Archives for January 2012

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A Quick Trip to the Sea

Salton Sea Birds Eric Richardson

Kathy's parents are spending a few weeks in Palm Desert right now, so on Saturday we took a drive east on the 10 to go visit.

We arrived to find blistering winds as a front moved through. The Palm Springs area got gusts of 66mph. Trees were knocked down throughout the area.

That made outdoor activities a little less than desirable, so we hopped back in the car and the four of us took an hour's drive east through the Coachella Valley for an all-too-quick visit to the Salton Sea, California's largest lake and one of its oddest stories. We didn't get to see much before the sun set and we headed back, but it was certainly enough to convince us that the area is worth a return visit.

Five Years, One Background

Plant Eric Richardson

According to my little "On This Date" widget, it was five years ago today that I set this abstract image of a plant as my laptop background.

It's still there. I'm not sure if that's laziness or just the fact that it really does meet my needs as wallpaper: neutral colors and a little texture that reads well in the corners.

Five years is probably enough, though. It may be time to change things up. I'll have to be on the lookout for something new.

Looking Back at eThreads

eThreads Logo (circa 2000) Eric Richardson

From 1998 to 2006, my history as a programmer can be traced by one application: eThreads. Originally a forum package intended to be a database-backed replacement for HyperNews, I quickly started to work on turning the code into a more generic CMS platform. — Continue Reading...

Getting over the hump with Node

It can be funny learning a new language or framework sometimes—you know exactly what you want the code to do, but just completely lack the basics you need to be able to get started on your ideas.

I certainly remember feeling that way with my early experimentations in Ruby on Rails, almost exactly six years ago. It took several dives into projects before I came to terms with the fact that a) I hadn't bothered to actually learn Ruby first and b) that sometimes my ideas needed to give into doing things the framework's way instead of my own.

Over the last few months I've had that same experience with Node.js. — Continue Reading...

Introducing AssetGallery

I signed up for a Flickr account in January of 2005. Over the next six years I uploaded 8,700 photos, starting with things like trip pictures and shots from around L.A. and gradually ending up using it mostly for photos intended for blogdowntown.

I stopped using the site a year ago, though, after implementing a system in the blogdowntown code that could handle uploads locally. I took that code with me to KPCC, creating the basis of the system that we've since released as AssetHost.

This weekend I took the time to start a project that would bring my photo needs full-circle: a gallery application based on AssetHost that could archive those old sets that I had uploaded to Flickr in the past. The result is AssetGallery, and while it's a long way from finished, the project makes for a good summation of what I'm interested in right now in terms of things like Ruby on Rails, mountable engines, CoffeeScript and Backbone. — Continue Reading...