At Last: Canon EOS 40D Shutter Count Retrieval! (Works on 40D, 50D, 450D, and 1000D)

At the time of this writing, this program should work on all DIGIC III and IV cameras EXCEPT for the 1D and 1Ds. The author, Astrojargon, believes it should work on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, but until someone actually receives one or tests this program, we wont know for sure.

Reading his FAQ #7, he says that most people believe this number to be correct. Well, you can add me to that list as well. My last image (a picture of Rhys Millen standing on the podium aftering winning $25,000 from his 1st place victory at the Red Bull Drifting World Championship) was numbered 9612. Astrojargon’s “40D Shutter Count Version 2” reported 9613. Its off by one, but he mentions that if you actuate the shutter without a CF card, then the IMG_XXXX would not incremement, obviously. This, I can confirm, is my case (I left the house once without a CF card and tried to take a picture before realizing I didn’t have a CF card in the camera).

So.. at last, a real way to obtain a shutter count on a Canon EOS 40D (or 50D or 450D or 1000D).

Anyway, enough BS.. you can find his program here:

40D Shutter Count

Thanks, Astrojargon!

Red Bull Drifting World Championship

Well, I have to hand it to Red Bull.. if there’s anything worth doing that you can do better by throwing money at it, they’ll do it.. the event was pretty big.. at least as big as Irwindale, but felt bigger.. more people, more vendors, etc etc.. I’d say the ticket prices were a little steep, but I guess that didnt phase the people who were willing to spend $35 for a 2-day event.

The competition was “eh”. I expected more from the international folks.. I was VERY impressed with the Red Bull FD RX-7 from New Zealand.. it was rockin’ a 4-rotor NA motor that had a very NON-rotary sound to it.. one photographer mentioned that it sounded very “F1-ish”.. at which point a grizzled and seasoned UK photographer (John Brooks, who had photographed F1) said.. “uh, no”.. but secretly, I thought the same thing.. hey, don’t talk smack.. not like I ever been to an F1 race.. ok, how about, the Red Bull FD sounded like an F1 car on my TV? better?

Most of the international guys were ousted after the first round. Too bad really.. I mean, these guys have the most to prove to the US crowd.. the Formula D drivers could care less (aside from the big prize money).. the US cars were, overall, much more polished.. newer/current/relevant model cars.. pretty paint jobs, nice vinyl jobs, etc etc..

The winner was Rhys Millen.. he’s sponsored by Red Bull, by the way.. he is definitely one of the best.. so I wont say it looked rigged.. but to people who dont necessarily follow drifting.. um, it probably looks rigged..

I’ll be uploading pics to Flickr in a bit.. but for now, here’s one thats different from my normal perspective..

[photopress:IMG_9048.jpg,full,centered]
Shot with my Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L, 27mm, 1/125 @ F14

Also, for you So Cal folks, check out JTuned.com’s Second Coming Meet and Thanksgiving Food Drive on Novmber 23rd, 2008 @ Super Autobacs in Stanton, CA!

2009 Formula Drift Schedule

April 10th-11th Formula D Long Beach

April 16th-19th Team Drift – Streets of Long Beach

May 8th-9th Formula D Atlanta

June 19th-20th Formula D Englishtown, New Jersey

July10th/11th- Formula D Las Vegas

August 7th/8th- Formula D Seattle

September 12th/13th- Formula D Sonoma

October 10th/11th- Formula D Irwindale

TBD- Redbull Drifting World Championship

TBD- Formula D Asia Cup Malaysia

TBD- Formula D Asia Cup Sinagpore

TBD- Formula D Monterey, Mexico

Farewell Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance Magazine

I didnt have the benefit of going to a high school where the untapped potential of import cars was valued by its population of students. The hot cars at my school were the Ford Mustang and Chevy IROC Z or Z28. Being the type to cheer for the underdog, I never really liked either car. It was too easy. Running high 14 second (low 15 second) quarter miles out of the box, there was no challenge to making it faster. Install a pully kit or a set of Dynomax mufflers and you’d probably pick up 5/10ths in the quarter mile. Besides, the Mustang and IROC were never really great looking cars.. they just had the traditional muscle car stance and look to them.

So my friend (Ed) and I would read about all the Japanese imports that we could (remember, there was no internet at this time, yeah, I’m that old). I’d buy Car and Driver, Road and Track, and if I could find it, Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance magazine. The latter two provided us with an idea of where to start. For me, that starting point was the FC3S Mazda RX-7 Turbo II. For Ed, it was the Mitsubishi Starion. But that’s where Car and Driver and Road and Track ceased to be useful. Aside from their published “bone stock” quarter miles and 0-60s, they didn’t offer the evolutionary step into the world of import performance. There were no import “speed shops” like there were muscle car speed shops. There were not even that many owners of modified import cars, much less owners in general. Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance magazine offered a glimpse into the technology behind modifying cars with (relatively) advanced fuel injection systems and turbochargers.

Back then, Turbo & Hi-Tech Magazine was quarterly. It was published by Kipp Kington in Huntington Beach, California. I could never find it at any store except for the Crown Books store in the Laguna Hills Mall. I’d anxiously await the day when it would show up on the store shelf. I recall it would cost $4.95 (and this was at a time when Car and Driver was $2.95). It was a steep price to pay, but it was well worth it.

I credit the magazine for many things.. such as introducing me to HKS Performance Products and an article about high-flow air filters that I quoted from for many many years after that (a clean K&N outflowed paper and foam elements.. and if I recall correctly, a dirty K&N still outflowed foam, but not a new paper element.. however, the shocker was a cleaned K&N, one cleaned using their cleaning kit, would never flow as well as a new K&N filter). It introduced me to the fear of pulling up next to a Buick Grand National/GNX at a stop light. And it also opened my eyes to just how fast a nitrous fed Ford Mustang 5.0 liter was. It ultimately inspired me to work on my own car and to seek out the infamous street races in Hacienda Heights, Compton, and Gardena.

In the past few years, Turbo & Hi-Tech Performance became a news stand pamphlet. The last time I picked one up, it was probably about 50 pages (in its prime, it was about 150 pages). The covers were always uninspiring and they never gave me the same sense of excitement that I used to feel when I bought them in high school. Nevertheless, its sad to see it go.

Acura Honda Navigation (Black) DVD Update v2.50.. My Impressions


We’ve had our 2003 Honda Pilot since it was new. We bought it December or 2002 from Gardena Honda (which sucks, by the way). I really wanted an Acura MDX, but since they were essentially overpriced Honda Pilots, I couldnt bring myself to part with the money. Instead, we opted for a fully-loaded Honda Pilot. It was our first experience with GPS navigation.

I find that I love to use it. Even if I don’t need it, I have to hit the ‘OK’ button and when I get a chance, I often find myself watching the little red arrow navigate around the line drawings of the map. I’m always looking for opportunities to use it. Call me a geek, but for $2500 or whatever it costs, I’m going to use it as much as possible.

Anyhow, through the years, our maps on the navi DVD have gotten old. If you live in an older, more developed part of the country, its probably fine and you could probably continue using the same map from 5 years ago. However, since I live in Orange County, CA (closer to the southern end), new roads and housing developments were popping up every year. Its actually pretty frustrating to look for a non-existent address, knowing you paid $2500 for a GPS based navigation system that you can’t use.

I had often looked into purchasing the DVD from Alpine/Acura/Honda, but couldn’t bring myself to part with the cash. Each time I’d convince myself that I didn’t really need it. In more recent times, I convinced myself that it would be OK to even use my portable GPS in the car in those times when I knew we would be heading to “uncharted” territory.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend bought the new navi DVD for his Nissan Armada. I didnt think it was worth it since his navi DVD was only 2 years old. But to my surprise, it had maps for many areas that always bothered me about my 5 year old navigation DVD maps. Not only that, but the points-of-interests (POIs) were all updated too. Now you could actually find stores, restaurants, etc that were built in the past few years. So I finally broke down and did it. I bought the Acura/Honda Navigation DVD v2.50 (my original DVD was v2.05b). This is the infamous BLACK DVD. Honda thought it would be cool to color code their DVDs.. so there’s Orange, Blue, and White. Unfortunately for me, the black navigation DVD was only used over a span of about 4 years, starting in 2002 in some Acuras and ending in 2005 in the Honda Pilot (I think the Odyssey even got the Blue DVD in 2005).

If you’re looking for a comprehensive review or to find out if the street you live on in Kansas is in this update, I’m sorry for making you read this far before telling you that it ain’t gonna happen. What I will tell you, however, is that the maps are much more detailed. At the normal zoom level (2nd from the closest zoom), there are more street names that appear on the screen. I think at that zoom level, you also see more street level detail. I also noticed you see much more “green”. Large roads are more detailed in that it shows the left side and right side of the street (shown as 2 parallel lines). The navigation unit also responds much faster. Let me say that again THE NAVIGATION UNIT RESPONDS MUCH FASTER. If you don’t need the maps, thats great, but everyone needs the damn firmware update. Too bad Alpine/Acura/Honda makes you spend $180+shipping to get it.

All in all, I find it to be a worthwhile upgrade. In fact, after using it this evening, I couldnt help but to wonder why I didnt buy it sooner. If Acura/Honda were better about explaining the differences, I probably would have.

You “computer types” will also be happy to know that upon receiving my new Acura/Honda Navigation DVD v2.50, the first thing I did was to make a backup. I have my original stored in a safe place and the back-up DVD is working fine in my navigation unit. If you need help backing-up your Acura/Honda Navigation DVD, drop me a comment here with your email (email addresses aren’t shown to the public) and I’ll get back to you (hint: it involves a dual layer DVD+R, Verbatim if possible, and an ISO of the disc). If you have specific questions related to the Acura/Honda Navigation DVD v2.50 (Black), then drop me a comment and I’ll try to test it out for you.

I’m doing this because I couldnt find the damn info myself and I know how much that sucks.

Update: I get a lot of requests from people who would like to test out a newer navigation DVD.. I’ve tried to make more back-ups and I don’t know if its just my nav DVD unit, but it seems my back-up discs are a little hit-and-miss. What I mean is, I may burn 5 DVDs, and 3 of them work great, 1 maybe not so great and 1 maybe not at all. I only bought a 10-pack of the dual-layer Verbatim DVD+R discs when I tried to make my backup. So it could be any number of things or a combination of the following:

1. The navigation DVD player in our Pilot has gotten old and finicky as to what DVDs it likes to play.. I should also point out that now, when I put in the original disc, it seems its a little finicky sometimes too.. so the navigation DVD player is a strong culprit

2. My DVD-RW drive just isnt cut out for burning dual-layer Honda Navigation DVDs.. I think I have an LG.. I never tried burning it on another one of the many other DVD-RW drives I have at home (laptops, other desktops, etc).. the disc image is on my desktop, so I always tried burning with my desktop

3. I got a bad batch of DVD+R DL Verbatim discs.. probably small chance.. but who knows.. maybe the batch I have doesnt like LG drives.. maybe it doesnt like the software I’m using.. who knows

4. My technique isnt right.. its not really rocket science, is it? Its data that takes up like 8GB of disc space.. so I really dont put much weight on burning technique.. but from what I’ve read, some will swear by writing at max speed (4x I think), others claim writing at 1x is the most sure-fire way. I think I’ve tried both and although I didnt write down my process or observations, from what I recall, one way wasnt any better than another way.. but thats not to say technique may not figure into the grand scheme of things.. maybe it will matter, but with a combination of other things (like right temperature, phase of the moon, etc)

A number of you have reached out to me to test my theories.. and since I’m not as inclined to test any further, I may be able to help provide a disc image that you can try to perfect your technique. I asked you guys to drop me a comment.. which is probably the best way, but I get so much spam in the comments its hard to filter out.. and it makes me lazy to check comments, so I dont do it very often.. so if you’re in a hurry, you might want to look else where.. sorry.. if you’re not in a hurry, then leave a comment