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Feb 25, 2005

Here is something for those that like to fall asleep in front of the TV. I like the idea from ruf BETTEN, but has anyone actually sat next to a LCD projector recently?

The projectors have gotten a LOT better, but they are not exactly quiet :-) The air circulation needed to keep the projector bulb from flaming out means the projector's cooling fan has to spin at a pretty good clip... which usually translates to "annoying whining noises". All that aside, I love the idea of the retracting projector screen and the adjustable back cushions! I guess one can always just crank up the surround sound. More about the ruff-CINEMA here.


Feb 24, 2005

As I mentioned a few days ago...PMA 2005 convention was in Orlando this past weekend. True to form, most of the major digital camera manufacturers announced new products at the show. The amount of new gear introduced was astounding! The site Let's Go Digital has done a great job covering the show so if you are interested...head over there to check out all of the offerings.

In looking through all of the new gear, I could not help but noticed that many of the cameras are SO similar that they were almost identical. Take the Nikon Coolpix series for example...Coolpix 4600, 5600, 5900,7600,7900. I'm sure Nikon knows how they differ, but is it clear from reading the specs? Not really....OK, they have different sensor resolutions. However, that is like saying I'm going to buy a camera based on a different film speed or ASA setting. Hey wait... that's EXACTLY what I'm saying. If I want a better sensors or higher resolution pictures, I need to buy a whole different camera. That's that same as say...if want to use a higher resolution film, you need to buy a specific model camera to use it? Hmmmm....why can't they just make the film standard so it would work in all film cameras. Oh, they did!

So...when are manufacturers going to start making cameras with removable imagers so I don't have to upgrade the entire camera just to get higher resolution? I talking to you Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Canon, Kodak, HP, etc...

Don't give me all reasons why you can't. After all, I can upgrade my PC by swapping in a new CPU. Start thinking about how to make it so I CAN :-) See all you guys at PMA 2006...


Feb 23, 2005

Ming and Polly Tsai opened Blue Ginger in February of 1998, in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Designed by both Ming and Polly and in conjunction with a Feng Shui Master, Blue Ginger showcases an open kitchen with a 40 foot blue pearl granite counter, subtle recessed lighting, cream colored walls simply adorned with Vietnamese waterscapes, warm cherry woodwork, Italian granite floors and a soothing water sculpture.

If you are free for dinner on Monday March 7, join Ming for a special wine dinner at Blue Ginger! Check out the menu here.


Feb 21, 2005

Digital cameras and cell phones are a natural fit for many reasons, the obvious one being the combination of the ability to communicate voice and images with the same device. Many companies have been heading down this path for the past several years and Sony Ericsson is no exception. Sony Ericsson announced the S710a back in July 2004.

The S710a should be available now. Features of the phone include:
• 2.3 inch 262K color TFT display
• Swivel-style design
• EDGE high-speed data
• 1.3 megapixel digital camera, 8x digital zoom
• MemoryStick Duo card slot
• Bluetooth

Pricing for the Sony Ericsson S710a is on the high end: $449.99 with a 2-year contract, $499.99 with a 1-year contract, and $549.99 without a contract. Although Amazon has it listed for $269.99 but they don't have it in stock. We will probably wait for the next generation... especially since this is only a 1.3 megapixel version. Besides, I have never been a fan of the MemoryStick format...althought the Cybershot DCS-M1 did come pretty close in making me change my mind.


Feb 18, 2005

You may have noticed a lot of new cameras were introduced this week. The reason is PMA2005 starts in Orlando on Sunday. Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Convention traditionally serves as THE place for new product rollout in digital imaging and conventional technology. More than 83% of exhibitors plan to launch a new product or service at PMA 2005.

One of the new camera that will make its debut is this Canon SD500. Canon packed a 7 megapixel sensor and a bunch of other goodies into this digital camera.

If you want to take this unit snorkeling, you will need the optional watertight case.

I've been using Canon's Digital Elph cameras since they were introduced 4 years ago. They have never let me down... on land or underwater. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one of these SD500!

If you don't need all that resolution, perhaps the new Canon SD400 is more appropriate.Both of these cameras allow you to print directly to a printer without having to first transfer the image to a computer. They also have some built in image processing capabilities (color correction for sky, skin tones, color swapping, etc) right in the camera.

