Fun

Comic-Con 2009 Photos

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I've never read many comics but this year I trekked down to San Diego with some friends and saw the Comic-Con event for the first time. It was a good time. Everyone was very nice and all were proud to show off their costumes. I've let my Flickr stream die so here are some pics of interest.
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"So Say We All!"
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Lou Ferigno would not look at me no matter how much I asked.
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I was 8 when Star Wars first came out. You don't let that stuff go easy.
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Beware! Corellians shoot first.
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Original Tron Costume.
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There is nothing shy about the people who dress up at Comic-Con. They are really in their element.
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Not sure who they are but they really liked posing.
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Even Trekkies must eat.
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Is it just me or does Batman look like he is enjoying this?
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I found Waldo!
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This is just wrong.

Everything is Going to Be Okay

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Have you ever noticed how creative a lot of Mac users are? One of the perks of being a Mac geek is that you get to meet a lot of those folks. One such person that I like to call a friend is Dorothy Yamamoto who, among many other great talents, is a fantastic artist. Dorothy decided to do a collection of drawings of some of her friends (several from the Mac community) making the "OK" symbol with their hands. It looks fantastic, even mine! Check it out here.

Lucky Number 12,000

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Well I've been doing this blog a few months now and noticed tonight my total views just hit 12,000. Probably a drop in the bucket in internet terms but still I'm so pleased to have loyal readers. I enjoy all of your emails and comments and look forward to learning more and growing this blog with all of your help. Google hasn't really found MacSparky on the new server in that the older wordpress blog (which is no longer being updated) is still getting most of the search hits but we will get the new blog rolling soon I think. Thanks gang!

From Jobs' Lips to Her Ears

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So I promised my 10 year old that if she helped out my wife with her internet business over the summer, I'd buy her a video iPod. It worked out. She worked all summer and was a big help. A few weeks ago I said, "Okay, lets go get your new iPod". She says "No." She has been "reading" on the intenet and thinks new ones will come out. Like she has got some inside angle on it all so I'm all ... "Okay ... lets wait" From Jobs' lips to her ears a few weeks later Apple announces the iPod touch. It gets better.

I'm sitting at my desk last week trying to deal with a case when she calls me again. "Hey Dad. They are refunding you $100 on your iPhone. You can use that on my iPodTouch." Welcome to fatherhood. But there is more.

I'm sitting at my desk at 7:30. (Yes .. I work early) She calls again. "Dad, I just got an email. iPod Touch is coming out early."

What a kid.



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New Links

I've added a few new links to the margin and thought I'd mention them in a post.

MacWingNut.com

My friend Darren Rolfe is just like me, a semi-contributor to Surfbits (and about to be a little more involved there) and running a new Mac Blog. I really enjoy reading what is going on in Darren's world and hope you will too.

zen habits


ZenHabits.net

I discovered this blog about 2 weeks ago and it has quickly risen to the top of My RSS feed. If there is time to just read one web site a day, it is this one. Leo writes on productivity, parenthood, and good living everyday. His site really strikes a chord with me and I hope some you enjoy it as well.

The Left Side of My Brain

LightbulbI’ve recently upgraded my iLife applications to some of the pro versions, specifically Final Cut and Logic. While I toyed with these things on computers before (I used to be a professional musician), I never really grasped how much a computer could be a tool of my creativity until switching. I’m going crazy with creative outlets lately, just ask my wife. It is just too easy. Well, the short of it is I plan on not only updating this site with lawyer/productivity items but a bit of the creative as well. As Captain Jack would say, “Ye be warned.”

Review - Periscope


Periscope


 


Freeverse recently released its new program, Periscope. This program allows you to use your iSight camera, or any other recognized USB camera in new and different ways. When I boot it up on my MacBook Pro I immediately see a preview window with my mug in it. A nice touch to the interface is the border to the preview window that makes it look like the tube border on a pre flatscreen era television.


 


On the left side of the screen is the interface which is very simply broken down into three tabs: capture, share, and review. Each tab has multiple options underneath it. For instance on the capture button, I can choose to take picture when it is triggered by motion, sound, a timer, an Applescript, or using my Apple remote. Likewise the second tab, called "Share" allows me to output the pictures to a variety of places such as iPhoto, FTP, a folder, .Mac, Flickr, or even email. Finally the third tab allows me to preview the photos taken. The picture quality is not all that great but that probably has more to do with the quality of the iSight camera than the software. Freeverse should be complimented on the interface. Whether you want to send a motion triggered shot to your work email or drop your apple remote triggered shots to you iPhoto library it takes all of about 10 seconds to configure.


 


Periscope is a program that fills two distinctly different roles. It is a gadget but its also a security device. As a gadget it is simply a blast. I hooked it up with my kids and they were fighting over it. One was using the remote to take pictures of herself mugging it up while the other one would do the James Bond act and attempt to walk all the way across the screen without setting off the motion trigger while I blasted the theme from Mission Impossible over iTunes. My daughter already informed me she wants it on her iMac.


 


As a security device I think it also does a pretty good job. I'm sure there are more complex security systems but it still probably is enough for most of us. I don't own a USB camera but I don't see why you couldn't point it at your door or yard and tell it to email you a picture at work if something moves or on the hour. It could also be used to keep an eye on your pets while you are out. Interestingly, the program takes pictures even after my screen goes dark so the crooks would be none the wiser. Another good use would be if you travel and leave your MacBook in your hotel room.


 


A license for Periscope will cost you $29.95 and can be found at www.freeverse.com. As an aside the confirmation email is the best one I've ever read (and I buy lots of software). I particularly like where Freeverse's president invites me, the "Esteemed Customer Person", to write if I have any questions about "life in general." I just love Mac developers, or at least most of them anyway.


 


I really like the interface in Periscope. It is easy to use and you can quickly set it to your needs. If you are interested in the entertainment or security aspects of this program, check it out.

iPhoto Super Editing Mode


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This one rates pretty high on the geek meter but is very helpful. While in iPhoto press the following combination.


 


Control + CapsLock + 9


 


Then hit the “Tab” key and you unlock the advanced editing features. This works really well for red eye reduction and retouch. I got this hint from an Apple Store genius but OSXhints covered it really nicely here.