Archives for January 2005
Just a quick note to let people know of the upcoming release of SilverSpider Play List 1.2. Changes include:
- User-specified album covers: SSPL will check to see if the current album name/artist name combination is listed in the Various Artists file, and if it is, it will use the images that are specified. Images (small, medium, large are all defined) are specified as URLS from any Web site, so you can use Images from Amazon, or post your own.
- Keep the play list file to a reasonable size (hat tip to Sean for helping with the solution)
- New config setting: $PlayListLength to define how many songs should be stored in the play list file
- Moved the list of Various Artists from config file to separate the file
- No longer needs closing comma, nor does it require escaping of special characters
- Updated the in-line comments
- Changed the format of the various artists file, allowing user to specify the artist override name. While most albums in the list will use ‘Various Artists’, the user could have one album use ‘Various Artists – Country’, and another album could use ‘Jazz Masters (Series)’
- Added basic international Amazon query support, so users can choose to query the international Amazon sites instead of just the US .com site. This is still in a testing mode, and will be a beta feature within 1.2. Future versions should bring it up to speed. At this point, only one site will be queried, so SSPL will not check international domains if it cannot find an album on Amazon.com. Sorry.
- us (default)
- fr (testing)
I hope to have this released within a week.
Wired News has a short article discussing a new company founded by Willie Nelson, which markets biodiesel, which is made from “vegetable oils, mainly soybeans, and can be burned without modification to diesel engines.” As any diesel vehicle can use biodiesel without any modifications, it isn’t hard for a truck driver (or say, someone driving a black VW Jetta) to switch over. Especially as the price per gallon is competitive with standard diesel prices – the article lists $1.69/gallon.
This is an ideal crossroads for Willie Nelson, as it could ease dependence on foreign oil, lessen the environmental impact of oil drilling and help out the nation’s farmers. Good stuff.
Civil War Maps – (American Memory from the Library of Congress) – “Civil War Maps brings together materials from three premier collections: the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Library of Virginia. Among the reconnaissance, sketch, and theater-of-war maps are the detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss for Generals Lee and Jackson, General Sherman’s Southern military campaigns, and maps taken from diaries, scrapbooks, and manuscripts — all available for the first time in one place.”
Finally, Apple has acknowledged the need to provide information geared towards IT professionals. It is surprising that it took so long considering they released the Xserve quite a while back, and OS X is based upon a BSD core.
Ciphire Labs has announced Cipher Mail, a “powerful email security tool” that “requires no learning” and “works smoothly with your regular email client.”
The cross-platform software grabs your outgoing messages, retrieves the recipient’s public key, runs some security test then encrypts your message, including attachments and sends the message on its way. An explanation of the process, with an illustration of each step is available on their site if you want more detailed information.
The great thing about the software, is the fact that it works in the background with preexisting mail clients, so you can continue to use Thunderbird or Outlook (though there are many reasons to switch away from that program) in your daily routine.
benza – products has a wide variety of… interesting furnishings.
podSites.com – ” Apple’s iPod sports a simple, powerful but little used feature, called Notes. iPod’s Notes lets you read text files on your iPod. Notes can also link to other Notes, as well as songs and images on your iPod.
A podSite is our name for a collection of text files, with links to other text files, and possibly sound files and image files stored, and accessible on an iPod. “
Sarah and I went shopping for a new office chair this weekend, so I could give her back the chair she let me borrow a couple of years ago. After checking out a couple of office stores, we decided to check out Texas Office Products and Supply (TOPS), which sells used and refurbished furniture, often from large lots.
The first warehouse at Braker and Kramer held an amazing variety of office furniture, but I didn’t find a chair that fit my requirements. Luckily, a guy by the name of Lorenza, told us to head down to the main warehouse on Fifth which was much larger, and contained a wide array of options. After fifteen minutes of looking around (it is like walking through a giant garage sale) I found a great office chair, that would normally retail around $350. It is fully adjustable, which was a key requirement, and very comfortable. So, we picked it up for $125 and for an additional ten bucks, we purchased a great cork board for Sarah’s office.
So, if you are in Austin, and looking for office furniture, I highly recommend you check them out. The employees are very friendly, and while the North store is closed on Sundays, the Fifth street store is open seven days a week.
Functioning Form – Common Icon Representations – “Through ubiquity, certain visual symbols have begun to develop meaning for end-users. Making use of these basic forms allows interface designers to take advantage of expectations built up through repeated viewing (in various applications and Web sites).”
Quick Photoshop tips are very useful Veerle includes information about how to select a color that is outside of Photoshop’s window, which is something that I have wanted to do many times, but had not figured out. There are a couple of other interesting tips, plus a link to an article discussing the next version of Photoshop.