Tag Archives: TWiT

Why Technology Makes Me Want To Throw Things, Sometimes

Me in a fez with the This Week In Tech logo.

How disappointing: Leo Laporte and the TWiT staff gave me clothes for Christmas. Oh, wait, I meant “how AWESOME!”

And that, dear readers, is what I’ve been trying to post to Twitter for the past half an hour. What an terrific thing to unbox. I’ve been wearing it all afternoon; suffice to say that the bar has been set very high for friends and family members who will be giving me gifts this year.

(Which is not to say that you shouldn’t try, o friends and family members.)

(Look, just forget I said anything. It was clearly inappropriate.)

(Adjusts fez)

Shall I review all of the different “post a Tweet with a photo attached” methods that I tried, and failed, before saying (shouting, really) “To hell with it. I’m just going to make it a damn blog post”?

  1. Osfoora for iPad. My usual Twitter iPad client. I used Dropbox to copy the photo from my MacBook (which I used to take the picture) to the Pictures library. I wrote the Tweet, attached the photo…and Osfoora couldn’t connect to the TwitPic-like service-thingy to upload the image.
  2. Twitter for iPad. I hate it, but it was the only alternative I had on my iPad. It looked as though it was attaching the image correctly, but it wasn’t, really.
  3. YFrog.com, via my MacBook’s browser. The uploader froze at 0%.
  4. Twitter.com, via my MacBook’s browser. Nope, even the completely revamped interface doesn’t support picture attachments.
  5. Nambu, MacOS desktop client. Thought I’d give it a try, as it’d been recommended to me once before. Binary is hosted on Amazon. Safari tells me that this 7.3 megabyte ZIP file will be completely downloaded in another 94 minutes.
  6. Twitterific for MacOS. I remembered I had a copy on my Mac. It’s out of date and refused to log in. I downloaded the new version, it logged in correctly, and then I remembered that Twitterific doesn’t let you attach photos.

Normally, I Tweet from my iPhone. It’s simple and it works great. And…

(Now I’m reminded why I hated Twitterific and stopped using it: by default, it takes over your screen every time something happens on Twitter. Or, to be fair, maybe that’s just how I set it up the last time I used it, many months ago. Either way: Goodbye, goodbye, GOODBYE.)

(Oh, and thanks for hiding yourself so well that I can only kill you by looking for your processes in Activity Monitor, Twitterific. That makes this ever more so much more special. “I just can’t quit you” was a good line from “Brokeback Mountain” but in an app, it’s really crap behavior.)

…And that’s what I would have used, if I’d had my iPhone handy.

I guess I was just naive: I thought that posting a Tweet with a photo attached was, in fact, goddamn close to being the simplest thing in the world.

Okay. Well, I’m still wearing an awesome-way-cool fez. Under the circumstances, I can’t possibly be unhappy.

Podcasting Live from Echo Base (though not expected to live much longer)

Big 90 inch by 40 inch backdrop of the Battle of Hoth, in the far wall of my podcasting studio.

I love the random things that often happen in my job.

I recently talked about wanting to get a backdrop for my podcast studio. Now that we’re in winter, the Lovely Garden View outside my window turns into into inky blackness at around 3 PM. Before the afternoon was out, I got an email from someone I know at ILM. “I might have a backdrop that’ll work for you,” he said. “What’s your address?”

This is the sort of email that you answer straight away.

I was expecting some posters (and would have been happy to get them). So it was no surprise when a heavy plastic tube was delivered a few days later.

I think you’ll agree that its contents was a little better than a batch of movie posters.

The letter that it came with it tells me that ILM had this backdrop made up for an interview with Dennis Muren. You know: nine-time Oscar-winning visual effects artist and the SFX director of “Empire Strikes Back.” I started unrolling it and it just kept right on going and going and going. And the dopey grin on my face got bigger and bigger and bigger.

Why, I felt like I could take on the Empire all by myself.

(Wait, forget it. When people say that, things never end well for them.)

Photo of me pretending to run from an Imperial Walker.

One nagging problem: how the hell was I going to hang this? Just measuring it out was tricky. I used a half a dozen soda cans to flatten it out and came up with a measurement that was a little off. Finally, I cleared some furniture from my living room so I could come at it from all angles with my tape measure, and I got it exactly: 90″ by 40″.

I snapped a photo and sent it to a friend. He was much, much more impressed by it when he did a double-take and realized that he’d gotten the scale wrong: those were soda cans and not D-cell batteries.

Clearly I couldn’t just swing by the craft store for an off-the-shelf frame. I wound up putting together a simple half-tenon support frame for it, envisioning that a box of jumbo bulldog clips (with some padding in their jaws) would hold it up nicely while I figure out a more permanent solution.

(I’m thinking of adding some removable strips of painted moulding that can receive a sandwich of foamcore, an acid barrier, the backdrop, and then a sheet of plastic. I don’t even want to think about what a 90″x40″ sheet of glass would cost, or how many of them I’d break while trying to get everything put together and up on the wall.)

For now, it’s clipped to the frame and supported by a couple of plastic grocery baskets. It isn’t exactly a Lucasfilm Archives-quality display. But then again, the original item was certainly never meant to be revered. It’s printed on heavy poster paper and has a few holes in the corner where it was pinned to its original wall behind Mr. Muren. It was made to suit a purpose and I’m just very lucky and grateful that it happened to be cluttering up someone’s office and that this person was kind enough to send it over.

But regardless of its original purpose, this is a fairly awesome thing to have up on a wall. I can already tell that all future living spaces will have to pass a new criteria: “Is there a space for my Battle of Hoth backdrop?”