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MuttMutt

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Everything posted by MuttMutt

  1. Start looking through here and figure out what types of pictures you want to take and head on from there. https://www.slrlounge.com/photography/ The best thing I can say is buy extra storage, in fact the more the better IMHO and there is nothing wrong using a microSD card especially if you have a phone or tablet which can accept them. It's also worth going with a brand name and a fast card which will allow you to record video as well if so desired, nothing sucks more than having a video stop because the card can't transfer fast enough. While on vacation, if you bought a MicroSD card, you can still drop the card into the device and see the pictures you have taken and weed out the really bad ones. Take as many different shots as possible so you can pick the ones you think came out the best. It's a lot easier to find 5 or 10 good ones when you have taken 100 pictures, if you took 15 pictures it will be much more difficult to find 10 good ones till you have developed your skills. And get a filter pack for your camera as well. A circular polarizing filter will remove glare from shiny objects and help make colors pop a bit better especially outdoors but remember in low light situations to take it off before trying to take a picture. UV filters are also nice to have along with a few others. You can easily splurge on a lot of other stuff as well but I like to start off with a bunch of storage and some filters and go from there based on what I am doing. A light kit for portraits can be nice to have available along with some backdrops. But a sheet and a few extra lights around the room can work in a pinch. I am by no means great but I think I can turn out a few nice pictures. This one was taken a few years ago at sunset with a Cannon T3i then compiled in photoshop as an HDR image, basically the camera takes 3 pictures, you set the screen as close to what you see as possible then set the camera to take a picture two stops darker for the sky to have good color and two steps lighter so the ground isn't overly dark. Then the software splices the 3 images together to make one with a ton of color throughout. http://files.ventshop.net/Pictures/Mypics/HDR/southsunset.jpg
  2. I would expect that you would see the output from the azipods pretty quickly when they figure out what is happening. If you watch the video you can see not long after impact the outflow really picks up. I suspect they didn't really know they were that close. Might be time for RCCL to install backup cameras on their ships. Cars are pretty small in comparison and a ton of new cars have them for a reason.
  3. IMHO the smokestack fire on the carnival ship is similar to a chimney fire. The particulate can catch fire as it is oily but usually doesn't since the exhaust doesn't have enough O2 to get going. That equates to a failure in the maintenance department.
  4. Did a search and didn't see a topic so figured may as well start one. Anyway found some video posted online about the accident this morning to tie in with the front page post. The pilot just had a REALLY bad day is all I can say. Glad no one is hurt but have to imagine they will need to put some divers in the water to inspect the hull and azipods and where they are at the water is muddy so not much vis to see what happened. I suspect that will happen at another stop where water conditions are clearer for a better idea of the actual damage.
  5. Nope never tried something like that. It's a bit odd as well because they are not supporting H264 but are H265 and a bunch of lesser stuff. So if you have media already available you will likely have to transcode it for it to be right. It's not a major issue unless you want to take a lot of stuff. I bought my Pi 4 over a year ago and it's mainly just to tinker with when I am in the mood I do a ton more with ESP8266's and ESP32's but that is a completely different subject, LOL. And there are many ways to deal with it, I do my best to not have any need for internet access as I also plug my Pi into hotel tv's or wherever else I happen to be so constantly trying to connect to wifi is a PAIN to deal with every time. But as I probably said pretty much anything with a HDMI output should work but there will be varying levels of success with the media on some stuff. I know the Pi4 supports what all my content is already which is H264 MP4's with AAC5.1 audio. I know a ton of people use the synology boxes and all that stuff but I have no faith in them. They like to use a filesystem called btrfs but it is still heavily in beta for functions that include more than Raid 0 or Raid 1 or even worse they use hardware raid which for a home user really has no benefit, hardware raid locks a drive to only that controller and can even potentially fail with revision changes so if a controller goes out you may be SOL. My server uses ZFS and particularly RaidZ3 so I can have any 3 drives in a vDev fail and all my data is fine. I have actually had a drive start throwing errors and I pulled it out and shipped it back to be replaced and kept my system running. It's a little overkill but my pool will end up with 3 vDev's and if you lose a single vDev you lose the pool so having multiple drives that can fail when you run a total of 33 drives in a system you are much better off. Then again I also have L2ARC (ARC is Ahead Read Cache and is in ram as well) on an SSD and I have considered setting up a few other things but just having the multiple vDev's will be a huge boost when I get more drives. I already am able to read from the pool at around 300 MBps with a file that is not in ARC and when it is I can read at around 600 MBps, notice the big B, that is Megabytes not Megabits like internet download speeds. I can literally transfer a 2GB file in a few seconds to my desktop. With 3 vDev's I should be able to push the uncached reads to around 900MBps at which point I will be striping a couple SSD's for L2ARC. I built my system after having multiple drives fail in an XP box and wanted stability over everything, the read speeds and other stuff I can do are just icing on the cake.
