I found a neat way to trick my old point-and-shoot camera to shoot raw images, and many more additional capabilities that are found in a higher end camera. It’s through the use of a firmware called CHDK.
CHDK stands for Canon Hack Development Kit. Unlike other firmwares I have encountered, this one does NOT make permanent changes on the firmware of the camera. This is so because these files are saved onto the memory card and are booted by the camera’s processor whenever the camera is turned on. If you decide to disable the firmware later, then you simply get back the old functionality using the camera’s firmware. By default this Canon firmware hack doesn’t load when the camera is turned on, but this can be configured later so that this firmware loads automatically.
an earlier image taken using the CHDK, it was not possible to shoot into the sun without CHDK
Over years I had been a victim of theft, and on some occasions, I had been quite careless with my gadgets. I once lost a mobile phone on the office of my previous job, which I left on a charger on someone’s desk. I have left a scientific calculator and probably two or three mobile phones in taxis. I had been held up by a robber in a street whom I decided to turn in my mobile phone instead of risking my life. Oh, and money, sure, I had lost thousands of pesos from pickpockets on several occasions.
Either I had been so careless, or I have been unlucky. Or even both! Maybe I should start seriously considering good old services of a fortune teller for lost things!
Did you know that the laptop battery needs proper maintenance to last its entire life? Laptops these days are shipped with lithium-ion batteries which needs a little babysitting to last its estimated life. Replacing a worn-out laptop battery costs more or less $100 which is quite an expensive consumable, so it is a good practice to calibrate such batteries regularly.
When I bought my Acer Aspire 4740G laptop last year, I was not even aware that the batteries that came with the device needed regular maintenance. I was probably like other people who think that batteries need no extra attention, only to come across complaining people that their laptop batteries disappoint them. Most manufacturers also don’t bother placing instructions on how to calibrate these kinds of batteries, and I’m beginning to think that this is their ploy to get their customers to purchase brand new lithium-ion batteries in a short time.
A good battery lasts for two to three years. Various factors like excessive heat and even keeping the laptop unused for several months on a very low charge could shorten the battery life.
Why is there a need for calibration?
Lithium-ion batteries often indicate inaccurate battery wear and capacity readings over time. In effect, the laptop charge doesn’t last long and indicates low battery mode even if the battery is still in good condition.
Simple steps to calibrate your laptop battery
Battery charge should last a bit longer after each calibration. Do the calibration every 30 cycles of charging and discharging, or every month, whichever comes first! Again, most instructions apply to Windows users but there is no reason not to perform calibration on Mac and other operating systems too.
image by VeloBusDriver