geek Archives

June 16, 2007

Geeked Out

Have spent all of today fine tuning and surfing, in the process I've discovered the following:-

  • Safari 3.0 Beta has been released
  • There's Ad blocking software out there for Safari, but only Version 2
  • Several more blogs and links on photography
  • Newswire, and Netnewswire are the two big guns for news reading online.

I also managed to write a simple Mo-phone Manifesto, I'll maybe upload or share it in some way soon.

June 19, 2007

iView Media Pro/Microsoft Expression

So, I am now officially using a Microsoft product.

iView Media Pro

Above my old beloved iView Media Pro, which was technically owned by Microsoft, but still looked and felt like the original app.

Microsoft Expression

Perhaps a review over the coming days? One thing I can say at this point is, that I cannot run the apps together side by side to see how they fare, and some menus and commands have moved, more to come.

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June 24, 2007

iPhone Hype builds?

Not normally a technology commentator, but I thought I post a link to Kottke's site that expands on the building hype over the iPhone.

Now when the iPhone's camera hits 5 megapixels maybe then I'll get excited... maybe.

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June 25, 2007



Ok Ok, I admit it I'm excited!

Just watched, the intro to the iPhone, and the way the iPhone seems to work is mind blowing, the "gestural" approach to using it is so 'sensible'. Definitely an desirable piece of technology, elegant simple easy and intuitive.

The idea of "swiping" to remove things and "pinching" to zoom just blows me away.

Just hope that by the time it gets to good old Oz, a carrier here will handle it and the costs won't be too prohibitive.

I still would prefer a higher Mega-pixel count in the camera, though.

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June 27, 2007

Collective Memory?

Collective Image Memory?

An interesting idea but still does it carry any meaning?

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July 1, 2007

Greasemonkey AKA Creammonkey

Guess I've been living under a rock, grease monkey type functionality now available for Safari. Bring on Web 2.0, *woot*, it's called cream-monkey, and now lot's of user input can be quickly and easily controlled using it from your menubar, in Safari.

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July 19, 2007

New Google Maps Feature

Googles Maps

This looks like a cool new feature from Google Earth, is it even new though?

Thanks to Peter from the AusPcTagging Group for the heads up.

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July 20, 2007



I managed to get me an invite to pownce, thanks there brendadada. I have 2 invites left?

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July 27, 2007, changes on safari

Some changes it seems have occurred around, recently, is this a web standards move, or something to do with Safari 3.01?

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More Geek

I'm no technology commentator but this AIR app by adobe seems to have a lot of potential, and overall I ike the idea of applications moving off the desktop and online so to speak. Given that air is a technology that and I'm quoting Adobe here:-

Adobe AIR is a cross–operating system runtime that enables developers to leverage their existing web development skills in Adobe Flash®, Adobe Flex™, HTML, JavaScript, and Ajax to build and deploy rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the desktop.

Web developers are excited about Adobe AIR because it enables them, for the first time, to build and deploy cross-platform desktop applications without having to learn complex OS-centric development technologies.

Interestingly one even may give skitch a run for it's money. It's called screenplay.

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July 29, 2007

Photo Sharing Sites Compared

I've been roaming the interwebs over the last few weeks, searching out another cyber-gallery/home for my photography.

In my travels I've found the following sites, which is by no means an exhaustive one, but a good starting point for those thinking of using the web this way.


Today I spent some time uploading and tweaking, my site. Which lead to me noticing the pluses of flickr and perhaps why it's become so successful.

Two areas I notice where flickr really is head and shoulders above the others, uploading and groups. One minor negative, is skinning or the appearance of your stream.

Something that flickr doesn't offer is 'skinning' the ability to change, the appearance of your page, multiply does and so does as does ipernity, each to a different degree, but the look of your site/page can be made different to the rest of the site, a feature also by the way of myspace, which in itself has become a cottage industry, but not facebook. Anyway I digress. This skinning feature is obviously a feature not clamored for by many people. [Some basic layout changing can be done on flickr, but I don't get the feeling people don't want to change the appearance of the streams on flickr. Possibly a clever move on flickr's part, certainly from a 'branding' point of view. But flickr has done some other things that make it stand and and more memorable.

Uploading to flickr, is a breeze. People can use the flickr interface itself, and several 3rd party apps that will do it very seamlessly for me as well. Multiply has no 3rd party apps that I can see, just a java, e-mail or html interface for uploading, which isn't bad but those little 3rd party apps I use really tap into the aspects I want fast easy simple and feature packed. Ipernity has one 3rd party app, which is very good, it has been so long since I've used zooomr I can't remember now how to upload, and I think there are account problems as well? DevaintArt's uploading system [html] has always been to prescriptive for my liking, [I'll be the one who decides what sort of categories my photos fit in thanks].

Creating groups and more importantly adding photos to groups. On ipenrity, as I write, no group facility exists, nor on zooomr, on multiply their are groups, albeit a huge variety of them, but adding photos to them is a separate process to adding photos to your own stream/account. When adding photos to groups on multiply, you add separate albums to the group, a bit of a nuisance really.

# I followed a European flickrnaut over to ipernity but can't remember who?
## thanks to brendadada from flickr for the heads up
* I signed up a long time ago never done much in there though.

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July 30, 2007

More Photo Sharing and Now Storing sites?

Thanks to b's comment yesterday, I went in search of more places to store and share images, in the process I found this site,, which then sent me in search of even more places to share and store photos. Still nothing shapes up quite like flickr in terms of it's overall, look, feel, ease of use and sense of community. Photobucket for example has a clunky interface and isn't that clear about limits attached to a free account. Shutterfly, despite it's more liberal upload limits, explicitly prohibits hot linking, and seems geared to selling prints anyways, I'm not even going to bother with Kodak's equivalent as they are not renowned for having their fingers on the pulse of things these days.

As for communities in general 'online' I suspect that flickr has built a rod for it''s own back. In the process of setting up such an organic process, there is bound to be certain levels of anarchy. I realise to that getting to 'know' a community takes involvement and time, but the 'structure' of the groups on flickr seems unique. You create a group about anything and list it anywhere yo feel comfortable and invite away. If it well managed it prospers, if not well whatever. All the other sites have very well defined boundaries that you must at add your group to. Making it less anarchistic, but somehow less owned.

