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It is crucial that you use genuine accessories with your digital camera. It doesn’t makes sense to save money purchasing duplicate accessories in your high-end machine. Its like using cheap oil in a high performance race car. Doing so will deteriorate the car’s performance as time progresses. It will also cause havoc with the car’s circuitry. Even your DSLR is like a high performance sports car and using a pirated battery pack can affect its performance.

Genuine Canon Battery

I recommend purchasing a genuine Canon battery pack since;

1) Long Battery Life – They last longer. Without battery, your camera is as good as a paper weight. A longer lasting battery means you can shoot on and never miss any potential shot.

2) Smart Chip – The Original Canon battery packs bundle in a smart chip which communicates seamlessly with your DSLR. This helps in providing you with accurate information about the status of your battery(battery health) and even battery charge.

3) Safe – Since its a genuine battery pack, it will provide stable power supply to your high precision DSLR’s which are sensitive in nature. Non-genuine battery packs have a tendency to fluctuate in supply voltage which can have adverse effect on your camera.

Here is how you can check if the Canon battery pack you are going to purchase is genuine.

# Cost – The cost of original Canon battery packs are twice or thrice than the third party/pirated counterparts. So if you feel its expensive, its probably the genuine thing. However, its foolish to simply go by the price. Some unethical vendors may fleece you by over-pricing non-genuine battery packs.

# Canon Hologram – Check if your Canon’s battery packaging has a small hologram in the corner. The hologram changes when you view it from different angles. This is a mark of an genuine canon product.

# Font – The font on the battery is another indicator which will tell if its genuine. On a genuine Canon battery pack, the font used is slim and the size is small. On a pirated battery pack, it is large in size and somewhat bold.

In addition, the original canon battery pack comes with a packing which cannot be resealed. You will also find instruction manual bundled smartly inside which can be accessed once you tear along the dotted lines on the rear.

Want to learn photography? Are you looking to hone your skills to even further level? Whatever the reason be, you can’t miss this. I am very happy to bring you a book on photography. I am almost done with the book and would release it later this year. Till then, I feel grateful to roll out a sample excerpt from my book. Download it, read it & practice it. As you complete, do let me know your feedback. Do share with your friends too. Afterall, we are all into this together. Let’s grow together!

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Like most others, if you tried installing Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 64Bit in Oracle Virtualbox, you must have encountered the following error.

Win_VM_Error

This error occurs when the instruction CMPXCHG16B is disabled in your CPU. It is so by default in Oracle Virtualbox. The simple solution is to enable this instruction & then you should not get the error on initializing the Windows 8.1/Windows 2012 virtual machine.

To do this on your linux system first issue the following command,

$VBoxManage list vms

The above command will list all the virtual machines present. Be sure to run this command as a normal user. You won’t see a list of vm’s if the command is executed as a root. The VboxManage command is case-sensitive, keep that in mind. So make sure you use it properly as VboxManage.

Once done, copy down the vms name. In my case “Windows”.

[shuttertux@localhost ~]$ VBoxManage list vms

“Windows” {6e60906c-d449-4142-ba17-bb0424d3da3d}

Now to enable the CMPXCHG16B CPU instruction one needs to execute,

$VBoxManage setextradata “Windows” VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1

The value ‘1’ at the end of the command enables the desired CPU instructions. Now you can go ahead successfully and install Windows 8.1/Windows 2012 64Bit in Oracle VirtualBox.

The wikipedia explains the following on CMPXCHG16B CPU instructions:

Early AMD64 processors lacked the CMPXCHG16B instruction, which is an extension of the CMPXCHG8B instruction present on most post-80486 processors. Similar to CMPXCHG8B,CMPXCHG16B allows for atomic operations on octal words. This is useful for parallel algorithms that use compare and swap on data larger than the size of a pointer, common in lock-free and wait-free algorithms. Without CMPXCHG16B one must use workarounds, such as a critical section or alternative lock-free approaches. This also prevents 64-bit Windows from having a user-mode address space larger than 8 terabytes. The 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 requires this feature.

Setup a Tripod Correctly

Having a tripod helps in capturing sharp & steady photographs. However, it is just as crucial to know how to setup a tripod properly to get the steady photographs in the first place. Even with a tripod, photos can come out shaky/blurry if one does not pays proper attention to its setup.

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Couple of weeks ago, Mumbai witnessed high tides near the coast. Certain areas close to the shore were completely inundated with water as mammoth tides broke free with all their might. I was a witness to the nature’s fury & made some journalist style photographs.

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