Sunday, May 28, 2006

Releasing flickrfs sync

Last year november, I released flickrfs and its awesome how popular it went in the flickr community. Currently, the flickrfs page (replaced by new site) is rated 7/10 by Google PageRank, arnd 14,000 photos have been uploaded using this fs, and flickrfs has scored 2,000 downloads. I thank all the users, and especially those who reported back the bugs, and their experiences of using this filesystem, which helped me further improve and enhance flickrfs.

Its time now to release a new version of flickrfs, and here it is. This version includes lots of bug fixes, and new functionalities, which I'm sure you'd like. Here's quick excerpt:
  • Automatic periodic syncing of flickrfs with online server.
  • Directly link photos from your stream and tags to sets, without downloading
  • Automatic resizing of photos while uploading
  • Robust Unicode Support
Do try it out!

P.S. Realized this is my 50th post, now I officially announce myself a blogger! Hope to soon make to the 100th mark :D.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Flickrfs continued

After soo long that I released the version meta alpha (I like that name), did I find time and interest to continue development. And luv you python, I did quite a lot of bug fixes, as well as 2 new enhancements to flickrfs, all in the span of 1 day. I realized that I had almost forgot how beej's flickrapi worked. The prominent bug which caused frob and token authentication failure was originating from that; and took most of my time. That fixed, unmounting became a cakewalk.

Image resizing was one thing which I wanted to implement right from the beginning. Yesterday that came true. A big obstacle was to find a simple python code, which can resize images. And quite surprisingly, I cudn't find one! The nearest thing was huge Python Imaging Library (PIL), which interestingly chucked out EXIF data from images while resizing. Now that's sad!

So, anws, I moved onto a linux solution to the prob. Imagemagick's convert command resized the photos while retaining both the sharpness, as well as the EXIF data. Integrated that as a os.system call in the fs, while allowing a dropback to original size in case the package is not installed. Though, installing it is just a 2-mins job ;).

I have posted on the flickrfs-users list to check out bugs before I release this version as a stable one. Do try it out from cvs. And as always, any feedback is welcome :).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Flickr's changed look

I finally went pro on flickr yesterday. Spent 5 hrs recreating all the sets I had to delete because of the 3 set restriction in normal flickr account. Creation of a flash badge showing my photos was the best part of it. It looks cool on my blog.

Today morning, to my delight, found Flickr's interface revamped. The front page now accomodates 2 photos in a row, and the sets are all moved on to the right. Organize now has tabbed browsing which allows editing of multiple sets together. Secondly, it also allows batch editing of randomly chosen photos. All the photos are by default shown in a horizontal bar located at the bottom. A mouse-over shows the date on which the photo was uploaded. While dragging photos to do batch editing, a nice message pops up on the top right side, with a cool fading effect. To remove the photo, just drag it back to the bar, which automatically fades to act like a trash.

There are links on the top, which provide access to any functionality within 2 clicks. The coolest thing I found was Explore->Calendar, which shows the month with the most interesting photos uploaded on that date. End result is an awesome calendar; which I'd surely like to buy if they put it on sale!

There is a lot interesting stuff in the new interface. Conclusion, I found the new interface to be much more usable; and obv. has more eye-candies ;). In all, flickr is utilizing AJAX to its max limits; and becoming unbeatable as an online photo sharing service.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Call me V

"V: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

Quote from "V for Vendetta". I'd been searching for it since I saw the movie. Thnx Caffetteria src.

My friend just told me that it is available on the official movie website.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gadget Man and Google - 2

Staying in Mountain View! After spending hours on craigslisting, and sending hundreds of emails searching for the right house in San Francisco; realized its just not worth the deal. Especially since, Nasa Ames Hostel located in Mountain View came up with WiFi access. The rooms look great, and there are loads of interns staying there. It wd be much more fun being with so many interns arnd.

Gadget#1 : Finally bought Sony NC50 headphones.
Checked out Bose Quietcomfort2. The headphones were comfortable, noise cancellation was good. But, the price rated was a floated SGD 690/-. Though in US its rated USD 300/-. Conversion comes out to be SGD470/-. A direct 220 dollars difference?!! Completely insane.

Sony NC50's comfort and noise cancellation is equally amazing. I tried it in MRT for 2 hrs commute; and it cancelled out the background noises made by the train. I cud hear the person sitting next to me; though the noise from the songs he was playing on his loud mp3 player were completely removed. I checked out in buses, same result. Background noise is gone, sounds from the mobile TV in buses were effectively reduced, though you cud still hear most of it. Thirdly, I checked it out in a gaming arena. Sittig next to an FPS game, and a street fighting game; which produces most of the noise, NC50 cancelled the background noise (mostly from music and cheers) part of it. The loud bangs were audible. Turning on the music a bit higher worked though, and I was able to enjoy the music oblivious to surroundings.

The music quality is simply amazing, satisfying what you expect from a Sony product. I found it to provide better quality to the songs I had, than bose. Though I'm sure there wd be people who wd like to disagree.

The downside is that the music loudness is reduced. The music becomes more soft. Though my powerful mp3, Cowon A2 handled it quite well. Secondly, because outside noise is cancelled, so, dun have to maximize volume to counter noise. The volume level which didn't sound loud before, works great now! I'm listen to music at max volume, and found the headphones awesome! No crackling sounds; and music was perfect. Still, recommendation is to try it out with your mp3 player before buying.

They still have to be tested on flight. Which I'd most eagerly looking fwd to.

Pros: Great music quality, Effective noise cancellation, Comfortable, long battery life(30hrs), Value for Money (costed SGD 270/-) with no compromise on quality.

Cons: Music gets softer. Check out with your mp3 player. 2nd, Carrying bag is big. Of size of 100 CDs case.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Gadget man and Google

Yes! I'm interning at Google Headquarters these summer vacations. From end-May to end-August; staying in San Francisco. Initially thought of staying at Mountain View, but when came to know about Google's WiFi enabled shuttle bus, commuting b/w San Francisco and MV; plans changed. Would be the best use of time to surf/read blogs while on commute everyday.

Now about Gadgets, I'm planning to buy. This is going to be a series of posts, about a number of gadgets that I'm going to buy in these 3 months. So, starting with the first one, on top of my mind.

Since I bought Cowon A2, I had been vaguely thinking about buying better quality headphones to go alongwith. Now that I'd be on an 18-hrs flight from Singapore to San Francisco, decided to buy noise cancellation headphones. The best ones arnd are Bose Quiet Comfort 2, Sennheiser PXC 250, Sony MDR NC50. Out of these Sennheiser comes with a torch-size noise cancellation circuitry attached to cord, which is quite cumbersome. Especially, when I've a habit of pulling hard on cords; it may break soon. So, that's out of picture.

Sony, and Bose look more convincing. The cords are detachable. So, you can easily turn on the noise reduction, and sleep. Also, can be easily replaced even if broken; quite safe and comfortable. Their noise cancellation circuitry is located inside headphones itself; no extra box to carry arnd. The choice now is based upon the sound quality, and price. As most of the mp3s that I own are medium quality 128kbps, Bose may not sound much diffrent from Sony. The differences are more audible in 256kbps. Though, I still have to test and confirm this. Bose is obv. much more expensive than Sony.

Am going to the Bose store at Plaza Singapura, and Simlim Square today to check them out. Stay tuned to know what I bought, and the next gadget on the list :).