Panoramic Heads by Nodal Ninja

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Metz 58 AF-1 Flash Update for Windows 7

The beautiful thing about the Metz 58 AF-1 flash is that you can do firmware updates via your computer's USB port. The downside is this doesn't work with a Mac, and it requires driver updates that don't work well with Windows 7. These directions detail how to install the drivers for Windows 7.

UPDATE: Apparently the drivers can be auto updated if you have an internet connection and you have Windows 7 set to pull drivers from the internet.  The following directions would still work for a computer not connected to the internet.

Warning:  These instructions are not endorsed by Metz.  Proceed at your own risk.

The first step is to download the Metz update for your system from Metz: Metz 58 Firmware Update.
or Metz 48 Firmware Update

After that has completed, open the Windows executable.

Type the desired location and click "Unzip"

The screen should pop up with a confirmation:

Click OK and remove the batteries from your Metz flash and turn it off.  Attach it to your computers' USB port using a mini USB cable.  Windows will pop up with a message saying it found an unrecognized device.

An error pops up saying the device driver was not successfully installed, click here for details.  This is where the instructions differ significantly from what Metz provides for Windows XP or 2000.

Go to "Start"-> "Control Panels"
Click View Devices and Printers

You will see a warning symbol under a device called "MB58 AF1 Pentax"

Double click on the device and click the "hardware" tab.

Make sure the device is highlighted and click "Properties".

Click "Change Settings".

Click "Update Driver"

Click "Browse My Computer for driver software"

Browse to the files you just unzipped, in the sub directory "58AF1 Pentax V1.1 GB\Driver"

It should say it is installing device and it was successfully installed, but there is a second device that needs to be installed as well.

Close ALL windows.  I found I must close the control panel for view devices and printers or information wouldn't refresh correctly.

Open the Control Panel, open the View Devices and Printers control panel again.  In the View Devices and Printers window, double click on the MB58 AF1 Pentax device again:

It still has a warning symbol on part of the device

Highlight the device with the warning, and click Properties (it doesn't show on mine as I can't do a fresh install since I already installed it once).

Repeat the procedure above for the second device with the warning. Click on "Properties", and then click on "Change Settings" and then on the "Driver" Tab click "Update Driver" and browse to that same folder you did for the first part.

After the driver install is complete run the file:
In the C:\Users\Eric\AppData\Local\Temp\58AF1 Pentax V1.1 GB\FirmwareUpdateGB.exe
(where ever you unzipped the files, in the folder \58AF1 Pentax V1.1 GB\)

After that there is a two part process.  Downloading the data and updating the flash.  It might take 1 minute total.  Halfway through a window pops up saying "All datas are download successfully".  The bad grammar adds to the experience :)  Wait a minute or two to be safe once everything is done and unplug the flash.  Put the batteries back in and start it.  It should say version 1.1 when it boots.

I hope that helps someone!


Monday, January 4, 2010

WD My Book Studio Review

WD My Book Studio
My review for this week is the Western Digital My Book Studio hard disk drive.  Featuring Firewire 800 and USB 2.0 interfaces, an E-Ink display for volume information, WD GreenPower HDD for power and heat savings, and all packaged in an elegant silver box.

Initial impressions of the drive:
1. Product lighter and smaller than expected.  Bottom Heavy.
2. E-Ink display still showed Videos 09, at first I thought it was a sticker to protect the screen.  Neat to see it holds state that long
3. Includes Firewire 800, 800-400 adapter, USB cable standard mini type, and small AC power adapter, but the plug is part of the adapter so it takes more surge protector space.
4. Looks aluminum but it is plastic.
5. AC Power Adapter supplemental instructions had many typos and were poorly translated.

Setting up the Drive
Easy, but not totally as per the directions.  The software tried to get me to use it to backup using there software instead of time machine at first.  Don't recall exactly what I did to make it work, I don't think I had to do anything.  The first thing to do is install the WD SmartWare software.  There is no getting rid of the icon on the desktop or opting out of using the software.  However, the drive seems reliable with no random disconnects as of yet.  My other external HDD would randomly disconnect.

Once the software is installed be sure to open the SmartWare program and go to "Settings" -> "Setup my Software" -> "Preferences" -> uncheck "Open WD SmartWare when Drive is Connected" or it will get really annoying every time the Time Machine backup runs and it opens the WD SmartWare window saying it is categorizing your files.

Run "System Preferences" -> "Time Machine" and select the volume mounted on the desktop as the time machine backup.  There is two volumes, one for the WD SmartWare and one for My Book (or whatever your volume is named).  Be sure to select the actual hard drive, My Book.

Right click on the WD SmartWare CD icon (which WD claims is a "virtual CD", or VCD) and eject it.  It might come back later though.  If it does, you are stuck with the extra icon until WD decides to release the update for My Book users.

Using the Drive
My 260 GB Time Machine full backup took maybe 2 hours, which is fairly reasonable.  This wasn't as fast as the peak performance of the drive, but I was doing other operations on the computer while it was running.  I decided to test out the Firewire 800 v. USB 2.0 performance to see if it was worthwhile to use the FW800, and the answer is most definitely "YES!".

FW800 Write Performance
Large File: 1,493,332,688 bytes
Transfer Time: 23 seconds
Transfer Rate: 62 MB/s

Medium Files: 4,715,060,789 bytes
385 items
Transfer Time: 69 seconds
Transfer Rate: 65 MB/s

USB2.0 Write Performance
Large File: 1,493,332,688 bytes
Transfer Time: 42 seconds
Transfer Rate: 34 MB/s

Medium Files: 4,715,060,789 bytes
385 items
Transfer Time: 130 seconds
Transfer Rate: 35 MB/s

After using the drive for a while, there were a few things I noticed:
1: The drive automatically mounts when firewire plugged in
2: The WD SmartWare is too intrusive
3: The E-Ink screen is hard to read in a dark corner
4: The drive is quiet but audible.  No jet engine taking off, but it makes your standard hard drive noises.  Enclosure well ventilated, with vents on three edges.
5: Nice that disk utilization and label remains after you shut off the power

A nice external hard drive with some unique features, but the intrusive software might bother some users.  There aren't a lot of choices for Firewire 800 drives for mac users, and this is certainly a sound offering with about twice the performance of the USB 2.0 connection.  For the 1 TB FW800 drives, the LaCie d2 Quadra might also be worth a look.