Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Amazing Happenings in Geek

I get excited about seemingly random things. However, I like to think that the projects, objects, designs, and software I get excited about often become important (at least to me) rather than slowly fading into oblivion. I seem to be juggling several chunks of excitement lately, so it will help to share.

I have always had a bit of envy for those artistic people that are able to produce amazing designs. I have a short attention span, which is not always a bad thing, but it often turns large projects into non-starters. For me, artistic excitement has consistently come back to a dorky topic, SVG. The program most frequently used for this by design artists is Adobe Illustrator. Visio, Fireworks and Flash all lay out vector graphics - but the way of the future is the W3C standard. The same folks that bring you "html" and "xml" now bring you "svg" - this will be a component of the next version of Windows (Longhorn) and could potentially overtake Flash as the dominant SVG web delivery mechanism in the long run. Inkscape is a great tool for designing SVG. I bottled my apple wine this weekend and I am just finishing up my labels in Inkscape - I highly recommend you give it a shot.

Asterisk development is still going strong. After much trial and error I now have both Voicepulse and Broadvoice working with IAX and SIP respectively. The Asterisk related quest I have been on lately though has been to obtain a vintage red ITT or Western Electric touch-tone red phone. It's all about the missle launch feeling when I pick up the handset. Once my number portability is completed my Asterisk implementation will begin to stabilize.
Red Phone

On American Idol all of the contestants want to be role models for the youth of America. Kelly, Ruben, and Fantasia have not made it onto my rold model list yet, but I have recently appended my idol list. Nat Friedman, co-founder of Ximian (now Novell), now sits on my list next to John Stossel and Bill Reichel (my mortgage lender). Who are your idols?

Flickr. Learn it, use it, become one with it. I was searching for a solution to manage all of my 3500 digital photos. After playing with Gallery and realizing its limitations I began searching for a tool that would better suit my needs. I discovered an iPhoto export tool for Flickr, an open API with perl bindings, and yes - a Wordpress gallery plugin. Now I can store all of my full-res images on someone elses server. Go flickr. By the way, check out the company that runs flickr, ludicorp.