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Things. Pretty. Dirty.

Caught Dirty Pretty Things with Fi and B today at the Luna, and I can only say “wow”; a very cool movie. And like all very cool movies I see, I’m telling you to go see it, or rent it, or exploit whatever means you might have to experience it in whatever country you might inhabit. Great story, great casting, great sets. I thought it was great.

And yes, we went to see it because Audrey Tautou is on the poster, and because Audrey Tautou is cute as a button.

Whaddya know… we’re lawbreakers

As if we weren’t breaking enough pathetic, outdated, and insignificant laws in our day–to–day lives… it turns out that ripping your own bought CDs to your hard drive is illegal too. Which, in turn, makes listening to the tracks on your iPod illegal. Which, again, turns ordinary decent Australians like me, Dan, and Rich into criminals.

I swear to god, if I had the money I’d just buy an island and start my own fucking country.

[via BoingBoing]

Back in session

If you hadn’t already noticed by the incredible quiet around here these last few weeks, UWA is back for more — semester two: electric boogaloo. This time ‘round I have the pleasure of studying Java Programming 124, Software Engineering 104, Linguistics 102, and Philosophy 125 (the Ethics and Religion options… Descartes can go fuck himself). It wouldn’t be so bad if Software Engineering didn’t expect that you’d already studied Java, but these things were sent to test us, and test us they will.

How exactly we’re expected to code at 10 in the AM I have no idea, but since that’s precisely what we’re doing on Wednesdays and Fridays my body clock is taking another one for the team… shuffling back another half a day to accommodate this ridiculous “get up before noon” schedule of theirs. Between uni, work, and the few other projects I have up my sleeve I’m pretty much swamped… which would be nice if I weren’t on a pretty tight caffeine ration.

Chloe has taken a proverbial beating (or “literal scratching” as I like to think of it) at the hands of my Java lecture notes already; the staples in which being so huge and misshapen that they have drilled little holes into her delicate (!) case. This is the first sign of disfigurement she’s suffered since our union and she suddenly don’t look so pretty no more… I’m considering changing her name to “Clawy” or somesuch. That is, after all, what I did with my girlfriend after that open–heart surgery of hers; which is why I like to call her Fionaaargh.

And finally, as if I could forget, I’ve had to shirk my responsibility to show Joe a good time in the gay capital of the southern hemisphere and forfeit my trip to Sydney for WE04. I will instead be traveling around the globe come December, with a short stopover in a town near you, so you’ll need to start work on your placards and tiny Australian flags now.

Damned public transport

For the better part of last week I had the quote–unquote–sarcasm “wonderful” experience of having my orbital sockets filled with kitty litter. Well, maybe not kitty litter exactly, but my eyes felt incredibly dry and scratchy; and for that entire week I hadn’t the slightest notion of why. Was I over–tired? Was the up–before–noon daily grind taking its toll in the worst possible way? Had my cat found a weakness in my impenetrable bedroom defenses and come to slumber upon my forehead at night? Boggling. Truly boggling.

Weekend came, and suddenly my eyes were feeling better again. They had moisture of their own, and suddenly blinking wasn’t a chore akin to tearing apart velcro strips anymore. The key, it seems, was university; but what facet of that daily experience could be behind such new devilry?

Today, the first of a new week, heralded the answer: the bus.

These last couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with a hybrid mode of transport to and from that dubiously cheerful educational institution; a combination of automobile and omnibus that, according to my spreadsheets and napkin–based calculations, would save me both time and money in my commute. The real price, it would seem, is in my eyeballs; and today they’re back to their itchy–scratchy selves again. But neither communism nor global warming is to blame here… it’s air conditioning. Yes, just as those women’s facial cleanser commercials have claimed, the combination of winter chill, central heating, and air conditioning can dry your skin like so many Deni Home Food Dehydrators. The recycled breath of a thousand passengers before you is blowing you right in the face… and it’s trying to take your sight.

If only I had some goggles.

Maybe the easiest switch ever

Girl from my Linguistics class
Wow, that laptop is so cute! It’s tiny.
I’ve been looking to get a laptop for a while, but they’re all, like, three grand.
Yeah. Try the campus computer store, you get a pretty decent student discount for stuff there.
Really? How much is one like that?
Ummm… about seventeen–hundred, I think.
Shit, you’re kidding me. Oh, it’s an Apple. I don’t really ‘do’ Apples.
Yeah, I used to use Windows but I switched over about a year ago. It takes about a month to get used to all the little differences, though.
It’s so cute though! It looks really light, is it light? Can I lift it up? [lifts it up] That’s so cool, it’d fit in my bag. It doesn’t have a CD burner in it though, does it?
Yeah, it does.
Oh, cool. How about a DVD player?
Can you open up Word files?
Yeah; you can get Office for it, so you can do whatever — PowerPoint, Word, Excel, whatever.
That’s awesome. I’m gonna go have a look in the computer store this afternoon.
Do you have a digital camera?
They have this program on them called iPhoto; once you use that you’ll never be able to turn back
Heh. We’ll see.

During the lecture I had a quick peek at the AU Apple Education Store to make sure I’d told her the right price. As it turns out, you’d pay US$1700 for a 12" PowerBook, not AU$1700… so I was a little off.

