All posts by tychay

Cutting memories from suburbia

Money Clip Knife

Listening to NPR on the way to work, the program was about job prospects for high school graduates.

The first person interviewed was a kid who was selling Cutco knives for Vector Marketing. I’m sure Mark will get a kick out of that.

Though I was spared the opportunity of thinking selling knives was cool, I do have a book with a lot of holes poked in it by a Cutco money clip knife thrown by someone less fortunate than me.
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PHP coders

I get e-mails often of companies looking to hire me or find a hot-shot front-end Ajax-style PHP coder. It’s very difficult to help and I don’t know who to recommend.

My policy is to cast a wide net and then grill the people in interviews until they break in order to see where their real knowledge is. Others can’t be so luxurious because they’re not me. Anyone who can string a web page together with MySQL can (and often does) call themselves a “front-end PHP coder.” The variance in quality is very high, so high that I often recommend a good solid C programmer over a PHP one, because the former can learn PHP if need be.

The problem here is this doesn’t work well for a front-end UI developer because the web is a tricky business.

Ben mentions a different problem. What should the going rate of such a person be? Continue reading

Customizing Aperture Books

Canon enthusiast, Ben Long, posted a nice little article on how to customize Aperture’s book printing features.

That’s pretty cool because I haven’t really had a chance to mess with the book layout capabilities yet (except to note that it puts iPhoto to shame).

Custom Book Layouts in Aperture

The article is a shorter version of Ben’s new book on Aperture.

I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but it is nice to know that there are books about this product coming out. There are many neat little things about Aperture that people need to know or might find useful.

I hope I can blog more about them in the future.

My outdoor mecca

Out of nowhere a Bed, Bath and Beyond and a Best Buy sprung up within spitting distance of the Costco. To give you an idea how close that is to me, I gauge my trips to Costco by how much stuff I need to carry. If it is a “real” Costco run (you know those ones where the grocery list is a a 30 lbs of kitty litter and year’s supply of detergent), I can’t walk there.

After exchanging the ladder at the OSH with one that actually fits in my hatchback—note to self: six foot ladder good, eight foot ladder bad—I demanded Caitlin drive across the street so I could visit the latest concrete and asphalt addition to Mountain View. Along with those two stores, I noticed another Starbucks. I decided that this was not relevant, except that it places better odds on there being a Jamba Juice within walking distance: line-of-sight to a Starbucks is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for a Jamba Juice.

Which is a long way of excusing how I was distracted enough so that Caitlin had to point out to me this:

My outdoor mecca
My outdoor mecca
REI, Mountain View, California

Nikon D70, Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-4.5G VR
1/350 sec @ f/9.5, iso 200, 18mm (27mm)

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Golden Gate

Mike Fletcher asked me about shooting the Golden Gate Bridge because he is coming up here soon.

I was shocked to find I haven’t processed any photos of it, even though I drive over it on my way to hikes in the north. In fact, I only took photos of it on one day, and not the best of conditions: morning instead of evening, and in the late afternoon haze instead of a foggy day.

Still after a little work, they came out pretty well:

Golden Gate morning
Golden Gate Morning
Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County, California

Nikon D70, Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G
(3 exposures, 1/400-1/25sec) @ f/9, iso 200, 12mm (18mm)

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