  6. If it's available I would say it would only be on the newest ships and that is a big IF because I have never heard anything about it. I would also say if because it would then cut into Royal's rental services that are available on some of the ships. Now if you have the internet package you should be able to stream to your phone or tablet but I have not tried that at all, I rarely keep any streaming service long enough for it to matter. I have done a couple livestreams to YouTube while on the ships though and those have mostly been ok though not perfect.
  7. I mean you should be able to. Basically anything that can plug in via USB and turn on should be accessible. Personally I wouldn't pay that much for a drive so I would look at just getting a bare drive and a case but you can do what you want. 2TB is a TON of movies as well, I have about 5.4 TB of movies on my server and that ends up being around 2700 movies. So that is around 2 GB per movie on average, a 512GB drive once formatted will hold around 200 movies. If you need more than that on a week long trip you should probably just stay at home IMHO but the choice is yours. https://www.electromaker.io/tutorial/blog/how-to-build-kodi-raspberry-pi-media-center gives you some stuff you can look at on how to set a Raspberry PI up. You will probably want to pick up a complete unit that comes with a case and memory card. The MicroSD card is mainly for the OS and a few things you may want to throw on there. I actually use a 256GB MicroSD card and have Retropie installed as I mainly use it for games emulation but KODI is installed so I can also watch movies. The more stuff you want to put on the MicroSD card the bigger it needs to be, however a 64GB one should allow you to install something to just watch movies. This raspberry pi kit is similar to what I am using and it comes with a 128GB MicroSD card. The kits are WAY overpriced right now as they are also being hit by the chip shortage. Adafruit was talking about having them available for MSRP and was limiting people to only being able to purchase one at a time and they have a bunch of hoops to jump through so that bots can't buy them all but they still don't have any in stock so good luck there. KODI will probably want the files to be in MP4 extension, H264 codec with AAC audio. If you don't know what that means you will need to look it up. Can it play other stuff, possibly but there are a ton of things it won't do well. I say that so when you grab the H265 encoded file and it doesn't work you will understand why. I do not know what codecs it will support either but the MP4's in H264 with AAC audio seems to be universal. In this case saving space on a drive will just come around and bite you in the BUTT. I say this with a lot of experience using PlexMediaServer and seeing all the issues people have trying to save a few nickels on drives in some cheap little NAS box by encoding to H265 only to have their devices unable to play the file and the server being so underpowered they can't transcode them and other people throwing graphics cards into machines to transcode but spend cash on electricity they didn't need to so they have smaller files. My server is a BEAST by most people's standards. I have a Dual Xeon X5690 with 96GB of RAM and the ability to use up to 48 3.5" Drives. It's a few years old but it still puts a lot of stuff that people are buying to shame, I still don't want to transcode which is why I suggest H264. You can grab Handbrake for free and use it to convert files to the format but you can not take and rip files using it. Sorry that is something for you to google as I don't want to have someone talking about copyrights and all that stuff or dealing with it on here. You could also take a DVD or BluRay player and some movies along that way, pretty much anything that uses HDMI should work without issue. I am just a geek and like to go over the top for some stuff because of the convenience factor involved. FYI I believe they were saying SanDisk and autocorrect got in the way to call it "scan disk". It's a brand of flash drive and again it will likely not work plugged into the tv's on the ship. I have never tried because I carry a few things on my tablet and use my Raspberry PI for goofing around. Most smart TV's can take the video files and play them but "hospitality" tv's will generally have that turned off as they do not want you messing with stuff or potentially introducing something that will damage their devices.