Hey, it turns out that the ones like mine, the PowerBooks, are actually twenty–four hundred… but they’ve been upgraded since I got mine, so they have a bunch of new features and whatnot. You can get a white one though, an iBook, for fifteen hundred though.
Oh. Well I’ll go have a look anyway.

Five days later, at our next lecture…

I’m getting an Apple! A cute little white one. Y’know yours is, like, special? With the metal casing?
Uh, yeah.
I’m so excited.

Further proof that price is still the deciding factor in any computer purchase. Still don’t know her name, though.


Some eight months ago I opened the photolog up for business under the disclaimer of it being “heavily beta”… and it really didn’t progress much further than that. The process of exporting photos from iPhoto, exporting thumbnails from iPhoto, uploading them all to the server, creating each and every individual entry for each and every individual photo by hand, and editing the post date to match the date the photo was actually taken was kinda really bloody terribly horrible. As you might’ve noticed… the photolog didn’t get updated very often.

Flash forward a few months and I see Anil linklogging something called PhotoToTypePad… an iPhoto plugin for exporting directly to TypePad photo albums. I was excited about it until I realized it was for TypePad Plus and Pro customers only; and the prospect of ponying up $8.95 a month in addition to my other hosting expenses —just so I could photo–blog in relative luxury— suddenly didn’t seem so appealing.

So I did what any self–respecting lazy–ass blogger would do: I emailed the developer, Jonathan Younger, and asked him when a Movable–Type–compatible version was being released. He said “some time soon” and that a lot of people had asked him that question, and then he said he’d drop me a line when the first betas were ready to be played with. He kept his word and flew a beta out to me, but probably wasn’t expecting to have an opinionated know–it–all on his squad; constantly badgering him about little UI details and sending him mockups without doing any actual beta testing at all.

That’ll learn ‘im.

Photon’s icon

The months flew by like email–filled, highly–productive months; the kind of months I haven’t really had in, well… months. The new Movable–Type–compatible–photo–blogging–iPhoto–plugin–software took shape quickly, and eventually hit one–point–oh.

And by “eventually” I mean “today”: we released Photon version 1.0 today to a seething throng of hungry product–wanters. And by “we” I don’t just mean the social “we” or even the royal “we”, I mean we: Daikini Software.

Yes, it would appear that Jon and I were a perfect match, two lonesome souls crying out for companionship and a good kick in the teeth from a balancing partner; one a mighty–talented programmer with a heart of gold, the other an incessantly–nagging UI guy with a knack for writing long and inflammatory diatribes concerning the state of software design. We’ve joined forces, with the obvious aim of fashioning ourselves a fancy shop–load of great products in the time–honored tradition of boy–meets–boy teams like Jobs and Wozniak… or Frank and Sasser… or like two other guys in a similar situation whose names aren’t quite with me right now.

So if you photo–blog with Movable Type or TypePad and are looking for a hell of an easy way to handle it, do me a favor and head on down to to grab a copy, and keep an eye out for more of this kind of thing in the future. Photon 1.0 will plug in to iPhoto 2.0 or higher (including iPhoto 4, yes) for Mac OS X 10.3 and above. The free trial version isn’t time–limited or featureless (batch export is the key difference between a trial copy and a registered copy), and right now we’re flogging this puppy for the handsome introductory price of $9.95.

And yeah, if the hundred and fifty photos I posted this morning at the click of a button are any indicator… I really dig Photon, too.

Playing nice with WordPress

One of the big problems we faced with Photon was platform support: simply stated, there are too few that support the MetaWeblog API wholly enough for us to use. Sure it might look a little sappy to support Six Apart products exclusively, but when you’re trying to call metaWeblog.newMediaObject and you’re getting precisely dick from the competition it doesn’t leave you with too many options. The downer goes double when one of the platforms you just can’t support is also the second most popular platform of the day (according to Adriaan’s latest poll, at least), whose popularity has skyrocketed in the wake of the Movable Type 3.0 licensing scandal.

Yes, for WordPress —as Colin pointed out— it’s a 1.3 waiting game. The appropriate fixes to WP’s XML–RPC server will be released with WordPress 1.3, and Photon 1.1 should follow soon after with a few new features for everyone to play with, too. But in the mean time, if you’re fond of a little hackery, Johann Richard has released a patch for WP1.2’s xmlrpc.php file that fixes a whole assload of things… some of which meaning that Photon can do the nasty with WordPress.

Like most things that are any fun, the patch is officially unsupported by both WordPress and Daikini… but if you’re an “open ‘er up and fiddle with ‘er guts” kinda guy it might just be the thing for you. There are a few caveats that come with this process, of course:

  1. You need to tell Photon that it’s dealing with Movable Type, since WordPress isn’t available in Photon’s “Platform” menu just yet.
  2. You can’t create new categories, nor should you try.
  3. Export will fail if there’s a full moon out, or if you’ve eaten Caramel Fudge lately.
  4. There is no fourth caveat… yet.

I’d be very interested to hear how things turn out for people who try it this way, but remember: the words to keep in the back of your mind are “at your own risk”.