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Pedro Vera
Works at NetLink Resource Group
Attended Excelsior College
Lives in Reston, VA, USA
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Pedro Vera

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I am dedicating this accidental #earworm  to my buddies at my first dot-com job, and the poor bastards in the offices next to ours that didn't appreciate Uriah Heep as much as we did. 
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Pedro Vera

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Since +Jesse Morgan paged me ...

Pedro's Guide for choosing a digital camera:

1. Do you need to take pics of stuff, your kids/grand kids, etc. and you already own an iPhone or a recent Android or Windows phone? Congratulations, you have a great camera in your hands. Just remember to shoot in landscape mode, not portrait. 
2. Is #1 not enough? Are you new to photography? Go to Walmart, Target, or Amazon and find yourself a Sony DSC-series camera. You want one that says "Carl Zeiss" in front instead of "Sony G" and it will cost you right around $100. This is a hero camera, it'll help you shoot photos that people will wonder if you are hauling around something that costs 10 times more.
3. Is #2 not enough? Do you understand SOME of the theory of photography? Go to Walmart, Target, Amazon, Sams Club or BJ Wholesale and pick up either a Canon Rebel kit, or a Nikon D3000-series kit. The kit is going to come with a camera body, one or two lenses and a bag. It'll cost you a little bit more, maybe $300-$400. When you learn enough that you are ready for your next camera, you get to reuse your lenses,all you do is buy the next model up. For example, if you have a D3000 series, you move up to D5000 series, etc. They all use the same lenses. You do want one of those entry models because they have learner modes, they walk you through 99% of what you are trying to do. If you move up too early, you'll have to do more by yourself. 
4. If you are confident in your skills, you may want to experiment with one of the mirrorless cameras. I am a die-hard fan of the Sony NEX/ILCE series, and they are smaller than the cameras I suggested in #3. The learning curve I mentioned in #3 applies here too, so picking the lower model also gets you guided shooting, which is fantastic when you are learning.
5. If you don't fit any of the above, then you shouldn't be reading lists, you already know enough to figure this out on your own.

Here's a secret: the more expensive the camera, the harder it is to use it. The more expensive the camera, the more control it allows you over the finished product. More money won't necessarily buy you better quality, but it will buy you more flexibility. 

BTW, the Sony  I mentioned in #2 cost me $88 just a couple of months ago. It's a tiny little thing and it has a fantastic lens, and it has 20 frickin megapixels. Yes, it's a tiny sensor so you won't be taking glamour shots or bokeh, but this is a very reliable pocket camera that takes excellent shots. A friend bought it too and cost him about $100 and last I heard he was happy, and this is another long time NEX shooter, he had the same problem as mine, that sometimes you don't want to carry the "nice" camera. 

As for removable lens cameras, you are going to see a lot of fanboy fighting over brands and whatever the hell. You can't go wrong by going Nikon or Canon (Canikon?), both companies make excellent gear. You can't go wrong by going with one of the established players in the Micro Four Thirds platform. You can't go wrong with going NEX/ILCE. All of these make excellent and affordable cameras, lenses are affordable and last a very long time. When the camera becomes obsolete you hand it over to somebody else and upgrade to a newer model, and you keep all of your lenses.

What about those full frame wonder cameras from Sony? They are awesome, but they are professional tools. Unless you make a living shooting photos, stay away from there.

What about those "pro" cameras from Nikon and Canon? Again, they are awesome, but they are for professionals. You are not going to be able to take better pictures with these cameras, the reason these cameras are more expensive is because they have features that are useful to professionals. And yes, the image quality is superior, but it is not something that a n00b can even grok. 

What about those $8000 Leica rangefinders and those lenses that cost more than a car? This is a bit more complex. Leica sells you a $5,000+ lens that lasts 30+ years, and the lenses are really good. The cameras? The film cameras last decades, the digital cameras are obsolete the day they go on sale. Leica full frame digital cameras became an endangered species the first time Sony sold a full-frame mirror-less digital camera. 

