Samsung 840 EVO SSD

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When on the road using a laptop for processing video or photographs, it’s important that the computer has some room for swapfiles or virtual memory. And in case you use GoPro Studio and forget to pre=create a destination folder, dumping a few video files to your boot drive won’t immediately stop your forward process in some coffee shop of grocery store Starbucks as I had happen.

I set up my machines with a minimum of 2 hard drives. Initially due to cost of SSd drives I would chose a boot drive/SSD large enough to handle the OS and applications I use (Win 7/64 and Adobe Master Suite plus Go Pro Studio). 120 gig drives were the sweet spot a few years ago but they only had around 25 gig free when loaded so no room for sloppy hd management. I use a normal hd for secondary or tertiary drives, client files/photos, etc.

Today 250 gig drives are affordable ($140 per 250 gig SSD). This gives me a much faster drive for the OS and enough room for a larger swapfile and any OS updates, etc… Samsungs EVO and Pro drives are very fast and their upgrade kits include a dongle so you can clone your boot drive quickly and without any issues at all. They include data migration software and Samsung Magician which aids in maximizing the performance of these drives.

I run a Dell Precision M6500 with an i7, Nvidia M2800, wide gamut screen and 2 drives. It’s 6 years old and I noted the boot drive was slowing and mostly due to reading/writing heavily to that 20+ gig of free space. The Windows Experience index had gone from 6.9 to 5.9 due tot he SSD alone. With the new Samsung 840 EVO installed the index is up to 7.7 for the new SSD, which is excellent.

I recommend the Samsung Drives and the upgrade kit without hesitation.

Nokia Lumia Icon

I recently updated my phone from the Nokia 710 to the new Icon from Verizon. I wanted a better camera and the Icon provides the ability to shoot raw files as .dng, as well the ability to crop or basically do a lossless zoom at any time while shooting or in post. One also can define the shooting aspect ratio as shown…

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With the 5 mpxl and 16 mpxl .jpg selected you can resize on the fly non destructively, thereby allowing you to resize again at any time or revise aspect ration…

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I am using the 16×9 16 mpxl dng + 5 mpxl .jpg mode so I can process in Adobe Lightroom. The phone always uploads the 5 mpxl version of the file and if using the dng mode it will only use the 5 mpxl version for resizing so in that mode you lose the benefit of the second full resolution image. I would be uploading any full resolution final images later from Lightroom so the benefit of dng allows better control of white balance and any other parameters. The .jpg processing is excellent and good enough to never really need to shoot in dng. What it does do though is decrese any noise with a fair amount of noise reduction and so I have created a preset in Lightroom to lessen just a bit that noise reduction but gaining the ability to adjust white balance as desired and resize and then output at a high resolution or upsample if needed for large prints from my Epson 3800.

All in all the Nokia Lumia Icon is a great phone/camera. It’s screen resolution and pixel density if the highest and best looking to date of any phone. As my eyesight is deteriorating, that was a compelling reason to have it. As smartphone cameras eclipse compact cameras in image quality and portability it’s great to have along in a pocket while riding my dirt bike. When in areas with no wifi it is also nice with it’s fast LTE service to be able to pass files from laptop to phone after processing and upload by cellular to the web. While Windows Phones are not as popular as iPhones and Android devices today they have a wonderful OS, interface and all the apps I care to use currently.

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NW 2014

A  3 week trip ensued to beat the heat this summer so I could enjoy some of the northwest single track. Did not want to be without any recreational gear so had most bases covered with Husqvarna, SIC x-14 Pro and my Specialized Tarmac road bike in the van.

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After a 6am start I wanted to get an early few miles of paddling in before a long day driving to Redding, CA., where I’d spend the night. Morro Bay was on the way and arrived at around 8am and got close to 6 miles in.

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An early start out of Redding and arrived in Bend mid day, in time for a paddle on the Deschutes. I made a contact for a dirt bike ride at China Hat for the next day as the trails were sure to be in great condition after the rain. Sure enough the riding was perfect, about 60 miles for the loop and a stop at the lookout tower where Russ and I got a tour.

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I planned on a few days or more in and around Hood River to visit some friends and do some paddling on the Columbia and ride some of Hood Rivers great single track. The afternoon I arrived and hooked up with Doc Doolittle for a short downwind run in Rowena.

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The next day I headed to Binns Hill Road to access the trails. Pretty cool zone above the Post Canyon mtb trails. Super well maintained and no crowds as well as just a bunch of friendly riders, even on Memorial Weekend. 10 miles of tight sngletrack on this day as well as 10 the next, riding the south loop one day and north loop the next.

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After the long weekend headed to Seattle to visit a few friends and paddle Lake Washington for a few days. Met up with Steve Linden and Scot Sumner for a sprint across the lake and back before the chop and wind was in full force. We paddled into the wind and it dies for the return leg, then reappeared just when we hit the beach. Fun few days in Seattle seeing Steve, Scott, Mike, Bobbie and Tom. Nice to see everyone riding the SIC Maui X-14s.

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I left California with a sinus issue of sorts which had been lingering a long time. I felt like I wasn’t getting enough oxygen so would crap out under heavy workloads. Somewhere along the way that subsided whether the dry air or elevation along the way, I was feeling better. I planned to return as I had come but skipped Hood River on the way south to spend a few more days in Bend. I wanted to check out a few houses and see if there was anything I might want to buy. With homes going fast and many pocket listings barely hitting the mls before selling I decided not to chase a fickle second home market that can top out at any time. My Sprinter is a good vacation van that carries all my stuff and can take me anywhere.

A couple of days checking out neighborhoods and houses, a road ride to Bachelor and back and a revisit of Millican on the Husqvarna made for a great adventure tour.

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Finally it was a 2 day drive home from Bend, first stopping at one of my favorite lakes in Oregon, Crescent Lake. When I pulled in it looked perfect for a paddle but soon was in a swarm of mosquitos which I had forgotten enjoy the snow melt and moisture. Wasn’t going to soak myself in Off and paddle so hit the road south.

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I stopped in Shasta to get a veggie juice concocted for me at the local organic market and then made my way down to Lake Siskyou for a few miles of tempo paddling and a swim with no mosquitos this time. Then was south to Redding for the night and an easy drive home the next day. A great trip doing what I planned to and more plus got rid of a nasty sinus issue. Dry and hot already east of the mountains here at home and north of here to lucky to have gone when I did and glad to have spent some quality time on the Husky with no spills! Almost ready for another trip.