Random Thoughts

Tech, words and musings from an Englishman in Seattle

A Different Take On Dance Dance Revolution

As seen at this year's Burning Man: Dance Dance Immolation. You gotta love a project with the tagline Dance Dance Revolution. With Flamethrowers. Pointed at you.


From the creators' website

Dance Dance Immolation is an adaptation of the popular arcade video game Dance Dance Revolution, but with fire! Basically, you play DDR; when you do well, the computer shoots big propane blasts up into the air. When you do poorly, it shoots you in the face with flamethrowers. Yes, you, as in your actual corporeal body. And yes, flamethrowers, like the kind that are on fire.

Check it out.

[Tip'O'Hat to VentureBeat for the link.]

1 Photo by nck wntrhltr

Adobe Lightroom Beta 4 Is Out

Adobe have just released the latest beta of Lightroom, their digital photography workflow management application. All of you photographers in the audience need to check this out. The differences in performance (on the Mac anyway) are quite striking, as is the updated UI.

Adobe Lightroom - now with PC and Mac feature parity. Highly recommended.

Tillamook Air Museum

While we were in Oregon, we visited the Tillamook Air Museum. The aircraft collection (many of which are still flying) are housed in a World War 2 Blimp Hanger - the largest wooden structure in the world. My photos are over on Flickr.


In 1942, the U.S. Navy began construction of 17 wooden hangars to house the K-class blimps being used for anti-submarine coast patrol and convoy escort. Two of these hangars were built at the Naval Air Station Tilllamook, commissioned in December 1942 to serve the Oregon-Washington coastal area.

Construction of the two hangars was rushed to completion. Hangar “B” was the first one built and was completed in the spring of 1943. Hangar “A” which was destroyed in a 1992 fire, was completed in only 30 days. Amazingly, there were no serious injuries or deaths on the whole project.

Stationed at NAS Tillamook was Squadron ZP-33 with a complement of eight K-ships. The K-ships were 252 feet long and filled with 425,000 cu. ft. of helium. With a range of 2,000 miles and an ability to stay aloft for three days, they were well suited for coast patrol and convoy escort. Naval Air Station Tillamook was decommissioned in 1948.

Since 1994 the remaining hangar has been home to one of the top five privately owned aircraft collections in the nation.

The collection was quite impressive and included one of my all-time favourite aircraft - the PBY Catalina.

PBY-5A Catalina

Outside stood the very impressive, if a little odd looking, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser or “Mini-Guppy”.


Overall, a sweet museum, run by people who obviously love the subject matter. The burgers in the little cafe were pretty good too.


On Being A Light-Hearted Parent

Via Parent Hacks comes tips on parenting from a woman who for a year is trying everything under the sun to be happier:

11. Say “no” only when it really matters. Wear a bright red shirt with bright orange shorts? Sure. Put water in the toy tea set? Okay. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed? Fine. Samuel Johnson said, “All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.”

12. When I find myself thinking, “Soon, no more stroller,” or “Soon, no more high chair,” I remind myself how fleeting this is. All too soon the age of Cheerios and the Tooth Fairy will be over. The days are long, but the years are short.

An experiment to watch…

Displaying A Large Image In A Blog Post

Whenever I place an image in a blog post there are two options:

  1. If it's a photo I just embed the small version and link to Flickr.
  2. If it's a screen grab or something, I upload it to my server and embed the image directly. I like to keep my Flickr photostream clean and only host photos over there.

The problem with the second option is that I have to make the image small enough that it doesn't blow width limits due to the design of the blog page itself and cause it to run out of the center box. This means that the image can be too small to be really useful.

Now, try clicking on the following image.


Cool, huh?

Of course, if you're reading this in an aggregator you'll have to go to the webpage to see what I'm talking about.

Now I can feel happy about embedding a small image, as the user can click through to the full image with cool presentation goodness.

You can read about the technique and download the code over at Huddle Together.

[Tip'O'Hat to Kelly Smith for the link.]

iTunes 7 and The Steve Jobs Show

A bunch of cool stuff was announced at the Steve Jobs Show this morning, including a couple of things that I found really interesting.

First up is iPod Games - Casual games on your iPod. Very cool and yet another outlet for the rapidly growing casual games industry.

Second was the integration of CoverFlow into iTunes.

Other than that, there's cool new hardware including a direct play for the Media Center space, and a bunch of new iPods.

Oh, and the UI upgrade in iTunes 7 is very sleek.

Ahh, The Joys Of Networking

The DSL modem/router here at the beach house only has one port, and is configured with a 252 netmask so only one IP address allowed. This means Windows running under Parallels on my Mac can't get an IP address. Suck.

Additional suckage with this router includes not allowing another machine that comes up on it's one port to get an IP address via DHCP. This means that when CJ and I swap the cable between our machines, you have to release the IP address lease before moving the cable to the other machine, otherwise the other machine won't get an address. Figuring this out caused a few hours of frustration last night. Suck.

I tried to share the connection via the Airport on my mac. CJ's PC can connect to the new wireless network and can see both my mac and the router, but the so-called router won't forward any packets run it. Suck.

I'm tempted to just head out and buy a $60 Linksys wireless router to ease the pain.

That is, if I could find one around here.

We've Arrived In Oregon

We're now at the beach house we've rented in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. All I can say is that the Oregon coast really is all it's cracked up to be. The drive down 101 was spectacular.

The Ingrams arrived at within five minutes of us - we came from Seattle - 5.5 hours as predicted by the GPS; they came from Toronto, and endured a four hour airport delay, the poor guys.

Anyhow, as an added bonus, the house has net access! No wireless, but with two laptops and a spot of connection sharing, there soon will be. Right now I'm connected via Cingular's Edge network as the router is in the Ingrams' room and it's a tad late for them to get all geeky. Will sort that out tomorrow.

I've taken some video and stills already - I'll probably upload some at some point tomorrow.

And with that, good night all. The sound of the Pacific is putting me to sleep…

Mind you, back at home the dog is probably keeping our house-sitter friend Wesley up very late…

© 2001 to present, Steve Lacey.