I will have to try the on-camera color correction for myself before I can comment on their usefulness, but the idea is intriguing.

Olympus did not shy away from introducing their new models for PMA2005 either. They announced four new models this week in their D-series consumer digital line and two new models in the Stylus line.

I LOVED Olympus' film cameras when they were making them. In fact, most of my film equipment consist of the OM-4 series (3 bodies, a whole bunch of Zuiko lens, accessories). However, I have trouble buying into Olympus and Fuji's xD memory format. I already own a bunch of memory cards in PCMCIA format, SD format, CF format... I REALLY don't want to buy another bunch of flash cards in yet another format. Am I the only one that feels this way??? So...until I see something SO radically different from manufacturers that uses a memory card format other than SD or CF, I will just have to miss out on using their cameras. If you have already bought into the xD memory format... you may want to check out Olympus' new offerings.


Feb 17, 2005

Kata is a company that designs, develops, and manufactures high quality “Carrying Systems ”. We think their gear are perfect for the type of traveling we and our readers love to do...rugged, but relaxed.

RainyDayMagazine will be doing a series of reviews on the Kata R102 over the next six months. The first and second in the series will be a look at the case itself, the next review will be our initial impressions after the first outing. The last report will be our "In the Wild" review where we'll detail our findings of how the gear hold up after a few months of use.

So check here periodically and see how things are going. We are as eager as you to see how this Kata R102 hold up to our abuses!

Nikon announced their D2Hs Digital SLR. This pro digital camera has all of the auto and manual modes you would expect.

The Nikon D2H now has a larger buffer for faster image capture, improved auto-focus sensors, and new wireless data transfer capabilities.

If you want to take the Nikon underwater, you'll need this housing from Nexus. It should be available in time for Spring Break :-)


Feb 16, 2005

At the American Cancer Society, they know that their most effective weapon in the fight against cancer is information .... information to help prevent, diagnose, and treat. That is why it is one of their primary goals to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information about cancer.

It is for these purposes that the American Cancer Society has created C-Tools 2.0, a timesaving PDA tool that will provide health workers with instant access to the most recent cancer information, and it’s available FREE of charge to anyone in the health care field. Download it FREE by clicking here.

Monitoring our blood pressure is a simple and effective method to gauge our overall cardiovascular health. If you travel but still want to keep tabs on things, Panasonic has made it really simple with their Precise Logic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor.

  • One touch, easy to use operation - blood pressure and pulse rate are alternately displayed
  • Flashing alert for low to severe hypertensive readings, 21 automatic memory


Feb 15, 2005

What's better than your vacation photos in 3D? Why...your vacation videos in 3D, of course. Granted this video camcorder is probably a little bigger than the Sony DV cam we usually pack with our gear, we couldn't resist letting you know about it!

The camera(3DVX.2) is built by 21st Century 3D, uses standard miniDV tapes, and can record directly to hard drives. The best part is this camcorder really IS portable... if you are as strong as Ken:-)

One thing that is hard to do with a 3D image is to print it, but with Epson's new StylusPhoto R1800...you may not care. This new printer from Epson has some pretty impressive specs: 5760x1440 dpi, 1.5 picoliter droplet size, 8 separate inks, and a 100-200 years print life!

The price is around $550, but it is unclear when it will be available. We'll review one for you as soon as we can. In the mean time, go here to read more about it.

A great printer is not much use without great images. Photographers have been capturing great images with Leica cameras for decades. Leicas are the type of camera that are passed on from one generation to the next. They use the best optics available, have a timeless design, and remain functional way past their prime...some would say these cameras are always at their prime.

Leica's D-LUX digital cameras are no exception. The design is minimalistic, but the functions are fully featured: 3x zoom, 3.2 megapixel, multiple flash modes, multiple metering modes, and housed in an aluminium body. No doubt the D-LUX is another classic in the making.


Feb 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day to all our readers! Roses are the traditional flowers for this day, but tulips are also a great alternative. After the bloom has gone, plant the bulbs come Spring and enjoy them again year after year...just like the love from your "pooh bear" :-)

If you are in Boston...check out our "Boston This Week" section for the best place to go to celebrate Valentine's Day. Don't forget to tell them that RainyDayMagazine sent you!


