Friday, April 28, 2006

Linux User Group Meets with Help Desk Staff

Linux - Help Desk

A geek dinner at the Help Desk
In an effort to build relationships with user communities at SJSU we invited students from the SJSU Linux Users Group (LUG) [Link] to have pizza with us yesterday. Historically our answer to Linux users with problems has been, "we don't support Linux and we don't know anybody who does." Now that has changed. We discussed ways that we can support Linux users better at the Help Desk and how we can work together to have resources for them so the lack of support is not a barrier for Linux users. Issues discussed included having a wiki for Linux users and also possibly inviting members of the LUG to have space available to them so they can hold support hours on a volunteer basis to support their users and train our staff how to better provide support. They showed us examples of SJSU applications, like SJSUOne and the Comcast wireless network at SJSU running on both command line and GUI versions of Linux.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

UI lesson from a toddler


My one year old granddaughter teaches gramps about user interface (UI)
You cannot test for usability if you are familiar with the interface. Yesterday my 18 month-old granddaughter had her first corn on the cob.

It was very slow and frustrating for her. For her, this was corn with an all new UI. My daughter-in-law took bites off the cob in an effort to show her. She put the cob in the tyke's mouth. For her, this was a whole new kind of corn. It was corn on Linux. I realized that UI is an issue that we struggle with from childhood and to be able to provide good usability we have to really be at the user level. We cannot assume that users will relate to an interface because it is comfortable for us. We can only test if we test with real users who view the interface from a non-user perspective.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Free ice cream at SJSU

Free ice cream today at SJSU
Ben and Jerry's next to SJSU had a free ice cream give away. It was great, the help desk staff took turns getting free ice cream. We had a lot of fun.

Recommended Listening: Craigslist Podcast(s)

Jim Buckmaster and Craig Newmark of Craigslist Speak of Nerd Value's
You cannot talk about the dilemma of print newspapers and their profit model without talking about Craigslist [Link]. This Internet company of 20 employees has totally changed the profit/loss landscape for newspapers. According to Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, "Craigslist is almost single handedly destroying the American newspaper industry" [Link to "Great Room" lecture where statement was made.] What are the values of the folks who started and run this company? Follow this link [Link] to find out. This is from the Web 2.0 conference of October 2004 and is part of the ITConversations [Link] series. To find more podcasts on this resource about Craig's List, follow this Google Search String [Search Link].

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Edupodder Podcast: Linux on Campus

The SJSU Linux Users Group
Keith Callenberg, Evan Luine and Casey Miller; SJSU students and members of the SJSU Linux Users Group [Link] have a conversation with Steve Sloan about their user group, Linux and open source software. This users group is a recognized student group at SJSU.  They discuss Linux, its use and its potential use on the campus. Recorded April 20, 2006, 25:50 min, 23.7 MB. To hear this podcast click on button below:

Podcast Here

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

John Dvorak on Mac OS X

John Dvorak of PC Magazine, the pundant that everybody seems to love to hate, especially after he said that Apple might want to abandon Mac OS X and go with Windows [Link] is now saying that Apple should make Mac OS X Open source and let it battle it out with Linux [Link]. According to Dvorak:

A cloud is rising over Mac OS X and its future unless Apple makes its boldest move ever: turning OS X into an open-source project. That would make the battle between OS X and Linux the most interesting one on the computer scene. With all attention turned in that direction, there would be nothing Microsoft could do to stem a reversal of its fortunes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

There's a new blog every second!

Blogs doubling every six months
In the three years I have been blogging the number of blogs have grown 60 fold. Dave Sifry of Technorati has just released the latest "State of the Blogosphere" report [Link]:

the blogosphere continues to grow at a quickening pace. Technorati currently tracks 35.3 Million weblogs, and the blogosphere we track continues to double about every 6 month...on average, a new weblog is created every second of every day - and 19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created. That's an increase both absolute and relative terms over just 3 months ago, when only 50.5% or 13.7 million blogs were active. In other words, even though there's a reasonable amount of tire-kicking going on, blogging continues to grow as a habitual activity.

