Saturday, 15 December 2007

who's been lookin at my flickr huh?

Flickr launched Flickr Stats today for viewing stats on your flickr photostream.
I 'enabled' it this afternoon, and it was up and runnign when I got home.

Pretty interesting - I've had over 29,000 hits on my flickr images! Hard to imagine really.
And seeing the daily hit trends is interesting - posted an image in the strobist pool, and my views really shot up - not just the for posted image either.

More interesting tho - my most viewed image of Luke McAllister (not even a good shot!) from the All Blacks world cup semi final in Cardiff has stayed really constant since it was posted. Strange, no? Wouldn't really think too many people would be viewing it, but hey what do I know!

Thumbs up on the interface too - nice and easy to interpret.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

blogging from the iPhone

coming at ya from my new iPhone. Initial thoughts are that its great - activation and moving networks to o2 was easier than I expected, will take 5 days or so for my old number to be ported over. Doesn't like the blogger rich text editor but thats a tiny complaint :)
Will post more impressions as I go.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

gettin that flash off camera

finally have a 1 light off camera setup going...
already had a canon 430ex and pc sync cable/hot shoe adapters, and ordered some more kit from (Ohio, US) a few weeks ago - turned up about 10 days after ordering, and no customs fees (yay!).

so now I have a light stand and brolly (convertible white with black backing - can do shoot-through or reflective), gels and some other home made stuff :)

K was a slightly unwilling model, tho he put up with me for a few minutes. got him to take some of me too that I'm quite happy with as I'm a useless model!

me me

thanks to the strobist blog for getting me going on this, and of course the fab Light, Science and Magic book (see my amazon links for a url to buy a copy).

really basic setup - ambient underexposed by 2 stops, flash at about 1/16 power i think on wide zoom, dampening flash output by dropping aperture cause i'm too lazy to drop the flash power, shoot through brolly slightly on my right and above subject. only post work was cropping, and a tone curve to exaggerate contrast up a bit (and one spot removal..)

Saturday, 3 November 2007

stuck in a loop!

oh no! the developers who build quicksilver have managed to get themselves in a bit of a pickle...
the latest version has a "feature" which causes the app to ping their site looking for updates a bit too often, with the consequence of bringing down their download site as it's such a popular app.

yikes! time to go download the fixed version from macupdate or whatever your fav mac software tracker is and help them out :)

(via lifehacker)

Monday, 29 October 2007

more automounting samba drives in os x

I promised someone I'd post on this, and finally I have!

I've given up on the original method of mounting samba/cfs shares that I used to use, as it didn't really handle it well when those drives weren't available... Had to reboot to get them to remount etc, and we renamed some shares on different devices (server, NAS etc) to all be unique, so no more hassle with confusion over what is mounted at any one time.

So... I've gone with a two-prong approach:
- written a simple applescript to mount my drives where I want them
- using an app called MarcoPolo to automatically fire the script when it decides I'm at 'home'

Part 1: The script
  1. Fire up ScriptEditor
  2. Drop in the following for each drive (this example is for SMB shares):

    tell application "Finder"
    mount volume "smb://username:password@server/share"
    end tell
    end try

  3. Put in username/password/server/share as needed
  4. Repeat for each drive (if you want them to mount under the same MarcoPolo 'location')
  5. Save as an application somewhere out of the way (ie your home dir) - I used the settings in this image:

  6. Try it out - double click the new app and check it mounts everything correctly. Your system.log (available in the console app) should tell you if there's anything wrong.
  7. Add a nice icon if you want, as it will flash in your dock until the script completes.

Part 2: MarcoPolo
  1. Download MarcoPolo from the developers website, or your fav tracker site
  2. Install
  3. Set up a 'home' context - Set up whatever rules define your 'home' - for me, I've got set the IP rule (as I have a reserved IP on the router, so it's always the same when I'm connected to the home router), and also the WiFi rule, so it triggers when I connect to our home router
  4. Set up an action against your home rule to run the mount script
Note - can sometimes take a bit of experimenting with MarcoPolo to get it set up right - depends on how much info you can give it and the setup on your Mac. I've not figured out if it can rescan and decide your location on a wake from sleep, tho I've not really read a lot up on it yet.

