Archive for December, 2005

December 10.

Saturday, December 10th, 2005
Arrogant Bastard Ale.jpg

I’m 36 now.

I would have been 36 yesterday, but there was this really amazing basketball game going on in my home town and the doctor told the hospital folks to slow things down a bit so he could catch the overtime action.

So, I was born at 12:10 on 12/10/1969 instead.

The beer on the left — 3+ quarts — was one of my gifts. Are my friends trying to tell me something?

Desk Lamps.jpg

On the right is the present I picked up for myself. I went to Weirdstuff for the first time and found those two swing arm lamps back in a dark corner. They are industrial strength, one with a magnifying glass and one with a fan. $10/each — cheap, cheap.

Aperture

Friday, December 9th, 2005

I picked up a Aperture on Monday.

Wow. No, like, Wow. Aperture is just a really cool piece of software.

I’m coming from iPhoto and am not a professional photographer. Honestly, I have no idea what tools the ‘industry’ might use beyond having been tortured by the extreme depths of suckitude rendered by the “pro” tools that Canon shipped with the Digital Rebel.

I find Aperture to be easy to use, but I fully comprehend that I’m far from masting the application and mastery will require considerable effort and regular use. I’m using Aperture on my powerbook which, coincidentally, happens to be the minimum configuration supported by Aperture. It works amazingly well; generally responsive and the image manipulation features are spiffy fast. There are certain tasks that I can perform that will dog it out, but nothing I’m doing regularly makes the app completely unresponsive for a long time.

When importing an iPhoto library, I wish there was a way to only import the original photos from iPhoto. As it is, any photo that was edited in iPhoto shows up as two versions in Aperture. Conveniently, one is tagged ‘iPhoto Original’ and one is ‘iPhoto Edited’. It is easy enough to set up a smart album that looks for the ‘iPhoto Edited’ tag such that I can delete the edited versions. Easy enough, but an only import the original checkbox would save a bunch of time.

My biggest challenge is of my own creation. How the hell do I organize all my photos? I started to create a series of projects containing folders and albums; one project for flowers with species contained in albums, one project for pinball with machine specific albums, etc…
Read the rest of this entry »

Silly Aerus Lux 5500

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

We have an Aerus Lux 5500 canister vacuum cleaner. It “features” things like a bag full detector, temperature protection, etc…

Unremarkable, but nothing to complain about. Has a fine particle filter on the exhaust port that actually does a decent job of catching mold, fine dust, and other nasties.

It worked well enough until recently. Suddenly, the damned thing decided that the bag was always full. Put a new bag in, it would run for two seconds then shut down with the bag full light lit.

Annoying. But, wait, the fine particulate matter filter is on the exhaust port. That’s dumb. That means that the really small crap has to float through the whole suction device beyond the bag.

Could it be that the “bag full” detector is simply a sensor that measures the difference between the suction before and after the bag? If it is too great, the bag must be full?

Gotta open it up to find out.
Read the rest of this entry »

Design Rants; a new weblog category…

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

Anyone who has read this weblog for a while knows that I occasionally harp at length about notable industrial design issues that I run into. Often, these turn into rants railing against really pathetically stupiddesign.

I have several more of these brewing up. Obviously bad design seriously irritates the hell out of me and I’m going to share that frustration.

I hope nobody minds. (He says assuming that someone actually reads this thing).

I have created a category that will house nothing but the design rants.