Simon’s Backup Weblog


Primeval Mists

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 31, 2007

Dawn mists
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Sunlight on the dawn mists of a Florida swamp, from an early morning hot air balloon.

Somewhere below an alligator is stirring…

Orlando, Florida
March 2007

Advertisements

Calendar meet OneNote…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

If you’re using the excellent OneNote as a notebook replacement (with, or without a Tablet PC), you’ll want this free application from the folk behind the rather useful Tablet Enhancements for Outlook.

OneNote Calendar is a Ronseal application – it does exactly what it says on the tin.

It’s a simple enough tool – but one that makes it easy to see your notes in a calendar view, so you can use OneNote as a To Do list or a planning application – or just to find out when you took that note. Launch the tool, find the note you want in the calendar grid, preview the note to be sure, and then open it.

Recommended.

Sunrise Flight

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

Sunrise Flight
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Balloon in the sunrise sky

Orlando, Florida
March 2007

Rising with the sun

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

Last week in Orlando I had the chance to take a dawn balloon flight, out over the swamps that ring the city.

It was a chance I wasn’t going to turn down – I’d had my first balloon flight many years ago, in a mass ascent over Bristol at the city’s famous balloon festival. Since then, I’d remember the sense of incredible calm and silence as we drifted over the city, the sun falling behind the downs as we slowly floated east.

Lifting off from a field behind Disney’s Celebration, we flew out over the swamps, over ancient cypresses, watching flocks of herons fly out for the days fishing. An osprey sat on its nest, while cardinals flashed red feathers from tree to tree. As the sun rose, it left traces of light and shadow ion the low-lying swamp mists, silhouetting the balloons that accompanied us across the sky.

The green forests spread below us, deep, dark, and silent. We passed over housing tracts, surprising families on dawn swims, and watched the light gild the edges of the theme parks. In the distance the sea glimmered silver, ready for the day. Finally we settled, ready to fold the balloon and head off for the waiting day.

An excellent experience, and a hearty recommendation for Jeff Thompson and his ground crew.

Osprey on its nest

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

Osprey on its nest
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Osprey nesting high in a cypress, deep in a Florida swamp near Orlando

Orlando, Florida
March 2007

Catching the light

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

Catching the light
Originally uploaded by sbisson.

Fingers of light and shadow as the sun ruises over the Florida swamps and lakes, with a balloon rising over the trees

Orlando, Florida
March 2007

Is the iPhone really an Apple design?

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

Here’s the Onyx, a concept device from industrial designers Pilotfish and Synaptics (who make the touch screen used by Apple for the iPhone).

I do like the idea of a phone that can send a kiss to the screen as an emoticon…

The Onyx concept acts as a remote for your life. And because life is activity based, not application based, the concept illustrates how applications such as phone, GPS, music, teleconference and calendar events can work simultaneously. The Onyx concept does not base its experience on treating applications as separate windows or entities that work in isolation. Rather, the Onyx concept seamlessly integrates functions into activity based experiences.

Elsewhere:

More intelligent than conventional touch screens, the ClearPad accurately recognizes not only points and taps, but also shapes, complex gestures, and proximity to the user’s finger or cheek. This creates new possibilities such as assigning functions to two-finger taps, closing tasks by swiping an “X” over them, sending messages by swiping them off the screen, or answering a phone by holding it up to your cheek. The prototype phone uses a dynamic UI, where applications are layered and opened simultaneously, allowing a seamless flow of information between applications.

Sound familiar? The concept PDF is rather interesting too…

Now note the date on the press release.

Thanks to for the link.

Useful Application of the Day: AM-Deadlink

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

I have a lot of bookmarks, and it’s always been a pig to keep them under control. Then I found this little Windows application – it’ll work with both IE and Firefox. It’ll find and clear out the dead links, and it’ll also keep your favicons up to date.

Quite useful indeed.

Pimp my Words: Developing with Apollo

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 30, 2007

Here’s my latest piece for El Reg, looking at Adobe’s Apollo by actually installing and working with the development tools. A quick summary: it’s definitely early beta, with lots of pieces missing, but rather promising.

There was a bit of a buzz in the air on Monday when Adobe rolled out the first public alpha release of its Apollo desktop internet application client – along with a whole truckload of developer tools and documentation.

Apollo is an interesting proposition, a platform that mixes Flash (though you do need to use code that’s written to use ActionScript 3.0 and the new AVM 2.0 virtual machine), PDF, and HTML. The Apollo runtime is a host for .air applications and is built on code that mixes Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, the Flash 9 Player, and a standards-compliant HTML rendering engine based on Apple’s WebKit.

The main difference between the Apollo runtime and all these components running in, say, WebKit browsers like Safari or Swift, is that there’s no browser window and that the application gets direct access to your hard disk. It can read and write files, as well as using persistent storage. It even gets access to some of your hardware – so you can use Apollo to work with images from a web cam. In fact, there’s already a demonstration application that mimics Apple’s Photo Booth webcam tool.

So what’s the developer experience like?

The good news is that Adobe has learnt the lesson of Macromedia’s Central, and has given developers several different routes to building applications – without locking you into someone else’s business model.

Read More.

My travel karma is your travel vipāka

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on March 25, 2007

Apologies to all the folk wanting to fly from Newark to Orlando yesterday afternoon, and who had to wait an extra hour and a half for their flight. My flight from Gatwick was late in, and it seems the universe decided I really did need to make that connection…

Orlando is as hot and muggy as ever, and for some reason my hotel seems to think it is a cross between somewhere on a pacific island, a flying boat, and an ocean liner. I suspect this is one of those “themes”.

Oh dear.

Still, the bed was comfortable, and I actually managed a complete night’s sleep.

Next Page »