APG on Netbooks  

In the panorama field, hardware is also part of the success. You can discuss here about it: camera, computer, pano head, anything
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APG on Netbooks

by DamoRed » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:37 pm

Has anybody got APP or now, APG 1.9.5 Beta running on a 9-10" netbook with an Atom processor? If so, how well does it run, if at all? Would it just be overwhelmed by lack of power? Are they just totally unsuitable for any graphics use whatsoever?

I'd like to get one of these for mobility, and max it with RAM, but not sure if there's any point if I can't run APG on it. I wouldn't be attempting to run any other graphics app at the same time, but would probably use something like GIMP to make basic corrections and conversions.

Thank you

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by mediavets » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:49 pm

What is the max. RAM you can stuff into one of these?

If it's any guide, I can run APP 1.4.2 and APG beta 1 on an old IBM Thinkpad T23 with a 1GHz PIII CPU and IGB RAM (max supported). APG beta 1 crashes if I try and open the Import filter for Papywizard but otheeise it will handle small image sets but rendering is sloooow.

What sort/size of image sets would you hope to be able to stitch?
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by DamoRed » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:43 pm

Andrew, thanks for the quick response,

Some can take 2GB of RAM. I don't know what brand or model takes what, really, I just wanted to know if I ought to take any more time in considering them, or not. The Atom processor should be a fairly appreciable jump in technology and performance on a P3. But I don't know what other compromises have been made to get the price/performance ratio.

I've been making only partial panos so far. Nothing at 360 X 180. I'd imagine the rendering on one of those would be taxing on it. My most recent pano (which I must redo) is 12 images shot handheld on jpg on a 40D. Rather large! Just an opportunist moment, really. Hence the lack of tripod and handholding. I was however very happy when I saw that the RMS was 2.86, so my technique was up to scratch. :-)

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by mediavets » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:00 pm

Damo,

I read that there are several variants of the Atom processor some more powerful than others.

Most current netbooks apparently use the less powerful version and a more powerful version is used in the MID designs.

A 360x180 shot with a FE lens is not that taxing compared to your partial pano.

I can shoot a 360x180 using my 6MP D40 with just 4 images using the Sigma 8mm FE and the pano will have sufficient resolution to display as a fullscreen VR.

If you try APP/APG on a netbook I'd love to hear about it.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by DamoRed » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:39 pm

Andrew,

I wouldn't be using a fisheye. My lowest current focal length is 17mm on a 40D, which is about 26-27mm. So there would be quite a few more involved in a 360 X 180 than a fisheye lens.

At some point, I'd be interested in hopefully running Papywizard with a Merlin/Orion too. But the notion of running it via a Nokia phone is just not an appealing option really. If, as someone I saw, called a netbook, the "Danny De Vito of laptops", hahaha, well then the thoughts of trying to operate an application via a phone, would be even less appealing. I'll no doubt have lots of opportunity to see how they work at the Autopano weekend in June, whenever, or wherever that will be. On a side note, The lack of talk and progress on that weekend convention is worrying to me, as I dearly want to go there and see how others are running their systems. a hotbed of learning awaits!

The question of specs on the various Atoms is also a consideration. If I'd have to spend more than €300-350 for a top range netbook, I may as well just add another €100 or so and get a full size 15" laptop with far more choice in spec and performance and run whatever I want on it without wondering if it's going to be be slow. Which is probably what I should be doing anyway, but I want to consider the cheapest and smallest option first.

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by mediavets » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:03 pm

Damo,

The one thing that a Nokia Internet Tablet is NOT is a phone. It has no conventional telephony capability.

The Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets - recommended for running Papywizard - are small general purpose computers with ARM CPUs running the Linux-derived Maemo OS. They have builtin WiFi and Bluetooth and a high res 800x480 4+ inch widescreen touchscreen display, with removable storage via SD cards. Battery life of 10+ hours on standby and about 4 hours operating time on a small rechargeable phone battery. Built-in stereo speakers, microphone and small camera.

