Sunday, March 21, 2010

Next Gen 3D Photography

I receved a Fujifilm W1 camera for my birthday back in December. So cool! I've always been a fan of stereoscopic 3D. I think the recent adoption of 3D in theatres is fantastic. I'm excited to see it become mainstream enough that I'll be able to get a 3D TV soon.

Back to the camera. I own a Lorex 3d 35mm camera before the digital revelotion. I got it back before the digital revolution, and I barely used it. The quality of the camera wasn't that great, and I could never be bothered to develope film, even thought it was simply the standard 35mm print processing. I probably shot 3 rolls on it. The stereo viewer you used with the split-image prints was pretty cool though.

The W1 is so much better. Not only does it have all the benefits of a digital point and shoot camera, the built-in viewer displays in 3D! People are always amused by the 3D effect on the camera's viewscreen when I show them pictures I've taken of family or scenery. The fact that it doesn't require glasses also raises people's interest.

A great as the viewscreen is, there isn't any other way to share 3D pictures with people. Anaglyph has always sucked. No one you else you know has even heard of cross-eye or parallel viewing (and even if they did, they probably still have trouble with Magic Eye posters).

Fujifilm started shipping lenticular 3d photo processing printers, but the recommended site ( doesn't ship to Canada. Fuji also sells a digital 3d photoframe - but it's way too expensive to buy for each of the people I'd like to share pictures with.

Enter! This is a pretty typical web2.0 photo storing/sharing community site, with twist. Founded by Colin Davidson, a computer vision expert (Academy Award wining in fact), it features a nifty embedded viewer called Piku-Piku. This viewer ( the name apparently means 'twitch' in Japanese) uses a flip-book style display that gives a great impression of the 3d effec.

In addition to sharing via Twitter, Facebook, etc., etc., Start3D also lets you manage your albums with uploaded photos. It lets you upload left/right pairs of 2d images, and supports the ".mpo" format of the W1!

You can also embed your photos in a page like this:

(Katherine and Colin in their fortress!)

I hope to see a lot more from Start3D. It solves a big problem for 3d enthusiasts in a novel way, and once you're in there for photosharing, it's naturally poised to become a one-stop shop for things like lenticular prints (sadly still unavailable as of this post).

Maybe they can keep me in mind when they start up those services ; )

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to have a better Monday

Monday is garbage day here.  If it's not out at the curb for 7am, you might miss the boat.  That's ok in the in your refrigerated garage. In the summer, it means another week of week-older rotten garbage in your hot garage.

On the few occasions I tried putting the garbage out the night before, the raccoons got into it the can, and made a big mess.  Not fun.

So, I started hauling my butt out of bed a little earlier Monday mornings, to put the garbage out.  It took a few weeks to form the habit, and I missed the truck a few times not getting out till 7:15.

At some point I recalled seeing a garbage can at Canadian Tire that had some sort of strap to hold the lid on.  I decided I needed to at least give it a try.

This is what I got:

Racoon proof garbage can?

It wasn't until I got it home that I realized it doesn't have wheels.  Bummer.

But wait!  I currently own this garbage can:


The lid of the animal proof fits on the wheeled base.  Tada!

Anyhow to the point.  Sunday night I put the garbage out, using my new cadillac.

I woke up this morning (Monday, and our clocks just "sprung" forward) particularly groggy. Instead of the usual Monday dread - my first thought was "Woohoo! I don't have to put the garbage out!"


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Replacing guitar strings

So I broke a guitar string. It could happen to anyone. Took Colin to the music store to buy new strings.

That was last weekend.

This weekend, we had a nice rainy afternoon to work on restringing the guitar. Oh noes! The guitar is set up for light strings, and I bought medium. Darned whammy bar - I don't even use the thing except in Rock Band.

Tightened the springs so I could use the strings, Colin helped me tune it, and now we're back in action. Time to play Alec Eiffel, which has been this week's earworm.

We inspected the broken string, and I showed Colin how the thicker strings are actually two wires, one straight, and one coiled. Here's the picture of the broken one to prove it: