Archive for September, 2007

Interview of me on Beachwalks.tv

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Earlier this week at the Podcast and Portable media expo I had some time to sit and chat with my very insightful friend Roxanne Darling and some other people I met at the expo.  Check out the link from her site below.
Beach Walks with Rox #501 – Meet the Podcasterslt;/a>

Who’s an amateur now? The lines are blurred.

Friday, September 28th, 2007

While I’m out in Ontario California for this convention I’ve been bombarded with food for thought. It all started in a morning session where a group of podcasters were telling their story about how they put together a dialogue of 23 characters for a big podcast event. The question was brought up if the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) would care. Out of the audience a man proclaiming to be a member of SAG (and with my years of working in Hollywood for production companies I can tell by his look that he was indeed an actor) stood up. He stated his belief that podcasting was still small fries and nicely berated those that weren’t legitimate actors like himself with disgust using the “A” word. Amateurs.

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Some real class acts

Friday, September 28th, 2007

While at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo this year I’ve got to give a quick shout out to some real class acts. First and foremost I’ve got to give my friend Roxanne Darling a hand for a great seminar today on how she makes video production easy (these pictures are from last year but I’ll take new ones tomorrow).

roxanne1.jpg

Then to Leo Leporte and Steve Gibson for “Security Now” getting Podcast of the year (Leo couldn’t come this year).

leolaporte.jpg

Also, I’ve got to give a quick applause to a very good video podcast for the children and the curious about animals. A guy named Joel Mark, of the Maryland Zoo, started a video podcast that’s 5 minutes long and about a different animal each time. It’s definitely something to look forward to as the upcoming video about camels is cute for the kids, funny, and educational. Find him at www.marylandzoo.tv. He was worried about his job because he started this without approval. However, I notice now that his link is redirected to the zoo’s site and embedded there. That must mean he’s safe.

Live blogging from Podcamp in Ontario

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I’ve been so wanting to post something in the last day or so but a lot of running around and getting ready for going to the Podcast and Portable Media Expo has had most of my focus.  I am out in Ontario, California today at the Podcamp the day before the expo.  I’m listening to some great speakers right now and had lunch with Roxanne Darling of Beach Walks.

I seemed to have had a ton of interest in a question I decided to speak up on about getting my grandmother on Linux.  More precisely it was about making her listen to the new media of podcasting like the old media of radio.  I’ve been approached by quite a few people about how I did it.  One man was saying that I was the hit of the show so far.  The bad part is, I introduced myself but not my website.

I’ll have more info about what I learned here and possibly go into more depth about my family podcast setup and my new job as programming director for my family’s viewing and listening needs.

Follow the link to Roxanne’s show.  I should be on her podcast later today.

Whose going to change the world?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I just watched a video on piracy around the world and it really made me think alot. A video store owner somewhere in eastern Europe was talking about how they don’t care about American laws on our movies, etc. Then a man in Nigeria was saying that the police only bother them if they’re bootlegging movies made in Nigeria and not the ones made here. Even bigger was a man from the movie industry that says that there is no way they expect to stop online piracy like bittorrenting but just scare some people and companies.

This kind of inconsistency in a system just can’t go on forever. What is the new paradigm going to be? Will it be the open source zealots that conquer the prevailing winds and ride them to a unified way of thinking? Is Creative Commons going to overturn the music and movie industry? At first I was wondering was I just using these things because I was just cheap. I soon realized that software prices were becoming outrageous because they knew they had me by the balls. Music cd’s produced less hits but the price was going up and movies quality is being surpassed by home TV’s and we don’t care if we see it with a mass of people while eating overcharged goods.

Put your thinking hats on people. It’s a rough ride ahead before calm waters.

Mint.com for your finances. Hmmm…

Monday, September 24th, 2007

Just a quick note. If you haven’t heard about this new software named Mint I’ll give you a brief summary. Mint is supposed to be a Quicken replacement that is a Web 2.0 looking flashy interface. It shows you how much money you can save by downloading all your financial info and doing some financial voodoo that shows you what it saved you. Sounds great huh?

NOT! I’m sure you know how I feel about strictly online services but if you’re thinking about putting all your bank data online you must be out of your mind crazy. I read security statement and even with 128 bit encryption it still makes me very nervous. Granted, your computer is probably less secure than their servers but who are they? Are they a well known bank? A well known brokerage? No. That just screams stay away. Let other people that don’t read my blog be the crash test dummies.

MS Office is now the bullseye

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I’ve never smoked cigarettes but for a couple years now I’ve totally understood that addiction. I’ll tell you what mine has been: Microsoft Office. I’d do anything to get a hold of it in my past. I worked a deal a while back to buy some licenses from a vendor that I bought a lot of products through so I still use it. However, that was quite a few years ago and right now I’m seeing no compelling reason to upgrade to Office 2007. FYI, my wife’s new Macbook came with Office 2007 so I may play with it more there.

