The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, Debtember 06, 1999

It's just a question of focus

I'm still playing around with my silly digital camera, trying to get it focused properly. The problem with the camera is that it's one of these fixed-focus cameras that has gone out of focus.

Well, I shouldn't say it's a fixed-focus—more like a semi-fixed focus camera that you have to tear apart to focus.

The assembly itself consists of two cylinders, one fixed to the CCD mount, the other one slides inside the first. There's a spring/screw combination used to move the inner cylinder (which contains the lenses) relative to the outer cylinder. There is no access to this screw from outside the unit—you have to open the unit up (six small machine screws) to get access to it.

The problem is that the focus assembly is only on one side of the cylinder, not both. And to focus the unit properly you need to have the inner cylinder as far in as possible. There's a lip around the inner cylinder that keeps it from going too far in and therein lies the problem.

Tighten the focus screw down too tight, and the inner cylinder tilts. With only one side being forced down, the other side is still free and because of the lip preventing the inner cylinder from slipping all the way in the outer cylinder, you get this tilt as you tighten the focus screw down.

Did I mention you need the focus screw pretty tight?

So the end result is that part of the picture is out of focus and it's real annoying. Adjust the inner cylinder so that the tilt is gone, and the image is out of focus.

I suppose half is better than none. It's still annoying and I'm still playing around with it. I mean, the camera itself is fine and I'd hate to chuck what was a US$400 camera just because of a cheap plastic assembly.



Unless you are 18 or older, or are offended by images of nude women, I'm afraid you'll just have to skip this amusing ad parody of the Palm Pilot. I can't find an image of the original ads so I have no idea just how risque they were. Most of the links I tried following say the images are in the current issue of Wired but there is no indication of what the current issue of Wired was at the time (indications are April of '99 but hold me to that). I'll resist the urge to rant about linkrot.

Obligatory Picture

[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2023 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.