Sun, March 21, 2004

Fascination

  1. St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church — I attended the pan-orthodox Sunday of Orthodoxy services here. Wow! It’s wonderful to be called to prayer by the bells.

  2. Eastern Standard Tribe — I read this article a while ago and recent work experience has me wishing that our distributed team was part of the tribe. There’s just too few typical hours of overlap between the Orient, Middle East, Europe, and Us.

  3. Exposé window-switching feature for Mac OS X — When I first saw Apple’s Steve Jobs demonstrating this I found it beautiful, brilliant, and stunningly useful, and I immediately wanted it for Windows. I rarely have fewer than 6 windows open and frequently far more than that. I’ve heard of some “clones” for Windows, but haven’t tried them yet:

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  4. 7 Zip — A free and open source compression/archiving tool that supports a slew of formats including 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB.

  5. Scanning the Stanford library using a Book-scanning Robot — I wish all books were available online.

    “When you’re turning pages by hand, you can do maybe 150 to 200 pages per hour. It’s slow. But the robot can easily do 600 to 1,200 pages per hour without damaging the books. And it’s rigorously consistent — the page is always flat, the image is always good, and software conversion allows you to index the text so you can search it.”


    “A technician lays the book onto a special cradle inside the machine and air jets gently fluff up pages on the right side. A robotic arm swings over the book and sucks up one page with a special vacuum, and pulls the page over. Two more robotic arms then swing over and flatten out the pages with clear plastic clamps.

    “Meanwhile, a high-resolution digital camera snaps away, taking color digital pictures of the pages. A computer automatically crops and cleans up the digital image until the book is done. The result: a DVD with digital images of every page.”

  6. Plucker e-book reader — Looks to be a nice free and open source tool to let Palm devices view web pages and e-books.

  7. Posters for GUI Obituaries — Where has the metal trash can gone? The component icon comparisons and the screen shots of multiple operating systems (and versions) are also worth a look.

  8. The making of a LEGO brick — Fun and educational. I like that.

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