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August 31, 2004

A Truly Suck-tastic Book

I finished reading "The Dragon's Son" by Margaret Weis today. It's quite amazing how much that book sucked. No, seriously. Through the entire book I kept asking myself, "Who cares?" I have one of those life-size cardboard cut-out Stormtroopers. You know the kind you could take your picture with and say, "Hey, look I'm in Star Wars!" Well that Stormtrooper has more personality than the characters in this book.

It's really a shame. The first book in the series "The Mistress Of Dragons" wasn't bad. Not the best fantasy I've ever read but the world she creates is has a bit of a unique twist on the dragon lore. And it didn't hurt that there was a lesbian love scene within like the first 20 pages. I think that alone managed to keep my interest for the rest of the book.

But "The Dragon's Son" really bites. And what's even worse is that the first book I ever read by her---actually her and Tracy Hickman together---was the first Dragonlance book, "The Dragon Of Autumn Twilight". That is probably one of the coolest fantasy books out there. It's D&D and I was in 4th grade when I first read it so there's definitely some of that "childhood magic" flavoring my opinion. But still it's really tough to see someone who wrote such a captivating book (series) write such crap. It makes you wonder if Tracy was the real talent behind that duo.

So if you're into fantasy books and like dragon stories I would suggest you skip this one. Instead pick up the Dragonlance Chronicles. They kick ass.

August 30, 2004

HD Has The Sharpest Pictures

You know I was at my friends' house tonight enjoying good company and great tacos. They have a monster flat screen TV and an HD Direct TV box hooked up to it. I hadn't been over there in a while and I was disappointed to discover that a couple of the very few HD channels that are offered were only showing the damn Republican National Convention.

I got to see McCain's weird-ass watery red eye in all its nauseating detail. I was unpleasantly reminded of the "vulture eye" in "The Tell-Tale Heart".

McCain and his eye 1


McCain and his eye 2


The Day Everything Was Upgraded

Hey, hey party people. I'm typing up this entry in my brand-spankin' new copy of BBEdit 8. Perhaps you don't know this, but I love BBEdit. If I were still in third grade, some clever person would undoubtedly quip, "Then why don't you marry it?" That's how much I love BBEdit.

So of course typing this is hardly giving it a workout. If it had been released Friday I could have truly put it through its paces as I worked diligently on my site redesign. I will have to break it in while I try to slog my way through various PHP and Javascript methods of dealing with style sheets later this week.

Today was software update day for my workstation. Pro Tools 6.4.1. Soundminer 3.1.2 (b96). Change Note Assistant 1.0.2. Titan 3.1b11. I did verify that Adobe Premiere 6.5 does not properly support Core Audio in OS X. It won't work with the new official Pro Tools Core Audio Driver 6.4.1. Final Cut Pro will handle it however. I'll have to dig out my copy and put it on my system.

Shhhh. Here's a secret: Load picture digital picture in OS X in Final Cut Pro with audio via Core Audio through your Pro Tools hardware. Make sure your USD or Sync I/O is set to pulldown before-hand. When you're done open the picture in that old copy of Adobe Premiere 4 that you have lying around. (Come on, you know you do.) Trim the picture to start at 0 and export video clip or piece or whatever that option is. Use the Conform tool to conform the picture to 30 frames per second. You now have digital picture file with in-sync embedded worktracks that you can use to spot to on a laptop or whatever. It can also cut against it in Pro Tools 6.x or 5.3. It's also backwards compatible with 5.1.x. And you can use the Import Audio From Movie function to get video guide tracks into your session. Pretty sweet.

Tomorrow I'm back with the Universal folks.

Ooo! I just discovered something fun in BBEdit 8! Ok, those of you who used 7, might remember the screen flash that you would get if you typed a close parenthesis ) before the open (. In 8, you get a fun message that flashes on your screen. Go on. Give it a try.

Woop! There it is.

I feel a bit like Microsoft. To get my redesign done and up I ended up tossing out quite a few goodies I was working on. I figured the major "look and feel" was the single most important thing. And since I'm going back to work this week, I had to get something up or it would languish for a while.

So it's missing the font resizer that would allow you to choose between small and large fonts, and the style switcher so that visitors could turn off CSS if it wasn't working with their browser. Also missing are a few new pages like "Downloads" that will turn up one of these days. There's also a bunch of little tweaky stuff I didn't get done like moving my affiliations list from the About page to the sidebar and validation of the code with appropriate links.

Despite all that I think the new look turned out pretty darn cool, if I do say so myself. And I was able to put in some fun new things like integrating the site with my photo moblog, and the new sidebar sections---recent comments and interesting links. Plus I have new RSS feed options. Take a look at the bottom of the sidebar for all the XML goodness.

So there you go. I welcome any and all comments. Please let me know if there are any display issues on any browser---I definitely couldn't check them all.

August 29, 2004

Solution For Mac IE5 CSS Problem?

Are there any CSS web designers out there who can offer a guy a bit of advice? This problem is bugging me:

My webpage in Firefox looks like this:

Firefox is correct

Which is correct. Unfortunately, IE5 for Mac looks like this:

Mac IE5 is not

This is not correct. I added the red, white and blue lines to differentiate the various divisions. White is "header", red is "main-body", and blue is "content". The code right at that point looks like this:


</div> <!--End div "header"-->

<div id="main-body">

<div id="content">

For some reason, IE5 for Mac insists on putting a bit of space between the header and main-body divisions. It's not the end of the world but it's also not correct and I'd like to know why. I'm sure it has to do with yet another CSS bug in IE5Mac which has to be compensated for with a hack.

I would appreciate any help people can offer.


Nevermind. I fixed it. It turns out the <ul> directly above the end of the "header" division was the issue. I had defined it with an id of "text-size". The problem was that in the CSS for "text-size" I set a top margin of 5 pixels. When I changed all margins to 0 pixels, the gap closed up:

#text-size {
    text-align: right;
    color: #ffffff;
    font: bold 10px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    margin: 0px;
    padding-top: 0px;
    padding-right: 5px;
    padding-bottom: 0px;

The margins on the <ul> and <li> tags don't seem to matter---at least in terms of the bug. It's the margin on the id object itself which causes the problem.

August 28, 2004

Tinker Toys

I am still here. I've just been busy tinkering away behind the scenes. I've been wanting to do a major revamp of this website for a while now. Some of you may have noticed a few bits and pieces as they've been installed, like my photo moblog. I've been working on a new look to go with it---and practicing my CSS.

