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Archive for April, 2007

Making Alex King’s Popularity Contest cache-compatible

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Hey, guys. I’d love to help to “encourage” Alex King to update his Popularity Contest plug-in for WordPress to be WP-Cache2/APC compatible. When I was out in Denver last month, Alex said he had plans to do it, and that he had already given some serious thought to how it would be architected.

To help encourage the re-write, I’m going to donate money to Alex in the name of making Popularity Contest cache-compatible. If enough people donate, it may help to put the project at the top of his every-growing list of things to do.

So if you use Popularity Contest, please donate now! Even a few bucks will help. Use the Paypal comment field to specify that you’d love a cache-compatible version of the Popularity Contest plugin.

UPDATE 5/18/07 For the time being, I’ve installed WP-Cache2 and Mike’s modification of Alex’s plugin. I haven’t ventured into APC land, but I may, soon. :)

San Jose, Costa Rica | link | trackb | 10 comments » | Apr 29, 2007 22:51:31

I-580 freeway collapse in Oakland

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i-580 freeway collapse (photo: mark constantini / sf chronicle)

Crap. The I-580 overpass collapsed due to a tanker truck crash this morning in Oakland (thankfully, there were no fatalities). This the freeway I take to get home from San Francisco. Combined with Bay Bridge construction (apparently, not due to be completed until 2013), the collapse of the I-580 overpass makes living in the East Bay even less appealing for someone whose entire Bay Area social network is on the other side.

It’s hard to find a good map that shows where the freeway collapsed. This is the best one I’ve seen.

Now, how to do delete that section of the freeway from my GPS navigation system?

San Jose, Costa Rica | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Apr 29, 2007 15:46:00

My view, right now

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From my hotel room in Costa Rica

I don’t care so much for the golf course, but the rest of it is pretty.

San Jose, Costa Rica | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Apr 29, 2007 15:20:10

Why you should watermark web images

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When I posted details on how to put a striped RAID array in your MacBook, I was pretty sure it was going to get picked up by Digg. Victor submitted the original article, but it was a Macenstein blog article that ended up being in a Digg story that became “popular”. Not long ago, it was picked up by Engadget, although they credited Macenstein for the information instead of my site. (read more »)

San Jose, Costa Rica | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Apr 29, 2007 14:24:16

Ribbit Dumlpings at Mission 261

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Two weddings ago, I had half a day to hang out with my sister in Los Angeles. She took me to a great vegetarian dim sum place in the San Gabriel Valley called Mission 261, where we (the two of us, and Daphne Wang) ate ribbit dumlpings [sic] and other delicacies.


vegetarian ribbit dumlpings (rabbit dumplings)

We also had lunch at a great little place in the corner of a strip mall with Sarah Kemble, whose presence in the Bay Area I miss. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Apr 28, 2007 02:53:29

Spam filter augmentation proposal

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I was thinking of augmenting my spam filter to also reject:

  1. messages that don’t use punctuation
  2. messages that include questions with periods at the end
  3. messages in ALL CAPS
  4. messages with a question mark to 80-character-line ratio >= 1
  5. messages containing “u”, “u r”, “ur”, or “lol

That would be awesome.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Apr 27, 2007 12:01:56

320GB striped array (RAID 0) in a Macbook Pro

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Macbook Pro with 2 drives installed

UPDATE: April 2009 Two Intel X25-M 160GB SSDs in striped array in unibody MacBook Pro

UPDATE: 28 Sep 2008 New benchmarks for striped SSD array in Macbook Pro.

Today, I installed an MCE OptiBay Hard Drive (a second 160GB 5400rpm drive) into my Macbook Pro. The directions that came with the drive were simple to follow, and it took about 15 minutes install (requiring the removal of 20-25 screws, plus two ribbon connectors).

When I booted back up, Mac OS X recognized the drive immediately (a SAMSUNG HM160JC) and asked me if I wanted to initialize it. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 47 comments » | Apr 26, 2007 18:09:30

All Things Digital launches

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Congratulations to Alex King and Adam Tow, who have just launched All Things Digital, the online home for Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher, and John Paczkowski. I saw how much work went into what they did, and it was no small feat.

I also crashed their launch party last week, which was fun. I’m not really in the scene anymore (oh, wait. i never was!), but it was fun to hang out there. I was the guy wearing the black hooded sweatshirt in the sea of better-dressed techie types. :)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Apr 26, 2007 00:11:00

3 Polar Bears in Churchill

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3 Polar Bears, originally uploaded by echeng.

I’ve posted far too many entries recently about computers, so I thought I’d give everyone a break by posting one of the thousands of images from the last 9 months that have yet to make it online.

Yeah, I’m behind. It sucks.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Apr 25, 2007 17:45:26

Adobe Acrobat Reader – PC/Mac war

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This is simply incredible. There is no way to create a PDF that displays properly in “Facing” view in Adobe Acrobat Professional, Adobe Reader for the Mac, Adobe Reader for the PC, and Preview.app on the Mac.

If you design the PDF so it looks right in “Facing” view in Adobe Acrobat Professional, it will display properly in Reader for the PC, but improperly in “Facing” view in Preview.app and in Reader for the Mac (in “Continuous” view — there is no “Facing” view).

What. the. hell.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Apr 25, 2007 16:27:12

Coda, by Panic Software

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I love software by the Panic folks. 10 minutes ago, I downloaded the trial version of Coda. 2 minutes ago, I registered it.

I use Dreamweaver when I need rudimentary WYSIWYG HTML tools that are integrated with FTP and sFTP. I use 1% of the product’s feature set, and it’s a dog, on the Mac. (I don’t have CS3 yet — maybe that’s why).