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August 5, 2007

In The Beginning

This is where it all began, flickr even has, or is that had its own group

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August 10, 2007

Time Wasting 101


Feel the need to waste some time? Try this URL, type in two names and see who comes out the better.

For those who care Santa beats Jesus hands down! Jesus, 131,000,000 results - Santa, 301,000,000 results

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August 11, 2007

The List grows

In my search for a stable set of image uri's brenda has put me onto this site,, and this image is being hosted there.

Again the features are there like flickr, but as of this writing no signs of a "community" ie groups. The interface I would rate better than ipernity, and less funky than Multiply, but slightly more elegant.

I am disappointed that I can only seem to link back to one size photo as well? More to come over the coming days.

This is an interesting feature, a link to albums. And while ipernity and multiply might have this feature, I've yet to see/find them.

So I can for example link straight to the albums I create, but unlike flickr not to any slideshow feature? Hmmm?

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August 20, 2007


My interest in Phone Cameras, and their uses is well know, thanks to a Oli over at flickr here's another use of phone cameras, for play.

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September 5, 2007

Maps, Mapping & Web 2.0

I've long held an interest in maps in particular from the perspective of identity and location. Discovered this site this morning thanks to flickr

What I like about this site is it's a little more intuitive, than the others I've encountered so far, and the filters seem pretty powerful.

wiki map

Perhaps I'll wax lyrical a little more about the idea of maps identity and location in an other post?

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September 7, 2007

Old Skool Web Design

A free CD rom from, given to us at the RACV home show, surprised me no end in it's poor design and usability.

Given that the clientele that were likely to show up to this kind of event, I was pretty dismayed at the lack of real text that could be zoomed and the reliance on pdf's embedded in a flash player.

I spent several minutes digging around the contents of the CD trying to find the place to start. Eventually, I did find it and hey what's a few minutes between friends eh?

Then! Lo and behold, the text didn't render very well on the front page command + did nothing to ANY of the text. Surely I thought to myself things can't be ALL that bad, this site looks very nice, so I continued to navigate around.

Eventually I got a bit lost, , so I thought no worries, I'll just hold down my back button and CHOOSE from a list of pages recently visited and get back to the page I think had the info on it I wanted. Sadly all got is a list of untitled pages?

The front page of the CD ROM

This is actually the 3rd screen, with the pdfs embedded in a flash player, the second screen seemed more like a afterthought with a bunch of text links dumped in the middle of the page, not even worthy of consideration.

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September 9, 2007

Built-In Redundancy?

Look at these 2 cameras.


Which one has been made redundant by technological advances?

By way of background, the camera on the left is a film camera, a Kodak Brownie Flash II manufactured 1953-1963. The camera on the right a Kodak DC20, a digital camera from the mid 90's. An honest review here.

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September 10, 2007

A Question?

Anyone else using Movable Type, NOT getting, responses e-mailed to them since the new verison came out a week or so ago?

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September 28, 2007

More on the Web

So yesterday, on flickr I left a comment about Australia's National Telco, Telstra and how I wanted to NOT get on a soapbox about them. One of the respondents asked, "What is Telstra". I responded by googling "We Hate Telstra", I came across this article, from the age, that summed it all up really quite well. Clicking on the author's blog link lead me to this article which incorporates ideas I've long held close to my heart.

What has this to do with photography? Well I'm glad that all three of you asked? Changes are afoot in the nature of the hierarchies of structure of photography, it's histories and acknowledgment of photographers who produce significant work. No longer will curators in dressed black, sporting condescending black rimmed glasses be the arbiters of quality and meaning. At the very least we will see the notion of good photography split into, many many camps and schools of thought, all out of reach and control of galleries both State Sponsored and privately owned, I'm guessing, anyways.

All in all I'm excited, about photography's spread and use that has been accelerated by the internet and the lowering costs of digital cameras.

All this from a casual comment and a quick google search.

Finally an article that extolls the virtues of Web 2.0, in particular flickr in the classroom. Albeit a little old, [written in 2005], some aspects of the article are no longer relevant. certainly worth some thought.

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October 9, 2007

New Browser

Sea Monkey Startup Screen

New Browser on the market folks, sea monkey. Check it out. Released, last month. yeah I know I know hardly cutting edge, but this ain't no technological blog ok?

Currently I use the following browsers in descending order of frequency, or have at least experimented with them:- Safari, Camino , Firefox, Flock, Opera

While I download it in the background I'll try and head all 3 of you off at the pass. Why so many browsers, I hear you ask, well, web design is a bit of a side interest of mine. Being able to view my work in ANY browser gives me a feel for how it MAY look elsewhere. Of course until I get a Macbook, sometime in 2008, I will need to rely on the kindness of other people I know who use PC's to surf the web.

SeaMonkey Preferences

On the surface nothing seems all that different from other versions of Netscape browsers, all the usual stuff like built-in e-mail, & news groups, and a html writer, called composer, 1996 anyone?

It can be dressed up with themes I see but the toolbar doesn't appear to be customisable at this stage, still I guess it's in early development so who knows?

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October 16, 2007

Comic Life

Comic Life, a great little app for creating comics on computer is now available for windows

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October 18, 2007

Macintosh Browser


The Googalyzer. Another browser, with an interesting feature set, designed for hard research, allowing users to keep notes and run multiple research projects at once.

I particularly like the button for google scholar.

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October 31, 2007

Leopard Upgrade

For those so inclined here's a long look at the new operating system by Apple.

My upgrade has gone relatively smoothly compared to many others, at the moment I am not able to use ecto, my blog publishing tool, only on this blog, and all my mail rules stopped working and now have to re-build them all.

Now to scope out all the new features, my favourites of which so far are, TimeMachine, the more unified interface look and the integration of Mail and Address Book and iCal.

November 3, 2007

Skitch, free software

Any of my readers on a Mac, like to try some very cool free software? It's called skitch, and currently is only available as an invite download, you will also be required to register as well.

It is useful for quick screen-grabs and sharing information graphically from computers

Just send me your e-mail address and I'll invite you.

Check the flickr pool for some ideas on what it can do.

November 20, 2007

Slide Show Feature

Blogger has just added a neat little slide show feature that allows you to run a slide show in the sidebar of your blog, all you need is an account with someone like flickr or paint-bucket or picassa, and away you go.