You can buy a used N800 in excellent condition on eBay for about £80.

Papywizard runs very well on these Nokia Internet Tablets providing a small, light, pocketable, handheld wireless (via Bluetooth) controller for the Merlin robotic head.

OK, you won't get APP/APG to run on a Nokia Internet Tablet but then again these programs will also typically 'struggle' on the much larger and heavier netbooks.

So the best combination in terms of 'bang for the buck' and optimal functionality for Merlin/Papywizard users is probably a Nokia Internet Tablet plus a much more powerful laptop or desktop for APP/APG.

As we get more experience in using Merlin/Papywizard it is becoming clearer that to stitch and render large mosiacs, shot with Merlin/Papywizard , comprising many tens or hundreds of images, you will need to run APP/APG on 64-bit systems with a lot of RAM and fast disks.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by DamoRed » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:45 pm

Ooops, please pardon my lack of knowledge on the subject. When I saw Nokia, I thought that's what it was. They have never before engaged my interest, but now that I'm aware of them, and with a use for them, that will probably change.

Having read a little bit more about Papywizard and Merlin/Orion heads this evening, I now ask, is there a simple plug and play 2 or 3 item package' available from Tronisoft for the adaptation between the N800 and the Merlin that does not involve messing about with electronics and wiring, regardless how simple that may be to some people?

Thanks, Andrew, no doubt I will have more questions as time goes on, and my interest in this grows

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by leedsjoe » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:10 am

I have a Samsung NC10 netbook with a N270 (Atom) processor @ 1.60GHz and 1GB RAM. Did a lot of pano processing successfully using beta1 when on my travels last week - number of images around the 12 to 50 range.

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by mediavets » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:30 am

leedsjoe wrote:I have a Samsung NC10 netbook with a N270 (Atom) processor @ 1.60GHz and 1GB RAM. Did a lot of pano processing successfully using beta1 when on my travels last week - number of images around the 12 to 50 range.

Thanks for your hands-on report - I'm pleased and not a little surprised that this system handled sets of 50 images well with just 1GB RAM.

What size are these images?
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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by mediavets » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:41 am

DamoRed wrote:Having read a little bit more about Papywizard and Merlin/Orion heads this evening, I now ask, is there a simple plug and play 2 or 3 item package' available from Tronisoft for the adaptation between the N800 and the Merlin that does not involve messing about with electronics and wiring, regardless how simple that may be to some people?

Damo

Did you find this page about Merlin/Papywizard:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki/action/view/Orion_TeleTrack_altazimuth_tracking_mount

As stated there, because we have experienced major problems with deliveries from Tronisoft in recent months, we cannot any longer advise people to place orders with them. Which is a pity because the 3-item kit worked well - and it required no soldering or 'electronics' - and was relatively inexpensive.

There is a plug-n-play solution for making the Bluetooth connection to the Merlin head available from Teleskop-Austria, it is more expensive but fully packaged, compact and plug-n-play - no configuration whatsoever required.

Their web site is only in German unfortunately at present:
http://www.teleskop-austria.at/prod.php?tid=15&lng=de#montz-blt-hu

Merlin/Papywizard users have been offered a 10% discount so make sure you mention that to Tommy if/when you place an order.
Last edited by mediavets on Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by DamoRed » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:42 am

Now we're talking!

Great info, Joe, can you expand on the size of the input files and the total output, and the time taken for total rendering, please.

Andrew,

No, I had not seen that page, thanks. The reason I mentioned Tronisoft was that I saw them mentioned in the early pages of some threads and did not read the later pages where it was advised against ordering from them.

The all in one is ideal, and the price being higher than the sum of the parts, well that's worth it, not to have to go messing about with stuff I know nothing about. Electronics are a big black hole to me :lol: Spending money on parts, and still having to go put them together involving soldering etc is just a pain. Good to know about the 10% discount too, it should at least cover shipping.


