Archive for November 2005

collars

Ever try to make a collar? Ever try to attach a collar to a shirt? Holy crap, it’s really freakin’ difficult.

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DIY iSight Tripod Mount

Well, as you may know I like to shoot a timelapse video now and then…  I’ve been using an earlier version of this iSight tripod mount for about a year, so today I thought I’d share the new and improved version:

Isight Tripod Bracket2 Isight Tripod Bracket1

It consists of a couple of pieces of hardwood braced at a 90 degree angle…  I have one piece of wood with two holes in it (the mounting plate), and then a piece of wood that is 90 degrees to the mounting plate for the iSight bracket to grab on to, and then two triangles (with the corners cut off)…

Isight Tripod Bracket4

On the mounting plate, I drilled a hole slightly smaller than the mounting screw on the tripod.  The idea was to make the hole small enough for the screw to bite into, and then force it into cutting the mating grooves into the wood.  The second hole is for the little pop up doodad to help with  alignment.  If your tripod doesn’t have this, it probably isn’t making sense, and it’s probably nothing to worry about anyway. Just screw the mounting plate down nice and tight, and you’ll be in good shape.

Isight Tripod Bracket3Isight Tripod Bracket5

I got to thinking that if you turn the iSight bracket around the other way, that mould make it easier to adjust the camera if you were recording something like woodworking, or sewing, or what-have-you. I think I’ll probably end up leaving it like this.

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Olfa cutting mat stinks like a skunk

Avoid this cutting mat, or at least give it a good snort with yer nose before you drop the cash for one. I’ve had this mat for about 10 hours, and I’m convinced I can’t keep it. There’s something completely obnoxious outgassing from whatever this is made of, and there’s just no way this is healthy. I’m not the only one. Google for olfa cutting mat skunk….
Sorry olfa, sorry michaels… Try harder.

Photo_112005_012.jpg

*Update: Oh well, they all stink, and apparently it’s supposed to wear off eventually. I took it back to Michael’s and bought a less stinky one from Hancock. I just can’t imagine cutting fabric the “old way”… scissors? Ha.

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orlando

I was in Orlando for a sales conference recently.. I took 2 busses to get to a mall so I could buy a charger for my phone.. here are the notes I took about the surroundings:



  • lots of off-kilter buildings
  • lots of Mini / “Adventure” Golf
  • lots of regular golf
  • Lots of “World” stores:  “Outdoor World” – “Bargain World” – “World’s largest gift store”
  • “Supermarket of Shoes”
  • lots of good busses, with a cool name for the transit system : “Lynx”
  • lots of “$5.99 disney t-shirt” stores
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AJAX

I found a place for AJAX at work!  It’s so rad! 😀  It’s not in a customer-facing application, but where I was able to use it, it’s increased the speed of the app by about 300% or so.  I’d love to show you!  but, I probably shouldn’t.  You can ask me about it in general terms, though!

The application feels more like a desktop app now.. and a lot less like a web app.  This is very exciting stuff, I just needed to find a place for it.  Now I can see lots of other places for it. :)

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Phew

The craziest part of the year just ended. I’ll be getting back to my projects shortly. :)

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nice election, Arnold.

Final official 2005 california election results here. I sure am glad we’ve been made to pay $55 Million for this total void of future former governer Schwarzenegger’s leadership. Ah, just so you know who he is, there are ten photos of him on his california state page homepage. And one headshot of his wife.

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brother pe-basic USB profile

wanted: a program to mount a 512k memory card to the desktop on mac os x using the following device:

Full Speed device @ 2 (0x1B100000): .............................................   Composite device: "USB-WRITER"
    Device Descriptor   
        Descriptor Version Number:   0x0100
        Device Class:   0   (Composite)
        Device Subclass:   0
        Device Protocol:   0
        Device MaxPacketSize:   8
        Device VendorID/ProductID:   0x04F9/0x2100   (Brother International Corporation)
        Device Version Number:   0x0100
        Number of Configurations:   1
        Manufacturer String:   1 "BROTHER"
        Product String:   2 "USB-WRITER"
        Serial Number String:   3 "E5G111616"
    Configuration Descriptor   
        Length (and contents):   32
            Raw Descriptor (hex)    0000: 09 02 00 20 01 01 00 80  32 09 04 00 00 02 00 00  
            Raw Descriptor (hex)    0010: 00 00 07 05 01 02 10 00  00 07 05 82 02 40 00 00  
            Unknown Descriptor   0020: 
        Number of Interfaces:   1
        Configuration Value:   1
        Attributes:   0x80 (bus-powered)
        MaxPower:   100 ma
        Interface #0 - Unknown   
            Alternate Setting   0
            Number of Endpoints   2
            Interface Class:   0   (Unknown)
            Interface Subclass;   0
            Interface Protocol:   0
            Endpoint 0x01 - Bulk Output   
                Address:   0x01  (OUT)
                Attributes:   0x02  (Bulk no synchronization data endpoint)
                Max Packet Size:   16
                Polling Interval:   0 ms
            Endpoint 0x82 - Bulk Input   
                Address:   0x82  (IN)
                Attributes:   0x02  (Bulk no synchronization data endpoint)
                Max Packet Size:   64
                Polling Interval:   0 ms
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domain names

domain names – vanity license plates – tatoos : a ladder of individuation.