January 10, 2008

Test Your ISP

I did, mine is

End of an Era

Nestscape ends at version 9, I've a bit of a soft spot for this software and have downloaded the last version, even though the project in now ending

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

January 11, 2008

Panic - CandyBar 3 - Change and Organize Your Mac OS X Icons and Dock

Candy Bar is is out!

[From Panic - CandyBar 3 - Change and Organize Your Mac OS X Icons and Dock]

for Leopard users only, still it looks good!

January 13, 2008

Weekend Edition: Ding Dong - Macworld Australia

MJCP the editor is a funny guy:-

[From Weekend Edition: Ding Dong - Macworld Australia]

and it seems there is some speculation over a MAC owned and run stand alone store opening in Melbourne?

January 15, 2008

Insomnia #1 2008 : The story of Stuart Murdoch's life
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

This service I signed up for some time ago, not really sure what it did, and upon revisiting last month I discovered it's like a giant feed off all your other web activities, like tumbler only more personal.

January 18, 2008

Macsweeper - The first Mac adware/malware attack? - MacTalk Forums

Sigh, bound to happen I guess?

[From Macsweeper - The first Mac adware/malware attack? - MacTalk Forums]

No need to bother really. Free Public Beta

I love this little app and have sent invites to a few freinds, now it's in public beta.... yah...


...very useful too.

Macsweeper - The first Mac adware/malware attack? - MacTalk Forums

More Like a Scam really?

[From Macsweeper - The first Mac adware/malware attack? - MacTalk Forums]


January 20, 2008

Geek Portal

Thanks to the magic of flickr stats, I found this portal, looks interesting may need to study it for a while?

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

January 22, 2008

Multimedia -- who cares? - Australian Macworld, or Memories....

Had to laugh at this article

[From Multimedia -- who cares? - Australian Macworld]

But serioulsy, what of the early experiences of computer generated art, sound, video, photography animations and so on. Well there is this book which has a special place on my bookshelf,

"The New Media Reader" (The MIT Press)

Even so something I've noticed in my cyber travels, particularly on flickr over the last 4 years or so is that notions of memory and identity don't seem to rank very high on most folks radar. As an artist it's often all I care about; in a creative sense anyway.

February 17, 2008

Color Pencils Reviewed

Warning Geek Alert

Very funny look at colour pencils

[From Color Pencils Reviewed]

March 5, 2008

Blog Woes?

I've been wanting to add a blogroll to my blog for some time and have not been successful.

Here's a picture of the error message that I have no idea how to fix looks.

Anyone got any idea as to wot's going on?

March 6, 2008

All fixed

Thanks as always to the hard working and patient Cos for his help fixing my blog, I now have a blog roll.

March 11, 2008

IE8 and Standards?

Haven't really been following this debate, but makes for an interesting read

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents : Microsoft reverses version targeting default.

[From Jeffrey Zeldman Presents : Microsoft reverses version targeting default]

This is my favourite bit:-

"given a company-wide reorientation away from proprietary winner-take-all competitiveness and toward interoperability"

March 12, 2008

The Observer; thinks these are The world's 50 most powerful blogs

Ah the mainstream media still relies on these kinds of adjectives.

[From The world's 50 most powerful blogs | Technology | The Observer]

March 19, 2008

Mapping, Photography & The Web

Thanks to my stats on flickr I rediscovered this site this morning. and of course the vain part of myself went looking for my own photos. Very nice tool indeed.

Maps and photography have long been an interest of mine, now with these techonolgies Web is added to the equation quite nicely. In fact this idea will form a large part content of my next e-book.

earth album alpha: location for
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

March 26, 2008

Nikon D90 Specifications Revealed

Here's a great laugh!

..."My Nikon contact tells me their R&D people are now working on a system that eliminates the photographer altogether. Nikon's customer research has discovered that when a photographer takes a great image, they claim all the credit. But when a photographer takes a bad image, they blame the camera.

By eliminating the photographer, Nikon plan to eliminate lousy photos altogether..."

[From Nikon D90 Specifications Revealed]

Now if folks in this thread would just read it!

April 8, 2008

World of Ends...

...or why I love the internet.

Perhaps companies that think they can force us to listen to their messages — their banners, their interruptive graphic crawls over the pages we're trying to read — will realize that our ability to flit from site to site is built into the Web's architecture. They might as well just put up banners that say "Hi! We don't understand the Internet. Oh, and, by the way, we hate you."

[From World of Ends]

Go Rageboy!

May 13, 2008

Optus announces it will release iPhone too |


[From Optus announces it will release iPhone too |]

Perfect timing as my current contract ends in a few months.

May 25, 2008

We heart it / Visual bookmark for everyone

Visual Bookmarking, like for pictures

[From We heart it / Visual bookmark for everyone]

Go on you know you want to.

June 8, 2008

New Flickr Feature

Flickr: The MidcoastAssassin Recruit Project
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

you can now upload multiple images, quickly, to all your groups.

Another feature?

Sponsored groups? I'm really surprised?

Flickr: Groups
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

June 15, 2008

This is one awesome application.

Fluid - Free Site Specific Browser for Mac OS X Leopard
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

June 16, 2008

Second Thoughts?

About This Mac

Yesterday I talked about this new app I downloaded [], since I downloading and running it I've had some problems, serious ones. Of course this particular laptop is very long in the tooth, and at the wrong end of the power scale. I also set-up at 5 apps to run using it, so maybe that was too much a drain on my humble system. The problems I had were, applications hanging to the point where apple+option+esc, was no good and I had to apple+control+restart. The 1st time I did this, I then got the flashing question mark on my start up disk! After a bit of prodding and poking I managed to get things back up and running. Then today the same thing happened, with all 5 apps running again, so I have now stopped using the app, and the apps it creates until I can investigate further.

Pity it is a great idea.

Edit, it seems that it is an OS issue, and may even work well on Intel machines

July 11, 2008

New Phone

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that the iPhone is about to be released in Australia. I recently purchased an iPod touch. The only differences as far as I can tell? No camera and no phone on the iPod.