Damo
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by mediavets » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:16 am

DamoRed wrote:Andrew,

No, I had not seen that page, thanks. The reason I mentioned Tronisoft was that I saw them mentioned in the early pages of some threads and did not read the later pages where it was advised against ordering from them.

There is a lot of historic and sometimes now 'obsolete' information in forum threads that has accumulated over the 12+ months of the project, and it's easy to get overwhelmed and confused by it all. I know I was when I started out with Merlin/Papywizard some 6 months (?) ago, and back then nearly all the posts relating to Merlin/Papywizard were in the French side of the APP forum and I was attempting to read them via on-line translation tools (ugh!).

The page I cited and pages linked from it have been created since then to summarise the key information and are kept up to date and contain pretty much all you need to know to get a Merlin/Papywizard system up and running.

The all in one is ideal, and the price being higher than the sum of the parts, well that's worth it, not to have to go messing about with stuff I know nothing about. Electronics are a big black hole to me :lol: Spending money on parts, and still having to go put them together involving soldering etc is just a pain. Good to know about the 10% discount too, it should at least cover shipping.

Damo

OK - good, glad that suits you. It didn't exist until quite recently, but there are now quite a few users who have chosen it for much the same reasons.

When you have more questions about Merlin/Papywizard - and I'm sure you will - it would be best to post them in this topic:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/f20-merlin,orion-and-papywizard

because then they are more likley to be seen by Merlin/Papywizard users and the author of the papywizard software (Frederic, aka fma38).

Regards,
Last edited by mediavets on Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by leedsjoe » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:57 am

This is what I have done to get more info on using Beta1 on my Samsung NC10

0. no other application running: I am of course in non-GPU mode - I did test and GPU is not supported...

1. Put 80 images into a group: total size 423MB - of jpegs taken on an EOS1 MkII with jpeg set to large.

[These are deliberately demanding images taken in 'orthographic' mode, i.e. by moving along in parallel to the scene, and from one side of a narrow alley to another. As later screenshot shows, a lot of overlap between images. As a test, I did not use the orthographic trick of setting the focal length to 1000mm. In fact, the taken length is 24mm, calculated 30.10. I took the images in two sets - along the wall, around corner & base of wall and footpath. APG found only 1 pano of 79 images - the missing image is an already rendered pano.]

2. APG detects 1 pano [Screenshot 1 includes optimization settings] and Panorama Editor paints in around 1 min [Screenshot 2 - with Layers on, the space without numbering is images I didn't include]

3. First render done using multiband [Screenshot 3 settings] took about 17 mins with result [Screenshot 4]; note, because of the demanding nature of this pano , APG having to work very hard!

4. Second render same settings except blending linear took 17 mins with result [Screenshot 5]

5. Last render same settings except blending smartblend took 18 mins with result [Screenshot 6]

The location is Aberdaron in North Wales, last week when the weather was just fine.













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by [bo] » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:21 am

The new dual core Atoms, 550 and such, should prove nice upgrade... I'm waiting for an EEE PC with one of those, 4 gigs of RAM and a nice SSD drive and that's what I'm getting and I'm sticking W7 on it!
Some of my panoramas, posted in the Autopano Pro flickr group.

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by tarnis » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:14 pm

I think a big consideration for a netbook is tethered shooting...with a netbook there's no need to switch cards...of course the trade off being 2lbs of extra weight to schlep.

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by DamoRed » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:36 pm

Ah well, there's always something newer and better on the horizon. But for now, this would suit my needs adequately. I had said above, that if a netbook cost more than €300 - €350, then I would be better off getting a full size laptop for maybe €150 more. But there's the mobility aspect. It will be a whole lot easier to carry and if I could run Papywizard on there as well, it would remove the need to buy a Nokia N800. All the shooting and processing software I need in one compact package. AND be able to keep in touch here too! :)

I have heard good reports about people using Windows 7. I just wonder if it would be an option. Or would it

Joe, thanks for the screenshots and info. Did you get a final pano that matched up on the left hand side, or was that not what you were trying to achieve?

