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A Picture a Day.

It’s January 1st and when you’re reading this, a picture from today should be visible on the sidebar. You should also be able to visit the A Picture a Day section with the calendar and everything. There are a lot of “shoulds” here because I’m writing this on December 30 and scheduling the entry since I have no idea what state I’m in on January 1.

What is “A Picture a Day” anyway? It’s my attempt to take a new picture every day in 2013. We’ll see if I make it. This post, however, is a bit of information about the bits and bytes that make up the A Picture a Day feature. I started out with grand plans; to use a NoSQL database to store the data (since I will be focusing a little on NoSQL databases at work this year) and an Android app to upload the pictures.

In the end, though, I went with the good old relational database courtesy of MySQL and a simple HTML form for uploading the pictures. The reasoning behind all this was simple: I wanted to get everything ready during my Christmas vacation and not spend all my spare time working on it. So I decided to use technologies I know well. The result was that I managed to slap everything together and iron out most of the bugs in two days before Christmas. There are probably still bugs and the calendar doesn’t yet support displaying several pictures on a single day in the unlikely event that that would actually happen.

For the pictures I will be using my “mobile phone”; the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, and some photography software, most likely Vignette, to take the actual pictures. The problem with this is that the Galaxy Tab is a tad too big to bring out and take pictures with everywhere. If you have seen people with their iPads, you know what I’m talking about. In addition to the size, the Galaxy Tab is somewhat limited by its camera, a 3.0 MP AF camera with LED flash that, to be honest, doesn’t take great quality pictures.

So I’m on the lookout for a smaller device with a better camera and a built in GPS for location EXIF data. The natural choice would be a new mobile phone. The new Nexus 4 seems like a great alternative, but it’s sold out everywhere and there’s no word from Google when it might available to purchase again. I could go for another Android phone, there are a lot of good models available, but I want my next phone to be a Nexus branded phone simply because they get the OS updated much quicker than other Android handsets.

What would be a perfect gadget for A Picture a Day would be the Samsung Galaxy Camera: It’s a 16.3 MP camera with autofocus, 21x optical zoom and a pop-up Xenon flash. And it runs Android. In practice this means that I can use any Android application on it. It also has a built in GPS and mobile data and Wi-Fi connectivity. A perfect match. The problem with Samsung Galax Camera, however, is that it’s rather pricey. I’ve seen it for NOK 4000 (~USD 716, over USD 200 more than the US list price), which is what you’d pay for a high end smart phone.

But maybe I’ll go crazy and get one. Anniken and I bought a compact camera a few years ago before we went to Spain, and it desperately needs a replacement soon. Besides, you’ll also benefit from it, since it’ll result in higher quality A Picture a Day shots. And only the best is good enough for you, my friends.

All right, I’ll get one. For you.

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