Hope folks had a great weekend

Madison and daddy Jeff

A great Easter with family and friends
We had a very fun Easter at Jeff and Nicole's. Despite the intermittent rain we had a nice barbecue and even an Easter Egg hunt. Quite a contrast to other years where I remember having Easter swim parties. I am still struggling with poor health and have had to ration my time. Family and friends come first, work second. I am sorry I have been missing some events I meant to cover and podcast. I hope to be back in the swing of things soon.

New media and law

Can blogging be journalism?
A San Jose court is set to rule soon on blogger's rights, according to this story on [Link]:

A San Jose appeals court on Thursday will consider whether sites like PowerPage are entitled to the same protections against divulging confidential sources as established media organizations.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rain on a Saturday

Jim and I at Gilroy Hotsprings

A week after the Tierra Bella
It is gloomy and raining again today, not like last Saturday. I am still feeling lousy, it will be two weeks on Monday. I really expected to be better by now. I have a weddding to shoot today. It is too late to back out now. Today is Tupper's 12th birthday. I am rambling, I gotta start getting ready for the wedding.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I'm not getting Second Life

The confessions of Landru Knight
I totally see the value of Second Life [Link], and other massively multiplayer role playing games, in education. It can provide for what Lambert Lum [Link] expressed a need for, experiential learning. That's not what this post is about. This is about the value of Second Life as "a place to be." I don't get Second Life as a place to hang out, meet people and play.

Maybe you have to get gaming (I do not). I would rather create and communicate on my computer than recreate. Don't get me wrong, I love my computers. To me they're incredible tools to greatly enhance my real life. I tried Halo 2, very cool, and X-box Live to me seemed much more compelling than the keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) interface of Second Life. Since the KVM interface is killing my hands, To me comparing X-box Live to Second Life is like comparing Skype to text chat. On the other hand I guess the level of abstraction offered in Second Life with its KVM interface allows greater abstraction of avatars (the virtual personae of folks you meet in Second Life.) I tried Halo 2 once, that was enough for me.

On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog [Link]
The cute barmaid you talk to in Second Life may actually be a middle aged guy from Ohio. And, that brings me to the truly weird part of Second Life, the mature (adult) content space. Peter Steiner's 1993 cartoon in the New Yorker, a parody of the then popular expression for folks advocating the use of computers by the disabled, "on the Internet no one knows you're a quadriplegic," has changed meaning and become remixed as a warning given to many who use and accept as truth what they find on the web.

In fact I do get Second Life as a great enabler for folks who, for a variety of reasons, are challenged in their ability to interact with others. For example, I think a Second Life conference with Stephen Hawking [Link] would be so awesome. In Second Life everybody can choose their age, gender, fitness level, can walk and can even fly!

To me it's the abstraction of Second Life avatars from real life that makes the so popular adult scene in Second Life seem so weird. Maybe later I will get it. I must admit I did not get E-mail at first. I remember telling a friend about 15 years ago, "why do I need E-mail, if you want to tell me something just call me on the phone." Anyway, if you run into me, I mean Landru Knight, in Second Life, be sure to say hi!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Two important photojournalism events at SJSU

If you are at SJSU and Ryan Sholin's J-school Blog [Link] is not a daily read for you, it should be. I know Scoble reads it and he lives in Washington! (Nuff Said!) As Sholin alerts us, [Link] there are a pair of important photojournalism events at SJSU.

  • SJSU Alum, former Spartan Daily Photographer and San Jose Mercury News Dai Sugano’s talk Thursday April 13th at an SJSU NPPA event.
  • A Chicano Photographer exhibit at King Library, put together by J-School alumnus Jesus Garza.

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Apple's Boot Camp Beta software will NOT void warranty

Despite concerns that have been posted here (and in other blogs) your warranty for hardware issues on Intel Macs will not be voided for using Apple's Boot Camp Beta software. This is what System Engineer (and Mac Guru) Dane Riley, of Apple Education - West said on this topic:

I would point them to this link. Although it is not an official Apple statement we will support Macintosh systems using Boot Camp for hardware issues. We will not support Boot Camp, because it is beta, however we encourage beta users to submit bug reports. Also, we will not support Windows running on Boot Camp. Support of Windows is up to Microsoft who has not decided yet whether or not they will support Windows running on Boot Camp. Also keep in mind that this is a technology preview or beta that isn't intended to be offered for Tiger customers and will only ship in its final release with Leopard, which is expected to be discussed at WWDC in August and released in early 2007.