Tarnis, what kind of tethered shooting do you mean? Is it in relation to Papywizard or something else? And what do you mean by not having to switch cards?

These questions are from the point of view of a Mac user, and some things may be off the radar for us, in relation to use of PCs

Thank you

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by mediavets » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:11 pm

DamoRed wrote:Ah well, there's always something newer and better on the horizon. But for now, this would suit my needs adequately. I had said above, that if a netbook cost more than €300 - €350, then I would be better off getting a full size laptop for maybe €150 more. But there's the mobility aspect. It will be a whole lot easier to carry and if I could run Papywizard on there as well, it would remove the need to buy a Nokia N800. All the shooting and processing software I need in one compact package. AND be able to keep in touch here too! :)

Yes, sounds good, IF the procesing power and speed is adequate to meet your stitching and rendering needs, and it also matches your requirements for mobility/portability when serving as a Papywizard host.

I have heard good reports about people using Windows 7. I just wonder if it would be an option. Or would it

Not yet, it's only in a beta release.

Tarnis, what kind of tethered shooting do you mean? Is it in relation to Papywizard or something else?

I think he meant in relation to Papywizard, but tethered shooting can be useful in other situations. It means using software on the PC to control the camera via USB.

And what do you mean by not having to switch cards?

When shooting tethered the images can be uploaded to the host PC as they are shot and not stored on a card in the camera - so you need never run out of space on the card in the camera when shooting very large number of pictures - as you might if shooting a large bracketed set of images using Papywizard.

These questions are from the point of view of a Mac user,

Perhaps we can yet wean you off that nasty habit? :lol:
Last edited by mediavets on Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by mediavets » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:19 pm

'[bo wrote:']The new dual core Atoms, 550 and such, should prove nice upgrade... I'm waiting for an EEE PC with one of those, 4 gigs of RAM and a nice SSD drive and that's what I'm getting and I'm sticking W7 on it!

How long do you think we shall have to wait for a netbook with such a spec?

How long would it run on batteries do you think?
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Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by [bo] » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:45 am

Well, slight correction must be made. The dual core Atoms (series 330) have been around for some six months now, but I don't know of a netbook with one of those - I think it's a power supply problem (8W for the dual core versus 2-2.4W).

Last week series Z550 was announced, which is a single core, but it runs on 2Ghz, so that should be better than the most common current variant at 1.6Ghz. This should make its way into EEE PCs pretty soon, I'd say a couple of months. At least as an upgrade option.
Some of my panoramas, posted in the Autopano Pro flickr group.

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by mediavets » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:45 am

'[bo wrote:']Well, slight correction must be made. The dual core Atoms (series 330) have been around for some six months now, but I don't know of a netbook with one of those - I think it's a power supply problem (8W for the dual core versus 2-2.4W).

Last week series Z550 was announced, which is a single core, but it runs on 2Ghz, so that should be better than the most common current variant at 1.6Ghz. This should make its way into EEE PCs pretty soon, I'd say a couple of months. At least as an upgrade option.

To date it seems most (all?) netbooks support rather less RAM that we might like to use.

And none I think offer GPU graphics. But maybe that doesn't matter?

It seems that we shall see more and more laptops using the Atom family of CPUs, perhaps we'll see yet another distinct category of portable computer emerge which 'sits' somewhere between the conventional laptop and the current style of netbook? A sort of super-netbook or sub-laptop based on the Atom family of CPUs including dual-core.
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by [bo] » Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:31 pm

I wouldn't want to confuse the purpose of specific (or niche) technology. Netbooks are small, light, portable, energy-efficient computers. They are not a workstation for gigapan work. The 8 or 10 hour working time on battery is measured with browsing and chatting in mind, not intense CPU/RAM/HDD computations.

I'll be getting a netbook for on-location quick previews of small projects. Currently, I'm doing this with an old Acer laptop that's too big and heavy and the battery drains in 2 hours... Running Papywizard is nice use of a netbook too. But using it for actual stitching - that's not what it was designed to do!
Some of my panoramas, posted in the Autopano Pro flickr group.

