Monday, 29 September 2008

scandanavia trip

have uploaded a few pictures from our trip to Copenhagen and Stockholm - more to come over the next few days as I get around to processing them! Gone for a rather hdr inspired processing on most of them at the moment.




Wednesday, 17 September 2008


The new canon 5D mk II has been finally announced... and it looks rather tasty. The rumor mill has got most of the specs about right - go read up the specs here:

Not too sure about the HD movie recording , might be a nice 'gimmick', but if it can compete with the current HD recorders out there I might be convinced!

21.1MP sounds rather nice. Does 'environmental protection' mean fully weather sealed?

Current RRP seems to be running at £2,299 for body only, and avail Nov 08. I will be in the queue!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

streaming HD content to PS3

it took literally HOURS of googling last night to find the solution to this, so I'm going to help the google hits by posting a link :: mediatomb transcoding settings to get H264/AVC encoded mkv (matroska - the enclosure of choice it seems for HD content) files streaming via mediatomb/DLNA to the PS3:


Tho note - as mediatomb is transcoding, the file can't be paused, restarted or skipped through, so be prepared to watch your movie/show in one sitting!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

web development 101

I've seen so many sites recently guilty of the two most annoying (to me!) sins of web development:

ServerAlias for 'www'
Not having a http alias set up (so you can type OR to hit your site) - this one is really frustrating, as I'm usually lazy and don't type the 'www'. Quick snippet from my alternativecontext setup on Apache (as a virtual host):
Directory Index pages
Not setting up default pages (ie index.html, index.php etc) - going to a site and seeing 'index.blah' after the domain name just annoys me! Solved in Apache by setting up the DirectoryIndex correctly, can't remember what it's called in IIS - we set it in the httpd.conf file, but can probably be overridden in virtual host configs too:
<IfModule dir_module>
DirectoryIndex index.html index.jsp index.php
</IfModule dir_module>

Friday, 12 September 2008

easiest hard drive upgrade ever!

I just upgraded my macbook hard drive, and doubled my disk space, and it was stupidly easy!

Could have gone down the route of a full clean install, but thats a bit of a hassle.

I started out using this tutorial from MacInstruct, but for some reason they involve a third hard drive in the process... I took out the 'middleman' and used the 'new' drive as my backup location for the superduper copy, then swapped that disk straight in. Not too sure why the tutorial uses a third hard drive, but whatever works I guess!

El macbook is running faster now too - guess it likes having some room to stretch out a bit :)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

new tv - true blood

Looks like this series from HBO might be good. Stars Anna Paquin the NZ actor (remember her winning an oscar for the piano when she was about 9?). Tho it might go a bit Buffy from the looks of the trailer.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

the bones of a good (web) app

When testing a web application, there are a number of 'basic' things a web app should always have. If I can come up with them as a tester, why don't developers put these in the bare bones right at the start? Or should application frameworks have them in place already, so they can just extend and pretty them up? It's pretty rare a web app won't need to implement or consider the items below:

My list:
- Good error pages (http 404 and 500 pages as a start)
- Sensible logging (exceptions, user interactions etc for walking back through a user action to find a problem)
- A good exception handling process to make the two items above useful! ie dealing with bad underlying data, bad user input, bad submissions etc - and giving enough info to the end user and any automated support processes, so the error can be quickly tracked down and rectified
- An 'about' page or footer with the deployment and/or versioning details (turn off in prod if ya want via a config file)
- Standard layouts for forms and data tables
- Some kind of standard CRUD functionality
- Validation schemes (both client side AND server side for when the client side fails!)
- Configuration files that store screen labels and messages (for easy localization and application-wide consistency)
- Page analytics - great for usability studies to follow paths through sites, and see how the users interact with the application (if done right, a LOT of info can be gleaned from even basic analytics packages), and just seeing who and what users are up to, EVEN in a intranet/enterprise app

Anyone got anything I've missed?


Originally uploaded by rachaelr

This is the biggest panaroma I've ever done... tiff file comes out at around 400MB.

Done using the Lightroom - Edit in PS/Merge as Panorama - about six or seven source images, and had PS do auto perspective corrections.

Image is of the Grand Place, Brussels. Taken on a recent weekend trip.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


Originally uploaded by rachaelr

that's not a job i'ld like to be doing... almost raining, about 16 deg C, and having to hassle a bunch of suits to have free drinks, when they all just want to get home on friday night

Shot from our lounge room window :)
I love my 70-200L!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008