Monthly Archives: August, 2007

Subverting the Finder

Interesting – long after I had given up on there ever being further releases of SCPlugin, I discover that it’s still being developed and there have been two releases this year. (The previous one I’d tried was in 2004).

SCPlugin allows you to access much of the functionality of the Subversion version control system directly from the Finder, and adds badges to your icons to show the Subversion status of the files concerned.


David Hopkin sent me this rather nice picture:

It originally comes, apparently, from, a site which I found appallingly difficult to navigate but which has large numbers of examples of what you can do with Photoshop. They’re of rather varied quality, but many are rather fun.

My place or yours?

This is just the sort of thing at which the web excels: If you have a parking space available near a station, airport, or other public venue, you can advertise it here, and if you’re looking for one, this makes it easy to find.


I spy with my little mains adaptor

There are some interesting things for sale at Maplin. This, for example, looks like an ordinary UK mains adaptor. But it isn’t. Oh no.

It’s actually a cellphone. More information here.

If you’re concerned, however, that your mischievous kids might start planting these things around the house, I should point out that each one costs about the same as the more expensive model of iPhone.

A tale of two iMovies

Michael has a nice comparison and likes the new one. I’ve only had a quick play with it, but I admire Apple’s courage in breaking out of the traditional video-editing user interface model. There are some bits of it that are done very well, and if you’ve never used any kind of video-editing tool before so don’t have anything to unlearn, it could be rather good. A major use of iMovie is in education; I’d be interested to know how that world takes to it.

I do most of my video editing in Final Cut Express and only use iMovie for quick stuff. I expect the new iMovie would do the quick stuff just fine, perhaps better. But it’s less capable than the old one and I couldn’t survive on it alone if I didn’t have FCE, which I might have been able to do in the past.

A cynic might suggest that this is deliberate, that Apple want to push more people to upgrade, but I don’t think that’s their way. iPhoto keeps getting better and better, for example, despite the obvious upgrade path to Aperture. And if you wanted to smooth the path for those school kids to become eventual Final Cut Pro editors, you wouldn’t introduce them to that world using a completely different paradigm.

No, I think the only real mistake here, as others have said, is calling it iMovie and selling it as an upgrade. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Follow-up: One more thing to be aware of from the System requirements page: “iMovie requires a Mac with an Intel processor, a Power Mac G5 (dual 2.0GHz or faster), or an iMac G5 (1.9GHz or faster )”. Powerbook owners take note. If, for this or any other reason, you prefer the previous iMovie, Apple offer it as a free download for those who have purchased iLife ’08.

Image resizing

Here’s a lovely demonstration and description of some excellent image-processing algorithms:

Cambridge Bar Camp

Fun today at BarCamb. For those not familiar with the Bar Camp model, it has nothing to do with mixing drinks. Usually. It’s basically a conference where you turn up prepared to give a talk but where the agenda is unknown until you arrive. The first activity of the day is that everybody who wants to then signs up for what they’re going to talk about.


It was a one-day event on a much smaller scale than Tim O’Reilly’s Foo Camp, which I was lucky enough to go to a couple of years back. But it was good fun and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Apple arises, Dell dips

InfoWorld is reporting a survey suggesting that Apple’s laptop sales are growing fast while Dell’s have fallen to an historic low.

This made me wonder whether the announcement 18 months ago that Apple was, for a while, worth more than Dell, still held true now. I headed over to NASDAQ and, to my astonishment, not only is Apple worth more, it’s worth nearly twice as much. Wow.


Decisions, decisions

I saw this at a local supermarket today. I wasn’t entirely convinced by the logic…

To make your shopping trip easier we have 13 types of trolley

Building a Debian package using SCons

I wanted to do this and couldn’t find any examples, so I’ve posted some notes on how I did it.

Multi-monitor laptop

Keith Shaw has a short video over at NetworkWorld demonstrating the DisplayLink technology in a couple of different forms.


A while back I thought virtualisation technology was going to be the hot topic of 2006. Well, it was, in certain niche areas, but the momentum is still growing.

Shortly after VMware’s amazing IPO, XenSource, a spin-out from the Cambridge Computer Lab, have been bought by Citrix in a deal worth $500M. And not all of the money is virtual – there’s a good chunk of cash there too.

Many congratulations to my pals there, who will now definitely be buying the drinks next time we meet at the pub.

But this is also a nice challenge to those who don’t believe you can make money from Open Source…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser