Archive for July, 2010

Moving from Smugmug to Zenphoto

I’ve had my photo gallery at SmugMug for a couple of years now. SmugMug is a great site, but a couple of things have made me look for an alternative. First, the price: the pro level is a bit spendy, at $150 a year. For people who make a living at photography, this is a great deal, providing a lot of shopping cart options. For me, though, it’s a bit of overkill. The other issue is that I’ve never really been happy with the search visibility of the site, given its reliance on Flash. Images I put on my blog get indexed by Google Image Search, but images on my SmugMug site have never really been picked up.

Since I already have a website, I figured why not host the photos myself? So that’s exactly what I’ve done. My photos are now here, powered by ZenPhoto. It’s not quite as feature-filled as SmugMug, but it works well enough for what I need. Since I’m hosting it, I can customize everything. It’s also very easy to sync my Lightroom catalog with the albums on the site using the Publishing function of Lightroom 3.

SmugMug is a good site for pros, but I’m hoping that ZenPhoto will work for me for a while.


So I was thinking to myself, “My blogroll is bare. I wonder if I can import the list of blogs I read via Google Reader into WordPress?”

Yes. Yes I can. So I did. Those are the blogs I’m subscribed to. They are good. Check them out.

My 7 seconds of fame on CNN

CNN did a story on the Masters of Science in Security Technologies (MSST) program I’m enrolled in at the U. The story can be found here. I’m in the story for a few seconds of talking and clicking around on my computer at work (I’m clicking on the database app I created, not Solitaire). Except for my appearance on ‘N Sync’s website many years ago, it’s probably my broadest media appearance yet. I’m so proud!

As for the MSST program itself, it’s going very well. Our first course, dealing mainly with the psychology of terrorism, is already over, and it was very interesting. Ron Krebs, the instructor for the majority of the class, handled the class exceptionally, with a very good balance of lecture and group activities, as well as engrossing readings. I and several of my classmates were interested in taking a course he is teaching in the fall, but the workload just isn’t something I could handle while working, planning a wedding, and electioneering. Our current two courses, on critical infrastructure protection and science and technology in security, are also very interesting. They are pretty broad courses with a number of guest speakers lecturing on their particular expertises (cybersecurity, biosecurity, food security, pandemic preparedness, and so on) and they will provide for a good base upon which we can expand in later classes. They are also great at scaring the crap out of us.

In a little more than a month, the summer semester will be over and I’ll be 25% done with my degree. Not bad. Next on the to do list: thinking of a capstone project.

Independence Day Photos

I took some pictures of the fireworks in Minneapolis on July 4th, and they are available here. Samples below the jump.

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