December 30, 2002

My Photo Gallery Software

I've been taking digital pictures for roughly five years now. Over that time I've taken a few thousand. They're poorly organized but at least they're on-line.

Every once in a while, someone asks me what software I used to create my on-line photo gallery, and I laugh to myself. Why? Because it's two little Perl scripts that have evolved a bit over the last few years. But they're still really, really basic and just barely do what I need.

I'm posting them here in the hopes that someone else finds them useful. As unlikely as that is, at least I can point others to this page when then ask me what I use. :-)

WARNING: This is hackerware. If you're not comfortable figuring out how the code works and adjusting to meet your needs, please move along. These are not the droids you're looking for. There are bugs, stupid limitations and assumptions built-in. And it's not my best coding work.

But if Dan can make it work, it can't be that bad, right? is run while you're in a directory full of JPEG files (*.jpg). For each image, it calls the convert program from ImageMagick to produce small and medium sized images. So you'll end up with a foo-sm.jpg and foo-md.jpg. is the real workhorse. Run it after you've run and after you've put a title.txt and description.txt file in the directory. It builds out the pages with header, footer, and navigation.

Use these at your own risk. Or not at all.

One of these days I'm gonna completely revamp how all this stuff works. Or I'll just use someone else's code. Who knows.

Posted by jzawodn at 08:40 PM

A little taste of Home

A rather large box arrived for me at work today. It was from my parents in Ohio. They apparently decided to send me all of the food I would have normally eaten (but really shouldn't) if I had gone back to Ohio for the holiday.


  • 3 bags of my Dad's holday mix (Chex, pretzels, nuts, etc, with lots of garlic seasoning)
  • A pint of Buckeyes (mmm. peanutbutter and chocolate)
  • Two loaves of my Mom's pumpkin bread--still moist

I'm not sure what's more evil, me dscribing it to a bunch of people who can't eat it, or them sending it in the first place.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:53 PM

No More Parking Spot

Well, the next time I drive to work it'll be 2003, so that means I'll no longer have the nice parking spot that I won in last year's charity auction. Doh!

I bid again this year but gave up when the price when over $500. It's for a good cause and all, but that was more than I wanted to part with. I guess I got a better price than I thought last year--only $305! Something tells me that I'll never be so lukcy again.

(In case you're wondering, I do have California plates on my car now. It's just that I took that picture back in the Spring before I was properly "motivated" to register my vehicle. Long story.)

Posted by jzawodn at 06:12 PM

Yahoo! Weblogs

There's been some discussion recently about weblogs at Yahoo. It's not the first time, but it came up again. My co-worker Michael Radwin (who hasn't enabled TrackBack so that I can link this entry to his) posted his views recently.

I can't say if Yahoo has any plans to do it or not, since I don't speak for my employer, but I have to agree. Weblogs on Yahoo could be a very "sticky" service and Yahoo is fond of sticky services.

Even so, a blog service would be a win for Yahoo! in the long run. Feeling some compulsion to keep your blog up-to-date is sorta like email -- it's very "sticky". That means increased customer loyalty, which is always a good thing in the business world (even if it costs you some money).

Unlike the traditional Yahoo approach (build something that's a lot like our other services and technology), however, I have a very specific plan in mind should anyone decide it's something we want to do. It would get things on-line quickly with good tools and work like bloggers expect. And I have interesting ideas about how to integrate weblogging with some of our other large properties. Whether anyone will ask me or listen my ideas is a whole different question. :-)

(Yes, I've already offered.)

See also: AOL to Offer Weblogs?

Posted by jzawodn at 01:02 PM

Murphy's Law of Shipping

Anytime I order a package from Amazon that I don't need in a hurry, it is shipped from Reno, Nevada and arrives within 2 days. Sometimes it's here the next day if I order early enough.

Anytime I order something I'd like soon (like my iPod), it'll ship from Illinois and take a week or more to get here.

This leads to my biggest beef in the world of on-line shopping: Insufficient shipping details at purchase time.

When I'm making the choice between UPS Ground and FedEx overnight, I'm shooting in the dark unless I know where it's shipping from. It if comes from Reno, I don't care. Give me the cheap rate. But if it's coming from across the country, I might want to spend the extra bucks.

Too many times, I've paid extra to have a package shipped across the Nevada/California border because I was worried that it'd be coming from Kentucky, Illinois, or worse.

Note to Amazon: Once a customer has decided to make a purchase, let them know where the product is today. I'm sure you inventory management system already knows this. You, of all on-line merchants, should see the value in this.

And don't even get me started on the utter lack of integrated shipping information available on Yahoo Shopping. Yes, I'm a Yahoo employee and I buy most stuff at Amazon. Only if I cannot find it there do I use Y! Shopping. Sadly, my complaints fall on deaf ears. So I vote with my wallet--and not my Y! Wallet.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:20 AM