Sunday, September 28, 2008

Picasa 3 beta WebAlbum Syncing Looking Good

I downloaded and installed Picasa v3 beta a couple of weeks ago and was very excited by the features and UI improvements. My long list of issues with Picasa 2 such as lack of display of "keywords" other than through CRTL-K have been addressed. I Googled around for testimony on the Picasa WebAlbums syncing features and found some claims of problems which causes duplicate images/albums. I was little afraid to try on existing folder in Picasa which had already been uploaded to WebAlbums in version 2. I gave it a try today on a small album of some Ground Zero shots I took from PATH station last December.

My starting condition was that Picasa 3 did already have "Uploaded" (green up arrow) badging and the "View Online" link above the thumbnails worked. I would assume that if you don't have that starting condition, then you may be off on the wrong track to syncing. First I clicked on Web Sync Icon and the confirmation dialog confirmed that an existing WebAlbum was in place. I heard some disk activity after selecting OK but I did not have a visual indication of what I accomplished. I assumed that I was synchronized now and proceeded to test some edits. If I added a new keyword to a photo, the new tag appeared on the WebAlbum. (as I type this message I can't recall if I did anything to push the sync - I think it just happened after a delay). I then went to the Web Album and added a caption to an photo and saved it. Well, unless Picasa 3 opens a GMail like comet connection (he he) it really can't get an event from the web now can it. I found an online action menu (scoped to a photo or to an folder) and clicked on "Refresh Online Status". This synchronized the caption from Web Album. I then added a tag to a photo on the Web Album and again "Refresh Online Status" pulled in the web tag to the EXIF keywords.

More testing to come. I fear not finding the necessary "starting condition" described above. I don't see any reconciling features explicitly in the UI yet.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Telemetry Enables Command and Control

It is 48 degrees(F) and falling. I am in a sleeping bag, in a tent, in
my backyard. There is popcorn debris in my sleeping bag. I will have
symptoms of a cold virus by Monday morning because at least one of
these third graders in the tent is hacking up a lung. It is 2:47 in
the morning. I can hear the deer milling around in the woods prior to
their morning muster to devastate any landscaping I have left. I can
hear the bucks scraping their antlers.

My son Jack fashions things out of nothing. Recently he has been seen
carrying all manner of components into the woods where he "has a fort"
and is making stuff. Things have been disappearing from the garage.

Tonight these kids bent a tent pole and I had to make a splint. I had
to wake up Jack and ask him where the duct tape was. Half asleep he
knew exactly what beech tree in the woods he left the tape last.

I had snapped this shot Friday morning after Jack showed me the "Fire
Control Panel" of his latest device. (fiuor is how he spells 'fire') I
still can imagine where he got that minature IBM keyboard.

I am working on something special to help (others) manage the
complexity of a large URI namespace. If you want to get vectors on
how your systems and resources are performing - if you want actionable
information - you must have telemetry. The simpler and more discrete
(on the time domain) the better.

I have been thinking a lot about early lessons learned about
complexity and scale. Jack, who is "John", reminded me of my studies
of Panama Canal construction and how the engineer who finally
conquered the jungle and scale did it.

Thanks Jack! Now I know what I will name the application. cGauge

Jack and I will know what "gauge" really refers to and for everyone else
it will hopefully make sense that we are measuring stuff.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fancast Commercial on Fox News

I haven't worked on web app that was promoted on TV.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

There is a Y in Daylesford

The R5 Paoli Station situation has me aggrevated. I tried to get a
parking pass twice and the substitute sales person was unable to sell
me one. When the regular lady was back to work and I tried a third
time, there were none left. A week of car shuffling had been insane.
Last night I made the 5:41 home and then realized that the family
truckster was off to soccer practice and I was castaway in Paoli. I
strolled over to TJ's and for a cold one and read an ACM Queue article
on the Five Minute Rule applied to Flash. Enough is enough.

The Great Valley Flyer is fast stop to stop but queuing theory
applies. The Flyer is packed and it is the same set of gnomes (of
which I am one) each day. It takes longer to board and exit the train.
It takes a long time to offload at 30th Street and even longer at
Suburban. Worst part is that the trek up and over to the Comcast
Center reminds me of the rat race at 53rd and Lexington in midtown
Manhattan E subway. Is Bear Sterns still around? I can't keep track.

