Thursday, April 28, 2005

Magic Storm Light

Magic Light on Tower Hall, SJSU
I had a great time at the Educause conference. There were very informative presentations at the conference. Folks were there from all over the western states. I met some really interesting people who were very smart and very passionate about their work. It was inspiring.

After the conference I went to SJSU to do some work. When I stepped out of the building I work in I looked up to see this swirling mass of storm clouds. Then, I looked over at Tower Hall and saw a great shaft of light illuminating the structure. It was magic storm light and I had a camera with me. I started shooting until the light went away. As I walked to my car the rain started. It was some of the best light I have seen in a long time.

Notes from Educause WRC, Day 3

Using my Tablet PC I have posted my notes taken today in Microsoft One Note. These are my hand written notes from day three, converted to PDF.

Blogging from Educause WRC, Day 3, #1

I am at Educause listening to the closing general session on privacy and security. This has been a great conference. One of the hardest things has been choosing which of several great concurrent sessions to attend. I truly appreciate the support of Mary Jo, Chris and Mary Fran, my managers in Academic Technology, who have supported my attending and presenting at conferences like this. This has helped me be better at my job and made me even more excited about it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Notes from Educause WRC, Day 2

Using my Tablet PC I have posted my notes taken in Microsoft One Note. These are my hand written notes from day two, converted to PDF.

Blogging from Educause WRC, Day 2, #2

I am on the BART

Cable Car after rain
Todays session of the Educause Western Regional Conference is over for me. I am heading past the Oakland Coliseum heading for Fremont on BART. My presentation on Podcasting went very well. I will be repeating the same presentation for an Instructional Technology (IT) class tonight. I wish I could teach a class in Emerging Technology for the IT program, that would be great fun!

I took this photo of a cable car while I was walking to the BART station. It is amazing what you can do with technology. I uploaded the photo to my laptop, edited it in PhotoShop and will post it as soon as I get in range of a wireless network. That is a period of an hour or so.

I like the picture. It was taken right after a rain. The air was crisp clear and full of scents of rain, fresh air and the wares of the sidewalk vendors. It was a moment to savor.

Blogging from Educause WRC, Day 2, #1

I am in the San Francisco Ballroom of the Hyatt hotel in San Francisco attending conference sessions at the Educause Western Regional Conference. In about an hour I will be presenting on Podcasting. This should be fun!

MN says Apple pulled Wiley books from store shelves

According to the Tuesday, April 26th edition of the San Jose Mercury News, Apple is going to pull all the books published by John Wiley and Sons from the shelves of all Apple retail outlets in reaction to the publishing by Wiley of the Jeffrey S. Young book, "iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business."
If true, this has got to have a chilling effect on other publishers like O'Reilly and Peachpit Press. The relationship between these publishers and Apple cannot be helped by the sort of heavy handed approach Apple seems to be taking. This is also an example of why the kind of vertical monopoly Apple has on the platform is not always a good thing. Yes, I am typing this on my brand new Macintosh. Yes, I am concerned about some of Apple's business practices. Yes, I bought an Apple despite this.
What about their competition? No matter what you may think of Microsoft, I cannot imagine them doing anything even remotely like this. They have embraced openness and have allowed their own employees, folks like Bob Scoble, to even be openly critical of the company.
Apple, by having a string of retail outlets, and competing with and sometimes replacing the chain of independent retail vendors, is in a unique position to influence and control the Mac platform supply chain. If you consider the market as being the Mac platform, and not personal computers in general, I think you have monopolistic practices occurring here. Pulling all of the Wiley books off the shelves of the Apple outlets is heavy handed, in my opinion.
In my opinion, the consumer public is not served well in such an environment. In my opinion, freedom of the press is also not served well. I applaud Wiley for standing by their authors, I hope the other publishers stand by Wiley and I intend to buy the book. I also intend to use my new Apple PowerBook to order it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Blogging from Educause WRC, #3

