June 2005

Cameraphone Panoramas

More gadget-goodness for the blog this weekend!

For father’s day, I sent my dad (back home in the midwest) a new iMac to replace his recently dead and long-fossilized powerbook… he’s pretty happy with it, and is digging on how well it works with his little digital camera.

Back here in New York, I took my friend Rudy and his parents, (all of whom hail from Chicago) to Yankees-Cubs in the Bronx. One of the benefits to being on-call for server monitoring at MLB is that I happened to be up, and online when the tickets go on sale… for some undersold games, we get to go as guests of the team, but for sold-out big-deal series like this one, everybody’s gotta pay. I bought these seats back in around March, knowing that I’d be able to make somebody happy with them. Rudy Sr., from the Chicago suburbs, you’re the winner!

Great day for a game, too… Yankees win, 6-3 sweeping the Cubs. The Cubs have never won a game in Yankees Stadium. Ever. And yet the atmosphere was pretty civil, especially for the Bronx. LOTS of Cubs fans there, too. I imagine this is what it feels like for out of town teams when the Yankees visit, and all the ex-pat New Yorkers show up in blue. It was probably 40% Cubs fans.

Anyway, back to tech and gadgets… here’s a panorama taken originally as four different pictures on my Treo 650 cameraphone, then merged together with PhotoStitch software that originally came with a Canon Camera I bought years ago. I don’t know where you can get the software outside of buying a Canon, but it’s considered some of the best stitching software out there. It really stretches what my little cameraphone can do, and will take input from any jpegs you feed it.

(update!) if you have a PC and MS Windows, google for “autostitch”… it’s currently free, and really cool stitching software.


Happy Father’s day, Dad, Rudy Sr., Mieczyslaw (my dad-in-law to be), and all other dads out there!


6/16/05 Yankees 6, Pirates 1

6/16/05 Yankees 6, Pirates 1

Originally uploaded by ryancnelson.

I, a couple other members of the MLB.com tech department, and some friends went up to the Bronx last night for a game… it rained right before, but then stopped, making for a nice cool night of ball… only my second game of the year!

This weekend is Yankees-Cubs with a friend and his parents from Chicago.

This photo and entry blogged via flickr.com!

OpenSolaris, XML-RPC and Flickr uploads to MLBlogs

Some neat stuff happened last night…
The MLBlogs.com team updated some software and now MLBlogs works with external blog-posting programs (like Ecto for Macs , or Zempt for Windows )…
It’s called “XML-RPC”, and it’s an open way for people “out there” to write programs speak nicely to others… you could post to a blog from your own Perl command, or Java program, using this open standard. For details on how to use existing programs with mlblogs.com, see this, and to write your own stuff, Google for “xmlrpc” and “MovableType” or “Typepad”.
If you use Flickr.com to manage and share photos, you can also use it to upload pictures here, to your MLBlog!
In other Open Systems Geek News, our friends over at Sun Microsystems released OpenSolaris today… I’m looking forward to messing around with that… maybe during the offseason.
This post, and the “OpenSolaris Enthusiast” banner image, uploaded to Flickr via email, and auto-posted to this blog… (then further cleaned up in Ecto later)
This has a lot of promise for camera-phone blogging from the ballpark!

root on the roof

We’re doing a lot of construction here in MLB.com’s offices, creating new mlb.tv production studios, and technical production facilities for all kinds of new mlb.com projects.

This construction has left some big holes in parts of our building that are letting all the hot air in, and melting us geeks. The other side of the office is suspiciously cool… fortunately there’s an ice cream place downstairs, so we’re not in much danger of passing out, or losing any weight.

This construction involves new machine rooms, new workstations, new servers, and new studio lighting, all of which creates even more heat, so the construction crews are installing several more tons of air conditioning equipment on our building’s roof. This gives me the opportunity to escape the melty-hot office and go up to the searingly-hot tar roof of the building. I could sing doo-wop songs about being on the roof in the city at night, but during the day, it’s just a frying pan up there.

…it did give me the opportunity to get this picture, though. The windows of our sister company in the MLB family, MLB Productions, overlook this chunk of roof in our mega-building complex:


I believe there’s a long list of quirky ground rules detailing how you play around the giant pipes and how many bases the runner gets if the ball falls 6 floors and takes out a taxi.


Tapping the Sign


Long time no blog!

It’s really a little crazy here… not even including the actual baseball games we’re serving up info on… the Yankees went on a tear after my last “superstition” post, but my lucky quarter has faded, apparently, and the bronx bombers are back to bombing, and not in the good way.

These days, I and several other developer and creative types around here are *frantically* preparing for “on the internet only, no tv” MLB draft next Tuesday and Wednesday. This is always a huge traffic day for us (people hit “reload” a LOT).

I typically lead a highly interrupt-driven professional life… I and the rest of the group are in the business of fixing things, spur of the moment, but I’ve had to put up signs warning those who would attempt to distract me to put off asking for favors late next week.

You blog readers may have to wait, too… although during the draft, hopefully it’ll be smooth, and maybe I can crank out another post or two while I watch the processes run in 8 or 9 x-windows.