Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 28, 2007 in General
The Nokia N95 is going to be available very soon. As everyone near me knows I’ve been bollocking on about it for ages. However today I really found a time when I could have used it.
On the way to the London Web Standards Group we got a bit lost. The N95 has GPS and a map client. It would have been a trivial matter to find where we were and where we wanted to be. I may not have had many gigs of music to listen while lost but we might have got there a bit quicker.
Symbian has been around a good while, and while the Symbian develop tools suck (and I really mean that) there are things like pyS60 which makes development for Symbian smart phones a joy. iPhone will apparently allow no hacking.
Finally, the N95 will have a 5 mega-pixel camera with auto-focus. One of my pet projects has involved reading barcodes on phones. It’s a really pain with fixed focus to mess with the image to find the barcode. Auto-focus helps that a lot. The iPhone has a 2 mega-pixel fixed focus camera. I haven’t had anything that bad since 2003.
While I love my Apple Mac I’m just tempted to blow off the flashiness of the iPhone and go for technology I already know will add to the way I live my life.
Apple, iphone, nokia, n95
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 28, 2007 in Personal
I’ve been married almost a year. This next week and a half is going to be one of the longest times since then I’ve been without, Rosemarie, my wife. While I’m looking forward to going to California for the first time, I’m also going to miss my wife like crazy.
I’m sure she knows this, and if not I hope she sees. When you live with someone every day not seeing them is strange. My wife is my strength, when I’m down she reminds me of who I can be when I try. She is someone I went to be there to love and look after when she needs it. Someone creative who makes wonderful art and make me feel creative just being around her. She has so much energy, she dances and sings around our flat and it makes me feel alive.
So, to the guys I’m spending a week in California with, I know it’s going to be fun, but I sure wish one of you was my wife.
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 28, 2007 in General
Thanks to Big Stu for helping me fix my MySQL server this morning. I will back posting all the stuff I’ve been writing. More RAM has also been added to the box. The server is on the mend!
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 27, 2007 in Mac
A while back I did a post about Trimthefat which is a great GUI for lipo. It strips universal binaries of the architecture you don’t use to save space.
Another application I’ve found that is really handy for getting saving wasted space is Youpi Optimizer. While I wish I was a bit more multicultural unfortunately I only speak English. Youpi Optimizer deletes language packs you don’t need from applications. It will scan a folder for application language packs. Most people should just select their applications folder, but it works well on, say, the developer tools.
Simply select the language bundles you want to delete by checking the boxes.
Watch the space you are creating. All told I think Youpi has saved me over a gigabyte of space.
Mac, youpi optimizer
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 26, 2007 in Mac
I love EarthDesk it’s really neat. However it costs money and I am a cheap bastard. OSX Planet is an open source application that does the same thing. Some great things like 30 minute updating cloud cover, earthquake points, volcanoes, even satellites!
I love the idea that a community can make something like this that is free and yet updates with regular accurate data. This is what more FOSS should be. OSX Planet is available
on Sourceforge here.
Mac, earthdesk, osxplanet
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 25, 2007 in Mac
I keep posting about things I want to build in Cocoa, not stuff I have, but I promise that I’m going to get there and make some of these.
Today’s post refers back to the one I did on Thursday. I’ve been using a sticky notes in the top right hand corner of my screen for a while (yes I mean stickies.app). On it I keep the top couple of tasks I am working on. It’s all very GTD or something.
The problem, as it normally is, is that I am essentially a lazy being. I want the computer to do all the work not just part of it. So what I’m looking to make is yet another Mac based GTD app. This one is simple though, a list of tasks for a context. You choose your context and the reminder app will show the your current task in a corner of your screen. You can either finish it or mark it blocked by clicking on it. At that point it will get you another task and you can keep working, no mucking around. You can also change contexts and it will swap the stack of items to the new context and start displaying those instead.
This would suit the way I work really well because having a constant reminder of the goal I’m working to helps me maintain focus, and work in a directed way to achieve that goal.
I’d also like to combine this with something which will work on my mobile phone. I have a Nokia N80 which runs the Symbian OS. I would love to be able, really need to be able to sync my tasks in each context with my mobile phone. Since it’s with me everywhere having my tasks on my phone would allow me to really integrate GTD into my life.
Mac, Productivity, gtd, gettingthingsdone
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 24, 2007 in Semantic Web
So I’ve been looking around for some things which might make good Semantic Web demos. I went back to one of my old favourites for another look. So here is the FOAF co-depiction path between myself and Frank Sinatra. Libby Miller’s database of photos (mostly from geeky conferences) can connect me to Frank Sinatra via Hixie, Chaals, Timbl, Bill Clinton and finally JFK.
While this demo is already quite nice, I’d like to remove some of the less obvious fields (like hashed FOAF mboxes) and mash it up into something like Flickr. Possibly a good use for machine tags. I feel this kind of thing could really swing people in favour of Semantic Web. We just need to carefully constrain what we do by putting people off with crazy maths or enterprisiness.
And yes, I know I look fat in those photos. I’ve lost weight since then. Lots of weight.
semanticweb, codepiciton, flickr
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 23, 2007 in Personal
For the first time in ages I was so glad it was a Friday. I love my job, but this week there has been a lot on. I think partly our estimation of some part of the project has sucked. Partly I’ve just not been able to focus for various reasons.
What I am looking forward to is my weekend suburbanality (not a real word). I’m going to go to Ealing Farmer’s Market and buy some very fresh vegetables, I’ll probably have a coffee out with my wife. Strangely, that’s how I like it. After such a busy week it feels good to look forward to the mundane.
All I can say, is wherever you live look forward to the routines you have which let you share time and life with your loved ones.
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 22, 2007 in Mac
This week has been chaos for me. I’m trying desperately to rein in all the things I have and to find some focus on the tasks in hand. When everything is going to pot, how does one avoid being distracted?
I find now more than ever I wish I had a proper GTD system in place to guide me along. I’ve started using sticky notes in the top corner of my screen. Nothing major, just the next 3 tasks I have to do. It helps me focus.
I’m also using Pierre Chatel’s excellent Sidenote a lot. It’s a pop-out bar which contains simple text notes. However, I find the simple keyboard navigable interface makes it work for me. I can keep notes on the current project without getting scatter brained, and keep a couple of useful things on hand as well such as passwords I’m learning¹.
I’m hoping some of this stuff is going to make a difference, but I really need to get a cocoa bluetooth interface hacked up so I can sync notes onto my s60 phone. It’s really stupid there is nothing to do it right now. I’m sure other people are also gagging for it too. Actually, just transferring any files would be nice, like photos. Why the hell do I have to manually grab my photos and upload them to Flickr by hand?!
¹ For a few things I like really horrific passwords. We are talking 20 characters of case sensitive alphanumerics plus UNIX characters. I learn them by rote, normally takes me a few days, so it’s good to have them on hand. After that they are securely deleted. I don’t keep my passwords on post-it notes on my screen!
AppleScript, Mac, Productivity, Photos, gtd, gettingthingsdone, cocoa, s60
Posted by sh1mmer on Feb 21, 2007 in General
So today I lost my card, bit annoying but no big deal. I called Barclays to cancel it. Hung around on the phone a while, which was nice. I got a very friendly chap called Paul. He took my account number and sort code, read me my name, read me the first couple of lines of my address. I helpfully agreed to this information. Then he told me my card was blocked and another on it’s way.
Now that’s what I call connivence! I can easily cancel any Barclay customer’s card without the effort of phishing or bin diving any more information than their account number and sort code. I can even get extra information like their name and home address.
Security, banks, barclays