Still Alive

Despite popular belief I am still alive and well. The reports of my death may have been somewhat exaggerated. As a proof of my not-being-dead state, here is a non pothoshoped picture of me:

This picture was taken while I was visiting the mayor

As you can see above, I have figured out how to make Photoshop apply the Tom Goes to the Mayor effect which is no small feat. It requires applying a single filter to your image and messing around with two sliders.

Other than messing around with Photoshop filters here is what I have been doing since Monday:

  1. Consolidating, sorting and editing the wedding pictures from 4 different cameras. This includes retouching the red-eye effect, flipping the sideways pictures, deleting pictures of fingers, sidewalk and blurry objects, etc…
  2. Uploading said pictures to Facebook and arranging them in albums
  3. Tagging people in the pictures
  4. Uploading pictures to Flicker in case folks actually want decent, not compressed-to-shit copies
  5. Making “Wedding Pictures” thumb drives and CD’s for non-technology competent family members
  6. Playing WoW
  7. Catching up on my movie backlog
  8. Not writing blog posts

Fun fact: I took close to 300 wedding pictures myself. After combining it with pictures taken by relatives, I have well over half a gig worth of wedding picture data on my hard drive right now. Guess what though? I already got bunch of people asking me to “email” them all of it. Sadly, email was not designed for this kind of shit.

So here is a question: how do you share large files with computer illiterate people. I mean, I could just create a torrent and seed but… Well, none of the folks who asked me would actually know what to do with a torrent file. Large file transfer services such as SendSpace or YouSendIt have pretty low file size limits (below 300MB last time I checked). One could always break the picture collection into many small files but that’s a hassle.

What is the easiest, most idiot friendly way to share massive amounts of data? Does not have to be most efficient – just easy. Honestly, I have no idea. I have been using the divide and conquer method for those people who live far away, and the “I will just drop off a thumb drive at your house after work” method for folks near me. Do you know a better way?

Side note: I went back to work yesterday after taking few days off only to find out that someone stole the wireless mouse from the conference room. Here is the clincher though: the mouse was part of a wireless mouse+keyboard set and the thief didn’t even bother taking the USB receiver. I’m guessing that it could probably work with another wireless receiver made by Logitech but either way, it is kind-off a stupid thing to do. I really hate people sometimes.

Anyways, regular post schedule should resume by Monday.

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14 Responses to Still Alive

  1. one would be giving them an easy to use torrent client… :D

    another one is uploading everything on a personal webserver (use your dsl and pc?) and if you really want to speed things up, you should create some kind of HTML-Gallery for this.

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  2. Ricardo DENMARK Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    What about Dropbox? You can put the pics in a special “pictures” folder the service offers and share it. I never used it (the pictures folder, I mean. I use Dropbox all the time) so I don’t know the details but you might give it a try.

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  3. Stefan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Ricardo:
    I agree, that Dropbox is quite a good service for that. The free version allows you to share 2G of space with other people. It will take some time to synch up with the server, depending on the amount of data you want to share, but then, everyone who knows the public link of the archive can download it easily.

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  4. mcai8sh4 UNITED KINGDOM Google Chrome Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Another vote for Dropbox here – just remember though, people could sync to your pictures folder and be all happy – but if you decide tp remove the pics from your dropbox – I think they will loose the pics too unless they’ve copied them elsewhere. I may be wrong, but worth checking.

    Oh, Congratulations on not being dead!

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  5. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Generally, I burn large files to CD or DVD and hand/mail it to the non-techie. With a competent user, and moderately sized files, I’ll put it on a dropbox or (if too big for dropbox) a personal webserver, and email the IP address.

    For your situation, I’d pick out 25 or so of the best pictures, and just share those – email, flickr, picasa, or zip & dropbox. Surely the entire gigabyte of pictures isn’t worth sending around.

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  6. Dave Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Why dont you make a HTML gallery (try Irfanview Thumbnails ialog.png)

    Then just burn the HTML galleries to an ISO and then onto DVD’s as is needed and post them to the guests.

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  7. Rob UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    I like the Dropbox ideas and the personal web server ideas as well. Another way might be to just go somewhat old fashioned with it and burn them to CDs and drop them in the mail. That requires an investment on your part though, but you could ask that you be reimbursed for postage and what not too. Guess it depends on how many distant relatives you have to send these out to.

    Ah screw it. Just use Dropbox. :)

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  8. Nathan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Never underestimate the bandwidth of a CD or DVD full of pictures sent through the US postal service. You could spend three days jacking around with torrents and stuff, or you could slip a CD in a media mail envelope and call it a freaking day.

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  9. Kim Johnsson SWEDEN Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    “Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck full of tapes hurling down the highway” ;D

    I’ve personally never had to share more than 100MB at most with people, so I’ve never had this problem. I’d probably use Dropbox if ever faced with it though. If I had enough space that is, currently syncing lots of stuff to Dropbox…

    I’d be tempted to write some web thingy and run it on my server, but it’d obviously be limited by my bandwidth. Nothing wrong with the download speed, but upload… Stupid ADSL -_-

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  10. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I’m sure I remember reading about something that was like the BitTorrent equivalent of a self-unpacking archive; you send one file and it starts up a basic torrent client with a torrent for something preloaded and downloads the file you really wanted to send.

    Or I may have dreamt it. Damned if I could find it with the brief bout of googling I did.

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  11. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I have been using Dropbox for the longest time now and I didn’t think of that. I might give it a try.

    @ Kim Johnsson:

    I wanted to post the exact same bandwidth quote and you beat me to it. :P

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  12. xWittaker UNITED STATES Google Chrome Linux says:

    Dropbox could work, but I would recommend upgrading to the $10 per month account just for a month or two if you want to go that route. I think dropbox might get fussy about using that much bandwidth on a free account. You should also make a screencast of how to download them if you go with dropbox (never underestimate the technical incompetance of people).

    That said burning them to DVD’s might work out well too. A lot of people like having a physical copy of something (especially the older generation who don’t really understand how this whole “digital distribution” thing works).

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  13. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Actually, you don’t really want to share the files with them. You just want them to have the pictures. For that purpose, I always use either Flickr or Picasa. Both systems have pros and cons, but both allow you to have a certain level of privacy and can be used even by people with no account (for viewing) and low IT awareness level.

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  14. Sometimes I think that the difficulty of sharing large amounts of data non-locally is an intentional move by the designers of the systems that people generally use (Windows, routers, etc.). If its easy for the layman to share large amounts of data, then perhaps they might use it to share music and software and whatnot.

    Taking off my tinfoil hat now.

    For my own wedding pictures, also around 1GB, I set up a custom album on my shared hosting webserver. At the bottom is a link to wget and the precise wget command needed to fetch the whole album. I refused to provide any more support beyond that. You can lead a horse to water …

    In your situation you could zip up all the images and throw the zip on the same server this blog is hosted on. I know you’re on DreamHost, so you must have “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth by now — meaning your bottleneck is CPU time, but hosting a single large file costs practically nothing to the CPU — so it won’t tax your shared hosting account.

    As mentioned before, you could host the image archive on your own computer, but then you have to keep your computer running and it will be slow download for everyone. This is a last resort thing.

    An extra tip for you, and I’ve mentioned this tool before, run jpegoptim on all the images. For the amount of images you have, it may losslessly trim off as much as 50MB making it that much easier to share.

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