some phrases.

I also need to move out of home. While I have a lot of freedom at the moment I lack independence. I need somewhere that Anna and I can stay, and also somewhere I can be without being disturbed every time someone decides to get home, go to the toilet, slam a door, talk on the phone, turn the TV on loud, or yell at each other *glares at my Russian step mum and sister*

Macro Shots

These thumbs link to the 1280×1024 sized photos (my desktop size).

These are free for distribution, and you are allowed to manipulate the photos, however proper credit (attribution) must still be given to the author of the originals – Michael Kubler.

Please visit for more information, or email me at

Macro - lens cap

Macro - Wood

Macro Flower

Macro String
*Last image edited in Photoshop

I’d love at least a comment from anyone that likes these and uses one as their background.