There's another problem with n00bs buying $3000 cameras. Somebody has been spewing nonsense into n00b's heads that pro photographers only shoot in fully manual mode and that auto modes are to be avoided, and that is absolute rubbish. A pro learns how the camera behaves and knows which modes work and which ones don't. How the hell can a n00b expect to take a brand new camera, switch it to full manual mode, and expect perfect shots? It doesn't work that way!

Here's a secret: I have been shooting digital for over 15 years, and film for 10 or so years before that, and the only time I ever switch to manual mode is because I don't have a choice. I need to tweak the shot outside of what PAS modes will let me. 99% of the time my cameras, even the $88 wonder, are set to either P or A mode. 

Even worse than this obsession with manual mode: newcomers shooting everything in RAW and then insist on doing all of the post processing manually. I have been shooting NEX cameras for a few years, and I have NEVER been able to edit a RAW file that came out nicer than the JPEG that was saved by the camera at the same time. It takes a trained professional to edit a RAW file to the point that it beats the straight JPEG. 
 
Some good shopping advice from our friends at +Gizmodo: 
Digital cameras are trying hard to push back against the growth of smartphone photography. But few decisions are more complex than picking out the right digital camera among hundreds.
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Coolest feature ever: if you see a hump and everything falls within the boundaries, you are exposed fine. If you clump to the left, you are underexposed. If you clump to the right, you are overexposed. And moving the EV wheel immediately shifts the plot left and right, it's basically a cheat button. 
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Pedro Vera

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Oh yes, not only I know that Google has my voice on file, I can even tell you what is the very first sentence that they recorded from me. It was (#nsfw):

"OK Google, Go Fuck Yourself."

Amazingly, Google's voice recognition is now good enough that it can understand my accent. I spent the next half hour in the car driving +Ivette Vera crazy searching for how many ways I could cuss at Google and it would still understand me, then got bored and started searching for chinese food. 

#coolstorybro  
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Pedro Vera

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"Oh Jack, paint me like one of your French girls ..."
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Caustic Kitty is feeling gangster as hell.

"Bring me Solo and the Wookie! They will all pay for this outrage."
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Over the years we have figured out that there are times of the week when it is basically impossible for a programmer to get any work done.

For starters, if you are a programmer in a for-hire environment, don't bother trying to write code on Mondays before lunchtime or on Fridays after 2:30 PM or so. Why? Those are the "customer emergency" times, your customers will stir shit up on Monday mornings, then disappear for the rest of the week. And then on Friday around 2:30 PM they'll start stirring up shit again.

So your week starts wrong, because it is now Tuesday morning and you only got maybe 3-4 hours worth of code to show for it. And you haven't done staff meetings at all, unless you managed to talk to your resource manager for 15 minutes on Monday, which would be a miracle since your resource manager was probably getting yelled at by the PM(s), or worse, your resource manager and your PM are the same person, so they were taking turns between yelling at the customer and yelling at themselves.

So now it is Wednesday, MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE...

Which means the real work starts on Thursday. And some people don't understand that you don't violate the sanctity of a programmer's Thursday. I propose that whenever a customer attempts to violate the  sanctity of a programmer's Thursday we send them Kat Williams, dressed up as A Pimp Called Slickback, and have him say the pimp's prayer to them:

Lord, please pray for the soul of this bitch and guide my pimp hand and make it strong Oh Lord, so that she may learn a hoes place. Amen.

And then give the customer a nice, Rick James-style slap. 

Also, the next time you tell your programmer that the reason he worked overnight and/or weekends and the 12-hr days are piling up, it isn't because he/she spent "eight hours fucking around and four hours working," it is because you decided it was more important to fuck with the programmer's schedule than to let him/her do the actual work. 

 
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My worst times were on the phone with a students 'engineer husband' who of course knew nothing about OS or browser issues. (Browser issues!) so so happy I never have to look at IE again!

