14
Oct 05

A Gentle Suggestion

I’ve been catching up on a backlog of poker blog reading…

If I had a nickel for every time blogger ate someone’s post, I’d be able to move up in limits. Sheesh.

Now, I’m no expert in blogger’s software (I’d venture to guess that I’m the sole poker blogger using the extensible, customizable, self-documenting real-time display editor, and I won’t even get into the virtues of using a tool so powerful), but it seems like an easy thing to write one’s post in a tool that will allow one to save said post to one’s hard drive occasionally. Then, when ready to publish, a quick copy and paste should do the trick.

Notepad, anyone?


14
Mar 05

Moblogging

I like taking photos. I’m not trained and i know very little about cameras, but I like capturing moments and motion. I like unusual perspectives and angles. I like moving the camera as I take a picture. Some people like my photos, others don’t.

I’ve carried a digital camera around with me almost everywhere I’ve gone for the better part of 5 years. First it was a bulky Olympus that I received as a gift from Facty while we lived in the bay area. I loved that camera and I loved having that camera in a city like San Francisco. All the photos on this site from before 2002 were taken with that camera. It was a tank of a camera, which was perfect. For part of our stay up there, my daily commute was from Marin County over the Golden Gate Bridge and to the South of Market area in the city. I’d leave very early to beat traffic and I found myself varying my route (sometimes widely) to see and photograph more and more of the city. Of course, I never stopped to take pictures. I simply stuck my hand out of the window of the car and took the pic. What? Dangerous?

The only scary moment I had occurred when I once stuck my hand out, over and across the the car to take a shot of something on the passenger side. Being San Francisco, it was a very narrow street and I noticed a bus coming in the opposite direction. In my haste to pull my arm back into the car, I banged my hand on the roof of the car and the camera came loose. It hit the street and bounced into the path of the oncoming bus. I slammed on the brakes, jumped out of the car and held up my hands to the bus to stop. The driver saw the whole thing and stopped with plenty of room to spare (neither of us was traveling very fast). I grabbed the camera and hopped back in the car. The door to the memory card was busted and the battery door had opened, allowing a couple of batteries to escape, but once I got to work and replaced them, the camera still worked!

Sometime in 2002, I upgraded to the smaller, better Canon Powershot S110. Pocket sized, 2.1 megapixels. It even takes little 30 second video clips. It has been and continues to be a great little camera that does everything I need except one thing…

I’m not a big phone guy. I am even less of a cell phone guy. But, the one thing that cell phones come with these days is cameras. Not great ones, not even good ones, but still, cameras. And email. And the ability to take a picture and then email it somewhere.

Wouldn’t it be cool if one could take a picture, email it somewhere, and have it appear on one’s website automatically? It turns out that the fine folks at flickr provide just such a service. but wait, there’s more. If one’s website is built on one of the many fine blogging platforms (blogger, typepad, mt, etc.) that are available, the service is provided with barely any effort. Now how much would you pay?

So last week it was time to head over to the local cell phone haus to upgrade our phones. For a reasonable price and a fresh 2 year commitment, we walked out with matching Sony Ericsson z500a phones. Not the top of the line, but camera and email…

Now, this site doesn’t run on one of the supported blogging platforms. So, as I tend to do, I went digging into the flickr api. With the pear::flickr_api library and a little additional php, I hacked together my own little moblog. its over there, in the right column. I’m still tightening up the code, and flickr seems to not respond occasionally, but pretty cool so far. I suspect it could become popular come WPBT Vegas time…


05
Oct 04

RSS Feeds

A big time-sucker lately has been Bloglines. I’ve been trying to find a reasonable RSS reader for the last few weeks. I had been using Syndirella ever since downloading the opml file containing poker blogs from Up for Poker. I after using it for months, I gave up on it as a reader for three reasons: 1) it was no longer being developed, 2) it was a memory hog that crashed my machine, and 3) is was windows only. So set out looking for alternatives. I think that Mozilla/Firefox will eventually come up with a killer RSS aggregator, but the emerging plugins/apps are not ready for primetime yet. That left me with either a Java app or a web app. I tried a couple of the Java apps and found them to be… Java apps. Clunky. Don’t get me started on the state of Java desktop applications, most of which are terribly unusable. So I tried Bloglines and, so far, I’ve been impressed. I’m interested to see the results of the recent opening up of their api.