Archive for 2007

Least interesting Flickr photos

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Looking at my Flickr photos it’s easy to see what my 200 most interesting photos are. However, if you have more than 200 photos in your photostream how do you work out what is your least interesting flickr photo? With a little help from the Flickr API you can build a page that will show you your 5 least interesting photos.Try it out and see what your least interesting photos are.

Apple security update 2007-004 issues

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

I just applied Apple security update 2007-004 to my powerbook (an ancient G3 Pismo running 10.3.9) & now when it wakes from sleep it doesn’t recognise my airport network. After a reboot it detects the network correctly, but once it goes to sleep again the airport network is lost. Turning the airport card on and off again does nothing, the only thing that resolves the issue is a reboot.If you are running 10.3.9, just be aware of what might happen when you install this update. It’s not a show stopper, but just really inconvenient.Update: 2007-05-02 Apple just released security update 2007-004 v1.1 and that seems to have fixed the problem.

Powerpoint mental model

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Last Friday I gave a presentation to the participants of Picture Australia on the redesign I have been working on. I always get a little nervous before a talk, but then once I start talking the nerves disappear and everything is fine.Today I had a bad start to the presentation. I was standing in front of the lectern with a mouse and my powerpoint presentation ready to go. I click the mouse to start the presentation & what appears on the screen, but the right click menu! Why is it that as soon as the mouse is taken away from the context of the computer, it is so easy to make a mistake like this. The mental model for the mouse becomes a previous/next series of buttons. To move to the next slide, the natural mapping is to click the right mouse button, bringing up the dreading menu & grinding the presentation to a halt. I wasn’t the only presenter who had problems with this, at least a third of the presenters made the same mistake.Maybe it was just the way that things were set up, the laptop was out of reach. Maybe if it had been closer to the lectern the relationship with the mouse would have been there and things would have gone smoothly.

Travel and the mobile web

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Over the past few years I’ve done a bit of travelling and in the process have made some informal observations regarding the mobile web.In 2005 I visited Egypt. Everywhere you looked there were satellite dishes. If you were in the city or the desert every house had at least one dish poking through the rubble. At one place I could access the internet via a 4800bps dial up modem, but I always had mobile access. Everyone relied mobile phones. Internet access was the domain of the tourist.In August last year I visited Indonesia. Most of the people I met had mobile phones and many had multiple mobile phones strapped to their belts. Many of them weren’t sleek modern mobile phones, they were the chunky communicator style phones. They all spent their time talking and sending SMS messages, rather than using them for email (I assumed the full keyboad made it quicker to type) or web browsing.During my travels if I was lucky I could use email via my phone (a Sony Ericsson T610), but trying to browse the web was a painful process.One my return to Australia I was given a second hand Sony Ericsson V600i so upgraded and signed up to a 3G account. My world changed. I downloaded Opera mini and suddenly I could easily browse the web, check my emails and upload photos to Flickr. The convenience of having Google Maps available at any time has been worth it’s weight in gold.I really haven’t spent enough time browsing many pages (as the data rates are horrendously expensive), but the immediately obvious thing is that web sites work much better on a mobile device if they are built using valid HTML and CSS, use semantic markup. Even saying this, it’s definitely not an easy experience. It really feels like it’s 1994 again and I’ve just fired up the beta release of Netscape 1.0 – not elegant, but you can see the potential and the usefulness of the technology.I’m now wondering how these initial experiences will change with the introduction of the iPhone with simple access to email & web browsing? For many people in the world where the a mobile phone is still the only form of communication, will it open up a new world to them or will life go on as normal making phone calls & sending SMS messages becuase the infrastructure for easy and affordable internet access doesn’t exist?

Geotagging Flickr

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Flickr have updated their detail level for images of Canberra on their mapping service. This is going to make geotagging my images much more accurate. Thanks.