They always called when I was just leaving. 
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Pedro Vera

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That's the name of the goddamn store! What am I supposed to type? Berkley & Jensen? "The Price Club"?

Update: If you want to defeat the profanity filter in Ford Sync, add a space. Idiots. 
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It is an engaging read, but it is single-sourced so for all we know the author of the article and/or the test pilot could just be full of shit.

What's sad is we wasted all this money on a platform that became obsolete before it could be fielded. Why the hell would anyone want to risk trained personnel and horribly expensive jets to really cheap anti-air weaponry used by personnel with very little (but adequate enough) training. It doesn't add up when you can send drones after them, and even if they manage to shoot down our drone, all we lost is money, we didn't lose a highly trained aircrew. 
New stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle
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Maybe, but think about it from the political side. We can afford to crash drones left and right as long as Americans are not getting hurt. It's just money, politicians will just print more. And it's only a matter of time before somebody figures out that drones need inertial navigation and stand-alone command authority to at least bail out if the command links are a problem. 

And then a few years later some asshole is going to go "well, shit works, let's give the drones their own kill authority, what can possibly go wrong?" FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
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ERMAGERD ROBOTZ
 
Looks more like Robot B-9 from Battlestar Galactica to me...
The Troll will be strong with you when you wear the OMG Its R2-D2 I Loved Him in Star Trek T-Shirt, offering a golden opportunity to upset fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who at the same time. Fandoms are very territorial, and some lines just shouldn't be crossed. This comical m
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Pedro Vera

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"Oh Jack, paint me like one of your French girls ..."
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Pedro Vera

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Caustic Kitty is feeling gangster as hell.

"Bring me Solo and the Wookie! They will all pay for this outrage."
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Pedro's Collections
People
Have him in circles
416 people
Dana King's profile photo
vonnie parrks's profile photo
Jessel May Eguia's profile photo
Richal Virgilio Azuarte Lopez's profile photo
Ahmad Subhan's profile photo
- Patrick Becanne - Photographie's profile photo
Giorgio Anderlini's profile photo
Leaves On Thursday's profile photo
theodoros andreou's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Lead Web Developer
Skills
software development, web applications development, programming, scripting, relational databases, telecommunications, process management, technical management, photography
Employment
  • NetLink Resource Group
    Lead Web Applications Developer, 2006 - present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Reston, VA, USA
Previously
Landstuhl, Rheinland-Pfalz, Deutschland - Augusta, Georgia, USA - Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, USA
Story
Tagline
A waste is a terrible thing to mind
Introduction
Pedro is a workaholic lead web applications developer stuck somewhere around the DC beltway. 

In his paid time he writes code, irritates his customers and coworkers and drinks too much coffee. 

In his free time he watches too much TV, plays video games, reads, writes, takes pictures, irritates his family, cats and friends and drinks too much coffee.
Education
  • Excelsior College
    Science, 1995
  • University of Puerto Rico
    Mechanical Engineering, 1992
  • United States Army Signal Center
    SATCOM/SATCON, 1994
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Five stars if you go in the middle of the week. No traffic, very short lines. If you go closer to the end of the season, or worse, on the last weekend of the season, prepare for major gridlock and lines. We have been coming to this park for a few years and it's always a load of fun. That is, except for when we procrastinated and waited until the last weekend a year or two ago. Lesson learned.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Food: ExcellentDecor: GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Great food, very affordable, fast service and a staff that is incredibly accommodating to families with small children and children with special needs. I have been bringing my (now 12) son that has autism and everyone makes him feel like he OWNS the restaurant. I don't know how it is during weekdays, but weekends there are no issues whatsoever with parking or waiting for a table. Make sure you bring your appetite because the portions are big, especially if you ask for any kind of pasta that comes served on top of a pizza crust. The most popular children's dish seems to be the "make your own" pizza, they'll bring the materials to the table and even a chef's hat.
• • •
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
4 reviews
Map
Map
Map
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago