Ruta HÃŒpica - a walk along an ancient path in Spain

A walk on the Ruta HÃŒpica, an old road through the Benasque Valley of Spanish Pyrenees. This trail starts on El Camino del Sol near Eresue and passes along a north-western slope until it reaches Cerler, and ultimate Llanos del Hospital.

Before modern transportation this valley was relatively isolated and had its own language, Patues. Many locals still speak Patues and the valley is trying to preseve the language by continuing to teach it in schools.

Un camino antiguo por los Pirineos Aragones en el Valle de Benasque, EspaÃ’a. Desde Eresue hasta Cerler y Llanos del Hospital.

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ASP Thrashed by ColdFusion

The Allaire Headquarters in Newton. -sniff-

Ah, it brings a tear to my eye. Those were the good ol' days for sure... Check out this homemade video of ASP getting stomped on by the CF Patrol. This video is absolutely hysterical!

CNET Interview with Caterina Fake of Flickr

C|NET has published an interview with Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake as a series of video clips.

Caterina discusses:


How Flickr was launched in February 2004 with the original intent to be a game where users share common objects by dragging and dropping photos into an IM client. Later in 2004 they added annotation features such as tagging, notes, and groups. Flickr wanted to differentiate itself from photo finishing websites like OFoto or Shutterfly by focussing on sharing photos primarily as a social medium.


How Flickr is interested in building an infrastructure to allow members to monetize their photos, although a mechanism to sell photos has not yet been implemented.


How the online community dynamically contribute the metadata through annotation. When Flickr was acquired by Yahoo! membership was just under 300,000 and has since soared to over 2 million users at this time.


How Web 2.0 features are community oriented, allowing better social networking, personalization, and customization.


How Yahoo! (owner of Flickr) is differentiated from Google by way of Yahoo!'s vision for the online community whereas Google is all about using "brute force computation to solve critical problems". As a social medium, content rises in relevance or importance according the social interaction around the content. Caterina highlights Web 2.0 features provided in My Web 2.0 where search engine rankings consider your personal or cultural context as factors in contrast to Google rankings which treat you as part of the flat world without adding a fine degree of individualism.


How video content has been a heated topic on Flickr for some time, but Caterina witholds comment.


More about Caterina can be found on her blog.

Learning about printing and framing of large prints

Shutterfly print of Concord CenterShutterfly print of Tunkhannock Viaduct This fall I've starting making a more serious effort to learn and practice photography as an art. I've purchased a Canon EOS 20D digital SLR with a variety of lenses, I've taken a class on using Digital SLRs at the Decordova Museum, I've taken a local printing workshop, and I recently purchased a 21 hour Total Training Photoshop CS2 DVD from Adobe.

While I think my technical mastery of the digital SLR is good to very good, and my composition is very good, I still lack printing skills and equipment. One day I'd like to have a home studio with large format printer from Epson or HP where I can print 13x19 inch prints on high quality art paper or canvas like that from Moab. From there I'd like to try to sell my work for a small profit to recoup costs and then a little more for my effort. I'm thinking over methods of selling that include dutch auctions on eBay, negotiating with local restaurants to hang and sell framed images, participating in arts and crafts festivals, as well as obtaining a permit from my town to sell them on the street in the town center. I'm not sure what's possible yet, but check back here next year and hopefully I'll have it figured out.

Until I can develop my own photo studio at home, I had a couple of my favorite recent images printed in 20x30 inch format by Shutterfly. The original images were high quality and suitable for printing in 11x17 inch, so rather than having Shutterfly englarge them, I used a technique in Photoshop to upsample them by first adjusting the resolution from 72 ppi to 300 ppi, then incrementally increasing the print size until I reached 20x30. The result is an image file about 5 times larger but with a resolution and size suitable for this large format printing without noticible degredation in quality.

I was moderately satisfied with the prints as they came back from Shutterfly. While the site says they will be printed on a flat, low-reflection matte paper, in reality it looks more like semi-gloss because it much more shiny than I hoped for. The image quality was quite good, and I'm having these two photos professionally matted and framed by Corner's Framing. The staff at Corner's Framing was very patient and helped me understand the whole process and the cost breakdown so that I could make choices to lower the cost. Framing is quite expensive, and I learned that the frame itself is by far the largest factor in the price. Our initial selection for a frame cost $444 just for the wooden moulding, but they helped me find a a nice looking, suitable frame for about $175 instead. It will be 2 weeks before they are ready.

