Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Old Photos

Image
My latest project comes in the form of a box. Well, boxes to be exact. I remember these boxes from growing up; it's where freshly developed photos went after having been looked at once. Occasionally a photo made it to an album... which also lived in the same box. It never made much sense to me then, and now as I'm going through them it makes even less sense. But I can understand why this came to be. You shoot your roll of 24 exposures, then get them developed. At this point you need to catalog them, label them with the date, place, and who is in them. Then, the good ones get put in an album where you caption them. As I look at the albums I can see my parents were pretty good about it for the first couple years. Then, when my younger sister came along I was either sharing the camera lime-light with her, or there weren't that many "good" shots of me. The album is pretty good though until the age of 12, where it ends. I assure you though, there are plenty of photos …

Aperture

Image
For the last couple years I've been using a few photography tools regularly; iPhoto for basic image editing and cataloging, Smugmug for online sharing/backup, Photoshop Elements 6 for more in-depth photo editing. Actually, I've been using Photoshop for all editing, as I've just not taken to figuring out how to do thing in iPhoto, and it's my understanding that the editing tools in Photoshop are more powerful. So iPhoto was more for cataloging, and as a cataloger it's great. I can tag people in my photos, then find all the photos with that person in it. I can tag location in my photos. If I were to ever take a vacation I think that would be neat to see my trip laid out as a map that I can click on the stopping points to see the pictures there. I can also use the stars to rate photos, and key words to further catalog my photos. I can make Smart Albums based on all of these things. I could have an album that's made up of shots of my friend J, in San Francisco, CA,…

Mac-Less Days 1 & 2

You never know how much you love/like/depend on something until they're gone. Man, that is so true! I dropped the Mac off Monday morning and thought I'd be ok with my only slightly older Windows desktop. Heck, last I saw it turned on (sometime in early 2010, maybe late 2009) it was running Windows 7, which everyone agrees is a step up from Vista. Granted it was the evaluation copy that expired 6 months ago, but how bad could it be? Pretty bad. The computer would restart on it's own as a way of getting me to purchase Windows 7. I wasn't about to buy Windows 7, but this couldn't continue so I had to find out how to downgrade back to Vista Home Professional. On a side note, I really hope Microsoft drops making what seems like 15 different versions of Windows, it's confusing and difficult to keep straight.

Privacy Concerns, and the (temporary) Loss of the Mac

So over the weekend I decided it was time to get the hard drive on my MacBook Pro replaced. The reason being that it had been continually showing surface errors that typically lead to an all out hard drive failure. I wasn't so worried about losing the drive, since I use Time Machine to backup the drive, but I was getting worried that the failure would occur at a time when I was depending on it to get a project done. Since I was facing a light load right now I figured I'd take the time to get the drive swapped under Apple Care.

Check Out the New Digs

In celebration of the start of Sharks hockey I've re-done the site a little. I have other plans for a more permanent theme, with probably less teal, but for now I'm liking the Sharks jersey themed theme. After 2 games in Sweden last Friday and Saturday I feel the season officially starts this Saturday with our home opener, then the schedule resume with 3-4 games per week. Honestly, I don't know how you football fans can enjoy 1 game a week.

I'm Back...

Image
I literally had to dust the cobwebs off this site to get this post up. OK, maybe not literally, but it's been a while. I've decided that blogging on a regular basis isn't something I could do, unless I had a topic. If I didn't think it would completely bore people I could probably write at least weekly about photography, techy stuff (as if there weren't enough blogs on that), or the San Jose Sharks. But even then there are only so many times I could talk about my current fixation on HDR photography, how I can't wait for a new Palm phone and webOS 2.0, or how excited I am for Sharks hockey to return tomorrow (10/8/2010). So what have I been up to? Honestly nothing much. Going through photos and taking more pictures. Biking some, and reading lots. Have I mentioned I love my nook? But, I have to admit, what brought me back is the 2010/2011 NHL season officially starts today!

New Apple Goodness

Image
It's September, and that means Apple unleashes their new iPods in time for the holiday shopping season. Not sure why September is in time for the holiday season, they could release December 18th, and that'd be plenty of time to make it into my holiday shopping. So what's new? Well according to Jobs, everything is new! As it turns out though, not so much.

webOS Time

Image
As my friends well know, I'm a big fan of the webOS operating system developed by Palm for their smart phones. On top of it looking good, it's just easy to use and powerful. It offers true multi-tasking, Synergy (the grabbing and combining of contacts across various cloud services), Universal Search (just start typing and it'll either find the app/contact you're looking for, or offer to search Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia for you), useful, not annoying notification system, all tied into a package that is primarily written using familiar web standards. Palm literally bet the farm on the Pre (then the Pixi) and webOS. Sadly their hardware didn't live up to their software, and with Palm having so little market share and resources available to them, they weren't able to leverage webOS into something that could turn the company around. But, it did pique the interest of a number of other players in the tech industry and a bidding, I don't want to say war, but …

My Summer TV Habits

Image
It's mid-July now, and not TV's best time of year. The main channels are sporting re-runs (at best) or shows that (I think) are marginally good at best. There are only so many "America's Got Talent/Dance Moves/Jokes" I can take. So I thought I'd take refuge in watching re-runs of House, and NCIS on USA. I have to admit, I thought the USA channel was primarily for watching re-runs of either currently showing, or recently aired shows. It's how I caught up on House, after finding it in Season 3. But then I actually saw some commercials... Did you know they have their own shows? And I think they're pretty good. Granted, they don't have much in the way of competition, but I think some of them might just do well if they were to air during fall or winter. The ones I've seen certainly fit the station's tag line, "Characters wanted". They are character driven shows that are all a bit off, which makes for fun TV. They aren't flat out c…

The Problem With Being an Apple Fan

Image
Let me just say off the bat that I love my Apple Mac and iPod products. I own a MacBook Pro, a Magic Mouse, a cordless keyboard, an iPod Touch (First generation!), and the nearly microscopic iPod Shuffle. I use iTunes, the iLife suite of really useful programs pre-loaded on Macs (that beat the junk pre-loaded on Windows machines), and really enjoy OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard). I've seen my mom go from someone who hardly touched her Windows computer to someone who loves using her iMac. But when you buy into the Apple way of computing there are some complications, some bigger than others.

Some North Coast Fun

Image
After what was a busy couple weeks with family stuff, I got some time to enjoy. Took along my SX10 is for some fun outdoors on the North Coast.

I've Moved

Well, my website moved anyway.  In looking at my website usage over the past year I decided that it really wasn't worth the ~$100/year investment for my own domain name and hosting. I could have gone cheaper and used a different website development piece of software, but that wouldn't be useful as I use Drupal for making websites. Instead I elected to use Drupal Gardens. Drupal Gardens, by Acquia, is similar to Blogger or Wordpress hosted sites where you have a given area to have your blog, but it expands on it and allows to have a full fledged site. Drupal Gardens is also neat for me as it gives me a taste of what Drupal 7 will look and feel like when it gets released, which could be pretty soon from what I hear. There are of course some drawbacks for having my site hosted here; I'm limited to using only the modules that Acquia has allowed, and other customizations are limited. A strong point, for me, is there theming tools are very useful. It's encouraging to hear tha…

Free Agent Frenzy

Image
This will probably be my last hockey related posting until the 2010/2011 season gets ready to start. As most will know the Sharks battled their way into the playoffs and did a decent job of not embarrassing themselves (or their fans) this year by losing in the conference semi-finals to the eventual Cup winners the Chicago Blackhawks. With the end of the season started the questions as to what would happen to some big names within the organization who's contracts were up as of July 1. The two big names were Patrick Marleau, the one time captain and leading goal scorer for the team, and Evgeni Nabokov the teams goalie for the last 10 seasons. Basic math proved it would be near impossible to keep both players, and sign some of the other key pieces of the Sharks; names like Pavelski, Setoguchi, and Malhotra. Management decided to (and I tend to agree) to sign Marleau and let Nabokov go. I've been a huge Marleau fan since he started with the Sharks back in 1997. We also got Pavelsk…

Nook Update

IF any of you are on the fence about a nook, maybe this will help you. Today Barnes and Noble released a slightly scaled down nook, the nook Wi-Fi. I failed to mention in my write up about the nook that the original nook comes with wi-fi and 3G access thanks to AT&T. What this really means is that I can browse the B&N store and get any materials that I'm subscribed to anytime and anywhere that I can pick up an AT&T signal. (I'll leave the evaluation of the AT&T network for those of you with iPhones). The original nook was also able to hook up to B&N wi-fi networks, serviced by AT&T.

