RTJ Augmented Reality Demo

Here’s a little #AdobeAero test I did with the Run The Jewels model for a contest they were holding with @sketchfab. Missed the deadline, but still wanted to post it. Where better to view it but at the water. Music from @runthejewels

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Retina Macbook Pro on order

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In March of this year, my 2008 Macbook Pro died. Absolutely died. I had it powered down, threw it in my backpack, drove a couple hours, and when I tried to power it up again, there was nothing there. A push of the button, a whir of activity and immediately shutdown. Not a good sign. I tried a few things, took it in to the Apple Genius and he confirmed it – logic board. I’m assuming a solder joint popped on the board somewhere after 4 years. It’s a shame since I could have gotten along fine with it for at least another year. It was slowing, but still the best machine I ever bought. All my data was intact, I actually popped open the machine, pulled out the drive into an enclosure and did a firewire boot (awesome feature) with another machine. And I’ve got Time Machine and Superduper backups of it as well – data integrity is fine.

My options were: 1) replace the logic board for $600+ and see how long that lasts 2) get a new machine. A hard decision – I didn’t want to throw away good money as $600 is no small amount and that it a good chunk of a brand new machine, which I was planning to purchase within a year. But, I didn’t want to purchase a new machine as I knew from reading the tech rumours, that a new update was around the corner – I just didn’t know how long. 2 weeks? 2 months? What would I do without my computer in the meantime?

I have a MBP for my work machine, so I could lean on that, but couldn’t use it for all my photo & video editing. General web/connectivity work was fine. I also have a 10″ netbook “Hackintosh” and that along with my MacMini server could give me some very slow editing abilities if needed.

Thankfully, the new Intel Ivy Bridge chips were announce a couple weeks later and I knew that was a good sign. The rumours for a new MacBook Pro started up. Lots of rumours of Retina screens, new size format, closer to the MacBook Air, etc. I dug in and decided to wait even further. Finally, the WWDC (Apple’s developer convention) was announced for June 11th. I knew there’d be lots of announcements and that would be the date.

Sure enough, the MBP update came, and then the new Retina MBP as well. I waited overnight to read reviews, contemplate the decision and the next morning I ordered. But now I’ve got a 4 week wait. Order expected July 5-10. I hope that date doesn’t slide any further. Quad-core 2.6 with 16GB of ram and 512 GB SSD. Photo and video editing is going to be amazingly fast. I just wish the manufacturing and shipping were fast as well.

Hint: Enable AirDrop on older Macs

My work machine is one of the newer unibody MacbookPros and my main home machine is the previous model MacBookPro. I needed to move files between them and decided to try out AirDrop. For some reason I couldn’t find it on my older home laptop. Did I forget to enable a preference? Did I have security tight so it can’t work? I did some googling and found out that even thought both machines have Lion installed, AirDrop doesn’t work on some older machines. Further digging found a way to enable it and it even worked in my case.

from MacWorld Article “Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware

AirDrop is a handy way to share files between Macs. Unfortunately, it is only supported on newer models which have the hardware necessary to support a certain type of point-to-point WiFi connection. There is, however, a hidden setting to enable AirDrop on older Macs. Just type:

defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1

into a Terminal window, hit enter, and relaunch the Finder.

Note that:

  • You must do this on both the sending and receiving macs, even if one of them already has the correct WiFi hardware (I think).
  • You will be able to see other macs on the same network, and they will be able to see your Mac (when AirDrop is open), even if they are not physically nearby. On a larger network with many Macs, this could potentially cause some confusion, although it shouldn’t be a real security issue. This may be why Apple decided not to enable this feature by default.
  • Both macs must be connected to the same network somehow (ethernet, existing WiFi network, etc.)

After restarting Finder, AirDrop appeared and I could transfer files from the old machine to the new machine. The old machine still didn’t appear visible on the new machine (I only did the steps above on my old machine), but I could have done it to get file transfers working both directions.

My favorite Podcasts

90% of my time with earplugs in is listening to Podcasts. Music is on for when I’m working and need to focus, but if I’m walking around, commuting, doing work around the house – I’ve got a podcast on. And 90% of the podcasts I listen to are “comedy” podcasts. Almost all comedians lately have been starting podcasts as a direct connection to their audience and it helps a lot when they’re doing standup dates.

The article below lists 8 of the top comedy podcasts and I listen to 5 of them as soon as they’re available.

Best Comedy Podcasts | PopWatch | EW.com.

