Archive for August, 2003

Not really, but now Im here. Away. Gone. At this new home of mine, a boarding school some 3-4 hours drive from home.

Technology first:
We have 4 computers hooked up to the net, all through a shared 64k ISDN connection. Then for my own class, which is Media, we have 6 more computers, not hooked up to the net. 4 of then are for Photoshop/Pagemaker, and the two others can also be used for video edition (woohoo!). Yeah, they dont have Macs – so the ones for video edition are “special editions”, kinda.

I ordered a camera for my T68i today, so hopefully Ill be able to upload images to the net from there. We are not allowed to install any software on the computers, and since I dont believe Win2000 supports my Canon camera plug&play, that means Ill have to pull out the MemoryCard and use a external card reader. But, since the only computer with such a reader is not connected to the net, nor in a LAN with one that is, that means Ill need to put the file(s) on floppy, and then bring them to one of the 4 net-computers. Floppies yes. Sad things. I didnt bring one, so once I get home Ill dig up a couple. I could resize and save for web first of course, saving space and all – plus I dont think the net-computers have Photoshop anyway.

So, as you might realize, blogging will be sparse in the time ahead. Ill see if I can post once a week maybe, and hopefully some images – either from the cellphone or from my Canon. Please keep me updated on your lives through commenting or trackbacking, and as always, you can reach me at xgrape at mac dot com. Im checking email about once a day. However, since I use a webbased reader (with no spam-filtering-stuff), please avoid non-informative subjects – those might be deleted rather fast.

Thats about it for now, Ill be back home for a couple days in the weekend 2.5 weeks from now (coming home Friday night, and leaving Sunday afternoon).

Take care yall – dang, need to find the apostrophe on this keyboard (and a spell checker).

 

Snap with us

19Aug03

Don’t think I’ve mentioned Steven Franks excellent Snap Club here yet. For those who haven’t been there, a brief description: “Snap Club is an informal site for swapping candid photographs of everyday things. Finally, a use for your digital camera.”

So I signed up, and you can view my current images here. No matter what resolution you upload, the posted images will be 320×240. Understandable, really. Bandwidth costs.

So is this the end of my very own photoblog? Not at all! I still have full control when it’s my own, something you don’t get at Snap Club. I will keep using my photoblog, with its full-size images, as my main repository, however a new shot will arrive at Snap Club too, every now and then. So, if you want to stay fully up-to-date – you will need to check both places. Will add a quicklink a bit later.

Snap Club Phone Cam Edition also recently launched. I just submitted a picture, but it has yet to arrive, as of this writing. It is only in it’s early stages anyway. But, seeing as how I might grab a cam for my cellphone later, this is the ultimate way to get it online the very moment it’s taken – even if I’m miles away from a computer. Speaking of cellphones and cameras, have a look at this complete comparison of every major camera-phone (and phone-camera) on the market today – updated whenever new solutions are released. (hit the “Vis alle bilder”-button at the bottom of the page)

 

FTwaP?

18Aug03

Although I haven’t gotten around to grabbing a cam for my cellphone yet (just looking), it hit me today: I can blog via my phone – so why can’t I also FTP?

As pointed out a bit earlier, I use Wapblogger, which is WAP-site where you login with your MT username/pass and a complete URL for your blog-file. You can then post new posts, or edit existing ones.

Wouldn’t it also be possible to make a WAP-based FTP client? I mean in the form of a page where you login. Since I can’t install 3rd party software on my T68i, this would be the only choice. Anyone know of such a service?

I would post a post here now and try to include an image (already uploaded from my Mac) from my phone, but Wapblogger didn’t want to play right now. Maybe later…

Also all T68i-owners, SonyEricsson released a new firmware not too long ago. Reports indicate among other things: faster typing/handling of SMS, extended support for Bluetooth handsfree (and perhaps Bluetooth support in general?) – and, get this: 4 NEW GAMES! That’s right. Tennis (with 2-player) and Arkanoid among others. The games only seem to be part of the update for certain countries though. All of Scandinavia included. I will be taking mine to a authorized repair center for the upgrade soon, I hope. I’ll report back then. Remember: updates are free as long as the phone is within warranty (1 year).

