February 2012

Using iPad to hold your photos while on vacation

Working on computer on the roadA family member recently sent a question to my wife about how to keep photos safe while traveling.

And speaking of road trips, we are heading to Hawaii and are planning on getting an iPad for entertainment along the way. We are wondering if you have used your iPad as a photo transfer station from your EyeFi card to your iPhoto at home. Does it work that way? We don't have a laptop, so we were thinking an EyeFi card would allow us to take pictures and upload them to our iPad (and ultimately our computer) for safe keeping. Or, would we be better off taking the card to the local Costco to get a cd made to make sure we have the pics safe and sound? Thank you for any insight you might be able to offer.

This is a workflow I've spent quite a bit of time on over the years. My thinking is definitely affected by two instances of losing photos I'd really like to have back.

The first instance where I lost photos was years ago on a business trip to Wichita of all places. I'd taken some photos on the plane as well as some pretty nice sunset photos. I'd reviewed them on the camera's (tiny by modern standards) screen and shared them with colleagues on the trip. When I downloaded the photos I didn't notice that the card was evidently corrupted in some way and only a portion of the photos were saved to the computer. Thinking that all was well the card was formatted and I went on shooting. Had I caught it in time I could have likely used some card recovery software and gotten back at least some of the photos.

Make Facebook more useful by blocking apps

The last thing I wanted to do is publish one of those annoying posts where someone tells you how to make Facebook better. So here it is. This is a recipe that I find works for me and recently sharing with a couple of friends has worked for them. It's not a secret recipe for untold wealth or making life better. It is a way to make something like Facebook enjoyable for how I want to use it.

Simply put the main method here is block apps. Not just the invites to join apps but the whole app themselves. I've blocked hundreds of apps in the years I've been using Facebook and it makes the experience much more enjoyable from my point of view. There are, of course, a few exception to the block 100% of apps rule, but just a few.

Sometime back I noticed that while I could make my news stream cleaner by ignoring the latest "spammy post a day app" that someone had added, perhaps unknowingly. When I would visit their page I'd be treated to a sea of spammy posts and only a few meaningful ones. By blocking the apps entirely I get the real things they have to say when they say them and not the rest.

Drush make and Pressflow

A quick note on using Pressflow as the basis of a Drush build using Drush make can be a little confusing as the changes necessary to use the newer github-based repository aren't abundant. So without further ado here's what works:

projects[pressflow][type] = "core"
projects[pressflow][download][type] = "git"
projects[pressflow][download][url] = "https://github.com/pressflow/6.git"
projects[pressflow][download][tag] = "DRUPAL-6-24"

Note that the previous instructions around the web tend to be problematic because the tarball file contains a git repo which Drush make doesn't know to strop since it's getting it as a tarball instead of from git.