Archive for ‘November, 2008’

Augmented Reality on the Road….

datePosted on 17:24, November 30th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I’ve been a fan of the potential of augmented reality for some time, but the limitation of having to print out and use those funky registration images has always been there. A lot of people are working on solving/helping this problem. One of the groups that has come up with a novel approach is Mobilizy a small team based in Austria.

Mobilizy have developed one of the hottest applications available for the new Android G-1 Phone, called Wikitude. You see instead of using registration images for pattern recognition and image substitution, they use the GPS, Digital Compass and camera on the G-1 to deliver one of the first really practical augmented reality applications, excellent for travel and tourism.

In what mobilizy has dubbed “CamView” mode, users may hold the phone’s camera against a spectacular mountain range and see the names and heights displayed as overlay mapped with the mountains in the camera. Users may look out of an airplane window to see what is down there. Users may walk through a city like Seville, Spain, holding the phone’s camera against a building and Wikitude tells what it is.

Check out the demo video below for more detail/clearification.

Photo: San Diego and surrounding/Austin and surrounding Hill Country

datePosted on 15:50, November 30th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Since I’ve had the Flu for the past couple of days (yeah great way to end a great trip), I’ve been at home and had a ton of time to get these pics cooked up . These shots were taken during my recent trip to San Diego, CA — to attend CSCW2008 — and Austin, TX — to attend SC2008.


They start off in San Diego with a very cold day trip to Julian, CA. Supposedly the best apple pies are to be had here, but since it was bloody freezing, we skipped all that. Nevertheless a nice little town in the middle of the mountains @ 7000 ft…..what more do you want.


We then drove down to Del Mar, CA for a couple of brews and checked out the surf. CSCW reception was the next night. It was held at Sea World (in San Diego), but we only got to see the penguins since it was dark.


After CSCW was over we flew to Austin, TX and started the Super Computing part of the journey. We visited the Texas state capitol. Then spent the rest of the day exploring the famous 6th street stretch.


Next day took us down south towards San Antonio. We first hit Gruene, TX which is this nice little town that’s been preserved. Checked out the Gruene Hall which is legendary in the country music world.


We ended the day by visiting Natural Bridge Caverns near New Braunfels, TX and the nearby Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. We then drove back to Lockhart, TX for a hearty texan BBQ at Kreuz Market. Your belly will love you after a visit to this place…..Yummm.


We drove down to San Antonio the next day and spent the day exploring. Definitely THE place to visit if you’re in Texas. Leave about 3-4 hours for the Alamo, lots of history, hence a lot of reading and presentations.


The rest of the week was spent at super computing 2008. We concluded our trip by visiting Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park near Johnson, TX and Dealey Plaza in Dallas (site of JFK assassination). On the way back from Dallas we stopped by Salt Lick to have the definitive Texan style BBQ.


The Complete Flickr Photo Set as usual can be found here .

Fantastic Waterfigures

datePosted on 13:04, November 28th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

waterfigure_9892, originally uploaded by fotoopa.
Just came across these waterfigures on flickr. The set is absolutely amazing. Have a look for yourself. The guy uses a custom homemade hardware controller and 2 lasers for detection. Really nice stuff

µTorrent (uTorrent), now available for OSX…..

datePosted on 12:47, November 27th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Finally. Now all of us macheads can have a (very) tiny bittorrent client too. Yes, I’m talking about the public beta of µTorrent (uTorrent) which was just opened today. Head over here and grab your copy. Sadly it’s 10.5 Intel only….

COGE: Opensource mac VJ software…..

datePosted on 14:00, November 11th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

If you like Quartz Composer and are into VJ/Visual software, CoGe might just be for you. It’s got clip triggering, effects, mixing and playback modules. Check out the CoGe forums for more info…..For now here is a “Intro to CoGe 0.85b” and “What’s New in 0.93b release” videos:

Have Fun!!!

Energize your Apple TV based Media Centre machine with BOXEE….

datePosted on 13:35, November 11th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I was lucky enough to get a alpha Boxee account and I have to say…..It’s slick. If you haven’t tried it, head over to and sign up for a invite (Mac OS and Linux only for now). If you already have an account you might be interested in this tutorial video that shows you how to install boxee on your Apple TV box.

Before you leave please make sure that when you create the patchstick there are no external drives connected.

SharePod…..The only tool you need to maintain your Ipod

datePosted on 12:46, November 11th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I came across sharepod the other day while looking for a Ipod offload tool for OSX. My Ipod was full with music I wanted to keep, but I was leaving on a long trip so I wanted to have some movies and tv-shows with me aswell. To make a long story short, as much as like to stick to OSX when it comes to daily computing, after using sharepod I’m wishing for a similar app for OSX :-). Sharepod is a free application that runs under windows and lets you do just about anything with your ipod content. Here is a quick feature list:

  • Add & remove music and videos from your iPod
  • Add, remove and edit playlists
  • Add & remove album art
  • Copy music, videos and playlists from your iPod to PC
  • Import music/videos into your iTunes library, including playlists and ratings
  • Tag editing
  • Drag n’ drop to and from Explorer
  • Simple, clean interface
  • Quick to load and use with no unnessary complicated features

So if you need a do-it-all tool for your ipod, you should check out Sharepod.

N.B. Nathan commented that there indeed is a OSX util, like Sharepod, called Senuti (itunes backwards….neat). I just downloaded and tried it and yep…..I like it. The more the better I guess :-)

OSX: Time Machine backup to NAS

datePosted on 13:15, November 5th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Let me first state that this has been tried in my environment and it works. It might NOT work for you. Try it first and make sure your backups are clean and good. I have a OSX server (10.5.5 as of this writing) that needed to be backed up and am using a QNAP TS-409 PRO as my backup location. The QNAS has a AFP/SMB share called “Backup” where I keep all my backups. The server is configured with 2x80GB drives in raid-1 mode (mirror). Here is how I did it (again your milage may vary):

1) First we need to find out the MAC address of your server. I’m using one of the two ethernet ports on the server (en0) so I just open up a terminal window and type ifconfig en0 to get the MAC address. You’ll see something like this:saturn:~ mayromlo$ ifconfig en0
en0: flags=8863 mtu 1500
inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
ether 00:19:e3:e8:2f:02
media: autoselect (100baseTX ) status: active
supported media: autoselect 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 100baseTX 100baseTX 100baseTX 100baseTX 1000baseT 1000baseT 1000baseT
saturn:~ mayromlo$

The line we’re interested in is the one starting with ether (line 5). Take down that number without the colons (ie: 0019e3e82f02 in my case).

2) Mount the AFP share on to your server. Mine is called Backup.

3) In a terminal window change your current directory to the AFP share (eg: Backup) and create a empty file called .MACaddressnumber, where MACaddressnumber is the number we jotted down under 1). saturn:~ mayromlo$ cd /Volumes/Backup
saturn:Backup mayromlo$ touch .0019e3e82f02
This hidden file is needed for every machine you want to Time Machine into your NAS. I’m backing up also workstations so I’ve got a couple of these hidden files.

4) Next we need to create a reasonably sized Sparsebundle file. This is where the actual backup gets done. The Sparsebundle doesn’t take a lot of space initially and grows as more files need to be backed up. For example I created a 80GB Sparsebundle file that was only 8MB large in reality, but grew to 20GB when I did the first backup. We need to create the Sparsebundle file on the local OSX machine (eg: OSX server in my case). Again this is important, Create the sparsebundle on a local OSX machine  NOT the network share. So open up a terminal and type the following to create the initial file: hdiutil create -size 80g -ov -fs HFS+J -type SPARSEBUNDLE -volname "Backup of Saturn" Saturn_0019e3e82f02.sparsebundleSo in the above example we have

  • -size 80g which specifies 80GB for our sparsebundle size
  • -ov to overwrite if the file exists
  • -fs HFS+J for format of our bundle which is Journaled HFS+
  • -type SPARSEBUNDLE which is self explanatory
  • -volname should be set to “Backup of hostname” whatever your hostname is
  • and last is the actual sparsebundle filename which consists of Hostname_MACaddress.sparsebundle
Make sure you get the filename proper or else nothing will work. Now transfer the sparsebundle file to your AFP share (eg: Backup in my case).

5) On the server issue the following command to enable Time Machine for Networked drives:defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
6) On the server in Finder goto Preferences and make sure “Connected Servers” is checked under “Show these items on the Desktop“.

7) Open up the Time Machine Preference panel and select the AFP share as your disk. Enjoy and please remember YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BACKUP INTEGRITY, SO CHECK YOUR BACKUPS TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE GOOD.