Amazon.com Shipping is FAST for Photography Equipment!!!

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!!!

This just in…..

The world is shrinking! The world is shrinking! Wait a moment…. It isn’t shrinking?  Ok, well it certainly seems to be based on how fast I just received my new Hoya 77mm UV filters from Amazon.com. On Monday, August 2nd I realized that I had forgotten to purchase 2 new lens filters for my Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 AF-S and my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR which I was planning on lugging along on my trip to Boston later that week. The problem was, I was leaving on a 07:00 AM flight on Jetblue just two days later on Thursday, August 4th and none of my local camera shops had what I was looking for. What was I to do, I wondered to myself.

Enter Amazon.com stage left. Not to be denied, I dashed forth to my computer and was briskly whisked away to Amazon.com where my search results bore some fruit. I found a great deal on a Hoya 77mm UV (Ultra Violet) Multi Coated Glass Filter. After adding it to my cart I noticed that Amazon said I could have it shipped to my house by the next day. Certainly this can’t be true, I said to my wife, But Amazon.com assured me that if I ordered within the next few hours (it was already well after lunch), I was guaranteed to have my new Hoya 77mm UV filters in my hands by the next day.

The Catch. There must be a catch, there is ALWAYS a catch. I knew what the catch would be, I knew… You know… The shipping was going to be insanely expensive. Like through the roof insane. Undeterred and in a flash I had added 2 of the Hoya 77mm UV filters to my cart and was heading off to checkout in the hopes that the shipping total wouldn’t make me toss my cookies (read that as a really bad browser cookie pun). In the checkout screen I selected next day shipping, still guaranteed to get to me by the next day, and oh my was the cost not cheap. But the more I thought about it, it was cheaper than I expected by almost half. To overnight two Hoya 77mm UV filters for my Nikkor lenses when the order isn’t placed until almost close of business east cost time, and only charge just this side of $18 (USD)..?  Needless to say I pulled the trigger and sure enough the Amazon supplier, Kellards Photo & Electronics, had it packaged and shipped within hours. I happened to work from home the next day, sick as a dog mind you, and shortly before lunch the big brown truck (UPS for those who don’t know) pulls up and drops off my new Hoya 77mm UV filters.

I know, I know, what is the big deal you may ask. Well, of course I knew about overnight shipping, but when I am dealing with a second hand reseller via Amazon.com or ANY site for that matter I don’t have a high level of trust in the shipping and handling process. In the end I got my new filters on time and had a good trip to Boston, MA. Maybe I am making a bigger deal of this than need be, maybe I could have just written a little blurb saying, Use Amazon.com overnight shipping!!!  But I felt it deserved more. In this world it is hard to find service that truly surprises you in a good way the way Amazon.com did for me.  So next time you are in need of a quick shipment of that new Nikon D700 you just bought, you can trust that Amazon.com will get it too you super fast!

~Demian

Java Date API’s vs. Joda Time – What month is it?

As a java developer, I have a special place in my heart for the Java Date object and it’s related utility classes. In a series of posts I am going to exhort the benefits of using the Joda Time library and abandoning the Java date and time objects. From their site, the Joda Project is “…a Java open-source project that seeks to improve core Java functionality.” While they have a couple of other projects, the most active appears to be the Joda-Time project where the current version 1.6.1 was released on 2010-08-08.

We will start with a VERY basic example by comparing the simple task of pulling the current month full name and partial name. In Java there are several ways to do this, but I will choose to show a couple of the more common ways.

 

Java Calendar Object: Get the name of the current month:

 

As you can see, using the Java Calendar Object takes a bit of work to get the desired result. Oh, and if you also want short month names, you have to create that too.

Java SimpleDateFormat Object: Get the name of the current month:

 

Wow, so we have now effectively made the job a lot easier with the SimpleDateFormatter object. Or have we? You still end up having to create and work with objects which aren’t actual date objects. Klunky to me.

Joda-Time DateTime Object: Get the name of the current month:

 

Ahhhh, this is better. With the Joda-Time library it is as simple as calling a couple of methods to get the current month full name or short name. It really is intuitive and easy.

The Result:
Ok, so not a lot of complex code here, but this is just a sample of more to come. As someone who has struggled to find a happy life with the Java Date implementation I have found Joda-Time to be a breath of fresh air. Check out the Joda site and take the Joda-Time library out for a spin. I think you will like the results.

~Demian

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