Monthly Archives: February 2008

After not an inch of Snow in January, It’s Snowing now…

Snowed In!

Naturally after no snow in January, Mother Nature decides to give us several inches of snow overnight. In my case, I can telecommute from home, so I’m not adversly affected, but If I took my usual bus in to work, I’d be on the bus now instead of VPN’ing in.

This was taken 15 minutes after I shoveled my walk.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
I Don’t Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem)” by Good Charlotte from the “Good Morning Revival” Album.

What year is it in Florida??

Wow. Florida Orders Schools To Teach Evolution but only after a last-minute change depicting the concept put forward by Charles Darwin as merely a theory. It’s unbelievable to me that in 2008 people are still debating whether or not to teach Evolution in school.

Remember the “Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District” case? When my wife and I decide to have kids, I’ll take them to Church for religion and School for science. This whole attempt by the GOP to force Religion into schools, is one hell of a mistake.

Read related news here.

Remembering Herbert Keppler

Herbert KepplerIt’s old news now but, sadly, Herbert Keppler died in January.

With my subscription to Popular Photography, I usually turned to his a article called “Inside Straight” first and in this months issue, I see an article from the editor Entitled “In Memoriam: Herbert Keppler, 1925-2008“.

I’ve been reading his articles in Popular Photography for many years. Every article I read was informative, interesting and often had a touch of humor in them. His insight into the photography industry was interesting as well as his ability to inspire peoples interest photography with his writing. I remember reading his article “Inside Straight: Like a Leica” where he nailed the reason why, in 1925, the Leica I(A)’s became the first commercially successful 35mm camera with a single sentence:

It’s oh-so-light, compact, and comfortable, and its few controls fall right where your fingers want them“.

He went on to write an interesting article contrasting the Leica 1(A) to a modern DSLR. The writing was interesting and brought up good points.You can find many of his articles here at “Speaking Frankly“. He was an interesting and influential man and You can read more about him here.

As I said, he was a good writer. I remember this gem from the “The Wit and Wisdom of Herbert Keppler“:

On poorly translated instruction manuals:

The writer had forgotten that in English, objects are not referred to by gender. I was instructed to ‘grab her crank’ to advance the film and wind the shutter. Further genderized instructions became too personal for me to relate in a family magazine.

(Popular Photography, September 1988)

By many people like me, he will be missed.

Conversion to WordPress write up CPU under WordPress

Above you see the main reason I switched to WordPress. Under MT, the CPU was pegged much of the day literally making the server unusable. As far as I know, most of the MT was SPAM trackbacks and SPAM comment attempts. Likely I could have tweaked my Web server/MT installation, but frankly it was more work than I cared for.

Some people asked me how much work was required to convert from MT to WordPress. My brother wrote up the procedure on his blog, “Mostly Harmless“, here. He spent a lot of time (2 Days?) getting it perfect and I’m grateful as WordPress has been a much better experience fro me.

Also, he wants me to create a WordPress plugin using PHP. Should be fun and I’ll write it up as I develop it.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
Into the Night” by Carlos Santana and Chad Kroeger from the “Into the Night” Single.

“Toshiba Halts HD DVD Production, Mulls Future” – PC World

HD DVD LogoLooks like Toshiba may be throwing in the towel in the Blu-Ray Vs. HD DVD fight. According to PC World, Toshiba is halting production and close to making a major decision. It’s a safe bet this is related to Wal-Mart’s decision to go exclusively Blu-Ray in June of 2008.

As the NY Times article mentions, this is after decisions this week by Best Buy to promote Blu-ray as its preferred format and Netflix to stock only Blu-ray movies, phasing out HD DVD by the end of 2008.

For Toshiba, this is a great set back but for consumers like me and my wife, this makes the choice easier. We have a HDTV and an old DVD player. We want a Hi Def player, but up until a few weeks ago, we were considering a dual player that can play both HD DVD and Blu-Ray such as the Samsung BD-UP5000 (Now a dead product?).

Hope Battlestar Galactica comes out on Blu-Ray. Right now, it’s on HD DVD

Update: Yep, as of February 19, 2008 it’s now official.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
Round here” by Counting Crows from the “August and Everything After” Album.

MoMA Feature: Destination Alessi

We went to the “MoMA Feature: Destination Alessi” event Wednesday night. Had a great deal of fun checking it out, lots of good design and interesting people. You can see the entire set of photos here.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
“Rescue” by Eve 6 from the Horrorscope Album.

Odd Flickr Hicup

Bizarre, several of my friends in Flickr have been demoted to mere contacts… Easily fixed, but odd.

Why I converted to WordPress

Wordpress ButtonsBefore anyone goes on a rant, I have no loyalty for any particular product or technology. In Movable Type’s case, I liked it for it’s convenience and the fact that it was written in PERL.

I’ve been a PERL programmer for years. If I need a new tool for work, I simply write it in PERL. In the case of my MTYahooMaps plugin (and my version of MTGoogleMaps), I wrote it because I was interested in Maps and integrating it on MT Blogs. It was fun to write, I learned a lot and It works.

With the last upgrade of MT to 4.X, my plugin no longer works. Neither did the CAPTCHA plugin, SCODE (YES, I use CAPTCHA , YES, I’m told it’s Not effective…). Frankly, as soon as I started to use MT 4, I was getting all sorts of comment SPAM that I wasn’t getting under MT 3.X so, I switched back. The bottom line is, CGI PERL brings my server to it’s knees. Likely my server was not configured as efficiently as it could be and the uptime and top command would show serious problems for my server. When using MT 3.x, my cpu would get pegged often enough that I would have to knock the webserver down just to use the box.

Under WordPress, I have yet to see the CPU pegged (Still working on getting MRTG configured too). Also, the user interface is a lot easier to use than MT. So easy, I find myself posting entries much more often.

With the exception of Nikon products, It’s all brand X to me. MT is a good product and Sixapart is a great company, I just feel like doing something different. Who knows? I may go back to it at a later date.

BTW: My brother is writing up the conversion on his blog, “Mostly Harmless“. He did all the work, I’m merely reaping the benefit. Also, he wants me to learn PHP and do some custom programming for WordPress.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
Misery Business” by Paramore from the “Riot!” Album.

Uploaded more images

Edited and uploaded more images for the Banner.  Nice thing about the image rotator script is that it is a combination if PHP and JavaScript. The way it’s setup, all I need do is just load a directory with images.

Unboxing a brand new Apple //c. A photoset.

Apple IICSaw this on Reddit and had to write about it. Dan Budiac, Dansay on flickr, managed to get a Never before opened Apple //c from Ebay (shipped on May 5th, 1988!) and took photos of it being unboxed and set up.

At the risk of dating myself, I remember when this was the coolest thing to have. A few of my friends had one and often tried to get me to ditch my Amiga 500 and get an Apple. I resisted, but occasionally used one to write a paper when my printer died.

We rarely think about it, but personal computing has changed considerably in the span of 20 years.  Few companies have been able to survive in the Personal Computer market, but Apple has survived and prospered from the beginning to now.

I hope he gets a response from his letter to Steve Jobs.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
I Don’t Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem)” by Good Charlotte from the “Good Morning Revival” Album.