My Review

good overview

By dakegra from wakefield, UK on 6/14/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Easy to understand, Concise, Helpful examples, Well-written, Accurate

Best Uses: Novice

Describe Yourself: Developer

I quite liked this book – it had a bit of something for everyone. I’d dispute the ‘for developers’ part of the title though as I think anyone new to website development would get a lot out of it, not just programmers.

That said, they’d get a lot out of it too!

It covers a broad spectrum of web design-related topics: Initial planning, choosing fonts and graphics, colour schemes and so on.

I particularly liked the section on colour schemes – there were some excellent online tools covered for generating site schemes which I hadn’t come across before and had fun playing with, and an interesting coverage of the different types of colour themes to choose from.

Onto building the site, and there’s good coverage of the HTML/CSS side of things, with a well worked-through example site to follow. The section on SEO felt a little light, but it’s a balancing act on getting everything in whilst not making the book too heavy to actually use! Nice section on designing for mobile devices at the end.

Recommended for programmers and non-programmers alike – anyone with an interest in setting up their first website!


My Review of Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography

Originally submitted at O’Reilly

Author Harald Woeste takes the reader on a tour from the basics of capturing panoramas, all the way through stitching, editing, and printing panoramic images. He provides a detailed description of the necessary equipment and materials, as well as the various software tools that can be used in th…

excellent techincal discussion

By dakegra from wakefield, UK on 6/14/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Helpful examples, Well-written, Accurate, Concise

Best Uses: Intermediate, Expert

Describe Yourself: Developer

An excellent technical book covering everything from the history of modern panoramic photography through to shooting and stitching panormas.

It’s not really aimed at beginners, though there is a wealth of technical information in here it’s more for the more advanced amateur level.

The book covers a wide range of topics well, from choosing a panoramic head for your tripod, how to align your images correctly and printing your digital panoramas.

All followed up by an in-depth discussion of four panorama projects. Packed with beautiful photos (as you’d expect from a Rocky Nook photography book!), it’s an expertly constructed book, on a fascinating subject.



You get to see a lot of tattoos at Centerparcs. Most of the time we were there last week was spent in or by the pool, and I amused myself by checking out the variety of tattoos on display.

They ranged from the tiny – butterflies, birds or flowers, to intricate and ornate scrolls and tribal symbols, right up to the full arm, leg or back. There were some stunning designs on display – one guy had a giant eagle across his back in glorious technicolour. Another had a dragon curled around his upper arm and shoulder.

There were a lot of names too – gothic script seemed popular, on the shoulder, forearm or across the shoulders. Skulls and grim reapers seemed to feature heavily too.

Now, I’ve often wondered what I’d get if I got a tattoo. But I can never think of anything that I’d particularly want on my skin in perpetuity. I’m not a football fan, so team logos are out. I’m not into any particular religion, so religious iconography is also out. I don’t like the tattoos of cheeky cartoon devils or cherubs, and can’t see the point of a cartoon character gracing my shoulder. Tribal tattoos are everywhere, and I think if you’re going to go for one of those it’d have to be a really bold statement – both arms from shoulder to wrist (I like symmetry, what can I say?)

I tried to think of what things I’m particularly into which would make a good tattoo. The Star Trek logo, perhaps? Or the Klingon three-pointed star? Stylish. But what would it say about me? Geek? Trekker?

Hmm. I really like my coffee – what about something related to that? Nothing really springs to mind, and getting the Starbucks logo emblazened across my back seems a little… corporate. How about a subtle coffee bean somewhere inconspicuous?

Maybe not.

Then sometimes I see tattoos like that of my friend Alex:

Which just suits her down to a T. It reads Curiosity > Enthusiasm > Action, in case it’s not clear.

So, dear reader. Do *you* have any tattoos? Do you want one but don’t have one yet? What graces your skin? And what, if anything, do you think would suit me?

Answers on a postcard, to the usual address…


I am returned from holiday.

Short version: Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, 20 minutes of sunshine, Yours Truly gets sunburned shoulders and back.


Long version: to follow. Maybe. If you’re good. And ask nicely.

Topics arising which may merit future posts: Tattoos, Monty, EB & laser combat, coffee, LB Becoming Brave

Hi! How the devil are you? I hope you were all good whilst I was away?


out of interest, does anyone know how fast you dream?

Say you have a five-minute (subjective time) dream – does this take five actual minutes, or (as I suspect) does it happen at an accelerated rate?

The reason I ask is that I’ve noticed over the years that I manage to incorporate external stuff like the alarm going off into my dreams – this morning, for example, I was faced with a keypad, and on pressing the first key, the alarm clock beeped – I’m assuming it was the first beep as I usually wake up immediately on it going off.

So, either my body clock had attuned itself to know *exactly* when the alarm was due to go off (not impossible, as it goes off at the same time for several mornings on the trot, and only gets changed once or twice a week), or the dream was happening at such a rate that I’d built the keypad sequence and me pressing the key as my brain started to process the alarm beep. Or it could have retro-fitted the last bit of dream into the alarm going off, as I was waking up.

As ever, thoughts, opinions, comments and questions onna postcard, to the usual address…