Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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On the occasion of my birthday and Carola’s birthday, we are going to have a party. It will be on September 11th. Which is a fun date. One you can’t say anymore without people getting the wrong idea.

Of course an invitation had to be created for the occasion. As we are both turning 27 and have a maths background, it was quite obvious to capitalise on the fact that 27 is three cubed. So an cuby invitation it is.

The Rubik’s cube (last seen in the 1980s or known to people who want to die) is courtesy of one of the Open GL demo applications that come with Apple’s developer tools. Getting it nice and large was a bit of a hassle which involved setting the screen in my office to a 1600x1200 resolution, enjoying the ‘speed’ (1fps or so) that my Powerbook exhibits at this task, hoping that Open GL won’t break during window resizing and taking a screenshot.

The nice thing about doing graphics on the computer is that with enough patience you can do almost everything you like. If everything else fails you can still flip pixels manually. Unfortunately there are many dead ends on the way that you’ll have to hope to avoid. And you’ll need some spare patience after the process to ensure you get whatever you did out of the damn machine in the way you want it. This can be tricky, particularly when different devices, resolutions or transparencies are involved.

The output we chose for the invitation is quite fun. We sent it to a website that takes you digital photos and sends you proper photo prints in return. I think it’s shiny and quite cool. And at ten to 15 cents a pop it’s probably not more expensive than printing it yourself (if you had a printer to begin with). Of course the corresponding web sites have the comfortable upload tools in Windows only and Java Windows only versions (he?!). So I was stuck with the web interface… which doesn’t work in Safari. Camino ultimately did the trick, but it’s bad for Safari – few people will have a second web browser around and be prepared to use it.

The next question is distribution. What is good style? Can I attach a little image file to an e-mail? Or would that be rude? Should I list more than the barest details? Perhaps a link to the web site? My answer is ‘Yes’ to all of the questions above.

September 2, 2004, 21:02


Comment by Michael Williams: User icon

Although this will be of limited use to you, Sven, I can happily recommend Photobox to your British readers. I had no trouble with their web interface in Safari, but even better than that, you can send your images in by email or FTP.

September 2, 2004, 23:57

Comment by ssp: User icon

Interesting. Having FTP is a much nicer solution for bulk uploads and suchlike.

I really like these services. So convenient.

What’s particularly nice about the one I’m using, though, is the fact that it belongs to a drug store chain and you can go and pick up the photos at one of their shops. At least in a small place like Göttingen this is feasible, saves the hassle with the credit card and the €2,50 or so they charge for shipping.

September 3, 2004, 0:29

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Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.