Calibre: iTunes for Your E-Reader

Yesterday I wrote about how I was enjoying my Barnes & Noble nook, and mentioned a specific software program that doesn't come with nook that I think has been essential in my enjoyment of it. Calibre is like iTunes for my nook, though if you don't have a nook it works just as good with Kindle, and many other physical and software based readers. This means if your phone has software to read e-books you can use this software.

As I mentioned yesterday, a simple folder of the books I owned worked well for, say, 20 titles but as the library grew it became increasingly difficult to manage books both on the computer and on the nook. I was using iTunes to manage books on the computer, but as it won't recognize anything other than an Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad it was of no use to me for the nook. I was quickly becoming disenchanted with the whole e-book/e-reader world and was beginning to feel that an iPad would be in my future, if only for the book management. Then I ran across n…

The Nook

Image
This has been a long time coming, especially since I talked about it for awhile leading up to the iPad reveal. Honestly it took me a while to really get used to it before I felt comfortable giving my 2 cents about it, and I probably wouldn't be so happy about it if I wasn't using a companion piece of software which I'll highlight tomorrow, Calibre. So, do I like my nook? Yes!

The Great SF Eat-a-Thon

Image
The idea started off (in my mind at least) as having lunch with some friends in San Francisco, with a predictable stop at the Apple store. Then we added trying to zipline across Justin Herman Square. Then it became an all day event. And what an event it was! In a nutshell, here is the list of events, from Yelp Elitist Ted:

Big Week Ahead

So, in case you're not a Sharks fan, the Sharks have made the playoffs. Again. We're also Pacific Division and Conference champs. Also, again. Usually this would elicit a celebratory cheer, and boasting about how Team Teal is going all the way, but based on past playoff accomplishments I find myself a little reserved. This  year, instead of picturing how the Stanley Cup would look at the HP Pavilion, I'm just going to look at each game. So game 1 is Wednesday against the surprising Colorado Avalanche. I hope the HTML line of DannyHeatly, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau come out ready to play, and Nabokov shakes off that disappointing Olympics. So, until the outcome of Wednesday the beard that's been growing since Saturday stays. It's status will depend on the Sharks performance; a good game with a loss will require some analysis, a win keeps the beard, and a loss means out comes the razor. Game 1 is Wednesday, and though I sound cynical, I'm excited; I want t…

A Cool Booq Bag

I'm just going to come out and say it, I have a bag fetish. You wouldn't know it from meeting me, but I LOVE organization, and I'm picky about what I use to organize. Sure, a bag is a bag is a bag; you put your stuff in it, take it to point B, take your stuff out and repeat. But good bags make the putting and taking out of stuff easier, and the finding of specific piece of stuff simple through organization. Bags can also be user friendly, or a user nightmare. In particular the laptop bag; It needs to protect a fairly expensive investment and tool, and then all the stuff that goes along with it, and the other stuff I need.

The Eye-Fi

Image
A while back, when I started shooting more often, I wanted to coordinate (with a map) where I was shooting. I thought that as my skill improved I could go back to some of my favorite spots and take shots to see this improvement. Also, I like seeing on a map where I've been, and with Smugmug I can share that map with people. iPhoto 09 also allows me to do that. So I had one side of the equation all set, I just needed to get the GPS coordinates. I was telling my friend about this need and he told me about Eye-Fi. I was stoked! No new camera, no GPS thingy with somewhat complicated software to merge GPS data with photo data; it was all done on an SD card! That day, many months ago, I was ready to put down the cash for one, until I read the fine print; it only gets a location through wi-fi networks that are registered with some 3rd party. Great if I'm shooting around in a city, but not so great when in the middle of nowhere. So I forgot about Eye-Fi. Until MacWorld where I won an …

Lent

Lent kind of snuck up on me this year. I was thinking about it a couple weeks ago and preparing my list of things to give up, and then it hit and I was a little late. Lent, in a nutshell, is the act of giving up something/s to prepare oneself for Easter and Christ's resurrection. So what am I giving up? Fast food, pizza, and alcohol. Yep, no alcohol. The other thing I'm giving up is the computer... after 9pm. I can't give it up completely, I mean I work on one daily, but I can limit my off the clock time on the computer. So if you're used to seeing me online at all hours of the night, hopefully you won't be seeing me for the next 40+ days. So, what are you giving up for Lent?

