Archive for February, 2004

Normon Rockwell Photoshops

February 29, 2004 in Paper Geek | Comments (0)

I decided it was time to dust off some of the comedy Photoshop images I’ve done over time and publish them here on my blog. Most of these were submitted to another site, and some of them were published there. I’ve got enough of them to keep up a good stream of daily posts if nothing else comes to me in the meantime.

I’ve gone cool on all the Photoshop stuff recently (although I should admit that I use Paint Shop Pro and not Adobe Photoshop – Photoshop is too rich for my tastes and I don’t want to warez it, and The Gimp sucks), but I was big into it for a while.

Anyway, one of the series I worked on was to take Norman Rockwell paintings and Photoshop them, so I’ll start with those. This one isn’t much, but it will be better if I do the crappy ones first.


Good news, Bad news

February 27, 2004 in General,Rants | Comments (0)

The good news is that Amazon.com is getting sued for patent infringement by some company called Soverain. I think this is great because I’ve been pissed at Amazon ever since Bezos patented “one click” purchasing. How these kinds of things ever got awarded “patents” I’ll never understand. They aren’t “inventions,” they’re just processes.

Anyway, I digress.

The bad news is that these are patents for “Network Sales Systems.” Again, a process (the buying and selling of something over a network, using computers, instead of a brick and mortar sale using cash registers or a mail-order sale using phone representatives or order forms). Amazon never did much with their “one click” patent except to browbeat Barnes & Noble, a direct competitor. The litigous lot at Soverain, should they win at this suit, could go after anyone who makes shopping cart software. This stinks mightily.

At some point this has got to change.


Garmin Forerunner versus FitSense

February 25, 2004 in General | Comments (0)

I noticed that someone found my blog by searching for the terms “forerunner fit-sense.” I’m guessing that they were trying to decide between the two, so I thought I would weigh in with my recommendation.

A couple of the people in my running group have the FitSense devices, and I recall that I used to envy them greatly. However, while I thought they were cool, I didn’t like that you had to use stride length to calibrate the FitSense – all the Bluetooth technology tricks in the book won’t make the FitSense any more than a glorified pedometer. If anything affects your stride length (fatigue, injury, etc.), then the FitSense will misreport your distances. When my two friends run the same course, neither one crosses a mile mark at the same place. You almost have to go to the track to get a good calibration, although you can use math to correct it if you run a course of known length and get the wrong reading in the end.

I started looking around at GPS watches and discovered the Forerunner. It wasn’t quite shipping yet, so I waited around until it was available. These days I detect a bit of watch-envy from my FitSense-sporting buddies. I’m glad I waited. As I was dropping the Forerunner back in my gym bag the other day, I remember thinking that it was the coolest piece of electronic gear I’ve gotten in a long, long time. If you’re trying to decide between the two, go for the Forerunner.

Garmin has finally released the Garmin Forerunner Logbook Software that goes with the Forerunner. It allows you to upload your training history to your personal computer and view graphs and maps of your performance. You’ll need the logbook package and the accompanying firmware upgrade. They’ve fixed a few bugs, modifed the firmware to work with the Logbook software, and added some interval training modes to the Virtual Trainer. All very cool.

Don’t get me wrong, the FitSense is a fantastic device, but for about the same money, the Forerunner is a lot easier and more accurate – and the cool factor is much higher.


World of Ends

February 11, 2004 in General | Comments (0)

An interesting article I ran across on Slashdot. Talks about what the internet is and isn’t, and how so many companies keep repeating the same mistakes when it comes to understanding the internet.


So that’s why they changed the name…

February 10, 2004 in General | Comments (0)

I’ve been tinkering with the Mozilla Firebird Browser for a couple of weeks now. Seems like they had just given it that name, and now they’ve changed it again, to Mozilla Firefox. Turns out that “firebird” is a hotly contested name when it comes to titling technology properties. Currently the Firebird Project has the name and they weren’t too happy about Mozilla muscling in on it. They are now, though, since Mozilla changed the name.

Of course, I’d never heard of the Firebird Project, so this probably gave them some good exposure. I’ll have to see how it compares with MySQL.

My heart goes out to Mozilla – we’ve been going through a few trademark issues of our own here lately. It’s difficult to find a unique name anymore. Better to invent a word than to try to use an existing one – they’ve almost all been used already.


All I need is another programming language to learn…

February 9, 2004 in General,Programming | Comments (0)

But I just can’t help myself.

I was searching for something else on Amazon when I stumbled across some book about using Lua for game programming. Now the book apparently sucked, but the language appears to be pretty powerful, especially for game programming and application extensions.

Since most of my projects tend to string together a whole slew of different technologies, anything that can help me glue them together more tightly is of interest. I currently use Ruby for scripting my metadata code generation tools, but Lua sounds like it can be compiled and delivered as a standalone executable more cleanly. You can do this with Ruby, but it packs the whole interpreter into the executable. In Windows this all tends to break down if you hook the wrong API’s, most specifically any of the ODBC stuff (although I haven’t tried it lately).

Anyway, something else to think about and poke around with in my “spare time.”


Two Blanks against the Trend

February 6, 2004 in General | Comments (0)

Ran across this link on Slashdot. Apparently this band (Eisbrecher)has actually included 2 blank CDR’s with the album artwork printed on them so that the customer can burn 2 legal backup copies of the disc. I’ve always had sort of mixed feelings about music copying – I believe that the musician should get paid for their effort, but I don’t know that the record companies properly represent that belief for me when I make a purchase. These guys are making a statement about how music buyers are villainized.

I wonder if if would have been cheaper just to put 3 copies of the disc in the package instead of making a separate print run on blank CDR’s.