After having pushed myself to work a bit harder on the Flickr-Tools project and trying to get a new version out before the end of January (which is shot, by the way), I finally have a preliminary version of the Flickr::Person::photos() method working! Urrah!
So you can now use this method and get back the first 100 photos of a particular person. After that first batch of 100 photos it just stops giving you new stuff and closes up shop but it is rather nice to have it this far along because now adding the rest of the necessary functionality is a breeze.
If for some reason you are totally unable to wait for the final release 0.3 and want to start playing around with it right now you can check it out on my darcs projects site.
Round and round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows…
(In wich I discuss several random matters that have come to my mind of late.)
It seems I may be getting good at evaluating and making predictions about (other people’s) relationships.
This is not only weird and unexpected but it is also rather creepy…
Last evening I watched (maybe for the 10th time or so) “Broadway Danny Rose” with Tuxa.
I really like that film. In fact I really like most of Woody’s films and as I was chating with Tuxa about the film after it had ended, we came to the conclusion that none of us know anyone else who really likes Woody’s films the way we do.
I know people who dislike them, some with more intensity than others, I know people who are indifferent to them and I know people who think they are, on the whole “OK films”, but no one I know actually loves Woody Allen’s work.
In truth, I know maybe a couple of people who might like them, with whom I haven’t ever discussed it, so maybe there’s a couple of exceptions lurking around… Maybe.
How weird is that? Or, if it comes to that, how weird am I? :-)
Today at lunch (after dutifully having been to the pool for my daily workout in preparation for the upcoming sky week) I was listening to a podcast from IT Conversations with a presentation from Accelerating Change 2005, delivered by Jamais Cascio, entitled “Personal Memory Assistants”.
Now, I had already listened to part of this talk in the past, can’t remember when, so the topic was familiar, but only today did I catch the whole story and I found that it touched me in a way I can’t quite figure out yet.
In a nutshell I took these passages from the talk’s page on the IT Conversation’s site (and I don’t intend to substitute your listening to the presentation, quite the contrary, do go and listen to it):
…There will be an opportunity to view and save everything we do. This is monitoring on a huge scale but we will do it willingly. Moreover, the sheer size of the numbers of people involved will overwhelm any attempts to use this monitoring in a ‘Big Brother’ way….
…In opposition to standard notions of surveillance, this will see the emergence of ‘sousveillance’; individual citizens keeping a technologically watchful eye on the people in charge. This will not apply solely to the> political sphere, however, as the ability to share a treasured moment with a loved one or to capture a fleeting moment of beauty will add a new dimension to personal relationships.
…What’s needed is a TiVo for your personal life and there are already technical solutions available. These capabilities will come at a cost, however. Not only will we have to learn to cope with a staggering lack of privacy but also to overcome the fact that most relationships, whether personal or business, rely to a certain extent on the misremembering of certain events.
The geek in me can see it coming easily enough, most of the components are already here and whatever is left will come by sooner or later, no doubt about that, and I find it fascinating on a pure technological level.
On a personal level, however, I’m just not sure whether I find this too scary or if it is more like something approaching heaven; The fact that I have terrible memory and am easily distracted dictates that I must always try to make notes of whatever seems important at the time, lest I loose it altogether and so an automatic record of my life would be invaluable to me. On the other hand, everyone forgets things and some things are meant to be forgotten and are better that way. Could we cope with perfect memory? Worse still, could we cope with everyone else having perfect memory?
Anyway, the author of the talk does have a valid point: one way, maybe the most effective way, to deal with invasions to our privacy from “above” is to flood the networks with data, that way everyone is under su[r|ous]vaillance and no one is actually under su[r|ous]vaillance…
These are indeed interesting times we are living in.
Well, this is it.
I’ve officially reached the end of the road. OK, not me exactly, but my trusty old iBook.
Yes, sad as it is, it seems that all of the apps on the new iLife ‘06 require a PowerPC G4 to work.
And my well-loved lemming is a measly PowerPC G3 900Mhz.
This is too bad as this laptop is my main workhorse for video and photo editing while I’m on the road.
At home I have the iMac with it’s glorious 20’ display and the G5 inside it, but on the road I can do everything I want with my good old iBook.
So I’ve come to a dead-end, as far as application upgrades are concerned, on my current Mac laptop.
It’s not as if I didn’t see it coming, and I do intend to upgrade my laptop when the second generation of Macintels comes around (I never liked being a paying hardware beta-tester and first-generation is always first-generation). I’ll thoroughly enjoy the speed-up, for sure, but until then iMovie ‘05, iPhoto ‘05 and Photoshop CS are good enough. Heck, the photoshop part is even overkill if I’m honest about it… :-)
Yesterday was a good day overall…
I finished reading all the important mailing lists and personal mail I had stacked for the last 3-4 weeks. Now on to catch up on the RSS feeds (read all looks deliciously appealing for the most of it).
There was, of course, the mwsf, with some good announcements, but especially the announcement of the new Macbook Pro (worst name ever, maybe?). So we’re finally going to have decent Apple laptops (and no I don’t count your Dell laptop running OSX an Apple laptop, OK?)… Now to wait for a 12’ version and we’ll see…
And best of all (it’s just so easy to make me a happy boy…) this morning I had a new firmware update for my iPod which got the smart playlists working again (self-updating, that is). Yay!