Feb 13, 2005

This weekend was the annual Winter Gashuku (Winter Seminar) at Shobu Aikido of Boston.

Pete Trimmer Sensei and Gleason Sensei taught classes from Friday morning 'til Sunday afternoon.

If you live near Boston and are even remotely interested in Aikido, you owe it to yourself to watch a class. It is not often one has the opportunity to study with a wonderful teacher such as Gleason Sensei!



Feb 9, 2005

Happy Chinese New Year to all our readers from your friends at Rainy Day Magazine!!!!

We'll be back next week... maybe sooner if there we find something REALLY cool that we just have to tell you about :-) In the mean time, click on the image above or here to see the animated version of the Chinese New Year card.


Feb 8, 2005

There are many ways to navigate through a collection of photographs. Mappr! is one of the more compelling interface for organizing and presenting photos on the web. Mappr! is a project from Flickr, the online photo storage site.

Photos are "tagged" by their contributors. The viewer may select the density of photos on the map. Moving the cursor over a thumbnail will give more info of the image. Clicking on the thumbnail brings you to the larger image.

2005 is going to be a great year for digital camera! Following Sony's lead, most companies will be introducing their 5 MegaPixel units for under $500. FujiFilm just announced theirs... it's called the FinePix Z1.

This unit has 3x optical zoom, a huge 2.5 LCD, focus lock, and will be available in June for around $450. We'll bring you more info and an indepth review when the unit ships.


Feb 7, 2005

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Do not underestimate the importance of selecting the appropriate symbol of your affection to give to your significant others...we are talking to the guys :-)

Under NO circumstances should you express your affections with a gift of "printed messages" on computer components. Yes, these "KISS Sweet Memory Premium Edition" 512MB RAM modules are practical. Yes, she may need more memory in the machine. Yes, memory prices/MB are a great value. NONE of it will mean a hoot...because it is VOLATILE memory. To your honey bunny, it will mean that you'll forget about her "as soon as the power is turned off"...trust us on this. More of it does not increase its appeal.

Chocolates, flowers, Hallmark cards... they will not be misinterpreted. On the other hand... you could consider giving "non-volatile FLASH memory". Buy.com has a great sale on Lexar SD 1GB Flash for $69!


Feb 6, 2005

We don't watch a lot of football...3 games a year is pretty much our average. However, we have really enjoyed those games! Our friends Richard and Janet have been nice enough to invite us to watch the Superbowl at their place for the past 4 years.

If you were like us, chances were you bit your nail for a few hours watching the game... right up 'til the last interception with 20 seconds to go!

Rainy Day Magazine would like to congratulate the New England Patriots on their 3rd Superbowl victory in so many years!


Feb 5, 2005

Beads, Hurricane drinks, the French Quarters...this weekend a lot of folks are heading down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. The official start is on Feb 8th this year. The Parade season started on Jan 28. However, the absolute prime time is between Feb 4-8 (this weekend).

If you can't get down there...you can still check out the party via the various live cams! Just because you can't remember what happened doesn't mean it didn't...so have a great time, but know that somebody is always watching :-)


Feb 3, 2005

JVC's Everio line is really filling out with some great devices. First it was the MC200. Now JVC just announced a 3 CCD version (GZ-MC500). Some of the internals are the same, but the resolution has now increased from 2 to 5 Megapixels. 6 and 8GB CF drives will be available sometime in 2005. The prices will be around $2000 when it ships. [More...]


Feb 2, 2005

Celebrate Valentine's Day at Boston's Most Romantic Hotel! Share extraordinary seafood delicacies in the soothing ambiance at one of Boston's top 25 restaurants! The dining experience in Great Bay is the ultimate treat for your special someone on Valentine's Day!

Available from February 11-15, this package creates the perfect stay for you and your special someone! From Veuve Cliquot champagne on arrival and a rejuventaing massage for each of you to a full breakfast in bed the next morning!


Feb 1, 2005

These stereoscope don't look like they were designed for extended wear, but it was too good to not post here. For those that can't get enough of steroscopic photography and all its goofy gear... this is a must have (or must make) contraption.

If you are really committed, the $1000 that it'll put you back shouldn't deter you. [More...]


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