Thursday, November 30, 2006
The observant out there will notice the redirection from www.dubea.org to www.dubea.com. My 3 year "free" hosting for dubea.org at 1and1 is at an end and I have a feeling they will be rather exorbitant in the fees to extract my domain name from them. As I had registered dubea.com at GoDaddy back in March, I decided to go ahead and use them for hosting. Their "economy" plan seems to be what I need and 2 years worth was about $70. I've already had to call tech support and they insisted on knowing the last four digits of my credit card before they would speak with me. H'mmmm. Anyway, GoDaddy gives you free hosting for a domain registration, but you have to turn that off before you can associate the domain with my newly purchased services. It sat there for 24 hours and nothing happened, so I had to call them to get it fixed.
Obviously it is fixed as you are reading this message at dubea.com. I've got a simple redirect at dubea.org at present, but depending on what 1and1 does I'll just get GoDaddy to host it once my free package expires if my domain renewal fee is not too much at 1and1. If it is, I'll wait until it dies and then register it somewhere else. No big deal really. So if perhaps you sent me or Melanie an e-mail to our dubea.org addresses and they bounce back, try sending the same username to dubea.com. Pretty simple!
The last thing to do is get my Group Office collaboratory migrated over to dubea.com. Hopefully I will get that done next week. It's a good tool that I've been using to good effect in my corporate development efforts that have been going on for a while. All the pertinent files are there and any of the users can download or upload data when then need. This way we don't have to worry about e-mailing files that are too big and such. Pretty cool.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It's been a while since there was a photo entry.
We are slowly making progress. I've got the existing photo albums, which were originally generated by jAlbum, looking sort of like the Thingamablog pages. The menu at the top now points to the correct sections (yea!). Now I need to roll my sleeves up and get my Thingamablog and jAlbum templates working in concert. Lot's of html and CSS. It's getting clearer, but it will probably take me a while.
I've been struggling a bit with the Nikon D200 I got in the summer. It's a much more sophisticated camera than the D70 was and it's taking me a while to get my brain around it. My RAW conversion tool is now Nikon Capture NX as I purchased an upgrade from Nikon Capture 4.4 (which I rarely used) in August. Capture NX has gotten a lot of press both negative and positive since it's introduction in the fall. Amateur photographers seem to take to it, but professionals seem less impressed. In any event, I've been learning how to use it and generally I'm impressed. I really never came to grips with Photoshop, so the different philosophy offered by CapNX has was welcome. Post processing isn't any less time consuming, but at least I don't feel like I'm starting from scratch every time I fire it up. These two things combined have meant a lot of studying has been going on in the off hours. I'm just getting the D200 set up like I like to take photos. Websites like NikonGear, NikonCafe, d1scussion, Nikonians and dpReview have been big helps in the acquisition of knowledge. To augment those, I have purchased Thom Hogan's Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 which I'm slowly making my way through. Additionally, I bought Jason Odell's "The Photographer's Guide to Capture NX" which has been a really big help in understanding the capabilities of Capture NX. Both e-books are highly recommended.
I'm in the process of getting all my photographic workflow processes set up. Currently, I use iMatch for my Digital Asset Management (DAM). Digital Asset Management is a long term for photo organization. iMatch and I have had a love/hate relationship going since our introduction a couple of years ago. Its taken me a REALLY long time to get a grip on iMatch because the User Interface (UI) is truly user hostile. Things are scattered all over the place and the titles are not particularly intuitive. In any event, iMatch is an extremely powerful tool and there is very little that it won't do either directly or via scripting. The author is currently updating iMatch to use the latest Nikon SDK (software developers kit) which supports Nikon RAW files post processed in Capture NX. This is really cool, because I can do my edits in Capture NX and then use iMatch for organizing the NEF files. I can use the tools in iMatch to generate appropriate web albums and such from my Nikon RAW files. Cool. Can't wait until the next update of iMatch.
