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Open Source

Arrived in Banff

by on Jun.06, 2009, under Open Source, Projects, Technology

Mac users click on the first picture to open the slideshow.  See Tech Notes below for known issue with the Cooliris plug-in required to operate the PicLens option.

I have arrived safely in Banff, but not without some adventure.

There is a sacred connection to the mountains for me and the air here is very different. I always feel a profound change when I enter the Rockies. These are serious mountains; they have roots that reach deep and their heads reach into the heights where the air is thin. Riding through them as the clouds gathered and the wind gusted was a real challenge to the spirit and the body.

The final result is that I made it safely. The details will be for another day, but for now, enjoy the photos.

Tech Notes: I am still using the Nextgen photo Gallery plug-in, but they have made some changes and now are compatible with the Cool Iris 3-D Firefox plug-in. I have it working in Ubuntu Linux and it is really an excellent navigational tool, showing the photos in a moving wall. So far, it does not work on the Mac — all I get is a black screen and without the plug-in the PicLens slideshow is low resolution and very pixeled. I may have to change plug-ins to one that is more if this one is not cross-platform /browser friendly. Let me know your experience with the slideshow.

Tech update: If Mac users click on the first photo, a slideshow will open, clicking on the photo will close the slideshow. Full screen does not work. On this Mac it crashes Firefox. I tried disabling the Lightbox Gallery plug-in, but it had no effect. Cool Iris Firefox plugin claims to support mac OSX but it does not seem to be as compatible as the Ubuntu version.

Tech update 2: From the Cool Iris site. This worked for me. Now the PicLens option opens the Cooliris plug-in and the navigation is 3-D.

Some Mac users report launching Cooliris brings up a blank screen and hitting ESC crashes the browser. If you have an Intel-based Mac, turn off Rosetta emulation. To do so, open your applications window, click the browser icon once to highlight it, and then hit Command-I to get an info box. Uncheck “Open using Rosetta.”

Now to try it with Windows and other browsers. Let me know your experience.

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Arrived in Summerland

by on Jun.04, 2009, under Motorcycles, Open Source, Projects

The weather has been absolutely perfect as I left Vancouver and rode my bike to Abbotsford before stopping for gas. I had noticed that gas prices in Vancouver had jumped to $1.06 this morning, so I took a chance that in the valley, the price would be lower. My educated guess paid off and I topped off the tank for $1.04 per litre. After getting back on the freeway I headed towards Hope and took the Coquihalla Hiway. I was very surprised to find that the toll has been removed from the road as I was prepared for the toll booth to appear around the next bend. At first I thought they had been moved, but when Merritt came in to view I knew that the road is now a real “freeway”. I had to drive into town to get gas, so I think there must be a closer station to the turn off. A friendly gentleman with a pickup truck, painted with the name of St. Agnes Hot Springs,  pointed me in the right direction to take the highway to the Okanagan and I passed him on the road. He passed me again when I stopped to take some photos  and was kind enough to check on me to see if I was OK before motoring on.

The highway between Merritt and Peachland has always been a mix of desert and lake areas and I stopped by a slough where I took a photo of a red winged blackbird and some ducks.  The land is all fenced, with cattle gates on the dirt roads that branch off because most of it is still open range land with cattle roaming free until round-up time. It is very high over the pass and there was still a bit of snow near the road as the sun created heat waves off the pavement. The ride was uneventful and I pulled into Summerland very satisfied with the peformance of my Yamaha FJ.

Happily, my hosts here have already discovered Ubuntu and I am remaining open source as I type this post on their computer. I hesitate to work on photos on someone else’s hard drive, so the trip gallery will have to wait until I unload everything and get on line in Banff tomorrow.

Center map

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