Flickr’s new uploader rocks!

If you follow my pictures on Flickr, you know that I’m a bit sporadic about uploading them.  I just uploaded a bunch today with Flickr’s new Uploadr 3.0 and it worked great!  Much, much better than the old one. 

  • Faster.  Faster.
  • You can edit titles before you upload.
  • You can edit the tags and privacy settings for pictures individually.
  • Once you hit upload, you can immediately start working on another set of photos.
  • It didn’t drop me once!
  • You can work offline.
  • It’s open source.  (This doesn’t immediately buy me anything but it’s cool and it means if anything really bugs me, I could fix it.)

The one thing that bugged me is that when I selected pictures to upload, it never remembered what directory I got them from.  Every time I selected pictures I had to navigate to my pictures’ directory again.

A quick tip to speed up your computer

A tech support guy gave me a quick and easy tip to make your computer faster:

Remove all the icons on your desktop.

Each time you start your computer – or any application – Windows reads all the icons on your desktop.  If you have a lot of icons, that takes a long time.  All of those icons are probably shortcuts to applications you can also find on your Start menu.

Merry Christmas!

To my regular readers …

About the ads and anything else you might find annoying on this website … As you’ve probably noticed, I use this website to play around with things.   If you love or hate anything in particular, let me know!  If anything interferes in your reading, definitely let me know!

Bill Gates’ thoughts on why we don’t give more to charity: we don’t know what to do

Bill Gates’ graduation speech at Harvard is well worth reading.  He uses it as a call to arms.  As his mother said, "From those to whom much is given, much is expected."  We all need to work on the world’s inequalities.  In his opinion the biggest obstacle to giving is complexity, "To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact" and we can’t see the solution and when we do we don’t measure the impact.  It’s not that we don’t want to help the dying children of the world – we just don’t know how to save them.

Market forces aren’t going to solve the world’s inequalities – we have to do it.

So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it.   We asked:  "How could the world let these children die?"

The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not
reward saving the lives of these children, and governments did not
subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their
fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system.

His advice is to spend a few hours every week learning about a problem, meeting others who want to fix it and working on solutions.  So – go save the world! 

How to make your own website with Squidoo

I found yet another cool web service.  This one lets you create your own webpages: Squidoo.  The idea is that you can create a "lens" or a webpage around any topic you want.  They make it easy but allowing you to add lists of links, lists of Amazon products, text, or pictures.  If the website makes money, you get to say what you want to happen with the money.  You can take it in cash or donate it to any number of charities.  Mine is currently going to the Covenant House, a shelter for runaway kids that I volunteered with.

Squidoo did make it really easy to create a web page that looked pretty good.   It was a bit slow though – my first "lens" doesn’t have everything on it that I wanted on it because I lost patience!  Check it out, it’s on audio books:  Listen for Fun.  Then create one of your own!

Videos of the kids

Here’s a video of Caleb trying his bouncy swing for the first time! 

I finally started playing with the video function on my camera and Anita has helped me with editing them.  So here’s my first video blog post.

How to share a video on a blog

Here’s how to share a video on a blog:

  1. Capture a video.  I use the video function on my camera and then upload it just like I do my pictures.  One tip: make the video twice as long as you think it needs to be.
  2. Edit the video.  Anita uses Windows Movie Maker that comes free with Windows XP SP2. You might need to:
    1. Shrink the video.  Anything larger than 4-5 MB will take a long time to upload.
    2. Rotate it.
    3. Combine videos.  The one of Caleb in his bouncy swing is actually three videos.  (If you watch closely, you’ll see him bonk his head on the door frame and then it cuts to the next video!  He didn’t get hurt – it didn’t faze him at all – but it worried me enough to stop video taping!)
  3. Upload it to  You’ll need an account.
  4. Once you’ve uploaded it, YouTube will give you the code to paste in your blog.  Under "Edit Video Information," at the bottom of the page, there’s some code in the box called "Embed HTML."