Is’s Directory Still Relevant?

So, now that the iTunes Podcast Directory is out, it seems like there are waaaay too many podcast directories out there (,,,,, Podcasting News Directory, iPodderX, Podcast411 Directory, and many, many, many more).

The only one I’m likely to use is the iTunes podcast directory, so I’m wondering (out loud) about the value of the directory

Should be retired? Does someone want to take over the educational category?

Easy Photo Stitching with Autostitch

I’d seen Autostitch when it was first announced – as a research project by a couple of students at UBC. It’s a really cool app that takes in an arbitrary set of photos that were taken of the same scene, and stitches them together automagically without user intervention.

Very cool software, and it does an amazing job.

But, it’s Windows only. It runs OK in Virtual PC, but it’s slow (as expected). I would really love it if this was somehow included in iPhoto 5 – imagine being able to select a set of photos and say “stitch these together for me” – and have it actually do it…

Here’s a pano I did of the view from the condo we stayed at in Honolulu. I just took a bunch of pictures with my digital camera (no tripod or anything), and fed them into Autostitch.

Ilikai Pano From Suite 2110

Podcast 2005-06-29

Just a quick podcast to say Howdy (or is that Aloha?) after returning to Calgary. This was supposed to be a very brief Hello podcast, but turned into a 14-minute ramble about the 3 weeks away from the office.

Trying out the new “Podcast” AAC export in iTunes (actually, I tweaked it a bit to make the file even smaller). If anyone misses MP3 format, let me know.

Brief outline:

  • Talk about iTunes podcasting support
  • I’m listed on the iTunes podcast directory – no idea how I got there, but it’s kinda cool… guess I should podcast a bit more…
  • Talk about EarthCore
  • Talk about WWDC2005
  • Talk about NMC2005/Honolulu

Tune in here.

Update: Woah. Sorry about the level shift from the intro to the main audio. That sucks. I’ll redo the intro when I get a chance. In the meantime, get ready to turn the volume down after the funky bassline ends…

Back in town – travel notes from WWDC2005 and Hawaii

The Norman family got back into town yesterday afternoon, after what felt like a 24-hour journey home. Checked out of the hotel at 10am Sunday, returned home 3pm Monday… It was sunny and warm in Honolulu, cold and shitty and rainy in Calgary. I want to go back… :-)

There’s a whole bunch I want to blog about, including rants/raves about spending 2 weeks in Honolulu (and some tips for anyone else planning on doing the same).

We had a blast. Evan was surprisingly well behaved (sorta). And I got the shakes from not having an internet connection in the condo for 2 weeks (but there was a business centre in the lobby, which was well utilized).

In the meantime, I’ve put together a quick Flickr album on the Hawaii visit, as well as the previous week at WWDC2005.

Update: Here are the notes I put together on the timeline / tips from the trip. Thought I should paste it here before the file went missing from my desktop…

June 5 (Sunday)

  • Leave Calgary, Arrive San Francisco Sushi in Chinatown with King

June 6 (Monday)

  • WWDC 2005 Stevenote – Intel Inside™ Announcement
  • Find out about new WebObjects development licensing (YAY!)
  • Supper with Cole Camplese, Jason Ediger and friends

June 7 (Tuesday)

  • Find out about new WebObjects deployment licensing (CRAP!)
  • Supper with Scott Morris, Jason Ediger, and the folks

June 8 (Wednesday)

  • Have Pachyderm deployed as a single servlet .war package under Tomcat 3.x
  • Lunch with Peter Samis and the SFMOMA gang, Jason Ediger, Josh & King

June 9 (Thursday)

  • Apple Campus Bash, with The Wallflowers

June 10 (Friday)

  • Leave San Francisco, arrive Calgary

June 11 (Saturday)

  • Laundry. Repack.

June 12 (Sunday)

  • Relax. Get ready for trip. Sleep(?)

June 13 (Monday)

  • leave Calgary, arrive Honolulu
  • Check into condo at Ilikai
  • Visit Waikiki
  • Visit hotels around Ilikai – Hilton Hawaiian Village, etc…

June 14 (Tuesday)

  • Ala Moana Park Beach in the morning
  • Waikiki beach at Hilton Hawaiian Village in the afternoon

June 15 (Wednesday)

  • Take TheBUS™ to Waikiki with Josh – hit International Marketplace, Duke K. statue, etc…
  • Lunch with Josh back at the Ilikai @ Canoe’s

June 16 (Thursday)

  • Pachyderm 2.0 Session @ NMC
  • Family takes NMC tour of Waikiki Aquarium
  • NMC luau at Kapliani Community College

June 17 (Friday)

  • Creative Action At a Distance Session @ NMC

June 18 (Saturday)

  • Lunch with family and Alan Levine at the Cheeseburger Factory
  • Head to Waikiki for the afternoon, wind up staying for Sunset at the Beach – a festival right on the beach, complete with feature movie on a big outdoor screen. Great sunset, too.

