Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crazy Costume Race 2007 Video

On Saturday, February 3rd, YP Voice of Oswego hosted its second annual Crazy Costume Race, part of the Warm Up Oswego Festival. I filmed the event and edited the video. Three teams, three sleds, one block. Who will win?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Making PDFs with free software and Wii are on the way

Making PDFs with free software

Recently, Adobe announced that it intends to release the Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7 specification for publication by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Also, the editorial in Issue 16 of Free Software Magazine Paper is dead - has PDF followed suit? makes a case about the perceived decline of the PDF format. In my opinion, PDF isn't dead, so this week I've compiled several techniques for making PDF files with free software.

My intention for the postscript was to emphasize content and not the delivery mechanism, and is in subtle defense of FSM dropping their PDF version of their issues. I feel that the medium doesn't matter as much as the message, but one still should take care in selecting the proper delivery method. The Making PDF files entry has done well on - 851 diggs so far, which I appreciate.

Wii are on the way

My brother, who lives on the west coast, has sent a belated Christmas present after insisting that I shouldn't give him anything this year... a check for a Nintendo Wii. I'm floored; it's an incredible gift, and I really, really appreciate it. So far, no store has any Wiis in stock (but they do have several PS3s collecting dust), but I'll keep trying. Alex, thank you! This really means a lot to me. I will be driving out sometime this summer to visit.

HDR Chernobyl Photos

I highly recommend reading Trey Ratcliff's entry Nuclear Winter in Chernobyl, a description and HDR photo tour of the reactor and Pripyat. It features beautiful, high resolution and haunting imagery of the abandoned power plant, ferris wheel, apartment buildings and playgrounds. If you just want to see the slideshow, they're hosted on flickr.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Unlocking your iPod's potential and building life skills with free software

Managing your iPod with free software

In the end of December of 2006, I wrote my first article for Free Software Magazine. It was accepted, and it was published today in Issue 16.

While iTunes is a powerful application, it does have its limitations, mostly stemming from both Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions and the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) interest in preventing unauthorized copying of music, regardless of fair use and personal flexibility. The free software community believes that the ability to freely copy content you own between your iPod and a computer is a right, not a privilege. I discuss how to fully manage the content on your iPod using completely free software in Managing your iPod without iTunes.

Using free software to build professional and life skills

I've found that many of the skills I've developed using free software and just plain "doing it myself" has been useful in my professional endeavors. This week at FSM, I considered some of the more abstract fringe benefits of using free software in Using free software to build professional and life skills.

Pikmin 2

I've been looking for good games for the GameCube, and this week I've discovered that Pikmin 2 is a joy to play. You play as two tiny aliens followed by a a crowd of eager-to-please creatures that look and act like friendly carrots. You're on Earth, trying to search out objects that can be used to pay back a loan and save your company. As your company is trying to market the objects, they come up with marketing names, such as "Sunseed Berry" for a strawberry, "Director of Destiny" for a compass, and "Quenching Emblem" for a 7-up bottle cap. The difficulty and learning curve ramp up very appropriately, and overall it's just fun.

Now, if I can wrap my head around Killer 7...