random thoughts

Well it's been quite a day -- I've been meaning to do some really well thought out, nice blogs since that hasn't been happening I thought I would throw out a few random thoughts.

First of all the fine folks at Apple released the Macbook. I must say I'm fairly impressed at the features & price point. Isaiah purchased a 17" MBP which he loves and while I'm totally jealous of it, I've really been looking for something small & portable. I'll run down to the Apple store tomorrow but if they have them in stock I might be coming home with one -- The only bummer is the graphics chipset is kind of cheesy (Intel 950) but I do love that small size!

Also the fine folks at Flickr updated their web interface. Really nice... It's always been the killer online photosite and know it's even better! Combined with RapidFlickr this is a great way to share photos.

I've also been working a bit on RapidBlog. It had become moribund but recently I've picked it up and made some steady progress... Still a ways to go and I'm not going to make any estimates at this point since I've been spectacular at missing them but it may see light of day some day.

Finally, I really need to talk briefly about Palm OS vs. Pocket PC. I recently purchased a Dell AXIM X51V which I mostly use for reading e-books. Great hardware but the software... well let's just say for all it's warts it makes Palm OS look really good (my cell phone is a Treo 650 which I love even though it's big)
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Lockdown now in German

Famous last words

"It certainly took longer than I thought
"

That sort of describes my attempts at providing Lockdown in German. I've thought it would be fun (yes fun) to make a localized plugin.

"No problem" I thought "First I need to find someone who actually speaks German"

Enter Marc Widmer who is from Switzerland where everyone (apparently) speaks about 5 different languages.

"Ok, now how do I actually do this"

Enter ilocalize which is also from a couple of brothers who are, curiously, also from Switzerland and who have a company called "Arizona Software" which, in case you are wondering, is not at all close to Switzerland.

"Great... Let's see just type in the german words where the english words, hit save ... ok that should be it"


.... Hmmm.. still in english
... Hmmm

Read more docs from apple where they say things like "You don't have to do anything really... it's all automatic"

Hmmmm....

(Each Hmmm is several weeks passing)

So I finally sat down and got it working... It's not pretty folks. You see the fine folks at apple never actually considered (as far as I can tell) that an application may not be localize but a plugin may. Stubbornly once OSX decides you are a non localized app in English it never reconsiders.

Why do I share this interesting bit of trivia? Well it's a warning, I may at some point in the future drop German localization if it becomes too painful but in the meantime if you put "German" before "English" in your system preferences enjoy

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Macbook & Sitemap 0.90

Rumor has it (or at least had it) that Apple releases the new MacBook (non-pro) tuesday (which as I write is now today!)

Even though I keep on eyeing the 'pro' version the fact is my iMac works great in my day-to-day life, what I do need though is something for Intel testing as well as traveling. If the price is right and the feature set isn't too crippled the intel iBook MacBook may be just the ticket.

Oh, and i just put Sitemap 0.90 up on the server. It fixes Google & Yahoo sitemap export (previously if a page was hidden they didn't show up in the search index). You can read more and get it here
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Rockets and warm Northern California weekends

So I've been working on German localization of Lockdown.. Turns out it's harder than you would think to localize a plugin when the main app is not localized, however it's taking me much longer than normal to get this complete.

The reason? The weather. It's been a really beautiful warm weekend here in Northern California and we've had friends over for dinner, bar-b-que's etc so instead of pounding on objective-c code I've, well, had a bit of a life.

Take rockets.. My 4 year old son and I have been working on a little project to make water rockets out of 2 liter bottles of soda, this weekend was so nice that we were outside most of the time and spent a lot of time working on it.

The result? We've been flinging 2 liter soda bottles all over the neighborhood, I took a video of him launching one of the bottles and extracted a photo (below). In this photo I extracted from the video you can see the bottle mid flight and if you look closely you can see the water spray as it ejects water. I did the math (looking at the bottle as it traverses the frame) and it's at 25km/h (16 mph) and accelerating as it leaves the top of the frame (not bad for a used soda bottle and bicycle pump)



Pasted Graphic 2

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Longhound

My friend Nik pointed out today that I got another TUAW mention (that's two in April!) for GoogleFill. Nice enough of the TUAW folks except they called me "Longhound" which is substantially different that "Loghound"

But you may wonder, gentle reader, what exactly is a Loghound, and how I come across this canine handle.

The answer (as is often the case) is quite boring.

Back in the darks ages of the internet I could get accounts and email addresses with things like, well, "John". In fact until 1998 I was known as "john@hp.com" (totally true!) but then something happened. "John" was harder and harder to find so I switched to "johnmcl" for things like hotmail, forum's, etc. which worked for a year or two but about 2000 that stopped working also and I was often given the choice of login or account names like "john_47" which didn't really suit me because I wasn't 47 and even if I was that would only be a temporary condition.

So one night I was logged in and trying to set up a account (I forget for what) and I started my usual list

"john" - Nope
"Johnmcl" - Nope
"john_mclaughlin" - Nope
"John_F_McLaughlin" - Nope
"ccrjohn" - Nope! (this was my email at college)

I was in a panic with the idea of forever being known as something like "john_47" and as I sat there I looked down and saw my keyboard which was made by Logitech and I thought "Log" and then I thought about a movie I had seen earlier that day and I thought "Hound Dog" -- Ah Ha! "Loghounddog" but my plan was foiled when the site complained about the length of the name so i shortened it to "loghound" and It's been with me ever since.



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Universal Binaries

I was on a tear last night moving to Universal Binaries.

First of all, PorDiBle the open source convert to palm doc format that I maintain is now universal Binary.

Secondly some, ahem, other-projects-that-I-can't-discuss-3.5-plugins were ported to universal binary.

Initially nothing seemed to work and I was in a fair panic but once I actually sat down and calmly read the docs it was as Steve described... you more or less select both i386 and ppc and hit compile -- Kind of amazing.

Of course I can't actually test the universal binaries but maybe I should get something to fix that problem (for testing purposes only of course)

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Sitemap 0.84 -- Finally

Sitemap 0.84 is finally up (in the download newest tab)... Lots of improvements but also lots of internal changes and limited testing so I've also kept 0.83 up (in the download stable tab)

Change Log is here...

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SiteMap 0.84 (again)

Well I had really hoped to get sitemap 0.84 out tonight but it's not going to happen.

Progress has been a little slow mostly because of the Easter Holiday (Relatives in town) as well as in the US April 14 is 'Tax Day' (e.g. you need to figure out and pay taxes). Needless to say I've been scrambling the last few days gathering receipts!

I actually have a build that seems to work (mostly) fine but I've not had enough testing and i really don't want to subject people to quite yet.

Hopefully I can get 0.84 out Tuesday evening (California time)

-john
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Sitemap 0.84

I've gotten a lot of great feedback and suggestions on SiteMap that I'm working on for a 0.84 release. One of the ideas I'm playing with is a better way to document your web site. I've hooked up the ability to create some pretty nice documentation via OmniGraffle & OmniOutliner...

These examples took a few button clicks and then a slight amount of tweaking.... I have no idea if there is any interest or not.... What do you guys think? Let me know


sitemap-notes
sitemap-org
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Sitemap 0.82

Thanks to everyone who has tried SiteMap and given great feedback... Although it works well I hope we can work out the last few niggling details soon. Speaking of which we are on the usual beta per day roller coaster (in this case two beta's per day)

I discovered a performance problem where a SiteMap could slow down the editing of your page (it was how I handle notifications of changes).... Version 0.82 is on the server and should fix this. I wouldn't have put one out so soon except for on very large sites it could cause a noticeable delay when editing pages.


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