So, in the last few days, I was contacted by my telco and offered a new phone, not an iPhone though, this new phone has a 5 mega-pixel camera in it, and will cost extra to add 3g accessibility to it. The iPhone, has but a 2 mega-pixel camera, and looking at some of the plans on offer in terms of downloads, I still think I am better off sticking with the new Sony Ericsson C902, my biggest fear? That the new phone will have TOO MANY camera features in it, after all part of the challenge of using an image capture device like a mophone is that you are limited to light and composition as the only way to achieve image nirvana.

Other implications are:- 1. My mophone blog may stop or change. 2. My Neo-documentary project may also end or change.

July 27, 2008

Social Chatter

Recently there was a recent outage on the twitter network, that caused some rumblings amongst some of the peeps who I follow. In the interim Marcus, found plurk, which I am trying out, a different interface & conceptual framework makes for an interesting and maybe easier experience. Other social services, I'm exploring, and kwippy


August 10, 2008

PowerBook 100 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wow, an Apple product on the front page of Wiki Sunday morning[local time]

[From PowerBook 100 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Aright; alright; alright, I know; I'm a nerd

August 16, 2008

Old News

Delicious has a new interface, which btw I like. I am also a big fan of bookmark sharing between people using this site, add me as a contact, if you are so inclined, ie have photographic interests?

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!


Been faving and adding to we *heart it* then discovered this coincidence

We heart it / Visual bookmark for everyone
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

August 25, 2008

Ain't the internet grand

A few days ago I posted a mention about an exhibition review in 'The Age', it seems the author, Robert Nelson found my article and sent me it, in it's entirety. So with much fanfare, here is the article.

‘Basil Sellers Art Prize’, Ian Potter Museum, University of Melbourne, Parkville, until 26 October

The social role of sport is to provide an outlet for intelligent people to behave like brainless people. Everyone knows that there’s no intrinsic point in shifting a leather ball from one post to another, no matter how energetic or invested the contest. Nothing is achieved outside the game; no one is wiser or can add a benefit to the world beyond the fury of the struggle.

Intelligent people also recognize the costs of sport, severe and permanent injuries, which burden our hospitals every weekend. But sport is a sanctioned release from responsible thinking, and all these scruples are put aside. The whole point of sport is to insulate you from things that matter.

The habit of getting excited and screaming for no good reason creates a momentary dome of ignorance; it’s a hallowed asylum of folly, a carnevalesque institution of mania against the onus of wisdom. Important and urgent questions should be discussed, like global warming; but the clamorous distraction of sport assures even the brainiest people that they too can enjoy the mind of an idiot.

I was therefore skeptical of the ‘Basil Sellers Art Prize’. Why conceive a lucrative prize around sport? Sport is the antithesis of art, because art is all about a purpose beyond the work.

Art engenders speculation, a portal to new insights and imaginative growth. Like music, science and philosophy, art promotes an intoxicating wonder for where the mind can reach. Sport offers no similar transcendence, because it lacks any admirable purpose beyond its own arbitrary exertions.

Once inside the show, however, I had to admit that some of the works are brilliant. The masterpiece is ‘Bicycles’ by James Angus, which should have won the prize. The sculpture is a track-bike that merges three separate frames, with three tyres, train-drives, handlebars, pedals and spokes. The machine is throbbing with a sense of immanence, as if growing through speed. As its form is replicated, the bike is caught in its own vibrations, as if each shudder and thrust in a stressful ride causes the bike to reproduce itself, to project more versions of itself as tremors of staggering zeal.

The craftsmanship of this sculpture matches the concept. I hope that the artist can gain one of Elvis Richardson’s trophies, which amount to a gaudy army, like a field of slayers, such as little boys might play with. So many wins! The copious ripper victories, represented by a horde of trinkets, makes you reflect on the utter futility of winning, unless you get financial reward (in which case you could do something valuable with the prize money).

Elsewhere, Richardson’s trophies reveal their own entropy, as her noble cups are rotting away, just as they deserve. It’s the neglect to which all sporting victories are destined, because they’re essentially trivial and ultimately give history nothing to remember.

Kate Daw & Stewart Russell celebrate a marvellous moment from the Olympics in 1968 when Peter Norman rose to the podium, performing a black power salute with a black athlete. You feel that Norman really earned the beautiful monument that Daw & Russell create for him. Tellingly, Norman’s brave political action completely displaces any memorableness of his athletic achievement.

Some of the works are cheeky, such as Scott Redford’s hilarious video, which shows men spraying the word ‘dead’ onto surfboards only to cut them up. On another monitor, two young women in bikinis come into a luxurious apartment to perform this morbid office. Laying the boards between the floor and foot of the bed, the beach-babes clumsily hack the wobbling boards with a saw, which sticks and jambs the further they get into it. The bodies of the women convulse erratically in this sacrilegious castration of surfing prowess.

I felt that the winner, Daniel Crooks’ video, ‘Static no. 11 (man running)’, maybe deserved eleventh place. It shows a man on a running machine in a gym. But something odd happens. The integrity of the filmed image is stretched across a vertical gulf, which yields a slippery fill of reciprocal flows, as in an irregular mirror. The director of the Potter, Chris McCauliffe, gives a clever analysis of the work, “like an eerie photo-finish caught up in a time warp”.

It made me reflect that maybe this “abstract ballet” deserves to win after all, because it’s the closest to sport and the furthest from art: it doesn’t reveal a purpose beyond its own tricks, an electronic banality striving for hermetic excellence.

robert.nelson @ artdes. monash. edu. au

September 29, 2008

Twitter Search Tool

Just discovered that twitter has it's own search tool, and it could, perhpas be used to get a feel for what is going on around you?

Twitter Search

Couldn't help myself could I

anti football league - Twitter Search
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

October 4, 2008

Fallibility, Atonement, Redemption, Trust, And Other Arcane Technical Concepts.

Found this page/article this morning, courtesy of an e-mail list/forum I participate in that is discussing computers and education.*

[From Neal Stephenson's publishers site, of the book, "In the Beginning was the Command Line."]

About twenty years ago Jobs and Wozniak, the founders of Apple, came up with the very strange idea of selling information processing machines for use in the home. The business took off, and its founders made a lot of money and received the credit they deserved for being daring visionaries. But around the same time, Bill Gates and Paul Allen came up with an idea even stranger and more fantastical: selling computer operating systems. This was much weirder than the idea of Jobs and Wozniak. A computer at least had some sort of physical reality to it. It came in a box, you could open it up and plug it in and watch lights blink. An operating system had no tangible incarnation at all. It arrived on a disk, of course, but the disk was, in effect, nothing more than the box that the OS came in. The product itself was a very long string of ones and zeroes that, when properly installed and coddled, gave you the ability to manipulate other very long strings of ones and zeroes. Even those few who actually understood what a computer operating system was were apt to think of it as a fantastically arcane engineering prodigy, like a breeder reactor or a U-2 spy plane, and not something that could ever be (in the parlance of high-tech) "productized."

Download the zipped file to read the whole article, I, of course spent a few hours turning the txt file into a dtp publishing application to 'dress' it up and make it easier to read.

OK; OK; so I'm mad.

Some noteworthy quotes

..."Applications get used by people whose big problem is understanding all of their features, whereas OSes get hacked by coders who are annoyed by their limitations."
..."Or they could make the browser one with the OS, gambling that this would make the OS look so modern and sexy that it would help to preserve their dominance in that market. The problem is that when Microsoft's OS position begins to erode (and since it is currently at something like ninety percent, it can't go anywhere but down) it will drag everything else down with it."
..."The OS has (therefore) become a sort of intellectual labor-saving device that tries to translate humans' vaguely expressed intentions into bits. In effect we are asking our computers to shoulder responsibilities that have always been considered the province of human beings--we want them to understand our desires, to anticipate our needs, to foresee consequences, to make connections, to handle routine chores without being asked, to remind us of what we ought to be reminded of while filtering out noise."

*Written in 1999, so some aspects of the article may or may not be relevant.and according to Wiki, now defunct as a piece of software. But I feel the principles regarding how and what a computer is used for, still hold true.

October 26, 2008

Filtering out the fury: how government tried to gag web censor critics

Should we be alarmed?

[From Filtering out the fury: how government tried to gag web censor critics]

Same old same old?

November 7, 2008

STREET WITH A VIEW: a project by Robin Hewlett & Ben Kinsley

Talk about grass roots art, meets corporate technology. This link thanks to

[From STREET WITH A VIEW: a project by Robin Hewlett & Ben Kinsley]

More of it I say.

December 2, 2008


Springfield gets an Apple store.

December 6, 2008

Free WiFi Hotspots in Melbourne's CBD

This year I got an iPod touch for my birthday. As a handheld note taker, organiser, calendar, address book, & mp3 player it is more than useful. If I can get free wi-fi while out and about using it, it moves into a whole other league. So it's a bit of a challenge for me to find free wi-fi when out and about.

Before today, Fed Square, the SLV, were the 2 spots I knew existed. Today; I discovered a service called Tomizone, that will provide 500 mg of free wi-fi a month, until the end of 2008, which ever comes first, for your iPod or iPod touch.

Here is a map of the locations in the CBD where it exists.

Locate Wi-Fi Hotspots - Tomizone
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Of course there's places like Joe's Garage in Brunswick st. Fitzroy that has it as well, the itunes store has a free app to locate free wi-fi as well, and there is this website that lists it too.

McDonalds, features heavily on this site, not sure if you can just sit down and start using it though?

December 7, 2008

Web Directions North

I personally won't be attending, but if any of my readers are interested, and go, say hi to John for me.

[at Web Directions North]

Using the web as a kind of easily accessible tool for all kinds of publishing is a secret passion of mine, I 'met' John, an Australian developer who makes Stylemaster in my early research on web design and have contunued to use his tool. His involvement in the web standars project, convinced me of the importance of CSS, and web standards. John's software has made that transition smoother, and deepened my understanding of CSS and how to use it.

December 14, 2008

Digital TV?

I am in the process of researching digital TV options, for home.

While I have high hopes for communities like youtube eventually usurping conventional TV. I am more than pleased the way choices are expanding in the areas of digital content.

my options seem to be at this stage; Apple TV, a PVR, or Tivo.

Finding the pros and cons between the 3 have not been easy.

Apple TV for example is really only a digital media centre. Adding a tuner though brings it close to a useful tool for watching content you've chosen to watch, when you want to watch it. PVRs and Tivo's I need to look a little closer at, one thing it seems, only Apple TV offers access to flickr AND youtube.

Part of the research involved going to the Apple store in Moonee Ponds where I got some great help from a chap called Asandrio [sp?]. While I was there, playing around with the Apple TV, I got to look at my flickr stream on a huge Plasma monitor, as well as listen to epsiode 1 of the scream. All round somewhat surreal experience.

End of analogue TV is in Sight

According to this article on the DV-B site, digital broadcasting will come online in 2009. This explains the ad on Tele at the moment that is promoting freeview.

Analogue Switch Off plans released.

[From DVB - Digital Video Broadcasting - Australia]

Will there be more choices, I suspect not, I doubt the the mainstream has really learned anything from the internet and places like youtube.

December 16, 2008

Pukka & Other Tools

Collection and organisation of information has never been more important, in this, the potential, pre-censorship era of Australian internet use. I have an account on delicious, while this is not the most feature rich of these tools, it more than serves my purpose of keeping track of interesting information I find in my travels, but of course, not only keeping track, also, organised as well, in a powerful and intuitive way.

Now I also use an application with it's own bookmarklet that ties in nicely with delicious account with out leaving the page I'm reading in any way. It is called pukka.

Sure, delicious has it's own bookmarklet, but pukka's is so effortless and so non obtrusive I wish I'd found it earlier.

Worth every cent of the $16.99 US I paid for it.

Here's a brief list of the other tools I can't live without.

December 23, 2008

More Smiles

Love this response when commenting on Gary's blog, junk for code.

Junk for Code: Comment Pending
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January 6, 2009

Picasa for Mac: Free download from Google

Less and Less on the desktop.

Picasa for Mac: Free download from Google]

Where will it lead? When will it end?

January 18, 2009

Boxee, Used to View Web on TV, Generates Buzz -

Is this the answer to my digital media search?

The software, which is free and available for download at, works on Mac and Linux computers, and on Apple's set-top box, Apple TV. A version of Boxee for Windows PCs is being tested among a limited group of users.

Mophone Research

Just discovered one of my flickr contacts, who also blogs, using a mobile phone camera, wrote Masters on 'Moleskine to Mobile : How Creative Professionals are Using Their Mobile', back in 2006.

January 24, 2009

More Free Software

More Free photo editing software available on the market, thanks the social networking tool, twitter, and

.: Sumo Paint :.

What never ceases to a amaze me is that with the interface which is so so similar to Adobe's soon to be extinct, and almost irrelevant Dinosaur, how do the makers of this software get away with it?

This software however seems squarely aimed at the web/design market with an emphasis on web design as the colour pickers and system seems limited hexadecimal input. Still I'm always glad to see the 'spirit' of the early computer days kept alive by these free offerings. Uploading is easy once yo work where and how, but I've been unable to save images to the account I created, and a couple of the duds I uploaded won't delete either?

Like so many of these apps there is a social element as well. Which is great, but is the world ready for more social websites?

February 6, 2009

100,000,000 geotagged photos

Geo-tagging an idea close to my heart reached a milestone recently on flickr

[Code: Flickr Developer Blog » 100,000,000 geotagged photos (plus)]

I like the idea of creating a collective narrative of who we are and where we are, something only made possible by the internet, computers, and sites like flickr.

February 26, 2009


Flickr recently introduced a new feature, that shows nearby photo for any geo-tagged photo, no suprises that my recent work shot in and around Korroit Creek has nothing by anyone except myself. The info and interface was sadly buried a little and took more digging than I expected, for flickr anyway.
Flickr: Everyone's photos taken nearby
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March 28, 2009

Another Graphic Editor

Pixelmator website

Thanks to my Wakoopa account I discovered this new little app called Pixelmator. Quoting the weekly mail from, it is the 5th most popular Mac graphics editor and:- trying to do what Photoshop couldn't: make a simple to use graphics tool that doesn't create a lesser end result.

After mucking around with it on this fine sunny Saturday afternoon, I was quite impressed. The interface, has some neat features that make it really cool to look at. I like the fact that I could add a mask directly to the 'background' layer, and the fact that is just opened my raw files no fuss. Generally though, it doesn't do anything special that photoshop doesn't. Of course I'm lucky Photoshop forms part of my job so it is provided for me, therefore cost never need be an issue. More troubling though was the way curves and levels handled colour. Pixelmator handles colour in exactly the same way that photoshop does, so that is a big no-no for me anyway. Also a quick test with levels seemed to indicate that pixels are indeed 'destroyed as I worked, one of Photoshop's most troubling problems, and one never talked about.

Some screen grabs to show how I test these apps quickly and easily.


First a test file I make to see how some of the basic tools work and to check the way colour works at a default level.

test file for editing apps

The file was easy enough to create, for the grey-scale measurements, the colour wheel a bit more difficult and I would need more time to make sure it was 'correct'. Even so the blue is meant to be a value of R0, G0, B255, and it looks off on my monitor, which was calibrated only a few weeks ago.

A feature I quite liked was the way tools and their options were enlarged while in use.


On my test file at a zoom factor of 200%, there was evidence of banding, bit of a concern, no higher bit depth editing available, not surprising given the price I guess, but the banding would/could be an issue for larger prints?


Raw Files.

I was very excited to see that the tool just opened the raw file I asked it to, no questions asked, again though, some processing controls at this point would be nice, even if it was just exposure, contrast and white balance.

no raw tools

There seemed to be some problems in some areas of the file, in terms of colour, but this could be the lens or the software.


Here is the file opened in the raw processor of Photoshop, and, the evidence points to the software; but not conclusively.

same file psp

Colour Editing

This software works the same as photoshop ie incorrectly, using both curves and levels. Lobster, made by Ian Lobb, goes into an in-depth discussion about why and how Photoshop handles colour incorrectly. Have a read for more information and background on this issue.

Firstly levels. An image made of pure colour, in this case, red, should display some changes when applying changes using the levels dialogue, none were apparent. Note the position of the sliders and the readout from the measuring tool.

fail x 1

Curves; same situation

fail x 2

Pixel Destruction?

Just like photoshop, these two screen grabs of a simple albeit heavy move with the levels tool suggest some data was lost.

levels 1

The second image below show excessive gaps, which suggests some loss of data.

levels 2

Photo Browser

Like any good app these days, the facility to 'browse' stored photos is a must and this app has that facility. However, because I have tested several of these tools over the last 6 months, or because of the apps shortcomings, I was unable to locate my external drives where all my photographs are kept. Pixelmator, very cleverly found my small iPhoto library. I however, rarely use it, and so many folders had been created by apps like Lightroom and Aperture already, I gave up trying to locate my files on my external drives.

Whether it is my system of organisation or the applications approach I'm not sure, but the option to choose the location of my files, somewhere in the preferences for example would be a huge improvement.
photo browser but where's my desktop and other folders?

long long long list

Colour Management.

One of the least understood and most important aspects of digital photography is colour management. Pixelmator's approach is simple and easy to use, a real plus for a such a piece of software aimed I'm assuming at a level of the market that may not really need to know or care.

colour manangement wow


All the usual suspects here. I guess standard these days. One standout feature though that Photoshop doesn't do is allow you to add a mask to the default image, or as Photoshop calls it 'background'. However I forgot to screengrab it, and am too lazy to go back and re-do it, you'll just have to trust me.

the usual suspects and more

One of my favourite techniques is to use adjustment layers in Photoshop to enhance and manipulate my images, Pixelmator doesn't seem to have the option despite being able to mask a background layer, ah well can;'t have it all I guess.


brushes options

The options for the brushes, were somewhat buried I felt. [Of course at no point did I read the manual] but once found were easy to use and modify brush types and sizes, exactly the same as Photoshop.

Here they are, the stand settings for brushes really.


Maybe the jitter options on, hue, saturation, lightness, are different, again not a tool as a photographer I use a great deal, so hard to say how useful it could be.

Value, but...

At 50 bucks US, it's a good piece of software. It has some major strengths, is easy and intuitive to use. If you were starting out in the design industry it's a real replacement for Photoshop. Pro photographers though, well, with Aperture and Lightroom really kicking Photoshop's arse at the moment, I doubt you'd bother.

April 5, 2009

New Flickr Meme?

So; it's been a while, but a new meme has emerged on flickr. According to the blog; a mere 6 weeks ago, this video introduction idea was started.


