Monthly Archives: March 2004

Road Wonders

During my drive home from Boston today I witnessed several interesting things:

  1. 1 cab, 2 cars and 1 bus zipping through the red lights at the same intersection. Yikes!

  2. Two unrelated cars with bumpers wearing identical “South of the Border” bumper stickers.

  3. My windshield wipers, which after 2 years, finally decided to work perfectly. It’s a MIRACLE! If they had only left an image of Mary, mother of God I might have made a few pennies in the deal.

Photo Overload!

Oh no!

It seems that my web hosting provider has not been able to accurately gauge my disk space quota until now. I am alotted 1500 megs of space on their server, and I was under the impression I was using less than 500 of those megs.

Well, they’ve fixed their quota, and it now appears that I’m actually using 1249 out of the 1500 megs, and thus have only 250 megs free!

I’ve done some checking of my own and I’ve verified that I am, in fact, using up that much space on my account. A little over one third of this space is being used up by the photos in our gallery|http://gallery.prwdot.org/. The rest is being used by our email which is stored on the server, random content on our own website, and content from the websites of other folks who are hosted at prwdot.org.

Individual albums in our gallery take up anywhere from less than 1 meg to over 18 megs, and most photos range from 100kb to 300kb in size. I feel like we’re doing pretty well as far as keeping the size of individual photos under control. It’s just that we have SO MANY PHOTOS — 3532 to be exact!

I guess it’s time to start looking at strategies on how to save some space… getting rid of photos, re-compressing photos so that they take up less space, etc. We’re already using our web host’s largest hosting plan, in terms of disk space, and purchasing additional disk space is a bit pricey.

Gil and Sully

A while ago I heard about the movie Topsy Turvy|http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0151568/ and had wanted to see it. Now, four years later, I finally had my chance.

This film is the story of the creation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “The Mikado”. It was a thick, witty and entertaining film. The beginning and the end were kind of (sometimes extreemly) slow, but the great Mikado production numbers and songs in the middle make up for it. All in all it was a fun movie.

iPhoto Nirvana

I’ve found the perfect plugin for iPhoto:

iPhotoToGallery|http://zwily.com/iphoto/index.xsl by Zachary Wily

It integrates seamlessly into my existing iPhoto 4|http://www.apple.com/ilife/iphoto/ application, allowing me to resize and export photos directly into the Gallery|http://gallery.menalto.com/ web application.

It takes care of resizing, exporting, and uploading the images, as well as creating and naming the new album on the website.

This is the essence of the Mac OS – software that lets you forget about messing around on the computer, and spend more time doing what you love. In my case, shooting photos and showing them to people. So, so easy.

The only way this could be easier is if the images were sent straight from my digital camera to the website immediately after they were taken. And, since I can already do precisely that with my camera-phone, it shouldn’t be too long until something is possible with a digital camera. Or a camera phone with really good optics and a 3+ megapixel sensor.

Belated Birthday

This was something I meant to do Wednesday, but I wanted to wish Mac OS X|http://www.apple.com/macosx/ a happy third birthday!

On March 21, 2001|http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2001/mar/21osxstore.html, Apple announced that Mac OS X would be available starting that weekend, March 24. And as promised, Mac OS X began showing up at local retailers such as CompUSA. (Apple had not yet opened any of their retail stores; the first two would open two months later|http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2001/may/15retail.html.)

Developers and other afficionados had already been given a taste of the new operating system by way of the Public Beta, released September 12, 2000. But Mac OS X 10.0 was the first chance for everyone in the Mac world to step up to the next level.

I did not purchase Mac OS X right off of the bat; I was running Linux on both of my Mac computers at the time, and I didn’t see any immediate need for it. However, my curiosity eventually got the better of me, and I ended up installing Mac OS X 10.0 on my PowerBook towards the end of July, just before leaving for the O’Reilly Open Source Convention|http://www.oreillynet.com/oscon2001/.

Version 10.0 (“Cheetah”) was admittedly quite flaky. Most of the critical features were there, but there weren’t a lot of extras to be had, and some things still didn’t work quite right.

Version 10.1 (“Puma”) was released September 25, 2001, fixing many of 10.0’s bugs and adding some new features. Since Apple had by then opened many retail stores, this upgrade was passed out for free that evening. I was there at the recently-opened Northshore|http://www.apple.com/retail/northshore/ store to pick it up.

Version 10.2 (“Jaguar”) was released July 17, 2002. This, many people felt, was the first “real” release of Mac OS X. All of the features were there, it was no longer flaky, and it was just overall a good, solid experience. Particularly notable was the introduction of Quartz Extreme, boosting 2d graphics performance through the roof when used with compatible accelerated graphics cards. I was at the Northshore store again for their Jaguar release party, that night, and I’ve got the photos to prove it|http://gallery.prwdot.org/jaguar_party.

Version 10.3 (“Panther”) was released on October 24, 2003, introducing some amazing new technologies such as Expose. Again, I was at an Apple Store for that celebration (dubbed “Night of the Panther”), only this time it was at the Burlingame|http://gallery.prwdot.org/sfo_day6/DSCN4220 location, as Becky and I were vacationing in San Francisco.

Mac OS X has come a long way, and I now have the latest version, 10.3.3, running on both my PowerBook G3 and my PowerMac G4. It’s definitely the most stable, feature-filled, easy-to-use operating system I’ve ever experienced.

If you’re interested in a technical look back at the evolution of Mac OS X, Ars Technica has written up an article on Three Years of Mac OS X|http://www.arstechnica.com/etc/mac/index.html.

Thanks also to The Apple Museum for their Macintosh operating system timeline|http://www.theapplemuseum.com/index.php?id=tam&page=timeline&subpage=os.

Search and Archive

You should notice a few additional new features on our site: a blog search engine, a link to our archives, and the ever-popular “permalink” notation on each blog entry.

The search engine can be found towards the bottom left part of the page. You might have to scroll to see it, but we opted to keep it that way as putting it on top of the page caused some of the links to scroll off of the screen. To use it, simply type in whatever you’d like to search for, and hit enter. The screen will refresh and display excerpts from any entries in our blog that match your search word. You will then be able to navigate directly to those entries.

The archive link can be found on the top left part of the page. It will take you to a page that displays different groups of previous blog entries: category-based, date-based, and individual. You can use this to see, for example, all of the entries from October 2002, or all of the entries related to Food.

Finally, the permalink is provided in each entry for the purposes of linking directly to a given entry on our site. So if you would like to mention a specific entry from our blog in your blog, email, IM, or whatever, you can now use our permalink. Easy-peasy!

All of these changes, and many of the other new features that were introduced with our new format, are a direct result of my reading up on MovableType|http://www.movabletype.org/‘s feature set and template system. I’ve done a lot more as far as correctly implementing links, using more of MT’s built-in features where I had previously been doing hacks, generally getting more out of the system.

We hope that you enjoy all of these changes, and as always, share any comments with us via the commenting system!

Funny Politics

I don’t know how many of you read Zug|http://www.zug.com/, one of the sites we link to, but he has recently posted the results of his most hilarious prank yet:

The Senator Prank|http://www.zug.com/pranks/senator/

The gist is that John Hargrave wrote a letter to each of the United States’ 100 senators, posing as a 10-year-old boy. He claimed to be working on a government-related project for school, and that the tack he had taken was to ask our senators what their favorite joke was.

You can see the results of the prank at the link above, but to cut to the chase, the results are in, and the funniest Senator was Olympia Snowe (R-ME), while the unfunniest Senator was Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

Enjoy!

Cake on Crack

Due to popular demand, I am posting the recipe for “Chocolate Cherry Bars” mentioned by Peter in an earlier post. This is an anonymous recipe that i received at my bridal shower in September 2002. I believe that it is from the Lyttle family, but I’m not 100% sure. Happy baking!

Chocolate Cherry Bars

Bars:

* 1 pkg. devil’s food cake mix * 1 21-oz. can cherry pie filling * 1 tsp. almond extract * 2 eggs, beaten

Frosting:

* 1 cup sugar * 1/3 cup milk * 5 T. margarine * 1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13″x9″ pan. In large bowl combine all bar ingredients; stir until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake until toothpick in center comes out clean (25-30 mins) In small saucepan, combine sugar, milk and margarine; mix well. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 min.; stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Pour and spread over warm bars. Cool 1 1/4 hours or until completely cooled.

New

It is true, World Wide Wood has molted and regrown a new and improved skin! There is no need to adjust your monitors.

We decided that after a year and a half it was probably time to give the ole website a new look. Cleaner, fresher, just different. A couple weeks ago we asked for suggestions for change and have attempted to incorporate these suggestions.

Anyone who knows me well will know that I don’t usually deal well with change. I get attached to things (backpacks, sneakers, pillowcases, websites) and go through heart wrenching episodes while I transition to the new.

I hope you enjoy the new look and layout. If there are any out there, like me, who need to revisit the old look you can see it here|http://prwdot.org/index.old.php