Archive for June, 2007

iPhone + Video Blog + Apple Store

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

What: iPhone Demos

How: Video Blog!

Where: Apple Store

I just got some great inspiration from this video I watched on YouTube from Wallstrip. It is entirely possible to record and produce an entire video blog from within an Apple store. This might be a great way to demo the iPhone without actually buying one. I think I might do this once I get to Seattle on July 11th. But, if someone wants to start before then, please do, and at least give me credit for the idea by linking to this blog post.

Control-Alt-Delete with Boot Camp

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

So, I finally figured out how to do ctrl-alt-del in Windows on my MacBook using Apple’s Boot Camp. You have to hold down the fn key as well. So…. fn+ctrl+alt+delete. Hope that helps some people out.

Fun With 3D

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Recently (through no doubt) I bought a SpaceNavigator which is an inexpensive 3d mouse. A regular mouse only allows you to move around in two dimensions. Left and right, up and down. This 3d mouse allows you to go left, right, up, down, rotate clockwise and counterclockwise, zoom and zoom out, and tilt up, down, left, and right. The SpaceNavigator works with both Google Earth and SketchUp, so I had to play around with both of them.

In Google Earth, you don’t even need to use your regular mouse to explore every nook and cranny of planet earth. It’s even cooler with the 3d buildings turned on because you can zoom down in between buildings and pretend you are spiderman flying over a street by jumping from building to building high above the ground. With SketchUp, the 3d mouse comes in really handy for moving the camera around the 3d object that you are editing.

In order to get my hands wet with 3d modeling in SketchUp, I started out trying to model the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan. This is a huge building on North Campus. There was already a 3d model of the Duderstadt Center done as part of the 3d Atlas of Ann Arbor, but it was just the outline of the building in 2d raised the height of the building and images placed around the outside. I wanted to add a lot more detail. It was rather difficult at first to get all of the shapes of the building the way I wanted them. I gave up to try something simpler. So, I moved on to The Cube. I used SketchUp to model the cube in 3d, and geo-referenced it so that you can view it in Google Earth.

Google Gears on the iPhone?

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

I really hope that Google Gears will work soon on the Apple iPhone. That would be sweet. Basically, if you don’t want to pay for a data plan, it would allow you to sync your data when you have a wifi connection, and then use that data later when you don’t have a connection.
The application I’m thinking of is a grocery list. So, you and your family or housemates could edit your list on the web, on any computer or cell phone. Before you leave, you sync your iPhone with Google Gears over wifi to get the latest list. Once you are at the store, you take out your phone and use the grocery list web application just like normal, without an internet connection.

Google Maps Limited Zoom

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Someone had asked me if I knew how to restrict the zoom levels a user could view using the Google Maps API. I didn’t know exactly how to do it at first, but having done it before caused my brain to lead me in the right direction. I made this simple example showing how to restrict the zoom levels a user can select.

Google Maps Limited Zoom Example

Flexcar not using Google Maps?

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Wow… I can’t believe my eyes. Flexcar is using the old style of Mapquest to display the locations of their cars. This is terrible. Whenever you want to move the map or zoom in, the entire page has to load, and its slow too. It takes more than a couple seconds to load each page. Why are they not with the program, using Google Maps, or something similar?

I’m considering creating a Google Maps mashup for Flexcar, if no one can tell me of one that already exists. Anyone?

Specifically, I’m interested in the car locations in Seattle where I will be living soon.

Cartiki Recent Changes

Friday, June 8th, 2007

I’ve added a recent changes feature to Cartiki, which means you can see when new locations are created and when other stuff in the database changes. You can also subscribe to this feed via RSS so that you don’t have to keep checking the site.

Things I Wish Existed: Wiki Drawing Tool

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The name pretty much says it all I think: wiki drawing tool. Basically, I want a website where I can go and draw something, then other people can come in later and edit it. Just like Wikipedia, all changes will be saved, and each drawing would be able to be instantly reverted to a previous version.