Monthly Archives: October 2007

Creative conversations

A few months ago, Ola and I attended the launch of the 24 hours of Flickr book at a party in London, held at the Tate Britain.

I took some photos. Since they were from an event that I thought might be of general interest, and I wasn’t expecting to use them commercially, I put them out there under a Creative Commons license.

Deep in conversationYesterday I was playing around with the ego surf segment of the DNA tool on Flickr Toys and did a search to see where my photos are being used. It turns out that one of the photos has been used recently to illustrate two articles about conversations and storytelling: A formula for Telling a Good Story, and Take charge of your destiny in the office.

Pretty cool – Ola features in the picture 🙂

The only thing I’m surprised by is that in the second instance, the author appears to have edited the image (cropped it) and uploaded a copy to the magazine’s site, and the link at the bottom of the article is to my main Flickr page rather than to the image in question. It’s attributed, but seems to have been modified. I guess I need to drop them a line.

Update: the editor of the site was extremely responsive and altered both the attribution and the image to use the original within minutes of me commenting on it.

Still, the more I look at the image, it does work well as an illustration of “networking” or “social conversations”.

Ideas for Lotus

I was listening to the Talking Notes podcast in the car the other day, and came across the news that there’s a new independent site which aims to gather ideas for new features and improvements for IBM Lotus products.

Idea Jam is a really nice-looking site that is kind of Digg-like in appearance. There are a few cool things about it:

  • it runs on Domino
  • it uses Ajaxy features, has feeds, etc.
  • it is independent, so these are ideas from users and administrators of Lotus products, which will be really useful feedback for the developers.
  • it is divided into “idea spaces” which correspond to the different parts of the Lotus portfolio (Notes, Sametime, Connections etc.)
  • you can comment on feature ideas, vote for them, see who else is voting, etc.

Apparently the site formally launches on November 20th, but I was able to register already. It’s a very good idea and fantastic to see the user community doing this. If you use Lotus software in your day job, this could be a great way to suggest ways that you’d like to see it move forward… I guess with this being an unofficial site there’s no commitment that ideas would be implemented, but I don’t doubt that the development teams would be interested to hear from their user community.

Hursley HackDay+4 in pictures

I added some shots from Hursley’s local HackDay to Flickr. I wish I could have been more involved!

Hackers corner A HackDay project

There’s a small set available, and Dale has some write-ups of what the folks got up to.

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New strapline needed

For some time I’ve been using the strapline “blogger | photographer | techie” to describe myself on various profiles. It appears on my Moo cards (and will continue to do so for a while now, since I have a couple of hundred in reserve at the moment). I used to like it as a succinct description of my interests. For a while now, though, I’ve been thinking that it isn’t the best.

At one of the conferences in the summer, Roo mentioned to someone that to describe oneself as a ‘blogger’ would become redundant over time, and I think that’s true. Not only that, but I’ve barely been writing enough lately for that to make sense. So I’m thinking that word will probably go.

I’m comfortable that I’ll continue to use the word ‘photographer’, although I’d never put that first in any description. It’s an interest of mine.

The word ‘techie’ is something of a catch-all… I’m interested in pretty much all technnology, and I generally prefer to get my hands dirty and tweak stuff and understand how things work than to stand in front of a whiteboard and draw interconnected clouds. People tend to smile when I give them my card and they read that.

Looking around, magpie-like, I notice that Kelly describes herself as “Blogger | Web 2.0 Junkie | artist manque” (going for the interests and an admission of addiction), while Roo goes with “Metaverse Evangelist. Geek.” (job title and state of mind).

I’m just undecided as to what might make a decent new summary… how to describe my core interests and personality in less than, say, 10 words…. any suggestions?

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Time for a home network cleanup

It’s just about time for me to sort out the patchwork of devices on my home network. The real kicker for this has been all of the twitterings around the imminent release of Leopard, and some reading about what Time Machine is going to do for me. I’m excited.

Here’s the problem statement:

  • a Netgear 54G wireless router with firewall on an ADSL connection
  • a 64-bit AMD Linux workstation with RAID1 160Gb internal disk on which most of my photos are stored… but the power switch is broken and I rarely have the machine on as a) it has overheating issues and b) I have to touch pins on the motherboard to boot it. Half of my email archives are on here too.
  • a Pentium 3 Linux server – a total workhorse. It fetches all my email from various accounts, filters it using SpamAssassin, and serves it up via SquirrelMail; it also presents our old black-and-white HP LaserJet to the other machines via Samba.
  • Windows XP Thinkpad with two iTunes libraries, and some more photos (this used to be my primary photo processing machine prior to the MBP). The RAW photo library is split between an expired beta copy of Lightroom, and stuff from Rawshooter which hasn’t been imported to Lightroom. I used to back the photo directory to the Linux workstation over the network, since the disks were RAIDed.
  • MacBook Pro which has my primary iTunes library (i.e. the one that syncs to my nano) and the majority of my photos… but the disk is getting pretty full, to the point where I’m no longer ripping CDs even though I want to… and I’ll soon have to move some of my photos off, but worry about breaking the Lightroom library.
  • Windows XP Thinkpad which has yet more music on it.
  • couple of external USB disks (300Gb and 250Gb I think) which have various backed-up things on them.

This all works, but it’s a bit of a mess really.

My questions / needs are:

  • shared storage which will support a consistent and large photo library, a large music library, and Time Machine backup.
  • access to the printer (which is parallel, so I guess I need to keep the old Linux server, which is OK… or do I ditch the printer and get something more modern)
  • how to get all of the photos together into a single library… in fact, how to sort out my workflow in general. Essentially I don’t want Lightroom getting upset if I move photos off to external storage, and I guess I’d probably still import images to a local disk on the MBP when I connect the camera (as I may not be at home when I do that) and then move them off to the shared / external disk later. On a related note, what is the “right” workflow… do people export JPEGs from Lightroom into iPhoto when “done”? I currently don’t really use iPhoto and I’m not sure I’m making the most of the Mac.
  • a centralised iTunes library but one which I can sync my iPod to, and which I can potentially have a subset of on the MBP disk for travelling (is that even possible?). I don’t expect the whole library of all of my ripped CDs to fit onto the MBP or the iPod, ever – I have a LOT of them.
  • support for a mixed network. I guess I’ll continue to have a Windows box somewhere, although I’m (*gasp*) seriously considering the removal of the Linux things and replacement with an iMac or Mac Pro (at some point – contrary to the way this post must make me sound, I am not made of money)

I’m hearing good things (from Maria Langer, who I’ve come to trust on Mac issues) about the AirPort Extreme. I assume that I could get one, link it to the Netgear router, and attach disks to that. I’ve already read about the NSLU2, and had my eye on one for a couple of years. I also wonder about a proper NAS unit, and then I wonder about RAID options. Or, I could go for another external disk… I have no objection to that provided that I have the discipline to hook the MBP up to it for Time Machine usage when I’m at home. I’m thinking I’ll do a full backup of the Mac before I install Leopard anyway.

Then there’s just the small matter of actually combining all of the data in one place. I get the impression that this will be messy, and that’s why I haven’t done it yet. Combining iTunes libraries which may contain duplicates… not knowing how I can split music between the network and the laptops… trying to merge a full-version Lightroom library with a beta one and then a load of stuff from Rawshooter and my pre-DSLR pics… you can probably see why I’ve been putting all of this off.

Ugh. And here I am working in the IT industry and allegedly knowing about this stuff. I guess it’s like the old adage “physician, heal thyself”…

Advice gratefully received…