May 15th, 2012

On December 17th 2010 I started using Google Latitude on my phone. It didn’t really take off as a location sharing application but I thought it was pretty cool that I’d have access to all this interesting information.

All the data is exportable and you can plot it on a map, however I was looking to create a nice looking map rather than the static lines between points that are shown in Google Earth if you import the exported KML file.

So I followed this guide at flowing data which uses great circles to plot lines between points on a map. The results are really impressive, here’s my general travel in and around Sydney. I’ve removed the backing map and just added indicators of some of the locations, as I think the lines alone look nice, the slightly different colours are based on if the travel was made from East to West or West to East. You can see the route you have to take to get to Highway 1 from Manly (there’s a national park in the way) -


Taking it to the next level I’ve plotted my travels across the globe since December 17th 2010 (click it for the larger version) -


If you’ve been tracking yourself on Latitude then export the KML, covert it to a CSV file with just the lat/lon results. Import them into R and use this code to plot them on a map (follow the flowing data tutorial first) -

movements <- read.csv("",header=TRUE, col.names=c("lat","lon"))
for(j in 2:(length(movements$lat)-1)) { 
 lat_ca<- movements$lon[j] 
 lon_ca<- movements$lat[j]
 lat_me<- movements$lon[j-1]
 lon_me<- movements$lat[j-1]
 inter <- gcIntermediate(c(lon_ca, lat_ca), c(lon_me, lat_me), n=50, addStartEnd=TRUE)

 if ( lat_ca < lat_me ) coll=rgb(0.251,0.47,0.47,alpha=0.8) else coll=rgb(0.251,0.129,0.47,alpha=0.8)

June 6th, 2008

A lot of time at University was spent playing around with Unix, reading UNIX Network Programming Volumes One AND Two. I still have those books, they pretty much taught me how the internet really works and still believe anyone who hasn’t read them still wouldn’t really understand or appreciate it.

A command that I used a lot back in those days was kill. It is used to send signals to processes and was particularly useful for killing processes that wouldn’t die (programming error or otherwise). The command kill -9 sends a non-blocking signal to a process telling it to die, here’s a screenshot of me killing an apache instance for no particular reason other than to show it in action -

Anyway, a rapper named ‘Monzy’ has created this song about it which is about as geeky as you can get, other than my fsck t-shirt -

April 14th, 2008

Future of the internet is here! Twinkle is a new application for the iPhone that lets you see who is using twitter within a range of km of where you are, it uses your current mobile mast position to roughly locate you. Not only will it let you find new friends but it will also make it possible to find out what is going on in the area you are in. The possibilities of this are endless, image how useful this might have been in London during the terrorist attacks the hours of not knowing what was going on may have shrunk as people posted messages about what they heard, of course on the flip side it may have made it worse with conflicting stories etc… I imagine for the geek crowd this will be handy trying to work out where everyone is going for the conference after party. Here’s a screenshot of it in action -

I set my distance to 1000km for that screenshot but there’s some people using it within 4 miles of me!

On a separate note I started this evening, it is a simple site I wrote in my spare time for getting tech. news out of twitter faster. I gave RWW the exclusive to it, check it out at Andres, the South American artist genius did the logo for it -

Checkout for more drawings

March 30th, 2008

I seem to be on a bit of a role in regards to wordpress widgets. I notice with the ever increasing amount of entries on the blog, the more inaccessible some of the content was becoming. This sucks a bit and a I want people to be able to see some of the best posts on my blog. I also want them to get some eye candy in the process such as a thumbnail.

Here’s the widget in action or see the sidebar of this blog -

Download the best posts wordpress widget here 5kb

March 27th, 2008

The internet is becoming more and more social and friendfeed provides a one stop location to aggregate all of your social data. For example, it can create a feed of all of the ‘things’ you do on the internet which include blogging, uploading pictures, bookmarking sites, favourting youtube videos etc..

I want to get this information onto the blog a lot like yongfook has done, thankfully friendfeed now provide an API and a man named Adrián Moreno has already started a wordpress widget.

I jazzed up his widget slightly so that is fits in with the scheme of this website, you can see it in the side bar under ‘LifeStream’ or by looking at the image below -

FriendFeed Lifestream

I knocked this up pretty quickly so you may be annoyed to know it uses tables rather than some elegant CSS div positioning and it also only supports the services that I actually use on friendfeed. But hey, that is why I’ve linked to the source – so you can add to it or redesign it completely!

Get the source here 13kb

November 29th, 2007

Using a modified JMF JPG to Movie, ImageInfo and RAD Video Tools – I created a way of getting all 2190 landscape aspect photos I took on my year out in Australia between May 2004 and May 2005 into a video.

I modified the following file to support only one type of image width and to support directory imports instead of file parameters. If you are interested in using this I recommend diffing this file (37KB) to the one available from Sun to see what hacks I made.

Here is the result (might not be good to watch if you suffer from epilepsy) -

I have been at a loose end the past two nights believe it or not.

May 31st, 2007

This morning Marcus and I went to Google Develper Day Sydney (although we made it into Google Developer Morning due to work) for Google’s first ever developer conference, which is taking place all around the world with Sydney being the first (for timezone reasons).

The presenters we saw were Aaron Boodman (inventor of GreaseMonkey) and James Macgill talking about Google Gears and Mapplets respectively. This was really interesting as they were both new offerings.

The highlight for me was James Macgill talking about Google Maps and then bringing up a slide with Global Surfari in it! I am sure a royalty cheque is in the post - Slide at Google Developer Day 07 Sydney

Slide with James talking

That was nice as they were talking about the lack of Australian content for maps and gadgets etc…

Would have liked to stay for the rest of the day but too busy right now :(

March 19th, 2007

Adobe have a pre-alpha release of their Apollo framework available for download from their site. From Adobe’s website – “Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime being developed by Adobe that allows developers to leverage their existing web development skills (Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, Ajax) to build and deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to the desktop.”. A neat idea, when you consider applications like Google Spreadsheets / Documents that currently run in a browser; it doesn’t feel right.

The good thing about Apollo is that it doesn’t require the need to learn any new languages. I’ve put together a GlobalSurfari RIA to prove how easy it is to use this took me about 45 minutes which included the time to work out Adobe’s Apollo API – if I had a bit more experience with the API it would have probably taken more like 5. I didn’t need to learn anything new because it is all simple HTML and JavaScript.

The cool thing about the test application is that it uses a Google Homepage Module ( as the source data for the destination dropdown.

Global Surfari Apollo Application

Get Apollo alpha from Adobe Labs, get the GlobalSurfari plugin from and the source code at

February 2nd, 2006

It was early in the morning and Dave looked concerned. Firefox was one of the few programs he could get to work on his system because the beta of IE7 he had installed had not gone well. It was not working at all and because IE is integrated in nearly every other Microsoft application no other programs worked. System Restore won’t run because it uses IE7 Beta 2 to generate the application. Control Panel won’t run because it uses IE7 to generate the application.

How on earth do you remove IE7 Beta 2 from your system in the scenario? Luckily Dave and me worked it out.

* Download this file sysr.vbs.
* Run in a command box with the command ‘cscript sysr.vbs /rpenum’
* One of the lines will be Name: Installed %1 %2. Number: XXX Type: 0 Time: 20060201173746.080419-000 or something similar
* Run in the command box ‘cscript sysr.vbs /restore XXX’ – replace XXX with the number listed in the above line
* Reboot

With a bit of luck you will see the System Restore application running and you might just have control of your computer back again!

April 4th, 2005

Following from the last post. Here it is, Mosaic 2007. This application takes a directory of images and makes a new image from these images in a mosaic form. Similar to the banner on this page.

My India Folder Output Preview
Cyprus Holiday Folder Output Preview

Prerequisites.NET Framework 1.1

DownloadMosaic2007.exe (76KB)