What I did today…

October 14, 2012 by Joe DiMaggio

Schutzhund. This is a new word I’ve added to my vocabulary. It basically means a working dog geared for protection duty, stemming from a long line of German breeding and training. It is a whole new world I’ve entered, and so far, I’m loving it. I’m fascinated, intrigued, and psyched to learn as much as I can. I’ve been training Po with some of these techniques, and I’m proud of how far we’ve both come in just two short months of training. And I’m not a good trainer, either. But since finding this great group of people, I’ve learned so much. Some of my perceptions have been altered in the process. I don’t know how far Po and I will go down this rabbit hole, but I can tell you this for sure: it is so healthy for both of us. We get out of the house more often, we are running and jumping and playing more, we spend lots of time together, and it gives us both more focus. I have a much better relationship with Po because of it. In fact, on the days when I haven’t been able to train (having your appendix out can do that, apparently), Po becomes restless and antsy. It is as if he is saying, “please can we get back to work?” I look forward to showing off how much we can both learn in the process.

The Northwest Arkansas Working and Police Dog Association.
October 13th, 2012. Club Trial.
Titles given in BH, AD, IPO1, IPO2, and IPO3

NWA IPO

[Oct 13, 2012] Northwest Arkansas Working and Police Dog Association. Schutzhund (now known as IPO) trials

Photo Gallery Headaches

August 29, 2011 by Joe DiMaggio

Alright, here we go, once again. Time for ANOTHER photo gallery update. I love using WordPress to host my occasional news column. It takes so much work out of the equation and lets me just play. In the past, I have used Gallery by Menalto for photo handling needs. And it was good, no doubt about it. I used Gallery 1, and then migrated over to Gallery 2. I believe they are currently on version 3.0 at this time. However, Gallery didn’t play well with WordPress so I made the decision to look for ones that do work with WordPress. And, thus, the saga began.

I used NextGEN gallery for a while. The publisher went through several updates and I was quite happy with it. Except, it seemed a bit more than what I needed. It felt like using a $300,000 cotton combine to pick some roadside flowers. Know what I mean? Going fishing with a Howitzer. I really just needed something simple. And now I’m trying WP Photo Albums Plus. So far, so good. I like the simplicity, I like the customization, and I like the photo handling. In fact, I’ve been able to migrate over most of my old albums to this new one in just a very short amount of time. I can imagine sticking with this one for a while. Unless …

Unless something comes along that has a true mobile phone component. Look, Facebook has it down. You snap a quick pic with your cell phone, hit one button, and *BOOM* it is on your Facebook page within a set gallery. And it is so easy to do this on the fly without having to use sixteen different routing methods. Just one click, and done. WordPress has a very nice mobile app, but it does NOT handle photos well at all. Sure, you can insert a single picture into a single post, but thhose pictures are not kept in any sort of organization folder at all. So, you can’t really keep up with those photos once you published that post. There are several publishers working on this currently, but there is no set date for when they might be availible.

I’ll be honest here. I have no loyalty to any one program. The first publisher to provide a decent working solution on the Android platform is probably going to get my business. I just want a simple solution. Something that requires less than 15 clicks to get a photo into an existing gallery and on my site. And really, this could be as simple as a server side program that reads a folder and pulls any images out of it. Then the phone-side program simply uploads the photo in question to that directory on the server. In my mind it seems simple. But, then again, I have zero Java coding experience, zero iPhone/iOS coding experience, zero Ajax coding experience … and, well, let’s just say I have zero knowledge of coding in the modern world. So, what seems simple to me could be a very complex problem. Or maybe I’m just the only nerd with a self-hosted WordPress site who wants Facebook-like functionaltiy without just using Facebook (or Picasa, or Flikr, or any other number of online photo albums). I am a control freak; I like for everything to be on my site, under my direct control.

Is that so bad?

PS: Click on the link for the Photo Galleries! :) I don’t have all the pictures uploaded yet, but I will keep working.

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Gallery Upload Test

August 15, 2011 by Joe DiMaggio

Future Technologies

April 25, 2011 by Joe DiMaggio

This post is basically my ramblings about thoughts that occur to me in the shower. See, most of us do it, myself included, but I’ve never actually taken the time to write anything down. Just standing in the shower, lather-rinse-repeat, and all these ideas running through your brain. So, here are mine:

We are so close to having technology that can seamlessly go with you from place to place and eliminate the need entirely for a home PC, a work PC, and anything in between. Imagine simply sitting at your desk at home working on a full screen monitor with a full sized keyboard and mouse. You look at the time and realize you need to catch the subway to work. You run to the station, sit down, then whip out your phone and see exactly where you left off from your home PC. Same screen, same place in your document, same webpage, etc. You continue your browsing or editing as the train lumbers along. You get to your stop, put your phone back in your pocket and make the walk to your office. Sitting down at your work PC, it immediately turns on to the exact place where you were on the train. No need to re-do or start anew; it is all right there.

How?

Ah, here’s the good part. The information never leaves your pocket. There are so many technologies on the cusp of breaking through to commercial use. These are technologies that already exist, but have yet to be pulled together into a single cohesive unit. Wireless, bluetooth, inductive charging, near-field-communication. All ways to communicate and transmit information over the air without need of being tied physically together. Smartphones are rapidly becoming powerful enough to handle the processing needs of all of our daily workload. This little 4″ or 5″ pocket device will carry the brains of the operation, then it will synchronize wirelessly with any number of docking stations.

Imaging your home PC as simply a large monitor, a full sized keybard and a comfortable mouse. All of these devices can currently be powered by batteries or through a wireless inductive charging base. As the technology gets better, you might still have to plug your desk into the wall for full power, but it will broadcast that power to your peripherals, including your fax, printer, scanner, etc. When you walk into the room, your workstation will recognize the proximity of your smartphone much like keyless entry on newer automobiles. It will then mirror the display onto the workstation monitor (DNLA). Anything you input at your desk is actually being input into the memory of your phone. You are just interacting with your phone with a more traditional “PC” interface.

With a similar setup in your office, you never have to buy another computer again. Your peripherals simply recognize your phone when it is near, and wirelessy communicate the information. You can input information into your phone through its onboard interface (touch screen) or through these traditional devices (mouse). The data can be wirelesly backed up to an external harddrive if you need, or can be saved to the “cloud”.

Cloud computing is another technology that already exists and that you may already be using. Instead of homeowners spending the money to purchase harddisks and storage medium, we simply will lease it from companies. We will turn over the cost and hassle of upgarding storage technologies to these companies who can do it in bulk to keep costs down as well as maintain redundant backups to ensure no data is ever lost due to power outage or natural disaster.

Imagine a world that is so fully connected where you never have to remember a website address or leave a document on your work PC that you want to edit at home. Everything will be with you at all times. In fact, this very post could have been started at home (when I first thought of it), touched up at work (during the downtime provided by the massive amounts of rainfall), and then finally uploaded while I ride in the carpool on the way home. How convenient is that! And again, this is all done with existing technologoies. We just need to learn to integrate them better.

– UPDATE –
Links to existing technologies:
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer
Motorolla Atrix docking station
Wireless Monitors & Displays
Inductive Charging

Our kitchen today

April 18, 2011 by Joe DiMaggio

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