I’ve blogged a long time ago about my dependence on Microsoft Outlook and Access. I’ve been trying to find a way around them to little avail. Well, that’s what it would seem like but I actually have found solutions but I still have that Office monkey on my back. At home and for my consulting I work in Linux, Windows, and Mac and one of the major themes of this blog is working well in all three or whatever you’re given. Well, with my laptop I primarily boot into Linux, my desktop I primarily use Windows and and my wife is on a Mac. The rest of my systems are a mixture of the three except I run all Linux servers. So, for consistency at home and for offices I really want to run the same software throughout.

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Why are all those icons on your desktop

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

hobo.jpgPicture a simpler time. Let’s go back before my life and most of my readers to the 1950′s and 60′s.bumcart.jpg The classic hobo carried a knapsack on the end of a stick that had everything he needed. He traveled in boxcars and was resourceful enough to make a way out of his surroundings. Fast forward to present day. Even our less fortunate members of society have shopping carts. They have to have tons of useless items with them just to make them feel good.

How do I get back to what’s new and exciting for you?

A new concept. Lean in and listen really close.

Are you close enough to hear yet?

YOU’VE GOT TOO MUCH CRAP ON YOUR PC! Yes, I’m probably talking to you. It’s epidemic. Microsoft has even tried to help you by making Windows XP and Vista have a feature that warns you about icons on your desktop that have not been used in a very long time. Microsoft isn’t innocent though. When many people buy computers they have extra Microsoft MSN icons on the desktop and on the start menu. Messenger wants to force itself on your status bar. The rest though is all your fault. Oh, I’m not totally innocent here. I used to pass the buck saying that it’s Firefox’s fault. On my Linux, Mac, or Windows PC’s Firefox defaults to saving to the desktop. Easily changeable but I never get around to it.

My wife and I are big are purging things. I had my kids in the garage with me this weekend and they left with the trash can, recycle bin, and a little of the grass shavings can filled due to some plant and grass growing up against the outer wall. That’s a great feeling for me. I love a good purging.

This post is easy and quick. Look through you computer and clean out all the useless stuff. The internet is so big that if you do delete something you want you can get it back when you need it and it’ll even be a newer version. Get rid of favorites, desktop icons, My Document’s files, contacts you know you’ve given up on, and installed programs that you never use.

You’ll be amazed at how much that clears your mind.

Who’s “One laptop per child” really for?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

onelaptopperchild11.jpg

I am at such a crossroads on this subject. If you haven’t been in the know on this, for a year or more now it’s really been a big thing to create an affordable laptop for use by children in Africa or impoverished Asian country. The laptop is supposed to be $100 (that’s why you may also hear of it as the $100 laptop). Here’s my dilemma. I’m of African decent so I’m treading very carefully there. Also, my wife is a special education teacher and I started out teaching children computers.

Here’s the beef. Who are these laptops for… Really? The reason being this world isn’t that generous. I can guarantee you that the second these pan out that you’ll see quite a few of them at Starbucks. That’s the only reason for everybody is so concerned with it. Of course there are going to be pictures of a couple of kids in Africa that have no power or lights at home but will be smiling and using the laptop.

What’s the point in that? Why are we trying to fool ourselves? A computer is a tool. Please, don’t see it more than this. If you gave me a tractor today it would be utterly useless to me. If they started the one tractor per man project I’d think, “Wow, that’s great, but I could have just used a lawn mower for my lawn.” It’s the same here. I don’t want to deprive their growth but why not just have learning centers where they have desktops? The reason is we are not as altruistic as we want to seem. I can guarantee that fifty times more of these laptops will end up in modern suburban homes of people that could afford to pay more but are saving money. We don’t like to pay for anything. I know I don’t.

So if for one second you believe that we’re trying to help out all those kids (especially BOYS that can’t get into the Oprah Winfrey Girls learning center that is totally sexist), you’ve been deceived. The laptops that aren’t funneled into the corrupt local governments of these countries will be in the cities.

The good thing is, the laptops run Linux. You don’t really need to hack them that much to make them totally usable with everything. Just a little bit of know how.

Sorry for the rant it’s just been in the news and bugging me. How could we possibly believe that a group of people that don’t have much food, water, or power could be thinking or want the chic factor of a laptop.

Things computers can’t do

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Here’s a great post I found on Digg. It totally backs up a previous blog I wrote about “Live free or die hard.” (Don’t fear world, it’s just a movie)

It’s called 5 Things Hollywood thinks computers can do.