Picasa, Flickr & Photo Galleries

This is the one area in my life where Google doesn’t own me.  Online photo gallery.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I love Picasa and Picasa web.  But there is one thing about them that prevents me from using it and that is storage space.  1 gig is all they offer for free.  1 gig?!?  Do you realize that I have over 45 gigs of pictures?  So 1 gig is good for a free service.  You know how much it costs to upgrade the storage?  For 10 gigs it’s $20 a year, which still wouldn’t be enough to store my photos.  For 40 gigs it’s $75 a year, which yet again wouldn’t store all my photos.  For 150 gigs, it costs $250.  $250 a year to store my photos if I were to use them.  What’s worse about this storage upgrade is that it shares that store with Gmail as well.  So if you have 1 gig worth of email, like I do, then you have 1 gig less of storage for photos.  Picasa web…  Not worth the money.

Flickr, in my opinion, is a much better option.  The free version is kind of limited, but it works well.  But for a mere $25 a year, you get unlimited storage, unlimited uploads, unlimited bandwidth, etc…  So if I wanted to store my photos here, it’ll cost my $25 a year.  That’s a tenth of the price for me than Picasa.  The features of Picasa and Flickr are different, and I think Picasa is better.  But that storage absolutely is dog doo doo.  This would be a no brainer for me…  if it weren’t for my stupid internet connection.

Do you realize that I still only have 1.5 Mbps / 384 Kbps DSL?  Do you know that’s the fastest speed I can get at my house?  Yes, there is cable internet here.  But if you know me and Charter, then you know that’s not an option. So let’s do a little calculation here on how long it would take to transfer.

In reality I really only get about 35 KB/s max upload rate.  I normally limit the upload rate to 25KB/s so it doesn’t kill my connection.  45 GB = 45,000,000 KB.  With my connection maxed out, it would take me over 357 hours to finish or almost 15 days to finish transferring my photos.  With my upload rate capped, it would take 500 hours, or 20.8 days to finish transferring my pictures.   Now if I had FiOS and my 15 Mb uplink, I’d be able to finish that transfer in 400 minutes, or just under 7 hours.  Who needs FiOS?  I do.

Where is my FiOS, Verizon?  I have been waiting patiently for years for you to come to my house, and you are still not here!  Come now!

Google Voice Voicemail Transcript

So Google Voice’s transcript isn’t perfect.  Well, sometimes it’s flat out bad.  First off I have no clue what this is saying.  I understand it’s not great at transcribing the voicemail, but I usually get the gist of the message.  But this transcript is not even close. 
 

hey matt it’s me so i found a ken doll on my way out to them on to go pick up she lives in flynn arson carson went and guard so we haven’t been there in time leaving them on that all of that and i guess i’ll talk to them up at your sense that i didn’t hear from you i was gonna ask you if you wanted to stop by home really quickly travel more if you want me to drop them off to church in yeah man picked up your phone i will try to drop them off at church right now i’d i 55 okay talk to you later bye

Trackball Lube

I actually went and cleaned my trackball today.  I was working with some thermal grease and it got on my trackball.  So I decided to clean the ball the innards that hold it.  It’s been a while since I last cleaned it.

So after cleaning it, it was all sticky, like it was still dirty.  So I kept cleaning it.  And cleaning.  And cleaning.  And it was still sticky.

Then I searched and found this post.

http://bradt.ca/archives/the-best-trackball-lubricant/

Using my forehead as lube.  Brilliant.  I have a lot of that on my face.  And voila.  My trackball works great again.

Feedburner feed

I made some changes to the feed.  You don’t need to update the rss feed now.  I have it redirecting to feedburner properly now.  Hopefully feedburner can properly get my feed.  Of course eventually http://chriswong.org/rss might stop working when I move my site over to WordPress, but I guess I can make that still work anyways.

New Site/New Feed

I’m going to be moving to WordPress (or maybe some other CMS) eventually.  I’ve been only blogging on the baby site lately I think because Windows Live Writer isn’t compatible with my website.  And rather than try to hack my site together to work with some publishing tool, I’m just going move to WordPress.  Eventually that is.  I need to write a conversion script for the site first.

On another note, I’m using feedburner to manage my feeds now.  That includes this site and my baby site.  baby.chriswong.org will automatically redirect to the feedburner feed.  This site however will not.  I’m too lazy to get all the proper redirection working.  So just update the feed.

