A New Camera & A New Laptop… I Guess Christmas Wasn’t Quite Over!

GoProHDHero2For the past few years there have been quite a few times when I’ve found myself wishing I’d had a GoPro camera for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • Capturing traffic from ahead and behind on our local rides… just in case.
  • Investigating fork and frame deflection during different riding conditions.
  • Looking at wheel deflection under cornering loads.
  • Investigating possible pedal stroke / biomechanics / fitting issues.
  • Capturing epic rides with either video or time-lapse / stills that we’ve not mastered with a stoker-cam (she prefers to focus on riding when cycling, but does a good job on the motorcycle).
  • Same thing as above but on the motorcycle, e.g., checking shock travel, epic rides.
  • Just fooling around with time-lapse photography around the house and on travels.

Over the Christmas break I finally decided to test the waters by picking up a second-hand unit via Craigslist.

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Well, after I spent a little time reading through the on-line manuals and learning how to use the little camera, to include the nifty little LCD backpack screen, I noticed the image area had some “fuzzy spots” when it passed through any direct light and otherwise distorted most other images.

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Well, it never dawned on me to check the lens for damage since these cameras come with a protective case, but sure enough… the lens had been nicked and scratched.

Oh well, I guess I should feel lucky that this is the first time I’ve gotten something that wasn’t quite as advertised on an on-line, ebay or Craiglist transaction given how many I’ve done over the years, to include several very expensive used bike purchases and sales.

Anyway, since we’re talking about a relatively low-dollar transaction, I really have no recourse.  I’ll just chalk it up as another life’s lesson learned: trust but verify.  I now know a lot more about GoPro cameras than I did before and, yes… there is still good value in the balance of the equipment that came with the camera IF I can find a new-old-stock GoPro Hero 2 in a sealed package as the accessories are not compatible with the newer GoPro Hero 3’s.

apple_macbook_whiteAnother unintended consequence of stepping into the world of videography, I was also forced to acknowledge that my 2007 vintage MacBook 2.1 which is barely able to support OS X 10.5 — as well as Debbie’s HP DV9000 series laptop — was not up to the task.  Actually, the poor thing has been worn-out and falling apart for the last year: the letters are worn off 1/2 of the keys and of those 1/2 of them have worn through the plastic key face!

Coming on the heels of my GoPro experience, I opted to buy from my local Apple dealer, MicroCenter, and the same Apple “Genius” who sold me my last laptop back in June of 2007: Ruth!  After looking over all of the current, non-upgradeable models, last year’s 13″ upgradeable and Mini’s, the most attractive option became a refurbished, Apple Certified   late 2011 model, MacBook Pro 17″ with Apple One-Year Warranty.

macbookproIt checked all the boxes for having enough horsepower, is still upgradable and expandable and, well, the price was also attractive; about the same as what I paid for my 13″ MacBook 2.1 back in 2007!

  • Intel Core i7 Processor 2.2GHz
  • 4GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM
  • 750GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750M and Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 8x DL SuperDrive
  • 802.11n Wireless
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • 17″ LED-backlit Glossy Widescreen Display

The camera I have in my hot little hands should still work well-enough for most of the near-term things I’d like to try and capture, to include being fastened under my truck to see if I can’t isolate an annoying, persistent “clunk” that’s been driving me nuts for several years: not exactly “low risk” duty that should be well suited for the well-worn Go-Pro camera.  The various mounts that I’ll need to use it on the bike should be here within the week, as I found a retailer up in Brooklyn with some attractive pricing.  After that, the fun will begin in earnest.  No, no…  I promise that I won’t inundate the blog with long, monotonous videos.  I don’t plan on sinking too many hours into this adjunct hobby to my primary hobbies.  It should just make it a bit easier to capture some things on video and as either stills or time-lapse that I haven’t been able to do with a hand-held digital camera.

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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