Life

Mac-esque wallpapers from Corse

22 Aug , 2009  

While on a solitary cliff in Corse I found some stunning greenish patches of rocks. They were perfect for a mac style wallpaper. Click on the photographs below to download full-res images.

washed wood

washed wood

green rock 1

green rock 1

Green rock 2

Green rock 2

Coding,iPod & iPhone

Lyricwiki.org API ban workaround

4 Aug , 2009  

Lyrics can be fetched again from lyricwiki.org in spite of the ban of the API from major music producers. One more little victory of digital freedom!

Yesterday night I was so frustrated by my widget not working anymore that I had to find a solution. The workaround was very simple indeed: the lyricwiki.org lyrics pages have the author and the song title embedded in the URL of the page, with little or no difference from the previous REST method to access lyrics.

Check out the posts of the dashboard widget and the massive lyrics script for updates: I’m going to fix them soon so that they work again!

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reviews

Underwater photos up to 12mt

3 Aug , 2009  

Off the many junk things you can find from eastern sellers on ebay, sometimes you can find some very good items. The dicapac is one of those examples: it is a waterproof case for taking underwater photos using ordinary point-and-shoot cameras. See more on http://www.dicapac.com/

dicapack

dicapack waterproof enclosure

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Coding

lyricwiki API shutdown

3 Aug , 2009  

Just as I was planning an update for my lyrics and scripts based on lyricwiki.org I ran across this annoying message inside my widget dadelyrics:

lyrics API banned!

lyricwiki.org REST service has been banned!

I guess this will be the end of the project, unless I can find a similar service. I think however it will always be playing the rat and the mouse between the majors and who offers lyrics APIs.

Fortunately I could download all the lyrics in my iTunes library prior to this with my massive lyrics ruby script!

Well, it’s time to update the two posts removing the download of the programs that used the lyricwiki interface. Shame!

Let’s hope that new and brilliant services like the ones from lyricwiki won’t be censored anymore.

Coding,iPod & iPhone

Simple Lyrics Widget: dadelyrics

17 Jul , 2009  

a screenshot of the widget

a screenshot of the widget

I built a simple lyrics widget playing around with dashcode. I’m sure there could be many improvements on the concept, but I wanted something as simple as possible to have quick and dirty dashboard lyrics.

It displays the lyrics from the current track playing in iTunes, taking them from the lyrics field.

The Lightning button will see if there is no lyric content in the iTunes song. If it is so, it interrogates lyricwiki.org and add the lyrics to the iTunes track.

in order to use the widget you have to run these commands in the terminal.

sudo gem install rb-appscript
sudo gem install curb

To have all your songs with lyrics added automatically check out my massive lyrics update script! Have fun!

iPod & iPhone

Massive iTunes lyrics update

17 Jul , 2009  

UPDATE: since there were some problems with appscript and the whole ruby script method wasn’t that user-friendly, I’ve made an osx app to do the work. You can find it here

I recently found a fantastic website to get lyrics for songs: lyricwiki.org
No ads and plenty of lyrics available for free, even for italian artists or pretty unknown songs. I was also pleased to discover that the website offers an handy REST interface to fetch (or upload) lyrics from scripts update: I found a workaround to retrieve the lyrics without the banned lyricwiki API: read more here.

So I coded a script to fetch and update the lyrics for the selected songs in iTunes automatically. It cycles through all the selected songs and if it finds the lyrics on lyricwiki it puts them into the corresponding field of the iTunes track. I tested the script on my whole library and – after 5 minutes – most of my tracks had lyrics attached.

massivelyrics More…

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Tinkering

Server is dead

6 Jul , 2009  

After three years of service my noisy home server is dead. I used it for torrent and storage of important backups, and now I have all my important (and not so important) stuff  lost on it.. so what to do? build a better one obviously!!!

watermelon server.. RIP

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Life

A day at the Delio lake

11 Aug , 2008  

After having booked the hotel in egypt, we decided it was time for some summer BBQ, so we travelled to a rather unknown and beautiful spot here in northern italy: the delio lake. It is a very small lake among the woods near the border between Italy and Switzerland: maps. It is used as a water reservoir for energy production, so it has two dams at its shortest sides and the water level can sometimes float (nothing too sudden though). We had four BBQ grills, tons of beer and meat to cook and most of all an isolated place where you can do whatever you want. So nice. The water in the lake is a bit cold, but nothing you cannot bear, and after a couple minutes it becomes pleasant to swim in it. All in all this lake is definitely a place to go if you are looking for a spot away from the crowded summer beaches, where you can BBQ and have fun with friends, surrounded by a great environment!

this was fun!

Electronics,Scuba

Night dive led flasher

13 Jul , 2008  

The light beacons for nocturnal scuba diving can get quite expensive if bought at the store. Here’s a much cheaper alternative using easy to find / junk parts.

the light flasher in action

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iPod & iPhone

Offline webclips for the iPhone

21 Jun , 2008  

I did a lot of job interviews in Milan lately and I needed a way to have the subway map handy when I was in a hurry and with no wifi… so why not saving it on the iPhone for offline viewing? Here’s the map I want to use!

Milan subway system map

I knew that some hacks allowed reading PDFs on the iPhone offline, but that required having some bookmarks in safari both on the iPhone and on the Mac, or to mail it to yourself, but those methods aren’t so practical!

Instead it is possible to create handy offline webclips on your iPhone by using some simple steps!
A webclip is simply a web link with an icon that the iPhone puts among the icons in your springboard. In this tutorial we will create a webclip that instead does not connect to the internet, but displays your document right away! Let’s get started!
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