ask dr. lazyweb: raw workflow software

Dear friends who are better versed in such things than I:

Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture?

For context: I have been shooting with a DSLR in jpg mode for about 1.5 years now.  Mostly I’m looking for something that will let me (a) process a ton of photos quickly and painlessly and then upload them to flickr, and (b) let me quickly correct basic stuff like white balance problems.  The primary machine for this will be a 2006 Mac Pro.

Yes, I am inviting a modern-day emacs-vs-vi flamewar.  Fire away.

how you can tell that amazon put IMDB on autopilot a decade ago

And while I’m snarking about Fortune 500 companies unable to pull their style out of 1997, allow me to quickly demonstrate that Amazon hasn’t paid anyone to look at IMDB in many, many years:

Daddy, what’s a newsgroup?”  “Well son, it’s better to regret something you have done than something you haven’t done.  And if you see your mom…”

why it’s good to regularly audit your boilerplate

I was going to cook up a nice long stemwinder about my misadventures on American Airlines this weekend, and about how I really should have learned by now that any money “saved” by not flying JetBlue, Virgin or Southwest is a false economy, but nevermind all that; the intertubes are clogged with angry airplane consumer stories, and will only get moreso as the dread holiday season comes upon us.

Instead, I’m going to reprint a single sentence from AA’s online check-in confirmation email.  Pay close attention:

“There are Adobe Reader versions for MS Windows, MS Windows NT, OS/2, Macintosh, and Unix platforms.”

American Airlines: boldly supporting 1997’s state of the art… in 2009.

(For the curious or confused: The products known as “Windows 2000”, “Windows XP”, “Windows Vista” and “Windows 7” are all lineal descendants of Windows NT, which was Microsoft’s next-generation OS product from 1993.  There hasn’t been a version of Windows that was not based on NT since the death of “Windows ME” in 2001.  “OS/2” was a competitor to Windows NT that was marketed by IBM in the mid-90s: you haven’t heard of it because it was bought by, statistically speaking, nobody.)

bleed for art

Side 1: Manifesto

Everything you’ve done, everything you’ve seen, everything you’ve become, remains.  You never can go back, only forward.” 
(—Michael Marshall Smith, “Only Forward”)

Side 2: Reminder

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.
(—E.M. Forster, “Howard’s End”)

Actually, there is only one side.

(Tattoos by Tex, font by Paul Renner.)

here, let me save you 200 dollars

Long story short here:

If you own an iPhone, Apple’s warranty will often be very liberally applied by Genius Bar employees if you’re nice to them…

…unless the submersion sensor has been tripped.

What submersion sensor, Nathan?”

Well, funny you should ask.  There are actually two submersion sensors inside an iPhone: one just inside the iphone jack port (the wide narrow thing on the bottom that you plug the USB cable into), and one inside the headphone jack.  To see them, you need a magnifying glass and a flashlight, much like your doctor uses to look into your ear canal.  The sensors are just little strips of moisture-sensitive paper: if they get wet they turn bright red.  (Pictures here.)

Here’s the catch: you don’t need to drop your iphone into a toilet bowl (or fishtank, or river) in order to trip the sensor.  In fact, you don’t need to submerse it at all.  Just a few drops of water that creep in at an unlucky angle are enough to do it.  If that happens, your warranty is null and void, and no amount of sweet-talking will change it: Apple will refuse the return of the phone, and they will charge you two hundred dollars for a refurbished replacement.

You can buy a little silicone insert for the iphone jack for $6 from various websites.  You may wish to consider doing so.

Why yes, I do speak from highly annoyed experience here, why do you ask?

live in concert

Better late than never: the full Amanda Palmer concert and Q&A at Google.  Special appearance by me, attempting mightily to not drop a 7-pound disco ball on Amanda's head in front of a live audience.

Well, that certainly sucked.

So remember hearing about that Wordpress worm that swallowed half the blogosphere last month?  Yeah, well, funny story: it worked just as well on ancient, hacked-nigh-to-death versions of b2/cafelog such as the one that used to be.

After several days of frenzied cleanup on my server, I surveyed the damage, considered my repair options, and said: fuck this noise.  So the blahg, and in general, have been given a thorough php-ectomy.  We’re now running on byteflow, a blog engine written in python/django.  

You don’t actually care about this, unless you’ve linked to an old post of mine, or if you keep track of me via an RSS feed.  To the former, I’m slowly importing all of the old content, but it remains to be seen if I can actually make the old-style links ever work again.  To the latter, you’re just boned, and you’re going to need to re-subscribe at the new feed URL, which is: here.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled diet of funny cat pictures.

that was a lot of arm strain for 2 seconds of fame

At long last:

things I was not expecting to do today at work


1 — costar in a music video with Amanda Palmer:

Had I known, I might have shaved this morning.

Better pictures forthcoming, I hope. Also forthcoming: a whole frickin’ music video, on youtube.


Way, way, way too many people to thank individually for all the well-wishes. So thank you one and all.