January 9th, 2006

Why do it yourself, when a computer can do it for you?

After all, anything can be automated.

Even something as self-centred as egosurfing. Yes, you can now "Know Your Place", as egosurf.org's tagline so neatly puts it, at just the click of a button. No more typing your name into Google or Yahoo!, or even MSN, del.icio.us or Technorati.

Fill in your name, some appropriate URLs, and you can quickly see just what the web thinks (or doesn't think) of you.

Ever the happy guinea pig, I tried it out.

Apparently my egopoints (whatever meaningless number they are) are:

enginerankingego points
google.com1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th7899
yahoo.com1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th8298
msn.com1st, 2nd, and 3rd2692
del.icio.us2nd, 3rd, and 6th2362
technorati.com7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th7599

A nifty tool, and quite fun watching it pop up the results - the whole thing is a fairly decent piece of AJAX code.

Opening up the Lightroom

Adobe's new Lightroom is, as they say, the bee's knees.

Fast, responsive and ideal for working with RAW images, it takes the best of CameraRAW and Adobe Bridge and turns them into a one stop shop for basic image manipulation and comparison. Best thought of as a digital lightbox, its adaptive UI makes it easy to hide the elements you don't need and just concentrate on the images. An image workflow tool, it helps you manage how you work with images - and how you capture them.
Lightroom Beta lets you view, zoom in, and compare photographs quickly and easily. Precise, photography-specific adjustments allow you to fine tune your images while maintaining the highest level of image quality from capture through output. And best of all, it runs on most commonly used computers, even notebook computers used on location. Initially available as a beta for Macintosh, Lightroom will later support both the Windows and Macintosh platforms.
Which means it runs quite happily on my aging G4 PowerBook (unlike the G5 optimised Aperture)...

That's not say that Lightroom is competition for Aperture.

This is more a first look at how Adobe is rethinking what people are doing with the Photoshop toolset, and putting together the beginnings of a script-controlled service framework for its next generation of imaging applications. It's a model that fits in nicely with a conversation I had recently with Adobe's CEO Bruce Chizen (which should be in the next issue of PC Plus), where we talked about Adobe's strategic direction after the Macromedia acquisition. I'll leave the conversation to the article - but one thing, I think Adobe are one of the companies that bear watching over the next 3 to 5 years.

(I'm glad I can talk about it now - I saw it in December, and was very impressed at the time - unfortunately I'd had to sign an NDA.)

BetaNews notes that there won't be a Windows version until Vista hits the market. I'm not surprised. I strongly suspect that Microsoft is working with Adobe to make Lightroom one of the apps that will be demoed at the Vista launch. The UI of the version that Adobe demoed back in December would work very well on WinFX - it's ideal for XAML. Microsoft has had Adobe on stage showing proof-of-concept XAML applications in the past, so having it showing shipping code at the launch would make a lot of sense...

Cross posted to A New IT World