Only one day left till I’m leaving for my new home…

 

Five on web

17Aug03

Remy posts his answers to 5 web-related questions, and since I’ve nothing better to do, I might as well post mine.

1. How much time do you spend online each day?

Depends, but usually several hours. Some days, I can spend all day (minus shower and food), I think I can admit it can get too heavy.

2. What is your browser homepage set to?

I started by using a default “portal” website, then using a offline page with some links to my most visited sites, and then my own pages. For the last few years I have been using a blank page though.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?

I keep iChat running most of the time I am online, and every now and then I check in on Proteus (for me meaning AIM, ICQ and MSN). But that is very rare.

4. Where was your first webpage located?

Geocities, where else? Kept it there for some time, before I moved on to space given out by my ISP (which I use for some stuff to this day). Also have some other “free” accounts here and there, plus my iDisk. Of course not to mention the paid accounts.

5. How long have you had your current website?

xGrape.net – with the blog and all, launched sometime this pre-summer. I think April or May. In its first phase, it was hosted with my ISP, but I soon moved it to GetMeHosted. The site has been gaining in functionality, and slightly changed (for the better) in several ways since. I hope to launch my next major rewrite next summer. I said I hope to.

 

The last couple of days have been far from pleasant. It all started friday night (night from thursday to friday) when I woke up and felt a major pain in my right ear. I couldn’t fall asleep until I took a painkiller (Paracet – suppose that’s what it’s called world-wide). Friday morning I felt about the same, but the pain wasn’t as strong. Suppose it hurt more when I touched the ear, which was the case when I slept on it. I kept taking a few painkillers though, and knowing for sure something was wrong. Also during Friday, it was as if my right ear got more and more clogged. I could barely hear on that ear. So today I finally got to the emergency. After two and a half hour wait, which mind you is quite a lot, I finally got to see the doctor. He stated I had got a auditory canal infection. Tomorrow I’ll be picking up some “eardrops” with a bit of antibiotics and stuff that will hopefully cure it in the matter of a few days. The doc said it wasn’t severe, which is a good thing, I guess. Hmm, and yeah, he also said I had a lot of earwax, so I’m gonna have to go see a local doctor some time and get my ears flushed.

I hope you enjoyed this personal rant – inspiration courtesy of Forcer. Since I already mentioned his name, I might as well mention a very interesting post he made about bananas. No really. I know the same thing has happened to me a lot recently too. For instance, you go out to eat somewhere, and you discover there is something in your food you THINK you don’t like – so you settle for trying it anyway. And then you like it. Kinda l33t 😛

Take note that Forcer even posted this from his cellphone, using a system he developed himself. Now I know for sure that I ain’t that good, but today I got to manage my blog using Wapblogger.


Instructions:

1) browse over to http://wap.ubique.ch/wapblogger/

2) log in, using your MT username and password

3) you will be asked to select Blogger or Live Journal; choose one, it doesn’t matter which

4) find the “extended login” link on the next page and go there; overwrite either the blogger or LJ server URL with http://www.yourdomain.com/yourmtpath/mt-xmlrpc.cgi (obviously changing the URL for your setup)

5) you should then get to your list of blogs and take it from there.

Clipped from movabletype.org
Why is this a big deal for me? Well, you all know by now that I will be moving this coming Wednesday, and that means a boarding school with Windows PCs and much social life (what’s that?) for the coming year. I did find two promising desktop applications for the PC, both freeware in fact, and I expect to try them both and settle for one. However, when I’m on the run, it is nice to have the ability to keep you updated via WAP. Even cooler if I got a camera for my phone and could post images completely away from a computer.

Lastly, Swedentom made a complete overhaul on his blog, changing from a home made system to MT, and he even admits stealing Dave Hyatts Surfin’ Safari design!!

