INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, "Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you're reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it's what's led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today."

Tabula rasa

What better way to start the year than with a clean e-mail slate?

I went through my e-mail accounts on New Year’s Day to process it back to Inbox Zero – the state it was in weeks ago, which I wrote about in a blog post here.

INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, "Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you're reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it's what's led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today."

INBOX ZERO. Merlin Mann, who cooked up Inbox Zero, said, “Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf. The interest you pay on email you’re reluctant to deal with is compounded every day and, in all likelihood, it’s what’s led you to feeling like such a useless slacker today.”

It took me less than a day to process the e-mails that had accumulated in December. It took much less time because I had done the grunt work in September. For weeks after that initial work, I was able to maintain the Inbox Zero state of my main e-mail account with regular reviews.

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Sony Ericsson unveils K770

Sony Ericsson has released its latest model in the Cyber-shot line: the K770. The phone, which will be marketed as the K770i in the Philippines and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, will be available by the fourth quarter of this year.

The K770 belongs to a phone line renowned for it’s photo quality: Cyber-shot models have photo qualities good enough to be able to carry Sony Ericsson’s brand for stand-alone digital cameras.

K770 SONY ERICSSON K770. The latest model in the Cyber-shot line will be available by the end of this year. Click on photo to enlarge.

I still use my trusty K750i but my wife–having converted to Sony Ericsson purely on the fact that she lives with a company fan boy–already upgraded to the K800i.

To be honest, the K750i more than serves my needs. I use it to take photos, including images I use in this blog. I once dunked it into the sea in Camotes Islands while taking a water-level shot of my kids swimming. I shook it a bit to remove water that had gotten into openings, let it dry in the sun, and proceeded to take more photos after a few minutes.

I use the K750i as my main digital media player and, at times, file storage. I use it daily to send and receive e-mails. I even use it to capture data. But having played with my wife’s K800i stirred an urge in me to upgrade.

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Upgrading WordPress Lightbox plugin

I just upgraded the Lightbox 2.0 plugin I use for my WordPress installations. I use Lightbox 2.0 extensively for snazzy image loading effects in my blog and all the other sites I run. The script loads images in an overlay window and dims all the other parts of the page.

Lightbox plugin LIGHTBOX FOR WORDPRESS. The Lightbox plugin I use for my WordPress installations now works with the WordPress post editor. Click on photo to preview Lightbox effect in loading larger version of image.

You can try it out with the photo that comes with this post (it won’t work, though, if you read this on an RSS reader or in your e-mail, you have to go to my blog).

In the new version, WordPress Lightbox 2 0.6.3, the lightbox button now works with the WordPress post editor, albeit only in the code view. In previous versions, you had to save the post before the lightbox button appeared. The new version only supports WordPress 2.1 and higher and uses the Prototype and Scriptaculous library that come bundled with WordPress. The new version now allows you to easily enter group names for photo sets.

In upgrading from earlier versions, I suggest you disable the plugin and then delete the entire folder before uploading the new version. I tried just overwriting the plugin and encountered errors.

For more on how to use Lightbox to implement snazzy image loading in your blog, check my tutorial in this post.

Upgrading to Sony Ericsson K800i

When my wife needed to upgrade her phone several weeks back, there was no question on which brand she’ll be getting. The question was which Sony Ericsson model best fits her needs and our budget.

I am a Sony Ericsson fan boy and my fanaticism must have rubbed off on my wife because she decided to dump Nokia. Not even a recent marketing fiasco by Sony Ericsson Philippines can dampen my Sony Ericsson fanaticism.

Sony Ericsson K800i A PHONE ANY BLOGGER WOULD LOVE. The Sony Ericsson K800i comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera, which makes it great for taking photos for websites and blogs. The 3G phone can also display RSS feeds. Click on photo to enlarge.

My wife chose the Sony Ericsson K800 or, as it is being marketed here in the Asia-Pacific region, K800i. The phone is part of the company’s Cyber-shot line, phone products with image taking qualities good enough to carry the Sony brand for standalone digital cameras.

