Monthly Archives: July 2007

Second Cameraversary

Last year I missed my Cameraversary due to the madness of OSCON week. I got my camera a week or two before OSCON 2005, and the conference was the first chance that I really to give the thing a workout, so I have sort of a sentimental thing with OSCON and photography. In fact, you can sort of trace my history by representative shots from OSCON.

OSCON 2005: Outside the keynotes

This 2005 photo was an oops. It looks cool, but it looks that way because I forgot to change the white balance settings. Sometimes it works out that way.

OSCON 2006

This has to be the representative photo for OSCON 2006.

I guess in about a week, we’ll see what we get for OSCON 2007.

In the last 12 months, I’ve done a couple of thingsf that I’ve never done before (photographically). Back in December, I shot a sizable portion of a wedding, including all the getting ready stuff (helps when your family is in the wedding). This spring I took a workshop, Zack Arias’ amazing OneLight workshop, which is an unusual thing for me to do. I’m pretty much a learn it yourself kind of guy, but it was worthwhile. Earlier this month the local newspaper picked up one of my photos (login now required, wah. Original picture here.) and sent me a check in exchange.

I am also starting to learn my way (slowly) around Photoshop. I’ve had a fairly big change of heart regarding post processing, especially when compared to two years ago. One of the things I am looking forward to at OSCON is picking Duncan’s brain about Lightroom, since he’s already made the switch. Better integration with Photoshop is one of the reasons I’m considering switching. Curves is another. During our recent family vacation, I took a number of HDR images (yeah, posting soon, but not till after OSCON), and that pretty much means you are working in Photoshop. So for the first time I actually used curves and saw the difference compared to Aperture’s quarter toned levels control.

I recently finished “Light: Science and Magic“, which David Hobby is recommending as supplemental reading for Lighting 102, it’s really worthwhile (if you can find a copy). I’ll post a review and add it to the book list some time after OSCON.

OSCON is next week

OSCON is now barely a few days away. I like Portland, and I’m looking forward to being immersed in a sea of open source friendly people. Fortunately, the weather forecast says that we won’t be subjected to the 90 degree plus heat like last year. That will take some of the pain out of lugging camera gear. There don’t seem to be a lot of open source folks doing the Twitter thing, but if you are, here’s my Twitter home page.

This year Mimi Yin, the UI designer for Chandler, and I are giving a presentation on the things that we’ve learning in trying to incorporate designers into an open source project while maintaining the essence of what is good about both design and open source.

Check this post at the newly revamped Chandler blog for all the Chandler happenings at OSCON.

Thoughts from the Seattle Adobe AIR stop

Here are some thought from Adobe’s AIR Bus Tour in Seattle yesterday.

First, is that Adobe is laying out some serious money to promote AIR – they got a (literally) rock star bus, complete with beds, loads of electronics, and tour paint scheme. The event yesterday was at a nice restaurant which they rented for the day, and Adobe was very generous with food and drink, which was of a higher than average quality for a conference.

On the whole, the sessions were informative, although I wished that there had been a little more detail presented. There’s already been lots written about Flex and AIR/Apollo, so I’m not going to rehash any of that. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits that I picked up.

  • Kevin Lynch mentioned that when they opened the native code portion of shockwave, they only got extensions for Windows. It was pretty clear that they want to reach platforms besides Windows.
  • Mike Chambers reemphasized that point when he said that the amenability of WebKit to mobile (ported to Series 60 by Nokia, and now, of course, on iPhone) was one of the big reasons for their choice.
  • There’s some of sample code based on hacks that involve the GPS sensors, cameras, and other gadgets on the bus
  • Aptana is supporting AIR developement in their Eclipse plugin.

I also learned a new term from Lee Brimelow of Frog Design: a “deviner”, a person who has training as both a designer and programmer. I had never heard the term before, but it’s relevant to the content of the talk that Mimi Yin and I are giving at OSCON in a few weeks.

Ryan Stewart persuaded me to do a talk for the Ignite the Web sessions in the evening. I thought it fitting to give a presentation on “Openness and the Web”, based on the content of that string of blog posts that started my dialogue with the Adobe folks. The Ignite format (5 minutes, 20 slides switched at exactly 15 second intervals) is pretty demanding of speakers. I’d consider myself an experienced public speaker, but doing the Ignite talk had me pretty nervous. The delivery went well – I only had one gap where I got out of sync with the slides. Afterwards, John Dowdell, and Ted Patrick, as well as a few others, came to talk about the content of the talk. John and I traded thoughts and clarifications sporadically during the rest of the evening, and he told me that it definitely helped to have heard more from me in person. On the whole, it seemed worthwhile. The only downside is that now Ryan is trying to get me to sign up for the next Ignite Seattle.

Social Networks, Small Worlds, Bainbridge Island

Yesterday I had lunch with Annette Moser-Wellman, who lives on Bainbridge Island and is interested in innovation, creativity, and leadership. One of the great things about Bainbridge is that there are lots of people here who are doing interesting stuff. The hard part is connecting with the people that are doing things that you might find interesting. Of course, this is a problem in the wider world, but on an island of 25,000 people, with a decidedly small town feel, it seems reasonable to expect that it might be easier than normal to make those connections. The interesting thing about my conversation with Annette, other than the content – which spanned open source, innovation, education, and the Singularity – was how it came about. Annette had read Scott Rosenberg’s Dreaming in Code and noticed that I lived on Bainbridge Island. From there, she hopped onto LinkedIn, which led to our lunch.

That morning, In anticipation of the lunch meeting, I was reflecting on the value of the various social networking sites, when Anne Zelenka twittered:

LinkedIn attracts all sorts of people who would never blog or join Facebook or use Twitter, so it adds a ton of value to online life.

A timely tweet, to be sure. The key insight, I think is that one way of measuring value of particular social networks is the groupings of people that they “reach”. My Firefox bookmarks toolbar has a growing pulldown for social networking sites: Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter, Dopplr, Upcoming, Facebook, and Pownce.

The ones that I’ve gotten actual value out of have been Flickr, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Flickr is completely an affinity group thing, so no surprises there. LinkedIn has a huge reach, as Anne points out, and perhaps because of its professional billing, has yielded several interesting meetings, and friendships. Not to mention job opportunities. There some interdisciplinary crossover, which I think is a plus. Twitter is very “hipster geek” focused, and has yielded new relationships with people like Ryan Stewart and Anne Zelenka, as well as being the impetus for the series of posts on Rich Internet Applications earlier this year.

In the end, for me it’s still all about finding your tribe. If physical book to virtual social network to real world lunch is what it takes, then I am game.