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Tue, 31 Jan 2006
Hmm. Tagging photos does work

Some of my pictures from Chinese New Year wound up on the NowPublic site. This happened because I tagged the photos with 'chinesenewyear2006'. This is the first time (that I am aware of) that someone has picked up any of my photos because I tagged them. A good incentive to keep on tagging my pictures even though I personally don't use the tags that much.

[22:45] | [computers/internet/microcontent] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sun, 29 Jan 2006
Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Last weekend I walked through San Francisco's Chinatown and ran into celebrations in preparation for Chinese New Year. Today, I went down to Bainbridge Island's (first) Chinese New Year celebration. Two of the girls are sick, so I ended up going alone. Although it was quite wet, I did manage to take some pictures.

[21:45] | [places/us/wa/bainbridge_island] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sat, 28 Jan 2006
Book: Blueprint for Action

In addition to all the photography books, and the Ruby books, I've also been reading "Blueprint for Action : A Future Worth Creating", the sequel to Thomas Barnett's "The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century", which I read earlier this year.

Barnett picks up where he left off and fleshes out his vision for a "future worth creating". There's not as much of a security (military) emphasis, by design, since this volume is intended to show the role of non-military actions, organizations and individuals in shrinking the Gap. I had momentary flashbacks to Friedman's "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century", especially since economic globalization is a more powerful theme in this volume.

Barnett spent a lot of time on China, approaching it from various angles throughout the book. I really got a sense of the personal connection to his own adopted Chinese daughter Vonne Mei, and the impact of her presence on his thinking. And of course, whenever he mentioned his adopted daughter, my thoughts would immediately run to my own half-Chinese daughters, and to the world that they will inherit. Pondering that puts much of the "important" news on tech.memeorandum.com into perspective. Being immersed in the technology "continent" of the blogosphere has a way of whacking you out of perspective, especially in these heady days of Web 2.0.

[23:56] | [books] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Fri, 27 Jan 2006
Search Champs Thoughts

I spent Tuesday night, Wednesday and most of Thursday at MSN's Search Champs V4. The event is a forum for Microsoft to get feedback on various search related initiatives before they come to market. I did not apply to participate in the event, and I was surprised when Brady Forrest called to invite me, especially since I'm not a Windows user.

I debated with myself over whether or not to attend. I imagined all the flak that I was going to take from open source people for going to a Microsoft sponsored event. I pondered the prospect of actually helping Microsoft improve their products, which could be a double edged sword. And I disliked the requirement of an NDA. So why did I decide to go?

It basically came down to this: if we want the world to be a better place, then people have to start to talk to each other, listen to each other and learn to trust each other. The folks at Microsoft extended a very generous invitation to me (and the other Search Champs). I've been impressed with the degree of openness that I've seen in the post blogging Microsoft, and with the people at Microsoft that I know personally. So I took this opportunity to try and take a step toward the world that I want to live in. Part of the problem with the old Microsoft era was the monopoly situation. In search and many ares of web / internet innovation, Microsoft is the trailer (they are #3 in search). So fostering competition for Google seems like the thing to do unless I want to live under a different company's monopoly, especially in light of Yahoo essentially dropping out of the search race.

As far as the technical content of what I saw, there's a lot that was under NDA, and I think that the public stuff has already been outed by some of the other search champs. I've given up trying to win the first to report on X race. Other people are more motivated to break the news and get the traffic and accompanying ad revenue (still no ads here).

There are two things that I did want to comment on.


Due to the recent DOJ subpoena of search engine logs, there was a discussion on this at the event. For more details and background, read Joshua Porter and some of the blogs that he links. The Microsoft folks were very credible when it came to the issue of whether they had done anything bad for users/consumers as far as releasing information that would allow people to be identified. Despite that fact, after last weeks media blitz, it appears to most of the world that Google is the company that will go to bat for users when it comes to privacy. The Microsoft folks talked about privacy policies and better ways of display privacy policies and so forth. But I didn't think they overcame the perception that they are kind of late on this issue. Even though I believe that Microsoft did the right thing in the recent case, after the conversation, I didn't feel supremely confident that they would go to the mat for users privacy. And that's the perception that they need in the market. For the record, though, I don't feel any better about Google or Yahoo on this score either.