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lots of iPods

Showpic-1-1

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Why HTML is still king for marketing

My friend Dave says:


http://microformats.org/wiki/rest/ahah

you should look at this stuff

and tell me what you think

I think a lot of it is cool when it works, but there’s a few truths to this kind of technology:

  1. you have to be small and VERY forward thinking to utilize this on an official corporate level. Large corporations are incredibly slow to adopt new technologies unless they create it, or the competition is killing them with it.
  2. you have to not care that 80% of the people in the world don’t know or care about how it’s built or why it’s cool it does what it does.
  3. you have to build old and busted versions of whatever cool thing you’re building so that the 80% who don’t meet the browser requirements aren’t stranded with a broken page.

With marketing, it’s not about how flashy your pages are, it’s about getting your message out there to as many people as possible, hence why ~50% of our pages are static html, not XHTML or even CSS based, but, lowest common denominator HTML… unless you’re selling Flash, or your business is based around a dynamic website like 43 folders or whatever… in which case you have to demand your users are forward thinking and up to date on their machine and browser. Otherwise, you could be sending your customers (or worse yet, your potential customers) to a broken page and a bad experience… which is bad for the brand.

So, yes, web 2.0 is interesting. When you get down to our business, we still need to let people tell us who they are, and what they’re interested in. After that, it’s usually human interfacing, or web based goods-for-currency transactions. :) The tools we have today for gathering data are useful enough to be able to leave them alone and focus on helping our internal teams handle more data with less resources.

Of course, this is looking through the lens of what I do here. I’m sure web 2.0 tech is good for all kinds of things that have nothing to do with marketing. 😉

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Amazon Mechanical Turk

Ok, so it’s making more sense now.  A few months ago I read somewhere about amazon riding around in vans basically taking hundreds of thousands of photos of businesses on the streets of cities.  Today we hear about Amazon’s Mechnical Turk program where you, a human, get paid 3 cents or so per task to determine which out of these 5 photos looks the best of business X?  Which country is rich enough to have cheap or free broadband internet access, but poor enough to make < $3 per hour attractive?  (assuming the system is fast enough to accommodate greater than 100 requests per hour for you.  The home page took literally over 3 minutes to load for me over 768k DSL)

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WRC Theme Viewer update

I’ve made a leap back into helping develop the back end of the
themes.Wordpress.net theme viewer
after a brief hiatus. Things are moving along so nicely. Alphaoide and Shadow have been doing some absolutely fantastic work, and I’m extremely pleased with how cool this project is. There’s a page set up to show you the feature/bug list and the changelog.

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Linuxes

I have some embroidery software that only runs in windows, which is lame, but.. I digress…  I’m really not feelin’ it to go license windows, so I’m going to try to run a Linux, and then WINE to run the Win32 binaries. I’ve tried:

  • generations live CD
  • Suse
  • Debian
  • knoppix
  • Mepis
  • SLAX (Kill Bill version)
  • Ubuntu
  • BeatrIX

Slax is fast, supposedly has WINE preloaded, and has an installer.  So far, so good.  Mepis was fairly smooth as well, but, it couldn’t autoconfigure it’s networking junk…  Knoppix seemed ok, but it was in german, and I couldn’t figure out how to load up the language module correctly.  Debian was ok, but.. is minimal.  I messed around with apt-get for a long long time, but, eventually, I’m finding that my life is too short to become an expert at an OS that I’m going to use to emulate an OS I don’t want to run.  BeatrIX hung on the network configuration. Ubuntu had problems with the disk image not matching the MD5 hash…

Slax is running into problems with the installer. :(  This is really bumming me out because Slax was really working well for me up until that point.. but, if I can’t install it on a hard drive document in  Virtual PC, that means I can’t save anything, and I can’t  stick any other CDs in the drive…  which ain’t gonna cut it if I can’t load up my embroidery software…  sigh.

Folks, this is why Linux isn’t winning on the desktop. It’s just too hard for a dumb schmoe like me to get it running as cleanly as mac os x. 

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