Should I start selling my prints, I think I'll try to have them professionally matted for about $40 including dry mounting and backing, but I'll either sell them matted only or in inexpensive metal frames. You can view a smaller version of the Concord Center print and the Nicholson Bridge print.

Resources:
Framing Large Prints
From your hard drive to your wall

How ColdFusion Receives and Processes Requests.

Here's another post I made to the internal forum for my class on Database Design where I describe how requests are handled by ColdFusion and how the webserver connector works in general. Reposting here in case anyone finds it useful.

--

A question was asked in yesterday's class regarding the difference between making requests to the Apache port versus the ColdFusion port.

Effectively, the answer is that there is no difference for the purpose of this class.

ColdFusion MX has a built-in webserver that can be used in lieu of an external, production-quality webserver like Apache, Iplanet, or IIS. The default for this built-in webserver is port 8500, 8501, or 8300 depending on the type of installation and CF version, and that port is configurable.

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Renderings of Concord Center and the Hartwell House

Photo gallery from an early morning in Concord including Concord Center, the Unitarian Church, The Colonial Inn, and the Hartwell House in nearby Lexington. These are renderings of Concord taken with a Canon EOS D20 and enhanced with Adobe Photoshop CS 2 to give them a hand drawn ink and watercolor feeling.

I'm still learning about printing techniques, but I've already learned how to upscale photos so that I can make larger prints without significantly reducing image quality. Just for fun, I ordered the first rendering of Concord Center in a 20" x 30" size from Shutterfly. The upscaling and posterizing enhancments caused the filesize to increase from about 11MB to 61MB, and Flickr won't accept files that large, so I had to use Shutterfly. Photos of that size are done in matte paper only, although it looked more like semi-gloss to me. Aside from the glossyish paper, the photo came out great at that size. I'd like to do a custom print on watercolor paper on a professional printer and then matte and frame it for my home.

These photos were taken during a 1 day workshop of personal instruction from Bill Claybrook of New River Photography. It was just Bill and I, so the workshop was definitely worth it just for the personal attention alone. Bill and I made our paces through Concord Center on a Saturday morning, and then at the Hartwell House on Battle Road on the way to Lexington. Then we spent a few hours at Bill's house where he showed me his techniques for printing, and then we went back on the road for more photography at the Shaker Village in Harvard, MA. Oddly, Bill's primary occupation is a Linux industry analyst and currently works for Novell, maker of Suse Linux. His articles can be found on the web including at Linux World Magazine on Sys-Con.com.

www.flickr.com


My other photo galleries of Concord, MA:
- Autumn in Concord, MA
- Snow Storm in Concord, MA
- Concord on Forth of July

Spanish Film Recommendations

Preparing to pass the Movie Meme, here's a rehashed, repost of my rather lengthy comments to the 3rd House Party Movie Meme blog entry....




This reads almost exactly like a list of my own DVD collection. I'll buy anything directed by Pedro Almodovar or Alejandro Amen·bar, or starring Gael GarcÌa Bernal or Javier Bardem. Concord isn't all that far from Grafton, so maybe we can swap sometime :)

Gael GarcÃŒa Bernal is really emerging as one of the best Mexican actors, with credits including The Motorcycle Diaries, El Crimen de Padre Amaro, Amores Perros, and Y Tu Mama Tambien.

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The Best of Concord Police Logs

I love reading the crazy things that happen around the sleepy town of Concord, as reported in the weeekly Police Logs from the Concord Journal. I've lived in a lot of places, some where most people wouldn't bat an eye if a carjacking were happening, but here in Concord the residents are easily spooked... Enjoy!

I'm proud to claim my own place in the town's log. Here's the what ended up in the newspaper when I was spotted taking pictures in the early morning hours:

    Sunday, Oct. 16 2005
  • At 1:23 a.m., officer on patrol reported a male subject on foot in the Milldam. Officer spoke with the individual, who was taking photos for a college course.


This blog entry will be updated with a selections taken from those logs.



