Recent Posts

Sharpness and the D850

Recently I switched from a 12 MP Nikon D700 to the 46 MP Nikon D850. Along with the 4 times increase in resolution come new challenges. An obvious one is lens sharpness – you’ll be surprised how many “sharp” lenses aren’t that sharp on the D850.

Yet, soft lenses are the least of the problems. If you want to have reasonably sharp photos, you will have to hone your technical photography skills. For any kind of landscape work, the tripod will become your best friend. But often enough you may just want to grab your camera and take photos. Continue reading “Sharpness and the D850”

Impact of Spectre and Meltdown Protection on Virtual Machine Performance

A year ago I wrote about the 2D graphics performance impact of the Windows 10 (1803) update inside a virtual machine. As it turned out, the performance impact was related to the Spectre vulnerability patch that Microsoft had introduced. However, the same patch had practically no performance impact on a Windows 10 bare-metal installation.

Time has passed and I wanted to see if there has been any progress. Right now I’m running Windows 10 (1903) with Nvidia driver release 431.36. Windows 10 is up-to-date, Nvidia however already offers a newer version (431.60). Continue reading “Impact of Spectre and Meltdown Protection on Virtual Machine Performance”

USA Photos

These are some USA photos from our 2010 trip to California and Nevada. All photos were shot with the Nikon D700 and some assorted Nikon lenses. Hope you enjoy.

 

USA 2010

SSD and S.M.A.R.T.

Two years ago I wrote a post on S.M.A.R.T., an acronym for “Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology”. In plain English, I’m talking about technology inside a hard drive or SSD that monitors and reports about the health of the drive. While S.M.A.R.T. can give us clues as to the state of the drive, it’s not always an exact science. Some indicators warrant an immediate drive replacement, others can indicate a higher probability of imminent failure. Continue reading “SSD and S.M.A.R.T.”

Nikon D850 – First Impressions

I recently purchased a Nikon D850 to replace my aging D700. I’ve been very happy with my D700 – see Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview). But the 12 megapixel D700 sensor showed its limits, for example when I wanted to crop a photo, or when I was looking for more detail in landscape photos.

In this post I like to share my first impressions of the Nikon D850. I must admit that I didn’t get much use of the D850, so my experience is still that of a newcomer to this camera model (but not to Nikon). The observations I share here are in no particular order of importance, just a list.

Continue reading “Nikon D850 – First Impressions”

Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview)

Don’t worry – I won’t bore you with yet another camera review with all the nits and bits. This is more a personal farewell, an epigraph if you wish, to a trusted companion that has been on my side on many travels and hikes.

San Francisco
Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco (Nikon D700)

In 2010 I bought my third digital camera, the Nikon D700. It was my first camera with a full-frame sensor. Before this, I had the Nikon D70 for six years. Continue reading “Nikon D700 Review (and D850 Preview)”

Photos from Jordan

Photos from a trip to Petra, Jordan. Including the “Siq”, the “Treasury”, the “Street of Facades” and the “Monastery” (A-Deir).

Recently a friend and I traveled to Petra, Jordan, for a 3 day photography trip. Weather in winter (January) can be hit or miss. We were lucky to have a full day of clear sunshine, an evening with partly cloudy to clear sky, and an hour in the morning before the sand storm reached us.

Petra is a fantastic place. I’m sure that with more time we could have explored more of it. Jordan has much more to offer than just Petra, and I’m confident that I will visit again in the not so distant future.

Hope you enjoy the gallery.

Petra
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GPU Passthrough with Low-End Intel i3-6100 CPU

For some time I wanted to run a kvm virtual machine with GPU passthrough on a low-end Asus H110M-K D3 motherboard with an i3-6100 CPU and an Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, but never found the time. Now I finally had a chance to give it a try. While the preparations were easy, I ran into a problem when starting the Windows 10 VM:

Jan 22 15:21:24 alon-i3 kernel: [  108.514992] vfio_pin_pages_remote: RLIMIT_MEMLOCK (16777216) exceeded

Continue reading “GPU Passthrough with Low-End Intel i3-6100 CPU”

Jerusalem Photos

Photos from Jerusalem, Israel

I’ve been living (and working) in Jerusalem for 9 years. The following gallery is a small selection of the photos I’ve taken in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem
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Blacklisting Graphics Driver

Update September 14, 2021: This is a complete revamp, adding new, more robust methods and dropping outdated ones.

When running a VM with GPU passthrough, that GPU should be bound to the VFIO driver. To make this happen, we need to prevent the regular graphics driver from binding to the passthrough GPU and instead bind the vfio-pci driver.

In the past we used to blacklist the graphics driver. This worked in most cases, but what if you need the graphics driver for another GPU, e.g. the host GPU?

Continue reading “Blacklisting Graphics Driver”