12.31.10

Kodachrome

Posted in History, Life at 2:07 am by

(Generally nostalgic and antiquarian photography bits are left to the realm of Jeff, q.v. twitter and tumblr, but today we make an exception—after all, Kodachrome has a Utah state park and a Paul Simon song named after it.)

So Kodachrome has given us its last image and now is only a thing for the ages. I shot but one roll of Kodachrome, quite by accident; I normally used Ektachrome when shooting slides, and I can’t recall how I ended up with Kodachrome that day in late 1994 or early 1995. Perhaps the store was out of Ektachrome, or I grabbed the wrong package in my haste.

I’m sorry to admit, though, that the roll of Kodachrome was wasted making slides of line-art maps, David Roberts prints I’d brought back from Cairo, and, the horror!, photographs taken with a cheap disposable camera (carried, for whatever reason, to supplement my actual camera stuffed with Ektachrome during that trip to Egypt), including one shot taken through an airplane window! Worse (for me, at the time), because of my mix-up, I missed my presentation date due to the lengthier processing time required for Kodachrome. (It was, however, a mistake I never repeated.)

Still, I felt then the most I’d ever feel like a “serious” photographer and lecturer, using the school library’s rig to mount my camera and shoot the additional slides I needed to fill in gaps in my presentation’s slide lineup. And, as long as Kodachrome holds up, we’ll have those nice bright colors of random bits of Egypt, ready for projection on the nearest screen, and all of the memories they captured and preserve.

Kodachrome

12.30.10

Bothans

Posted in History, Life at 11:35 pm by

I’m not sure why, exactly, but every time I see or hear someone talking about Bothans, I always end up thinking of these two Bothas instead.

Reminder: Year 2011 Bug Contest

Posted in Camino, History at 12:12 am by

This is a late (but not quite as late as last year!) reminder of the “pool” for the 2011 installment of the annual “we break our site for your browser when the new year rolls around” broken browser-sniffing contest (the first 2011 Gecko browsers will be available in about 54 hours from now).

Since perennial contender Yahoo! finally cleaned up its act last year, the 2010 dodo prize went to FCKEditor, the first winner that affected entire swaths of the web rather than just a single website or a collection of an organization’s websites. (FCKEditor is a WYSIWYG text editor implementation for web pages used by many websites and by common web applications/web-based software packages for creating and maintaining websites.)

However, I’m hopeful that, after so many years, this entire contest will soon go the way of the dodo. Between renewed efforts to remove the build date from the Gecko user-agent string, evangelism associated with the many user-agent string changes in Gecko 2.0, and simple exhaustion of the number of possible contenders (after six years, and with the tens place in the year having been filled with a new number last year for the first time since many websites were created), I’m (overly) optimistic that people’s regexps have finally been audited. :P

Still, get your picks in now for both the site/company/piece of the “web software stack” that will break and the reporter of the Tech Evangelism bug who notices said site/company/piece of web software. No actual prizes will be awarded, but both winners will be recognized in a future entry in this journal.

And remember: only you can prevent bad browser-sniffing! :P

12.17.10

Wevah Hardware Day

Posted in Life at 11:49 pm by

For as long as I’ve known Wevah, one of my favorite things has been watching as his ADC hardware discount was nearing expiration and the apparent scramble to decide upon and order a new Mac with the discount.

So sad that this was the last one:(

12.16.10

Camino Tips: Going Flash-Free (and Cheating using Google Chrome)

Posted in Camino, Links at 1:23 am by

(Hey, look at that; Camino Planet is working normally again, which means my posts are appearing again.)

Once again it’s been over a year since the last post in the Camino Tips series, but we’re back with another one.

Recently, going “Flash-free” (and cheating by using Google Chrome when you hit a Flash-only website) has become all the rage on the web; you can do so in Camino, too, with a little help from AppleScript and/or Automator.

Short version:

  1. Uninstall the Flash Player plug-in by moving Flash Player.plugin and flashplayer.xpt from /Library/Internet Plug-ins to some other location.
  2. Install one of the solutions below to facilitate opening the current page in Google Chrome (which ships with its own built-in copy of the Flash plug-in).

Toolbar Script solution

Carlo Gandolfi (aka gand, of FreeSMUG and Portable Camino fame) wrote a short AppleScript that can be used as a toolbar script; if you’re on a page with Flash that you need to be able to view, you can click the toolbar button to open the page in Google Chrome.

For more information about this method and to download the toolbar AppleScript, see Going Flash-Free with Camino on FreeSMUG.

Automator-based Service solution

Philippe Wittenbergh, always mindful of the keyboard accessibility of features and tricks, adapted the toolbar script solution into an Automator-based Service for Mac OS X 10.6 (it can probably be adapted for use with ThisService for users on Mac OS X 10.5); if you’re on a page with Flash that you need to be able to view, you can use the keyboard shortcut you’ve assigned to the Service to open the page in Google Chrome.

For more information about this method and to download the Automator workflow, see Workflow for a nearly Flash-less online life with Camino at ::[Empty Spaces]::.

Thanks to Carlo and Philippe for putting these tools and their instructions together (it’s something I had wanted to do for quite a while now, but, as usual of late, never found the time to do)!

12.02.10

Things I learned last week…

Posted in Life, Travel at 6:09 pm by

Last week I was on <gasp> vacation and was completely offline for the longest period of time since our trip to Norway and Germany in 2008. Even better, I was out in the country (the undeveloped mountains of western North Carolina, to be precise) and (mostly) away from the cities, development, and commercialism. It was nice.

So while I wasn’t learning new and exciting things via Daring Airlinepilot, I did manage to enrich my knowledge in a few areas:

  • Apparently it is possible to win the National Gingerbread House Competition™ without making a gingerbread house at all (tune in to Good Morning America on Christmas Eve to see more if you’re a fan of elaborate food-and-candy structures).
  • There are so-called “Black Friday” crowds even at historic country stores in small communities tucked into out-of-the-way valleys.
  • It’s possible to be in a cabin in the mountains with outside temperatures in the 30s (°F), no heat on, sleeping bag unzipped, and still be sweating all night!
  • My body told me that I’m now too old to be able to sleep on hard ground with only a closed-cell foam pad under my sleeping bag. :(