    Week of June 12, 2006
  • At 11:45 a.m., a Simon Willard Road caller reported someone had dumped a bag of brush in her yard. (Why would someone call the police for this? Just pick up the bag and put it in the trash!)
  • At 11:38 a.m., staff from a Sudbury Road country club asked for police assistance with a squirrel that was stuck on a roof. The fire department was dispatched.
  • At 6:13 a.m., emergency crews responded to reports of a smoldering bonfire at White Pond.
  • At 11:48 a.m., a cellular caller reported a motor vehicle versus deer accident on Shadyside Avenue. The deer left the scene.


    Week of June 5, 2006
  • At 7:58 p.m., police received a call about a trespassing bather and his children at White Pond. When confronted the bather apparently got agitated and used profanity.
  • At 8:35 p.m., a Lexington Road caller reported a loose horse and carriage heading down the street. The horse was wrangled by its owner.
  • At 10:31 a.m., a Peter Bulkeley Road caller reported a three-legged pit bull and a Welch corgi running through her yard.
  • At 1:04 p.m., a Manuel Drive caller reported a former friend had posted her picture on a Web site. The pictures were not obscene, the caller said, nor were they appreciated. Police told the caller to contact police in Shirley, where her former friend resides.
  • At 5:19 p.m., a guest at an Elm Street hotel reported she was concerned about the children in the room above her because they had stopped making noise. In an apparently unrelated incident, she also reported heavy set male walking in the hallway. Then she asked for a phone number for the CIA because the FBI had been rude to her.
  • At 7:42 p.m., a resident walked into the police station with her son to report someone had sent the son unwanted instant messages while he as on the computer.


    Week ending July 25, 2005
  • At 8:45 p.m., a College Road caller reported finding dog feces in her mailbox.
  • At 2:50 p.m., a caller reported a male drinking a beer in a vehicle at the West Concord Plaza.
  • At 2:59 p.m., a caller reported a couple engaged in a "public display of affection" on a bench near The Concord Depot.
  • At 5:58 p.m., a Shore Drive caller reported youths swimming in White Pond.
  • At 1:21 a.m., a Shore Drive caller reported people being loud in the area of White Pond. Police found no one at the beach and placed a pair of sneakers, two pairs of sandals, a cell phone, three shirts and a belt into property.
  • At 7:28 p.m., a caller reported two vehicles weaving in and out of traffic shooting water guns at each other. State Police responded

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Integrating Technorati with BlogCFC


About Technorati:

Technorati is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere the world of weblogs... Technorati displays what's important in the blogosphere which bloggers are commanding attention, what ideas are rising in prominence, and the speed at which these conversations are taking place. Technorati makes it possible for you to find out what people on the Internet are saying about you, your company, your products, your competitors, your politics, or other areas of interest all in real-time. All this activity is monitored and indexed within minutes of posting. Technorati provides a live view of the global conversation of the web.


With a few code changes, BlogCFC can integrate with Technorati so that new blog posts automatically notify or ping Technorati to add your blog to its high-priority queue to be indexed, and so that your blog categories double as Technorati tags which adds semantic meaning to be used as metadata in Technorati searching and ranking.

Here's how to integrate your BlogCFC with Technorati:

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Anatomy of a Flex MXML Request

The initial HTTP request from a browser for an mxml page made to a Macromedia Flex application will generate a series of HTTP Request/Response pairs due to the multiple pieces that comprise a Flex presentation tier interface. Specifically, the HTTP response first returns an HTML wrapper containing the appropriate Embed and Object tags to contain the Flash SWF file. That wrapper also contains references to other HTML and JavaScript files that (partially) provide the History Management feature. As the browser makes additional calls back to Flex for the remaining pieces, the second HTTP Request that occurs is for a small piece of JavaScript code. The third piece of HTTP traffic is a request for the {filename}.mxml.swf file (note the double extension). This request is intercepted by the MXML Servlet which will perform the content cache routine and then return a SWF back to the browser in the response, which is the primary interface to the Flex application. The fourth request is to the flex-internal servlet for a smaller SWF file which contributes to the History Mangement functionality. Together, when a simple mxml application file loads in the browser, there are 4 HTTP Request and Response pairs.

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