Category Archives: opinions

MEGA cloud storage, 50GB Free and PRO Accounts with Bitcoin support. Plus: Linux Command Line Application

MEGA File Hosting, secure, 50GB Free and Bitcoin support.

Some of you might already have heard about MEGA, the online cloud service of Kim Schmitz. After some months of use, i have to point out our experiences with the service. We never experienced any downtime so far – and we currently are using a free account as well as a paid 2TB account, which can also be paid via Bitcoin.

Upload speeds are very high compared to Dropbox (we had around 10MB/s, which is more than double to Dropbox). Currently, I am mostly using it with the linux command-line client to directly push backups from our servers to the cloud. There are two tools which you can currently use to do direct command line interaction with your mega account:

1) megacmd
2) megatools (which is only available via github)

Both are quite straight forward to install. Highly recommended!

UPDATE: The MEGA Vulnerability Reward Program pays up to 10.000$ – “rewards to anyone reporting a previously unknown security-relevant bug or design flaw”.

Apple Mac OSX 10.8.3 brings AMD Radeon 7xxx: 7750, 7870, 7950, 7970 to Hackintosh!

Apple’s recent update of Mac OS X 10.8.3 finally brings AMD Radeon drivers (kext) to hackintoshers around the globe.

Here is some other update news of the recent ML update by Apple: About the OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 Update, which also contains various security fixes:

New Kexts:
ATI7000Controller.kext
AMDRadeonX4000GLDriver.bundle
nVida kexts (ver. 8.10.18 304.10.65a13) included.

As of March 24, 2013, the AMD Radeon HD 7970, 7950, 7870, 7770, and 7750 have been confirmed to work “out of the box” (without the need for additional drivers), while the AMD Radeon HD 7850 only works with specially edited kext files.

The fastest AMD Radeon (that is confirmed to work) is the the Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/HDMI/2x Mini-Displayport PCI-E 3.0 Graphics Card GV-R797OC-3GD

gigabyte_amd_radeon_7970_fastest_hacktintosh_card_from_amd_radeon_kext_osx_ml_mountain_lion

In other news: Sapphire launched Radeon 7950 based Mac Graphics Card, that is supposed to work out-of-the-box on a Mac Pro and supposedly also on Hackintosh computers.

Apple MacBook Pro Retina graphics performance is very slow: 18FPS

Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15inch Notebook GPU too slow for pro users?

According to Anandtech the 2880 x 1800 Pixel HiDPI Display of the new MacBook Pro Retina has to deal with so much pixels, the GPU cannot deal with that amount of information anymore. This results in slow performance and a jumpy interface (scrolling and zooming is very slow). Previous models of the MacBook Pro could display between 46-60 frames per second, while the MacBook Pro Retina is only capable of displaying 18-24fps. Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion should improve this a little – but still under 30fps. According to Anand, the solution will be the upcoming Haswell and Broadwell chipsets from Intel, that will be released in 2013.

To quantify exactly what I was seeing I measured frame rate while scrolling as quickly as possible through my Facebook news feed in Safari on the rMBP as well as my 2011 15-inch High Res MacBook Pro. While last year’s MBP delivered anywhere from 46 – 60 fps during this test, the rMBP hovered around 20 fps (18 – 24 fps was the typical range). Remember at 2880 x 1800 there are simply more pixels to push and more work to be done by both the CPU and the GPU. It’s even worse in those applications that have higher quality assets: the CPU now has to decode images at 4x the resolution of what it’s used to. Future CPUs will take this added workload into account, but it’ll take time to get there.

For early adopters and for posers, the new MacBook Pro Retina might be a fit. For serious people using their computers to actually get work done, it might be better to get a MacBook Pro from the previous Generation, since the price drops are significant: the Apple MacBook Air MC968LL/A 11.6-Inch currently sells for $829 new (refurbished from $789), the Apple MacBook Pro MC700LL/A 13.3-Inch sells for $1050 new ($900 refurbished).

The Apple MacBook Pro MC975LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) starts at $2,089.99.

Nikon D800 and D800E DSLR Cameras are DxOMark Leaders

DxOMark is the trusted industry standard for camera and lens independent image quality measurements and ratings – DxO Labs is also behind the software DxO Optics Pro, a “Photo Enhancing Software for Mac and Windows”, which is said to have the best RAW converters out there, compared to Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Long story short, the latest Nikon Cameras are the top-leaders of the DxOMark scoreboard – with the Nikon D800E scoring 96 points and the Nikon D800 scoring 95 points.

The Nikon D800E as well as the Nikon D800 are in stock on amazon marketplace, so make sure to get either model. As previously reported on nanofunk – the differences of the D800 to the D800E are minor – but both models are highly recommendable cameras. I just ordered myself a D800E, expect some in-depth experience postings here soon.

New Nikon D800 and D800e stock available shortly, according to Nikon and various online sources

30,000 Units of the D800 and D800E are produced per month. Demands are still more than can be produced.According to Nikon USA and to various sellers, the next bunch of D800 cameras will be released by end of the month, since the production volume of the cameras (D800 and D800E) is 30,000 units per month. I am also on various waiting lists for a D800E (which is actually even harder to get hands on, since it is produced in smaller quantities), such as Amazon and B&H Photography – and I can recommend you do the same, if you are really interested in getting any version of the D800 camera.

In Europe (UK and Mainland), there are some sellers that actually have the Nikon D800 in stock, although for a slightly higher price than Nikon’s recommended price tag, but what about the USA? I tweeted yesterday, that the Nikon D800 is available for $2750 in the US, but the stock of this particular shop seems to have been completely sold in only 3 hours. There are some people selling their factory sealed D800 cameras in the USA, so if you really want one, you have to pay the price of some few extra bucks.

But according to big resellers and to Nikon, the next batch of units will be available soon in Europe and in the USA: end of the month/beginning of next month, another big amount of preorders will be fulfilled.

With the current 1,600 workers, the factory is producing one unit of camera per minute on a daytime shift with each unit of the D800 variant produced every four hours and the D4 variant every five hours.” (source: nikonrumors)

But this is not the whole deal: according to techradar, “Some components for camera production are sourced from overseas factories including Nikon China, with around 1600 component parts required to produce both the D800 and D4.

All this hype and lots of work go into the D800, which already received the Camera GP2012 Camera of the Year and Readers Awards, and still the demand is very high.

Recommended SSD Solid State Drives for your Apple Mac, MacBook Pro and your Hackintosh

Since the SSD technology already matured a lot and the drives are mostly more stable than Hard Disk, the only question remains on which drive to choose. Actually, the answer is more simple than you might have thought: go for the longest warranty.

The OCZ Vertex 3 is a very cheap and awesome piece of hardware (read the benchmarks here: OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Intel 520 SSD) but the Vertex 3 has one major problem: it features only 3 years of warranty. So what drives are currently offering more than 3 years? The OCZ Vertex 4 and the Intel 520 SSD drives, both the cutting edge of speed and durability offer 5 years of warranty.

OCZ Vertex 4 features the best 4K random performance, so this is the drive to look out for! highly recommended!

OCZ Vertex 4 features the best 4K random performance, so this is the drive to look out for! highly recommended!

Both drives feature a 5 year warranty, which shows us that the drives are really high quality.

The Intel 520 Cherryville Solid State Drives are built with duarbility in mind: Intel has a very good reputation when it comes to Solid State Drives - nanofunk can highly recommend this SSD for Hackintosh or Apple usage!

The Intel 520 Cherryville Solid State Drives are built with duarbility in mind: Intel has a very good reputation when it comes to Solid State Drives - nanofunk can highly recommend this SSD for Hackintosh or Apple usage!

Nikon D800 vs. D800E – no real technical difference, only for different market segments

[Update] as outlined by commenter dslr4video, there are minimal differences to the two camera models, but they are minimal and can be ignored.

Falk Lumo from LumoLabs made an interesting comparison of the D800 vs the D800e: they came to the conclusion that “the differences between the two models are less than one would expect” and “with ~100% amount sharpening, the D800E should deliver comparable results with ~0.5 pixels less sharpening radius, compared to a D800. This also means that one should not refrain from sharpening when using the D800E. Just use weaker settings”.

In conclusion, the Nikon D800 and the D800E are almost the same cameras, with only a pricey difference: the Nikon D800 sells for $2999,00 while the Nikon D800E currently costs $3299,00. As Falk Lumo notes – the biggest difference is the market segment, the different Nikon models approach: while the D800 is meant for APS-C and 35mm full frame SLR crossgraders (coming from Canon, Sony, Pentax or Panasonic, etc), since those cameras already have a Bayer-AA Filter. The D800E is meant for medium format (or Leica M9) cross-graders as all those cameras have no Bayer-AA filter implemented and photographers are used to the moire that can show up on fabrics or repetitive patterns.

“The results are pretty similiar, with a bit more sarurated false colors and false color moiré in the D800E (as to be expected). But the D800 is able to show a bit of false color moiré too (a phenomenon known from the Canon 5DmkIII too).”

Please read the article for yourself on falklumo.blogspot.de (written in english), since they really did a good job in measuring the actual sharpness differences.

Recommendation from nanofunk: get the Nikon D800 – currently there is a discount price, where it sells for $2.750 in the USA.

Apple Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion RC3 Released with some updates, 10.7.4 around the corner

Apple’s Mountain Lion Developer Preview was updated to version 12A193i (from 12A178q) weighing 1.45GB.

The Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Operating System got an update bumping the version number to 12A193i (from 12A178q). (Photocredits By KRO-Media Kristen Ortwerth-Jewell)

“With the Developer Preview, you can explore Game Center, Notification Center, Documents in the Cloud, new sharing capabilities, advanced security features, and much more”

Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion includes lots of features from iOS, such as Reminders, Messages and Game Center. One noted update from the previous version of the Developer Preview is a Do Not Disturb setting to Mountain Lion’s Notifications Center, as outlined by 9to5mac, which allows users to block incoming alerts and banners.

Furthermore Mac OSX 10.7.4 Lion Update is around the corner: 11E53 is the current build that was seeded to developers. The previous release was numbered 11E52 – so a final public update is imminent. Apple notes that there are no known issues with this build but asks developers to focus their testing on graphics, iCal, Mail, Printing, and Time Machine.

If there are updated kexts is not known at the time of writing – it looks like we have to wait for the final release of 10.8 ML to get new graphics drivers, such as support for the 7xxx AMD Radeon GPUs with the Codenames Cedar, Caicos, Turks, Cape Verde, Pitcairn, Tahiti and New Zealand.

iPhone 5 might have new in-cell technology for updated multi touch display

via macrumors: Apple might be planning to use new “in-cell” display technology from Japanese manufacturers in the next-generation iPhone. “Compared with on-cell technology, touch panels that use in-cell technology can be made thinner because the touch sensors are actually placed inside the color filters rather than on top of them”

This would mean we can expect the new iPhone 5 to be much thinner than the previous iPhone 4S Model.

OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Intel 520 SSD Benchmarks on OSX (Hackintosh)

Long story short, the Intel 520 240GB SSD is a bit faster than the OCZ Vertex 3 240GB.

The tool to test read/write speeds: AJA System Test is a free download from AJA. The Software is available for Mac and Windows, the Tests performed were on a 10.7.2 Z68 Chipset Hackintosh System (Intel Chipset).

OCZ Vertex 3 240GB Benchmark Performance AJA Disk Test slower drive almost equal

OCZ Vertex 3, Firmware v2.15 240 GB (SATA 6GBPS)

Intel 520 Cherryville 240GB AJA Disk Test Performance Results Benchmark Winner

Intel 520 Cherryville 240 GB SATA6GBPS

Adobe Releases Flash Player 11.2 and Air 3.2 – still kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero

Adobe released Flash Player version 11.2 and Adobe Air 3.2 but still did not fix the kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero issues.