Gary Flake, a Microsoft Technical fellow, gave a talk (ppt) predicting an Internet singularity. All the major points and many of the minor points have been well discussed in the various corners of the blogosphere that I hang out in, but the talk is worthwhile because it ties a whole lot of things together, and because it represents MSN's official vision for the Internet. He also announced a new unit at Microsoft, Live Labs, to be co-founded by MSN and Microsoft Research (MSR). While drawing from those two organizations, there are approximately 130 open positions for Live Labs. The Live Labs idea, mixing research and fast moving product teams seems very similar to Google. Google has a much smaller research group, but many people who would normally be in research groups are intermixed with product groups. It's interesting to me that Microsoft felt it necessary to have a new entity in order to accomplish the same kind of skill/role mix. Also, the Live Labs Manifesto emphasizes collaboration with the outside world, although I'm a little concerned that this will be weighted towards academic collaboration. I was particularly interested to note that Eric Horvitz who has done a lot of work related to the attention problem, is part of the Live Labs staff. Microsoft needs to kick it up a notch, and Live Labs is clearly one effort at making that happen.

I heard (and gave) some pretty blunt feedback on things that we were shown, and I have to say that the Microsoft folks really listened. It's not easy to hear someone say something negative about your work, but I heard many hallway conversations between the champs that said the same thing -- people really felt that they were being listened to. Of course, we'll all have to see if the feedback affects the products, but there was a real earnestness on the part of the Microsoft folks to hear what we had to say. I liked it.

I wasn't really sure what to expect as far as the other champs were concerned. I recognized a few names, but most of the other champs were folks that I was unfamiliar with. Because of that, I had no idea whether or not the majority of people were going to be hardcore Microsoft fans or something like that. But looked to me like there was a very broad distribution of people across the spectrum of positions, and I didn't really hear any sucking up to the people at Microsoft. It looked to me that Microsoft achieved their objective of getting tough feedback on the stuff that they wanted to show us. I definitely met some cool people - both champs and Microsoft employees.

As with most trips, I put up a few photos on Flickr.

[00:39] | [computers/internet/www] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Thu, 26 Jan 2006
This anniversary post is late

I've never been very good at remembering dates, but that's not why this post is late. Yesterday was our 14th anniversary, and I was at Microsoft's Search Champs v4 (more on that in another post). When Brady Forrest called to invite me, Julie graciously gave me permission to go. While there have been one or two times were we have celebrated our anniversary on a day (or days) not exactly on the day, it's not a habit that I want to get into regularly. Julie put up a pair of posts celebrating the day, but I didn't even know about them until Dori mentioned them to me this afternoon (regular blog reading went out the window due to the schedule).

In one of her posts, Julie quoted Guy Kawasaki, who advocated marrying later as a hedge against an uncertain future. Unsurprisingly, I agree with Julie and disagree with Guy. Marrying later isn't a hedge against the future because you never know how a person is going to change, and we are changed by our experiences in life together. I know that after 14 years, Julie and I are very changed by the experiences we've had, both the bad and the good. We're like a pair of vines that have grown up and gotten intertwined with each other, to the point (or so it seems to me) of inextricability. Not only are we still going strong after 14 years, but as we are branching out in life, we are also coming together. When we got married, I was the computer geek, and she was the biology geek, and there wasn't any overlap -- and I was fine with that. Fast forward, and things have changed. Next month, we're on a panel together at Northern Voice. Blogging has changed each of us and brought us together. When we first got married, Julie was the one who wanted a camera. I honestly didn't see the point. Now, I'm the one toting the huge camera, and photography has become a shared interest. This time I was the one who changed, but still we grew together and not apart. You never know where your shared future will go, but having the mindset of making it work has kept us growing closer and not apart.

Julie, it has been the sweetest and most unexpected adventure of my life to be with you. There is no way that I could have planned something better than what we have.

[21:34] | [family] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Tue, 24 Jan 2006
Dual Booting an Intel Mac - Are you insane?

I'm really surprised by the furor over dual (or even triple booting) Intel Macs. It's perfectly legitimate to want to run some Windows or Linux (or OpenBSD, or GNU Hurd, or L4 or Plan9) on your Intel based Macintosh. It's just that rebooting into a different operating system is so 20th century. The only explanation I can think of is that people are forgetting about technologies like VMWare, VirtualPC, Xen, and Bochs. When I used an Intel box regularly (not that long ago), I had triple boot. It was a nightmare. Managing all the different partition types, figuring out how to layout the partitions so they could boot, and so on. That was bad enough. But rebooting?!