The K800i is no longer the latest in its line. Sony Ericsson has already upgraded the line by launching the K810i and announcing the coming availability of the K850i.

What stands out in the K800 line is the ability to upgrade the firmware over the air. In previous Sony Ericsson versions, you need to attach your phone to your PC via a USB cable to upgrade your unit’s firmware. With the K800, you can upgrade your firmware from the phone itself.

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Zooomr Mark III now live: Get unlimited photo storage; sell images

My favorite photo sharing website, Zooomr, is now live after weeks of being down. The two-man website had upgraded its services to Mark III, a new version that had been months in the planning and contains a lot of new features.

Among the features of Mark III is the ability of users to sell their photos and set prices for them. Users get to keep 80 percent of the sale.

Zooomr Mark III WHAT’S THE PRICE? Zooomr allows photographers to set prices for their images. The photo-sharing website will soon be launching a marketplace where people can buy photographs.

Zooomr founder Kristopher Tate had attempted to upgrade the site previously but rolled back when the downtime took too long. In this last attempt, the downtime took two weeks but most of its users were still very supportive of the service and its two-man crew: Tate and chief evangelist Thomas Hawk.

For days, I was among the many loyal Zooomr users rooting for the upgrade to be successful, visiting the site daily to check for updates. I was among those who regularly watched the live video feed of Kristopher working on the upgrade and taking the site back up. I partly shared their disappointment when, a few minutes after the upgrade went live, it’s database server crashed. I say partly because no one can be as disappointed over the crash as Kristopher and Thomas, who gave so much for the upgrade to work.

The site is now back up, thanks to the help of Zoho, Sun, Dell and various groups and people who answered a call by Robert Scoble for the community to help Zooomr.

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Get unlimited photo storage with Zooomr

Photo sharing site Zooomr has removed the limits on the amount of photo you can upload and store in the site. Zooomr is currently undergoing transition to Mark III, a new version with over 250 new features and which offers users the ability to sell photographs and keep 90% of the sale.

zooomr NO LIMIT. Zooomr has removed storage limits for its users. The free photo storage site is currently undergoing transition to a new version. Click on photo to view larger image.

The transition to Mark III has been delayed but founder Kristopher Tate has decided to remove account limits, a move scheduled for Mark III.

If you post a lot of photos in your website or blog, it makes sense to host it with sites such as Flickr or Zooomr. If you host your blog or website in a shared web server, as I do, you run the risk of going over your web space quota in just a few months if you frequently post high-resolution photos.

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Better photo presentation in your website in 2 easy steps

Photos are best presented with captions or cutlines. The caption adds context to photographs and provides readers such information as the identity of the people in it, where it was taken and any other data not obvious in the photograph.

I used to publish photos with captions by creating an HTML table to contain the image and caption and then floating this within the text by giving the table a left or right alignment. Not only is the process cumbersome but many experts in web design advice against using tables for anything but tabular data.

There is a simpler way to do it.

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Adobe releases Lightroom beta for Windows

Adobe Lightroom, the software “built from the ground up by photographers, for photographers,” now has a Windows version of its beta. I tried it and I was blown away with the way it allows you to edit your photographs.

The Windows version is labeled Beta 3 but Adobe’s announcement says the program is slightly behind the Mac version.

Adobe LightroomLightroom, according to Adobe, “is an efficient, powerful way to import, select, develop and showcase large volumes of digital images. It allows you to spend less time sorting and organizing images, so you have more time to actually shoot and perfect them.” Here’s a comprehensive post on the capabilities of Lightroom.

To run Lightroom in Windows, you need to have Windows XP with Service Pack 2, a Pentium 4 processor with at least 768MB of RAM (albeit they recommend 1GB), 1 GB of hard disk space and 1024 x 768 resolution screen. I tested Lightroom with less than the required RAM and it was slow. Even then, I was still blown away.