Kittens and Cameraphones

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There is a kitty sitting on my lap, dreaming. She almost kicked herself onto the floor with one of those little dream-induced leg spasms. The vet finally concluded she is a mix between a Siamese and a Devonshire Rex. You should know what the former is. The latter is a strange sort of cat–I was not able to google any really good pictures, but has a few mediocre ones. They have an undercoat, but no overcoat. Therefore, they look like they have this really short nappy-fro hair and you can see the folds in their skin. They are almost, but not quite Mister Bigglesworth. So Pants seems to have a number of the physical characteristics of the Rex, but her mental characteristics are almost all Siamese. Coolness! (She certainly has the shape of her face, ears, and head, as well as the “banding” patterns in the thickness of the fur, but she does have an overcoat–it is just not as thick as most kitties.)

So, I was using iChat AV to have a face-to-face conversation with Feedle this afternoon. I have to say, they did a really good job with this program. He was on a wireless Ricochet modem and I was on the DSL and the audio quality was perfect, even if the video got a little pixelated at times. They may need a little more work on their full-duplex speakerphone audio code, because I could often hear the tail end of myself speaking at the other end. (We just used the built in microphone and speaker in the laptops, no headsets or anything, which would have made the audio quality a lot better).

He pointed me to some information about a talk he gave at the LA 2600 meeting. I guess some company is selling “disposable digital cameras.” Basically, you buy this camera for $12. You take 25 (twenty five!) pictures. At the end of it all, you bring the camera in to where you bought it, pay ANOTHER $12 and they take back the camera and hand you a Kodak PhotoCD and a set of prints. You do not even get to keep the camera. The pictures end up being more-or-less okay. There is a flash, but color seems a little washed out. The lens is fixed so there is no hope on taking closeups. The CCD circuitry is a little slow to take a full capture, so there is no chance of taking photos of anything fast-moving.

Now, the nifty thing about this $12 camera is that if you do not return it to the place you bought it for developing, you can go out and buy yourself an old Palm HotSync cable, a USB cable, and hack yourself a little data-transfer cable. There is not any official software to transfer photos, but some Open Source people have been busy reverse engineering it and have a program to do so. I think someone might need a new business plan soon. I would have posted a link to the company that does the cameras, but it seems they are stuck in 1993 and do not yet have a website.

Posted in: Dear Diary

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