Weed Eaters From Hell

November 07, 2005

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At work today they are doing yard work. For the past three hours there has been a constant barrage of weed eaters, leaf blowers and edgers all running at the same time. I'm about to stab my ears with a pencil to get away from the noise. I'd heard before that one of the ways to interrogate/torture people is to subjugate them to constant loud noise. There isn't more than a few hundred square feet of grass outside the office. So, I'm beginning to think I'm the subject of some soft of psychology experiment.


Backup Your Stuff

November 06, 2005

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If you don't have it, get backup software. Let me say that again. Get backup software. If you still don't have it, set a deadline before you go back to work on Monday. It's not a question of "If" your hard drive will fail, it's a question of "When". And when it happens you are going to want to have a copy of the stuff that was on it somewhere you can still use it. Business documents, your thesis, all you digital photos, whatever… There is stuff on there that you want to keep forever and your hard drive is probably already out of warranty. So, get some backup software. An important point is that you want to make sure that you are backing up your stuff somewhere other than the main hard drive in your computer. It doesn't do you a lot of good to have a backup copy of things on the same disk if the entire disk decides to stop letting you get to files on it. There are a few options for your external backup location. The basic ones are: - An second or external hard drive. - A hard drive on another computer in your house. - A network backup place on the internet. - CD/DVDs I would recommend against the CD/DVD options since that means you would have to load a new blank disk each time you wanted to backup. The goal is to get it automated so you don't have to think about it. The software I use is Second Copy. It's quick and easy to install and setup. It's $30. I may switch to an open source one someday, but I haven't seen any reviews of one that I trust. For a while I was working with one that I wrote, but I figure when it comes to backups, it's worth $30. After all, all my digital photos are way more valuable than that to me.


Better Battery Meter

November 06, 2005

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I went to the Jacksonville Sea & Sky Spectacular today and did some shooting. I made over 300 exposures and was using the tracking version of autofocus to drive a 300 and 80-200 lens most of the time. It's rare that I pull that much juice from the batteries but they lasted the day which I was quite happy about. I'd like to see a better battery meter in the camera though to get a better idea of how much juice I have left. The meter on my camera has just three readings it can show: Full charge, partial charge and basically dead. I'm not sure at what point the camera decides to move from full to partial, it seemed to make that jump about 1/3 of the way through the day. This made me quite nervous since I wasn't sure if that meant that I only had 1/2 of a charge left. I slowed down on the shooting at that point and did a lot more manual focusing to try to save the battery. I'd like to see a meter that gives you an estimation of the percentage left to, say, the nearest ten. This would make it a lot easier to pace the shooting to make sure you can last as long as you need if you don't have spare batteries with you.


Converting from Blogger to WordPress

November 06, 2005

Note: This post was migrated from my old blog software. It hasn't been cleaned up yet (and might not ever be). Don't be surprised if the formatting, links, images, etc... are messed up.

A script called import-blogger.php came along with the default install of version 1.5.2 of WordPress. This didn't work on my system (which I'll explain in a sec), but after searching around I found a solution for importing blogger.com entries along with their comments. I recommend you use that process if you want to do the same thing. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that becomes the next official version of the script. For those of you who want to use the one that comes with the default install you may run into a problem with a PHP setting called "register_globals". A lot of hosting companies turn that setting off for security reasons, but the import script expects it to be on. You should be able to change line 21 From this: switch ($action) { to this: switch ($_GET['action']) { in order to get the script to work in an environment with register_globals turned off. Once again, I would really recommend using the updated version.

It is setup correctly for register_globals and pulls comments as well.


Starting WordPress Notes

November 06, 2005

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As I mentioned before, I've moved over to my own copy of WordPress for the back end for my blog. This not only give me more control over the software, but make sure that the content is in my possession as well. (Okay, so it's really sitting on someone else's server, but you get the point.) I'm going to keep some notes about WordPress in the blog itself as a reference and in case anyone else is interested. The install is very simple. Just upload and unpack the individual files and then create an empty database that WordPress can connect to. This should be really simple to do in just about any hosting package. So far, I'm liking WordPress. Stay tuned for updates.


The Right Stuff

November 06, 2005

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Took it easy tonight and watched The Right Stuff. I had not seen it before even though it was from 83. I wish I had seen it back then. I thought it was okay, but didn't really like it that much. A lot of the film had an 80s production feel to it that I just don't like. Also, having just seen The Aviator a couple weeks ago the standard has been moved up a few rungs. I would however like to read the book someday (or listen to the audio version). The movie did get me thinking though one thing I'm putting on my list is to make it down to a shuttle launch. It really is amazing that we can put people in space. What's even more amazing is that if technology keeps accelerating the it has been recently I might even get a chance to go myself. It's fun to imagine a time when space travel is as old hat as airline travel is today. I don't think that's likely to happened for a long time since the choice of destinations is quite limited and likely to remain so for a good while.


Ad that keeps your attention

November 05, 2005

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Vonage has an ad going right now that does a great job of holding your attention. In the foreground is a guy standing outside a building talking about Vonage's service. In the background a guy in a bright red lobster suit starts passing out flyers. The lobster guy gets fed up with sometihng and then tries to go inside the building but gets stuck in a rotating door. It's hard not to watch. You might be thinking this has nothing to do with Vonage, but the fact that you are thinking about them at all is what they are looking for.


Nice Multimedia

November 04, 2005

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There is a great little peice of functionality on the daughter window player for this this mtvU peice. Take a look at the resize abilities to the left of the back|pause|forward control. You can either reduce the player, use it in the default load, double the size of the video, or make it full screen. It only works in IE and I'm guessing it will only work on windows which sucks, but it's very well done. Kudos for keeping the vidoe going during resizing. I'm not sure if this is built into Flash or not, but it's a great example of their new video abilities.


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