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12 posts from October 2007

My Canon SD1000 camera dies... "Lens error, restart camera"

UPDATE: My camera did return to life. Based on something I saw on some web forum, I popped the battery in and out several times, after which it mystically returned to normal operations. It still makes me rather concerned... but I'm just glad to have it back!

UPDATE #2 - April 5, 2010 - I wrote this post back in 2007 and have actually switched this year over to using a Nikon D90 as my main camera. However, judging by the comments this post continues to receive, the Canon SD1000 still has this issue, and... many people seem to solve the problem by simply giving the camera a good solid whack on a hard surface or blowing compressed air on it.  I didn't have to do that, but others did.  Read through the comments for various suggestions and links... and obviously use your own discretion with regard to the risk you want to take (or not take) with your equipment. (i.e. the responsibility and choice is entirely yours if you whack your camera too hard and break it...)

200710300803Woke up this morning to find that my Canon SD1000 point-and-shoot camera that I carry with me all the time at conferences seems to have died. When I start it up, I hear 6 beeps and then get this error "Lens error, restart camera". Yikes! Switched out the battery. Switched out the memory card. Tried various incantations. Still dead.

Judging from comments I see in online forums here and here, this is indeed a bad thing. I'm not getting the "E18" error that people mention, but I'm getting the "Lens error, restart camera" error.

Suggestions are welcome if anyone reading this has had the issue and figured out how to fix it (outside of bringing it back to the store... which isn't an option for me until next week when I'm back in VT).

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Heading to Boston for PodCamp Boston 2.... but first a little Curling...

200710261659I am finally about to get in my car and head down to Boston. It's about a 4 hour drive and in the end I'll be checking into the Westin hotel adjacent to the BCEC where PodCamp Boston is being held tomorrow and Sunday. I'll be at the Social Media Breakfast tomorrow morning at 7am in the Westin, I'll be at the Podcamp party at the other hotel tomorrow night... and I'm giving a presentation first thing Sunday morning (9am) on recording podcasts using VoIP/Skype. I'll also be there for the rest of the day Sunday.

However, I won't be there during the day on Saturday due to another passion of mine. Instead, I'll be over at The Country Club where I be in a training session all day to be certified as a Level 1 Curling Instructor by the USA Curling Association. You may or may not know that I got bitten badly by the curling bug while living in Ottawa for 5 years and have been involved to a degree in helping with the efforts of the Green Mountain Curling Club to get the sport of curling going in the state of Vermont. Having a passion for teaching (of all subjects) I have wanted for some time to get certified as an instructor so that I could help teach clinics for the GMCC. Unfortunately the only date in the northeastern US for an instructor clinic that lined up with my schedule was tomorrow. (And I actually signed up for it back before PodCamp Boston planning had really gotten underway.)

So that's where you'll find me tomorrow... starting out talking about social media and podcasting... then throwing rocks at houses... then back in the social media world!

Right now, I'm heading out on the road... Good news is that I've got a couple of episodes of FIR queued up that will keep me going for most of the trip.

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Follow preparations for PodCamp Boston via

200710250836In the "cool uses of Twitter" category, you can now follow the stream of conversation about this weekend's PodCamp Boston 2 via Twitter. Just go to to see the posts. If you are a Twitter user, follow the podcamp account and those posts will appear right in your normal Twitter feed.

The cool thing is that to contribute to the "podcamp" stream, you simply need to start following the 'podcamp' Twitter user and then type "pod" followed by a space and a message as a Twitter update. Your post will appear in the podcamp feed after a minute or two. This was apparently set up by kosso and uses the Twitter API. Neat to see this kind of "group" functionality...

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Joining Voxeo in part to put social media into action...

Over on my Disruptive Telephony blog, I posted about who my new employer is - Voxeo, and you can read the details over there. Here, though, I thought I'd just mention a couple of items.

First, one of the exciting aspects of my new role is that social media is an explicit part of my job description. It's not all I'll be doing... or even the primary thing I will be doing (although it will be one of the primary tasks initially)... but it will certainly be part of the role. Some of the work will be to set up external blogs and podcasts for Voxeo focused in a couple of different areas. More on that as it evolves. Other parts of the work will be to look at using social media behind the firewall for internal communication and capture/retention of corporate knowledge. It will be both fun and challenging and I'm looking forward to it.

Second, I think it's interesting to note how I wound up with the job. They found me through my blogging. They said in part that they found my blog through the post I wrote about how the phone no longer matters, which wound up getting some good distribution and links within the blogosphere. Once at my blog, they saw my posts about being let go from Mitel and the type of roles I was seeking... and it happened that they had been talking about bringing someone onboard to do those precise type of roles. They hadn't posted a job description but were considering this... and contacted me as a result of seeing my posts about being available. I haven't really distilled that all down into specific "lessons" yet, but it is interesting to me to see that the experiment of being very open in blogging about the whole employment transition did in fact work for me. There's also a lesson there about writing provocative posts that are done as deliberate link-bait to try to bring in readers to the blog. It all seemed to work... at least this time. It was definitely an interesting experiment.

