Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


Forums, car audio, sound deadening, digital lifestyle aggregation

I haven't blogged much for a bit because I've been spending all my time reading and posting to forums like Toyspeed and CANZE instead of obsessively refreshing Bloglines. Forums feel different to blogs. Posting to a blog and having people comment feels like saying something into a microphone in front of an audience and then fielding questions. Posting to a forum feels like being part of a conversation. It doesn't feel so much like publication or presentation -- just talking. It's less organised, but easier to get your questions answered.

Did I mention that my blogging environment sucks? To write a post, I pop up my SSH client, double click a hostname, wait, type in a username, then a password, wait, type a command, edit the post, hit ctrl-x-s, ctrl-x-c, then type another command, wait, and exit the client. I think I need to go get ecto or something and hook it up to my client, making my client sufficiently movable-type-like to fool the beta into working for me.

There's room in the world for a few car audio blogs. Blogs about installations, etc. Someone who works for an installer could take pictures and document the normal installs, the ones that don't take weeks and consume copious quantities of fibreglass. I would do that for my current install, but I'm lazy, and my phonecam sucks. Anyway, when I google for something important like sound deadening, I get a bunch of manufacturer links, not articles, and the articles I do get don't answer my questions, like should I seal up all the access holes in my door to turn it into a better speaker enclosure?. It took about 2 minutes for someone to answer that question when I posted to a forum, but, y'know, Google would love you if you blogged a few good articles about it.

Marc is mad about a thing called Digital Lifestyle Aggregation. I'm starting to feel the need for it too. A slightly different focus though. Marc wants to see one page (one app?) that summarises everything that's currently important in his life and gives him easy access to all his tunes, all his pics, all his videos. I want one page that shows me the new posts on Toyspeed, the new posts on CANZE, new posts from bloggers I care about, my newest incoming e-mail, and lets me blog things and post pictures. It feels like something that's already been done - it's probably part of Radio or NNW, or could be hacked up with FOF and MT and Squirrelmail and a Wiki. But right now I'm not checking my e-mail much at all, except for the private address that only my girlfriend knows, and I'm not reading Bloglines very carefully. I could, but I'm lazy, and after reading through three tables of contents I don't feel like starting up the SSH client again, or clicking another link. Let's see about this, eh. Maybe when I get all these damn speakers in the right holes, and get the doors to stop buzzing, and get the amps to not short circuit and blow the fuse if something metallic goes flying across my boot. Yeah, after that.