Category Archives: Technology

Posting your pictures online

Sharing your pictures on the web seems like a very trivial matter, right? well I can tell you it is not that trivial. Here is my story.

Back in 2004 when I first created Chichipanguanorrea I chose Fotopic as the solution for sharing my pictures. The interface was ugly but uploading the pictures was very easy with a Java-based plugin. Unfortunately the free version of Fotopic has a limit of 250 MB which I reached a couple of years ago. Today if you ask me to rate Fotopic, I would give them a 4 out of 10.

flickr
Later in 2005 I created a flickr account and started uploading pictures. Since the free version of flickr has a limit on the amount of data you can upload each month and it only shows the last 200 pictures (the rest of the pictures can still be accessed through perma-links), I decided to use flickr as the place to upload ONLY my best pictures. I really like many of the features flickr offers: tags, a huge community, nice interface, geo-tagging, but the limitations prevents it from being the best option for uploading tons of pictures.

In 2006 I decided to try some options I could easily integrate with my WordPress blog: I tried FAlbum and Gallery but it was zenphoto who won my heart. I installed zenphoto in my blog and have been using it since then. It is really easy to upload the pictures and the galleries are created automatically. My only complain would be that including a picture inside a post is not so straight forward.

Today I decided to revamp my picture gallery after updating my blog with the latest WordPress distribution available last night. I’m between upgrading my zenphoto installation to the latest version which has some new features or trying NextGen gallery, a WordPress plugin that seems to be very popular among WordPress users. The good news is that I can try NextGen without removing my current zenphoto installation nor I have to duplicate my picture galleries.

Here are some examples of how NextGen works:

Test 1: adding a picture with the reflection effect
[singlepic=1,350,250,web20]

Test 2: adding a picture with a watermark
[singlepic=2,350,250,watermark]

Test 3: adding a gallery

At this point I’m liking NextGen a lot, but I’m having trouble getting the pictures to show up. I think this is because I’m pointing to the pictures from zenphoto and the permissions might not be properly set up. I noticed that even in zenphoto I cannot open a picture file directly

Writing in the middle of nowhere

It is 8:52pm on a monday of 2008 and I just challenged myself to write a post for my blog using a trial version of the application WriteRoom. I read about this application last night on Slashdot when some people were complaining that text editors like Microsoft Word are cluttered with so many user interface (UI) elements that you get really distracted when it comes to write something. On the other hand, this WriteRoom application presents you with the simpler interface on earth: just the text you are writing.

WriteRoom screenshot

These people also argued that when you open Microsoft Word, you feel like you are going to write a school paper and not the next bestseller novel. I think there is some true behind those arguments, but I wanted to try it myself and write a post using this simple application which happens to have a not-so-simple price of U$24.95.

I must say that besides the cool factor of writing with a screen that looks like a terminal from the 80’s I don’t really feel a huge difference using it. In fact it is now 9:02pm and these 3 paragraphs is my great contribution to the literature world. Maybe someone who is actually writing a novel and spends hours in front of the screen could really appreciate this tool.

My new MacBook

Apple MacBook
Finally I can tell you all about my new MacBook. I bought it last November but I couldn’t publish anything about it in this blog because I wanted to surprise my mother because I gave her my previous laptop as a present.

I’m very pleased with the MacBook but I have to admit that there are a couple of things where I think the PowerBook is much better. I like the PowerBook keyboard better and I also dislike the sharp borders of the MacBook, because it leaves marks in your wrist.

But to be fair, I love the new glossy widescreen display, the remote with front row, the iSight webcam.

I also installed BootCamp and Windows XP on a 10GB partition and was able to play Need for Speed Porsche. The process for getting Windows XP running on my MacBook was really straight forward and all the hardware in the MacBook was recognized and works great so I have to give Apple kudos for that.

