Sunday, July 16, 2006

All of the excitement lately is over at's new WordPress beta blog. We've installed the MySQL- and PHP-based open source code on the Apple Xserver that hosts WordPress' in-browser authoring tools are very nice.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Picasa Web Albums

Picasa Web Albums: we now have our own Picasa web space. Doesn't yet work with our copy of Picasa (Linux is our preferred OS of the 2 Google offers), but we used its http upload feature to get things rolling...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More fun with free Google software

So, last night, while poking around Google labs, I was lured by the siren call of Picassa for Linux. I was already seated at the Linux machine, having been booted off the Mac G5 by my spouse who'd brought work home. I'd already downloaded Google Earth for Linux, and figured out the magic incantations to get it installed - only to discover I'd need new drivers for the ATI video card in order to use fast Open GL hardware acceleration, rather than the slower software-only version.

Previously I'd updated Firefox and was now running Google Browser Sync, and had my Firefox session suspended from a Mac at work open on my Linux screen at home. Cool. We were on a roll - 2 Linux installs that worked, in short order, so we decided to push our luck and grab the Picassa binary.

All three apps were packaged differently - an .rpm,a tar file, and a shell script wrapped around some sort of compressed binary (ain't Linux grand?). Picassa, the .rpm, was about the easiest of the three (the home page made mention of using WINE and Mozilla), and I was a bit concerned about the dread dependencies, especially on a 64-bit machine, but Picassa just worked once it was installed.

It's a good idea not to tell Picassa to search your whole hard drive for photos - it found more than 20,000, mostly graphics associated with apps and help files. The good news is that Picassa's tree view of the file system made it easy to turn off the unwanted icons et al.

The picture is a b&w I snapped with my Leica 2 years ago while I was playing with USB import. It was toned and straightened in Picassa, then published to Blogger with a couple of clicks. Nice. And, free. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006

On censorship, Part 1

I just published On censorship, part 1, on my Google Pages web site. Rather than wait for ever to finish it, I tidied up and published the essay so far. In part 2 I will look at more modern and subtle uses of censorship...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Google Spreadsheets

Add Google Spreadsheets to the top secret experiment... we got an account today (through the front door, I just signed up like everybody else). As mentioned on, I've set up the Mac Mini - our secondary CPU - with Google software: Firefox and Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Page Creator, Blogger, and Google Spreadsheets. All we need is Writely and we'll be pretty much ready for anything.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New photo gallery page on my Google Pages site

Gallery 2 adds 6 more digital B&W images to the Photo section of my Google Pages site. 4 images are in-camera B&W, and 2 are RGB conversions. Adding photos, which is often problematic using browser-based tools (like the Web Objects tools that power .Mac home pages), especially when working with multiple images. Google's Page Creator works nicely, at least with 5 or 6 images on a page (and a simple layout). I'd love to see a tool that automates the creation of thumbnail galleries for Google Pages (and is accessible from a Mac).

Friday, May 05, 2006

Next steps

So we did a little cross-linking in an effort to begin consolidating our free web resources (a Google Page, a Comcast subscriber page) and align them with the paid resources (, .Mac). Next comes a new thought: how to architect my needs and wants most efficiently on top of these resources?

To some extent, just shuffling things around may make the things I offer more diffuse and harder to find. But I also want to figure out the best ways to manage information that's important to me, to keep it secure and backed up, and to figure out how to reliably discover new and interesting things that may help me thrive in the interconnected world. Should be some more ideas on this in the near future... wheels turning...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Picassa experiment

As you can see from the post below, I'm playing with Picassa, yet another Google tool that merges my desktop with an online experience. I've had Picassa on my PC for about a year, but haven't really played with it much (other than to note it did a nice job of finding and cataloging a few thousand graphics files on my PC's HD).

Picassa has a nice 'live' feel to it on a 2-year-old Thinkpad (not always the case with iPhoto, even on a dual-processor G5), and links to an app called Hello, that allows email and what appears to be peer-to-peer sharing. It also links to Blogger, thus the snap below. It has web-gallery export to a local folder, but does not appear to integrate with Google Pages (yet).