I think we've all become brain damaged by how bad computers are today, to the point that rebooting a machine to get access to a few Windows or Linux apps sounds like a good idea. In my normal working configuration, the machine has been running for weeks. I have tons of applications open, I have tons of windows open and spatially arranged. That represents a week (or more) worth of working context. There's no way I want to destroy all of that just so I can run Microsoft Money (the only Windows app we still use -- besides a tax program) to update my financial information from online.

Fortunately, I don't think we'll have to do that. Some number of the virtualization systems that I mentioned above will come to market, and then we'll be able to run those other OS's and their apps in virtualized processes that are accessible from the OS X desktop environment. Now that would actually be a productivity increase. The only reason I can think of for dual booting would be to play Windows games, and I don't have the time to do that.

[00:26] | [computers/operating_systems/macosx] | # | TB | F | G | 15 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Mon, 23 Jan 2006
A step in the right direction

According the the Aperture home page, Apple is going to do the Universal Binary crossgrade for Aperture at no charge. This is much better than the $50 for the other Pro apps. Maybe someone over there is listening after all. I suppose I should be thanking the Lightroom team for that.

[22:47] | [computers/operating_systems/macosx] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sun, 22 Jan 2006
Congrats to Robert and Shel

Robert Scoble and Shel Israel's new book "Naked Conversations : How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers" is out. Having undergone the process myself, I know that writing a book is an arduous process, and finishing is definitely worth celebrating!

Julie has a brief story on the launch party for the book, which happened last night. Unfortunately, I was already scheduled to be at OSAF last week, including the annual post holiday party for OSAF and all the other Klein/Kapor non-profits.

So in lieu of my in-person attendance, congratulations to both Robert and Shel, along with wishes not only for some nice royalty checks, but for some great reports of businesses changing the way they talk with us customers.

[23:43] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Wed, 18 Jan 2006
Mon, 16 Jan 2006
How to recover crashed Linux volumes

Our Christmas day power outage finally ended happily. Recall that a Christmas day power outage corrupted an ext3 filesystem that was managed by the Linux LVM. e2retreive ran for almost 3 weeks and in the end was unable to actually recover any files. A bunch of other free/open source programs also failed to do the job.

My initial round of Googling turned up a pieces of software called Kernel by Nucelus Technologies. They offered a demo version of their software which would tell you if it could recover files, but not actually recover them (for that you had to cough up some money). Kernel runs on Windows, but there are versions for lots of operating systems. Given that I thought our problems were more due to LVM rather than ext3, I was a little skeptical that Kernel would be able to do much of anything. I'm glad that I was wrong. Kernel was able to recover all the files off of the disk (you better believe I paid), so we have all of our data back. The only thing I'm unhappy with is that Kernel didn't preserve the file dates, even though it was able to display the dates. Still, I'm very happy to have my data back, and Kernel definitely makes the recommended list. So if you have a corrupted ext3 partition under LVM, Kernel had a decent chance of working.

The Google research that I did has convinced me that using LVM is more dangerous than the convenience of it, so I'll definitely be reformatting the offending disk as plain old ext3.

[15:23] | [computers/operating_systems/linux] | # | TB | F | G | 3 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sun, 15 Jan 2006
Fri, 13 Jan 2006
Northern Voice


Looks like we will be going to Northern Voice again. Julie is giving the opening keynote, and she and I are on a panel titled "Blogs and the Bedroom: Blogging and Relationships". We had a great time last year, and boy did we like Vancouver...

Apparently it's filling up fast - check out Julie's post for more details.

[12:52] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Thu, 12 Jan 2006
The Google Earth Sightseer

Google Earth for Mac is out now. When you download, you get the option to subscribe to a mailing list called "The Sightseer". Another mailing list?! C'mon Google, where's the RSS?

[23:18] | [computers/internet/microcontent] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Wed, 11 Jan 2006
Why we took the kids off of Python

[ Julie posted briefly about this -- here's my side of the story ]

Shortly after Mind Camp in November, the girls were really getting interested in doing some more Python stuff (their interest had tailed off a bit, and our crazy summer meant that we didn't get to spend as much time on this as I wanted). The two older girls both wanted their shot at the computer, which made it harder for them to get a long session in front of the machine. Also, the Thinkpad X20 that they had been using developed some odd behavior where it would shut down instead of going to sleep, which meant that the kids were losing their work semi frequently, which was frustrating.

Up to this point, they had been working by clicking a Windows shortcut that opened Python in a DOS box. From there, they could type in the commands to start up turtle graphics and then just enter their commands at the interpreter prompt. The only computer "literacy" required was turning on the power, logging in, clicking a shortcut, and learning to deal with windows being selected or not. Now, they were going to have to learn about files.