Oh and I finally got a few minutes to launch and try out a few features of Adobe’s Lightroom. Man, it rocks! Mind you, I haven’t tried Apple’s Aperture yet, but however good it might be, Lightroom is looking pretty much like the best thing to have come by since sliced bread as far as my digital photography workflow is concerned. You can tell it is still a Beta but already I’d use it everyday without a second thought… If it only ran on my G3 laptop… Yeah, I know, I’ll really have to upgrade. Just not this year, this is a bad baad year for that. <sigh>
Trying to not get too stale on my developments (OK, I’m way beyond that, I know…) and because people are actively asking me to add features to the Flickr-Tools distribution and, better yet, some are actually offering to send in patches (hurra!) I’ve decided it was high time I put up some sort of project archive on-line.
So after a little tinkering, darcs.nunonunes.org is now on-line and open for business, default css and all!
In the future I might setup a trac site also but for now darcsweb is what I have available.
So now that you know where to get it go crazy with the patches!
(Actually this is a few days old, but I never got around to posting it…)
I’m a tech guy, an engineer, I like complicated things, I like to understand what goes on behind the scenes and I do understand that, sometimes, things are hard to make easy.
But I’m also someone who has to use the Internet and I’m also a consumer and much as I do realize the difficulty of some things there is just no excuse for some of the things that go on out there…
Case in point: Symantec’s Norton Anti-virus renewal process.
I was at my parent’s and, as usual, whenever I or my brothers go over and there is something to do or fix on the computer we do it for them. No big deal.
This time around my Mom’s laptop’s anti-virus software was close to expiring it’s license so it needed to be renewed. My Mom decided to ask my Dad to do it (typical) and he decided to wait for a son to go over and do it (also typical).
So I was the lucky one, and when I got there and logged on to Windows XP, sure enough, the anti-virus status box popped-up warning me that the subscription expiry date was close at hand and asked me if I wished to renew it.
Well, I did, so I clicked on the link and followed the wizard until I came to the box where I had to put in the product key. My Dad dutifully gave me the printout he had made of it and I typed it in.
Only to be told it was invalid. Nice…
So after working at it for a while, trying all sorts of different goes at it and reading the FAQs and support documents on the site, it became apparent that Symantec would not let me renew my subscription for a product from 2004 easily and the best chance I’d have would be to upgrade the product to the latest version.
Fishy but I went along with it, I didn’t need the aggravation, so I went to the on-line store and began the purchasing process.
I tried to buy it with a credit card but I had so many server errors that I was on the verge of quitting when… Lo and behold, they support payments through PayPal. Well, that’s nice, I didn’t need to break out my credit card, I just clicked on the PayPal link and payed for the thing, upgrade to the newest version, download checkout, all good… Or not!
So the PayPal payment went ahead as expected, but when I got redirected to the Symantec store things blew up and my order got stuck.
Great… Back to PayPal to confirm that the transaction had been processed. Indeed it had.
So, as per instructions on the Symantec site and on the transaction confirmation email, I did an order search on the Symantec store and found my transaction, apparently complete, but no download link. And in the small letters in the bottom it does say that a transaction which didn’t go through OK until the end may then take up to 24hours to be reconciled and fully processed.
So let’s recapitulate on what I did, shall we?
Now what I did not do was to go out on the net and get me a working renewal code for free and used it. It would have taken me, oh maybe 10 minutes to do it and I wouldn’t have lost the time and the patience with it I had to spend with the freaking Symantec site.
Sometimes you have to wonder… Do these companies really want our business? And, even more important, do they deserve it?
One of these days I had a revelation.
As with most revelations it was really nothing that far out or extraordinary. It was something pretty basic, which was staring me in the face, but I still needed that moment of recognition in order to really get it.
As is readily apparent, I haven’t been writing here all that much. In fact I’ve been almost completely absent for quite some time now.
The reasons are many and varied, of course, but there is one main reason which is not something I’m particularly proud of… The fact is that I tend to write less when something is wrong or worrying me.
In fact in the last few months something has been on my mind, something which annoys me a lot and I get so frustrated by it that I stop myself from writing, lest I start to pour out my bad humor and get people down for no real reason. Its like they say: “If you don’t have anything nice to say you’d better not say anything at all”. I’m a big believer in that motto (hard as it may be for my friends to believe that!)
But anyway, things are better now. Everything is pretty much the same, but I’ve taken a few resolutions which will make things better and the simple fact that I made them is enough for me to feel better, the major stress factor being, essentially, gone, but you know how it is: it is far easier to break a good habit than it is to get back into it, right?
So while I have occasionally though about starting to write again, I just never got around to it. And, much to my surprise, a few people have actually asked me about my weblog and if I was still out there (as is readily apparent from one of the latest entries). But I never really took it for what it meant, until yesterday a close friend of mine asked me if I was dead to my blog.
Why was he asking that, I asked back, I haven’t been writing, sure, but so what?
“Well”, he told me, “it is just a shame because I used to follow your blog to know what you’re up to and now I can’t”.
And that’s when it struck me: that’s why I started blogging in the first place all those years back, this is not (just) a tech journal or a interesting fact gatherer, it is also a means and a place to keep in touch with people. Actually to let people who care about me know what I’m doing and thinking even when we can’t be as close as we’d like on a daily basis. It is also a plain old journal of my (real) life.
People had asked me about it, sure, but it took a good friend giving me the hint for the message to get across… Man, I can be so dense sometimes…
So thank you, I needed that! :-)
This is not a new year’s resolution, partly because I haven’t made any and also because I don’t believe in them, but I do promise (to myself) that I will try and keep writing something to the public part of the site, in whatever form this blog may take in the future (hint, hint!)