Sunday, October 1, 2006

Metro by night, 400D, Google Reader

Paris Metro by night



Two weeks ago, I was able to participate to a very special night, organised by RATP (Paris public transport company, in charge of bus and metro) and Ademas (association of fan of Paris metro) in Paris metro. For one night (from 23h30 to 5h30), we visited a lot of Paris metro stations, including some ghost stations (station which were never opened to the public, such as Haxo or Porte Molitor which doesn't have any stairs to exit station) or closed ones (which are no longer used like Croix-Rouge or Saint-Martin, or used for non public purpose like Porte des Lilas Cinema, used for movie or advertising shooting). The tour was extremely interesting, with a lot of informations on metro history and heritage. Moreover, the tour was done with a single train which was autorized to change from one line to another (something impossible in Paris metro). All my photos for this tour are available here.

Google Reader
As many other people, I've tested the new version of Google (feed) Reader. I tested first version when it was launched some months ago and it was unusable for me (and incredibly slow). For some years, I've been using Planet as my personal aggregator : it is easy to use if you have your own webserver but it is a little too much memory hungry and cpu intensive when refreshing feed and for me who is switching PC between work and home, I need to remember what was the latest entry I read before I switched PC. But I must confess I really enjoy the inverse chronological order associated with a merge all feed style. Moreover, I can fetch aggregated feed on my Palm for offline reading every morning easily. I tried Netvibes but their way of managing feeds doesn't really scale when reading a lot of feeds. So, I tried again Google Reader, not expected anything usable but I was wrong : sorting and merging is done just like I was doing with Planet, automatically mark as read when an article is scrolled is a very smart feature, allowing to star a article (for later reading) is also very useful. And it is not slow (and it works on my 770 too). I've been using it for three days now and I love it. I'll probably continue to use Planet at least for offline aggregation but I might have found the perfect online RSS reader (at least for now).

Canon 400D

After wondering for some weeks on camera and lenses, I offered myself for my birthday a Canon 400D this week, with both a Sigma 18-200 and Canon 50mm f1.8 lenses. Pascal did took the exact same decision on the camera and main lens one day after me (and both bought camera at from one net vendor and lens from another net vendor). And we discovered this coincidence only on monday when, on Mandriva internal irc channel, I said postman delivered my order at home :) Today, after rain decided to stop, I was able to test this brand new camera (and my first reflex) in Bois de Vincennes, around Lac Daumesnil where I do my running session. And I'm quite happy with the result, for my first contact with this camera. Sigma focal range is great (coming from 28-100 on my Powershot S60) for a decent price (even if it isn't stabilized). If you are curious, you can look at those photos here.