Shoehorning a digicam into a Leica M

Leica has gone nouveau-retro with the digital Leica M series. Other companies, like Vivitar, have come out with digital cameras featuring current tech, but designs reminiscent of retro rangefinder cameras.

This retro camera beats them all. The maker shoehorned a Sony DSC-WX1 digital camera into a Leica (or, more accurately, what appears to be a Soviet FED Leica copy) rangefinder body. The text and video are in Japanese, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

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Buddha Machine

My Buddha Machine arrived yesterday.

I opened the shipping container to find a box roughly the size of a deck of playing cards. The outside is festooned with the FM3 logo and chinese lettering.

The box opens to reveal a retro-looking plastic slab resembling a 1970’s transistor radio. It’s the brainchild of FM3 (aka Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian) an ambient duo based out of China. The Buddha Machine plays “drones”, little low-fi downtempo ambient clips ranging from 2-45 seconds. Each drone plays continually, or at least until the 2 AA batteries run out. A 4.5v DC adapter (not included) allows the unit to play for longer periods of time.

The only controls are a  volume control/power switch, a push button to change drones, and a pitch-bending dial. The Buddha Machine plays through a small speaker and can fill a small room; the tinny response seems to improve the quality of the sound. Think of film grain improving an image. If you choose a more personal experience, there is a mini headphone jack on top.

Even though you could download the sound files from FM3’s site, it’s just not the same unless you hear the cracks and pops of the unit’s tinny little speaker. It’s deliciously analog, completely non-upgradable, and offers a warm, imperfect analog sound.

The Buddha Machine can only be found a few places right now, including Forced Exposure.

SwitchProxy update – google posterity post

I swear by SwitchProxy for Firefox. I use proxies to test our work environment and route web traffic through a SSH tunnel when I’m on an untrusted wireless network. Unfortunately, SwitchProxy hasn’t been updated for some time – it doesn’t work on newer versions of Firefox.

I read this post which talked about tweaking .xpi files – the files mozilla uses for add-ons. Changing the extension from .xpi to .zip results in a file you can open with Windows Explorer. Open it up and look at the install.rdf file. There’s a line in the file that reads:


Change the lines to reflect your current version, update the file, change the name back to .xpi and you’re good to go.

This won’t work with all add-ons, as some of them require specific versions. SwitchProxy seems to work just fine, however.

Linked networks

Ok, so I post to WordPress. WordPress posts an update to Twitter via Twitter tools and to Livejournal. LJ gets the whole post with comments redirected to WordPress. Twitter posts a shortened URL to the blog post. Twitter gets slurped once a day into LoudTwitter, which also posts to LJ. And, Facebook also gets updated by Twitter. Which redirects people to WordPress. I couldn’t get Wordbook to work, but since Twitter already updates Facebook via Loudtwitter, I figure I have it covered.

My head is spinning.