Daily Archives: December 24, 2008

The best gadget I stole in 2008

Maryam wanted a video camera. She asked her friends and they recommended the FlipCam. She thought it was safe from me. She got an ugly one (orange and white) just to make it very unlikely that I’d steal it. After all, if it isn’t an Apple product, or cool and black, it probably was safe from her geeky husband, right?

But I tried it out one day and found that it gave me a lot better quality that my Nokia cell phone with Qik.

Since that day I haven’t given it back. All the recent videos on my Kyte video channel are done with it.

So, now she wants it back. Hah, I think I’ll buy her one of the new HD ones. And me too.

One tip: you MUST use a monopod (which is what I’m doing) or a tripod with this. It is too small to hold steady otherwise.

Why do I love it? It uses AA batteries so I can either use rechargeables or, if those are dead, some of the AA’s in the freezer.

It has a little USB plug that swings out the side. It works with any computer. So, if I take video of my friends’ cute babies, I can give them that video right there. Oh, and the video works with Kyte, YouTube, Viddler, Facebook, and a bunch of other services too. No reformatting or work needed.

Hope a bunch of you find one of these under your Christmas tree.

One problem? The local BestBuy is sold out of the HD versions so you might need to buy them online.

Mike Arrington is talking about his experiences with the Flip and other small HD cameras on his Twitter account. For me, it might be ugly, but it is the best thing I’ve stolen from Maryam all year.

The best 2009 web development tool?

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/6118/299801&tbid=k_961&premium=true&height=500&width=425]

I remember the good old days of 1994. Back when your only choice of developing a web site was doing it by hand. Remember typing HTML codes like <b> and <table> and making it all work? Or, if you didn’t know what those meant, you had to pay some developer $100+ an hour to do it for you. Seriously, back then HTML developers were in short supply and building a web site was expensive. The magazine/conference company I worked for, Fawcette Technical Publications, paid more than $100,000 to build its first web site, which was a pretty rudimentary one.

Then came a bunch of tools. I liked FrontPage. But played with Hotdog. Dreamweaver. And a bunch of others that I’ve forgotten. FrontPage has been morphed into Microsoft Expression, which is still a damn cool tool, but it was really designed for last year’s web.

What about the web of 2009?

Of course you’re going to use Ajax and build Restful APIs, right? What about putting your stuff in the cloud? Of course!

So, what’s the best tool for that job?

Well, three million people have chosen Aptana’s toolset and they are about to release a tool for building cloud-oriented websites and apps.

So, yesterday I went over and got a look. Here’s the videos:

1. Discussion of Aptana’s tools and what the 2009 web marketplace looks like with Kevin Hakman who runs developer outreach for Aptana. 20 minutes.
2. Demo of Aptana’s Cloud with Kris Rasmussen, cloud lead. 18 minutes.

What will you see there? The web-development tool for 2009? I think so and so do three million other developers. Got anything that helps startups build cloud-based websites and apps better? Let’s hear about them.

Hope you’re having a good Christmas with your family. More cloud stuff on Friday when we post our interview with Tim O’Reilly and go and visit 12seconds.tv in Santa Cruz to hear how they are using cloud computing to build a popular company with almost no money invested.