Bellagio Fountain Shows

April 26th, 2009 by Andrew

While in Vegas I recorded a couple of the Bellagio fountain shows on my D90. They recorded in 720p, but are shown here in a lower resolution. I hadn’t really used the video recording mode before, but this was a great opportunity to test it out and I think it did pretty well.

Pink Panther

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Simple Gifts

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Editing Songbird Add-ons

April 8th, 2009 by Andrew

If you haven’t seen it yet, Songbird is a Mozilla-based open-source music player. I’ve been using for some time now and it’s amazing.

Just like Firefox, it has a system of add-ons. The Notify Me add-on allows you to get Growl notifications when the song changes. Unfortunately, the add-on hasn’t been updated in 4 months. Here’s how I made it work with the latest version of Songbird.

Download the add-on from the Songbird Add-ons page. The .xpi file is just a zip file, and we have to unzip it to modify the contents. In Terminal, change to the directory where the .xpi file is (mine was on my desktop). Make a temporary folder to put the add-on files into when they’re unzipped. Put the .xpi into that folder and unzip it, then move the .xpi file out of there. Here’s the process in Terminal:

cd ~/Desktop
mkdir notifyme
mv notifyme-osx-1.1.0.xpi notifyme/
cd notifyme
unzip notifyme-osx-1.1.0.xpi
mv notifyme-osx-1.1.0.xpi ../

Once unzipped you’ll find a file named install.rdf. Open that up in a plain-text editor (Not MS Word) and change the maxVersion variable to whatever version you want. I’m changing it from 1.1.0rc1 to 1.2.0a.

<em:maxVersion>1.1.0rc1</em:maxVersion>

Save install.rdf and zip the add-on back up (notice I changed the file name):

zip -r ../notifyme-osx-1.2.0a-unofficial.xpi .

You can then go to Tools -> Add-ons… in Songbird, click Install… and find the .xpi file you just zipped. It shouldn’t warn you about the version being incompatible anymore.

Although I just detailed how to do this and it worked for this add-on, I don’t recommended it. The max version is there for a reason. There may have been changes to Songbird that make an add-on incompatible with a higher version. Don’t blame me if you try this and your computer catches fire.

Here’s the finished product: notifyme-osx-120a-unofficial.xpi

Project: Time Lapse Photography

January 22nd, 2009 by Andrew

I’ve recently come up with a good workflow for creating time lapse videos from still images, so I added time lapse photography to my projects page. While doing this, I’ve had a chance to use gphoto2, ImageMagick, FFmpeg, and Audacity. All of those are free and open source utilities, so anyone can follow the same procedure.

Here’s a video I made last January, but I’ve updated it by recreating it from the original photos, and I added an audio track “1 Ghosts I” from the Nine Inch Nails album Ghosts I-IV.

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Metallica

January 20th, 2009 by Andrew

Metallica at the TD Banknorth Garden.

Metallica at the TD Banknorth Garden.
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Metallica played at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston on January 18th, 2009 for their World Magnetic tour. I ordered tickets a few months ago as a bundle deal, with which I received two tickets, two Death Magnetic CDs, and two codes to download digital copies of the show afterwards. The TD Banknorth Garden has a maximum capacity of 19,580, and from what I could see, there weren’t many empty seats, so the total attendance was probably close to that number. While there, I took a few photos with my iPhone.

There were two opening acts, The Sword and Machine Head. The set was 18 songs, which represents (by my count) only 15% of Metallica’s original songs, and only 12% if you count the Garage Inc. album, which was only cover songs.

  1. That Was Just Your Life
  2. The End Of The Line
  3. Harvester Of Sorrow
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  5. One
  6. Broken, Beat And Scarred
  7. Cyanide
  8. Sad But True
  9. …And Justice For All
  10. All Nightmare Long
  11. The Day That Never Comes
  12. Master Of Puppets
  13. Battery
  14. Nothing Else Matters
  15. Enter Sandman
  16. Stone Cold Crazy
  17. Hit The Lights
  18. Seek and Destroy

Dome Turned To Dust

December 24th, 2008 by Andrew

Photos of the RCA Dome.

It’s weird to think that the RCA Dome has been demolished.

I was most recently there in the Fall of 2007 with the UMass Minuteman Marching Band when they were there as the exhibition band for the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

Previously I was there with the band in 2004 for the same reason.

The dome was held up by air pressure (really!) and had giant airlocks that had to be opened in exactly the right way or the dome would collapse. I remember being in a huge room with 20 foot doors on either side, waiting for the interior door to open so me and the hundred or so band people with me could get onto the field. There were also smaller revolving doors (that were always hard to push) for faster one-at-a-time access to the field.

The photos from top to bottom:

  • The RCA Dome in 2004 at night.
  • Me, Jimmy and Melissa (2004 UMMB Equipment Staff) on the 50 yard line on top of the Colts logo.
  • The RCA Dome in December 2008 being imploded.