Thursday, February 19, 2015

Diamine equivalents to the Conway Stewart fountain pen inks.

With the demise of Conway Stewart last year we have lost one of the few large British fountain pen manufacturers. Its possible that the brand may be relaunched at some point, but the company that existed since the 1990's is gone and the factory broken up and sold off.

Conway Stewart also marketed a range of inks in 80ml bottles, of which I have used Kingsand and Bodmin. These were manufactured by Diamine and there seems to be quite a lot of it still in stock at retailers. The price is only slightly higher than Diamine 80ml bottles. They will eventually run out and people will want replacements so this is what I think the Diamine equivalent colours are (CS = Conway Stewart):

CS Bodmin = Diamine Jet Black,
CS St. Blazey = Diamine Classic Red
CS Kingsand = Diamine Ochre
CS Tamar = Diamine Royal Blue
CS Tavy = Diamine Denim
CS Edgcumbe = Diamine Lavender

I can't guarantee they are exactly the same, but they are very close and might just be relabelled. I have CS Bodmin and Diamine Jet Black and can't tell the difference.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to use Spotify Web Player when you can't install Flash

Ever wanted to access Spotify from a computer where you do not have Admin access? The Spotify web player uses Flash and there are no plans by Spotify to change this because of DRM issues. However, there is a work around if you have Flash and Firefox already installed in another Windows computer.

Go to and download and install Firefox portable to a USB memory stick.

Look for two files with names like these these in the plugins directory of your installed version (usually located at C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\data\plugins) :


Copy them.
Navigate to the portable version on your memory key at:
And copy those files into  that directory.
Restart the browser and it should work.

If you do not have access to an installed copy of Firefox you can download an older version of Flash as a zip file and extract those two files. However, you will likely get out of date warnings when you want to run it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i SD card capacity in real life

SD Card Capacity

A single RAW plus JPEG image requires 40MB of space.
Full HD video (1080p) requires 363MB per minute.

Therefore, a 32GB SD card could hold:

800 RAW plus JPEG images.
88 minutes of full HD video.
400 RAW plus JPEG images and 44 minutes of full HD video.

My 32GB card is marked "2 Hours", but this is calculated on shooting 720p video.

If you only shoot JPEG then the file sizes are much smaller, around 6MB, and you could expect to fit 5,000 images on a 32GB card.

Card type

To record video you need a class six or above SD card. I use a class 10 and there is no real price diffeential these days anyway. The only issue can be counterfeit cards of lower classes being passed off as class 10 so best to buy from a reputable source.

I recently bought a Sandisk Ultra SDHC Memory Card - 32GB - Class 10 - UHS-I for £13.50 from As a teenager I was paying £6 for a 200 second cassette of Kodachrome Super 8 that could only be used once, so the cost of these cards is not a big deal.

Maximum file size

The maximum continuous video file permitted is 4GB, or 29 minutes 59 seconds, whichever comes first. So the maximum single HD video shot at 1080p is going to be just over 11 minutes. Not a problem for most people, but if you are filming something like a conference speaker you need to prepare to trigger multiple shots at appropriate moments and edit them together later.