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/chriswong

More Googleness

I’m locked into Google.  I got my G1, and I’m connected to Google all the time now.  My primary broser is Google Chrome, and it probably will be for the foreseeable future (of course foreseeing the future in browser technology is a very small window).  Mail goes through Google Apps.  Still the only search engine I use.  Google Reader.  Google Calendar.  They own me.

The one thing that is holding back Google from completely owning me is Picasaweb.  The Picasa program is great.  Online storage…  Sucks.  1 gig of storage?  That’s it?  It costs $75/year for 40 gigs of space.  But why pay that if I can get unlimited with flickr for $25/year?  Picasaweb doesn’t allow uploaded photos over 1600×1200 (or at least it didn’t before).  Google needs to revamp that cost if it ever wants to totally own me.

But latest Google thing I have to talk about is Experimental search.  There are keyboard shortcuts!  How did I not know about this?

http://www.google.com/experimental/

Nevermind! Firefox 3.1 alpha2 is Fast

So I posted on how Chrome was fastest with our editor a couple of weeks ago.  And I tested Firefox 3.1a2 too which was slower than Chrome, but faster than Firefox 3.  Well apparently the new JavaScript engine (Tracemonkey) isn’t enabled by default.  After enabling it, Firefox 3.1a2 is much faster.  Faster than Chrome, at least on our editor.

New test times:

  • Firefox 3.1a2
    • 6.6
    • 7.1
    • 6.3

Browser Speed Comparison Test

So we’ve decided to add Safari/Webkit support to our editor at work.  I don’t think any of you have seen our product, but it’s heavy on javascript (jQuery) usage.  So I decided to do a speed test with our editor to see how well each browser performs on just loading the editor.

So obviously this will test the html rendering of the browser.  It’s a big page and we use lots of CSS.  And then it will test javascript speed.  It’s pretty apparent that this isn’t the be all and end all of speed test reviews, but the results are entertaining nonetheless, especially since I can see the real world speed test of our system.  So here are the results from just loading the editor, which is the only test I’ll have time to do for now.

Test System:
Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
2 Gig Ram
Windows Vista 32-bit Business

Load Times in Seconds

  • Firefox 3.0.1
    • 13.3
    • 13.3
    • 13.1
  • Google Chrome
    • 7.7
    • 7.7
    • 7.1
  • IE8 Beta 2
    • 11.8
    • 11.2
    • 10.8
  • Safari 3.1.2
    • 10.0
    • 8.1
    • 11.5
    • 9.4
    • 8.6
  • Firefox 3.1 Alpha2
    • 9.2
    • 10.0
    • 9.3

It’s pretty clear from my tests on our system that Google Chrome is clearly the fastest browser.  I remember switch from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 and seeing how much faster that was.  I wonder how slow Firefox 2 would be on our system.  Even with Firefox 3.1 new javascript engine, it’s still significantly slower than Chrome.  I know it’s just an alpha product, so it still has the potential to be faster when the final version comes out.  But 3.1 is still close to 2 seconds slower loading the page.

What was interesting to me was to see how Safari was all over the map in loading the page.  It had 8 seconds loads.  And then it had close to 12 seconds loads. I tested it some more (not shown), and those results showed the Safari was consistently inconsistent for some reason.

Chrome is not without it’s faults.  It doesn’t render the background image to one of the divs correctly in my editor (but Safari correctly renders it for some reason).  This could be because it’s using an older version of WebKit.  Incorrect.  But fast.

Dropbox

Thanks to Eric and Ars, I’ve found Dropbox.  A great product.  Sync and share your files among multiple computers.

I’ve been using Live Mesh for a while now, but it had its flaws.  Mainly it didn’t work in Linux, and thus making file syncing pretty sucky.  Dropbox not only has Windows support but also Linux and OS X.

Of course I’m writing this all up before I’ve even used it.  But that Linux support is the key that Live Mesh has been missing.  Live Mesh does have rdesktop feature between logged in machines, which is nice.  But this is the way to go with file syncing.

Resizing w/ Scrollbar in iTunes?

I just downloaded iTunes 8.  I don’t know if this was the case in iTunes 7 as well, but what the hell is the deal with the window resizing when dragging with the scrollbar?  It’s show ing a normal pointer, and I’m able to resize. 

I’ve been done with iTunes.  It’s pretty much my portal to see what new music is out.  Amazon MP3 ftw.