Using my Tablet PC I have posted my notes taken in Microsoft One Note. These are my hand written notes, converted to PDF.
My favorite presentation was one on the educational possibilities of massively multi player role playing virtual worlds. This was very interesting to me and has a lot of potentials for distance learning and experiential learning. This really plays into Bloom's Taxonomy and is a very powerful learning tool, I think. The presentation focused on Second Life, but I imagine it being combined with a virtual reality environment that is more like Halo 2. Can you imagine a distance learning tool that combines the ability to role play historical events like Halo 2 with the collaboration capability of Skype?
I can, and it would rock the educational world!
You could have the students meet in a virtual classroom, see a film on the Cuban Missile Crisis, then suddenly divide into Russian, Cuban and American groups. After the simulation is over, virtual class reconvenes. All this would be done with learners totally dispersed geographically!

Blogging from Educause WRC #2

Brian L. Hawkins, President of Educause, just gave a talk about navigating the seas of IT change and coping with new technology. He used a nautical metaphor. He spoke very keenly about the need to base decisions on research and data. But, isn't research based on gathering evidence after an event? How do you research things that have not happened yet? How do you gauge the success of your voyage when you are sailing on new and uncharted seas?

Blogging from Educause WRC

I am at the Educause Western Regional Conference, tomorrow I am going to be presenting here on Podcasting and speaking about Tablet PC computing in education. The audience is Instructional Technologists from Colleges and Universities throughout the western United States. It is at the Hyatt in San Francisco. The opening session is at 12:45 this afternoon, but I got here early and got oriented and registered. Then I went to lunch at an Italian Restaurant on Powell Street. I ate Panini and watched the cable cars trundle by. I am reading The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida. This is an important book. In it he quotes Paul Romer who said, "the most important ideas are meta-ideas." Florida says these are, (again quoting Romer,) "ideas about how to support the production and transmission of other ideas."
This is why I think Emerging Technology and Podcasting (technologies based on RSS 2.0) is so important and disruptive of existing paradigms! That is exactly what it does!
By the way, did you listen to Clayton Christensen's talk? Yes, I know it is long. But, it is important! Please set aside an hour or so to do that. He is speaking to an Open Source convention and the principles he speaks of go right to the core of this emerging/disruptive technology. he even speaks about higher education and the impact of this technology on education.
This is time well spent! This is another gem from ITConversations.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Recommended Listening: Clayton Christensen

Hear Clayton Christensen Speak
To understand the real impact of Emerging Technology, you need to understand what Christensen calls Disruptive Technology. In my opinion his book, the Innovator's Dilemma is one of the most important business and technology books of the last century. His subsequent book, The Innovator's Solution, is also a very important work. In this file you can hear him present on his ideas. This is great and worth the time to hear!

SJSU Tech Events


Mac OS X Tips and Tricks, April 27
At the last MacWorld Apple updated it's iLife Suite. Come learn some of the latest tips and tricks including iCal and iChat A/V, Free Lunch!, Noon, IRC 308, Wednesday April 27 by Dane Riley. (Dane provides lunch. RSVP to
Podcasting in Education, May 5
Podcasting in Education, by Steve Sloan. This presentation has been shown at the recent CATS conference in San Francisco and the Educause Western Regional Conference in San Francisco. A look at what this exciting new technology offers education. Come see how a Podcast is made! Tuesday, May 5, 10am IRC210 Please call 4-2303 to RSVP and/or for details or E-mail

Mac OS X 10.4, Tiger Overview, May 10
This coming Friday is the Official Launch of Apple's new Operating System, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Free Lunch!, Noon, IRC 308 Tuesday May 10 by Dane Riley (Dane provides lunch. RSVP to  

Off Campus:

Desktop publishing events
We have two evening events of interest to those who follow DTP software:

QuarkXpress Event at SLAC, May 2
 The Stanford/Palo Alto Macintosh User's Group is hosting a presentation by Lee Speiglets on Quark 6 (Versions 6.0 - 6.5) from 8-9pm on May 2nd. Their meetings are typically at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in Palo Alto. Information on this event is at their website here:

