Category “General”

Time Flies…

Sunday, 13 December, 2009

It has been quite a while since I last posted something (how often to do see that comment made by someone on their blog?), in fact 4 months today. I’ve really had a lot on during that time including, ,helping to organise/run a Ultimate tournament for ~370 people (which also included training for, and playing in), attending conferences, trying to set up a new website for the TUA (as well as keep up with other admin), not to mention how busy work has been. It probably hasn’t helped that my body clock has been out of sync with the rest of the world lately, as my girlfriend isn’t around to encourage me to go to bed/get up at reasonable hours of the day. Luckily Christmas is fast approaching and it will give me chance to have a  bit of a break from work (and non-work work) and recharge my batteries a bit.

During the last few months I didn’t manage to squeeze in a quick holiday in Victoria, heading down the Great Ocean Road. It is a really nice part of the world, and has inspired me to try an see a bit more of my of own country, instead of constantly going overseas for Holidays. The shorter flights also seem like a definite bonus. Here are a few nice panaroma I took on the trip (and stitched together using Hugin)
The Twelve Apostles (Eastern View)

Loch Ard Gorge

The first shot is of The Twelve Apostles, which are pretty well know (at least the Western View is), but the second shot inside Loch Ard Gorge (just to the west of the apostles) was also a very nice little spot. Click on the images for much large versions, though be aware that are fairly large in size (600k & 1000k).

I was also really impressed with how Hugin handled the merging of the waves at different spots between the photos.

Hugin Niagara Falls

Thursday, 13 August, 2009

A while back I ran across a nice little piece of software called Hugin, that can stitch together photos to create a panorama. Unfortunately up until recently I have not had a good series of photos I could test it out with. On my recent trip to Canada I decided to take a series of shots at Niagara Falls and see how well the software would go. Here is the result (click on the image to see a bigger version):

Niagara Panorama (Small)

It was a bit overcast at the time, so the light wasn’t great, and my camera was in great need of a good clean (taking it though the mist at the bottom of the falls earlier in the day didn’t help either), but I think the end result is not too bad. All I had to do was select the photos I wanted to stitch together and Hugin did the rest.

Apparently the automatic stitching works best when there are well defined points in the photo it can pick out (ie. photos with buildings), and not so well when there aren’t (ie. photos with trees). If the automatic stitching doesn’t work so well, it provides quite a nice interface for selecting points in the photos by hand, and stitching them together manually.

The interface still needs a bit of work to cater for people like me who can’t be bothered reading the doco, but for the most part Hugin is a very impressive piece of software.

An even larger version of the panorama can be seen here

Savage Chickens

Wednesday, 27 May, 2009

I think it was my sister who may have initially pointed me towards Savage Chickens, but I still stumble across the comic every now and then. I like the simplicity of drawing a cartoon on a single sticky note, and they are generally pretty funny.

That’s how I roll.

Monday, 25 May, 2009

Since this years linux.conf.au I have have started seeking out more techie talks and lectures from conferences that I can find. With this in mind, last week I had the chance to go see two presentations give by some guys from the W3C.

Ivan Herman talked about the Semantic Web, which seems to be mainly about defining ways of adding meta-data to information on the web, in a way that a system can link otherwise abstract  information to other bits of information in a way they a person might do intuitively. I probably missed the point a bit, as the talk was very general and didn’t contain too many examples or specifics. I think  Ivan described it as something like “mash-ups on steroids” which sounded rather suitable. It isn’t something I have a real keen interest in at the moment, but a few ideas/projects I been playing around with lately tend towards that direction, so it will probably be something I’ll end up looking into in more detail in the future.

The second talk was by Mike Smith about HTML5 and a little bit about XHTML2. While I was expecting it to be a talk about new and shiny toys that developers will soon be able to play with, it ended up being more about the aims of the standards, and the difference between HTML5, XHTML2, and the relationship (or lack of) with their predecessor. While slightly disappointing that the talk wasn’t what I was expecting, I did find it rather interesting as he went through a bit of the history of the HTML standards and why things have ended up they way they are (“politics”), and why things won’t change a great deal going into the future (backwards compatibility).

While it would have been good to hear a bit more technical detail about the various technologies, they were still interesting talks giving the rather limited time they had, and I also managed to score myself a t-shirt (thanks to to Ivan, who couldn’t quite answer one of my questions).

w3ctshirt

A touch of green, grey and… jerrykan

Friday, 10 April, 2009

I found a rather nice looking theme made by someone over at Gauson Design. It is a fairly nice and simple design with some colours I rather like. The original theme had a rather large header image which looked very pretty, but unfortuneatly I wasn’t really wanting to waste a large amount of space on the tree. So a quick crop, and insertion of a jerrykan, and some tweaking fo the column widths, and I rather happy with it now.

Hopefully the original creator won’t mind too much, otherwise I’ll have to go looking for something new.

It all started way back when

Thursday, 9 April, 2009

This is the obligatory first post to justify my existence on the Internet.

I have never really been into all the “social” trends on the Internet, but my attitude changed a bit when I attended linux.conf.au earlier this year. It was pretty cool to see how everyone was using things like twitter, IRC, and blogs in a way I actually thought made sense (and was useful), instead of people just crapping on about their daily existence (which is how i tended to view most blogs). I’ve spent years hanging out on small forums (circle jerks?) and IRC with friends, which has satisfied my needs until now.

So coming away from linux.conf.au I decided to try and get into some of the other trends that people are into, and hopefully keep tabs on a few people from the conference. A few weeks back I started on twitter when I found a few friends were using it. I was a little dubious at first because of my dislike of Facebook/MySpace, but twitter works in a completely different and much better way (when it does work). More recently I hae started to find that 140 characters isn’t quite enough to tell people what I really think. So, now I’m starting a blog to help augment my 1 sentence musings.