Archives for the month of: November, 2010

… which I thought was cool, a lot more compact than a CD / DVD (and of course the Air doesn’t have an optical drive)

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I just checked it out and it’s actually an 8GB drive, gives you the option to install Mac OS/X or iLife. Nice!

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My family of Apple machines expanded today with the addition of a new MacBook Air 11″. I resisted for a while but am very into traveling light these days so broke down in the end :O !! 

That’s the iMac, MacBook Pro 13″, iPad 3G, iPhone 4, and MacBook Air 11″

Here are a couple more pictures of the baby …

I am working on setting the MacBook Air up to be very cloud-based, making use of dropbox (for presentations mainly) to sync with my other machines (including the iPad), plus Google Docs, gmail, etc … will write more about the setup and how I use the different machines in due course.

I’ve been trying out posterous for the last few days, mainly because my friend Steve has raved about it several times. But I’ve also hit a few issues with it, in particular when trying to embed some HTML (badges from other sites etc). I know that isn’t the main focus of posterous, it’s more about “simple posting”, but it’s still a bit frustrating that those things don’t work. So I thought I would give its main competitor tumblr (which several other friends use) a quick try for comparison purposes, and have played around with that this morning and created a blog there

I tried doing some HTML embedding there and had a similar lack of success, though different things worked. On posterous I can display a badge from Google Latitude showing where I am now, but not badges from Tripit or Plancast (relating to where I’ll be, and what I’ll be doing in the future). On tumblr the Plancast badge worked but not the others. Also on tumblr I was able to imbed a flickr badge that didn’t work on posterous. I won’t go into all the details but neither seems very good on this front.

A quick search on reviews of posterous versus tumblr initially seemed to give tumblr the edge – for example these two (from early 2010). However this more recent one (from June) gave posterous the edge. One criticism of posterous in both was its lack of custom themes. However, I have to say I liked the themes in posterous better than tumblr, and much more quickly found one I liked. I found it a bit annoying that in tumblr I had to scroll past loads of paid themes before finding the free ones.

And in general I just like a few other features of posterous better. The way they expand links in emails is cool (in most cases), and their bookmarklet lets you select a photo from a page which the tumblr one doesn’t (at least I couldn’t figure it out from a quick try, and ended up dragging a photo in but tumblr messed up the aspect ratio).

So anyway, my test was far from comprehensive but I’ve decided I’ll stick with posterous for now. In general it just seems more friendly, and I get the impression that they are moving faster than tumblr. If anyone has views on which one is best I’d be interested to hear them!

Here’s a third test, with links to 6 different flickr photos, which all happen to be in the same set. It includes 4 landscape and 2 portrait photos, to see how those work. The result is that they all get shown in sequence, you don’t get the posterous “album” that you get if you attach multiple photo files (rather than links) to a page. By default the portrait photos were left justified, I edited the post afterwards to make them center justified. The Landscape ones filled the whole width anyway so justification didn’t matter.

Continuing my test of different photo posting options … this one is pointing to a flickr slideshow of a set (this link happened to be in slideshow mode, but this does the same thing whether it is in slideshow mode or not). This works nicely on systems that support flash, but doesn’t work (and has no fallback, just shows blank space) on systems with no flash. However, this is really a flickr limitation rather than a posterous one – hopefully something that flickr will fix soon.

I’m just testing out different options for posting photos to posterous, since my earlier flickr badge attempt didn’t work. This one is created with a link to a single flickr photo, and posterous does the right thing here – it includes the photo with a link to the flickr page. This is nice actually as it’s a lot less fiddly than copying the relevant HTML from flickr, switching to HTML mode wherever you’re posting, and pasting in the HTML. This displays fine on the iPad and iPhone.

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As I mentioned previously I have a Lumix GH1 which is about to be superseded by the Lumix GH2. Filmmaker Philip Bloom has a lot of good things to say about his first test with the GH2 here.

Since my earlier post about ways to imbed flickr sets without flash, I’ve hunted around a bit more and found a couple of nice ways to imbed a number of pictures from a set rather than using a slideshow. The one I like most most is the flickriver badge creator. Here’s an example badge from my recent Washington DC trip:

 

<img title="ebatty – View my 'Washington DC Nov 2010' set on Flickriver" src="http://www.flickriver.com/badge/user/set-72157625469093106/recent/shuffle/medium-4×3/333333/ffffff/35118454@N00.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”ebatty – View my ‘Washington DC Nov 2010’ set on Flickriver” style=”display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;” />

In general, flickriver is a very cool way of viewing flickr photos – check out my “most interesting” pictures there. Dopiaza also has a similar badge maker, but I prefer the flickriver one.

Update: hmmm, the badge looks really nice in the blog editor preview but doesn’t seem to work when I publish it on posterous. I’ve now discovered that this is because Posterous is doing auto-expansion of some terms within the embedded code, and this is what is breaking it. I’m now trying to figure out if there’s a way to prevent this auto-expansion, have emailed posterous support.

They offer you both medical information and the possibility of connecting to relatives in their database, should be interesting! Got one for me and one for Paula. The cut price deal lasts until Nov 29 (and you also have to pay an extra $60 for an annual subscription for updates).

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I don’t think I’m going to add this one to my list of recommended cameras! Only 499 units will be made, so if you want one you’d better be decisive 🙂 !!