Hiking trip around Whistler

Before the Firefox Summit starts on Wednesday this week, Clint and I have decided to take 3 days off for vacation. We want to enjoy the stunning area around Whistler, which is about 100km in the north of Vancouver. British Columbia is really a beautiful area and absolutely invites you to have hiking or biking tours in the nature.

Our first hiking tour yesterday was a short planned one. We bought a map of the whole area in the morning and decided which trip we wanted to do. Goal was to reach the Wedgemont Lake. We haven’t really checked the elevation up to that lake and given the fact that we started a bit too late, we weren’t able to make it. But finally it was a 28km hike with about 700m elevation gain:

It was great to be back in the hotel and to be able to relax. It was a great experience even we haven’t seen any bear – or thanksfully. 🙂 Here some pictures from the hike:

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Phototour in the Napa Valley

During my stay the Silicon Valley I haven’t only had a great day in San Francisco but also spent a day in the famous whine region of California called Napa Valley. Together with my co-worker Marcia we were driven up those 100 miles to mainly take pictures of the blooming mustard. The day was absolutely sunny but sadly we haven’t had luck to see lot of mustard. We were a bit too late or too early. But beside that we got a lot of impressions and enjoyed taking pictures. I was a bit disappointed that you do not have a chance to get closer to some areas, you have to know that most of those properties are private and visitors aren’t allowed to enter. The only way you can follow is up to the nice little castles and chateaus to taste the local wine. Everyone recommended that tastings but there was no time for us. If you stay in that area, you shouldn’t miss to attend at least one of those tastings.

Back in San Francisco we had a bit of time to drive up the hill in the north of the Golden Gate Bridge. We got a bit higher with the car as Martijn and myself were able the day before with the bikes. You will have a wonderful view from there down to San Francisco. By taking some animal pictures we ended that Sunday with a couple of nice pictures. But see yourself:

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A Day in San Francisco

Yesterday I had a great day in San Francisco. My colleague Martijn joined me and we did a walk through the city and rented bikes to visit the Golden Gate Bridge from the other side of the bay. The weather was quiet perfect this time. But see yourself…

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Photo challenge – please vote for us

Some weeks ago a friend of mine pointed me to an upcoming photo challenge about image manipulation created. It has been initiated by the biggest German computer magazine c’t. My first thought was to attend this challenge but I recognized that I don’t have any great images on my box and no time to work on that. But surprisingly a friend was visiting me over those days and we had some great shots in the Saxon Switzerland.

Given those pictures Silvia made a fake image in parallel without knowing about this challenge. Once I had seen the result I pushed here to subscribe to the challenge. After some talks and further processing steps of the image we have decided to take the challenge just for fun. About 3 weeks ago the first results have been posted to the online gallery and a public survey has been started. 139 of the best pictures can be voted by everyone and our faked image is in this list too.

Here a former version and not the final one on my Flickr account:

Surprisingly a former colleague and a friend of mine informed me today that we have made it to even show up on spiegel.de. Woot – there are only 13 images posted. So isn’t it a call that we have good chances?

Please help us and vote for our image when you like it. We appreciate your help.

17 Miles Drive

In February I got a hint from a colleague of mine to visit the Pebble Beach Resorts. This peninsula is mostly know by golfers and a place for rich people. But also has some scenic areas you can visit as tourist. There is a street routed through the whole area which is called the 17 Miles Drive.

So I picked up Marcia in the morning and we were driven to that area with my rental car. It is about 100 miles in the South from Mountain View (California). We haven’t had the best weather as all the time I have spent in California but at least there was no rain. So we were able to have a look at nearly each place. I liked the rocky beach and the greenish taint on that peninsula. See the pictures below to get an impression how does it look like.

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Visting the Golden Gate Bridge

Due to my new job I had to spent a whole month in California last February. I already blogged about it shortly. It was a great experience for me. Thanks to all my colleagues who made it a wonderful stay! Mozilla rocks!

Beside the work and the bad weather I have taken one day to visit San Francisco. Together with Tobias Leingruber we checked the area around Pier 39, the Bay coast, and finally the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m impressed each time I see those bridges and have to think about how they get constructed. The bridge was the longest suspension bridge worldwide for 27 years! But it has lost its title after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York has been finished in 1964. Anyway, nearly everybody worldwide knows this bridge so it will definitely remain as one of the most famous bridges.

I really enjoyed the trip and the view you have when walking to the north point and back. So for the next time I know that I have to visit the bridge by night!

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Staying in California

It’s already a week ago since I had to flight-out to California. The time is passing really fast while working with such awesome people on the best web browser. Sorry that I wasn’t able to post about it yet. I hope that I’ll find time in the next days to give a short report.

Just in-front a picture of the Caltrain station in Mountain View. Sadly it was only one day with sunny weather. In the last week it has been raining mostly all the time. I hope for better weather over the upcoming weekend. There are plans to visit San Francisco. So lets keep the fingers crossed…

Caltrain station in Mountain View
Caltrain station in Mountain View

Exploring Vancouver and Firefox Summit 2008

The next week or better days will be really exiting. As a contributor to the Mozilla project I was invited to join the Firefox Summit 2008 in Whistler, BC, Canada. Thanks for getting the chance! It’s deeply grateful. I’ll enjoy the days in listening to talks, having discussions with other community members and employees of Mozilla and just be able to see each one in real life (Steven, this time it will really happen!).

Together with Abdulkadir Topal, who co-ordinates the German translation of Firefox and helped me a lot with the website translation, we will reach Vancouver this Thursday evening. So we have 3 days to explore Vancouver and the area around. There is still a plan of things to do but its not final. So if anyone is interested to join us, you are welcome. Just ping me in IRC or add a comment here. Otherwise see you on Monday!

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.3 released

Last Friday Adobe released the third update of its Lightroom software. It’s free again for all registered users. Downloads are available for Mac OS X and Windows.

With Lightroom 1.3 a bunch of known bugs were fixed. Photoshopservices gives a good overview about most of them. There is also a brand new Export dialog available. Under the hood it will offer a fantastic new feature. From now on developers can create export plug-ins which could export images directly to Flickr, Picasa, FTP hosts, or whatever you want. There is a first Export SDK release on Adobe Labs available. Let’s see what developers will spread around.

For myself the auto-write XMP performance speed-up fix comes a bit too late now. I enabled that preference already last week and did a sync for all of my pictures taken since 2003. While it was working I wasn’t able to do anything on my macbook for around two hours due to the high cpu load. And that’s on a dual core!

With the latest fixes to have a better support for Leopard I’m ready to run an upgrade in the next time. I’m really anxious!

Anyone who is interested to buy Lightroom can have a look at Amazon. There it’s available for Mac and Windows and costs 279,99EUR.

Videotutorial für Lightroom

Für die ersten Schritte in Lightroom stellte Galileo Design ein kostenloses Videotutorial online zur Verfügung. Mit 2:42h Spielzeit beleuchtet es alle wichtigen Elemente, um mit Lightroom effizient zu arbeiten und auch entsprechende Ergebnisse zu erhalten.

Während im Shop von Adobe der Preis von Lightroom schon auf 296 EUR gesetzt wurde, ist das Software-Paket für Windows und Mac OS X bei Amazon noch für 186 EUR zu bekommen. Keine Ahnung, wann auch hier eine Preisanhebung stattfindet. Wer schnell ist, erhält es noch zum Einführungspreis.