ZenPhoto and iPhone Theme

So I wanted to create a photo gallery website. After trying a few other photo gallery softwares, ZenPhoto seemed to be the most beautiful, simple and robust of them all. After the site is up and running, I went on to select a theme for the site. The one I like most is from Stopdesign, and it showed the galleries, albums and photos beautifully. So far so good, I thought, and I wanted to browse the site from my iPhone.

Well, Safari browser, being Safari, rendered the pages quite well. However, two problems remained.

  1. It did not look as good on the small iPhone screen.
  2. I had a few flash videos; and of course, they did not play on iPhone

Looking for a theme customized for iPhone, I found the ZenPhoto iPhone theme. After installation though, the theme refused to work, since the theme was for a previous version of ZenPhoto, and some of the APIs had changed since this theme was released.

Back to the drawing board, I did a few modifications on the theme to make it compatible to the current version of ZenPhoto, and tried to contact the original creator of the theme. I never got any reply. However, a number of ZenPhoto users saw my comment and contacted me for the updated theme since they were facing the same problems as I did. I was happy to share the updated theme. But there were a few other changes I did that was not part of the theme, and therefore I could not share those with the theme files. So I thought to write a post where I speak about about the changes, and also where I can share the theme so that everybody can get a chance to use this nice iPhone theme. Read on for the details.

The Half Blood Prince – David Yates Begins to “Get It”

The Half Blood Prince (HBP) is David Yates’ second directorial venture in the Harry Potter movies after The Order of The Phoenix (OOTP), and it seems as though he is beginning to understand the spirit of Harry Potter.

When I watched OOTP for the first time, I was quite scared – not only because the movie itself was devastatingly bad adaptation of the story (which, in my opinion, is probably the best story in the series), but also because Yates was charged with directing the rest of the movies.

Fortunately, HBP is much more enjoyable as a Harry Potter movie. And after watching the movie, I think I understand why OOTP was such a deviation from the story. Yates did not read the stories carefully before making OOTP. On many of the finer details of the story he simply misinterpreted the incidents, and shown them in a way that contradicts the rest of the story. It seems now he has read the books, and has a much better understanding of what to keep and what to remove from the movies. He did not try to cram the movie in a very short time (HBP is 153 minutes compared to OOTP’s 138 minutes, and I still fail to understand why that movie was so short in duration), and utilized the time well.

Photography – a crash course (Part III)

In the last two parts we have discussed about composition and exposure, the two things that are to be kept in mind before and while taking a picture. Now we are going to get into post processing – the step that comes after the picture is taken. Unlike the previous steps, this is not an absolute necessity; but post processing can transform a good picture into a stunning one. This is what can make a picture stand out, and, more often than not, most published pictures are post processed to some extent.

Photography – a crash course (Part II)

(Sorry for the delay in posting the second part in this series. Here’s what I had been doing: https://ubercyber.net/touchTrack.)

We have discussed a little bit about “composition” in photography in the previous article. I tried to keep the discussion absolutely non technical. But now since we are going to get into exposure, a little bit of technical details have to come in.

Before we start talking about exposure, let me discourse about the focal length of a lens. This will be required while describing aperture. The focal length of a lens is, of course, the distance between the inner lens and the film (or sensor for digital cameras) when the lens focuses on a subject at infinity. The higher the focal length goes, the more magnified the image appears when captured by the camera.

Photography – a crash course (Part I)

What makes a good photograph?

Difficult question. To tell you the truth, it is probably impossible to answer, and a truly great photograph can just communicate with the viewer. Great photographers often do not follow any rules. But for beginners in photography (myself included) it is a good idea to understand some basic grammar of the language of photography.

In my admittedly short encounter with the medium, I have come up with some basics of photography that, I believe, if followed could make the fundamentals of decent photography. I call it the Holy Trinity of Trinities in photography.

The Holy Trinity of Trinities

  1. Composition
    • Foreground
    • Subject
    • Background
  2. Exposure
    • Film Speed or ISO
    • Aperture
    • Shutter Speed
  3. Post Processing
    • Cropping
    • Color Correction

Harry Potter – Why the Order of the Phoenix is the worst movie in the series

Harry Potter is a modern phenomenon. You can love it or hate it, but you can not ignore it. As far as fantasies go, Harry Potter is one of the best fantasy stories ever told.

The story is groundbreaking for many reasons – the plot is excellent and flawless, the world described in the story is believable and continuous, and the characters are well developed as well as matured (and maturing over the course of the story). But these are probably true for any well-knit story. There is another noteworthy characteristic of the Harry Potter story however, that is absolutely unprecedented.

700 MHz Spectrum Auction – The Google Gambit

The Background

Traditionally, cell phones use four frequencies: 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz. The 700 MHz spectrum range was being used by TV stations to broadcast analog channels 52 through 69.

Now that analog TV is going bye bye (February 17th, 2009 is the last day of full power analog television broadcasting. Beyond that date, it’s going to be all digital. If this is news to you, check out http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html.), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to open up that frequency range for other purposes.

An auction was started on January 24th, 2008 for this frequency range.

OS X vs. Vista

Apple website (http://www.apple.com/getamac/macosx.html) proudly says “While Vista does its best to copy some features that have been in Mac OS X for years, Mac OS X offers an experience that is simply years ahead.” (Note that this page has been removed from Apple website since I wrote this article. But the text is available elsewhere.) And they base this observation on the articles written by WSJ’s Mossberg, and NYT’s Pogue.

Enough has already been said about Windows copying Mac. With the fear of sounding cliché, I will try to explain why that may not be the actual scenario. Indeed, in some cases the reality may be totally reverse.

Background to ÜberCyber Blog

Thanks for visiting the ÜberCyber Blog! We are going to start this blog with a few articles we had written sometime back (but they should still be mostly relevent). We intend to frequently update the blog with new write ups, as and when time permits, and also when we get new ideas 🙂

This is a place where we will post articles on varied interests. Hopefully the range of subjects should keep things interesting. Of course, we will accept writings from anybody, so long as the writings are not blatantly abusive to any person or community, or explicitly sexual in nature. We reserve the right to refuse to publish any articles, but in most cases, that should not happen.

Keep checking the blog, and the other pages too, which should increase with time. We also plan to include some software tools written by us by creating a download section. So, things should become more interesting in a short while.