The Weekend

Pretty busy weekend, this past President's day 3 day weekend, with Macworld winding down on Saturday and some fun events opening in the City my Saturday was booked from breakfast to dinner. Sunday was again spent in SF doing some photography, picking up some delicious goodies from Sugar By Ida, (delicious stuff, by the way) and a stop at the Apple store to make sure a couple things were still good on the ol' Mac Book Pro, and finishing with a disappointing dinner followed by the events in the previous post.

Busy Weekend

Pretty busy weekend on the tech front coming up. Saturday I'll be at the Apple-less Macworld expo. Truth be told I wasn't planning on going to it. Apple isn't going to be there, and most of the big name companies in the Mac world aren't going to be there either, but apparently there's going to be some kind of iPad demonstration, so I'm hoping for some hands-on time with it to help with the whole iPad vs. Nook thing.

It's Here, But What Is It?

Image
The iPad has landed, and I'm left wondering if there's a place for it in my arsenal of tech. First, what does it do? Got an iPhone or iPod Touch? Well, basically it's one of those devices super sized. That's both good and bad. The good is that all that money you spent on your apps can be used on this thing, in either the native size (small), or using pixel doubling it can get blown up full size, which has mixed results. iPad tuned apps (calendar, mail, etc) do look very nice and take full advantage of the nearly 10 inch screen, and devs are going to be given the tools to re-write their apps to take advantage of the extra real estate. The bad news is that there is still no multi-tasking, and no camera on either side of the device to either take pictures or to video chat. 

The Latest Drug Comes Out Tomorrow

So tomorrow Apple will unleash on us the not so unsuspecting masses, a new product, which is generally believed to be a tablet like device that will do... My thinking is it will be larger iPhone/iPod Touch, which is kinda cool I guess. I'm more interested in an e-reader though, which, if rumors are to believed, this device will also handle. I wonder how good it will be for reading though, as I was under the impression that e-ink is the best for reading, and this tablet won't be e-ink.

I Gave In

A year ago the Palm Pre was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and I was hooked; a slick operating system with matching slick hardware. But what I liked most about it was that it was a cloud phone. There was no need to dock it to my computer to sync contacts between each other, or calendar events it all happened between The Cloud (my Google Accounts) and the phone. Which is what's so neat about The Cloud, my information centrally located and easily accessible by any internet enabled device. I love it.  But, media synchronization hasn't made the leap yet, really. We're still using iTunes, or Windows Media Player to store and play our music. And in the era of the iPhone we want our phone to do more than just call mom, we want it to play our favorite Ke$ha track, view that crazy YouTube video where the little kid out Jason Mrazs Jason Mraz, or just watch Bat Man while on the train. How to get the media off my computer and on to my phone. It's not…

The Programs I Use Everyday

Ok, this one is going to be a boring/geeky post. You've been warned. So what do I use daily for work and fun on my Mac?

Agassi Update

Just finished reading Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi. If you were a tennis fan in the '90's, or a tennis player in general this is a MUST read. It was startlingly honest, funny, sad, and triumphant. I expected the book to be many things, but I didn't expect to laugh out loud at it (with it?) or cry. This was an excellent start to 2010: The Year of the Reading.

2010: The Year of Reading?

One of my resolutions for 2010 was to read more. And to kickstart it, for Christmas I asked, and received (thanks mom) my first read for 2010, Open - Andre Agassi. This is the autobiography of Andre that originally drew attention for his use of drugs during his career. I've not got to that point in the book yet, but that wasn't why I wanted to read it. Andre, and his nemesis Pete Sampras, were huge influences in my tennis development. Everyone I knew wanted Pete's serve, and Andre's return. Then there was the whole rivalry between the two of them. The supposedly outlandish "Image is everything" Agassi and the very private very quiet Sampras.