Adphoto is an advertising photography
and digital imaging company. My parents established it 33 years ago.
It’s Good Stuff.
We’d like to develop the stock photography side of our business. For
that, we need the ability to search for images and give clients
thumbnails before pulling out the original images from our archives.
The Digital Asset Management for Photographers book recommended a hard-disk based archive, but I wanted to make something work without disrupting the office (or my spare time) too much. =)
Right now, we use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to keep track of CDs
and their contents. Our digital librarian is in charge of assigning
numbers to CDs and describing the contents of the CD using keywords
and phrases. When someone asks for stock shots with a certain keyword,
she searches her Excel file and then physically retrieves the CDs in
order to make thumbnails. Our previous digital librarian started
filing copies of pictures in a directory tree arranged by subject, but
this was not accompanied by metadata, and it was hard to keep up to
Our librarian has been experimenting with iView Media Pro and
Extensis Portfolio. After some poking
around, I found out how to do offline indexing in Extensis Portfolio.
That would allow us to index thousands and thousands of CDs while
keeping thumbnails on the hard drive. iView also has this feature, so
we just need to play around with it and see which interface we like
My Adphoto goals for the next two weeks (I have to go back to
Canada in two weeks!) are to:
Improving the workflow would include:
This will be fun. Hectic, but fun.
I’m thrilled to report that a large company has given the go signal
for research on social computing. Social search, in particular. I’m
particularly excited about the opportunity to work with their internal
projects. This year is going to be so interesting!
I had a wonderful chat with Luis Buenaventura of http://oks.ph and a
gazillion other sites. =) Amazing, amazing. He’s a Fine Arts guy who
taught himself how to code in PHP, and he’s not only doing the usual
web design stuff but also thinking of how to build new businesses. We
viewer, stock photography, and web hosting. For my part, I gave him an
idea for a new game-oriented website. Now all he needs is a name…
He’s a heck of a hacker. I need to introduce him to Paolo Venegas.
They’d get along. =)
I’ve been thinking about the Adphoto
portfolio viewer. As nice and, well, flashy as a Flash portfolio
one, just in case (gasp!) someone who doesn’t have Flash installed is
browsing around. Well, ideally, we’d have both versions _and_ a static
HTML one, but it’s easier for me to hack together something in
that I don’t have Macromedia Flash MX.
On Technorati: adphoto
Big thanks to Cindy A. Trinidad, Roy C. Nicolas, Dominique Cimafranca, Charo Nuguid, JM Ibanez, and Clair Ching for sharing their education-related insights with me. They helped me think about what I want to do after graduation. =)
Cindy shared how seminars on teaching technique greatly helped her
manage her classes. She runs an end-user training company that caters
to children and adults. This is how her new hires learn how to teach:
We all think that teachers have to spend a lot of time walking around,
keeping an eye on students’ progress and making sure everyone can keep
Cindy also shared with us her thoughts on the need for good textbooks,
and the abysmally low pay for writing such!
By asking questions, Roy helped me narrow down what I want to do.
We came up with something along the lines of:
Heh. Well, must figure that out sometime.
That isn’t the only way, though. Dominique told me about Positive(?),
an initiative to help improve computer science education in colleges.
(Whee! I’ll just piggyback on that.) Charo told me about Voice of
America(?) and that one can actually do quite a lot without major
Anyway, here are the main insights:
Whenever I meet geeks for the first time, I tend to run through a list
of tools I think they should try out. Here’s a partial list:
I’ve got more lists around here. For example, I go through a different set when talking to a Web 2.0 person…
Today was Cook or Die dinner with Dominique and Marcelle. I found a
packet of pepper beef stir-fry seasoning mix and a recipe for bean
sprouts with Chinese egg strips. I was supposed to cook it for lunch,
but my family decided to go out then, so I ended up cooking it for
Pepper Beef Stir-fry
I chopped the spring onions a bit more finely than I should. I
completely forgot about the 3 cm description! Oh well. It didn’t turn
out too bad, although the spring onions practically disappeared.
Bean sprouts with Chinese egg strips
Not a bad meal. Again, I was a bit overzealous with the knife, chopping the green pepper instead of slicing it. Oops. That’s okay, it was still edible.
It wasn’t a particularly impressive meal, but it wasn’t a bad way of using beansprouts.
