Monthly Archives: January 2009

iPhoto 09

First Impressions:

First impression is that nothing has changed from the last iteration, with the exception of a few new buttons and two new categories under Events and Photos.

Flickr export apparently only works with Pro accounts.  Way to add value to a Pro account, but not so cool for the folks that have iPhoto, but not necessarily a flikr Pro account.  Facebook connectivity I can’t comment on.

I still don’t have a Facebook account.  I’m playing a game called, “Don’t Join Facebook.”  I may lose eventually, but I’m going for the high score.

Now, onto the big hype, which is Faces.  I have a lot of photos.  A lot of photos.  I’m very interested in tagging them.  I’m very not interested in spending weeks going through each photo and tagging each one.

I love the new Faces feature.  So far, so good, and I’m getting great results for the time that I’ve put in, which is about five hours or so.  I have a full corkboard, and it’s really interesting to see people evolve over the years.  I can only guess at the results for children as they grow older, but if you keep at it, you can have one hell of a slideshow on their birthday.

Next, on to iMovie, but that’s another five hours I’ll have to spend playing with it.

Protip: Learn how to use the keyboard shortcuts for Faces.  I haven’t timed how long it takes me to process X number of photos, but I can tell you that it’s much, much faster than attempting to do it via the mouse.  Like most things.

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Lazy Friday night

As I sit here, waiting for iPhoto to recognize all the faces in my photo library, I am pondering the popularity of tower defense style games.

I have more than a couple, and the strange part is, you can play flash versions of tower defense games for free.  Desktop Tower Defense is pretty popular and has a great aesthetic.

On the PS3, I own two tower defense style games.  Pixeljunk Monsters and now, Savage Moon.  Pixeljunk, I think I like better than Savage moon, mainly because of the cooperative aspect of the tower building.

I’m trying to examine the appeal, to see if I can figure out the gameplay elements that I find the most attractive.  At their core, tower defense titles all play the same.  You’re defending a goal at the end of a path.  There is a predefined start and end of that path.  Your opposition starts at one end and if they make it to the goal too many times, you lose.  To prevent that from happening, you can build static defenses along the path that damage enemies.  Each enemy you defeat adds resources to a pool that you can then use to build more defenses, or upgrade existing ones. Continue reading

There is only one

I can recall it, not clearly, but I can recall it.  It comes, through the haze of a decade, through the rose tinted lens of nostalgia.

The memory comes not easily, but in tiny parcels, piecemeal, like the slow striptease of a lover.

I recall the November chill in the air, the warmth of the coat on my shoulders, and the reassuring weight of the the sword at my belt.

I remember thinking it was going to be an interesting night.

The night in question is one of those ideas from another era.  Let’s blindfold my roommate for his 21st birthday, take him to a public place, then draw live steel swords and then have a man dressed up as the pope stop the fight.

I’m really glad that we had the foresight to videotape it.

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An older tradition

I’m thinking about changing my calling cards.

I know, it’s a strange thing to think about, especially in this interconnected 24/7 social community immersion thing we have going on with twitter, blogs, social networking sites, talking on cell phones, texting on cell phones, newsgroups, instant messages, and chat clients disguised as video games.

But sometimes I feel while, I am able to “keep up” with everyone, I’m not actually taking the time to have a real conversation.

Thus, my calling cards.  I got them a long time ago, when I was in college before the internet and cell phones.  I even have the engraved plate.  You can see on the backs of the cards where the plate “bruises” the paper.

When I visited a friend’s dorm room, I would leave one on their board with a quick message and a date and time.  Professors loved them.  Meeting people was a snap, all I had on my cards was my name so I could put as much or as little information that I wanted on the card.  Handy for study groups.

Now, of course, I can’t just stop by a friend’s house.  We don’t really have visiting hours like we used to.  But the cards could still be handy in other ways.

I’m just looking at fonts now, trying to decide whether or not I add the URL or add a design, like a stylized gear or monkey.  Or a gear and a monkey.  Or a monkey made out of gears.  But not a gear made out of monkeys.

That would be strange.

I could just go incredibly quirky and get plain ivory cards with a QR code.  Because you know, that’ll be timeless.

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Kindle ing

I really like the idea behind the Amazon Kindle, I really do.

I’m ready for something I can take with me and just read what I want, when I want.  It seems to have a great screen, and its main selling point, books on demand, is something that I never really thought I would want until I thought about it.  Digital bookmarks and annotation sound great, too.

Way to create a demand I didn’t even know I wanted.

Wikipedia access for free is great as well, I can see that being a great time waster if you’re stuck at an airport.  Now that Kindle 2.0 is a near certainty, I’m actually thinking about purchasing one.  I figure that second generation is a good time to think about jumping on board. Especially with the rumored price drop, and thinner, lighter form factor.  I’m also reading something about a student version with a larger screen, so that’s interesting as well.  Provided that Amazon can get every textbook out there to cooperate, I could see that being a serious contender.  Having graduated eons ago, I seem to recall that lugging books was not my favorite thing about college.

This, will just be rolled into my inevitable waxing poetic over the days of having to carry books.  Also, growing up before, “the internet.”

Also a factor are the new aesthetics for the Kindle.  Granted, I have never held the current model in my hand, so I don’t know how ergonomic it is, but it just looks too sharp.  As if it was designed for some jagged, crystalline alien race.  I’m hoping that 2.0 is something designed for meatbag hands.

My other concern is well, buying into a proprietary format.  Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying content from the iTunes music store.

I guess ultimately I’m paying for convenience.

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