Nanofunk reported on this on Jul 28, 2011 and again on Dec 22, 2011. Furthermore the issue was reported in the Adobe Bug Tracker and reproduced by many other users.

the log file (kernel.log) gets flooded with "kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero." messages

It is 8 months after we reported to the Adobe Forums and there was not even a single response from Adobe yet. I will start to boycott Flash Player from now on (currently removing it from my system). Here is a link to the Uninstall Flash Player Howto. Bye Bye, Adobe.

Panasonic GH2 beats the crap out of Canon EOS 5D MKIII (MK3)

“Now here we are nearly 4 years down the road from the original 5D Mark II that started it all. What do we have? A 5D Mark III with video quality dated to the tune of nearly 4 years.” (eoshd)

I am a big fan of the Panasonic GH2, but since the Canon EOS 5D MKIII and the Nikon D800 were released to the public, I am thinking of switching gear. Currently, there is a fight between the D800 and the 5D3, but the Panasonic GH2 seems to still beat the crap out of Canon. Did Canon finally lose the DSLR wars?

The Panasonic GH2 is a bargain on amazon US:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 16.05 MP Live MOS Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD and 14-42mm Hybrid Lens – Black ($899)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 16.05 MP Live MOS Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Free-Angle Touch Screen LCD (Black Body Only) ($849)

If you are into second-hand gear, you can get your hands on the Panasonic GH2 starting at $400ebay. Go and get one, while they are still cheap ;)

Canon can still turn the wheel around, by releasing a firmware upgrade. Currently, the EOS 5D MK3 has very poor video quality – only the reduced rolling shutter and moire are worth an upgrade – although the price of the Canon is far too high. I totally have to agree with EOSHD on this one.

computers saved capitalism. according to joseph weizenbaum

joseph weizenbaum rebel at work dvd film documentary computers saved capitalismJoseph Weizenbaum, German-American author and professor emeritus of computer science at MIT is called one of the grandfathers of artificial intelligence. The documentary Weizenbaum. Rebel at Work shows Weizenbaum talking about computers and globalism. He states that “if you think of the social structures of the world (…) computers came at the right time to prevent a radical change of the world”. Computers finally saved capitalism in a moment, when the polulation boom needed a structural change – in some sense, computers prevented a radical and maybe better transformation, according to Weizenbaum.

The film on DVD is highly recommended by nanofunk!

The film spans 8 decades of Joseph Weizenbaum’s life. It provides a stage for his humorous narrative depicting a World of Yesterday while reflecting on the dawn of the computer age. It follows 84-year-old Weizenbaum on some of his numerous public lessons, effortlessly entertaining overcrowded lecture halls. (via amazon.com)

Nikon D800 (D800E) vs. 5D MK3 (MKIII): Raw Video, HDMI, Magic Lantern

Nikon D800 D800E dslr video photo photography camera raw video clean hdmi Canon 5D MK III 3 mk3 5d3 5dmk3 5dmkiii video photo cam dslr filming

The war on the DSLR front continues to evolve between the Nikon D800 and the Canon EOS 5D MKIII. The current state of information is as follows:

Canon 5D MKIII
The Canon 5D MKIII performs better in low-light and high ISO. Sadly it has no clean HDMI out, which is a real bummer. The internal codec is at 90Mbps 4:2:0, which is not much. The available video samples look good, although it could be even better with clean HDMI output – but who is to bring clean HDMI to the 5d3? There are two possible ways:

a) Magic Lantern could bring clean HDMI output to the Canon 5D MK3, if it can be hacked, which is not clear as of now. Also, it will take some time, expect at least 6months to see any usable development (if at all).

b) Canon could release a firmware update to provide clean HDMI out. We could try and contact canon to tell them, that we demand clean HDMI out. Of course, it remains totally unclear if they will ever release such an update.

Although, the Canon 5D MK3 seems to have better Video capabilities, clean detail and no moire (or at least almost no moire) – which would not be fixed by HDMI out anyway. If there is the chance to crank up the codec to 180Mbit (with a hack by Vitaly Kiselev or Magic Lantern) we would see a definite winner in the battle.

Nikon D800/D800E
The Nikon D800 performs quite well on paper, but in reality the Canon 5D MK3 performs better in low-light and high ISO. First samples of clean HDMI output and RAW Video (Apple ProRes) with the Nikon D800 are online – and they look great. Keep in mind that the Nikon D800 provides 8bit output (not 10bit), and the first RAW Video results are better than the internal codec Canon 5D MK3 Videos. Bundled with the Atomos Samurai and the Atomos h2s connect the Nikon D800 brings you high resolution 800×480 LCD (with focus peaking and zebras via latest firmware) plus 4:2:2 video. This is clearly the best setup we have as of today, maybe only topped by a D4+Samurai (c.f. mike kobal’s results with the d800).

Atomos Samurai raw video hdmi hdsdi hd sdi 10bit recorder filming d800 5dmk3Atomos Ninja HDMI video recorder dslr 10bit raw video d800 5dmk3 mk iii 3

Still, the current discussion is about comparing apples to oranges, at least from watching actual results and comparing them:

Comparing photo/stills performance (via canonrumors forum)
1. At ISO100, the Nikon D800 has noticeably superior images out of the camera, due primarily to greater detail and dynamic range.
2. At ISO6400, the Canon 5DIII has noticeably superior images out of the camera, due primarily to significantly less noise.

bobatkins notes: The bottom line is that neither the D800 nor the EOS 5D MkIII sensor is “better”. They are different. The Nikon sensor should have higher resolution which will be desirable for those making very large prints or who need to significantly crop their images. On the other hand the EOS 5D MkIII sensor will produce images with lower noise and higher dynamic range in lower light conditions where the use of higher ISO settings are desirable. For smaller prints at lower ISO settings (which is where most amateur photographers will be working most of the time), the sensor pixel count and noise characteristics won’t matter.