Also, it doesn't matter if the drives are already mounted, and you try to re-mount them - smbmount doesn't mind at all :)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

wedding songs

I've been trying to think of songs to play at our wedding - either at the ceremony, or at the start of the reception. I would love to get some acoustic guitarists to play...
I have few ideas, but need more!

Here's what I have:
Foo Fighters - Another Round (From the In Your Honour Album)
Foo Fighters - Everlong (From The Colour and the Song Album) - also played at Monica and Chandler's wedding on Friends by a string quartet, so I can't decide if this is totally tacky! :)
Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song (From Houses of the Holy Album) - just a song I've always loved
Faith No More - Easy (hmmm not too sure, easily mistaken for lionel richie!)
Lou Reed - Perfect Day (again, possibly a bit overdone?)
Nirvana - Oh Me (from the unplugged album - not sure if this was a cover?)
Outkast - The way you move. I'm sure is a cover?
The Police - too many to name!
Guns 'n' Roses - Patience...

If we had the unlimited budget, and connections in high places, I think I'd be hiring/kidnapping The Black Seeds (NZ dub/reggae/whatever) to play :)

Monday, 22 October 2007

blehenim palace ramble

kerry and I went for a 'ramble' on saturday in and around Blenheim Palace (near Oxford). We picked a beautiful day for it. Covered 11KM on the walk we found in a book, and another few km wandering around Blenheim palace.

Only one moan about it - the guide book quoted £2.50 each to get into the Palace grounds, but it was actually £9.30 each... and that book was printed in 2003, so something's happened in the last four years...

Took heaps of photos which are here.
A few favs:



Canon 350D
Canon 17-40L f4
Canon 70-200L f4 IS
Manfrotto monopod 676B

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

mmm wide angle

swiss re/the gherkin

swiss re/the gherkin
Originally uploaded by rachaelr.

picked up a canon 17-40mm f4L lens last night, and took it for an outing in the city.
this is one of my favourites from that night. nice and sharp :)

most popular

All Blacks - Luke McAllister
All Blacks - Luke McAllister
Originally uploaded by rachaelr.

of all the images I posted on flickr from the RWC quarter final (NZ vs France) last weekend, this one is the most popular.

Guess someone likes luke maccallister (sp?)! It is probably the most interesting action shot I got all night.

pied pipers

not sure where these guys are from
not sure where these guys are from
Originally uploaded by rachaelr.

these fellas are funny! Found them at the British Museum on the weekend. Shame the lighting was a bit dim, so hard to get a good shot in focus. They are only about 5cm in height.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

little blue-green box

went with k to Tiffany's & Co at the Royal Exchange, Bank, after work today to get our wedding bands! very exciting (for me!)... nobody's allowed to peek in the box tho!

the salesman was really nice, and put up with me showing up earlier in the week and trying on lots of stuff. I was suprised that platiunum rings are pretty much the same price there as they are in the High Street, and it was so much more relaxed in Tiffany's.. no waiting around to get other sizes rushed from other stores, no hordes of people bustling around, no queues... mmm

what's in the box?!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

tail-less mouse

Got myself a wireless mighty mouse to go with the macbook yesterday. Am really liking it so far - my old logitech usb mouse didn't play too well with the macbook - was way too slow and I couldn't speed it up.

anyhooo, the mighty mouse is really nice. very responsive, and the scroll ball is really nice - feels easier than a scroll wheel to use. took about 2 secs to set up. Bluetooth is great - means no cables or extra sensors to plug in, and batteries were included :). A little expensive at £49, but then most apple hardware is a little expensive - still, 'it just works', so I'm happy with that!

[image poached from the apple store]

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

mmm light

Had 10 mins of fun last night messing about with some lighting setups - playing with specular highlights on metal stuff (see the strobist article for more info).
Most of the images were rubbish, but I like these two - still plenty of room for improvement, but it was fun anyway


dark masher

long time, no rants

Dunno what's going on, but I'm not ranting very much at all lately!
Got one for today tho... drycleaners!

Queued for 10 mins to drop my stuff off today, ended up with a newbie dude who had no idea what he was doing (almost messed up the credit card payment grrr). Go back tonight to pick everything up, and they've only got one of my suits in the bag! The manager type dude remembered me, and that I dropped off 2 suits + extra trou, so he's all scratchin his head and asked me to come back in the morning.

Those were my favorite suit trous too... got them from an Aussie shop, so a bit hard to replace :( Fingers crossed they find them. Should ask for a refund too, cause I paid extra for same day service.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

nice hedge things

I like this - taken this weekend at Hampton Court Palace, London :)

buy it at shutterstock

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

more stock photos

F1 grand prix images from Silverstone (British grand prix) are up for sale on shutterstock...

Here's a few:

Monday, 2 July 2007

holy iphone, batman!

Apple has sold 525,000 iPhones since the product's US launch last Friday, Reuters reports.
via macworld

that's gotta be a record... and where's mine huh?! can't wait till they come out in the UK.

[image from nicholasjon's flickr stream under creative commons licence]

Saturday, 30 June 2007

70-200 mm of pure goodness...

we got our first L lens the other day... a 70-200mm f4 L IS USM.
and I'm lovin it already. coupla sample shots here - at wide and zoom levels. The image stabiliser is kinda hard to use, I think we both need to practice a bit with moving targets. And the wind catches the lens big time.





Friday, 22 June 2007

the outlook for thursday...

Check out the London vs Wellington weather forecasts.... London should be just about kicking into summer, while Wellington should be diving into mid-winter, yet they are both pretty similar - mild, wet and a bit depressing. And Wellington actually looks nicer! What's up with that huh?

(post title taken from a great dave dobbyn song)

Thursday, 21 June 2007

shutterstock subscription purchasers

The last three months, I've been getting quite a few referrals for shutterstock subscriptions. If anyone's clicked through from this blog and bought a shutterstock subscription, let me know - i'ld be interested to see where you're clicking!

and thanks for your support!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

dainty toes

Now I have my wedding dress (yay!), am looking into shoes...

The dream shoes are jimmy choo's and waaay to expensive (around £300+). But I've come across similar designs at about a third of the price!

The jimmys: 'Syria':

From Benjamin Adams (at Bridal Rogue Gallery in W1)


'Christie' - almost the same as the jimmy's but with some kinda cute diamantes


Sunday, 17 June 2007


just checkin out some lolcats on and came across these fellas. lol!

proof that the internet is just for pics of lolcats :)

Thursday, 14 June 2007

greek goodness

more pics from our greece/turkey trip are up on shutterstock for sale.
go buy some!

here's a few of my favs:
shutterstock photo shutterstock photo shutterstock photo shutterstock photo

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

changing the world one gift at a time

We did our first freecycle last night... passed on a printer to someone who needed one as we've upgraded - the printer is probably only worth £10 on ebay, then theres all the hassle of getting set up and posting it off - for the time and effort, freecycle has been worth it for me!

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. (snip) The Freecycle Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!

I'm a member of the towerhamlets group - heaps of good stuff, some trash, and some people asking for pretty outlandish stuff. All up, the good outweights the bad, and it's so much better than dumping stuff in a landfill or on the side of the road. There are over 4000 groups all over the world - so join up and gift some of that stuff that's been hanging around in cupboards and garages just waiting for that 'what if' to come around :)


whipped up a photoshop template and made a photo cube today. fun :)

photobox 2 photo of a photobox

comment me if you want the .psd template - fits an A4 sheet - photo paper is good, just strong enough. template has the cutting lines on it, and guides to resize images to. easy-peasy :)

otherwise there are a few sites out there that will either let you upload, or pull images from flickr etc and generate a pdf to print like tabblo