In combination with all this, is the integration with jAlbum and Thingamablog. My goal is to have a unified system where I can apply labels, ratings and appropriate information in iMatch, choose which photos I want to publish on my site, create suitable information to bring into jAlbum which then creates photo albums I can include nicely in Thingamablog ramblings. Wheh!
The way that pictures will be integrated here is becoming clearer thanks to Jo Hendricks-Jansen at http://eccentricgnat.com. She uses Thingamablog to do her blogging and brilliantly suggested to use Thingamablog's "Favorite Links" functionality to list pages with photo albums. Absolutely Brilliant. Now, I have to get the JAlbum templates looking more like Thingamablog (there is that CSS thing again) and I'm homefree!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Well, interest in the house has been pretty minimal thusfar. We did have one couple who "absolutely LOVED the house" make us a ridiculously low offer. I guess they didn't love it THAT much. LOL! We aren't in a hurry as we would really rather not move before Christmas, so it all worked out for the best.
The good news is Jourdan competed in the Academic Olympics for southern St. Tammany parish last weekend. Academic Olympics is a testing competition for several different curriculum in this case administered by the local High School Honor Society. Jourdan competed in sixth grade Social Studies, and won FIRST place. WOW!!!!! My, he was proud of himself. We were too. Congratulations Jourdan, well done my boy!
We have gone through three different investors in our attempt to roll up three high technology companies with no interest. We are still talking to my friend about investing, but the discussions seemed to be stalled at present. I've got another friend in Houston who has been courting investors for a while for another investment that I will approach after the first of December if our current discussion don't go anywhere. Two of the three owners realize that they have to do something in order to service the large anticipated increase in business for next year, so if we don't lock them up shortly, I think our deal is going to fall apart. Time will tell.
Not much more to tell at present. Meghan is home for Thanksgiving and it's great having her home, with her turtle, Bosco. We turtle sat over the weekend while Meghan went to the LSU-Ole Miss football game. He did get left in the car Friday night after we got home from picking him up. It got rather cold, but he was no worse for wear thank goodness. That's the second time I've tested Bosco's ability to endure temperature extremes. Hopefully it will be the last!
Things are starting to pick up at work. I'm rewriting the software for the End Measurement Device (See June 19th, 2005 entry) to allow for more precise calibration. The software is written for use on a Symbol palm based PDA. The software development package, Satellite Forms, is pretty rudimentary, so it's taking a while to get the functionality that I want in the system. It's sort of like a very stripped down Visual Basic. The package has extremely limited editing functionality so there is a lot of repetitive typing and copying and pasting to text editors for higher level functionality, like find and replace! Canyon Offshore has also asked me to quote on the construction of another Suction Pile Control system like the one I built for them some 5+ years ago. Hopefully my prices won't shock them too much! I'll post more about that later as an Engineering entry!
That's all for now, please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The latest installment
The house is for sale, we are nearing the end of cleaning up my father-in-law's house for sale, so selling houses is becoming a recurring theme. The only concern now is the rather lackadaisical housing market. Thusfar, we've had about 10 people come to look at the house. The agent tells us the asking price is at the top of everyone's range. At present there isn't any hurry so we will wait it out. We saw what houses that were not properly rehabilitated sold for, so our asking price is really not that far out of hand.
Jourdan came home with 2nd honors last week for his sixth grade class at Lake Castle. That means his grades were the second highest in the class. He was very proud of himself. Nicely done sport, nicely done!
I've been working with a friend to organize an effort to buy three small high technology companies and roll them up under one umbrella. So far we have got it fairly well organized and are making presentation to investors. Tomorrow we sit down with another friend who I've been working separately with to make our presentation for the group roll up. This all sound rather vague, but at present I can't say much more as I'm under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Hopefully we will get an acceptance of our proposal tomorrow and then it's on to the legal issues of the transactions. I'm fairly excited about it as the three companies dovetail very nicely together and the personalities all seem to mesh well.
I'm making a little progress with the migration of the photo albums to the new blogging format. I've actually been busy at work, so there has been little time for learning about CSS and style sheets, but It will get done. This will also give me the opportunity to update my photo album which was woefully out of date.