Comparing video performace
Fact: Video doesn’t need a high resolution sensor, it is all about the crop modes and sensor scaling, as outlined by eoshd, when we just look at the surface of the Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D MK3 debate.
BUT (as discussed on dvinfo) the Nikon D4 could be the real deal, beating both the D800 and the 5D3: It would seem to me that as a micro-budget filmmaker without access to as much lighting as one would like – the fatter pixels of the d4 would provide better low light shooting outside at night, dimly lit night interiors etc. When moving about with only a china ball and a c-stand I think I would want the sensor of the d4 on my side to maximize the lack of additional equipment. So while it seems like the d800 is better suited because of the price tag – my thoughts are that the d4 with one more crop setting than the d800 [fewer lenses], and better low light, and wireless control [small crew] that it is the d4 that will actually be the indie-filmmakers choice.

There is no clear winner to the war, and Canon could still turn around and release a firmware update that provides HDMI out. Further, the actual results of the D4 vs D800 have to be compared to crown the king of DSLR video.

In the meanwhile, it might be also worth to invest in a Canon 5D MKII still, since it is selling quite cheap those days (selling for $2,199.00 new) and can be used with RAW Video (HDMI) output with Magic Lantern Unified soon.

The death of Firefox, really?

Sebastian Anthony posted on extremetech, that the death of firefox will happen soon, as it lost ground to IE, chrome and Safari. Between 2010 and today Firefox has lost a third of its market share, from a worldwide peak of around 30% down to 20%.

Chrome is breathlessly decimating Firefox’s userbase at a breakneck rate. It took Firefox more than four years to prise 20% of the market from Internet Explorer; Chrome did it in almost half that, and is fast approaching 30% in just over three years. Internet Explorer’s graph is a little harder to interpret, but it looks like it might have finally turned the corner and stopped hemorrhaging market share.

The question is, if a better (and this means smaller memory footprint) firefox will surface soon. If not, the userbase might shrink further. The “only” actual advantage from firefox over Safari, IE and Chrome is: it is not run by an evil company. Google, Apple and Microsoft are out there, wanting your data (cf. the EFF talking about disabling google web search history before google’s new privacy policy takes effect).

Firefox will survive, but it has to reposition itself to be seen as the “rebel” once again. After all, Mozilla Firefox it is the only browser that is not run by a commercially driven entity. The Mozilla Foundation is “a non-profit organization that promotes openness, innovation and participation on the Internet.”. Users should value that fact.

Sandy Bridge-E Intel 2011 Socket confirmed working with Hackintosh

[Update] Intel Socket 2011 does not only support Sandy Bridge-E, but also the upcoming Ivy Bridge-E Chipset, as outlined by one of our commenters. That makes the Socket-2011 Mainboards a perfect choice for a hackintosh system.

Many of us are waiting for an update to the Sandy Bridge (E) Chipset to the upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge (along with the release of new Apple Hardware), that would allow running the new Intel Chipset with Hackintoshed customac systems.

But what about Sandy Bridge-E?
Ivy Bridge will be Quad-Core. If you want more threads and cores, go for SB-E. Sandy Bridge-E as well as Ivy Bridge will have PCIe 3.0. SB-E has 40 PCIe lanes (compared to 16 lanes in Sandy Bridge) as well as 1600MHz memory speed (quad-channel memory) which should be around 33% faster in theory.

There are confirmed builds that can run Mac OSX 10.7 (Lion) as well as 10.6 (Snow Leopard) with the Intel Sandy Bridge-E (SB-E) X79 Chipset. Integrated Graphics are not supported, but who needs them anyway, since the AMD 6990 GPU or the upcoming 7990
Here is a list of the confirmed mainboards:

ASUS Asustek P9X79 Mainboard Socket S2011 hackintosh chimera

Asus P9X79 Deluxe (user: vonmolk)
$370 in the US, €299 in Europe

Pro: good build quality (compared to other versions of that board)
Cons: none. The Asus Rampage IV has even better build quality.

Gigabyte GA-X79-UD7 Mainboard Socket 2011 (ATX, DDR3 Speicher, SATA III, USB 3.0) Intel Hackintosh chimera

Gigabyte GA-X79-UD7 (user: machacks)
€297 in Europe, ??? in the USA

Pro: Awesome board! (nanofunk recommendation). Gigabyte has a longer history of hackintosh-capable boards, so get one of those.
Cons: none, really. Overclocking features could be better.

ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME - LGA2011 - X79 - 8x DIMM - PCIe 3.0 Motherboards Hackintosh chimera

* ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (user: nfsking2)
$415 in the US, €369 in Europe

Pro: awesome build quality, extreme overclocking support.
Cons: expensive.

The MSI X79 Big Bang XPower II is suspected to work as well (once it becomes available). Theoretically, most of the X79 boards should work, we just have to wait and see what early birds (early adopters) are coming up with. Keep up the great work, ppl! (and don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments below)

Canon Cameras: 5D Mark III Sooner Than Later, 7D Mark II for Photokina?

canonrumors puts a date on a possible announcement of the long awaited Canon 5D MK III (MK3): announced around the end of March or early April 2012, “availability will probably happen before the summer begins in 2012. No specs were given at this time. This is a very solid [CR2]. The NAB show is April 14-19 in Las Vegas.”.

The Canon EOS 7D Mark 2, northlight-images amongst other blogs report, “will be one of the big items Canon shows at Photokina 2012 in Cologne, Germany”. Reports about the camera being APS-C are rumored, even though there is some info out there about it being APS-H. (dpreview, canonrumors)

Currently, the Canon EOS 5D MK II sells starting at $1,980.00 on Amazon US and EUR 1.679,95 on Amazon Germany. The Canon EOS 7D starts at $1,298.49 (Amazon US) and  EUR 1.229,95 (Amazon Germany). Since there were recent price drops, it is unclear if the prices will further slide down, once a new product will be introduced. Our recommendation is to get a Camera now, if you really need it, possibly refurbished. The second hand value will still be high, so it’s currently a good time to buy, although new models might be around the corner.