In any event, that's the story. Again, you can read more about my new employer over on my Disruptive Telephony blog.

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Bad web interface design... if we don't have a choice, why give us one?

Anyone see any issue with this web page? (click on the image to see a larger version)

So if I don't have a choice... if I can only sign up for 1 day, why give me the illusion of choice and require me to enter something in a useless field? Sheesh...

(And yes, I realize it is probably because this "SmartCity" software is deployed in many locations and in this particular location of Orlando, Florida, whoever is running it set the maximum allowed to one day. Still, you would think that someone could have made the software so that if "max = 1", the user wasn't given a choice. It's just bad design in my opinion.)

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Light blogging ahead as I get ready for what's next...

Life takes very interesting turns. Yesterday afternoon I faxed off my acceptance of an offer from ... (Read the rest over on my Disruptive Telephony blog. :-)

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Facebook event created for IABC Heritage Region Conference next week...

Iabcheritageregionconf-2If any of you: 1) are attending the IABC Heritage Region Conference next Monday and Tuesday near Cincinnatti (it's actually in Kentucky); and 2) are a Facebook user, I have now created a Facebook event for the conference. Given that the conference is happening so soon, there's obviously not much pre-conference networking that can be done. Still, it will be interesting to see if IABC members in this region (northeastern US) are also Facebook users (and are going to the conference).

I'll be there... getting in late on Sunday (missing the opening reception at an acquarium that sounded rather nice!) and doing my "Podcasting 101" session on Tuesday. If you are an IABC member attending the conference, please do say hello!

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Ahhh... "lynx"... have you ever wondered what your web site looks like in text-only mode?

200710092106When I was complaining in a groupchat today about issues I was having with both Safari and Firefox on my MacBookPro, someone wisecracked that I should get "lynx" if I wanted performance. Having fond memories of lynx - but quite frankly having forgotten completely about it - I immediately I dived to the command line and typed "lynx", but of course, it wasn't installed. However, Apple provides lynx as a free download. If you've never seen lynx, it's perhaps worth a look to see what "the Web" sort of looked like around 1993 before Mosaic came out. (Actually, it looked like the original "www" browser at, but that's another matter.)

On a serious side, lynx is useful if you want to see what your web pages look like to text-based applications such as those used by the visually-impaired/blind. It's also fast because of course you get rid of all those pesky graphics, widgets, flash objects, etc. :-)

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O'Reilly - Facebook apps aren't as hugely successful as some would like you to think!

200710081649Over on his O'Reilly Radar blog, Tim O'Reilly pierced a bit of the Facebook application hype with his post last Friday: "Good News, Bad News about Facebook Application Market: Long Tail Rules" where he notes this:

The good news has already been widely disseminated: there are nearly 5000 Facebook applications, and the top applications have tens of millions of installs and millions of active users. The bad news, alas, is in our report: 87% of the usage goes to only 84 applications! Only 45 applications have more than 100,000 active users.

He subsequently noted that he did mis-use the "Long Tail" term a bit... the story here really is that the "short head" is where all the action is. Tim is careful to note:

This doesn't mean that Facebook won't become an important platform for developers, just that a throwaway Facebook app is not the ticket to quick riches. Embracing the Facebook opportunity requires more than just optimism.

Translation - all of those out there hyping the Facebook platform as the greatest invention since sliced bread need to slow down a wee bit. The Facebook platform is very cool and is an evolving application platform. It's definitely a space that people need to pay attention to... and it very well may be a place where your application may be a runaway hit - but it may not bring the instant riches that your startup's business plan envisions. At least... not yet.

Good to see this kind of data emerging and I would expect that we'll start seeing similar reports emerging from the mainstream analyst houses. Kudos to O'Reilly for being the first one I've seen out there on the topic.

P.S. I should, of course, note that Tim's blog post references the report published by O'Reilly Research: "The Facebook Application Platform" which is available for purchase for $149.

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Awakening to a "social media birthday"...

As has been commented on by others in this space, social media brings a new element to birthdays. Already, messages are appearing on my Facebook wall, and Skype contacts have been sending me birthday notes as well. (Helped to a degree by the fact that many of the folks so far are in Australia or Europe, so the day is already well underway for them.) It's quite nice, really... it definitely puts the "social" aspect in the media.

While I share Christopher Penn's concerns about privacy and giving away your birthdate, I will admit that today is my birthday. Because of those privacy concerns, I tend NOT to post the year of my birth, although that's not terribly hard to figure out due to the fact that there is already so much information online about me. I also seem to have included it in my Skype profile (was I required to do so?) and so my Skype contacts understand that this particular birthday is a bit more of a milestone than others. (Hint for the rest of you - I was actually born during a Star Trek episode during the original run of the original series. Trekkie's can figure it out from there... )

Thank you to all who have sent their greetings!

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