1. WTF – Marc Maron does really great one on one podcasts with comedians and gives you an hour-long glimpse into the personalities behind the celebrity you see in movies and on tv. He’s a great interviewer and is very open with his own personal life as well. I even subscribed to his back catalog of some of his first shows so I could listen to the controversial interviews with Carlos Mencia, Dane Cook and Robin Williams. Twice a week. http://www.wtfpod.com/

2. Comedy Bang! Bang! – Formerly known as Comedy Death Ray podcast, this brings in a lot of improv and comedians from LA and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theatre. More than just interviews, there’s some hilarious improv games and people do characters on the show that are hilarious. Definitely download any show that Andy Daly appears on. My favorite is #94 with Andy Daly and Ben Schwartz – I’ve listened to it at least 20 times. What’s up hotdog? Posted every Monday morning. http://www.earwolf.com/show/comedy-bang-bang-podcast/

3. Adam Carolla Show – the one that started it all for me. Back when Adam Carolla was on Free FM radio, they also put out a podcast of the show and I listened to that every day for 2 years. After the radio show was cancelled, Adam turned to podcasting, bringing his audience and instantly becoming one of the most downloaded shows. Now he’s got the Guinness World Record for most downloaded podcasts and has become the show that’s blazing the trail for others to replicate. After years of listening his stories and rants are getting repetitive, but he really excels in his long-form One On One interviews. The show is usually a review of a couple news items (nothing too heavy) and a guest with a wide range of subjects. This one’s daily, so set your subscription feeds in iTunes. http://www.adamcarolla.com/ACPBlog/

4. Doug Loves Movies – the famous pot head, Doug Benson (Super High Me) hosts a weekly podcast from the UCB theatre with a wide range of comedians and movie stars. A short discussion of recent movie watching followed by a humorous and competitive trivia game, the Leonard Maltin Game, guessing movie titles based on a cast listing. This is posted on Friday, for your weekend listening while you do house projects. http://douglovesmovies.com/

6. Pod F. Tompkast – Paul F. Tompkins is one of the regulars on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast above and he has just finished his first year of podcasting, putting one out monthly. His podcast is wide ranging with clips from his standup show, phone conversations/stories with his close comedian friend, Jen Kirkman as well as a story of characters (Ice T, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, John C Reilly, John Lithgow, Cake Boss, others…) all voiced by Paul F. His laugh is infectious. This comes out monthly, but is on a break right now, gearing up for the second “season”. Listen to the first year show once you get familiar with his work on Comedy Bang! Bang! http://pft.libsyn.com/

Other podcasts that are currently on my iPhone are:

* The ABC’s of SNL – Kevin Smith (who has at least a dozen podcasts of his own) interviews Jon Lovitz about his start at SNL and what went on behind the scenes. There’s been 2 episodes so far and they’re very interesting if you’re an SNL devotee.
* The Best of the UFC – video interviews and clips from UFC fights and fighters
* Best of YouTube – some of the best viral videos from YouTube
* ESPN: The B.S. Report – Bill Simmons does great interviews from the sports world and tv/comedy. I don’t listen to the sports ones unless it’s a sport I’m really interested in. But he usually has a lot of SNL staffers on, Adam Carolla, and occasionally does a breakdown of a few reality tv shows (my favourite episodes) with Dave Jacoby, the self-dubbed “Czar of Reality TV”. Download every episode that Chuck Klosterman is on – he’s such a great interview. http://espn.go.com/espnradio/show?showId=bsreport
* Fitzdog Radio – another standup, he does a show on Sirius XM radio and then usually follows it up with a podcast. Lots of great comedians on the show.
* Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler – Aisha Tyler has been one of my favourite female comedians and she’s typically described herself as a guy’s girl. She drinks, plays video games, watches sports and likes burping and farting – not a dainty lady. She’s just starting out and episode #4 with Adam Carolla as a guest has me interested enough to keep listening.

There’s a few that I just added and haven’t had the time to listen to yet but I’m hopeful they’re decent
* Back to Work – Merlin Mann talks productivity, software and other things. I’ve listened to one show so far and it has possible potential. Not a gripping show, but decent background listening.
* Mohr Stories – Jay Mohr’s recent start
* The Smartest Man in the World – Greg Proops, from “Whose Line is it” fame is a very interesting guy and definitely smart and somewhat eclectic.
* The Todd Glass Show – a funny comedian, he makes lots of appearances on Doug Loves Movies, Comedy Bang! Bang and others, now trying it himself. Subaru!

What are some of your favourite podcasts? Let me know in the comments.

Clean it up

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A little housekeeping for something that has been annoying me – the clutter of external drives and backup solutions going on. Dust fills the area. Now the drives are on a raised grid from an excess Ikea drawer insert that should also help with airflow. Cables are numbered so if I need to unplug I can see which one. Electrical is sorted much better as well. Should keep maintenance much faster.