 

Just a small test here. What for? Well, this is posted from my cell phone – using GPRS. Wheehaw!

 

So the day is finally here! The software I have been working on for some time, is now ready in Alpha form. What does this mean for you? In this case it means “the software isn’t feature complete yet, and has only been tested by me, but it should work ok”. Of course I take no responsibility for any damage to your Mac and all that usual crap…

So what is it? Camel is a simple webcam viewer. You configure a URL for an image to download, and set a time for how often to refresh. And that’s it. Images will download to ~/Pictures/Camel/name.jpg – where name is the name you specified in the setup process. You can currently only configure one camera at a time. Oh and the cam window will resize dynamically to fit the size of the image. If you use Camel for showing HUGE images, like desktops, keep in mind that there will be no scrollbars. Also, size and placement on screen for the cam window will be saved on quit.

The first time you launch Camel, the Preferences window will pop up. Enter the complete URL to your desired webcam image, name it (this will be the base filename for the archived image) and set a refresh interval. Default is 60 seconds. The first time, the image will probably not show up at all. Quitting and relaunching Camel solves this. If you want to reconfigure it later, changes will take effect immediately. Yes this sucks, but I wanted the Alpha out sooner rather than later. My initial thought was to get a polished Alpha out, and release a beta a long time into the future. However, I now hope for one more Alpha next week, polished, and maybe with a couple more features. Stay tuned.

To-do:
– multiple cameras, selectable from a menu, from a dock menu maybe, and rotating or the different cams.
– archiving, saving all images, with different filenames (name_date.jpg for instance).
– checking date on remote image, only downloading image if newer than local copy, reducing load on servers.
– somehow showing that an image is being downloaded.
– showing countdown to next refresh.
– no re-launching of application on first launch.
– more effective code, less jumping around of windows, faster resize and everything.
– multithreading, never “lose control” when an image is being downloaded.
– better error handling.

Please do NOT post this software to commercial sites such as VersionTracker, MacUpdate, MacMinute, MacNN and so on. You are however free to mention it in your blog. In that case, please link to this article, NOT directly to the file. Also please ping me a trackback.

Feedback? Send a mail to lafty at thesame dot com (figure that out), or post a comment or trackback to this article.

Download here! (no longer available)

 

I’ll Be Back

13Aug03

This fancy collage brought to you in part by xGrape. So I did catch Terminator 3 today. We were maybe like 15 people watching it today. I mean, it’s been 5 days since the premier (over here), but still? Oh well, at least we got the bigger hall today. With surround! (seen in the picture)

I thought it was a pretty good movie actually. The story was well laid out. Fit with the previous movies, and didn’t leave any “loose ends”. Not to mention that Norwegian Kristanna Loken is playing “the other terminator”. While this does bring a certain Charlies Angels / Tomb Raider feeling to the movie, old Arnold is still the one making it all worthwhile. Funny thing is, he looks exactly the same today as he did in the first movie, which premiered in 1984… oh what a great year that was 🙂

Camel was originally scheduled for release today, but as usual some last-minute bugs cropped up. So stay tuned. Oh and yeah, one week till I’m leaving for the new school… time to prepare myself for a year with Windows!

 

Well today will be my last day at work before I move to my new school in a weeks time.

I plan on seeing T3 tomorrow if there are any tickets left. Also, work is wrapping up on the first Alpha of my codename “Camel”. Hope for a release near the end of this week.

I was hoping to pick up a CommuniCam for my T68i this last Saturday, but it turned out the offer I had seen ($49) was a few weeks old, and the price was flipped back to the original $99. Bummer. I picked up a couple DVDs instead. James Bond’s Dr. NO and Final Fantasy, which btw happens to have an enormous pack of bonus material. One whole extra disk packed.

 

Eyetoy

10Aug03

It’s late. And it’s hot. Very hot. Must sleep now…

Anyways, went shopping today, and got this short clip for you of my mate trying out Eyetoy for the PS2. More tomorrow.

 

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