Jun 122010

Wow, I haven’t updated this blog in quite a while!

First of all, to my huge blog following, let me say:  ”Hi mom!”

With that out of the way, I can say that I have been working on photography. I swapped in some new chip macro photographs into my font slideshow.

I’ll be working on improving them and getting more shots of different chips soon. I know that might seem like a bit of an odd subject matter, but as a chip designer myself, I know just how much blood, sweat, and tears go into such a tiny product. So they mean a lot to me, and I’d like to find ways to portray chips in creative, and perhaps meaningful ways.

There’s also a commercial angle here – as there are many (er, fewer than before) chip design teams here in the Silicon Valley, I’m hoping to tap into a yet-untapped market for chip marketing pictures.

From a (photography) technical front, since this is in the realm of macro photography, I’m also dealing with technical issues of reduced depth of field, and how to compensate for that. Right now with the flat view of my shots so far, it isn’t an issue, but I’ll be trying “stacked focus” macro techniques soon.

So, that’s what I’m up to – and I’m looking for more chips, more interesting backdrops for them, and more interesting ways to light them.

Feb 072010

Since I’m going to make TA Photographic a “going concern”, then marketing the site is pretty important.  Ergo, I’m doing all the latest “in” things for helping build hype around TAPhotographic.

So, what has this entailed?  (It’s good to capture this for keeping track of the effort involved, and future effectiveness)

1. Creating an account (& annual payment) for Dotster, my domain name manager;

2. Creating an account (& monthly payment) for LiquidWeb, who hosts TAPhotographic.com;

3. Writing & testing a lot of HTML, CSS, mySQL, Javascript and PHP code;

4. Installing and heavily customizing Tomato Gallery (http://tomatogallery.yzx.se);

5. Getting a commercial back-end account (payment per transaction) at instaproofs.com

6. Signing up for WordPress.org, so I could create this blog;

7. Adding a business page to my personal Facebook account;

8. Creating a Twitter account (linked in to my Facebook account);

9. Creating a Flickr Account (for pushing photographs in their community); and

10. Creating a Google Feedburner account (for formatting, tracking, and promoting the RSS feed of this blog).

All this work, without taking a single new picture!  I guess that’s one of the differences between a hobby and a business – a business needs to attract customers and to process and store their cash!

Next up on the web front:  Getting the “Portfolio” link up above done.  Of course, this involves getting the rights to use some peoples’ pictures…  while it is yet more non-photographic work, that’s what you have to do to stay out of legal problems!

Second on the web front:  try to optimize the speed of this website and gallery systems.  It can get a bit pokey here at times….

Next up on the business front:  Accounting.  I need to get QuickBooks (or equivalent) up and running, and tied in as much as possible to instaproofs, so my accounting is rock solid.

Second on the business front:  Getting a sales tax license from the great (bankrupt) State of California, so I can actually start accepting payments.

I’ll whip this place into a profit one way or another!

Feb 072010

(Good grief – I don’t even know how to “normally” get in to my own blog page…. oh brother.)

Well, after a lot of work, I have my client event gallery / purchasing system up and running and ready for testing.   It is based on “Tomato Gallery” (http://tomatogallery.yzx.se),  but with many modifications.  (Thank God for open source….)

Most importantly, Tomato Gallery was originally stripping off color profile data from the pictures, making them appear all washed out.  So, I ripped out any picture manipulating code based on the old “GD” image processing system, and wrote new code based on the more modern “Image Magick”.  IM will retain metadata in pictures, making it much better for color fidelity and GPS coordinate embedding, among other things.

I also added a way of linking from a gallery to my “instaproofs” commercial sales site.  Right now, since I don’t have a sales tax license, everything is “free” or “at costs”, but soon I want to start generating revenue.

My other change to Tomato Gallery was to make it impossible to see more than one photo album at a time.  This way, different events – and hence different clients – will all stand alone, ensuring privacy.

The one bug I see so far is that when put into “full window slideshow mode”, there can be performance problems that manifest in terms of image quality.  I need to get to work on that soon.

So, that’s where the gallery system stands – lots of accomplishments, but the system needs a LOT of testing.  And along with this is learning how to best run the instaproofs sales site, a project in and of itself.

Time to hit the hay – I didn’t know a single thing about “GD” and “Image Magick” before tonight, and I just did major surgery on my site using both – I’m whipped!

Feb 022010

Well, I see that WordPress has beat me to the customary “Hello World”…

…so I’ll just have to post something else instead.

Blog Blog Blog.  Sounds like the Swedish Chef on the Muppet Show.

My great grand-father dug out the Panama Canal.

My grandfather directed shipping for NYC ports in WW2.

My father helped land a man on the moon.

I blog.