Thursday, October 29, 2009

6 months post switch-on - Cochlear Implant Review

It's now been six months since I was switched on with my third Cochlear Implant. Things are finally starting to go back to what I was used to with my first one, which worked well for 15 years before failing.

My results this time were this..

HINT (open set) Sentences at 3 months: 100%
HINT (open set) Sentences at 6 months: 98%

In background noise +10db SNR at 3 months: 92%
In Background noise +10db SNR at 6 months: 96%

In background noise +5db SNR at 3 months: 24%
In background noise +5db SNR at 6 months: 47%

CNC Words Alone at 3 months: 63%
CNC Words Alone at 6 months: 65%

CNC Words Alone Phonemes at 3 months: 82%
CNC Words Alone Phonemes at 6 moths: 83%

pretty much the same, except a big improvement in background noise, although at one month post switch on that 47% was actually 86% so for some reason I did better back at one month.

I have been practising a lot though. I've been getting audio books out from the library and listening to them - about two per month. At first I needed the book to follow along, but now I don't need that and can just listen to the book while working on photographs. I have to keep listening though, as it's so easy sometimes for my attention to wander and then I get totally lost and have to go back.

I've also bought and borrowed CD's of New Zealand Birdsong. I've been listening to those and relearning the sounds. I used to know them all with my original implant, and they're slowly coming back to me. It has paid off as I was out walking in the country on Saturday and I recognised the bellbirds. So I was thrilled.

I'm finally doing better with the TV as well. I can understand some without text and without the TV cable. With the TV Cable I can follow a TV program well without captions. Still - it's hard work - something to do with the way sound is compressed for the TV. I much prefer captions, but not everything is captioned here in New Zealand, and my last house sitting job had a TV with no captioning ability. In some ways that was good as I was then forced to use and listen without them, and I think that went some way in improving it.

Practise makes perfect.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vintage Camera #1

I was given 3 vintage cameras last week. They had been sitting in my mother's wardrobe for nearly 40 years. Having sold her house the time had come to purge things she didn't need and I bagged the cameras. My interest in them is purely to do with my interest in all things photographic, however my mother had approached an auction house earlier to see if she could get some money for them, and was told they were worthless.

I have to disagree. They aren't worthless to me, and in researching them, I've found one of them to be very rare and worth quite a lot of money. However, I'm still not interested in selling - I love them for their historic value. Who knows, this may be the start of my vintage camera museum!

I've managed to find out quite a bit about two of the cameras, but this one, the oldest one has me scratching my head to it's make and year.

It looks very similar to the Wirgin 1935 Auta - but when it's opened up, there are marked differences..

You can look at the photo of a Wirgin Auta here

You'll see the body and straps and the same - it's just the lens that is quite different.

As you can see the shutter is a pronto made by the Gauthier company which was was founded in 1902 and started building shutters from 1904. Carl Zeiss who already had a stake in this company as in Compur took over the majority in 1932 - the end of competition in the shutter production in Germany . In 1957 over 3.000 workers produced up to 10.000 shutters daily and from 1970 Gauthier even took over the production of Compur shutters. More on the AGC shutters can be found here

This is the back of it.

The camera is in good working condition and I am going to try and source some film and try it out in the coming weeks.

I'm really interested in finding out what year this camera is and what it actually is. If anyone can help me it would be very much appreciated. I suspect it's circa 1935 through to 1945.

I knew there was a reason...