  8. If you have a raspberry pi with something like Kodi installed with a thumb drive plugged into the raspberry pi and the pi hooked to the TV via HDMI i don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. Just make sure the TV output from the pi is set to automatically output the correct resolution. But can you directly output to the TV and play stuff on them. No. I don't think you can. But using a raspberry pi is very easy to setup and will work on just about any TV.
  9. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/disparities/low-ses/index.htm
  10. After a few times on the ships I have seen a few things that I just try to stay away from. It's mostly people who are on the ship that you just fully expect to be an issue. So for one is a grandmother with the grandkids and you can obviously tell the grandkids can do whatever. Grandma says don't do that but they know there is nothing she will do to punish them so they feel free to do whatever anyway. The one I saw the kids were acting like fools and even if someone was already on the elevators they would come in and hit every single button. When they got on the elevators I got off. Another was a guy who instantly said one thing in my mind. Roid Rage. Big beefy burly muscled guy who couldn't reach a post it note in the middle of his back, the type you would see in the gym every single day for hours at a time. What made it worse is this guy had on a shirt proudly stating he had the unlimited get drunk pass package. The first thing that popped into my mind is this guy is going to get drunk and end up in a fight. It just made me cringe to even be around them. So what are the cringeworthy things you guys have seen on the ships. I have seen video's of people so drunk they sat on the deck chairs and urinate themselves but I am sure there are a ton of other things out there.
  11. It's hard to prevent someone from doing something stupid...
  12. Never heard of the dining choice requiring prepaid gratuities at all except for maybe the unlimited dining or something like that. Anyway sounds like maybe it's time to tell them exactly what you think about it and find a new agent to deal with.
  13. Looks like things are progressing nicely then compared to just a few weeks ago when I was through there. Not sure when my next trip through Galveston will be. A little over extended on some things at the moment with our Black Friday cruise coming up but hopefully can put a deposit down to use later on when things are looking better. Hopefully by then the terminal will be open and they will pick up a few more destinations. Otherwise it will be a while for me. I drive most everywhere and heading to Fort Lauderdale will tell me for sure if I am going to make that trip a few times or not. And yes I could fly, however by the time I start checking my SCUBA gear among other things it's a lot cheaper to drive, like usually the cost of a single ticket without baggage covers fuel round trip.
  14. Made me think about something there. I didn't buy anything persay but on my B2B on Liberty everyone staying on who went to the Windjammer ended up with a glass of Champagne or sparkling wine of some sort. I know we were flying high by that point anyway. You could easily take an extra bottle of wine and after you park your car split it with whomever you are traveling with. By the time you are on the ship you should be feeling pretty good. I actually might have to start doing that as well, sounds like it will make starting a vacation more fun.
  15. Not sure but when I was looking at the sailings there were even more underwhelming than Galveston. I am hoping they will bring something in to Galveston to facilitate cruises to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and points further south out of Galveston and then start working on whatever they are going to do in New Orleans or at least add something into New Orleans that will give me some options other than Florida to get around in other areas.
  16. That white base underneath has something to do with attaching it to the deck. Those wires and cables would not survive the heat from landing and there is a door near the deck that opens and allows it to move over and do it's work. I highly doubt they will lose it and you also don't want some guy who just runs a tug or is a deckhand throwing cables and chains over wherever on something you want to keep sending into space over and over again.
  17. So looks like they are now allowing a second ordering of tests. So far I have been using them as a "pre test" before taking the proctored ones and I take them onboard with me for a "just in case I start feeling crappy" so I can take one in the room instead of calling down to medical and then just wondering. Haven't used one yet while on the cruise but it's nice to have along for my own peace of mind.
  18. Makes me want to get ahold of a cup to see if they are using NFC and if the tag is changing somehow. I know it's easy enough to clone NFC tags with a phone but if there is some sort of change in data on the tag similar to how some of the subway systems change the magnetic stripes on the passes they sell to show the value left on them. There was a big writeup a few years back that talked about how it worked and they figured out how they could change the magnetic stripes to show they had 1000's on them using a simple mag stripe writer. Would I try and steal from the machines, no. But sometimes it's interesting to see how things function and work, for those who don't know you can actually get a tool for android phones called NFC Tools and read data from your US passport.