The only thing worse than trying reach the Flyer at 5:08 is trying
making the second leg of my journey down North Valley. You can either
increase your chances of collision getting out of the parking lot at a
reason time or you can wait until the lot drains off.

Now to rationalize. Getting from the lot to the inbound platform you
have to cross North Valley. Frogger. Enough said. Best case scenario
is to line up your crossing with a talented lady and maybe the traffic
will stop - they never stop for me. Once you cross the bridge half the
time you find the breakneck 75 year old iron staircase is closed for a

I am going to try Daylesford out. The Flyer Gnomes are "in the picture".

I got to my office by 8:15, was alone in the elevator, and could jog
up the stairs into the lobby with dodging people.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fielding On Rails

To distract me from looking at too much production Akamai data, Greg
gave me an Untangled posting on notification architecture. I was
considering a mental picture of what Roy means by "inverse economy of
scale" for PubSub. I assume he is referring to cost function C(n,m) of
consuming clients n and rate of messages m and that cost increases
versus decreases with HTTP REST style architecture along the n and m
domain. I also think that as n increases C inflects at certain points.
I will have just wait for Roys upcoming posting.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago Seven Months Ago

Seven months ago today I started at Comcast. It's 11:37PM and I am on
the R5 passing Narbreth. Train is filled with chatty, giddy college
kids, more than a few intoxicated. I hope they get off soon at
Villanova. I guess I was that annoying 20 years ago when first
semester freshman year was a reckless abandon. This evening was
Comcast Interactive Media all hands at The Hub. My boss called out my
name while referring to overall improvements because I have been
looking through logs for errors. I am glad to have a shout-out and he
was a gentleman for making mention. Now if he had only said, "if we
fixed the errors Matt found it would increment the number on the
bottom line"...I may have had a couple of folks wanna meet me
afterwards. I am pretty sure most folks think I enjoy watching grass
grow. No booze was served. Here comes the Paoli stop...and my
Brazillian taxis driver who drives my RSX more than I do. Why she
thinks that shifting constantly is necessary to keep the engine
running ... 12:21AM I will have pretend it's still 9-11 and roll this
posting back a bit. It seems like years ago that started this new job.

Seven years ago I wouldn't have pictured myself working in a
skyscraper. I was working from home, living on West Coast hours on the
JATO engineering team. My sister woke me and had me turn on the TV.
What a terrible day. It seems like it was yesterday.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Evito Signum Ter

I didn't initially realize why I found work so tedious today. Then Gmail provided this moment of clarity. I am just bored out of my freakin skull because the novelty wore off 10 years ago to the day. I had not totally forgot that I had been consulting at IBM Interactive Media in the Fall of 1998. Same brittle Java application server issues...different "Interactive Media". If I disposition another fubar Java application server and have to spend more than a minute teaching people how uncomplicated it is . . . I will . . . I W I L L

. . . I will go into work tomorrow and explain it for the 1000th time. I just can't help myself. Java developers are not blissfully ignorant but rather innocently unburdened with what I know could have been.

From NetDynamics

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Missing Vertical Swath on Comcast HD Channels

Starting about a month ago, all HD channels including HD VOD display a green sidebar on the right. Below is an picture taken with iPhone of the right side of Sunrise Earth this morning. I estimate this to be just over 1cm wide on my 52" Sharp AQUOS. There is another issue too

From 2008 Finding Momentum

On the left side of the HD picture there is a 3cm wide sidebar of pixelization which makes it look like a strip of clear packing tape is up and down the whole side of the screen. Seriously, I suspect that anyone with plasma screens would get burn in from this - certainly the green sidebar.

From 2008 Finding Momentum

When I look at it more closely it appears that its not pixelization but a missing vertical swatch of the image...about 1cm long. Perhaps what is happening is that this swatch is clipped and the whole images slides over the left causing this hairline alias 3cm in from the left and green filling in the gap on the right.