Rumors of Apple iPad 3 to be released on February 24 2012

FocusTaiwan reports (via 9to5Mac) that Apple pushing its manufacturing partners to meet deadlines that would allow the company to launch the iPad on Steve Jobs’ birthday, February 24th.

According to the report, workers at several iPad component suppliers as well as manufacturing partner Foxconn will have limited time off during the usual Lunar New Year holiday. The Lunar New Year holiday itself falls on January 23rd next year, with workers generally receiving a number of other days off from work around that date.


Sources have been reporting a variety of rumored dates for an iPad 3 introduction, with some claiming a debut in the March-April timeframe while others have pointed to a February launch being in the works.

Apple last year launched new MacBook Pro models on Jobs’ birthday, although that unusual Thursday introduction was likely a convenient coincidence driven by the debut taking place during the Presidents Day holiday week.

[original via macrumors.com]

Last Minute gift options: all things digital.

Maybe this is obvious – but since I am always very late in buying christmas presents, here are some options for you people out there that have (like me) not all gifts together yet:

#1: Give awesome games and help charity: The Humble Indie Bundle #4 includes these Games (even with Steam coupons to import the games to your Steam account): Super Meat Boy, Shank, Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, NightSky, Cave Story+, Gratuitous Space Battles,
Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVVV, Hammerfight, And Yet It Moves.

#2: Give some digital stuff, such as Kindle eBooks, or Steam Gifts to gamers.
You would need to know for sure, if the person already got that present, though. There’s nothing worse than getting digital content twice.

#3: Order something online and print out the picture of it.
I know, this is cheesy, but after all you can all blame it to the parcel service: “The shipping time was more than a month!”. Make sure, if your item is from ebay, that the real purchase date can not be found out.

To all Nanofunk readers: merry christmas! Hope you have nice and relaxing days.

kernel[0]: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero – A never-ending story about Adobe failing to get their Flash Player and Adobe Air Plugin to work on Mac OSX in a “normal” way.

kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero
kernel[0]: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero

With Mac OSX Lion 10.7.0, a message was repeatedly showing up in the Console.app, so the logfiles would grow in size – sometimes around 100 MB per minute. This is especially bad for SSD owners. While the issue was reported over 6 Months ago, and Flash Player 11 solved the amount of errors in the console, still the message appears and slows down OSX 10.7 systems.

At least the release of Adobe’s Flash Player 11 solved the system freezes – but the Log message still is filling the kernel.log, so any debugging or search for errors is quite hard with that amount of data to read through.

If you are experiencing the same issues, please write your concerns to the Adobe Forums in the existing thread and alternatively also in the Apple Discussion Thread.

Nanofunk reported about this issue in july 2011, and we got over 60.000 unique visits to this post – so this is not a rare case, this is a serious bug with Adobe Flash and Adobe Air. We will post any updates to the situation to this blog, make sure to bookmark our feed.

See also:
* macrumors forum about kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero
* nanofunk: Mac OSX Lion 10.7 System Freezes: kernel: IOSurface: buffer allocation size is zero (console message)

 

[Update] I posted to the Adobe Bugbase with a bug description. Hope they will respond now.

OCZ Vertex 3 Fail: “Runtime corruption detected on SSD” and why SSD drives are not safe yet.

After almost 9 months with the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA-6GBPs (read about my OptiBay two-drive setup) and mostly no issues, the drive died on me. Starting with several GSOD (Grey Screens of Death) on my OSX Lion MacBook Pro, the drive became more and more unreliable.

Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel[0]: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 9852)
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel[0]: hfs_swap_HFSPlusBTInternalNode: catalog key #54 too big
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel[0]: hfs: Runtime corruption detected on SSD, fsck will be forced on next mount.
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel[0]: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 10370)
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel[0]: hfs_swap_HFSPlusBTInternalNode: catalog record #22 keyLength=32 expected=65568
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel[0]: hfs: node=10965 fileID=4 volume=SSD device=/dev/disk0s2
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel[0]: hfs: Runtime corruption detected on SSD, fsck will be forced on next mount.
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel[0]: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 14503)
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel[0]: hfs_swap_BTNode: record #55 invalid offset (0x9B46)

It was getting slower and slower, reporting tons of errors in the Console.app. Then, it did not reboot anymore. Even in an external USB drive enclosure the drive did not mount anymore. Contacting OCZ about this issue, they sent me an RMA number right away and told me they will replace the drive. Does this mean our data is not safe in SSD? What can we learn from this?

First of all, it is a myth that SSDs are more reliable than hard drives. Secondly, they are not even fully supported on OSX yet (see Should I use Trim Enabler on Lion for the OCZ Vertex 3? No!) – at least if you install the drives yourself (which is also what I would suggest, since Apple does not offer any decent SATA 6GBPs drives yet).

So where is the proof, you ask?

Proof #1: The Hot/Crazy Solid State Drive Scale (via Coding Horror)

Super Talent 32 GB SSD, failed after 137 days
OCZ Vertex 1 250 GB SSD, failed after 512 days
G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 251 days
G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 276 days
Crucial 64 GB SSD, failed after 350 days
OCZ Agility 60 GB SSD, failed after 72 days
Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 15 days
Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 206 days

As a commenter put it: “Average life of SSD = 227.375 days (based on Wills’ data)” – which is also what I can confirm.

SOLUTION: Backup early, backup often. Don’t rely on the SSD and make two local backups plus one backup in the cloud.

Proof #2: long-term study of SSD failure rates (via Tomshardware)

SSD vs HDD Failure Chart

SOLUTION: Buy drives that come with a very long warranty. Be prepared to let your drive replace for several times.

