Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

new camera (again)

So Leonard's visit up to the city a couple of weeks ago made me start thinking seriously again about buying a digital SLR camera. About 7 months ago, I bought an EX-P600 for our vacation in Japan and it takes some great pictures. OTOH, it's low-light capability isn't exactly what I was hoping for, and there were a lot of times when I just felt myself wanting more control (more quickly).

The thing that really sent me over the edge, though, has been the month that my EX-P600 has been at Casio for repairs. Not having a camera was just making me cringe.

Anyway, so yesterday when Jennifer was at a book signing, I went across the street to Wolf camera, and got myself into big trouble. After about an hour of looking, using, and learning about most of the lower-end SLR options, I finally went with the EOS-300D and a 2GB microdrive. Since I don't feel comfortable enough with an SLR yet to warrant the expense of a different lense, I'm using the one that came with the package. The one thing that almost drew me to the Nikkon D70 was its instant-on ability (the 300D is actually slower to "go" than my EX-P600). Regardless, the UI on the Cannon seemed nicer. Now hopefully I can just learn to control my breathing enough to get rid of the seemingly ever-present hand-jitter in my photos.

closure, but no way to express it

So as my snobbery about programming languages has evolved, I've learned to love closure-based languages. As a result, something that's bugged me for a year or so has been something I read once-upon-a-time about Python not having true closures. How could it be that a language so pragmatically focused could omit something so imporant?

Turns out that it doesn't! Huzzah!

blog as post-it-note

For my own reference: matplotlib, a better GD than GD, and for Python.

Web 2.0(00)

I spent much of Wed night and all of Thursday at Web2.0. I'll let others more capable than myself give you the rundown of who did and said what, when, and where. I've got snarkyness to dispense with!

To the credit of O'Rielly, the conference seemed to include a lot of heavyweights, tons of people who have done great things, but the audience and the speakers alike seemed to me to be a strange mix between the next version of what we're all building and the last version of whatever it was that survived the bubble's burst. RSS was the buzzword that just wouldn't die, despite the age of the technology and its relative lack of interest (which I think officially makes me a curmudgeon). Likewise, DHTML is getting attention I didn't think would ever be possible a year ago. It was the best conference the year 2000 never had.

I think at first that sounds harsh, but I say it not because I'm trying to diss the con, but because the feeling in the air reminded me of the excitement that permeated Wired or the Industry Standard back in the heyday: interesting people doing some cool things and people willing to make the ride happen for their particular pound of flesh.

Which I guess is what it's all about. The ride, the game, the biz. Whatever you want to call it, this is a truly crazy place to live when you're in this business, but there are a ton of people who come here just to get a Good Job (TM) and make money. And then there is "us". The people that are here to do interesting things because something inside of us compels us to work on problems that catch our eye. To make people's lives better. To be geeks in the service of the world at large.

Lots of people don't really get that, and I can't say that it makes much sense to me either, but I can tell you that I love being a part of it. I feel blessed by all the people I've met over the past year, and I get the feeling that I always want to be a part of what is happening here. To be "in the game", if only because I can't imagine not being in it.


So I was gonna blog about our incredible weekend (Leonard was in town), but now I have to go catch a train.

Happy 21st Zack!

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