Adobe InDesign CS2 at Adobe HQ, May 4
The Bay Area InDesign User Group is dedicating its entire meeting, Wednesday, May 4th to the newly announced release of Adobe InDesign; CS2. At this meeting the InDesign team introduces us to the new features of InDesign CS2 and be among the first ones to see the ins and outs of this amazing new version. Date, Wednesday, May 4, 2005 Time: 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Adobe Systems, Inc., 345 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110-2704 For location info/maps:

New podcasting tools for useability and searchability

Special thanks to Yiftach Levy an Information Technology Consultant for Career Services at San Diego State University for turning me on to Podscope!
Searchability and usability are big thing's in Podcasting for education. There are new tools coming along to address both issues, as discussed in this ZD Net posting. Podcasting is not the only technology needing good speech to text technology. As laws requiring accessibility are enforced thousands of educational institutions are going to have to come to grips with the need to make content accessible to hearing impaired learners. This is going to create a booming market for solution providers and hopefully push the artificial intelligence technology it will take to make this happen!
If you build a market, solutions will come. As podcasting matures so will processing power increase. With a market hungry for solutions more and better products like Podscope will emerge and become more usable.
That will be good for us all!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Shooting bike racing is great fun!

Kathy Pruitt at Sea Otter
Last weekend Sue and I went to the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca Raceway. It is a huge cycling event that has no equal in our area. There are many races, both road and mountain, lots of vendors and events for non-racers. I got this great shot which I like a lot, It is of Kathy Puitt of Luna Chix loosing a close race to Sabrina Jonnier of the Fox Racing team. Jonnier went on to win the event.
Bike Racing Photo
The shot above is of one of the Semi-Pro riders. The Digital SLR is a great camera for shooting sports. It is like magic. I wish I had a camera like this back in my newspaper days.

Sholin writes about Gillmor SJSU visit

SJSU Mass Communications major master's student Ryan Sholin writes in his blog about Dan Gillmor's recent visit to SJSU for last Tuesday night’s Joining The Blogosphere event at San Jose State University.
This is great stuff and I really appreciate what Ryan has to say. This is the kind of stuff we need to do a better job of telling people about at SJSU.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Sorry, I lied

I did not mean to lie, it just happend so fast. Last week my PowerBook died. Shortly before I had said my next portable was going to be a Tablet PC. But, that was with the idea that it would be at least a year before that would happen. My old PowerBook had other ideas. When I started thinking about how much more it would cost to buy the Tablet (I get educational pricing on Macs.) And, when I started thinking about how much software I have that would need replacing. Then when I thought about next weeks Tiger release...

I bought another Mac.

And, by the way...

It rocks!

My family blog is now on Blogger!

I have left Radio Userland and moved my last blog to Blogger. I did this for a number of reasons:

  1. Radio has too much complexity for what I do with a blog.
  2. Why buy the cow when the milk is so cheap? Blogger is free, Radio Userland is $80 a year. It is kind of the same reason I quit paying Netscape $35 for a browser when IE was free!
  3. I would rather blog than have to figure out how to run a Blogging Suite. 
  4. Now when I figure out how to do something in Blogger I don't have to waste energy trying to figure out how to accomplish the same task in Radio Userland.
  5. This was my personal blog, so I don't care about loosing Google Juice.
  6. Now when somebody looks at my profile in one of my Blogger blogs, they see all my blogs.
  7. My Radio Userland quit working after my last computer broke. I was able to move my Radio Userland to another computer, but that only worked for a couple of postings. Blogger is web-based so that is simply not an issue.
  8. Now Google worries about backing up my blog, I don't!