June 19 (Sunday)

  • Ala Moana Center, lunch at Ruby Tuesday.
  • Ala Moana Park Beach
  • Torch lighting ceremony @ Ilikai

June 20 (Monday)

  • Bus trip to Polynesian Cultural Center
  • Luau and ceremony

June 21 (Tuesday)

  • Honolulu Zoo (lame)

June 22 (Wednesday)

  • Janice and George take bus tour of Oahu
    • – Dole plantation
    • – North Shore beaches
  • D’Arcy and Evan take bus to zoo, then hike back, and hit Waikiki Beach for the morning.

June 23 (Thursday)

  • Bus trip to Hanauma Bay for snorkling

June 24 (Friday)

  • Hike up Diamondhead
  • Supper @ Canoe’s
  • Fireworks

June 25 (Saturday)

  • Gay Pride parade
  • Walking along Waikiki area shops – Galleria aquarium store
  • Afternoon @ Ala Moana Park Beach
  • Torch lighting ceremony @ Ilikai, and musicians poolside
  • Supper @ Canoe’s

June 26 (Sunday)

  • Sea Life Park
  • Leave Honolulu

June 27 (Monday)

  • Arrive Phoenix, then Calgary

Podcasting from NECC

Apple and the NECC are doing some serious podcasting from this year’s NECC conference. I’m blissfully unaware of details, being stranded in Honolulu for another week ;-) but I’m sure I’ll have a lot of podcasty goodness to catch up on when I get back into town next week…

PS. I know this breaks my self-imposed blogging vacation. Evan’s sitting on the counter at the Ala Moana Apple Store, grooving to the Fly Guy while Janice is in Williams Sonoma getting her fix…

Update: The NECC podcasts are listed in the iTunes Podcast Directory, and there is a badge right on the Podcast page to make it easy to subscribe.

NMC2005 – Creative Action at a Distance

Josh, King and myself put on a session this morning called "Creative Action at a Distance" – where we outlined the tools that we use to collaborate while building the Pachyderm 2.0 software.

King iChatAVed in after 28 hours of sleep deprivation, shortly after landing at the Calgary International Airport – apparently there's wireless in the food court now…

It was surprisingly well attended – we had a full house (even if nobody wanted to sit in the front row…)

Some of the apps/utilities we use are listed on a wiki page – please feel free to extend/modify as desired.

Blogroll Export from Safari 2

Thanks to a pointer from Sameer D’Costa, I just used a handy shell script to export all of my Safari RSS subscriptions to an OPML file that can be imported into WordPress to update my links/blogroll. Easy peasy.

I hadn’t realized how much my subscription list had grown… It’s now up to 469 feeds, and I didn’t even realize it – that’s 100 new feeds since switching to Safari RSS.

Update: Almost forgot – had to modify the .opml export slightly. Out of the box, the script exports urls as “xmlUrl”, but WordPress expects “htmlUrl” – easy to change using a batch find/replace, and easy to fix the script, too.

NMC Opening Reception

The opening reception last night was pretty cool. Got to touch base with a bunch of folks that I hadn’t seen since last year’s conference, and got to meet a whole bunch of new folks. I didn’t win the iPod Shuffle, but that’s OK… :-)

I had one of the coolest experiences though. I just had a picture taken with Tim Wang, and as I look up, there is someone standing in front of me, noticing my nametag badge. All of a sudden, she breaks into this gorgeous smile, and says “Are you D’Arcy Norman?”

Um… Yeah… (I’m so clever in my on-the-spot responses)

“My husband and I read your blog all the time!”

So we walk over to where her husband is sitting, and we do the introductions. (Hi Brad!) Turns out my blog helped someone feel a bit more comfortable coming to a new conference. Very cool.

Got to Honolulu OK

Evan was absofreaking amazing on the flights from Calgary –> Phoenix –> Honolulu. Wow. I mean, I would have bet a million bajillion dollars against the poor lad. And I would have lost. He was the Perfect Child. Amazing.

Honolulu is pretty nice. Awfully busy, and quite touristy. But, what did I expect? I’ve posted some quick photos to my Flickr Account.

Thanks to everyone who sent positive karma/whuffie/wishes our way. Totally worked!

Email Autoreply Considered Harmful

I intentionally refuse to set an email autoreply (those annoying “I’m out of the office, but your email is very important to me” messages that get spewed onto mailing lists).

Autorepliers are too dump to not spam lists, and I generally check email regardless of where I am, so it’s not like important messages get dropped. Sure, less important messages might get neglected, but that should be the rule rather than an exception…

The NMC list is a perfect example of this. Someone sends a message, and (especially during conference season) it’s immediately answered by a bunch of “I’m not here…” messages. Annoying. I get it. You’re out of the office. Your email shouldn’t care where you are…

ps. this post is the first one I’ve written using the fancy new WordPress Dashboard widget. It’s rather barebones at the moment, but the idea is pretty cool!