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August 9, 2010

Now offering high-quality prints: the store is open

Filed under: General,Photography — stephane @ 10:53 pm

Sunrise in AmboseliAfter much encouragements, thoughts, research and tests. I finally decided to open an online store to make available some of my pictures as high-quality prints in both the US and Europe. It took a bit longer than I expected because I wanted to make sure that the end result was worth it. I reviewed many different online businesses offering this facility such as Red Bubble, SmugMug, ImageKind, Zenfolio, PhotoShelter…and I ended up chosing ZenFolio. One of the main aspects being cost, ease of use for myself and the visitors as well as having a choice of printing labs in Europe (Photobox) and in the US (MPix) so that people ordering prints would not have to pay international shipping fees and potential custom taxes. Then I wanted to go through the process of checking myself the quality for each and every print in various sizes.

There are nearly 40 photos available taken underwater or topside in various places such as Egypt, Indonesia, Philippines, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. There will be more variety to come as I gather feedback and then carefully select new images, process, soft-proof and print them (repeat and rinse until satisfied)

Printing sizes are for now available in 8 x 12″ (20 x 30cm), 12 x 16″ (30 x 40cm) and 16 x 20″ (40 x 50cm) and start at 35€ or $50. To celebrate the launch and benefit the (few) readers of this blog, until August 23 there will be 20% discount with coupon code SBBLLCH (enter at checkout time).

As mentioned on the online store, prints are 100% guaranteed, and if for whatever reason you do not like the print, you can ask for a refund or reprint whichever you prefer.

Again, I cannot thank enough all the people that have encouraged me to do this, should they be friends, family or people I bumped into while traveling and I hope the end result is to their liking. (and big thanks to the one who pre-ordered).


February 5, 2010

Hertz Mustang Shelby GT-H for sale at Hertz Netherlands

Filed under: General — stephane @ 2:09 am

Bumped into it while browsing Hertz website, it is the only one available for rental in Europe and you can see it at Schiphol Airport Hertz garage. Sometimes it was used as a pace car for races. If you ask nicely at the garage and at the right time you could get special prices during the week end given no one is renting it (it is not possible to rent it via Hertz website so you really have to know about it)

Hertz Mustang Shelby GT-H for sale!

Hertz sells the unique and legendary Ford Mustang Shelby GT-H. This is one of the 500 in the world that has been produced especially for Hertz! The coupe version, a 4.6 L. V8, 325 PK muscle car, is now for sale!

The retail price for the Shelby GT-H is 45000.-

More information on Hertz website

November 4, 2009

Websites I Find Useful

Filed under: General — stephane @ 11:00 am

So I have been tagged by Ludovic, and while I’m no big fan of this chain exercise, I thought I could at least execute and try to find the websites I actually find useful, I thought that 5 was actually a bit trivial and would lead to mostly redundant listing between people, so I decided to go for 10. There is no specific order.

  • Google – because I use it for searching information constantly, as well as GMail, Documents, Maps and News on a daily basis
  • Flickr – A nice place to share photos but also to look for inspiration.
  • LinkedIn – I’m absolutely terrible at keeping contacts with people, LinkedIn changed this radically for me as it makes the contact information all accessible in one place with an incentive to update it.
  • TripIt – In the same area, a regular complaint from family and friends is to know where and when I’m going to some places, with TripIt, it made it substantially easier as it will broadcast the information automatically.
  • Amazon – Most of the books I buy are from this place.
  • Wetpixel – To keep in touch with what’s happening in underwater photography land
  • ScubaStore/DiveInn – I tend to buy most of my underwater gear online if I can. Fast and reliable service.
  • InfoQ – The portal I regularly visit to get some tech news update. Agile articles are a bit overwhelming in the last couple of years though.
  • Wikipedia – So convenient to read complete information about a topic in a digestible format.
  • dpreview – To keep an eye on photography-related news
  • TED – Because some things are worth spreading

I would have loved to have this from people from a much diverse background (ie non-technical), but the sinae qua non condition is that this person actually has a blog, so I do have to fallback to technical people on this one:
Emmanuel, Geir, Leo, Sylvain, Torsten

September 25, 2009

Finally… a laptop

Filed under: General — stephane @ 4:22 pm

So here am I finally with the long awaited laptop I expected to buy in less than 2 weeks back in July.

Dell did not follow up with any of my emails regarding cancellation and refund but apparently managed to find a unit god knows how and shipped it to me in a week time. I suspect it looks better in the quarterly report to have a return than a canceled order.

I got it yesterday afternoon. In a normal situation I would have simply returned it, but the fact it was started to be equally a mission to order a Lenovo W500 in the Netherlands (shop says delivered in 2-3 days… a week later received an email saying it is not available, that it is too difficult to get and that I can choose a ‘similar’ system), I just gave up and decided to try my luck with the Dell M4400 I originally ordered. I looked eventually at the HP 8530w but wasn’t convinced… I even considered a MacBook Pro so that says something…

I’m quite pleased with the laptop for now, even though when I opened the box, I wondered if the keyboard was fitted by a monkey at the factory, as it wasn’t even done properly. The WUXGA 1920×1200 RGB LED screen is really nice and it’s appreciated for photos though it will need a bit of calibration. On the negative side, the Intel Wifi 5300 AGN seems to create havoc with my old Linksys WRT54G router which just dies consistently after several minutes of video call with Skype so I suspect I will spend a bit of time digging deeper in the settings.

Fingers crossed.. let’s see how this laptop holds in the upcoming weeks.

Now is install time of all applications before traveling.

September 22, 2009

Dell-ay update

Filed under: General — stephane @ 7:14 am

A week later, still no real news from Dell. After another call to the initial sales person as a follow up to my cancellation/refund email, I was told it was going through the ‘escalation manager’ and he would contact me shortly… I was expecting in a matter of hours, but not at all.

The next day I receive an email:

Ive spoken to our Escalation manager, we would like to the exact status of the order before we act.
We are able to inform you tomorrow.

It takes them obviously so much time to figure out the status, that they need 48h to craft that simple email, I can already tell them the status… It wasn’t not delivered in a timely manner. A week later, I didn’t receive any news.

I’m sending again an email early friday…no reply. I’m calling the sales person. There’s only a voicemail. I’m calling his manager, there’s only a voicemail. Apparently nobody works on friday at Dell NL. I dropped a message making clear I’m starting to be really fed up by this lack of professionalism.

Monday has passed without any sort of information, today has been a week since I cancelled and asked for a refund. Way to go Dell !

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