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Showing posts from May, 2007

Putting photos on a map using GPS

I was planning to go on vacation to Yosemite, and I got it in my head that I'd like to be able to build a map of where my photos were taken. It turns out to be shockingly easy.

Hardware Required
A digital camera. I have a Canon SD400. Almost any digital camera will do.
A handheld GPS. I have a Garmin eTrex Vista Cx, but almost any GPS with data export capabilities will suffice.
Figure 1: GPS data plus Digital Photos can produce JPEG photos with location data and KML files for Google Maps or Google Earth.

From the camera's vantage point: Photos with EXIF data

A digital camera often stores the date and time within the photo. The camera also stores tons of other chunks of data within the photo: the camera model, shutter speed, zoom settings, and numerous other parameters. This data is stored inside the JPEG file using a standard called EXIF, and just about every modern digital camera supports this format.

From the GPS angle: Track points

While your GPS is on, it is collecting data a…

Mac USB Parallel printer adapters

Now I am able to use my old HP LaserJet printer like a champ with Mac OS X - by using a low cost USB parallel printer adapter and a little bit of magic software.

USB to Parallel adapters are inexpensive little adapters (generally under $20) that allow you to connect a printer using the old "parallel" connector standard over USB. There are generally two kinds of parallel interfaces on a printer: Either the 36-pin Centronics-style connector, or the 25-pin D-shaped printer connector. My HP used the bulkier 36-pin connector, so I bought an adapter with that style connector.

The low-cost USB-to-Parallel adapter I use with my Mac

But it all wasn't as easy as it should have been - even though I pluged it all together, my USB to Parallel adapter would either lock up after a single print job, or it wouldn't be detected by the Mac at all. I suffered with the situation for months, and even imagined purchasing a more modern printer. But perseverance paid off - I got it all to…