Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category


Friday, February 6th, 2009

My first iPhone app has been published. It’s pretty simple, as most iPhone apps are, and I’m definitely catering for the current fad in entertainment. StrokeMe is $0.99 USD and was written in part to amuse my girlfriend. It shows a photo then plays a sound and vibrates when you stroke the screen. The idea was it’d be a way for her to pretend to play with her cat called Woods while she was at work. Of course, not many people will want to play with Woods (though he is nice enough) they’d want to take their own photos and record their own sound, which is exactly what StrokeMe is all about. Taking from the built in camera or the photo library users can configure the app to show what ever photo they want and record their own sound to play. I had thought it be good to keep a picture of your children and a recording of them where ever you go, but I’m getting the impression what people are taking photos of each other. What ever you want, StrokeMe is there to play with. So please give it a try, and tell your friends.



I’ve got a proper game in the works too, but the UI needs a lot of work. More on that soon.

Google Earth 5 is out

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Google Earth 5 has just been released and it includes some interesting features. Top of my list is that they have fixed the problem of only drawing the first image in a KMZ files (like those produced by my iPhotoToGoogleEarth plugin). There are other things like being able to look at historic data and under the (animated) sea, but I think you’ll agree seeing your own photos on the map is far more important. :)

Geotagger 2 – beta testers needed

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

I’ve been at my new job for two weeks now and I think my brain is finally starting to warm up after seven months of thinking of pretty much everything other than software development. So now I am pleased to announce Geotagger 2 is just around the corner. I’ve moved pretty much all the code into Objective-C rather than Applescript and thus been able to add a progress indicator to show how many images it has left to process. Personally I don’t want to see hundreds of photos of a city all tagged at a single point within in, but some people have good reasons for tagging lots at the same time and now they’ll know when it’s finished.

Before I start uploading it to bigger sites I’m inviting anyone checking this site to download version 2 and tell me how it goes. I only have one Mac here to test on, so I while I know it works on an Intel running OS X 10.5 I can’t be sure about anything else. So pleeeeease send me feedback.

I’ve also included the latest build of exiftool so it should work with any file type that exiftool can write GPS data to.

Google Earth 4.3 only showing first image

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

It’s been brought to my attention that Google Earth 4.3 only shows the first image that is viewed in a the KMZ files produced by iPhotoToGoogleEarth. After that all images in that file are shown as just question marks. This is not a bug in iPhotoToGoogleEarth, it complies with the KML specification and has not changed in a while. Google Earth however has changed and other people have noticed it too. According to this bug report you can view the images if you decompress the file first (rename the output to have a “.zip” extension and double-click it), or use the PC version of Google Earth. Other than that it’s just a matter of waiting for Google to fix the bug.


UPDATE: Now that Google Earth 5 is out the issue has been resolved. Please upgrade your software to see all the photos that iPhotoToGoogleEarth produces.

iPhotoToGoogleEarth 2.0

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

I have updated iPhotoToGoogleEarth to work with Leopard and iPhoto ’08. To get it released quickly I decided to remove the NMEA file integration but that sort of editing is pretty simple to do in Google Earth itself.

I have also taken an evening to get this blog running on WordPress so I’ll be able to keep it updated more often. Not that I’ll be saying much here because most of what I’m doing now revolves around moving to Japan. I’m starting by walking the length of the country to learn more about the people, culture and language. Then I’ll find somewhere cool to settle down and try teaching English for a while. The site will look a little strange as I can only work on it a few hours a night, but eventually I’ll have it looking smart again.

Up and running

Monday, October 30th, 2006

It’s been almost a year since I last used this. I got busy and I got lazy. On Wednesday I fly off to Egypt, and that has gotten me motivated to start blogging again. I think I’ll leave The Big O.E. as it was, that is over with now and I am onto different things. See you in Cairo!

Concept Keyboard

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

   Some very clever people in Russia have designed what is, in my opinion, the most amazing keyboard every. Art. Lebedev Studio’s Optimus Keyboard is only a rendered mock up of a full sized keyboard featuring an OLED but it shows the real potential of being able to customise the label on every key. Imagine playing Unreal Tournament or Half-Life 2 and having an image of each weapon on the key that relates to it. Instead of pressing E for the rocket launcher, you’d reach for the button with the rockets on it. But it’s not just for gamers. Serious programs such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Photoshop have a bewildering number of keyboard shortcuts. Wouldn’t it be great to see the tool on the key. It’s have to change relative the program’s state as each key’s use changes, but with USB 2 and a fast enough CPU it’s not going to slow down noticeably when sending new images to the mini-displays on the keyboard.
   But of course there is a draw back. It doesn’t exist yet, like I said before this is only a simulation. And the cost of 112 individual OLED displays is going to put this out of reach of all but the most dedicated geeks for quite a while. I’m going to start saving.

Update: They do intend to make it, according to the FAQ they aim to go into production in 2006 and best of all, they’re Mac people so there’s a strong chance of it being fully useable with OS X :-)

Ripping Napster a new one

Tuesday, February 8th, 2005

   An acquaintance of mine who goes by the internet handle of JL! has put up a very good response to Napster’s Do the math campaign. The essential point is this: With iTunes you own the music but with Napster you rent the music. So if you plan on living a a long time, and I do, you are tied to their subscription fee of $15 USD per month for as long as you want to listen.
   You do have the benefit of being able to change you music as you go, I’ll concede that, but the cons still out weigh the pros. Want to burn it to CD? That’ll cost you extra, Napster goes out of business, your music is gone. It all round sucks. And if you’re still not convinced then JL! challenges you to Do the math too.

   P.S. The point is moot for me since Napster is not Mac compatible (amazing how many anti-iPod campaigns have claimed to be all about choice but won’t work on Macs) and iTunes won’t sell in New Zealand.


Saturday, February 5th, 2005

   Ever since I realised just how many pictures I took during my Big O.E. I’ve been searching for a good way to display them. I took approximately 7,500 images (including a fair few videos) during the year I was away. After filtering them down to the ones I liked, and merging some into panoramic shots I have 1,500 saved on my computer. I thought that would be enough to make a picture mosaic but I needed much more.



Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

MT-Blacklist is my friend. Ever since I sent a track back ping to The Garden State Blog I’ve been getting comments on this blog about some gambling website. I was getting bored of deleting each one and rebuilding, until I remembered a plugin for MoveableType that Mike Zornek installed. MT-Blacklist catches the comments that are being added and checked if they contain URLs that match the long list of banned sites. Now when those Texas-Holdem wieners come my way they won’t take up any of my time, or get free advertising here.