Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spyder 2 Suite

I bought a Datacolor Spyder 2 Suite monitor calibration system in 2008. When I upgraded the Mac Power PC (PPC) to a Mac Pro with Apple's backlit LED monitor in 2010, the Spyder 2 tool wasn't useable as it doesn't register backlit LED monitors. And when I upgraded to OS-X 10.7 Lion, the application became a casuality of losing Rosetta.

I replaced the Spyder 2 with a Spyder 3 Elite system which gets to my point, the Spyder 2 package is available for $65 with shipping within the US. You can upgrade the Spyder 2 application to Spyder 3 Express which does run under Lion, see their Web page for this free upgrade.

The price for this is $65 shipping included within the US priority mail. You can send e-mail if you have any questions. Please remember to check your monitor to ensure it works with the Spyder 2 tool, meaning older or non-back lit ones. The installation comes with both Mac and MS applications.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why Apple iBooks Sucks

I was working on my Mt. Rainier NP photo guide and found a recent book with some good information on hikes in the NP, namely scrambles and summit climb routes, "Washington's Highest Mountains" by Peggy Goldman, and I found iTunes sells the book for $12.95 versus Barnes and Noble's $17.95.

So I bought it, downloaded it and discovered I can't read the book on my Mac, only on my iPad. This sucks, and I mean royally sucks because I can and have bought B&N's books and they offer a Mac reader, NOOK, for free to read your books on a Mac. I haven't bought any e-books from Amazon for the Kindle since I don't own one, but they offer a free Mac reader for Kindle e-books.

So, why in the world doesn't Apple offer a free reader for iBooks? Just why? They offer iBooks Author for writting e-books but even those books are only viewable in the application since it doesn't have a reader for the Mac to read any book you produce with iBooks Author. How really stupid can Apple be?

In addition the iBooks reader also sucks. Not as bad but still sucks. For one thing, you can't lock the mode of the view, either in landscape or portrait. The book I bought has text in portrait and maps in landscape, so I read in portrait mode (one page per view), but when I turn to view the map, the iPad changes to two page view mode and the map resorts to landscape in two-page portrait view.

In short, I can't view the map correctly and there is no zoom in/out function with the iBooks which is handy with maps. Well, this is all very stupid and the last time I'll buy an iBook. I'll spend the extra bucks getting a book I can read on my Mac and read easier on my iPad. Or better yet, I'll buy the print version and get a real book.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Google Map API II

This is an update to the March post about the issues, or really problems, I'm having converting the Google maps API from version 2 to version 3. Until I get one map done and working, it's an on-going adventure, to which I'm still exploring options to find someone to help with the Google map API work, but for now I've set it aside to return to the overdue and soon to be due work on the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide and Website.

I've had a few discussions with Web design company representatives, all wanting to do the work as part of a wholesale redesign of the Website, and sometimes in the discussion, the maps and my issue and need gets lost, meaning in short, they're not interested or can't really do the work but certainly for a price can redo my Website.

And while I won't argue the whole Website needs a new version 3 itself, currently on version 2.8, it's not something I'm interested in doing right now since it would entail a huge amount of work, review and learning. There are over 400 individual Web page and over 200 images, maps and files. One even suggested moving the entire Website to Wordpress, which is a Content Management System (CMS).

A CMS isn't in any plans on my part because it simply replaces what I have and use with an umbrella interface with a database, templates, etc. which requires learning that application and interface and assumes it can do everything I'm doing now and want to do in the future. It also requires installing Wordpress on the Website host server which I don't have the rights on the host without a lot of additional work with their permission.

So, in the end so far, I'm still where I was, in need of an expert with Google map API version 3, and I have at least 4 more maps to produce with descriptions Web pages. I might create one from scratch in version 3 to learn since I know the main block of version 2 code still works, it's in the input/output calls and commands which don't.

Anyway, I'll roll on and like the NPS pushing the snow around, I'll get there when I'm done.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Google Map API Help Wanted

Ok, a help wanted ad right here for my Website. I need someone who can explain the process to upgrade my Google maps (see the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide and a Web page link named "Map") to see what I've done. All my Google maps and code are in version 2 with some minor version 3 code updates, but that's the problem.

Google map version 2 maps work with version 3 code but Google version 3 map code don't work with version 2 script code. The problem is that I use a Google map key for my base map and you can use the "View Source" tool with your browser to display and read the code, just look in the header for the javascript code for the Google map.

I want to upgrade the whole suite of maps to version 3 and start with one test Web page, and that's where I need the help. I specifically need someone to explain it and perhaps using the map I have develop one working Web page. I use an external xml file for the markers and NP boundary which should translate between versions.

If you're wondering, yes, I'll pay if it's reasonable which I suspect about an hour or so would suffice for an expert with Google maps and javascript to load the map to work with the updated scripts. After that I'm a good learner, it's just Google documentation and references are written for programmers, not an amateur like me.

It took me a month to learn version 2 and get one map done and working and almost a week to upgrade part of the script to version 3 updates. Right now I'm not sure how much is version 2 or 3 with the code but all I need is to learn to load version 3 code maps using an API key and map (have Google code there) I have which I can't get to work.

The goal is to develop at least 5 more maps (one for each quadrant, see section 4 Web pages for the areas with maps) with the main map I currently use, but until then I'll trudge along learning and finding working examples (anothe way I learn, steal code) until someone sends an e-mail to offer help, suggestions, examples or services.