Automation

Geotagging for everyone

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For people like myself that are stuck with a digital camera that was built before anyone had even thought up the term “geotagging”, there is finally a solution that will enable you to have location information for all your snaps.

There are a number of original manufacturer and 3rd party solutions available for a handful of the higher end cameras, but most of them are quite expensive and are most certainly not readily available locally.

This device requires you to sync your computers time with it and to take it with you on your shoot. When you get back you need to download the photo’s into the PhotoTrackr software which will add all the relevant location information to the EXIF data before you import it into your favorite photo organising/editing software.

At $69 we can expect to see it at around R700 locally. I doubt you’ll find them at your local electronics store, but the specialist photo stores should be carrying them later this year.


Looking for a geotagging solution that doesn’t discriminate based on what kind of camera you have? Looking for one that can fit snugly into your Fifth Pocket? The PhotoTrackr Mini looks to be that very device, boasting a diminutive thumb drive-esque appearance and the same geotagging technology as found in the original. Put simply, the device works by syncing the time of your camera with bundled software; when you’re back from a shoot (a shoot where your device also was), you just allow the application to figure out where a given shot was snapped at what time. There’s also Mac and RAW file format support on this model, neither of which were compatible with the prior version. Pre-orders are being accepted now at $69, and the first shipments are expected to go out next month.

Continue reading PhotoTrackr Mini geotagging device shrinks down, adds Mac and RAW support

(Via Engadget.)

Enabling click-to-dial on Snow Leopard

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As a follow up on my Dialectic article, I thought it may be necessary to post some information on how to enable click-to-dial in Snow Leopard.

The problem is that Mac OS X 10.6 no longer supports contextual menu plug-ins, so any plug-ins that you had will stop working after you upgrade to Snow Leopard.

Replacing this functionality is a much improved Services support and this can be used to dial selected phone numbers from most applications.

After installing Dialectic you can do the following to enable it:

  1. From the System Preferences application, select the Keyboard preference pane.
  2. In the Keyboard preference pane, select the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab and scroll down to the “Services” item from the list box on the left side of the window.
  3. After selecting “Services”, scroll down to the “Text” Services group on the right and enable the “Dial Selection” Services item (see the screenshot below).
  4. Dial-Selection.png

    Works like a charm.

A word on migrating WordPress installations

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One of the reservations I had about migrating this blog from WordPress.com to a hosted WordPress installation was the difficulty I thought I would have migrating all my content over. I also wasn’t sure if the same themes and widgets would be available to me. The concern around themes and widgets was put to rest quickly after a few short searches for the stuff I wanted.

wordpress.png

I also read an article a few days prior about exporting the post content from the site using the export tool built into WordPress, so I figured that at least I wouldn’t have to retype or copy and paste all my articles back into the new blog.

After installing WordPress on my server (use bluehost.com for this, they are awesome) and doing some basic initial configuration of the admin user I headed over the import tool, also built into WordPress (smart guys, importing and exporting, who would have thought). I pointed the import tool at my exported .xml file and hoped for the best.

Now I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to exporting data from once system and them importing it into another. There are always issues. Not only was I pleasantly surprised when all my post, tags, categories and comments were brought across (with the timestamp data in tact no less), I almost couldn’t believe it when it asked me if I wanted it to attempt to fetch all my attached content and media as well.

What the hell. I clicked “Yes” and hoped for the best. Well blow me down. I actually had to double check just to make sure that my browser was in fact pointed at the correct site. The transfer was so painless and so complete that I literally didn’t need to do anything other than put a post on the old site informing everyone that the blog had moved.

High fives for all the WordPress developers. I am truly impressed.

MobileMe Media Sync — Apple Patent Watch

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File this under awesome x rad. Seriously, I find it so annoying when can’t carry on listening (or watching) to my current song or podcast when I move from one device to another. Sitting at my desk listening to a podcast on iTunes and switching to my iPhone when I have to dash off somewhere is mildly frustrating because I need to get to the correct podcast and then scan for the spot I was at before I can pick up where I left off.

With this I should just be able to pop my earbuds in and hit play on the head set control. It will save me time not only because I don’t have to find the right track, but I also won’t have to listen to the same parts of tracks again because I’m not sure where I was.

