Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Gorillapod – yes!

Filed under: — adam @ 9:11 am

I’ve been continually unhappy with all of the ultraportable tripods I’ve bought. They’re too heavy, not flexible enough, take too long to set up, and the smaller ones won’t support my big camera. The gorillapod fixes all of that. It’s incredibly light, totally portable, and even sufficiently adjustable to wrap around small objects (benches, railings, bike frame, etc…). It is, in short, the best portable tripod I’ve ever seen.

It comes in three sizes:

I got the DSLR-Zoom for my big camera (which holds up to 6 lbs.) and the regular size for my little pocket cam (which is more portable). I’m a big fan of Canon’s wireless flash system, so this also seems like a great way to mount a remote flash in an inconspicious location.

Regular (digicams and flashes):

DSLR (no zoom):


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Don’t look at the Fnords

Filed under: — adam @ 9:50 am

Robert Anton Wilson is dead.

I can’t say enough about the importance of his writing to our national culture of weirdness. He will be missed.

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I like growl a lot

Filed under: — adam @ 10:23 pm

growl is a unified notification system for OS X. While that doesn’t sound like much, it’s a transformative UI experience to have all of your apps notify you through the same customizable interface. After installing it, I immediately wanted to look around and find other things I could route through it.

There’s also a command line tool that lets you send notifications to growl from scripts. I wrote a cron job to do time notifications:

0,15,30,45 * * * * /bin/date +\%m/\%d/\%y\%n\%H:\%M:\%S | /usr/local/bin/growlnotify -n BEEP -I /Applications/

I set the “BEEP” application in growl to use the bezel style, and I get a flash every 15 minutes in the middle of the screen to remind me that time is passing. (I used the icon from countdown because it was the only application I had with a clock.)

I really can’t express how useful this is. I’ve never been quite happy with how any of the IM programs I’ve used have handled notifications, but Adium integrates deeply with growl and has allowed me to set things up exactly as I want, so that I see the important things, but I don’t get cluttered up with having to click on every little notification to make them all go away.

This is very very good.

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Cisco owns the trademark on “iPhone”. Apple was apparently in negotiations to license the term, but had not actually completed doing so prior to the product announcement. Negotations would not seem to be going well, as Cisco has filed a suit against Apple for trademark infringment:

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