On TextMate and FTP[lease]

May 15, 2006

MacroMates, please, for the love of god, add edit-over-FTP functionality to TextMate! I'm loving your text editor and am thinking very seriously about weaning myself away from the free TextWrangler (there, I said it!), but the one thing holding me back is the fact that I can't do File rarr; Open from FTP from within the application. I realize that there's a "debate" brewing around this issue and that some people claim to like using an external FTP client, but let's face it, they're either ignorant or lying to themselves. Umm, why would someone want to use a separate program to execute such a simple, common task? Answer, they wouldn't.

Frankly, I don't even care about SFTP, I just want to be able to open all of my site-related stuff through the editor itself. Better yet, and hopefully this is something you would do anyway were you to add FTP, give us the ability to mix local and remote files within the same "project"; this would be a godsend, and, well, I for one would talk about the editor incessantly, not to mention create things for it as needed.

Hell, while I'm complaining, could you please give us the ability to kill the horizontal tab bar when we are using the Project Drawer? I see no need for both.

Scan This Book!

May 14, 2006
Scan This Book! Excellent overview from the NY Times on the digitization of books. The article touches on both the promises of the technology and the struggles inherent in digitizing everything man has ever created.

Photoshop automation question

May 14, 2006

Does anyone know how to automate the process of loading a single RAW file in Photoshop and saving it in the TIFF format at various exposures? More specifically, I'd like to point Photoshop to a RAW picture and have it save the image as three .tiff files, one at the original exposure, one a stop above, and one a stop below (or any other configuration I want to experiment with). I thought that I could set this up in seconds, but it's proving to be a bit more difficult than I anticipated, mainly because I've found no way to bring up the RAW dialog after closing it (without opening the picture file again).

If it's not already obvious, I'm asking about this because I want to minimize the hassle and time it takes to create an HDR image from a single file -- opening and closing the file three times is making me crazy. Speaking of which, a few days ago I asked if there was anything better than Photomatix Pro for creating HDR images. I received quite a few responses from that query and had my suspicions confirmed: Photomatix Pro is currently the best thing going.

We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale

May 12, 2006
We Feel Fine is an exploration of human emotion on a global scale. "Since August 2005, We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a large number of weblogs. Every few minutes, the system searches the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases 'I feel' and 'I am feeling.' When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the 'feeling' expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.)."

Skating always takes me back

May 09, 2006

To this day nothing really feels as good as skateboarding when I get extremely stressed. Sure, I can't ollie over a grocery cart anymore, and if I were to break my arm again I probably wouldn't be doing pop shove-its over a friend's brother1 with my cast on this time around, but it still feels really good to get out there and be a kid again sometimes.

  1. Don't hold it against him, he was young and just wanted to fit in.  :)  Man, I'll find any excuse to use these footnotes won't I?   

No subject is safe

May 08, 2006

I just ordered the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens1 and it should be here by the end of the week! I absolutely cannot wait to snap this thing on, though I'm really unsure as to when I'm going to be able to find the time to actually shoot with it. Ugh. I'm trying to carve out half a day this coming weekend to head down to Santa Cruz, but those plans are predicated on things over which I have no control.

  1. Due to the partial-frame sensor of the Canon 20D and the resultant 1.6x focal-length multiplier, this lens' effective range is 112-320mm.   


May 08, 2006

For whatever reason I thought I had mentioned this here before, but a search through my archives tells me otherwise. Basically, NerdTV is an online interview series by Robert Cringely that focuses on geeky 'superstars.' I've watched all of them so far and have found each to be both interesting and inspiring. You should check them out.

Nintendo DS Lite

May 07, 2006

The Nintendo DS Lite is an instant classic. Period.

It's Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I don't know where to begin. Within five minutes of taking it out of the box I had the language switched from Japanese to English (mine was imported), the "Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection" up and running on my home network, and a Tetris DS game going with someone halfway around the world (in case you didn't know, Wi-Fi games are free). It's the perfect gaming device.

As I previously wrote, I held off on getting an original Nintendo DS because, well, it felt and looked like shit. The DS Lite is a complete revamp and upgrade -- it's a different machine entirely. The screens are insanely bright, the stereo sound is impressive and immersive, it's solid as a rock, and the form-factor and weight are very practical (it's totally possible to carry it in the pockets of your shorts or a sweatshirt or something).

Before my unit arrived I purchased Tetris DS and Mario Kart DS and have since bought Sonic Rush (amazing use of the dual screens; kind of treats them as a single "tall" screen) and Nanostray (a nice addition to one of my favorite game genres, the flying shoot-em-up). In the near future I plan to buy Meteos, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, 2006 FIFA World Cup, and New Super Mario Bros., which comes out in about a week (if the videos on the link don't take you back I don't know what will; IGN has just put up a glowing review). If you know of a game you think I might like and haven't mentioned, please let me know.

The early bird gets the worm

If you were at all interested in the DS, but hated its shortcomings, then there is no doubt that you will want the DS Lite. That said, if you plan on getting one when they launch in the states on June 11th (at $130!), you better get in line as soon as possible (read: pre-order) -- not to overstate the obvious, but this thing is going to be a huge success here (not only are all the DS-haters going to want a DS Lite, but those that actually have an original DS won't want it anymore once they see its latest iteration).

Keep in mind that you don't have to wait and can simply import it; I paid about $220 (including shipping) and Lik-Sang had it here in three days.

Still not convinced?

For those of you still on the fence, check out Cabel Sasser's videos comparing the DS Lite to the original DS and the Sony PSP (I've linked to these before in the bits); they're fairly entertaining and do a good job of highlighting the DS Lite's strong points.

Welcome to the new dollhouse

May 07, 2006
Welcome to the new dollhouse. "As far as we know, children have always played with dolls of one sort or another to act out variations on their own lives, or lives they observe or imagine. Today, a vast and growing number of kids are doing the same thing -- but with a very new tool. Instead of dolls, they are using video games. And perhaps most of all, they're using The Sims."

Thoughts on the first poll

May 06, 2006

After looking at the numbers for the first poll it seems that only about 17.5% of my readership actually voted. I can only speculate as to why the number was so low. Perhaps a lot of you hate stupid, pointless polls? Or, maybe those of you that use online aggregators (which is most of you) just didn't feel like taking the time to click through to the site to vote? Either way, I understand, and to be honest, I probably wouldn't have voted myself, but the numbers still seem really low. I guess it could have just been the subject matter; only future polls will tell.

As for the purpose of the poll, I have to say I'm a bit surprised that the results are pretty much split down the middle (if you count the second and third answers as different means to the same end). To be honest, I thought fewer people would have voted for the single-column format, but it seems I was wrong. That said, I've been toying with the idea of going back to two columns for a while now, mainly because a single column is pretty restrictive and doesn't offer a lot of flexibility. I love the way it looks and feels, but it just isn't very scalable. I knew this before committing to it, and for a while it wasn't a problem, and really isn't still, but I have a feeling I'll eventually get back to multiple columns if only because they're more practical.

I should note that the voting software worked without a hitch and I definitely recommend it if you're looking for something similar.