The new regimen involved another Windows shortcut to pop up Notepad. The girls then had to learn to save a file, switch windows (on purpose, not by accident) to the Python interpreter window, reload the module, and look at the Tk output window. I found myself barraged by questions that had nothing to do with turtle geometry or programming. All the questions were about the environment -- forgetting to save a file, getting windows out of focus or behind each other, forgetting to reload the module, etc. I suppose they were learning computer "literacy", but it really reminded me as to how much stuff you need to know in order to do some simple programming. In a way, it was easier when I was doing AppleSoft Basic on the Apple II -- no separate editor, no windows to lose or have out of focus.

At Mind Camp, Todd Blanchard brought by a copy of "Squeak: Learn Programming with Robots", and the girls got excited by paging through it. It looked pretty good, and Squeak/Smalltalk certainly has the programming constructs that I want my kids to be exposed to straight off (at least if they are going to be programmers). Also, one of the original motivations for Smalltalk was for allowing kids to do programming and simulations, and that heritage seems to have carried through into the Squeak community. For a great/depressing look at some of the learning applications, you can check out this video from ETech 2003.

Some caveats. Using the "Robots" book involves using a customized Squeak image that has been tailored for educational purposes. Some might consider that "cheating", but I'm looking for the best environment for my kids to learn about essential computing concepts, so I don't really care if it's "cheating" or not. Also, using Squeak doesn't completely get you out of the file problem because each girl still needs her own image to avoid stomping on her sister's work. But the overhead is much lower. Michaela, who is 5, came to me and told me about all the stuff that she did in Squeak - creating multiple robots via direct manipulation and then issuing a stream of Smalltalk commands - that she was able to figure out on her own (with a little help from the book).

[22:41] | [education] | # | TB | F | G | 14 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Forgot my blogoversary again

This is the second year in a row that I forgot my blogoversary. I only remembered because I was trying to remember something that wrote about a while back. This means I actually looked at the sidebar of the blog and saw the year archives running back to 2003. So that's three full years of writing a lot of posts (this one is number 1456!).

So... happy blogoversary to me, a few days late.

[22:36] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
The Stevenote - it didn't work

I escaped from the Stevenote unaltered by the Reality Distortion Field. At no time did I reach for my wallet.

The software announcements were completely unsurprising. Last year I would have been excited about iPhoto improvements. This year, due to Aperture and Lightroom, it's a little harder to get excited. I did like the stuff about photocasting. It's nice to see the use of RSS to deliver pictures, although anybody using Flickr or any other such site will yawn. The more interesting thing is the way that an iPhoto that subscribes to the photocast can use the photos just like any other photo. Now that's microcontent for you.

If I were interested in podcasting, then the new features in Garageband sound really attractive. The only problem is that I barely have enough time to crank out blog posts these days, much less the additional work to do a good podcast. And somehow it seems to me that a lame podcast is much worse than a lame blog post.

Ok, on to the hardware stuff.

I think that the crossgrade stuff for the Pro apps is completely reasonable except for Aperture, which has only been out a month. It's hard to see this as anything but sticking it to your early adopters.

The iMac announcement was a big surprise -- almost all the rumor sites got this wrong, and from the point of view of keeping Apple in cash, this is probably a good decision. I almost always ignore iMac announcements, because I'm mostly interested in the "Pro" series machines.

So last week I wrote a post about what I was looking for in an Intel Powerbook, although at the time I wrote it, I firmly believed that Apple would not announce a Powerbook today. How did Apple do against my list?

  • Dual Core CPU - Check. Except that the top clock for the MacBook is lower than the top for the iMac. Isn't this supposed to be a Pro machine? If you look at the Core Duo lineup, the MacBook models use the Core Duo T2300 and T2400 which are at the knee of the pricing curve. There are two clock speeds above these two models, but the price goes up significantly. I'm a little disappointed to not have the option to buy the fastest possible CPU.
  • Big Fast Disks - Uhh. 100G 5400 RPM standard? Not really what I had in mind, although I had summer of 2006 in mind, and you can't get some of the drives that I was thinking of just yet. Still, you could have at least given us the 7200rpm disk standard.
  • User service able hard disk - No way. The case is basically the 15" Powerbook case (more on this below), and that case is hardly what I'd call user serviceable.
  • Higher end GPU - Radeon Mobility X1600 - I'm not sure about this, but I think the Radeon Mobility x800 is the top of the line (but probably also sucks battery). At least it can drive a 30" display
  • Slimmer and lighter - slimmer, slightly. Lighter, nope - the same. The Lenovo T60 is 4.8lbs.
  • More RAM - nope. The MacBook only takes 2G
  • At least 5 hours of battery - ?? - This is looking scary. No battery life time appears in any Apple document that I could find. Not only that, the MacBook is using a slightly larger battery.
  • Announcement of x86 virtualization software - nope - The datasheets for Core Duo say that the Intel Virtualization Technology is in there. It's still early, so no biggie
  • Announcement of number of apps going Universal - no numbers were given, so we're still early here too. VersionTracker is now tracking universal binaries on a separate page
  • At least 1 firewire port - yep, but it's FW400.