Here's a sneak-peek:

New design sneak-peek

It's not done yet. But the major "look and feel" is pretty much in place. Now I'm adding in all the little extras. Then it's adding the new look to all the other templates. Lots of testing to make sure I didn't miss anything. And then installing it on my website. Maybe I'll be done by the end of the weekend. That would be nice.

Of course the new Movable Type 3.1 will be out in a couple of days. I should probably wait until then so see what new fun things I can add in. But sometimes I get the urge for these things and I have to keep going no matter what.

I've also been reading "Xenocide" by Orson Scott Card. Fantastic book.

Ok, time to get back to things...

August 26, 2004

Don't Fear The Reaper

The good news: Thanks to a lot of patience from the wonderful Adriaan and some great advice from the fantastic Ben Trott, we've figured out why I can't always successfully post to my website from ecto.

The bad news: I don't know if we'll be able to fix it.

Pair.com has a program called The Reaper. It's purpose is to protect their servers from runaway programs by killing off ones that use up too many resources. (Perhaps they should call it Tom Selleck.) One of the criteria is that a program cannot use more than 16MB of memory. MT-xmlrpc.cgi, the perl script that handles remote posting for Movable Type, is often hitting that 16MB barrier and getting killed by The Reaper.

I have held a lengthy email discussion with various Pair support staff about this with a final plea to look into increasing this memory limit. They assured me that my request was passed on to the appropriate people for consideration.

What would be great is if other pair.com users would step up and say "Hey, I think it would rock if the memory limit was increased to 24MB!" Or even better since I don't really know how much memory is need for XML-RPC, "Hey, I would be swell if we had enough memory to run MT, including XML-RPC, without getting a visit from The Reaper."

Some People Are So Very Annoying

There are several of us sitting here waiting for our cars in the customer lounge at the Robertson Honda service center. Most people are reading or just sitting. Two young men walked in about 20 minutes ago and they are quietly to each other in Spanish.

A fellow Mac-user walked in about 40 minutes ago and perhaps inspired by my own use of my laptop, pulled out his iBook and started typing away in Word. (You can tell by those annoying sounds that Microsoft products make if you don't go into the general perferences and turn them off.)

Our quiet patience was rudely interrupted a few minutes ago. A man, perhaps in his early 50s, shuffled over to the corner where the TV is mounted to the wall, and proceeded to turn it on. My fellow Mac-user was sitting right next to the television. He shot the man an ugly look, pointedly gathered up his things and moved to the other end of the lounge. I don't blame him. We were all enjoying the escape from the ever-present brain-drain of the TV.

To make things worse, the man who turned on the TV sat down in a seat, pulled out a book and began reading. I can't believe he would actually annoy everyone with the television and then not actually watch it himself.

I'm tempted to go over and turn it off.

A mother and her daughter, 8 or 9 years old, just walked in. The girl is now watching. I don't want to make things more unpleasant for her than necessary. I remember sitting in lounges like this with my mom when I was little. It's boring enough when you're an adult---in can be shear torture as a child.

That guy is still not actually watching television!

I just noticed that it's "The View" that's on. Poor girl. At least she should be enjoying some cartoons.

Brave New World

Ok, this is cool.

I took my car in for it's 20,000 mile check-up. They say it's going to take 2 hours and since I'm not working right now, I figured I might as well just sit and wait for it. Renting a car for 2 hours is silly.

Last night in anticipation of that, I finished setting up my idmonsters.dev virtual host on my laptop. I had already installed Movable Type 3, but I imported all the entries from my weblog, duplicated my templates from my regular site, and copied all the settings. Plus I installed Gallery and downloaded a copy of my albums. So I've logged into a local copy of MT and I'm working away on a newer, cooler version while I wait for my car.

But wait, it gets better... since I previously configured my laptop to log in to the internet using my cellphone as a bluetooth modem, I was able to jump online, check my email and make this post. It's slow. I wouldn't want to always be at this speed. But it works. And I'm just sitting here in the customer lounge of Robertson Honda.

It's an exciting technological world we live in.

August 25, 2004

Perhaps This Will Fix My Problems

I continue to have posting problems with ecto. I started searching the Movable Type forums to see if anyone has any ideas. I'm trying something out here to see if it helps.


Nope. Several months ago, people reported problems with using ecto and Markdown. They were able to fix things by submitting with the standard "Convert Line Breaks". I tried it, and it didn't fix my problem. Going back to Markdown.


Trying something else... nope.

AIM On Cingular Cellphones

Last night I was poking around with my online and playing with my Motorola V600 cellphone. I've been curious about doing IM on my phone. I saw that the V600s from T-Mobile come with AOL Instant Messanger software preinstalled, but I'm with Cingular. So I looking at the various ways of getting that software installed on my phone. Most of them seemed a bit more involved that I cared to try. Then I noticed a chart (I think I found it at AOL's AIM site) that listed the phones from Cingular that supported AIM. Now I'm not just talking about the AIM Forwarding which you can do with basically any cellphone. You can't started IMs with that, only respond. I was interested in full AIM service. The chart didn't list the V600 (I think Cingular has already stopped offering it) but it did say that AIM software could be downloaded for the V400. That got me intrigued.

After a lot of poking around I discovered it was so much easier that I made things to be. If I'd only done the simple, logical thing, I wouldn't have had to spend hours on it.

  1. Bring up the MEdia Net homepage on your cellphone's web browser. On the V600 select "Web Access" in the upper-right-hand corner and then select "Browser".

  2. Select item 5, "IM & Chat", from the list on the homepage.

  3. Select item 1, "Mobile IM", from the IM & Chat page.

  4. Select the Free Download link and follow any onscreen instructions that come up.

That was pretty rough, I know. So silly. I spent all that time and it was sitting there right in front of my nose. A java application, Mobile IM, will be downloaded and installed on your phone. It gives you access to AIM, Yahoo Messanger and ICQ. I would imagine that being a java application, it could be run on any phone that supports J2ME---not just my V600.

After installing, I was able to log in with my .Mac account. It even listed all my buddies from iChat. The big downside is that it seems to sometimes have difficulty with receiving messages. I'm not sure if that's because I was using a .Mac username and not a regular AIM one. Or maybe I was just experiencing some network difficulty from Cingular. The messages that I sent out seemed to be received ok. So I'm not sure what the deal was. It's certainly something to keep an eye on.

But it's certainly cool that I can do AIM from my cellphone now.

August 24, 2004

A Storm Of Swords

Tonight I finished reading the third book in George R.R. Martin's "A Song Of Ice And Fire" series, "A Storm Of Swords". I'm almost speechless. I previously wrote about finishing the first book, "A Game Of Thrones". Since then I've read the other two. This one of the best fantasy series, in fact one of the best series of any genre, that I've read.

The characters are so alive. The events are so real. It's not for the feint of heart however. These are not books with your typical Hollywood endings were the good guys are always good and always come out on top. I'm almost tempted to tell you to not let yourself get too close to the characters because either something really bad will happen to them or they'll do something really bad themselves. It's not that there aren't heroes in these books---there are. However, much like in real life, things don't always go the way you'd want them to. And heroes are not always as squeaky clean as one might hope for.

The strong setting similar to the High Middle Ages that was established in the first book continues through the next two. However where the first book really only hints at the supernatural and things that would set this series firmly in the realm of fantasy---as opposed to straight-up fiction---"A Clash Of Kings" and in particular "A Storm Of Swords" adds much of the supernatural to the stories. These are definitely fantasy books. And although they are not set in D&D or Tolkien-esque worlds of dwarves, elves, goblins and wizards, they have an incredible richness and a very unique take on the fantasy realm.

Now the only downside is that Mr. Martin is still writing the fourth book, "A Feast For Crows". We will have to wait a while still for the continuation of the tale. His website offers an update on his progress.

Pro Tools 6.4.1 For Mix Hardware

Digidesign has finally released the long-promised Pro Tools 6.4.1 software---the last version to support Pro Tools 24|Mix hardware. It requires a G4 PowerMac, OS X 10.3.4, and obviously Mix hardware.

I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I have been using the unsupported Pro Tools 6.2.3 for a while now and I've been anxiously awaiting things like an officially supported Core Audio driver, sorted AudioSuite and TDM plug-in menus, +12 dB faders and the like. Unfortunately I think they're only offering breaking timecode loading with HD hardware. I was hoping to use it to load DATs.

Request For Help: MT + pair.com + ecto

I would love to hear from anybody who has a Movable Type website hosted by pair.com and is using ecto to publish. I've been attempting to beta test the new version 2, but I've been having problems simply posting. Adriaan has said it's a rare thing that he's seen twice before where certain combinations of software don't work well with ecto. So if anyone is doing this please email or post a comment below. I'd be interested to find out about the version of MT, the version of ecto, whether you're using a cgi wrapper, what settings you had to change in your mt.cfg file, and any other tips or tricks you might have.

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer.


This is the information about my setup. I am hosted by pair.com on a Pentium 4 running FreeBSD 4.8-STABLE, Apache 1.3.29, Perl 5.8.3, and MySQL 4.0.14. I have Movable Type 3.01D installed and running as a standard cgi process accessing a MySQL database. The necessary directories have their permissions set to 777. And in my mt.cfg file, I have the line NoTempFiles 1 uncommented. I've been using this setup since the beginning of March with no problems. (Well, actually back then it was MT2.661 and up until a few days ago, I was running under a cgi wrapper with permissions set to 755.) Posting from MT's web interface has always worked great for me. The worst thing I've encountered is sites I've tried to ping timing out.

Now I've been trying to use the various beta versions of ecto 2 without much success. When I was running under the cgi wrapper, I couldn't get the posts to go through at all. Or at least the server wouldn't acknowledge them. I'd get the error I mentioned in this post. The posts would usually appear on my website but without a category.

Since I've turned off the wrapper, the posts are initially acknowledged by the server. The temporary entry ID that ecto assigns is replaced by an actual entry number from MT. However I often get an error about not being able to post. Not always---sometimes they do go through properly---but not often. These posts show up on my website as well and they include the category. Usually if I try to post again, it goes through properly. It will tell me that I have the option of a new post or editing the existing post. I select Edit Post and it goes to the server correctly. The post is retrieved from the server and the pings are sent out.

I'm wondering if anyone else is having or has had any similar problems with ecto---even ecto 1.x. And I would really appreciate any suggestions or fixes that anyone encountered along the way. It seems like a really nice program but these continual errors and always having to check to see if the post actually made it to my website kind of defeats the purpose of using it.

August 23, 2004

Blacklist 2 Is Awesome

Thank you, Jay Allen, for creating such an amazing product. MT-Blacklist 2 is the coolest plug-in I've run on Movable Type---and I'm running Markdown which is super-cool in its own right, so I know how great plug-ins can be. In the 5 days since I started running it, I've blocked 231 comment and trackback spams. Prior to this I had moderation turned on for my comments so the spam never showed up but I'd still have to delete them from the database. And there was nothing I could do about trackback spam. It would show up on my site for as long as it took me to find it and delete it. With Blacklist I don't have to do that. It just doesn't show up. It's truly great stuff. Plus with the auto-update feature I always have the latest list of ne'er-do-wells and blackguards.

It already has some pretty great hooks into the MT3 software. The entire interface is accessible from within MT for configuration. Plus little things like the link to submit checked comments for inclusion on the spam list make it a great addition. I can only imagine that it will be even better with MT3.1.

The Universal Photo Shoot

I've fixed most of the problems I was having after reconfiguring my website a few days ago. My email to Gallery gateway is working once again. I've updated my photo moblog with pictures from the last several days at Universal:

08_18_04_2143.thumb.jpg 08_18_04_2144.thumb.jpg 08_18_04_2146.thumb.jpg

08_18_04_2147.thumb.jpg 08_18_04_2148.thumb.jpg 08_19_04_1018.thumb.jpg

08_19_04_1506.thumb.jpg 08_19_04_1507.thumb.jpg 08_20_04_1235.thumb.jpg

August 22, 2004

Recovery Room

I slept away most of the morning trying to play catch-up after all those hours at work. Yesterday was another long one---9am to 1am. The good news is that as of about 12:30am this morning, I am going back to work next Monday on a little horror movie. In fact the words "if not sooner" were used, so I might not even have a full week off.

It's been a while since I've worked on a horror film. Several years ago I worked on that supposed horror flick "Bless The Child". What a piece of crap that was! I remember reading the script before I started on it saying to myself, "Dear lord! Who greenlit this shit!" That's the funny thing about my job though. You need to work on those movies to pay the rent. Plus of course you can't say anything about the movie while you're working on it. And no matter how good the movie is, seeing it literally hundreds if not thousands of times during the process of cutting the sound will sour anyone on the most exquisite of cinema.

Several years before the midden-heap that was "Bless The Child", I worked a little movie called "Nightwatch". I don't think hardly anyone saw it. It stars Ewan McGregor who was years away from wielding a lightsaber, that woman from "Gilmore Girls" before it was a spark of creativity in the writer's mind, Josh Brolin before he started dating Diane Lane, and Patricia Arquette before... well just before. The director is Danish. He directed a film in his home country that someone in Hollywood thought was cool enough to pay him to make an American version. I remember sitting down and watching that first director's cut of the American film that was turned over to us. I almost crapped myself. It was so scary. Dark, moody, and full of evil characters. Unfortunately "Scream" swept through like a hurricane and suddenly everyone wanted teen slasher movies again. So a new opening was shot and the film was cut to hell and that version you get off the shelf in Blockbuster is rather poor.

I have a ton of email to respond to from the last several days. Please everyone bare with me a day or so. I hear my bed calling again. I think I might answer.

August 21, 2004

The Long Walk

Well I'm finally home from work---8am to 1am yesterday, 9am to 12am today. It's getting tough to concentrate. Thankfully it will all be over after tomorrow when I enter back into the world of the unemployed... wait a second, maybe that's not as cool as it was sounding. :)

Hopefully that will be only for a week. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

So after these two long-ass back-to-back days, I'm walking back to my car and I have to pass through the Universal backlot to get there. They put me in this lot that's way in the back, it's pretty close to my building which is nice and even closer to my apartment than the normal entrance, but I do feel like a second class citizen at times. It's after midnight but this section of the backlot with NYC-like buildings is lit up like daylight with flood lights because they're filming something. According to one of the thousands of studio tour trams that drive by me everyday, it's XXX 2 that they're shooting. But who knows. So I'm walking by when this guard calls out to me.

"Hey, you! Stop!"

I turn around. "What?"

"You can't go there. We're filming."

"Yeah, well I have to go home." I turn and start walking away.

"Stop. Don't go any farther! They're shooting all the way to the steps there."

"Those steps lead to my car. In fact they're the only way to my car since your stupid studio decided that my great parking spot that was next my building was too good for me and put me all the way back here." Actually I didn't really say that. The thoughts were floating through my mind though. In fact the only thing that came out my mouth was, "Ok."

"Hang on." The guard proceeds to have a long discussion that I can only hear half of with someone on the other end of a walkie-talkie. "It'll be just a minute."

The minutes seem to crawl by as I stand impatiently---dying to slide behind the wheel of my car, knowing that it'll only take a few minutes to drive home and crawl in bed. (Wait a second... why am I staying up to write this?!) My anxiety must show because the guard gives me a shrug which could be sympathy or could be something along the lines of "like I care".

"It's been a really long day," I say. The guard just looks at me.

I turn back to gaze longingly at the steps that lead to my freedom when I notice a man with all-manner of tools hanging off several belts that are strapped around him walk right through the area I was so recently told I can't walk through. I turn back to the guard to lodge a protest when suddenly the walkie-talkie bursts to life with a squawk.

"You can go ahead," the guard says to me. And I walk away without another word.

August 19, 2004

What A Crazy Day!

I've been so busy the last week. Most days at work have been 8am to 10pm. I've been trying to squeeze time in for testing ecto before I go to bed but there's not a lot for that. I was having a lot of trouble posting to my weblog with ecto. I think I have all the bumps worked out. I'll write about it later when I'm sure.

I ended up doing an emergency reconfigure of my website to get ecto running. It was something I was always planning on doing but not in such a short time span. Unfortunately it's left my photo albums in such a state that my email to Gallery gateway isn't working right now. Hopefully I can get that up in the next day or so. I have some cool late-night shots of Universal's backlot on my phone right now.

And my iPod decided to take a dump. Totally the wrong time for it. I live for that thing. It's been fitful for awhile now. I've noticed it's been having more and more trouble accessing the disk properly. Sometimes I would select a song and it would take a while to start playing or it just wouldn't play. Occasionally it would go into clicking fits. Now I can't seem to get it to play things at all. And my trick of resetting it by holding down the Play and Menu buttons now just erases everything off the hard drive. Of course it's like a year and half old so it's completely out of warrantee. And it's the choice between $200 or $250 or whatever they're charging to "fix" out-of-warrantee iPod's now and $300 or $400 for a new one...

So of course I scheduled one of the three runs I had to make to the foley stage today in such a way that I could stop by CompUSA and pick up a new 4G iPod. I told you, I can't live without my iPod.

Oh yeah, and I'm still at work right now.

August 18, 2004

I'm A Fiddler Crab! Why Don't You Shoot Me?! It's Fiddler Crab Season!

In honor of the new Blacklist 2.0e, it's open season on comments over here at MFTI. I've turned off moderation. I'm hoping that will encourage more people to join in the discussion. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Blacklist will be able to keep out most of the spam. Of course by signing up for a TypeKey account you can post comments to this weblog and many others around the world, quickly and easily bypassing the spam protection. So it's up to you.

First Mbox Problem

I encountered my first Mbox Pro Tools problem yesterday. I was converting a massive dialog session from BWF to SD2 via "Import Session Data" and it seemed to stall at the very end. I tried to force quit and it ended poorly. I had to hold down the power button to shut down my laptop and reboot. A second test wound up with the same result.

I wasn't sure what what causing it but I thought I could figure it out so I tried it one more time. This time I kept the Task Window open and the arrow on the process turned down so I could see the complete list of audio and fade files it was working with. Sure enough, as soon as the last audio file was reached the end of its conversion, Pro Tools hung again. This time however I fired up Terminal, which took a really long time. I was starting to suspect that maybe Pro Tools had managed to chew up all my processor cycles and was now stuck in loop and not freeing it up.

When I ran "top" from the command line, I was surprised to see 75% to 80% free CPU. But then I noticed that I was only showing 5MB of RAM free. When I went down to the Pro Tools process I saw that it had wound up with nearly 2GB of virtual ram. I don't have 2GB of physical ram in my computer so it had written a lot of stuff to the swap space on the hard drive. As I watched, that number slowly dropped. Eventually I was showing about 250MB of free RAM and suddenly Pro Tools came back to life.

Obviously I need to install some more RAM in my laptop.

August 17, 2004

Christmas In August


Toys, toys, and more toys. And version 2.0 toys at that!


Not only do I now have the new MT-Blacklist 2.0e installed on my server, but I'm also writing this entry with the new ecto 2.0b3 software. Adriaan was kind enough to choose me as one of the select 50 commandos to put his software through its paces. I will admit that right now it feels like I'm sitting atop a strange beast. I'm normally a "type it up in BBEdit and paste it into the web form of Movable Type" kind of blogger. I've never used ecto before. I really have no preconceived notions of what it's supposed to be like. I have been interested in finding a way to keep a local copy of posts. I was considering whipping something up with Filemaker Pro and AppleScript. Something to make finding and linking to previous entries, since I do that a lot, was the idea. I think I can do that with this program, but I'm not sure yet.

So never having used this software all these windows and drawers seem a little unwieldy at first. But it's also an exciting beast. For one thing it seems to already figured out that I have Markdown and Smarty Pants installed on my server. It's giving me the option to choose them as formatting options. That's very slick.


Ok, I'm already getting a little weirded out by the way these images are getting inserted into my post. Obviously I need to spend a lot more time playing. It will certainly be an interesting few weeks!

Update: 11pm ---

I'm having problems posting with this. I'm still testing it.

Update: 11:45pm ---

Another test with some new settings. Again. Again.

Update: 11:55pm ---

It's now working properly. So here's the deal: I was trying to post using ecto but it was giving me this error:

Parsing failure!

Could not parse response for "metaWeblog.editPost". Please check the console log for more information.

The weird thing is that the posts were showing up on my website. It seems to have been related to the fact that I'm running my CGI scripts in a security wrapper. I followed the steps on a page that Adriaan directed me to and now things are working correctly.

August 16, 2004

Never Forget

The Shoah Foundation is set up in the building I'm working in. They're all about documenting the Holocaust through survivor testimonies. It's a remarkable undertaking.

Shoah Foundation Plaque

They have this amazing robotic video server behind glass in the lobby. A rotating high-density tape storage system holds thousands and thousands, probably tens of thousands, of 8mm tapes. Videotapes? Data tapes? I'm not sure.

High denisty tape storage

A robotic arm grabs tapes from the storage racks after scanning its barcode with a laser.

Robotic arm grabs a tape.

A then turns around a places it in one of several tape drives and gently taps it in.

Robotic arm inserts a tape in the drive.

There are also several racks of enormous SGI computers. I'm assuming that someone sits down at a computer and calls up a particular testimonial. The robot is then told which tape to retrieve, grabs it, and places it in the appropriate drive.

If every tape contains the testimony of one survivor they have a lot of stories archived. If there is more than one per tape, they have an enormous amount.

Say 'Hello' to Mr. Murphy

Tape wouldn't print. Pro Tools kept crashing on "Save Session Copy In". The copier decided it wanted to smear the right half of all pages so they'd be unreadable. The printer overheated so we couldn't even print things outside of Tape. The narrow SCSI drives refused to mount. A crew member's grandmother suddenly got deathly ill. And even though someone was nice enough to give us the left-overs from Brett Ratner's dub stage for dinner, it was all Chinese food and I don't really like Chinese food.

Yes, it definitely was the night before Temp 1.

August 15, 2004

What Up With That?

So I'm over here at Universal Studios working away. This place has to have the absolute slowest internet connection I've ever seen! And it's a major film studio! I don't know if the IT guys are throttling things back so that employees can't waste bandwidth with streaming internet radio or something but it can absolutely crawl at times.

The picture department of the show I'm on is down in Hollywood. In traffic it can take a while to for a runner to get there and back with things. So we're using an FTP site to exchange things like change notes, EDLs and composition-only OMFs. Yesterday it took me 45 minutes to download 37MB!

I've got one word for that: lame. Ok, how about two? Lame ass. Actually, maybe that should be hyphenated: lame-ass. So does that make it one word or two?

August 14, 2004

You Gotta Love The Mbox

My regular digital audio workstation that I use for my job is a Pro Tools 24|Mix Plus. It's the old hardware, I know, but I haven't really needed to upgrade to HD. (Though that support for breaking timecode in the 6.4 software makes it awfully tempting. Loading production sound roll DATs would be much easier.)

I've also been the owner of an Mbox for a while now but I never used it very much. I bought it with the thought that I could do work at home if I wanted to, but the situation never arose where I decided to do so. I also bought the DV Toolkit to unlock the timecode and feet+frames options so that Pro Tools LE is nearly identical to my full system in the office. Plus at $1450 ($450 for the Mbox and $1000 for DV Toolkit) it's a far cry from $16K+ for a TDM system.

This job I'm working on over at Universal has me away from my main Pro Tools system that's set up at Fox. So since my Mbox and a pair of Sony MDR-7505 headphones don't take up that much more space in my bag, I've been bringing it to Universal and using it a lot and I'm really impressed. My zippy laptop is certainly a factor in this. I have a 15" Aluminum PowerBook at 1.25GHz. But still, I'm amazed at the amount of things I'm able to do as an assistant sound editor with an Mbox.

I can't load digital picture from videotapes since the editors use various MJPEG A cards (DC30+, Fuse, and Igniter) but if we were using DV picture with a box like from Canopus, I could. I can't print cuesheets because I can't get stupid Tape to work in OS X and my laptop doesn't boot into OS 9. And I can't deal with SCSI drives, but most of our editors I cutting off Firewire drives. (And if I really needed SCSI support, there are various SCSI PC cards I could use, or maybe even a Firewire to SCSI interface.)

But I can do everything else. It's really fantastic. Titan 3 works great. The DigiTranslator that comes with DV Toolkit converts my OMFs to Pro Tools sessions. Soundminer runs well. It is a viable alternative to a full-blown system.

Of course I could always do all the paperwork-related assistant things with Excel, Word and BBEdit. I'm reallying digging this.

August 12, 2004

In Dreams You're Mine All Of The Time ...

What is it about horror and oldies songs? There's something about the sugary sweet melodies of late 1950's, early 1960's teen pop and romantic crooners that makes horror movies and television even scarier.

There's a horror movie in post-production right now that I recently saw part of and it has the same thing. Bubble-gum music from when my mother was a little girl and it's eerie. It got me thinking of how that kind of music really sets the tone---even though it's seemingly the exact opposite. A soft ballad from thirty-plus years ago in a dark and creepy house will make your skin crawl.

I'm reminded of the absoluate scariest episode of "The X-Files"---that one from season 4 with the weird inbred family, "Home". They play Johnny Mathis' "Wonderful! Wonderful!" a few times it makes me squirm in my chair. Or how about the William Gibson episode from season 5, "Kill Switch", with it's use of "Twilight Time" by The Platters?

Steven King understands it. He's always quoting song lyrics in his stories and his movies make use of the same thing. Of course "Christine" is probably the perfect example of this since the the demon car is from that era. But even a really bad King movie like "Sleepwalkers" makes use of Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk" and it's spooky.

But perhaps the scariest of all is David Lynch and the "Candy-Colored Clown" of "Blue Velvet". The psychotic Frank, played with perfection by Dennis Hopper, gets a very effeminate Dean Stockwell to lip sync to Roy Obison's "In Dreams" while holding a light to his face like a microphone---casting ghoulish shadows.

A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
Tiptoes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper,
'Go to sleep. Everything is all right.'

If that doesn't want to make you keep the lights on at night, I don't know what will.

August 11, 2004

Hate The Tape

This program is the bane of my existence. Ugh! Tape is the worst piece-of-crap software I have ever had the misfortune of using. And I'm forced into it. There's just nothing else for printing cuesheets from Pro Tools.

The whole "OS X" support is a big effin' joke. I have tried on 4 different computers and cannot get it to work. Full of bugs, never out of beta and I have to own it. It totally sucks.

For years I used this other awful piece of software called Track-It. Thankfully it is no more. Why can't anyone write a real cuesheet program that works with Pro Tools?

Well today I discovered a handy little trick for Tape. Tape finally supports Pro Tools 5.1 sessions. (Don't blink or look at it wrong or it might stop working. Crap ass software.) I forget when that was added in. Sometime in the last year I think. Even though Pro Tools 5.1 has been around for something like 3 years. Whatever. It's bullshit. Anyway, Tape only works properly with SD2 Pro Tools sessions. Well, maybe it works with AIFF but it certainly won't deal with Broadcast Wave---even thought it's a perfectly legit sound file for Pro Tools 5.1. Like I said crap-ass software.

So here's the way around it.

  1. Take your BWF Pro Tools 5.1 session. Open it and make sure it's all set for cuesheets. Save if you need to and close it.

  2. Make a new Pro Tools session with SD2 as the file format. Make sure the bit depth and sample rate match your BWF session.

  3. Select "Import Tracks" (Pro Tools 5.1) or "Import Session Data" (Pro Tools 6) from the File menu. Highlight all your tracks for importing.

  4. Make sure you choose "Reference original media" for the audio. (Or whatever that pull-down menu says. I can't remember the exact wording off the top of my head. Don't use "copy" or "consolidate".) And click "Ok" or "Import" or whatever that button is labeled.

  5. No audio should have been copied. If media was written, you probably didn't use the same bit depth or sampling rate as the original. Start again at step 2.

  6. Save and close the session.

  7. Open it in Tape and print away.

Basically, it seems that Tape can't deal with the "BWF" header in a Pro Tools 5.1 session. It only likes ones with an "SD2" header. However, you can mix and match supported audio formats in Pro Tools. So as long as you have an "SD2" session at the same bit depth and sample rate, you can import BWF audio into it without having to rewrite the media and Tape will print your cuesheets.

Stupid program.

August 10, 2004

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Sometimes the serendipity of things startles me.

After my recent exploits into the world of the Motorola V600 cellphone, bluetooth and my PowerBook, imagine my surprise to go online this afternoon and see that Apple has released iSync 1.5 which supports lots of new phones from Motorola and Sony Ericsson, including the V600.

Now it isn't quite as cool as it could be. You do need a USB cable to sync any Motorola phones. It's part number SKN6311 and available from Motorola for $30. So no cool bluetooth syncing there. (I do find it interesting to note that the bluetooth setup for the V600 I talked about in my earlier post needs to be configured to "Support Non-Conforming Phones" and that iSync doesn't support bluetooth on Motorola. Is there a connection? Is there a problem with Motorola's implementation of bluetooth?)

Thankfully my previous phone was a V60 which I'd set up for iSync so I already had the cable. It works great.

iSync 1.5 and Motorola V600

See that "Cellphone" group I had you make in Address Book comes in handy now. The contacts come over "First-name Last-name" via iSync instead of "Last-name First-name" like with the "Send This Card" method in Address Book. Make sure you go into "Options" and tell it which email address and fax number to send (if any). It's too bad you can't get all. You might also want to uncheck "Only synchronize contacts with phone numbers" if you've setup any email-only addresses.

Syncing with iCal works as well. Unfortunately it doesn't correctly handle multi-day all-day events. They show up as colored bars across two or more days in iCal. I use lots and lots of these for work. On the V600 they show as being all-day but only on the first day. Nothing for any other days. The phone supports multi-day all-day events. When you're editing an event on the phone, set the duration to "Custom" and you can choose how many days it lasts.

So we have iSync with the V600 and it's good.

There are still a few things that don't seem to work correctly between the phone and my PowerBook. In Address Book if I click on the Bluetooth button, it wants to Pair with my phone---even though it's already been set up. And if I tell it to pair with my phone, the connection is immediately dropped. So I'm unable to use the "SMS Message" and "Dial With Cellphone" options in Address Book.

Also the whole "file sending" thing doesn't work in every way I'd like it to. I've been able to drop MP3s into my audio folder on the phone ok and copy pictures that I've taken with the phone camera back to my computer fine. But other things give me errors. I've read about others using other phones who can select a chunk of text and use "Send File to Bluetooth Device" from the Services menu to have it sent to the phone and show up in the message inbox. Or taking J2ME applications and send them to the phone to install. In the Device Browser the error is "The file transfer failed: unsupported media type."

It's a little annoying because in the information about the device pairing in the Bluetooth Pref Pane, it claims the phone supports OBEX Object Push and OBEX File Transfer. From everything that I've read, this is the key to making certain files go where they should. It would really be nice to be able to quickly leave text files like driving directions or other notes on my phone. And even though installing Java software by FTPing it to a directory on my website and downloading it with the phone isn't hard, it would be much easier if I could just drag and drop.

So if anyone has been successful with any of those things I would love to hear about it.

August 9, 2004

Monkey Hate Clean

Who can forget the Bathroom Monkey?

"Now my bathroom's monkey clean and monkey fresh."

Koko on the other hand, doesn't hate clean. As recently mentioned by Boing Boing, Koko asked to see the dentist for a tooth ache. Feel better, Koko. Maybe the doctor will let you pick a goodie from the jar.

And while I'm on the subject of monkey business, we should all take a second to mourn the passing of Fay Wray, the beautiful blonde damsel-in-distress from King Kong.

(Sorry about the Windows Media file of "Bathroom Monkey". I know it totally sucks. I have another copy that's a muxed MPEG1 (VCD format) but Quicktime Pro was refusing to acknowledge the audio tracks when I went to convert it to MP4 and I didn't want to spend the time now looking for a demuxing program.)