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

ikea for couch potatoes

if like us you live in london in a 'non-residental' area, and don't have a car, buying furniture and household items can be a real hassle.

if we're renting a car to go away, we sometimes try to drop by ikea or the supermarket on the way back and load up then. otherwise, it's lugging stuff on buses and tubes. and ending up with ironing boards banging tourists on the head (oops!)

internet shopping and delivery is our lifesaver. we use ocado (who deliver waitrose food) usually for food, and ikea in the uk (yes yes I know big international nasty place employing third world workers for peanuts etc etc - but there's not a lot of choice in our area for second hand or ethical furniture without paying through the nose) have finally opened up their internet shopping to london - our are is coming in june. delivery prices aren't earth shattering - much cheaper than their old model of buying at the store then leaving it for delivery. up to about 50kg they send it via courier, more than that is the classic london '2 man in a white (with ikea logo plastered on it) van'.
[image from ikea - besta burs tv bench]
Edit: just checked today and they now deliver to our postcode! Tho I wonder if it would be easier/cheaper to grab a streetcar and go pick up ourselves..?

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

£200K for something a kid coulda drawn

The new logo for the london 2012 olympics was unveiled recently (today? not sure). it's sure not impressive for the rumoured £200K spent on branding

What were they thinking?! Even the colours are foul! Doesn't represent either london or the olympics. *shudder*

Gonna have to leave london well before all the banners and branding and advertising goes up in case I get freaked out on the streets.

[Edit: someone beat me to it and set up a petition to get rid of it!]

Monday, 4 June 2007

successful weekend

one of the busiest weekends for ages for me..

  • got my wedding dress (vera wang!) and it's perfect - too expensive of course :)
  • ran in the Race for Life (did the 5km in about 35-40 mins) - was baking hot
  • got most of the wedding invites made - ran out of a few things towards of the end, and still have to write in the names and addresses, but the hardest bit is done!


Friday, 1 June 2007

busy weekend

got a busy weekend coming up.

my mum is in town, on saturday we are going to a Vera Wang bridal sample sale, and on Sunday running 5km in the Race for Life in the city of london.


Wednesday, 30 May 2007

nz schools vs microsoft

...Microsoft Office programs have been ordered to be removed from about 25,000 Apple Macintosh computers in schools.
The Ministry of Education did not renew its deal for the programs, meaning that students using the Apple computers will not have access to common programs such as Excel and Word unless the school buys the software independently. ...

NZ Herald article via slashdot

It's about time Microsoft *really* started supporting education, by giving schools free or almost-free licences of Office etc. All those kids will probably go on to use Office in their jobs/home PC's so help grow the user base.

But there's also a great argument for this being a good opportunity to switch over to NeoOffice (an OpenOffice implementation on Mac), or other 'office' type apps (the google suite?) - and show them there's not always just one solution available. I've used NeoOffice, and while it's features aren't as strong as MS Office, or 100% compatiable, it's still fully usable for doing most word processing/spreadsheeting functions.

So... should schools be teaching the 'mainstream' apps to make life 'easier' in future, or teaching concepts they can apply to any application/solution? Personally, as a trained scientist who was taught concepts, and had to figure out how, where, and when to apply them, I'ld go for the second option, but that's just me. :) As a Software Tester, the same principles apply, so I can walk into almost any Testing job and quickly get up to speed on the systems/processes/applications in use. Brings to mind the old "teach a man to fish" proverb huh.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

I gave in...

finally created a facebook profile.
not sure I like it yet... seems to be YASS (yet another social site). Guess I'll give it a while to sink in :)

Sunday, 27 May 2007

POTD: anzac services

Originally uploaded by rachaelr.

Photo of the day: I think this is one of my favourite pics from the NZ Anzac day service at Gallopili, Turkey this year. I like how sharp it is (kinda hard with my el budgeto zoom lens, but the bright sunlight helped a lot), and how the dude in the green uniform is concentrating really hard.

