The Geek Biker

Rambles of a geek that rides a bike

Monthly Archives: June 2014

What did I learn today – Fire hydrant irony

A quick one today. Nobody can verify who invented the fire hydrant, because the patent was destroyed in a fire…

The invention of a post- or pillar-type fire hydrant is generally credited to Frederick Graff Sr., Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Works around the year 1801. It had a combination hose/faucet outlet and was of “wet barrel” design with the valve in the top. It is said that Graff held the first patent for a fire hydrant, but this cannot be verified because the patent office in Washington D.C. caught on fire in 1836 destroying many patent records from that period in the process.[3]




Photo Album Website Concept

Being a parent that lives ‘overseas’ and away from the rest of the family, you constantly think about ways to share photos of the young’un with the family.

Yes, facebook allows sharing everything you can possibly think of but some oppose the idea. The other problem with Facebook and some of the other photo sharing sites I’ve come across is that it all looks really modern.

Now how is that an issue?

Well the thing is that you have a certain emotional connection with a photo. And the best way to translate that is to show it in a frame on the wall or in a leather bound photo album. Not on a black overlaid website that just lets you scroll through it.

So how about combining the two?

A website that allows the user to create and share a retro-like photo album?

I’ve mocked-up a simple concept of what I would envisage such a site to look like on an iPad. I again have to add a disclaimer that I’m an ideas man and that my ability to draw on a computer is rather limited to stick figures. So I used Pencil to create the show pony below. Click on the image to get a big picture version

I’ve added a photo of how I sketched it on paper before hand and then I’ll add some comments as to what each bit should do.

  • The top right is a picture of the User’s mug.
  • Just below it is a scrollable/swipe scroll collection of all the available photos. (I think once you’ve added a photo to an album, then it should be removed form this list).
  • Top left is where you can name your album, maybe add a sub title that describes it a bit more.
  • The main piece is an album. (A badly drawn “book” representation).
  • The left page is a formal formatted photo layout.
    • Where you have the photos on the left
    • And to the right of each photo a bit where you can write a little comment about the photo
  • The right page is an informal layout.
    • Allows photos to be placed anywhere.
    • Allows rotation of photos
    • Allows stretch and shrink of photos.
    • Allows text comments anywhere and also rotatable
  • To the right of the right hand page are bookmarks. These allow quick navigation to specific events or photo sets.
  • The bottom of the page is a scrollable/swipe bar with all the user’s albums.

Apart from the features listed above the user should be able to do the following:

  • Create Album cover.
  • Select background for pages
  • Select background for Album. I.e. It could look like the album is opened on grass.

Then all the other jazz with public cloud related information, example security, sharing to individuals with password or logins and integration to other photo services like Google Photos so the user won’t need to upload the photos to this site specifically.

Now can someone please create this so I can use it?


What did I learn today – Awesome creatures as symbols

I have to confess that one of the two pieces of information that will be delivered today, I’ve known for a while. The other I learnt today and is just as awesome.

The first

The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn, which, though fictitious, has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century.[289]

That is pretty cool already. All the countries try to impress with the animals they hold in high regard as their national symbols. The Scottish, nope, we got a unicorn. I get that it is heraldic. (Also they have a monster in a lake)

The latest one is pretty awesome:

There is a flag of a Mongolian province that has a dinosaur (sauropod) on it!

Their flag:

And if you can’t make it out, here is the coat of arms: