July 2003 Archives
July 16, 2003

No more Netscape

Open Source

Ugo Cei: Netscape is dead, long live Mozilla.

With the advent of Safari on Apple's MacOS X and IE on Windows, it looks like Mozilla's main target audience, at least from a consumer perspective, is going to be Linux only. This is really unfortunate, I was really hoping for a sequel of the browser war with a different ending than the first part.

Hopefully one or more commercial organizations are going to pour in some money to support further development of Mozilla. Otherwise larger adoption of the browser might be hindered by perceived lack of support.

Posted by ovidiu at 02:31 AM |

Price too low to be true

Photo

I noticed on eBay that Canon EOS 1Ds is being sold for prices as low as $1,200, which is way too low to be true. The lowest price I was able to find in a respectable shop was around $7,200. What is even more amazing is that some of the kits being sold on eBay also include a 1Gb IBM micro-drive and the Canon 16-35mm L lens, which alone is more than the asking price for the camera. Anybody knows what is the deal with these offers?

Update (October 30, 2003): Bob Atkins has a great article on photo.net about avoiding scams when buying photo equipment. He mentions not only eBay scams, but also "Scum of the Earth" photo stores with prices too good to be true.

Update (November 15, 2003): Somebody setup an auction on eBay explaining all about the camera scams. He's actually selling a photocopy of the instructions to conform to eBay's policy of listing actual items. Very nice!

Posted by ovidiu at 02:14 AM |
July 08, 2003

HTMLarea in MovableType

Weblogs

Steven Noels points out HTMLarea, a nice JavaScript solution for editing HTML inside a Mozilla. I installed it on my MovableType installation, really cool! My only complain now is that I don't have undo integrated with the system, e.g. pressing Cmd-Z doesn't work as expected on my Powerbook/MacOS X.

Oh yes, did I mention on MacOS X it works in Mozilla 1.4 only? Safari does not seem to work. Unfortunately a lot of other things do not seem to work with it :(

Posted by ovidiu at 11:32 PM |

CSS development with Mozilla

Open Source

Simon Willison has a very interesting Weblog entry about using CSS bookmarklets to speed up Web app development.

The most interesting ones I found were the edit styles and ancestors. You first have to bookmark the links on Simon's page. Then visit a site whose CSS style you want to develop. Now go in your bookmarks and select edit styles and ancestors bookmarklets. The first one will pop up a window with the CSS styles of the current page. The second one acts via side effects by showing you the DOM hierarchy for the HTML element the mouse is currently over. You can change the style of the Web page interactively in a very easy way.

Posted by ovidiu at 11:04 PM |

Matthew in the Valley

Random
Matthew at HP's garage.

Matthew made a brief visit in Sillicon Valley and I had the opportunity to show him around. We had a very good time and it looks like he enjoyed it. He didn't quite like the high prices at the Apple stores though. And we didn't meet Steve Jobs. Oh well, maybe next time...

Posted by ovidiu at 10:23 AM |
July 06, 2003

Arca-Swiss B1 ball head

Photo

Last week I got my Arca-Swiss Monoball B1 ball head, a truly amazing piece of machinery. I also got a quick release plate from Really Right Stuff, which perfectly matches my camera body, an EOS 7E. I wish they had L plates, they seem to be so convenient for taking vertical shots with a tripod.

On Saturday, July 4th, I took the new toys out in Yosemite for a day on the Misty Trail (Vernal and Nevada Falls) to try them out. It was quite a long day, woke-up at 4:30am, drove there for 3 1/2 hours, hiked up for 5 hours, and head back home for another 4 hours. The weather was very nice, although a bit too hot for hiking. Pictures should be coming shortly.

Posted by ovidiu at 10:10 PM |

Photo film processors

Photo

So far I haven't been too happy with any of the film processing labs in the San Jose area. For the past week I was contemplating getting my own film and print processor, so I can develop and print my own films without having to rely on untrusted photo labs.

My investigation revealed Jobo CPP-2, a semi-automatic film and print processor, which is about $1,600 new. The processor needs special drums for processing films and prints, but with a $500 rebate going on right now, these would come for free.

With such a tool, the chemical's cost for developing a negative film is about $1.60, and the price of a 4"x5" print $0.11 per print. The best part is that printing a large 8"x10" is only $0.44 per print and you can go up to 20"x24" for only $2.73, which is really economic. I read lots of positive comments about the quality and consistent results you can obtain with this processor.

The only concern I have is time, and I wasn't able to figure out how long is the whole process going to take. As I understand developing 5 negatives using an "expert drum" should be less than an hour in total. What I couldn't find is how exactly are the prints produced. It appears that with the additional VarioFormat Easel tool you can print up to four 4"x5" at once. The process however seems to be somewhat manual, and the time it takes is not clear.

None of the photo dealers in South Bay seem to carry the Jobo processor, the closest one I could find is Calumet in San Francisco. I think I'll pay them a visit later this coming week.

Posted by ovidiu at 09:44 PM |
July 02, 2003

Google: weapons of mass destruction

Random
Search on google for "weapons of mass destruction" and click on the "I'm feeling lucky" button or click on this link to get there directly. It's pretty funny...
Posted by ovidiu at 05:23 PM |
 
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