New Photo Blog – Israel Photos

For the past three and a half years, my wife and I have been using a pocket-sized point-and-shoot digital camera to try and capture our future memories. Although it has and continues to serve us well, we are very often frustrated with the amount of time it takes to capture a picture, from start to finish. While it is fine for taking shots of landscapes, when taking pictures of little kids, we often have less than a second in which to get what we want on film before the moment is lost (and more often than not, we are not able to capture it in time). So using some gift money we just purchased our new camera, a Nikon D40 (I wanted to get a DSLR, and according to reviews that I read, it is a very goof "beginner" camera for this class of cameras. So far it has lived up to expectations). It takes awesome, crisp pictures, and works fast (instant start-up, up to 2.5 pictures per second).

Of course, with such a fun new toy at my disposal, I can’t help but try out my hand at some amateur photography. And since I just can’t help but do so whenever I inaugurate a new hobby or area of interest, I have created a new blog to share my work: Israel Photos (RSS). The common theme with all of the pictures displayed is that all are taken in Israel (where I live). Beyond that, the subject matter will be quite varied.

I researched some of the different options for photo blogs, and in the end settled on using WordPress with the YAPB (Yet Another PhotoBlog) plugin. I am used to setting up and customizing WordPress blogs, and I like how the plugin leverages the strengths of WordPress while adding the functionality needed to modify the default operation of the software as required. And since this is running off of WordPress, I could integrate other WP plugins down the line, if necessary. Although I will probably change some of the colors down the line, I am right now using the Grain theme, a theme specifically designed to work with YAPB. Setup for all of these components (including some minor customization of the theme) was very straightforward.

Please let me know what you think – I would appreciate the feedback. (An easy way to see thumbnails of all photos posted so far is through the mosaic page. My favorites to date: Rotting Pomegranate, Purple Flower with Dew and Old Woman Swinging).

Items of Interest: 2007-06-04

Items of Interest: 2007-06-01

Items of Interest: 2007-05-31

  • Microsoft vs. from Jamie Cansdale – Jamie gives a full accounting, including all emails exchanged between himself and Microsoft over the past two years of bullying by a Visual Studio PM, while MS tries to get him to stop distributing his Unit Testing framework because of dubious licensing issues (when the real issue is that his free product is superior to what they offer to customers who pay lots of $$)
  • Six ways to write more comprehensible code by Jeff Vogel. Here’s the short version:
    1. Comment smartly – don’t write comments on obvious code, don’t document where it is not necessary
    2. Define your constants rather than just putting ambiguous values into functions
    3. Name your variables wisely
    4. Perform error checking inside your code
    5. Don’t optimize until the functionality is done
    6. Choose to code for understandability versus conciseness.
  • Working hard on getting a new server from Thomas Hawk – The latest round in the “we will be releasing our super duper new version tonight…doh!” saga otherwise known Zooomr. Well, at least they got it up for 10 minutes this before meltdown, poor guys.
  • Google Gears – Google one-ups everyone and releases an open source framework for using webapps when offline (compare this with MS trying their hardest to prevent independent developers from making MS developer tools better).