Melbourne’s city festival season has begun. This weekend saw the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival overlap with the Thai Culture Festival. Next weekend the Greek Festival begins, the Formula 1 crowds descend on the city, and the Jazz Festival coming soon. With all these events going on, it is difficult to resist a walk around the city centre with camera in hand.
The Thai Culture Festival drew in the crowds today. The weather was ideal for investigating all that was on offer.
On Melbourne’s Southbank were the slightly calmer and less trafficked Melbourne Food and Wine stalls.
This afternoon an unexpected hail storm hit Melbourne. Megan and I were lucky enough to be inside at the time. I grabbed the camera and we joined others in the building’s lobby to watch the storm build.
During the last few weekends, I have needed to brush up on my web site parsing skills. The tools available have moved on nicely since my last dip into this topic.
I am currently keeping an eye on properties in Lyon, France. The process has been tedious and called out for some automation. Megan and I plan to return to France in the future and this little project should ease the burden of finding an apartment or house.
This morning I discovered the perl module Web::Scraper. It is a port of a Ruby based tool called scrAPI. The approach taken avoids regular expression matching and opts for XPath and DOM tree selector matching; both more resilient methods of addressing specific sections of a web page.
I found one stumbling block that took a while to overcome. After a little trial and error, I discovered the FireFox browser returned misleading XPaths for objects embedded in tables.
The XPaths provided by FireBug and XPather, included browser-inserted tbody tags. These tags did not appear in my source web pages. Thus the browser’s XPath did not match the structure used by Web::Scraper, and caused Web::Scraper to miss the desired content.
The solution was easy; strip out the tbody tags and Web::Scraper returns to working as advertised.
With this problem overcome, the project is already looking helpful.
Once again this short film was taken on a Canon SX200IS and edited with iMovie on Mac OS X. I continue to be impressed with the quality of the footage from a point-and-shoot Canon. iMovie’s stabilisation feature has been great for making more of my shaky footage useful.
I am no fan of Certificate Authorities (CA) but they seem necessary to work with in order to offer secure services. Certificate Authorities are the organisations that deal with certificates needed for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections – the connections in your browser that show a padlock.
Thus, I was delighted to find StartSSL‘s offerings. The prices are good and the service has been great.
I had trouble getting the sign up process working with Safari 4 on Mac OS X, and needed help to rectify the resulting problems. Within an hour or two all was put right and DssW’s Reseller site now has a new SSL certificate.
I experienced problems when setting up the site’s authentication certificate and keys. Keychain appeared to get confused at some stage and I was left locked out of my original account.
If you decide to try StartSSL from Mac OS X, I recommend using FireFox. I found Safari’s tight integration with Keychain to be counter productive. FireFox avoided Keychain’s problems and gave me control over where the keys and certificates ended up.
Ultimately, I want DssW’s keys and certificates stored in separate keychains or files, and not lumped into my personal login keychain.
Once again the film was shot with our point and shoot Canon and edited in iMovie. This film is longer than any of my previous films. I wanted to keep in as much of the performance as feasible to give an idea of the build up to the fire crackers.
26th January is Australia Day; Australia’s national day. Megan and I spent the day out and about exploring various events around the city. We stumbled upon entertainers and entertainment in most of the city parks we visited.
Many dressed up and were decked with Australian flags and national pride.
Government House, Victoria, was open for part of the day. The queues to get in were long and slow moving. It is a shame this property is not open more often.
The Australia Day People’s Parade floats ranged from marching bands to exhibits of the surreal.
Megan and I ventured out to Docklands, Melbourne, Australia, for the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
The day’s temperatures reached 37°C and moments before the family session of fireworks started, the predicted storm rolled in. The lightning, rain, and wind put on a show to complement the fireworks.
I managed another couple of film experiments over New Year’s Eve. Both films where taken on our little point and shoot Canon. My goal with these edits was to publish as quickly as possible. Both films took less than one hour from importing into iMovie to publishing on YouTube; a fun challenge that turned out well.
Melbourne’s fireworks are divided into two. The first session, at 9:15 pm, is for families.