It has the potential to shift the focus; excuse the pun; of flickr entirely. This something that some people complained about with the introduction of video on flickr last year.

I gotta confess I'm a bit 'over' flickr's meme's, so I'm not planning on contributing, to this one.

If it takes off who knows where it'll go,though. From where I stand the emphasis will have shifted away from still images, to 'personalities'.

May 31, 2009

iPhone/iPod remote

Using your ipod or iphone as a remote for certain devices is well known, but how about a remote control for your camera?

Using the software made by onOne, you can tether a Canon to a computer with the remote software installed, then using your iPod touch or iPhone, control all aspects of the hoot, and preview them 'live']

As gadgets go, this is really amazing, and yes I finally confess to being a gadget geek, but those of you who know me, knew that anyway.

July 6, 2009

Lifehacker - Five Best Online Image Editors - Image Editing

Sadly even Photoshop Express [online] seems the mot popular, accoring to this lifehacker article.

Editing your images on a desktop image editor might be ideal, but sometimes you're away from your home workstation and need to do some impromptu editing. Check out these five options favored by Lifehacker readers

[From Lifehacker - Five Best Online Image Editors - Image Editing]


November 12, 2009


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A just and worthy cause, go donate now, or sponsor somebody to grow a mo' this month.

We sure as hell need as much research as possible into male depression and prostate cancer.

Trust me I know.

February 18, 2010

A new app has appeared, that enables chat and photo viewing at the same time. Photoflow, already does this, but the main difference is that, is a website, and users to set up rooms based on groups they admin. Flickrapp on the other hand gives you instan feedback on your photos, and the chat is stiil a giant big 'chat'. Be interesting to see if this take off?flickroom
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March 29, 2010


I recently rediscovered cooliris, it is an interesting way to surf the net with either a broad brush, or a more focussed approach.

Screen shot 2010-03-29 at 9.17.50 AM
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Key word searches can turn up strange results, but it's a pleasant way to scour lot's of information quickly.

April 11, 2010

Maps, Mapping and Place

From the map below you can see, that the corridor of images, that flickr deems the most interesting forms a relativley narrow corridor, running roughly East to West. No surprises really here, as these are the places I spend the most time at, home and work. I does give me an pointer that maybe I need to exapnd my explorations and see what I can come up with, Brusnwick for example, a suburb north of the CBD, is a rich area of post-industrial sites, in varying states of use.

I think it is quite apparent that my 'place' is in this East West corridor.

map of intersting
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May 7, 2010

CS5 Roadshow 2010

So; I spent Thursday at the Sofitel in Collins St. in the city, all day. I went to view the circus that is a Corporate sales pitch. In particular, Adobe's new Creative Suite 5.

The Sofitel was an excellent choice of venue, and the crowd was at some where near the 1000 mark.Almost packed to capacity on Twitpic The check-in process looked like it was in a log jam, but went rather smoothly and the guy who handled my 'booking' even greeted me by name, a nice touch, but not the first I'm sure. I was given my red enviro-freindly Adobe bag, full to the brim of printed materials and found a seat.[When I say full I mean 3 or 4 and is it just me or is there somewhat of an oxymoron in the idea of presenting an enviro-freindly bag full of printed materials?]

Once inside the 'vibe' was typically Melbourne, i.e. somewhat reserved. [I feel for the presenters in these instances as it is really hard to work a crowd, at the best of times, never mind one that is reserved almost to the point of hostile]. Free Adobe Rubic's cubes were handed out to the crowd if they were boisterous enough. Which some people tried to exploit. Needless to say not many were handed out, due in part I suspect by the lack of WOW factor in the product being demonstrated. At least the majority of presenters were Aussies, there's nothing worse than having an American Company send American minions to sell you on an idea/product.

The Keynote sold the main features of the Creative suite, they were.

  • 64 Bit processing
  • Publishing to multiple platforms
  • Cloud based services, and several other business level ideas.

The day began with Video Editing, not much there for me, so I used the time to tweet as best I could on my Sony Ericsson C902. The keynote referred to the the fact that all the apps have been re-built from the ground up to run in 64 bit mode, a real advantage for Video editors, not sure where Final Cut Pro sits in the scheme of things here though, but a plus for Photoshop and large raw files.

The big surprise for me was, Flash Catalyst, an interesting looking application that makes building flash applications easier, which is a pity because to quote a friend, far more tech savvy than myself:-

"Flash must die, it is the obese treacle elephant of the Internet and a culling of its inaccessible ass is long overdue."
I have never liked flash either personally, but for me it's more about the semantic nature of the web, for example it makes sharing links difficult, particularly when photographers use it to build 'galleries'. Perhaps it was just me but there also seemed to be a sub-text of anti W3C standards and contempt for the debate regarding Apple and it's not allowing the use of Flash to build apps for the iPhone. No surprises really, but the crowd of, what appeared to me, to be Graphic designers all lapped up every bit of stuff about Flash and the new app called Flash Catalyst.

By now, I am starving and beginning to realise that they are saving Photoshop till the end, I wish I had read the 'agenda' earlier[again this is made in flash so not sure if it will work, it didn't on my mobile device], as I could have saved 1/2 a day. The free wifi was not happening anyway so I gave up and turned it off to conserve battery. When lunch time did arrive I headed outside, and found some free wi-fi across the road at a cafe called, The Paris End Cafe, great sandwich guys and thanks for the free wi-fi.

Back inside, the Sofitel, I found a seat close to the aisle so I could make a quick exit towards the end, a good move it turned out. Next, Indesign's new features were demonstrated and again, it was primarily about multiple platform delivery of content, this is something Quark has been trying to sell for some time, and so Adobe gets no prizes for this, but now it makes sense to me given my own use of mobile devices and their current popularity, an idea that seemed alien to me 3 years ago. There are indeed some cool new features in Indesign, but this is not an application I 'teach' so, it was more about my own personal use of the program. It will help me publish my work to a variety of formats and devices, something that, is important to me now.

Finally Photoshop gets a look in, and of course it begins with the much touted 'content aware fill tool'. This is a great tool if your are a graphic designer or a lazy photographer, I rarely need to remove that amount of visual garbage from my images, in fact it is what makes part of the challenge for me, making a good image when we are surrounded by it, the garbage that is. So this tool worked well, in real life but the software was demonstrated on a PC laptop, so I'm yet to be convinced it will work well on a Mac. The two other features that made an impression on me were, the new masking tools, and the lens correction tool.