And I totally agree that Apple need to start working a little harder to earn my MobileMe subscription every year !

091019-applepatent-01

Synchronization of Media State Across Multiple Devices, one of the latest patents filed by Apple, aims to use MobileMe to make sure if you start watching a movie in iTunes or on the AppleTV, then switch to your iPhone, you’re at the exact same place in the movie (and back again) — with no USB sync required.

Last month, prompted by reader Seth Clifford, TiPb asked for just such ‘WhisperSync’ (to use the Amazon Kindle term) functionality. Not only would this be great for users with multiple Windows, Macs, iPhones, and/or iPod touches, but it would be a great way for Apple to add value to MobileMe, whose $99 a year is non-competitive to say the least, especially for Windows users (who don’t benefit from iLife, Back to my Mac, Mac sync, etc.) So, yeah, Apple — make this happen!

(Via The iPhone Blog.)

Do you Poken ?

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I’ve been looking at getting one of these for a while, but never got around to it.

poken

Now I’ve won one in a competition and I’m keen to see just how useful these are. The primary challenge that “early adopters” will have is that if you don’t have anyone to “Poken” with, you basically just have a small piece of plastic with an LED that never goes on in your pocket.

My poken

My poken

The idea is simple, you store all your online contact information on the Poken and then when you are at social or business gathering and you need to exchange information with someone else you simply touch the two Poken together and they exchange information. There is a flurry of LED’s and all things electronic and then when next you connect your Poken to your computer you have all the persons details.

They’re R199 from the local Poken distributors (Poken Africa).

Get one. The more people that have them, the more people you can “Poken”.

Billion take it to the next level

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You heard it here first, but now Billion have taken it to the next level.

Billion 2073N Homeplug Adapter

Billion 2073N Homeplug Adapter

With this device you can have the best of both worlds – Wifi and EoP (Ethernet over Power). You are pretty much guaranteed to have every inch of your house covered either with wired or wireless connectivity without the hassle of having to lay (and hide) Ethernet cable all over the place.

Billion is supplied locally by Nology and is apparently ready to be ordered from them. I’ve been scouring the local e-tailers but they are pretty slow and useless when it comes to new products.

Only people that seem to be on the ball are Expansys who have it on offer for R874.99 here.

This price puts it at about the same price as the Netgear units which don’t have the built in Wifi.

Definitely worth taking a look at if you are planning on wire(less)ing your home up anytime soon.

Automate getting your RSS fix

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4/5

4/5

Over time I’ve messed around with a number of OS X applications that automate the finding and downloading of content that I subscribe to with RSS.

Some of the applications that I have been using have not been updated in a long time and they have begun to become more and more unreliable.

Fortunately I recently came across “Automatic”:

The answer to your RSS prayers

The answer to your RSS prayers

Automatic allows you to set up subscriptions for virtually any content linked in RSS feeds: podcasts, videocasts, torrentcasts… Rule of thumb: if it ends in ‘-cast’, you can get it with Automatic.

Once set up, there’s nothing else to do but sit back and wait. Automatic will fetch and deliver the latest content for your subscriptions right to your download folder*, so all that’s left for you is to find some time to enjoy it!

For example, just imagine you wanted to ensure that you were always up to date with your favorite TV show. For this example, we’ll assume that “The Big Bang Theory”is the show in question.

Hit the best TV Show RSS feed, select “The Big Bang Theory” from the drop down list, click the “Get public feed” button and copy the URL that it spits back at you.

Show RSS

Show RSS

Open up Automatic (it lives in your System Preferences).

System Preferences

System Preferences

Click on the “Subscriptions” tab at the top and the on the “+” button to add a new subscription.

Add a feed

Add a feed

Click the “+” button again on the next screen to add a feed. Paste the URL into the top field and Automatic does the rest.

Automatic feed

Automatic feed

In this case I’ve made use of a feed that will only return episodes for this show. You can obviously use a general feed and then use the filter function to view only the items you want.

Play with it for a few minutes and you’ll get the idea. Pretty simple stuff really.

Note: This show used as an example only. Make sure you only use this only to download content that you have rights to. Otherwise you will probably get into trouble.

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