I am still waiting for my replacement OCZ Vertex and I will benchmark how fast it will die again. Since OCZ told me, it can take up to three weeks for my replacement to arrive, I bought myself a Seagate ST750LX003 750 GB SATA 600, Momentus XT, 8 GB SLC – it’s a hybrid 750GB HDD with an 8GB SLC cache. The drive shifts data that is used often in the 8GB SLC SSD space automatically. While the SSD part of this hybrid drive can also fail, the data won’t be lost and it will suffer just some minor speed loss (if it fails, since SLC is said to be more reliable than MLC chips). While this disk is now my main startup disk, i will go back to using the OCZ Vertex 3 again, once the replacement arrives. I just need to backup regularly – the speed gain is really worth the trouble.

iPhone 5 Prototype Hands-On: Fake or Real?

(via macrumors) Business Insider now reports that it has received word from a source who has claimed to have had access to an iPhone 5 prototype and offered some details on the device. We’ve been told this by an industry source who has been right about future Apple products in the past.

It has not been verified yet, but there are some leaked details, which are of course just rumors:

- 4-inch screen
- Aluminum back
- Capacitive home button
- “Flatter” form factor
- Much faster than current hardware, but poor battery life
- 10-megapixel rear camera
- Siri prototype known as “Assistant”, which had been the rumored name for the feature until its introduction

There are quite some good deals on the Apple iPhone 4S on ebay, an introduction of the iPhone 5 would let the price of the “older” models drop significantly (talking about the Osborne Effect)

Facebook “Open Compute” Server tested by Anandtech

Facebook designed an AMD and an Intel motherboard – all manufactured by Quanta. Their main aim was to make more efficient and cheaper servers: “The result is a data center full of vanity free servers which is 38% more efficient and 24% less expensive to build and run than other state-of-the-art data centers.” The efficiency of the voltage regulators: 94%. Everything was removed, that was not absolutely necessary: the motherboards have no BMC, very few USB (2) and NIC ports (2), one expansion slot, and are headless (no videochip).

Facebook had 22 Million active users in the middle of 2007; fast forward to 2011 and the site now has 800 Million active users, with 400 million of them logging in every day. Facebook has grown exponentially, to say the least! To cope with this kind of exceptional growth and at the same time offer a reliable and cost effective service requires out of the box thinking. Typical high-end, brute force, ultra redundant software and hardware platforms (for example Oracle RAC databases running on top of a few IBM Power 795 systems) won’t do as they’re too complicated, power hungry, and most importantly far too expensive for such extreme scaling. (quoting Anandtech)

“The AMD servers are mostly used as Memcached servers, as the four channels of AMD Magny-cours Opterons 6100 are capable of using 12 DIMMs per CPU, or 24 DIMMs in total. That works out to 384GB of caching memory.”

It remains unclear, when or if that server hardware will be available for purchase – but it looks like there will be some cloud/datacenter providers jumping on the idea of the open compute servers, so it might be possible to rent them.

iPhone 4S / Canon 5d MKII Side by Side Comparison

***You can download the full 1080p version of this video for a more accurate presentation.

Here’s a “fair” test between the iPhone 4S and the Canon 5D MK II. I made a little rig that allowed me to shoot both cameras at the same time side by side. All scenes are perfectly synced together so you can pause and scrutinize the frames! See photo of the makeshift rig in the photo area.

Exposure, shutter speed, frame rate and picture style were matched as close as possible between the two cameras. (I used the Zacuto Z-finder to help me adjust exposure for both iPhone and 5D)

This test shows that the tiny F2.4 lens and sensor on the iPhone are pretty nice. It even got a little depth of field!

I did not overlay the exact ISO and Stops 5D settings per shot. It was too much to keep track for this simple test. To be fair I matched 5D exposure to the iPhone so no “Cinestyle” / 24p here.

Here are the settings:

iPhone 4S

- AE.AF locked. That’s all you have!

Canon 5D MKII

- Canon 50mm 1.4
- ISO 160 ~ 640 (varied per shot to match the iPhone)
- F 7~22 (varied per shot to match the iPhone)
- Shutter 1/60th
- Auto WB
- Standard Picture Style
- 1080p 30

(Source: vimeo.com)

Apple Wild West UI Design (HaHa)


hahaha: gizmodo is totally right when stating “Yeee-haw, Apple buckaroos! Whooz ready for some good timin’, multitaskin’? Who wants their iPhone served up with a hot bucket’a grits? HOOOOOOOOOOO BOY. Jonny Ive’s deep in the hooch pan again? Saddle up, grab yer partner, and let’s make some truck-ugly apps!”

What happened to the GUI design guidelines of Apple? Why do we have to use western-style user interfaces – and why can’t we change the looks to something uhm less contemporary?

Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens +Mount for MFT m43 (Micro Four Thirds) for $48,99

A great bargain for m34 (Micro Four Thirds) users (Olympus, Panasonic, etc): the Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens +Mount for MFT m43 (Micro Four Thirds) which sells for $48,99 including free worldwide shipping. We just ordered two of them, so expect photo and video examples soon. In the meanwhile, you might want to take a look at some youtube example footage.

This CCTV Lens is a high quality lens with alloy casing. It is ideal for use in bars, shops, parking lots, houses and warehouse, etc. It gives you the widest field of view image avaialble with a C mount lens. This CCTV Camera Lens provides ultra clear vision for your camera. Incorporates advanced optical elements to ensure all-around sharpness and efficient light conductivity. Its iris can be manually adjusted according to available light levels.