Show me your teamwork

I spent all day yesterday at the 2007 Challenge organized by First Lego League (FLL) organization which is a Robotics contest for kids using LEGO Mindstorms. The day was very fun and the team i was coaching, the Pond Springs Pioneers finished in 19th place out of 60th teams. But the best thing is that our team got a 2nd place in the ‘Teamwork’ award and we got a nice LEGO trophy.

PondSpringsPioneers

KVUE news was covering the event and they said they were going to post pictures and videos later this week.

Ana Laura Correa



Ana Laura Correa, originally uploaded by Daniel Jaramillo.

Ana Laura Correa de la Lanza. (Testing flickr to blog functionatilty)

=====================================
Review of the flickr to blog functionality
Pros

  • Easy one-step way of posting pictures in my blog.

Cons

  • Picture size goes from 500px to 250px. As you can see 500px is too large for WordPress (perfect size is 400px) and 250px will be too small. Now I know why they do this: its because those are the default sizes for Small and Medium in flickr (click on a picture, and then click on the All Sizes option above it).
  • No way to categorize the post from flickr

Smile to my new Nikon D40x

Back in 2004 I bought myself a very small and nice digital camera Pentax Optio S4i as you probably already knew. For 3 years I’ve been taking lots of pictures and having lots of fun with my camera, but over this past 3 years I also realized how point and shot cameras are very limited and how SRL cameras can take gorgeous pictures. Photography slowly grew in me as a hobbie and I started getting interested more in the subject. Seeing the amazing collections of pictures available at flickr or looking at the pictures taken by friends like Johnny Kings or Niv was definately a motivator.

Nikon D40x

Anyway, thats a long introduction to tell you that I just purchased a new Nikon D40x digital camera with a 18-135mm lens and I’m really excited to learn more about photography!

August update

Blogs turn very lame when you dont post regularly. Recently I haven’t had anything exciting to write about, so my blog has been falling into the lame category. This post is just to summarize some of the things I have been doing recently or that I’m going to be doing in the near future.

Party, party, party

After coming back from New York, I’ve been going out a lot in Austin. I have too much fun going out with friends and last night was the first friday in a loooong time that I stay at home, and it wasn’t even because I didn’t wanted to go out, but because I could not get my friends to join me and I decided to stay at home and take it easy.

Moving to a new group at National Instrumenst

After being in the Integration Services group at NI for almost 6 years, I’m going to be transitioning to the System Configuration Services group around September. I’m very excited about the transfer because I’m going to have new challenges and opportunities ahead. This group develops the ‘Measurement & Automation explorer’ application which helps users configure NI’s software and hardward among other services.

NI Week 2007

NIWeek starts next week and it means listening to great keynotes, having breakfast at Las Manitas, meeting with friends that work in other NI branches but come to Austin for NIWeek and in general being excited to be part of NI.

Wedding at Puerto Escondido

My friend Eva is getting married in Puerto Escondido, Mexico and I’m traveling there between August 15-19. Marcos is not sure if he can come because he is waiting for some paperwork related to his green card process. I hope he can make it though.

Facebook fever

Social networks is something that has been arround for a few years. I have accounts in hi5, friendster, mySpace, LinkedIn and recently signed in for Facebook. My experience with FB has been amazing. The website is very well done usability wise. Very elegant and simple, but powerful. I already have lots of friend connections and its great to know what is going on with their lives. Social networks are not meant to replace physical human interaction, but to enrich it. I highly recommend that you give it a try.

Austin City Limits 2007

Yes, I’m an idiot. I didn’t purschased my ACL wristband on time and now I’m going to have to wait for a last minute deal, hoping that someone can’t make it and wants to sell the wirstband to me. This year’s line up is amazing: Björk, Queens of the stone age, White Stripes, Killers, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, …

Me verás volver 2007

Soda Stereo one of my favorite rock bands in the world is doing a tour after their last tour ‘El Ultimo Concierto’ 10 years ago (1997). I’m going to see them live in Monterrey, Mexico on November 9th!