The Long And Winding Road To Bruny

Yesterday Bruce Dale, Peter Krogh, Winston Hendrickson, and I took the morning ferry to Bruny Island, a secluded vacation retreat off the southern coast of Hobart – population 600.
Bruce drove, because he’d driven on the left before – in fact, he’d driven all the way from England to India following the gypsies for a book some years ago. After hearing some of his harrowing stories from that trip we feel pretty lucky to have returned in one piece. We stopped many times along the way and spent the entire day there.

Our goal was the Bruny Lighthouse, but our best pictures were from Cloudy Bay lagoon. That’s my poor attempt to capture its beauty below, but Bruce took a panorama that should be amazing – we waited an hour for the light to be just so.

All of these pictures were taken with my Canon 5D. Most with the 24-105 zoom except for the Farmers’ Market pictures which were taken with the 50mm f1.2. All of them were adjusted in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 and most of the Bruny Island pictures were re-touched in Photoshop to remove a dust blotch that was on my sensor.

I’ve uploaded around three dozen shots from our first three days in Hobart to my SmugMug page (try the slideshow). Let me know what you think. I’m learning so much from these amazing photographers, and enjoying my first visit to Australia even more than I expected.

I’m taking today (Saturday in Australia) off to go through the thousands of pictures and hours of video I’ve shot. I also have to rest up because I’m doing the radio show tomorrow morning at 4 local time. After the show I hope we’ll get a chance to go up to the Tahune Forest AirWalk. After the radio show Monday morning we take off for Basecamp 2 at the Diamond Island Resort in Bicheno on the east coast of Tasmania.

Now With Pictures!

As you may have noticed, I’ve added a Photos section to Leoville. I’m hoping I can get pictures uploaded while I’m in Egypt, and if I do this is where they’ll appear.
AB3D508D-7EE9-40F8-B8C8-5D86F0A13084.jpgI’m using Smugmug to power the gallery. It’s much more powerful than anything I could do myself with, say, Coppermine and I think Smugmug beats Flickr hands down for features. I guess I could put the Flickr gallery in a frame, but Smugmug integrates into the site better.

I wish Smugmug were better known. I like the MacCaskill’s, father and son, who founded it and I think they have loaded it with so many superior features. Alas, Flickr still has much the larger community. I’ve been through the features vs community wars before (remember Jaiku vs Twitter?) and I should know better, but I just can’t help backing the underdog, especially when it works better.

The fact that I can upload my videos there, as well, seals the deal. The big negative: it’s not free. Smugmug is $40/year, $60 for gallery embedding, video and other features. Pro photographers can watermark and sell their photos and upload hi-def video for $150/year. Unlike Flickr there is no free basic account, but frankly I like the idea that Smugmug’s got a long term business model.

There are still a couple of little things I’d like to tweak. I can’t seem to get my custom background to appear on the photo pages and the dropdown menus sometimes fall behind elements. But it’s pretty close to seamless integration. I’ve uploaded pictures from Christmas just to test it out. We leave for Egypt tomorrow!

Leo-pard-icious

I went down to Cupertino this afternoon to get a briefing and demo of Leopard. And a copy.

I’m installing it now. I haven’t played with the betas, but I have to say I was very very impressed. More to come.

First Day Driving

Abby got her learner’s permit today. Now it’s up to Jennifer and me to give her 50 hours of driving “instruction” so she can get her license.

I know it’s a cliché, but they really do grow up too fast.

Ozzy

How could you not love this dog? He walked into work with me today and is sleeping right next to me as I record stuff. Awww.

Not Dead Yet

Holy CowPeople seem to have misinterpreted my “dead cow” analogy and are assuming that I bricked my iPhone. Nope. I have both the original iPhone, upgraded to 1.1.1, and the unlocked iPhone still and forever at 1.0.2. I’m donating the latter to The Lab for further experimentation. I’ll keep the locked phone around so I can continue to cover the platform, which was the reason I bought it in the first place.
It’s not for myself that I am whining, or even others I know whose phone were bricked. My point is that it’s punitive for Apple to intentionally damage unlocked iPhones, and I believe that’s wrong.

To those who say we can’t know Apple’s intention, I’d respond that it would have been a simple bit of coding to checksum the modem firmware and refuse to update if it had been modified. In fact, that would have been a prudent precaution no matter what. By choosing not to do so Apple is making its intent clear, and absent any statement to the contrary from Cupertino I’m going to continue to think Apple wishes unlockers ill, no matter what Fake Steve Jobs says.

To prove I still have a working iPhone, here are two pictures from my hotel window in Vancouver. One with the iPhone and one with the Nokia N95. You tell me which you prefer.

Nokia N95

Nokia

iPhone

Apple

Oh, and incidentally on the Nokia and the unlocked iPhone uploading these images in full quality to Flickr takes one click using third party apps (ShoZu on the N95 and Send Picture on the iPhone). On the locked iPhone I had to dock to my Mac, import the photo into iPhoto, export it, and then upload to Flickr. That’s one of the reasons I want to be able add third-party apps to my mobile phones.

Now I’m going to run to the Fatburger next door and have a veggie burger. No more dead cows for me. Good night.