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Letters home to mom

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    • Coda
      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
    • December 31, 2011
      Father Time is riding out his last few minutes of being the temporal keeper for 2011; he sits in an easy chair with a calendar showing “Dec 31” behind him and a grandfather clock pointing to the time of 11:53. … Continue reading →
    • December 30, 2011
      A happy young lady shares a table at a tony restaurant with her cat; they both wear festive, cone-shaped party hats. The woman gaily says to the tuxedoed server, “One martini and one glass of milk.” The cat does not … Continue reading →

What is it?

Posted by joeabbott on November 17, 2011


Since I was a kid I loved microscopic pictures. When electron microscopes became commonplace enough that people were capturing images of insects, human hair, and mineral structures I was wowed. I’m just fascinated at the intricate detailed of the infinitesimally small world.

But, I tried my hand at using a real microscope and found: a) a good one can be really expensive, and b) you still need skill to use it. Making slides, getting your light source right (ok, back then I was still looking at microscopes that used mirrors), and having the discipline to scan a blob of saliva looking for anything with structure just took more effort than I was up for. I guess I was looking for a quick and easy path to inspecting that which is minute.

Well, on a site I’d previously touted here (Blog this: Cool Tools), I spotted a USB-driven handheld microscope and put it on my wish list. And, I’ve been hoping for it since. Well, during WoJ (Week of Joe), I got it!

imageHow very cool.

My first image is to the left and I’ve snipped an enlarged portion of the view to the right. As this is my first snap, I’m still very much learning how to use the product.

The manual is sparse on the magnification. It looks like 60x but the review written about it said something like “the device supports 80x magnification with a 200x software zoom.” Which means that the 2 megapixel camera is expected allow the user to zoom in when viewing the image on screen to simulate a deeper zoom.

The “zoom” you see in the image to the right is just such an instance. I can’t say I’m deeply impressed but it was my first try and I will get better.

So, what is it? Pretty simple: ink on paper! Specifically some part of “9/12 3:37 PM”, which was a note I made to myself that was laying around on the desk. I like this gift very much and I’m sure you’ll be seeing many more images of up-close things!

Thanks, Suz!



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