  19. After seeing El Gaucho twice on different ships I have to say he is fun and entertaining. Going to break out my guitar and start playing Flamenco now that he showed me the secret... Lifting up my damn stand mixer is going to suck though. Might have to spring for a handheld one at some point. Most have at least been funny or informative to watch, there have been a couple that just made us cringe though. I think finding that group is a much better idea though. One woman on Liberty in October literally just wasn't funny at all. Every time where she could have cracked a joke and ran with it she just couldn't string it together and would fumble after getting the slightest chuckle. This other guy was often yelling at the top of his lungs for half the show. It started off kinda ok and the longer he went on and the more amped up and louder he got the less funny it was.
  20. Some people will just buy for each person and not even think about it. Royal is in the business of making money and will have no issue if you overspend because you don't know about stuff. If they were going to help you save money they would automatically refund on anything when the purchase price drops but they don't do that either do they.
  21. Probably not but getting swimsuits dry is pretty simple. Go up to the pool deck and get a towel. Lay the towel out and put the wet clothing on top as spread out as possible. Flip a little bit of the towel over the clothing and then roll the whole thing up like a taquito from hell. Once it's rolled up have someone hold the other end of the towel and twist it up as tight as possible. Unroll, find a dry spot or get another towel and repeat. The clothes should be dry enough to hang in your shower or closet overnight and be dry enough to toss in a plastic bag in the morning.
  22. Not sure but you should be able to do a mock booking to see what costs are running. https://www.lyft.com/rider/fare-estimate https://www.uber.com/global/en/price-estimate/ Lyft seems to be in the 180 to 200 range looking right now and Uber seems to be around the 90 to 100 range right now. Houston Hobby airport is a lot cheaper like around 50 bucks to get to Galveston. https://houstontogalveston.com/ seems to be a shuttle service and it will run around 120 for up to 3 people and 140 for 4 to 7 people so it may be cheaper depending on how many people you travel with. 8 to 12 people is 20 bucks per person for the trip. I am sure there are other places that are similar.
  23. https://improveworkspace.com/why-surge-protectors-banned-cruise-ships/ Lets you understand the issues. Knowing what I do I know that in general it shouldn't really matter for extension cords and such but I can see where a transient voltage spike could cause a surge protector to overload and that will potentially cause a fire. A lot of the cheapest surge protectors are just a Metal Oxide Varistor and they are damaged every time a surge is dealt with. Over time this can cause them to physically explode when a high enough surge is found... Explode as in burst into flames similar to how a capacitor can burst. Fire and ships together are BAD NEWS... Just the smoke from a single room caught on fire could kill people because burning polymers and such give off noxious compounds. Simply put, get a charger that can deal with multiple devices. I use one this one Quick Charge 3.0 Wall Charger, 60W 6-Port USB Fast Charger and it works GREAT. Had it since July 2019 and use it everywhere I go including 4 cruises, traveling to Jamaica, as well as traveling around the US, and at home. If you have so many devices that you HAVE to have more outlets in the room then the only option is something like the no cord outlet expander linked above. Anything with a cord that splits outlets will be confiscated if it's seen. Sneaking it past in your carry on is a bad idea as well because if there is a fire you will be charged for ALL damages. Maybe you will get lucky every single time but it only takes one time to cost you everything you have, it's not worth it. I don't want to be that person and I quit working at a place because the kids there were likely going to kill someone and I wanted nothing to do with it.
  24. With 4 booked into a cabin there shouldn't be any increase for dropping one person. But I am also guessing you booked directly with Royal instead of a TA which makes all this stuff more of a pita. But you can check to see if you would save cash or not on your own by going to do a mock booking for 3 people instead of 4 for the same cabin you have.
  25. I think it's a thing where Royal wants to keep people going on the ships and are willing to take a little bit of a hit in the profit area now vs having a ton of people pissed off and refusing to sail, at least for the time being. I have seen multiple occasions where captains have taken the ships up to full speed to get into port early and transfer someone off. I am guessing they already have some funding in place to deal with things like that on an average basis. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if they figure their fuel costs way over the actual costs to begin with and then they don't have to worry about it when things get a little wonky and costs are increased. I mean I am not a genius financial person but that is what I would do in a situation where life happens and you never know what you will need on a trip if something goofs. In the long run however I expect all prices will increase and there will be less sales or reduced amounts for a while as well but overall this should be a non-event.
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