Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

Google Maps with Python and KML

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Here’s a little guide on how to make a “custom” Google Map using Python to generate KML.  It’s a simple way to display your own placemarks on a Google Map or generate a file that can be imported into Google Earth.  And it uses only modules available in the Python standard library, so there are no additional dependencies other than Python itself. (more…)

Happy Birthday, David!

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

David the Fisherman / PHP ProgrammerI’d like to wish a happy (30th) birthday to my good friend and now employee David Horton!

He’s been helping me out on occasion since May with some IT work, and he’s been diving into some WordPress customizations and even a little Python code recently.

As you can see, I’d found him wandering around on a riverbank, trying to catch fish by hand, and to my surprise he’s much better suited for sitting in front of a computer writing PHP code.

All Your Media Are Belong To Us

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

BoxeeAt least that’s the way it seems when you look at most attempts to bring the media you want to watch and listen to into your living room. Nearly every company wants to be your sole provider of entertainment and lock you into the content they have available. However, the power of the Internet and the innovations of a few small businesses are in a position to continue to change we ways in which we consume our entertainment.

I think Boxee will be one company to keep an eye on in next couple of months, as their user base increases and they transition from an alpha version of the software into a full version of the product. Adding Windows support, as well as finding a business model to support the ongoing development, will be key.

As this NY Times article mentions today, Boxee is currently developed by a small team, and is building a passionate group of fans already. The open source and social networking aspects of the product will help it to grow from the bottom up, as well as continue to support new streaming content and hardware devices as they become available. While the Apple TV seems to be the most common platform to hack and install Boxee, the Sony PS3 or even Roku’s Netflix box would also be good candidates.

In trying it on my MacBook Pro, I’ve found the interface to be very slick, and mostly intuitive to use with the 6-button Apple remote. It lacks the minimal, clean look of Apple’s Front Row, but the flexibility and available content make up for it in an instant. I do wish they had support for PowerPC-based Macs, so I could leave it running on my trusty dual G5 and take advantage of it on my 23″ Cinema Display in my home office.

All that being said, I’m a huge fan. I’ll be following Boxee closely to see where they go, recommending it to all my friends, and wishing the company the best as they aim to shake up the industry just a little. It’s time that my media belonged to me, or at least put me in more control of when and where and how I can watch it.

Customizing the Default WordPress Theme

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

WP to 9MMTo get the new Nine More Minutes site going, I’d considered various options, trying to find the simplest one that would give me a way of displaying a few pages about the company and the work I do. I’d looked at doing a simple static site (in strict XHTML, of course) or even using Python + Django to build a database-driven web site to display, well, plain old pages.  

In spite of my general disdain towards PHP, I realized that WordPress was exactly what I was looking for, and it would save me from having to write much code. Of course, it would also give me an excuse to write some posts and keep the site updated on a regular basis. But first, I needed to make a theme using my existing 9MM logo and colors.

I started by reading various articles on the topic, most of them describing the files required in the theme directory and how to build a theme from scratch. This one is a really good guide, if you’re into that sort of thing. Taking the even lazier simpler route, I just copied the default theme folder and renamed it to 9mm, and started hacking away there… (more…)