San Jose, CA (AP) Acrobat Product Managers (L to R) Rick Brown, Chris Gulker and Dave Stromfeld pose upon completion of Adobe Fitness Center Fun Run in a time of 24:13, which is an Acrobat Product Manager world record for a fun run on April 26 of 2006. (Missing from picture Rick Brown). Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gulker Universe Links

I updated the eye-candy photo of the Gulker Universe Links page... basically a pointer to all of the Gulker home pages et al. I've managed to collect over the years. It's a Hubble (formerly Spitzer) Space Telescope shot of Messier 82, aka the Cigar Galaxy.


Monday, April 24, 2006

gulker - Chris Gulker's Google Home Page

This is interesting: I'm typing in a mini-app that popped up while viewing my Google page in Firefox equipped with a plug-in that shows blogs that refer to the current page view. So I can add this comment while looking at the page...


Thursday, April 20, 2006

On censorship (2006) in progress

Readers of this blog (are there any?) can see the censorship essay in progress: On censorship (2006). Appreciate the link is a bit confusing... the Page Creator beta tools are still a bit limited. The essay-in-progress is only linked from here, not from the Google Pages home (or anywhere else), btw.

This is partly out of curiosity: I'm interested in seeing how the Google spiders are dealing with content hosted on Google's own sites. A friend mentioned that my week-old Google page - with all of 2 low (and very low) flow links, is high in the results of a search for 'chris gulker.' But Google sitemaps isn't yet offering any stats for the new site, even though the blog linking tool in Firefox sees the links to the new site (from here and

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On Censorship

Last evening I started the first written-for-Google-Page essay, and wrote about 400 words on the topic of censorship. I thought that it would be very topical, especially on a Google site, though I can also say that this will probably not be what one might think (lots has been written from the NY Times and Wall Street Journal to the corners of the Blogosphere). Anyway, I'll spread the word when the essay's ready...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Columns and Essays page goes up

Just put up a Columns and Essays page on my new Google Pages site. I cut-and-pasted text from some old Independent and web-published columns as a way of trying out the Page Creator tools.

The tools are simple and straightforward, almost WYSIWIG. Just click and type. There's an HTML editor if you want to go there, and easy-to-use tools to make links, format text and place images. Just enough to get most web pages built, and not fussy or bloated or hard to learn.

Now that I have a shell of a site, I'll try to find time to do some original content, just for these pages. I've begun an essay on censorship (will work on it this week, evenings) which will go up soon I hope. I might make it a work-in-progress essay, and you can watch as I get it into shape (or not... still deciding).

I also want to host a new portfolio of photos - shot just for the Google Pages site. I'm thinking I will do a portfolio of digital black-and-white - pictures that are shot in b&w in the camera (just like the old days of b&w film) rather than as RGB conversions after the fact. The real goal is to learn the Page Creator tools - they are like a lightweight version of APple's Pages product...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Chris' valiant Blogger experiment

Chris' valiant Blogger experiment has now morphed into Chris' Google experiment: I have set up a copy of Firefox on a Mac at home with links to Blogger, Page Creator, Gmail, Google Calendar and all of the other web services that Google offers.

How much of my computing life can I do with free, web-based software? Only missing things seem to be 'iLife' things like photo and music management...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My very own Google Page

Ohmigod! I now have my very own Google Page. Now, if I can just think of what to do with my very own free, 100 MB web site....!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Testing the Mac Blogger Widget

A nifty Google Labs widget lets me post to this blog from the Mac Dashboard... very convenient

Saturday, February 11, 2006

First Blush

First Blush ia the name of spouse Linda's first blog. She's writing about jogging at sunrise (which we do almost daily).

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Back to Blogger

We tarted playing around with blogger a few months ago. Got busy, and haven't been back.

Now spouse Linda wants a blog, and I'm finally getting serious about moving to a blogging service I can use anywhere, not just on my LAN (as Radio now limits me too).

So... I'll be poking around, changing templates and otherwise playing with yet one more Google app..