Coda seems like the perfect tool for quick, code-based HTML edits, with remote access to the server. The Clips feature will make it easy to insert commonly-used code, and built-in, searchable reference books rock. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Apr 24, 2007 23:53:38

Friendships

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Weddings have a way of making me both blissfully elated and slightly depressed. But everyone is together in an environment of happiness and love, so why the depression? I’m not sure, but it probably has to do with forever being an odd number in what is forever an increasingly paired circle of friends.

I have been thinking recently about friendships, about the strength of some and the fragility of others. I’ve been amazed that friendships lasting many years can be upset nearly to the point of no return by fallout from a single event (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Apr 24, 2007 21:19:01

I hate servers, too.

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It turns out that all of my travel journals have been broken for who knows how long. A PHP setting was reset to default, but my server guy says that he hasn’t touched PHP for a long time. I don’t know how else it could have been reset.

I’m not placing blame on anyone, but I am not happy about it.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Apr 23, 2007 19:55:41

Deleting negativity

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I wish I could delete negative stuff in real life. but — alas! only my mac can delete negative things.
 

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Apr 23, 2007 13:18:35

The Great Turtle Race

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My friend, Jason Bradley, wrote last week about his images from a recent trip to Playa Grande, Costa Rica, to document Leatherback turtle research. His images are being used in part for the Great Turtle Race, a unique conservation effort that tracks turtles as they leave their nesting areas and “race” toward feeding areas south of the Galapagos Islands.

If you haven’t seen the Great Turtle Race yet, you should definitely check it out! It’s both a fun and educational site. I’m voting for Stephen Colbert’s turtle:

Stanford, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Apr 22, 2007 13:40:45

Upgrading WordPress via SVN

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As is usual, it took me quite some time to listen to Alex‘s repeated suggestions to use SVN to maintain my installation of WordPress (the software this journal runs on). It was actually Alex’s excellent Twitter Tools plug-in that provided the final incentive for my upgrade to WordPress 2.1, and I took advantage of the situation to transition to set it up to use SVN for updates. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Apr 22, 2007 02:14:11

Basecamp: online project management done right

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Basecamp project management and collaboration

For the past few months, I’ve been using Basecamp to manage projects associated with Wetpixel, and it’s been a really fantastic resource. It features messaging, to-do lists, “writeboards” (documents editable by many), milestones, a chat system, and file hosting. In addition, you can subscribe to any of the above via RSS, and to milestones via iCal. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Apr 20, 2007 16:08:34

G.G. visits from Sydney

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Erin Vitus, Amanda Knox, G.G. @ Stanford

In 1998 and 1999, I spent an inordinate amount of time with Mandy and her roommates at a little apartment just off of Stanford Campus. Yesterday was a pseudo-reunion of sorts, sparked by G.G. visit from Sydney. 20 of G.G.’s friends met for dinner at Celia’s in Palo Alto, which was both strange and fun because I had not seen many of them in nearly 9 years.

Earlier in the evening, Mandy, Erin, G.G. and I went to a design show on Stanford campus, where Mandy photographed the two girls wearing her jewelry. We all went over to Salar’s place after dinner to hang out in the hot tub (and have a few shots of tequila :). [photos @ flickr]

Also, I got to see an electric sports car from Tesla Motors, in person. I often hear about the designer who was driving it around, but I don’t know him personally. GG and Erin both got to ride around in it, which made me jealous.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Apr 20, 2007 13:16:04

Aperture 1.5.3 update

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Both of my machines are now updating Aperture to 1.5.3 via Software Update. A search at Apple’s website turns up no information about 1.5.3, and I can’t find any mention of the 1.5.3 update on the innernets. Here’s what the update says:

Aperture 1.5.3 addresses issues related to overall reliability and performance in a number of areas, including:
  • Generation of thumbnails for adjusted images
  • Entering and exiting Full Screen mode
  • Working with large sets of keywords in the Keywords HUD
  • Restoring from a vault
Among the specific issues that have been addressed:
  • Previews now update properly when images are sent to an external editor.
  • Leaf Aptus 22 and Aptus 75 images are now imported with the correct orientation.
  • When folders are imported as projects, the folder structure is now correctly preserved when identically named subfolders are included in the hierarchy.
  • Reconnecting referenced images that have been externally edited now works more reliably.
  • Setting the ColorSync profile in the Aperture Print dialog now correctly suppresses color management settings in the Mac OS X Print dialog.

One interesting thing is that my desktop downloaded the update at around 580Kb/sec while my notebook is chugging along at 20-70Kb/sec, with periodic dropouts to 0. That seems wrong.

— UPDATE —

My Mac Pro Quad still takes 10-15 seconds to display thumbnails for 30,200 images. I’m doing a find right now for all files containing “030801″, and it’s already been 45 seconds. I’m still waiting.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Apr 19, 2007 13:27:44

Mike Schroepfer, 40th most important person

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It’s fun when people are ranked. It’s even more fun when your friends make the list. Mike Schroepfer has been declared the 40th most important person on the web by PC World. Congrats, Schrep!

Alex introduced me to Matt Mullenweg (#16) the other day (I crashed a Silicon Valley party with lots of big names present), but I didn’t get to chat with him much. When we approached each other, Matt said, “you must be the underwater photographer.” Of course, he mistook Adam Tow for me earlier in the evening, but I can see how that might happen; we’re both often seen as “the Asian dude with the huge camera.”

By the way, I noticed that the mug shots on the PC World page are in the Adobe RGB 1998 color space. What a rookie move.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Apr 18, 2007 21:56:59
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i hate computers.