How do real-estate websites show 360′ virtual tours of their spaces? I
spent part of the afternoon looking at software for possible business
use. Here’s how they do it, I think.
*Take photos.* First take super-wide-angle shots, rotating your camera
around a fixed point. A number of stores sell fisheye lenses and
camera mounts for this purpose. The mount for spherical pictures (all
directions, including up and down) is more complicated than the mount
for a 360′ panoramic shot. If you don’t mind distortion, then you can
use a regular camera and just take pictures facing different
directions, relying on stitching software to compensate a bit for the distortion.
*Stitch the pictures.* Camera designed specifically for 360′ or
spherical shots may be able to capture the entire scene in one image.
However, if you’re using a rotating mount or you’re taking pictures in
different directions, then you’ll need to combine the images into a
seamless panorama by using stitching software.
*Produce the brochure.* 360′ viewers range from simple ones that
smoothly scroll a panoramic picture, to more interactive viewers that
include floor plans and clickable hotspots in the image. Choose the
software that fits your intended purpose and budget.
Some companies that sell 360′ software:
Whee! I was offered the Praxis II teaching assistantship!
It was just _perfect_ for my interests. I’ll get to set up wikis, blogs, and other fun things to help the students manage and publish their thoughts. Whee!
Creating proper thumbnails in Photoshop was a mission and a half. I found a handy Imagemagick incantation for thumbnails. Here’s the one I’ll use to create 400×400 centered thumbnails for the photo gallery.
convert -size 400x400 sacha-20051201.jpg -thumbnail '400x400>' -bordercolor black -border 200 -gravity center -crop 400x400+0+0 +repage test.jpg
Remember that there is only one important time and that is
now. The present moment is the only time over which we have
dominion. The most important person is always the person you are
with, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have
dealings with any other person in the future? The most important
pursuit is making the person standing at your side happy, for
that alone is the pursuit of life.
On Technorati: reflections
E-mail addresses removed. But it’s the real Stephen J. Turnbull… =)
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" Subject: Re: TODO extension for source code and Emacs To: tlug (Tokyo Linux Users Group) Date: Wed Jan 18 14:17:40 2006 +0800 >>>>> "Ian" == Ian Wells (ijw) writes: Ian> Actually I was hoping for something that understood Ian> todo-lists (i.e. allowed you to tick stuff off and add Ian> unrelated items) but I think I may be fantasising. (a) [the helpful answer] Find Sacha Chua (TLUG denizen), this is up her alley.
Will write a good reply on the plane.
E-Mail from Stephen J. Turnbull
This is totally, totally, totally sweet. I _must_ get into this.
Personal information management with wikis?
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION 2006 International Symposium on Wikis (WikiSym 2006) August 21-23, 2006, Odense, Denmark Co-located with ACM Hypertext 2006 Sponsored by ACM SIGWEB See http://www.wikisym.org/ws2006 Research paper submission deadline: April 15, 2006 OVERVIEW The 2006 International Symposium on Wikis brings together wiki researchers, practitioners, and users. The goal of the symposium is to explore and extend our growing community. The symposium has a rigorously reviewed research paper track as well as plenty of space for practitioner reports, demonstrations, and discussions. Anyone who is involved in using, researching, or developing wikis is invited to WikiSym 2006! To learn more about the Wiki Symposium, feel free to browse last year's program (http://www.wikisym.org/ws2005/program.html), the proceedings (http://www.wikisym.org/ws2005/proceedings), and its wiki (http://ws2005.wikisym.org). Information about the 2006 program will be available at http://www.wikisym.org/ws2006. We are seeking submissions for - research papers - practitioner reports - demonstrations - workshops - panels Research paper and practitioner report submissions as well as workshop proposals are due - April 15, 2006 Panel and demonstration submissions are due - May 1, 2006 Topics of interest to the symposium include, but are not limited to: - wikis as social software - wiki user behavior, user dynamics - wiki user experiences, usability - information dynamics in wikis - work group processes, wiki-based collaboration - reputation systems, quality assurance processes - wiki implementation experiences and technology - wiki administration, processes, dealing with abuse - wiki scalability, social and technical - wikis and the semantic web/ontologies, semantic wikis - domain-specific/special-purpose wikis - wikis in education SUBMISSION DETAILS Research papers will be reviewed by the committee to meet rigorous academic standards of publication. Research papers are expected to advance the state of the art by describing substantiated new research or novel technical results or by reporting on significant experience or experimentation. They are reviewed both with respect to conceptual quality and clarity of presentation. Accepted research papers will be provided as part of the conference proceedings. They will be put into the ACM Digital Library and can be referenced as papers that appeared in the Proceedings of the 2006 International Symposium on Wikis. At the symposium, the presenter will be given a 25min + 5min Q&A presentation slot. Research papers should not be longer than 10000 words and 20 pages and should meet the ACM SIG Proceedings Format, see http://www.acm.org/sigs/pubs/proceed/template.html. Practitioner reports will be reviewed for suitability of presentation to the community. The primary evaluation criterion is the interest to the community. Practitioner reports will be provided as part of the conference proceedings handed out at the symposium and can be referenced as papers that appeared in the Proceedings of the 2006 International Symposium on Wikis as well. Practitioner reports should not be longer than 6000 words and 12 pages and should meet the ACM SIG Proceedings Format. Demonstration, workshop, and panel submissions will be reviewed for their interest to the community. A submission should consist of two pages describing what you intend to do and how you meet this criterion. It should include a 100-word abstract and one-paragraph bios of all people relevant to the submission. Demonstrations will be presented in a joint demonstration session, workshops will get a half-day or a full-day and a room of their own (depending on your request), and panels will get a 90min slot at the symposium. Please submit your papers or proposals in PDF format by the respective deadline through our submission system, which will be available through the WikiSym website. Questions should be directed respectively at email@example.com (research papers and practitioner reports), firstname.lastname@example.org (workshops), email@example.com (panels), or firstname.lastname@example.org (demonstrations). SYMPOSIUM LOGISTICS The 2006 International Symposium on Wikis will be held at the Radisson SAS H.C. Andersen Hotel in Odense, Denmark, August 21-23, 2006. A special (reduced) hotel rate has been negotiated. WikiSym 2006 will be co-located with the ACM Hypertext 2006 conference (back-to-back), and participants may register for the symposium alone, or may jointly register for WikiSym and Hypertext 2006. Registration is handled through the ACM Hypertext website. If you have any questions, please contact Dirk Riehle through email@example.com. SYMPOSIUM COMMITTEE Dirk Riehle, Bayave Software GmbH, Germany (Symposium Chair) Ward Cunningham, Eclipse Foundation, U.S.A. Kouichirou Eto, AIST, Japan (Publicity Co-Chair) Richard P. Gabriel, Sun Microsystems, U.S.A. Beat Doebeli Honegger, UAS Northwestern Switzerland (Workshop Chair) Matthias L. Jugel, Fraunhofer FIRST, Germany (Panel Chair) Samuel J. Klein, Harvard University, U.S.A. Helmut Leitner, HLS Software, Austria (Publicity Co-Chair) James Noble, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (Program Chair) Sebastien Paquet, Socialtext, U.S.A. (Demonstrations Chair) Sunir Shah, University of Toronto, Canada (Publicity Co-Chair) PROGRAM COMMITTEE James Noble, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (Program Chair) Ademar Aguiar, Universidade do Porto, Portugal Robert Biddle, Carleton University, Canada Amy Bruckman, Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S.A. Alain DÃƒÂ©silet, NRC, CNRC, Canada Ann Majchrzak, University of Southern California, U.S.A. Frank Fuchs-Kittowski, Fraunhofer ISST, Germany Mark Guzdial, Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S.A. Dirk Riehle, Bayave Software GmbH, Germany Robert Tolksdorf, Freie UniversitÃƒÂ¤t Berlin, Germany
E-Mail from Mark Chignell
I prepared champorado and arroz-caldo today, from the mixes.
Arroz-caldo is probably too light for a packed lunch unless I pack
three or so regular servings, but it’s good for merienda. The dried
ginger used in the instant arroz caldo was pretty strong!
This weekend seems to be for Graduate House socializing. The smell of
rice wine and soy sauce still sticks to me, a souvenir from the
Chinese cooking workshop at 5:00 yesterday afternoon. In the evening,
I performed a very short demo of the diabolo as part of the talent
show. Everyone liked it. I did it to the tune of Jeux D’ Enfants from
the Alegria soundtrack. The audio cable my dad gave me proved very,
very useful. =)
Oh, and I bought myself cute tights. Very 60s. I also wore The Skirt.
Kathy knows which one that is.
ARGH! I forgot to ask someone to take my picture.
I organized my under-bed drawers, dividing the tops into:
and the bottoms into:
With that and the combinations I’ve set out in the closet, I think
I’ve gotten my clothes under control now. We’ll see how long this
On Technorati: organization
I gave a presentation on Taming the TODO for the New to Linux Users
Group. It was a very small session, just five people in the audience,
but worth giving anyway. I learned more about the topic as I presented
it, and people enjoyed my enthusiasm. =)
The metadata class was okay. The professor doesn’t just read off the
slides. She tells stories sometimes, too. I’m glad that we don’t have
too many oral presentations, though… <laugh> My classmates
were informative, but tended to read off the slides.
I am totally in love with Scopus. Try using it to search for scholarly papers. It pwns Google Scholar for structured search. ;)
My oatmeal has gone missing. I really, really, really should’ve
scribbled my name on it.
I wrote a note on my receipt (thank goodness I keep records!) asking
if anyone had seen my open paper pack of quick-cooking oatmeal. A
Post-it addendum apologized if I’d been unknowingly taking from
someone else’s supplies and asks that I be informed so that I can
check with the supermarket or just absorb the loss and buy another
pack. A third Post-it note added that if people had been mistaking my
oatmeal for the intact one-minute oatmeal buried behind the brown
sugar on someone else’s shelf, then no problem, but please stop moving
Life is too complicated for 8:00 in the morning.
On Technorati: dorm
<sigh> I miss the Philippines and mangoes that ripen beautifully.
I tried one of the mangoes today, and it wasn’t sweet. I should’ve
checked the others regularly.
Next time: put them all in the fruits compartment instead of leaving
them out (remember, indoor heating makes it _warmer_ than home!), and
check them every day.
If I find a proper mango here, I’m going to splurge on getting it.
My oatmeal returned sans receipt and note. I feel mildly justified. =)
I want my receipt back, but I think that leaving another note would be
The free fireworks show at Nathan Phillips Square was totally awesome,
and dragging friends out there was a terrific idea. Thanks to Steve,
Stefan and Mike for humoring me on such short notice! =) Too bad James
couldn’t make it, but he definitely wanted to join us next time.
(I really, really should make a password-protected wiki to help my
friends and family back home keep all these people straight in their
heads. =) )
Wish the JGL could’ve been there. I miss my friends from home! But
it’s nice making sure that the other students enjoy Toronto as well.
I’ve figured it out. I might just stay in my room and surf if I’m by
myself, but now that I know that people out there are like that and
won’t get to experience Toronto well unless I drag them
I prepared some hot chocolate for my friends as we chatted in the
common room. I showed them the airmail packet and told them how my mom
sent me the chocolate with hankies and lots of love when she heard how
homesick I was. They all went “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…”
And my reading is going well, too! Now that I’ve figured out that I’m
interested in “communities of practice”, I’ve turned up a _gazillion_
papers to read about knowledge management and the spread of
information… I really like writing my thoughts down in that
notebook, and I’m starting to get enough material to want to write a
blog post or mini-lit-search on knowledge management in communities of
practice. Another interesting topic would be inferencing communities
from bookmarks and other shared resources. Anyway, we’ll see.
The temperature may be going down, but life is looking up.
I can’t believe I decided not to watch Ong Back in the theater. It’s
hilarious! It’s a lot bloodier than the other martial arts films I
like, but the chase sequence in the first half of the film is comedy
Heh. I remember Sean’s blog post…
I was thinking of watching the magic show that’s part of the Winter
City festival, but it rained all day today. Gloomy skies and cold
winds are really not fun! I headed out anyway to watch a
pay-what-you-can show at a theater on campus: Federico Garcia Lorca’s
“The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden.”
It is a story of a love so strong that it ends in death, a favorite
theme of playwrights (and pretty much everyone else) carried off with
a touch of comedy. I figured out how it was going to end halfway
through, and cried a bit even before the actors played it out.
Yes, I’m such a softie.
Good experience. I should keep my eyes open for other plays.