Friday, 25 May 2007


d.Construct is another user experience conference i'm considering attending...
7th September 2007 in Brighton

Some of the same presenters i've seen at the fowd conference earlier this year - hopefully it's not too hung up on web design, as that's such a small part of user experience/interface design.

I like the idea of their web design -- if I'm looking correctly, as time goes on they'll update the site to follow the standard progress of a site design - starting at hand sketched wireframes, and moving through the design process to being a *finished* product in August.
Tho if it was me doing this, the text on the page needs to be more hand written (or at least look like it's been cut out and stuck down), lots of red scribble and arrows and unreadable notes, and the logos etc 'taped' on for that really authentic sketched interface look :)

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

i live by the (stinky) river

hmmm a perfume based on the smells of london?

sewers? the stink from the underground? old-man-hobo-pee? mm yep something i really want to be wearing on a daily basis

[link from Londonist]

great filler text

so many apps leave blank spaces or boring messages when fields/text areas have nothing to display. kudos to google calendar for making their 'comments' area a bit more interesting :)
Sorry, nothing to read here. Try Google News if you are bored.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

shameless fundraising plug

I have (foolishly?) entered the Race for Life in the City of London on 3rd June with my Mum.
Only 5km, so I can always walk if i'm that unfit! Go ahead and sponsor me on the link below.

the future is unwritten

Saw The Future is Unwritten last night at the Barbican.Great film if your into The Clash or music documentaries.

yah. wot he said.

great movie. tho there were two kinda surreal bits where they interviewed johnnie depp, i guess he musta been on a break from filming of pirates of the carribean - bandanna, dreads and the funny beard dreads too. everyone was laughing out loud at those bits :)

I so want one of these

pimp my r2d2 shirts & hoodies - from £20 at the pleb

[link via shiny shiny]

good error pages

The technorati 500 server error page is a good example of what to do when your site blows up - a bit of fun and no confusing stack traces :) I like the bloglines plumber too, but don't have a screenshot of that right now.

(Edit: yeah I am bored at work today!)

buy me

some of the images from our greece/turkey holiday are on shutterstock for sale... go on you know you want to!

i'm only dribbling a little..

so yet again the war on wifi health risks is flaring up, with the latest 'scientific' report (article via the beeb) saying there is no health threat.

I'm not going to wade in on this (much), but to say we use wifi at home and have done for years now, and i'm not growing any tumors or having flashbacks, so seems to be fine for me. And the mice living under the kitchen cupboards aren't mutating much more than normal for London :). As they point out in the bbc article, human-generated radio waves have been around for over a century, and anyway, any long term genetic damage wouldn't be seen until many generations down the line. The health benefits of not tripping over network cables in the middle of the night are enough for me.

Monday, 21 May 2007

planning to fail

today's Dilbert hits a little close to home...

Stock up on the red bull and mentos...

...Blizzard have announced StarCraft 2!
Can't see a release date, but they've said it will be for PC and Mac (yay!).

Aaah those long nights of caffine and gaming... I've pretty much given up the gaming, but if this comes out on Mac, and it will run OK on my MacBook, I may be back :)

Yeah I know, I missed this announcement by like three days...

New Printer

Picked up a new hp c5180 on sunday - all in one inkjet (scanner, copier, printer w borderless photos at 9600 res). The test photo I printed came out as good as a photolab - not sure how economical the ink is, but we'll see. Going to use it to print wedding invites - even with the cost of the printer, I think it will be not a lot more than getting them printed 'professionally'.

It's a 'network' printer so can either plug it in to a pc via usb, or straight into a router and viola, networked printer :) works fine with mac, and Kerry also has it running on his gentoo laptop.

Now to get rid of the old lexmark... think it's going to go onto the freecycle lists to go to a good home.

As a side note, we ended up getting it from the Apple store on Regent street (as it's such a pain waiting for deliveries in the post...), and that was pretty painless! Grabbed an 'apple dude', told him which one we wanted, he went and got it, scanned it into a handheld device, jammed the credit card in the same handheld, and grabbed a email address to send the reciept to, slapped on an apple sticker and we were out the door. Nice!