Specifications Fujian 35mm F1.7 CCTV TV lens

Mount type: C mount
Focal length : 35mm
Aperture:F1.7-C
Iris/ Focus operation: manual
Angle of view: 13.8
Object distance: 30cm -infinite
Compatible with cameras including:
Panasonic: G1, GH1, GH2 GF1, G2, G10
Olympus: E-P1, EP-2, E-PL1 fits C Mount Movie Lens

C mount M4/3 Camera lens Adapter to EP1 EP2 GF1 GF2 GH1 GH2

With a C Mount Lens to Micro 4/3 Adapter you can use C Mount lenses on your MFT system. You can use this camera adapter ring in conjunction with the camera adapters to complete the connection to a digital camera supporting a filter thread.

New Apple iPhone 4S – mainly lens improvements, but: great optics indeed! (plus: Siri A.I.)

Everyone’s talking about the new iPhone 4S that was announced by Apple recently. But is there more to it than improved optics? Even if not, the camera is a huge improvement over the previous model: 1080p video recording, 8 Megapixel photo sensor, f/2.4 aperture.

Behind all the updates, the most interesting is HSDPA support. In countries such as Austria or Japan, where HSDPA is widespread, this is a very welcome hardware upgrade. Still, why is there no HSPA+ support? In cities with a weak broadband coverage (everything above a few MB upstream) – such as Vienna, this is really akward. We still have to fall back to the Samsung Galaxy S2 i9100, which offers HSPA+ among other great features. So the “only” killer feature of the Apple iPhone 4S remains the greatly improved Camera – which is to question, concerning the price of such a gadget. An Amazon Search for the iPhone 4S yields no results, obviously, since the device is said to be available from mid October.

Our recommendations: wait for the iPhone 5 and get some real gear instead.

1) Get a Canon PowerShot S100 for Photo and Video
2) Get a SONIM XP5300 3G FORCE if you need a phone that actually works.

Comparison: Canon Camera Roundup for Pro-DSLR Video

Since lot of people ask me, which (photo) cameras to buy which also work for filming, here is a short roundup of cameras that I find worth mentioning. All of the cameras mentioned will work with Magic Lantern:

  • On-screen audio meters
  • Manual gain control with no AGC
  • Zebra stripes (video peaking)
  • Custom Cropmarks for 16:9, 2.35:1, 4:3 and any other format
  • Control of focus and bracketing
  • (among other changes, such as Video-Bitrate setting)


    Price/Value/Feature Comparison

    Canon Rebel T1i
    Canon EOS 500D

    Canon Rebel T2i
    Canon EOS 550D

    Canon Rebel T3i
    Canon EOS 600D

    Canon EOS 60D
     
    Canon EOS 5D MKII
     
    500d 60d 550d 60d 5dmkii
    USA: $579.90

    Europe: 449.00€ (used)
    USA: $629.00

    Europe: 549.99€
    USA: $699.95

    Europe: 646.99€
    USA: 1,029.00$

    Europe: 879.00€
    USA: 2,499.00$

    Europe: 1,890.00€
    The Revel T1i was a great camera, although we cannot recommend it, since its successor is the 550D and the 600D. If you can get a cheap second hand alternative at ebay, you might get a deal, though. (Seen on ebay for $199 used) The 550D is a great camera, although the 600D beats it in price/value. If you can get your hands on a cheap second-hand 550D, you might be able to even save some more bucks. (Seen on ebay for $399 used) The 600D is our definite winner in price/value: feature-rich, reasonably priced, enjoyable to use and, most importantly, takes great pictures. It’s relatively small, but is fully supported by Magic Lantern and you should be really happy with that camera if you use good lenses and fast Compact Flash Cards. The 60D is a great camera, although almost in the same range as the 7D (which has no Magic Lantern support yet). If you are only shooting photos, go for the 7D – if you are doing video, save some bucks and go for the 600D. Invest the spare money in good lenses. The best of all the cameras compared, if we leave out the price. While this is also the most pricy camera, it certainly gets beaten by the 600D when it comes to price/value. The Canon EOS 5D MKII is the best camera for digital video out there, although with the 600D and with fast enough SDXC cards, you will almost match the quality of the 5D MKII.

    Conclusio: get the 600D if you need to save money, get the 5D MKII if you have some spare 3000$. Invest in good lenses, such as the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, even if you are using it on the 600D (it will get converted to a 38-168mm, though). The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS is a cheap but quite good alternative. Make sure you get a really fast SDXC card, since you will want to increase the Video Bitrate with Magic Lantern to make your videos quality increase as well. Recommendation: the Lexar Media 64 GB SDXC Flash Memory Card LSD64GCRBNA133 stores 64GB (!) and is blazingly fast.

  • Should I use Trim Enabler on Lion for the OCZ Vertex (3)? No! (Benchmarks inside)

    We recently blogged, after purchasing two OCZ Vertex SATA3 Drives (240GB) and inserting them with an Optibay setting (2 Drives in one MacBook Pro; see our previous post: 2011 Macbook Pro and SATA III 6Gbps, Optibay: two HD drives – setup explained).

    We also blogged that enabling TRIM is a good thing, although it seems that it seems to be not necessary on Sandforce based chipsets.

    Since we still were experiencing freezes and Sandballs on our Mac OSX Lion 10.7 SSD Setup that were actually not related to TRIM, also the system did not feel as snappy anymore.

    Conclusion: don’t use TRIM on OSX Lion 10.7, if you are using a Sandforce based SSD. Revert to the original driver and not only the Beachballs will go away, but also the system feels snappy again. See the below Benchmarks for real-life results (since AJA System Test does not work on internal drives, we can recommend using XBENCH to verify the figures for you).

    XBENCH Screenshot with TRIM Enabled (using TRIM Enabler for OSX 10.7 Lion)
    Screen Shot 2011 08 07 at 16 00 30

    Screenshot of XBENCH without TRIM Enabler (Restored to original setting)

    Screen Shot 2011 08 07 at 16 06 39

    UPDATE: Grant Pannell (digitaldj.net) reports on how to restore to the original settings.

    Canon 5D MKIII (MK3) Announcement Imminent?