My old family blog will be on the Internet as long as Radio Userland lets it be. But, they are not getting any more of my money! Please feel invited to visit my new family blog!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

EFF lawyer's sibling converts VW to run on cooking oil

EFF lawyer Wendy Seltzer ran this story about her brother's conversion of his VW Diesel to run on vegetable oil. Yes, this is the same oil used to cook french fries. I wonder if used oil could be filtered of sediment and reused? Can you imagine the smell of a traffic jam of cars sitting there idling with clouds of smoke from old cooking oil? Yum...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Don't do dynamic disks casually

Dynamic disk, wow that sounds like something I gotta have. Dynamic sounds much cooler than basic. Plus I can upgrade my "Basic" disk, under Windows 2000 and XP, to dynamic pretty easy. So, let's go dynamic! I did.

Big mistake! I wanted to expand my partition size of my now dynamic disk. I thought I could easily do so on a dynamic disk. But the "Manage Disk" Microsoft Management Console built into XP wouldn't allow me to do so because it was a boot disk and because it was formerly a basic disk. No problem, I thought, I will just use Partition Magic. Then I found out, that magic won't work on dynamic disks. So, what do I have to do now. Sad to say, erase my hard disk and reinstall.

My lesson, only use dynamic if you need dynamic and be sure you know what you are doing!

For those who fear retribution!

The Electronic Freedom Foundation has posted this for those of us who are bloggers but have good cause to fear retribution for saying what we feel to be things that need to be said. On my desk I have a copy of Mark Gen's business card. Gen was Product Manager at Google and was fired by Google for what he wrote about in his blog. Retribution happens folks! If you need protection when you blog, heed these words!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Vintage cars and emerging technology

To learn about the future of Emerging Technology I suggest a visit to an old car show. Look at the cars from a 100 years ago. At the turn of the last century the passenger train was the transportation vehicle of choice. The invention of the airplane was still a few years away. Roads were made of dirt and the existing cars were in their early adopter phase, they were crude, uncomfortable and hard to use. Some folks probably thought cars were a fad.

Nothing, it seemed, could challenge the steam train. Trains were comfortable and were getting faster and more efficient. Ribbons of rail seemed to link all points in the continent. Trains were a mature technology and bigger and stronger steam engines were being built and even more transcontinental rail lines were being laid in 1900. It seemed the era of the steam railroad would last forever.

Technologies like weblogs/RSS/podcasting, and the like are now in their early adoption phase, much like the automobiles of the year 1900. How can they threaten the existing paradigm?, some ask. I say all the problems can be over come with thoughtful development. E-mail is broken and with the problems we are seeing with spy-ware and phishing the time may come when we say the same thing about browsers. A web browser is just a file download engine and it is easy for the bad to come with the good! RSS is a trusted source with nobody in the middle and the time may come when RSS feeds may replace both E-mail and browsers. The idea may seem silly now, but remember, there was a time when it seemed the era of the steam railroad would last forever.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

To switch or unswitch as the case may be

Tim Bray, Director of Web Technologies at Sun, recently wrote this piece about his feelings that he believes Apple is increasingly becoming more old-school, more secretive, less transparent and is resisting the move to a more open market place. This is counter to moves to embrace transparency as expressed by folks like Bray and Robert Scoble at Microsoft. Bray wrote that he is considering unswitching back and away from Apple products.
I am having the same considerations. For me this will be switching, as I have been a loyal Mac user since the 1980's! Despite my work related Microsoft certification, I have always been a lover of everything Apple. To paraphrase Guy Kawasaki, when cut I bled eight colors.
But, that was before Apple started suing bloggers, that was before Apple refused to make a Tablet Mac, that was before Apple took important podcasting usability out of GarageBand, that was before Apple became the Microsoft of digital music. That was before Apple abandoned the eight colors and recast itself as a whole new company.
It seems to me the days of "think different" are over. Perhaps it is time to put down the sledge hammers and take our seats in the audience?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Interview with Dennis Dunleavy

This is the audio from an interview on Friday April 1, 2005 with SJSU Journalism Professor Dennis Dunleavy. Professor Dunleavy is the Professor I call the "Alpha Prof." He is a prolific blogger and is doing great things with emerging technology in the classroom. The subject of this conversation is, where are we now with emerging technology in the classroom?