Kind of disappointing. There is huge pent up demand for a reasonably performing notebook, and the MacBook Pro is certainly that. It looks like Apple did the most expedient thing that it could, which is to take an Intel 945PM chipset and stick it into a PowerBook case, and add a small number bells and whistles (like the built in iSight and remote control). That explains the ExpressCard slot, and the FW400. If I didn't have to measure the MacBook Pro against something like the Lenovo T60 (see preview), which has 5 hours of battery life with a 2.16GHz Core Duo T2600 in a 4.8lb package, I might be happy. But this is hardly the top to bottom revamp of the pro notebook line that you'd expect for the Intel transition. And let's not even discuss the name.

There are a host of little details which swing either way. I'm happy about ExpressCard, because it's going to be better in the long term, and my next machine (especially if I'm paying) needs to last a bunch of years. I'm ambivalent about the FW400 choice -- reality is that most peripherals are probably FW400, and the amount of engineering needed to get FW800 working was probably more than could be safely done in time for a MacWorld launch. There's no modem, but I haven't used one of those the entire time I've had my Powerbook. If I really needed something like that, I'd be looking for EVDO, anyway. Odd choice to change the display resolution of the LCD panel -- was it just to get space for the iSight? There's no dual layer DVD burner, which is a regression from the Powerbook lineup.

There's no 12" or 17" - so this isn't the full pro notebook lineup, which leads me to believe that this is a transitional product that helps satisfy pent up demand on a high margin product. It's going to be interesting to see how the rest of the lineup shapes up. I'd really like to get something better, and while the 15" MacBook Pro is a lot better than what I have now, it didn't hit the wishlist, which means that I'll have to be content to wait a few more months. In the meantime, I'll be consoling myself with the thought that others will be blazing the way on the transition trail, and hoping that a 15" Merom based MacBook Pro is going to come earlier than Christmas.

Despite all that, I am pleased that the transition has begun, and that Apple thinks they can do it all in a year, well ahead of schedule.

[00:21] | [computers/operating_systems/macosx] | # | TB | F | G | 12 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Mon, 09 Jan 2006
Lightroom vs Aperture

Well, we haven't even had the Stevenote, and already MacWorld is interesting. So Adobe has released a beta of Lightroom, which is a direct competitor to Aperture. I've played around with it a little bit, and it's definitely beta. If I hadn't seen Aperture, I'd be impressed.

I suppose that if I were cynical I'd say that we now have two beta quality pro photographer tools to choose from. But I actually don't think that . I am not one of the many people (and there do appear to be many) who are having problems with Aperture. It is a little sluggish on my Powerbook, but other than that, it is fitting the bill. From the little playing that I did with Lightroom, some things are faster than on Aperture, but there are also some things which are kind of slow. The areas that are obviously weaker (at the moment) in Lightroom are metadata/keyword handling, and project style organization. The areas that are obviously stronger are in the develop module -- all the stuff related to adjusting an image -- and I have to same from a quick look, that it does look a lot stronger in this respect.

Lightroom puts a lot of pressure on Apple to improve Aperture and to do it pretty quickly. And the reverse is also true (that's why we're seeing a public beta). Unfortunately, I see Apple being at a disadvantage and here are some reasons why:

1. Apple has already released Aperture, so people have to pay a decent amount of money in order to get it, and it has some pretty widely publicized flaws. Lightroom is free until the end of 2006 (roughly -- and I wouldn't be surprised to see it slide into 2007 -- it's going to be interesting to see whether the introduction of the Windows version slows down the velocity of the Mac version). So this is probably going to blunt sales of Aperture unless Apple does a lot to address the problems in Aperture, and do it visibly, and continuously. People are going to see Lightroom visibly improve over the next year. Will Aperture users see the same? Let me put it this way. If I don't, that's going to play a large factor in whether I will be an Aperture customer on the day that Lightroom ships.

