Christmas 2007

Christmas 2006 was a lotta fun but there is always room for improvement and some of those ideas just didn't make it for 2006. Here are some ideas for Christmas 2007 (and Christmas 2008!), and comment on the christmas blog and/or email me your suggestions.

1. The Incredible Hulk.   The Big Green Guy will definately be back ... and his twin brother will be "Home for Christmas!!!"

2. More webcams.   There was one webcam in 2005 and three for 2006 - debated setting up another one for christmas 2007, but I don't have a "good" fourth spot.

3. More Christmas Lights.   I always hit the stores after the holidays for the 50-75% off sales ... so there will be a few new things out there - see pictures below.

4. Possible new bells & whistles with Webcam and Webcontrol.   The Webcam and WebControl (which allowed folks to not only view the lights in real-time, but also turn them ON and OFF) is a big hit, so I'm always curious to see what technologies come my way this year to see how they can be used.

5. Alternative home automation technology.   X10 isn't bad, but it would be way cool if some sort of cheap, easy-to-use, home automation technology could be deployed in 2007 that had milli-second latencies, two way communication, and 99.99% reliability - hey, I'm not asking for much! ;-)

6. More fund-raising.   It was not only fun raising money for celiac disease but it made me feel "good" ... so I'll be doing that again - total at the end of 2006 was over $15,000 and consider donating now to the University of Maryland - every little bit helps.

7. Streaming video on webcam.   Related to point #2 above, I'd love to do streaming video rather than refreshed JPEG's. In 2005, a meta-refresh was used which caused a "blink" in the image. In 2006, Javascript was used to make for smoother updates. Streaming video didn't make it for christmas 2007 - maybe in 2008?!? ;-)

8. More geo-location hacks.   Alek's location is the United States - Hulkville in the Republic of Boulder, ColoradoAlek's location is the United States - Hulkville in the Republic of Boulder, Colorado (mouse-over the flag!)
The christmas maps were a big hit last year as web surfers from 113 countries came by. So I've also added a nifty "flag" feature to the blog that shows were commenters are coming from.

9. Misc. code fixing/polishing.   As you can imagine, there is some fairly sophisticated hardware and code to run all this. Buzzword-Bingo includes Linux, Apache, Perl, Ajax, HTML, CSS, etc. While often not apparent to end-users, there are always a few bugs (usually behind the scenes) that have to be squashed.

10. Webcam HTML and CSS validates per W3C standards.   This is a geek thing ... and it was pretty close last year with the main issue being the use of the depreciated marqueue tag ... so I finally rewrote that in Javascript and now the HTML and CSS of the over-the-top christmas lights webcam validates with zero errors! ;-)
w3c validation

Be sure to check back here around Thanksgiving 2007 for the christmas decorations where you can view and control 'em via the christmas webcam - christmas 2007 should be even better!

Hulk's Long Lost Twin Brother will be Home for Christmas!

halloween hulk