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by DamoRed » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:06 am

These questions are from the point of view of a Mac user,

Perhaps we can yet wean you off that nasty habit? :lol:

Not a chance, Andrew, not a chance. :P

Seeing as I started this thread asking about netbooks, I feel I ought to update it with announcing that I've had an attack of good sense, and today purchased a REAL laptop... A Macbook Pro, stuffed to the gills with all the goodness of pano crunching 2.16 Core2Duo and 4GB of RAM :cool:

I was 90% certain that I would be purchasing a Samsung NC10 like Joe's. But when the opportunity presented itself late last night, I felt compelled to pursue it. It was on a 'For Sale' adverts subforum of a website I'm a member of. And the deal was struck pretty fast, not bad considering I thought I'd missed out on it. It had been placed on an ad about an hour beforehand, and business was brisk. But I just about got in. Collected it this evening, and am really delighted with it. 2 years old and immaculate! it's like new!

I actually collected and paid for it as we met outside a branch of a well known computer store. While there, I went and had a look at their netbooks, and they did have an NC10. So, in an attempt to see how workable the smaller keyboard would be, I opened a Woed document and started typing. Of course, not being a decent typist, I have to look at the keys as I type, and not the screen. Well, the result of this, was that even though I was looking at the keys, I still managed to type a whole load of gibberish with parts of words and a load of numbers in them.. The reason being, the multifunction keys being in numerical mode or something, which I couldn't find to turn off. Compare that to my beautiful Macbook Pro.

It just WORKS!

So, Andrew, sorry to disappoint you! Actually, no, I'm not! :lol:

Thanks for all the answers and help. Hopefully this thread has served the purpose of learning a little for all of us. I'm not saying I wouldn't buy a netbook now, it's still a possibility at some point, but as Bo said, it's not a built with rendering panos in mind. For travelling light and hosting Papywizard, there's still mileage in that. That is, if you can call using the Merlin/Orion head traveling light :D

Do the Merlin/Orion come in their own fitted case, by any chance? Or how do people move about with them?

Damo
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by leedsjoe » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:05 am

DamoRed,

Glad you found what you needed.

To make some summary points about netbooks. I bought a netbook because I am going to be doing a lot of travelling and required a netbook for keeping in touch, writing etc.

I am also a serious but not a professional photographer. For me, it was a bonus that the NC10 also works well enough with APP/APG to be also used for pano processing on the road.

The way I am using my netbook is to do some trial processing while I am travelling in order to sort out:
1) where to go back and do more shooting, if that is practical;
2) deciding which images are worth doing more work on, when I get back home.

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by mediavets » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:09 am

leedsjoe wrote:DamoRed,

Glad you found what you needed.

To make some summary points about netbooks. I bought a netbook because I am going to be doing a lot of travelling and required a netbook for keeping in touch, writing etc.

I am also a serious but not a professional photographer. For me, it was a bonus that the NC10 also works well enough with APP/APG to be also used for pano processing on the road.

The way I am using my netbook is to do some trial processing while I am travelling in order to sort out:
1) where to go back and do more shooting, if that is practical;
2) deciding which images are worth doing more work on, when I get back home.

And it sounds really good when used that way. I was looking at them in a store not long ago but imagined they'd not be able to handle APP/APG at all but now I know better - thanks for your hands-on repoprt.

These netbooks are very interesting for Merlin/Papywizard users who want a small host platform which could also do some trial stitches out in the field.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:16 am

DamoRed wrote:Do the Merlin/Orion come in their own fitted case, by any chance?
Damo

If you call a cardboard box with a two part shaped foam insert a 'fitted case' - then yes. ;)

I'm not lugging mine around yet. But I'd thought to perhaps look for a small 'carry on' style case with a handle and wheels into which I could fit the foam packing from the shipping box.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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