Some UNIX on Mac OS X Resources

Following up on the idea of configuring Apache with virtual hosts on your own computer, you will probably need to install some extra software to more closely resemble your web host.

So after spending some time with this and my PowerBook this weekend, I have a few key Mac websites, mostly about installing various UNIX programs in OS X. (You'll need Xcode installed for much of this.)

Marc Liyanage's site is the place to go for updating your PHP, information on installing MySQL, and ImageMagick.

Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) has every Perl module you'd ever want or need. Mac OS X 10.3 ships with the cpan installer. Just type "sudo cpan" at your Terminal prompt and follow the initial setup procedure. After that, most modules can be installed with a simple "install module::name". If you're trying to install DBD::mysql because for example you're trying to setup Movable Type with MySQL, TruerWords has the information you need. Or if you'd rather go the Mac installer route, there's this.

Fink of course is the program that everyone talks about for installing UNIX software on your Mac. There are lots of pre-compiled binaries ready to go. It's very easy to use. I am a bit annoyed that it puts things in /sw/bin. Call me a purest, but I like /usr/local/bin better.

Even though it offers 4000+ packages I found several that I was hoping to use that it didn't have. Screen, jhead, and jpegtran were either not included or listed as being unstable and only available as source. That's why after a bit a poking around I found what I think might be a better thing:

DarwinPorts seems very cool. I have not used this yet but on initial examination it passed several of my tests. Even though it only has 1700+ packages it did have the 3 that I was looking for. In most cases, the versions on DarwinPorts are newer than the version on Fink. It also looks like I can install these in /usr/local/bin. (To be fair, there's probably a way to get Fink to install in /usr/local/bin as well.)

I'm seriously considering deleting Fink and going with DarwinPorts.

August 7, 2004

Local Virtual Hosts For Development

This is brilliant. Setting up Apache with virtual hosts on a local machine that mirrors a live server is a great idea for development. I've always setup other directories on the server, not accessible unless you knew what URL to enter. But with this method you wouldn't even have to be online all the time.

I could take my laptop and sit out in the park and work. Actually, now that I think about it...

August 6, 2004

Installing J2ME Software On Your Cellphone

Ever gone to a website with your cellphone and had trouble installing the J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition) software from there? Do you find that it's much easier to download the files on your computer?

Here's an easy way to fix that:

You'll either need access to your own website on the internet or you'll have to turn on the web server that's probably already installed on your computer if you're using the lastest system software like Mac OS X or Windows XP.

  1. Create a directory on your website for your J2ME software. You can call it whatever you like. The simpler the better. Something like "/j2me" might be good.

  2. If you don't have a .htaccess file in the root level of your website, create one with a text editor.

  3. Add these MIME types to your .htaccess file:

    AddType text/vnd.sun.j2me.app-descriptor jad
    AddType application/java-archive jar
  4. Enter the URL for your website and new J2ME directory in your cellphone and save it as a bookmark. Probably something like "http://www.mysite.com/j2me" for a server on the internet or "" for a local server on your own computer. Obviously "mysite.com" and "" should be the name of your website or your IP address.

Then when you find J2ME software on the web that you want to install on your phone all you need to do is this:

  1. Download the J2ME application .jar file and it's descriptor .jad file to your computer.

  2. Open the .jad file with a text editor.

  3. Make sure the line MIDlet-Jar-URL: is simply AppFilename.jar. Or whatever the .jar file is called.

  4. Upload the two files into the J2ME directory of your website.

  5. Surf to that directory with your cellphone by selecting the bookmark you setup.

  6. Select the .jad file from the directory listing to download it and install your J2ME software.

August 5, 2004

On The Job

Since I've been busy with work I'll keep it simple with some more pictures:

Foose-ball That is Robert's banana.

"And over here you'll see more big buildings." Mix magic.

I still need to figure out a way to get these images to automatically display in a sidebar in Movable Type from my album in Gallery. Anyone have any good ideas? I'm figuring it's going to have to be with PHP. I was at first hoping I could do it with the new RSS feature of Gallery 1.4.4 but it simply posts info about the entire album when it's updated. It isn't actually a "latest images" feed. My other idea is parsing the .dat files themselves in the album. But that's going to require me to learn some PHP. If anyone can help with this I would be mucho apreciado.

Brandon has an excellent MT plugin called Photo Gallery that is really easy to use. Unfortunately since it does use MT tags and MT uses static pages right now, it doesn't update with new images as I post them. I would have to trigger a rebuild every time a new photo wound up in my album.

August 4, 2004

For Whom The Coffee Breaks

I'm helping out a new show. Tomorrow we are going to do a temp mix on a couple of reels so that a studio executive can give notes over the weekend. Unfortunately the first reel just showed up this morning and the I haven't seen the second one yet. Might be a late night.

It's super secret but I smuggled this picture out. ;)

Secret Picture

August 3, 2004

Sucks To Be You

I run a lot of different pieces of software to try and figure out what's going on with my website. Pair.com gave me the choice of Webalizer or Analog. Plus I've got Sitemeter and ExtremeTracking javascripts loading at the bottom of the pages. Not to mention my Refer page. Maybe it's overkill but this site is still in the "building" stage. How do most people find my site? Who are my return visitors? What pages are the most popular? That kind of thing.

So when I was checking out my stats for the first two days of August I was annoyed to find forum avatar leechers---people who had directly linked to the images on my site for display on another site instead of downloading them and providing them on their own. It's just rude. They are eating my bandwidth. Not enough to cause me overage trouble but it's still shows a complete disregard for me. Basically every ISP on the planet gives out a bit of webspace with your account. Not to mention the tons of free places. How hard is it to save that image to the desktop and upload it to your own server?

Plus it totally blows away my legitimate tracking. Especially when people use them as forum avatars on popular sites. (And when they post alot.) One girl in Australia who was linking to a picture of Barbarella from my old Right Turn Clyde site managed to rack up 2200 hits on that picture in 2 days! And some guy in Italy had 1000 hits on a picture of The Donnas from that old site of mine. Of course those rocket to the top of all the lists in my tracking knocking out stuff that I really want to know about.