2. I (who have had no major issues with Aperture) have been very disappointed with how Apple has handled the problems with Aperture. Yes, we got a 1.0.1 update pretty fast, and I hope that's indicative of what we'll continue to see. However, that's not enough. There are no Apple responses in the Apple support forums. Threads there have been closed/removed (which looks bad for Apple even if participants in the thread were violating the terms of service). There is no indication that customers requests/issues/etc are being heard. Contrast this with the Lightroom forums, where the developers are out and soliciting feedback and participating in the community. This is pretty important to me, and while we'll have to see what the Lightroom community looks like, the forums already seem to be going in a good direction.

3. Adobe is loudly saying that they are going to make an SDK available. This is also highly important, because it provides a way for Lightroom to grow. It will be interesting to see whether Adobe can provide the SDK in a way that allows for a user innovation toolkit.

4. It's going to be much easier for Lightroom to integrate with Photoshop -- something that some Aperture users are complaining about

On the feature, polish and implementation front Apple and Adobe are now racing against each other. But from where I sit, Apple is way behind on dealing with its user and developer (if there is an SDK or plugin API) community. I like Aperture, and from what I've seen of Lightroom, there are still aspects of Aperture that I prefer. But Apple really needs to work on the community around Aperture. As I've written in previous posts, I'm not opposed to the idea of paying for software. But when I do, I expect the producer to talk to me, to listen to my issues, and to do something about it.

[23:50] | [computers/operating_systems/macosx] | # | TB | F | G | 4 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sun, 08 Jan 2006
Flickr friends

Flickr is commonly held up as one of poster children for tagging. Now I like tagging quite a lot (see my del.icio.us if you don't believe me), but for me, tagging is not really the reason that I use Flickr. I use Flickr as a way to "force" myself to think about photography every day. The way that I do this is by subscribing to Flickr content via RSS, and you can subscribe to just about anything on Flickr using RSS, except for say, the interesting photos (cough, cough). I'm not really interested in topical slices (regardless of who did the slicing) of photostreams, which is what tagging gives you (although I do appreciate those who have tagged their pictures with the particular lens that they used to make the picture). About the only time is use tags is to search for conference pictures. I'm taken in by particular people -- their style, their subjects, their settings. It's all about the people in Flickr.

Which brings me to an annoying thing about Flickr. You can add people to your contacts list and then subscribe to a single feed of pictures from the people in your contacts list. The problem is that the RSS feed only gives you the single most recent picture from each person. That just doesn't make it for me, so the other day, I went through and subscribed to the individual photostream feeds from people in my contacts list. There ought to be a setting somewhere...

[22:29] | [computers/internet/microcontent] | # | TB | F | G | 6 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Sat, 07 Jan 2006
More photography books

My raiding of the library's photography books continues apace. Here are the good ones from the more recent batch.

"Color Confidence: The Digital Photographer's Guide to Color Management" (Tim Grey)

The most helpful chapter in this book was chapter one on the "Foundations of Color". After that there were chapters on displays, printers, scanners, cameras and the ins and outs of color as related to those devices. In the chapter on displays there was a comparison of the various color calibration tools for monitors and so forth, which I found helpful. The book is very Photoshop oriented, which makes sense but is less useful to me since I don't have Photoshop. I'm sure that lots of the ideas will carry over, and at least I feel that I understand the basics of color management now.

"The Portrait Photographer's Guide to Posing" (Bill Hurter)

This book isn't that long, but I found it to be very useful. There were lots of little tips about things that make people look better when you photograph them. Many are kind of common sense if you think about them, but if you haven't spent much time photographing or critically watching people (which I haven't) it's nice to have all these things collected up in one place. I've read enough photography books to get nervous when I see sections on lenses or composition, because in lots of books those sections are recapitulations of stuff that has been done in many other books. However in this book, the treatment of both lenses and composition was done in way that kept to the theme of portraiture, and I found that practical application to be helpful. Since I don't know much, this book was really helpful. I have no idea how I'll feel about it once I've seen some other books (as always, book recommendations are welcome).

From the list of contributing photographers I discovered Zuga.net, which has some video clips of photographers in action. I spent some time watching some of the clips over the holidays. It was really useful to watch photographers in action, as opposed to just reading about it.

[16:35] | [photography] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

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