    Canon EOS 5D MKII MK3

    Taking the rumors from canonrumors.com and some forum posts seriously for at least a bit, it seems that an announcement for a possible Canon EOS 5D MKIII is imminent.

    Random Info via canonrumors:

    • Canon Australia has sent CPS management to Singapore for product training. [CR2]
    • Any Canon announcement will come after Nikon’s announcement on August 24, 2011. [CR2]
    • 5D Mark III’s are in the wild and an announcement is imminent [CR1]
    • 1D Mark IV’s are out of stock or hard to come by in certain countries. A retailer in New Zealand actually said they won’t be getting any more. [CR1]
    • 1Ds Mark IV resolution correction, I’m told it will actually be 36mp.

    Since I was planning on getting a 5D Mark II these days, I hope to see increasing price drops on the camera kits very soon – since there are already visible price drops around the globe. On Amazon.com the price for the Body still is $2499,00. Canon Australia already lowered the price for the premium KIT from $4899 AU$ to 4499AU$, so we can hope for price drops on the international market as well. On the German Amazon Marketplace, the currently cheapest price for the 5D MKII Body (new) is 1924,90 EUR, while the Premium KIT (EF 24-105mm L IS USM) is at 2619,99 (a light price drop is already visible).

    Commenting on the current question, if it is still a good idea to buy a Canon 5D MKII: YES. Why? The Canon 5D MKII is a great camera and also there won’t be any new Lenses coming up so fast (at least when we talk about EF 24-105mm L IS USM), so if you need one now, go and get one. Also, if you are in DSLR-Video, “Magic Lantern” is a great and stable system, which will not immediately run on the MKIII. Some people even suggests that there might be a 1000$ price difference (at least) for an upcoming 5D MKIII.

    Conclusion:
    Still the 5D Mark II is a good buy, when compared to the Canon EOS 7D, since an announcement for a Canon EOS 7D MKII won’t be around the corner until end of 2011, if we believe the rumors. A 5d MKIII won’t be available instantly after release, so one way or the other, before 2012 you won’t be able to get your hands on a 5D MKIII – and if so, then for sure not for a reasonable price. The current price difference for the 5DMKII to the 7D is 700$ – if you are into DSLR Video, that’s a clear GO for the 5DMKII.

    [Update] Canon Rumors has a new Blog post “5D Mark III & The Rest [CR2]” which indicates, that there could be a 5D Mark III announced in October 2011

    Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID system for high-speed data demands: 6x3TB for a total of 18TB (mod)

    [Edit 23.12.2011] CAUTION! People trying the below mentioned modification of the Promise Thunderbolt reported issues and data loss. Please consult the Promise Support if you are planning to do modifications or already did!

    [UPDATE] with the announced Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4000GB(4TB), 5K4000 as well as the 4TB Seagate Barracuda XT a total of 24TB could be reached when modding the Promise Pegasus just replacing the 2TB drives it comes with. 5TB HDDs are reported arriving in January 2012. Read our updated Article: Caution with Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID 6x3TB (18TB) or 6x4TB (24TB) modification. 6x5TB (30TB) possible as of January 2012?


    The Promise Pegasus is the most “promising” hardware for enthusiasts and pro users, since it offers really fast transfer speeds, even topping the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA 6Gbps internal SSD on Macbook Pro computers.

    Delivering over 800MB/s of disk performance, Pegasus is compatible with Mac systems with Thunderbolt

    31ZnpSUvKsL
    41CYNnbqz3L

    Compare the Promise Pegasus R4 (4x 2TB) and the Promise Pegasus R6 (8x 2TB). Of course, if you want to pimp your pegasus, you can replace the internal drives with different ones.

    Internally Promise uses a PMC Sierra PM8011 8-port SAS-2 RAID controller. This is an 8-lane PCIe Gen 2 controller with eight SAS/SATA 6Gbps ports. On the R6 obviously only six of those ports are functional. The PM8011 has an embedded 600MHz MIPS processor and is paired with 512MB of DDR2-533. (via Anandtech)

    DSC 4155

    Possible replacements and hacks for the Promise Pegasus:

    * replace the internal hard drives with SSD drives: at the current date this still has stability issues. We are waiting for updated drivers or a response from Pegasus about the current freezes and issues with SSD drives. If you really have to test it out, make sure you get 6Gbps SSD drives. 2.5inch drives will also fit in the caddy.

    * replacing the internal drives with 3TB drives: this is a confirmed and stable way of pimping your pegasus drives. Pegasus comes with 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 drives, so make sure you are getting 3TB drives from the same brand. We can recommend the Hitachi 3TB 7200RPM drive, but also we can confirm the Pegasus runs with the Western Digital 3 TB SATA II Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive and the SEAGATE Barracuda XT 3 TB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 64 MB Cache. Just keep in mind, not to mix up brands: you should get 6 times the same hard disk for the most stable system.

    * replacing the internal drives with SAS 6Gbps Hard Disks: while this would render the promise pegasus a real pro system that is rock stable, drives should be used, that offer a compatible SAS-connector. Since SAS-drives are generally compatible to SATA-connectors, we can generally recommend the Seagate Constellation ES.2 3 TB Internal Hard Drive SAS 600 7200rpm 64MB

    Conclusio: The Promise Pegasus is a fast solution for great read/write speed plus the extra feature of having the possibility to daisy-chain more Pegasus devices together, to increase the space when needed. Compared to the Data Robotics DROBO PRO System, it only offers 1-drive fail (1 drive can get corrupted, if 2 fail your data is lost) while the DROBO offers dual drive redundancy. Also, the DROBO PRO supports different sized drives, while you can only put drives of the same size (and it is recommended to also only use the exact same drive models) in the Promise Pegasus.
    Overall, nanofunk is recommending the Pegasus R4 and R6, because of its faster speed and possibilty to enhance the system. Since we had our DROBO PRO replaced twice (the unit itself was faulty) we are currently fully in favor of the Promise Pegasus.