Connecting FileMaker Pro to MySQL

I’m doing a trial of FileMaker Pro 11 on my Mac for a work project. Part of that, I want to incorporate some existing data out of a MySQL database. FM Pro allows for ESS (external SQL sources) with an ODBC connection. After a couple hours, trying a bunch of ODBC drivers for Mac, it appeared that there was only a single option – Actual Tech‘s ODBC driver which costs $35. Not too expensive, but I was looking for free for this trial. The MySQL driver should work, but after a lot of googling, it’s a known problem that there’s a bug. Until I found the bug filed for it. It’s been fixed in a recent version of the MySQL driver! And it’s free! I downloaded it and sure enough, it works. Since there’s a lot of other people out there that have been looking to do the same, I wanted to post this solution for them as well.

There’s a couple parts to this…

1. ODBC Administrator (or ODBC Manager) – this configures the ODBC connection. It’s basically a wizard to allow you to create the odbc.ini settings. Download Apple’s ODBC Administrator Tool and install it. It’ll end up in Applications/Utilities

2. ODBC driver – this does the actual translation between the database. The MySQL driver has a 3.5x version and 5.x version. I tried the 3.5x version since that’s where the bug fix was checked in. I’m not sure what the diff is between the 3 & 5 version, but it worked for me, that’s all that matters right now. Use a minimum of version 3.51.27. I used 3.51.28. You can download the MySQL ODBC 3.51 drivers here. Install it.

Next, start up ODBC Administrator tool. I created a System DSN (other users can use it as well, not just myself – for a User DSN). Add... Select “MySQL ODBC 3.51 Driver”

The next configuration screen was surprising…it wasn’t the usual wizard, but allowed you add Keyword|Value pairs. I did some inspection of a ODBC config file and sorted out what the Keywords were and inserted my values (server IP, database instance name, username, password). Once I tried adding an ODBC connection in FMPro, my tables came up no problem.

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Apple Live Event

Apple Announcement Event

Today’s another day that causes Apple fanboys like myself to spring out of bed and bite their nails until 1PM EST. It’s announcement day! New product reveals. I’m expecting to see the following announced today:

  • Obviously the iPad 2.
  • iOS 4.3 finally released (Please Rogers, don’t block or charge for Wifi Hotspot ability)
  • Preview of Lion (OSX 10.7)
  • And maybe the classic “One more thing”?

I was really aiming to pick up the new iPad release. I’ve been waiting since before Xmas since I didn’t want to buy the old tech. But from recent whispers, it sounds like there’s an iPad 3 on the way later this year and I should wait until then.

A secret source states…

“For the iPad 2 don’t get your hopes up too high. That’s all I’m going to say. They’ve had a number of problems along the way, and the third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and a dance about.”

Here’s links to all the liveblogging action so you can follow along live…

Update after the event:

iPad 2 was revealed, as expected. The fact that it’s now 33% thinner (8.8mm) is very impressive – it’s thinner than my iPhone 4. The front and back cameras are a great addition – I look forward to future FaceTime sessions with family members. But as expected, the screen resolution remains the same. That’s the one reason while I’ll wait until September (rumoured timeframe) for iPad 3. Both white & black colours – I think I’ll stick with the black. The iMovie update is a good update. It had some major holes that other apps were filling. GarageBand isn’t exciting for me as I’m braindead when it comes to making music.

iOS4.3 – AirPlay will be useful – I can now push the video from my iPhone onto the AppleTV. This is great for when I load videos for my daughter. And now any songs or videos in my iTunes library can be streamed to my iPhone. I was looking for a solution to this for a while. Air Video Server solved that problem for me, but this will be good for video podcasts I’d like to watch that aren’t sync’d to my phone.

Glif – iPhone 4 tripod mount

I came across this really cool idea a couple guys made for the iPhone. Since the iPhone is a HD video camera and 5MP still camera, it’s very powerful just as a camera. But…there’s no way to mount it on anything to stabilize it. Until now. These 2 guys designed some prototypes of a mount, tested a few through digital 3D printing and came across a final design. Selling individual orders and getting the company is a gamble starting it up, to see if there’s a demand. Kickstarter.com takes that risk away. For the Glif, the guys figured it would take $10,000 to get the project off the ground. A fair amount, when you’re selling the item for only $20. Kickstarter allows people to enter an intent to purchase the item, should the baseline funds (10K) get raised. You’re not charged if the minimum amount is raised, the product doesn’t get launched and everyone launched. The guys were hopeful that they could raise $10,000 of orders, and the Glif because so in-demand, they ended up getting pledged purchases of over $137,000. Over 5,000 people wanted to buy the Glif even before it was produced. Quite a successful launch story. So now, the Glif is going into production, and within a few weeks, I’ll have a handy iPhone 4 mount to produce more stable video and photos.

Check out the video below and go visit the project at Glif – iPhone 4 Tripod Mount & Stand. I love the “Royal Tenenbaum’s” style of the video and font.