tweetcloud: dnorman

Apparently, my Twitter account became the primary stress test for the cool Tweetcloud service, which crunches through every tweet posted for a given account, and generates a cloud of words ranked by frequency. Although I’ve been posting to Twitter like a madman today, they were actually able to get it to crunch my account:

Tweetcloud: dnorman

One thing that surprised me: I was sure “fracking” would be the #1 word, followed shortly by WTF. Surprise!

Thanks to John Krutsch and Jared Stein for their work on beefing up Tweetcloud to be able to handle the sheer scale of my self-absorbed banality.


The 2008/366photos project just hit the 1/4 mark. Just over 91 days in. I’ve been surprised at the number of edu-folk that decided to try the photo-a-day challenge this year. It’s fun, interesting, frustrating, challenging, and sometimes really difficult trying to come up with at least one photograph every day that doesn’t suck (or, hopefully, is interesting and/or good).

So now, we’ve got 40 people in the 366photos group. Currently there are over 1800 photos in the pool. There are likely many photos that are part of the project that aren’t included in the pool (for myself, several are marked as “friends and family” only, because they are photos of my son and/or his cousins).

That blows me away. And there are some really, REALLY good photos in there. It’s pretty cool to see people trying new things. Watching Michael play with off-camera flashes. Jen and Brian getting comfortable with their new toy. Stephen capturing winter in New Brunswick. Alan catching the cool stuff around Strawberry (and beyond). I’m not going to go through and list all 40 members :-) but it’s been very cool watching what people come up with!

To be clear, though, this is not the only photo-a-day challenge group on Flickr. There’s a 365photos group, 366 2008, Project 365+1, 366 of 2008, and any number of other similar groups. There are probably thousands of people just on Flickr doing the project.

But what is so cool about our own little 366photos project, is that it’s composed almost entirely of edu-folks. A little community-within-a-community, of people trying something new and working (intentionally or otherwise) to improve their abilities and contribute content to the group. That’s awesome.

why I love my Network

I’m firmly in the @injenuity “The Network is People” camp. And I freaking LOVE my network.

I’ve been experiencing an annoying glitch on my MacBook Pro since upgrading to MacOSX 10.5 – nothing serious, but occasionally it’d bug me. What happened was, if I opened a Finder window to /Users – it would show every user’s home directory except mine. I mean, I know it’s there, because all of my files are there. And if I used Terminal or remote SSH login, the directory was certainly there, as were all of my files. If I used Finder’s Go to Folder command (Command + Shift + G) I could enter “/Users/dnorman” and all was well.

But it was annoying.

Every once in awhile, I’d try to debug. I’d use Terminal and navigate to /Users. I’d run ls -l and I’d see this:

$ ls -l
total 0
drwxrwxrwt   7 root     wheel     238 23 Mar 15:17 Shared
drwxr-xr-x  13 demo     demo      442 14 May  2006 demo
drwxr-xr-x@ 47 dnorman  dnorman  1598 31 Mar 18:12 dnorman

The other user directories had either a + or no symbol after the file mode section. My directory had a @. WTF. I’ve tried looking through man. man ls. man chmod. Couldn’t find any mention of @. Try googling for @. Not helpful. This is where the gaping holes in my *NIX geekery are exposed. I was completely stumped.

Finally, I decide to try checking with the LazyWeb. I posted a tweet to roughly describe the problem – as best I could in the 140 character limit – and…

Waited 3 minutes before @thepatrick responded with a hint, and another one.

So, a few seconds later, I was running a new (to me) command via the command shell, finding out about xattr to list extended attributes about files.

$ xattr -l /Users/dnorman
0000   00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00    ........@.......
0010   00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00    ................

Bingo. There’s some funky bit set. So, how to nuke it. I ran man xattr and found it has a -d flag, which is used to delete attributes by name. So I ran this:

$ xattr -d /Users/dnorman


My home directory now properly shows up in Finder. Everything’s hunky dory.

The power of my Network, harnessed with a simple LazyWeb plea, solved in 3 minutes what I’d struggled for 5 months to solve on my own.

I love my Network. It’s the people.

Thanks, Patrick. I owe you a $beverage.

Media Gallery in WP 2.5

I think I’m going to like the new media management and gallery system… Multiple file uploads, automatic image resizing (although it looks like my server doesn’t have enough RAM to crunch 8MP photos?) and embeddable galleries? Nice. Wonder if it works…

Yeah. GD or ImageMagick or whatever is used on the server to resize completely barfed on the original 8MP photos I tried to insert – they weren’t resized, so the full photos were embedded on the page. I’ll have to see if there’s a workaround, or just use smaller source images…

Upgraded to WordPress 2.5

WordPress 2.5 went gold this morning, and I figured I’d go ahead and upgrade my blogs.

The very first thing I did was back. everything. up. Files, data, configuration. I used rsync to send everything to my desktop box on campus, where it will be further automatically backed up by Time Machine to an external drive. You can never have too many backups. Not that anything ever goes wrong…

Then, I upgraded the relatively simple photoblog – no problems at all. WP 2.5 seemed happy on my server, and there weren’t any issues with the upgrade process. Now to try it on my main blog…

I made sure all plugins were up to date, then disabled every one of them. Upgraded WordPress and ran the database upgrade. Logged in again (it updates the password storage hash, so you get to login again to update that), and everything seemed good. Quickly poked around the shiny new admin interface, which is nice but will take some getting used to. Then, I headed over to the Plugins page to start enabling the constellation of stuff I use to make my blog do what I want. They all worked, with the exception of the Popularity Contest plugin. So I left that one disabled.

Interesting. The visual editor seems to be cranky. The ctrl-A shortcut to fire up the hyperlink doowackie doesn’t work, and when I hit the “link” icon in TinyMCE, I just get a blank popup. I’ll try nuking the TinyMCE plugin and reinstalling from the fresh WP 2.5 copy…

I do like the new Tag autocompletion. Kinda like what Drupal has had for what? 2 years now…

Anyhoo… If you can read this, it kinda sorta worked.