There is a pulse after all. I’m dusting off the blog, and just finished restoring all the photos in the archives. I know there’s still a ton of broken links, but I’ll get to them one of these days. This weekend I’m fighting off a cold, and doing mindless stuff like this makes me feel less sick, I guess. Getting all the old photos back was a fun trip down memory lane to the early days — back when self-publishing was more fun and nobody called these website thingies “blogs.”

rediscovering the Dry Tortugas

While testing Aperture, Apple’s professional answer to iPhoto, I imported some old photos that include the sea plane trip Marlin and I took to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas in March 1999. I’ve posted them all in a Dry Tortugas Gallery over in the gallery section. These photos were all taken with my old Minolta XG-1 and scanned from 35mm negatives a long long time ago. I didn’t do any more color manipulation, so the color correcting I did nearly 10 years ago remains. I sort of like the beautiful saturation … it fits the trip. Aperture was fantastic in cropping and straightening these, and I was extremely impressed with the program while organizing several hundred other photos I imported. After extensively playing with early and recent versions of both Aperture and Adobe Lightroom, Aperture wins my endorsement (and my business).

Fort Jefferson is the largest masonry structure in the western hemisphere, and served as a prison during the U.S. Civil War. It’s one of the most beautiful places you can visit, if you can get there — it’s only accessible by boat or sea plane.

PS: The new banner image of the sunken ship also comes from our sea plane flight to the Dry Tortugas. There are several sunken wrecks in the area.

resist the Borg

Microsoft’s hostile takeover bid of Yahoo certainly has some Flickr folks in an uproar: Flickr Rebellion Brews at Specter of M$ Acquisition. (Absolutely LOVE the photo that leads that story, btw) And I can’t say that I blame the Flickr-ers. If MS buys Yahoo, I expect all the Yahoo parts (including Flickr) will be shoehorned into MS technologies: Microsoft .NET Live Flickr Web 2.0 Vista Extreme Edition. I don’t see this as Microsoft buying the technology — they are buying Yahoo search and the Yahoo community/social network. I don’t think they give a shit about all the great technology Yahoo has developed. For Microsoft, it’s all about search, ads, advertising revenue, and eyeballs. Microsoft is never going to grow a tight and dynamic community of users like Google or Yahoo. In the Microsoft world, if you can’t make friends, buy them.

I’ve always looked at sites such as Flickr, Blogger, etc., like a landlord. Move in, make yourself at home. But just as in real life (and I know this from personal experience), if a landlord is going to sell, you might just have the rug yanked out from under you. I look at my own web site and note I’m happy and content with running my own open source content management systems for the blog and the gallery. No high stakes mergers and acquisitions are going to affect me — I’m my own landlord. And I’ve already managed to free my life of most things Microsoft, and I’m content in knowing I’m not going to get sucked back in through decisions that are outside my control.

software bug solved: don't use your computer

How’s this for customer service … Intuit (who makes Quicken, QuickBooks, and other software) pushed an auto-update out for QuickBooks users on the Mac platform and the update deleted all the files on the user’s Desktop: QuickBooks Pro bug leads to data loss for some. But wait, it gets better … while Intuit fixed the problem for those users who had not yet run the update, they are still working on a solution for the folks that lost all their Desktop files. In the meantime, Intuit says, just turn your computer off and don’t use it!

This news makes me very hesitant to continue using Quicken once I switch all my stuff over to Mac early next year. I’ve been using Quicken on Windows forever, and I probably only use the application to 25% of it’s potential. I don’t use any reports, planning, graphs, etc. I need just basic bank and credit account registers, reconciling/balancing, loans and investments.

If you’re a Mac user reading this and have a recommendation, please leave a comment. I’d love to take a look at a couple Quicken alternatives on the Mac operating system.