Computer Diagnosis – Sometimes It’s Just Dirt

A can of air can be the solution to increasing your computer’s life, improving it’s performance, and stopping the fans from running all of the time. Amazon has can of air cheaper than any place I’ve found and it get’s delivered to your door.

I have been putting up with my computer sounding like a jet taking off every few minutes for a few weeks now. I know better. I know that a dirty computer isn’t a good thing. I just didn’t want to accept the fact that I needed to buy a can of air and clean it out. The last time I bought a can, $7 or so was pretty steep. I even went so far as to start trying to diagnose if my computer maintenance software was making the fan kick on with a faulty setting. That wasn’t it. I tried telling myself that it shouldn’t be dirty as I’d cleaned it not long ago. It was dirty.

Once I took the cover off, there was dirt that I’d never seen before in there. I think it might be something with the new processor or processor fans that just draws the dirt to it, but it was like a gritty sand mixture stuck to the processor and fan. I even got a cloth to dig some of it out.

I have an air compressor, but I wouldn’t use it on the computer. The problem is that air compressors pick up moisture and that can lead to water being sprayed into the computer. They also can provide enough force harm the delicate computer internals.  Play it safe and spend the money on canned air.

This fixed the constant overheating and fan start-ups and the computer is running much faster. It’s an easy fix and at $4/can it’s about $2 a cleaning. Just pop the cover off and start cleaning.

Day 23 365 Photo Project

Light trail and Budweiser Sign
Failing at light trailing.

I tried over and over to get an interesting light trail at night and I didn’t care for the result. I did find out just how good I could get with that while not using a tripod. I found a fence post to rest on, but that’s really not steady.

The problem was that I needed a shutter speed long enough to create the trail, but I also needed to remain steady enough as to not blur the Budweiser sign. It was an exercise in learning limitations of my equipment and skills.

Day 22 365 Photo Project

Gas Station At Night
Duke Gas Station At Night

So what’s happening with this 365 project is that I work all day then end up spending the evening either contemplating going out to shoot or wondering around looking for something to shoot. It’s winter, so I haven’t been doing much walking, just driving around looking at what is out there in the somewhat dead town of Newark, Ohio.

I keep ending up looking at the lit up gas stations when I’m completely out of ideas. They’ve got the essential ingredient for night photos, light.

Day 21 365 Project

Seed rack in a department store.
The seed rack and garden supplies have replaced the Christmas section of the department store. One step closer to spring.

This photo was taken yesterday. Long work day and bad weather kept me from venturing out today. Once again, I’ll try to make up for by writing a little about how the project is going and the photos.

I’m really happy with a few of the photos so far. The fire escape was a cool find and The Triangle Bar sign was a huge hit on my Flickr page.

The 2 things I’m gravitating more towards is Night Mode on all of my Canon cameras and my pocketable Canon G15. The night mode on these early Winter evenings saves me from carrying a tripod for night photography. It’s not as good a tripod, but I refuse to carry a tripod most of the time. The G15 is just a great camera to have handy because it’s bokeh ability is there and the quality is high.

For this shot of the seed rack, I was in a department store that I know doesn’t allow photography. They can video you all day long, but you cannot take a photo? Doesn’t seem right. There’s not much they can really do about though except ask you to leave. A pocketable camera does allow for a little more stealth when doing this type of photography.  A good small camera like the G15 allows for good quality in low light. It goes to show that there are things that small cameras can do that DSLR’s can’t.

Day 18 365 Project

Deer skull made into a hat rack.
It’s a hat rack. Get it?!

Today was a cold, miserable, and wet day. I took this photo of a deer skull being used as a hat rack because I found the “hat rack” idea hilarious and I was to lazy to go out in the weather searching for something more interesting. How many deer have to die just so rednecks have a hat rack? Murica!

It does bring up a gear topic that I don’t like to talk about. I hate cell phone cameras. I find the quality low and their controls nearly impossible. Their lens is usually smudged and low natural light without flash just is not happening.

With all of that against them, it doesn’t change the fact that others take incredible photos with them and I don’t. I want to change that. I need to practice to prove to myself that I too can create decent images within the high limitations of these cameras.

Day 17 365 Project

Beer Drive Thru
The Midwest phenomena – the drive-thru.

Drive-thru’s amuse me because even after traveling many places, I didn’t notice that most of the world doesn’t have these. I didn’t notice until a friend who had never been to Ohio asked why in the hell people in Ohio are to lazy to walk inside to get their beer.

Laziness is only part of this. It’s convenience for the customer and inexpensive for the owner. I’m not sure why they don’t exist everywhere, but I’d guess that liquor laws and licenses come into play.

They make them bright and colorful and even charge more. Customers don’t mind when they’re in a hurry.

I like the lights and colors for a night photo shot.

Day 16 365 Project

Dark tunnel with snow.
Dark tunnel with snow. HDR of course.

I didn’t take a photo today. This is from a few days ago. Some days work simply fills up to much time, other days work actually helps me come up with ideas. On these days that ideas don’t happen, I’m going to use recent images and I’ll try to write a little more about the image.

This one, I probably should have thrown out, but I wanted to practice HDR and this photo was good for that. It’s not all that interesting, but if you try to take this photo without HDR, it would be impossible. Here, I’ve managed to get the look I had in my mind while I was stranding the there. I find it interesting, but lacking a subject.

HDR is extreme processing and many claim that it’s over-processing unless it’s done only to fix exposure problems and make it look like a regular photo. I strongly disagree as does many of the non-photographers. Photographers box themselves into the thinking that less post-processing is better and I find them very wrong. This photo while not that great, was nothing at all without heavy post processing.

All photos are processed. Every digital photo is put through a software process to produce an image. The “out-of-the-camera” look is nothing but the rendition of the photo that the camera manufacturer has decided upon with the software in the camera’s computer. It’s usually a very good rendition, but there is so much more that can be done.

When you shoot in RAW, you get the full and unprocessed version of the photo and all control of the output is in your control instead of the team that wrote the camera’s software. You may not like a photo of mine, but I’ve used my skills to produce the closest representation of what I saw when I took the photo. That is the “art” of post-processing that many do not understand.

HDR is just one of the many tools that can be used to balance the light, draw out colors and details, and change the textures to closer match exactly what a photographer had in mind. No generalized in-camera software can do that at the present time.

A Journal Of Photography, Motorcycles, And Other Cool Things