The masking tool now speeds up the whole process of removing models from backdrops and has the ability to quickly and easily refine that selection, and either create a mask, a separate file, or a combination of layer mask and file.

The lens correction tool was indeed awesome. After launching the filter, it, the tool draws on a database of lenses and using the metadata embedded into the file 'automatically' corrects the distortions in the image created by the lens. Using the new Adobe Lens Correction application you can even create your own files and add them to the database.

Creative Suite 5 is an impressive set of tools, Adobe have tapped the market well in as much as, they can see that the distinction between DTP, Designer, Web Designer, Videographer and Photographer is really being blurred. However as a photographer, given Photoshop's demonstrated poor handling of colour, there was not much to grab my attention. I am more excited by tools like Aperture and Lightroom than Photoshop now, and probably will only use Photoshop to demonstrate a handful of ideas and approaches in my teaching practice, I can in fact see an end for Photoshop in Photography education already, other than for use as a studio/fashion tool where a photographer works closely with a Graphic Designer or is a DTP operator as well as a photographer.

For a commercial take on the software, try Macworld's review, I'll pass you the grain of salt after you've read it.

Continue reading "CS5 Roadshow 2010" »

May 13, 2010

New Service

This new service offers to access your flickr stream and present a very nice customisable site as a consequence.
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June 11, 2010

Mapping Melbourne

This image comes from a flickr stream, by, Eric Fischer, in particular his set, Locals and Tourists Set. Red is for tourists and Blue for locals, yellow being for indeterminate photographers. I am surprised by the large amount of blue to the North of the city? And disappointed by the lack of blue to the West, MY neck of the woods.

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June 18, 2010

Internet Filtering

Technology at its finest.

June 20, 2010

Online Presence

My online presence just grew by another site, this time the site is called Fine Art America and is the American equivalent of Redbubble.

Stuart Murdoch - Fine Art - Fine Art America - FineArtAmerica
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Whether this pans out to any sales or more recognition I have no idea, we'll see I guess.

June 24, 2010

Flickr Gets a Facelift

Been getting some strange server error pages of late, this new page might exaplin why?

July 15, 2010


Google Chrome, my 2nd browser of choice now has extensions, allowing me to trick out the browser to do so much more. Will it replace Safari? I doubt it? Safari's colour management, ie Apple's colorsync are a given, and as I spend so much time looking at Photographs online, I need to feel comfortable regarding the colour.

chrome extensions
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July 16, 2010


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My current favourite piece of software just got better, I'll report back when I find out what this stuff does and how it impacts on my ability to organise my life using Evernote!

July 20, 2010

Note Taking Tools

Life hacker has a neat e-mail article today, looking at note taking tools. Citing ubiquitous mobile phone usage as its reason. Well I am a HUGE fan of Evernote™, mainly because it allows me 3 points of access and organisation for all my notes, my desktop, my mobile device, any web access point.

It seems that many share my enthusiasm for the tool as it was the clear leader overall, as suggested by those who participated, in the poll. I also like the simple builtin free tool that comes with my iPod, but Evernote™ is a more powerful tool, I even pay for the service even though, I doubt I will come close in reaching anything beyond the capacity fo free accounts.

Give it a whirl it's an awesome tool.

notetaking poll
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July 21, 2010

Browser Wars Cont'd.....

If anyone even cared, the browser wars are still raging, this very cool info-graphic give lots of information away.
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Original graphic is from,

August 12, 2010

More Online Experiments

Today, saw the creation of a new collaborative project, shared between myself and 3 other iPhone users. The project is hosted by posterus, and is called We all share a similar approach to picture making and have a similar regard for the web and its ability to share regardless of time, place or space. Where it will go I have no idea, we are spread across the globe, 1 in Asia, 1 in Europe and 2 in Australia. I may consider expanding the project to include one or two more people, contact me if you have a passion for picture making, regardless of device, and can afford to connect to the web anywhere anytime.

I also signed onto the site, an online site dedicated to sharing of iPhone pictures.

While we are on the topic of Posterous, I've begun using the space as, another small gallery for spontaneous projects as they occur.

August 18, 2010


I recently purchased two new books, while in Sydney.

"Wim Wenders: Journey to Onomichi: Photographs" (Heiner Bastian, Wim Wenders), and,

"Lee Friedlander: America by Car" (D.A.P./Fraenkel)

both wonderful tomes to sit and flip though, as I supervise practical sessions in the wet darkrooms and elsewhere.

For those who are curious, here's a peek at my entire library of books for the last ten or so years, on, I'm also reading a very engaging series of books, STUDYING PHOTOGRAPHY: A Survival Guide,"Your Assignment: Photography (Photo Developing)" (Douglas Holleley), and, "Photo-Editing and Presentation: A Guide to Image Editing and Presentation for Photographers and Visual Artists (Photo-Developing)" (Douglas, Ph.D. Holleley), again real refreshing insights into teaching Photography, not only the technical processes, but the creative and the organisation process as well, from creation to presentation.

Standby for a flurry of input, as, now I'm toting an iPhone everywhere, and making images, constantly on the fly, with the ability to upload immediately if I so choose to flickr, my posterous account, the shared posterous project, or twitpic.

November 4, 2010


I am thinking of resurrecting, an old photo blog. More news as it comes to hand.

December 7, 2010

Tumblr Woes, to Blog or not to Blog?

Screen shot 2010-12-07 at 7.46.33 AM.png

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I started another blog, this one hosted by tumblr. Which was in essence a resurrected blog from a different phone, same idea different platform and different phone.

Things were trundling quite nicely thank you, when after an announced outage for planned maintenance, the site has failed to come back online?

I chose tumblr, because it had a lively community of posters, who who share all sorts of strange and wonderful work, plus it and posterous were the only two that allowed direct uploads from my new iPhone 4.

Now I'm currently stuck in between a rock and a hard place and am not sure how to proceed, I want to keep the blog going as it, allows me to flex my creative muscle on a daily basis, the flow was happening quite well too; I felt.

Stay tuned.

About geek

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to musings from the photographic memepool [the shallow end] in the geek category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

flickr is the previous category.

hardware is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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