So I decided to get even using Apache's nifty little mod_rewrite:

I added this to my .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://www.vogue.com.au/forum/.* [NC]
RewriteRule .*barbarella\\.jpg$ /images/i_steal_bandwidth.gif

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://www.toronews.net/forum/.* [NC]
RewriteRule .*donnas5\\.jpg$ /images/i_steal_bandwidth.gif

So now Ms. Australia looks like this:

Barbarella Steals Bandwidth

And this guy is so bad-ass I almost crapped myself:

Toro Steals Bandwidth

You can find lots of solutions on websites to block all image requests that don't come from your own site, but I use my site to serve images and files for lots of different things---my own forum avatars on numerous sites, example screenshots for software that I beta test, etc. It would be a real pain to have to continually go in and add new sites for access. So I set this up to just block those two. Of course there are others leeching from me. But those were the worst.

And of course this solution doesn't solve my tracking problem. But revenge can be sweet. I'll block them totally in a week or two:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://www.vogue.com.au/forum/.* [NC]
RewriteRule .*(jpg|JPG|gif|GIF)$ - [F]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://www.toronews.net/forum/.* [NC]
RewriteRule .*(jpg|JPG|gif|GIF)$ - [F]

August 2, 2004

Henchman Inventory and Battle AI v1.03

The new version of Tony K's henchmen smartening, monster toughening, inventory improving add-on to Neverwinter Nights is available. I just finished up putting together the Mac installer. Windows version here.

Here's some more info for the uninitiated:

This highly configurable modification of NWN improves the intelligence of friends and foes, both inside and outside battle. Since its original release in July 2002, it has been tested by hundreds of people in the BioWare community. The mod works with or without the expansions. You can use it to play the Official, SoU, and HotU campaigns, as well as compatible fan-made modules. Prominent features are: 1) Improved battle tactics for all NPCs, especially with regard to weapon switching and spell casting; 2) Random roaming capability for monsters in the module; 3) Access to the inventory of familiars and animal companions; 4) Improved yet still legal feats and spell selection for the six standard OC henchmen; 5) More useful behavior (buffing, item-gathering) for henchmen outside battle. Most features can be turned on or off during installation.

New for v1.03: Improved beholder and mind flayer AI. Better check if creatures can use items. Changed weapon equip routines to work better with dual weapons. Fixed problems with area effect spells and AI checking saves. Fixed problem with auto unlock and henchman saying they can't do it when they can open the lock. Fixed don't summon flag not being copied in original OC during level up. Low level associates are now buffed from the buff all dialog option. Turned off monster wander in Luskan tower level one to prevent them fighting each other. Check readme for details.

Phuture Phreaks

Since I've been on the subject of cellphones recently:

Here's the one for l33+ h4x0rz with m4d sk1llz, the Motorola A780. It's supposed to be coming out at the end of the year. It supports IMAP4 and POP3 email and WAP2, WML, XHTML and HTML web browsing. Supports the EDGE network. Plays MP3s, WAVs, WMAs and AACs. Has a camera, SyncML, pretty much everything you'd want. And it runs Linux! All it needs is a little QWERTY keyboard and you'd be totally set.

August 1, 2004

A Bit About Gallery Photo Moblogging

It turns out that the email to Gallery gateway that I set up was uglier than I thought. I would strongly recommend not using these scripts to post photos from your camera phone to a webpage. I thought it was just that my implementation of procmail was bad because I didn't really know what I was doing. Well it was bad, but the scripts aren't very good either. At least the mimesave.pl one isn't. I'm still learning Perl so I only have a bit of an idea of what's going on, but it definitely does a few bad things. I would stay away from it unless you're willing to rewrite some sections. The parsing of the mime attachments is the real culprit. It decodes the mime attachment and reads the raw data into a new file and generates a random name for it with a .gif extension instead of looking at the actual name of the attached file.

This is a much better way to do it. You'll need to learn a bit about procmail---though you have to do it with those bad scripts above anyway. Instead of the flakey mimesave.pl script, you use the nice Unix C-program ripMIME. Pair.com, my hosting service, does an amazing job of having many, many programs pre-installed on all their servers. If you look at the list of Perl modules they have installed, it's staggering. Or at least I think it is. Maybe those are standard on most web servers. I don't know. Anyway, they already had ripMIME installed so I didn't have to compile it myself.

Infinite Ink has an amazing starting guide to procmail. I'm certainly no expert now but it taught me enough to set up a couple of proper recipes on a special Gallery gateway email address I created to send pictures from my phone and have them posted to my Gallery webpage. This article by Zig, and this one by Phil, have some nice specifics about dealing with the Qmail mail transfer agent on pair.com and interfacing it with procmail. There's also a ton of information here at PairUsers---not only about email but pretty much every aspect of anything you might want to do with your website.

This is a simplified version of the ~/.procmailrc file that I setup to handle the email to Gallery gateway:


# prevent qmail (the program that is calling procmail
# as a filter) from delivering the original mail. We'll
# handle all delivery from here, thankyouverymuch.

# This is for support of the virtual mailboxes on pair.com
# The $MYACCOUNT variable is sent to Procmail when it is envoked from Qmail.
# You need to change "my_account" and "mydomain.com" to your own.

#### End Variables section; Begin Processing section ####  

# This is setup for virtual mailboxes on pair.com
# You need to change "myaccount-mydomain:com-mygatewayemail@mydomain\\.com"
# and "phoneemailaddress" and "http://gallery" and "uname" and
# "pwd" and "album". Also change path to "galleryadd.pl".
* ^Delivered-To:.*myaccount-mydomain:com-mygatewayemail@mydomain\\.com
* ^Content-Type:.*multipart/mixed
* ^From:.*phoneemailaddress
| ripmime -i - -d $HOME/tempdir/ --syslog_on --no_nameless &&\
  ./galleryadd.pl -l http://gallery -u uname -p pwd -a album $HOME/tempdir/* &&\
  rm $HOME/tempdir/*

# If email comes in for mygatewayemail and it doesn't match any of the
# rules above, trash it.
* ^Delivered-To:.*myaccount-mydomain:com-mygatewayemail@mydomain\\.com

As it exists right now, it will only really work for pair.com accounts if you swap out the placeholders I mention in the comments for your own information. Unless there are other web space providers who set up their mail like Pair does. It seems a little unique to me. But the basic idea is there for people at other places. I strongly suggest you go through Infinte Ink's quick start guide to learn how it works and then compare my recipe to the one that jmullen provided in the link above to see how I had to adapt it to my particular situation.

For extra security, a password system should be implemented as well. But as long as you keep your gateway email address private, this should keep out most spam. You could even add in a check for other headers that might show in email sent from your phone. There are probably a few other bits that would make it a little more unique and a little less possible to spam.