Microsoft Announces Windows Live Academic Search

More Details on Live Academic Search
It's official, there are more details here [Link].

Microsoft Corp. today announced the beta release of its Windows Live™ Academic Search service in seven countries. The new search service is designed to help students, researchers and university faculty conduct research across a spectrum of academic journals. The program is a cooperative effort between Windows Live Search, industry association CrossRef and more than 10 leading publishers.

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Birdfeeder is Cat TV

Dove in bird feeder

The never ending cold
I am still sick, it has been about ten days now. I wonder if health will come before the sun does. The rain has been never ending. This picture was taken at our bird feeder the other day. The bird feeder is just on the other side of a cat tree we have in our family room. The cats sit on the cat tree and watch the birds. It is like cat TV. Occasionally Pixel will hurl himself at the window trying to get the birds. The birds have figured out the cats cannot get to them. For the most part the cats have too, but sometimes Pixel forgets. When I was home sick I did not read or watch TV much, so you gotta get your entertainment somehow.

Palo Alto Creamery Review
Last weekend Sue, her mom and Diane went to the Palo Alto Creamery in Stanford Shopping Center. They did not have a good experience. More about that is here [Link].

Linux LAMP Lesson at SJSU

Keith Callenberg, vice president of the SJSU Linux Users Group [Link], will be starting a two-part tutorial series on configuring a webserver with Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl (LAMP). The tutorial will be held in the Pacifica Room in the Student Union at April 13th, 4:30PM. The user group meets weekly.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BlogHer is coming, be there!

Elisa Camahort sent this exciting news about the upcoming BlogHer conference:

BlogHer '06 is rolling around, and I wanted to pass on the info on the student rate in hopes that you can distribute this info to your SJSU students.

What: The second annual BlogHer Conference
When: July 28th and 29th, 2006
Where: Hyatt San Jose in San Jose, CA.
Theme: How are your blogs changing your world? More here.

Day One's Conference Schedule: Day One is a day of hands-on instruction on a variety of topics, most technically-focused. Here's more info.

Day Two's Conference Schedule: Day Two focuses on community, conversation and the culture of blogging. Here's more info.

The student rate is $50 for a full two-day pass, so I don't think you can beat that! Includes meals on both days.

We are particularly interested in creating new bloggers, so we have a 2.5 hour workshop kicking off Day One:

Blog in a Box: All the basics for the beginning or prospective blogger. By the end of the session each attendee will have a blog with RSS feeds, a blog roll, and know how to add links/photos to their blog. Basic html will be covered. Miss Zoot and Heathervescent are on hand to walk you through. Plus Melinda Casino will cover basic good blog manners: disclosure, attribution, non-spammy commenting and trackbacks.

Elisa Camahort said that SJSU alum Robert Scoble will be there and that Maryam Scoble will be presenting!

UPDATE1: It is on my calander too!
UPDATE2 from an Email, "Steve, Thanks for the heads up. It was really fun and worthwhile last year, so I plan to go again...and maybe take a few students with me this time."
Cynthia McCune

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Apple's Boot Camp for XP may void your new Mac warranty

In a recent conversation with an Apple Engineer I was told that (cooling) fan management was a concern with hacks that allow you to boot your Intel Macs with Windows XP. This is especially a concern with Mac Book Pro's. Apple's Mac OS manages the cooling fan in these computers and keeps them from overheating. No Mac OS X no management of the fan and your logic board may fry. Now come news that using Apple's own Boot Camp software may void the warranty on your new Mac. In a recent article [Link] in the on-line MacUser it was said:

According to the Boot Camp release notes that accompany the software: 'SHOULD THE APPLE SOFTWARE PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE ENTIRE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION' (Apple's capitals), although it goes on to say that warranties may be protected by local laws.

Intel Mac user beware, you may be using Boot Camp at your own risk!

Engaget has information on this [Link]!

Microsoft's Live "Academic Search"

What do I do when I am home sick and on hold waiting to a Kaiser advice nurse? I check my RSS feeds of course. According to a critique of Microsoft's Live "Academic Search" is here [Link]. According to Dean Giustini:

First, the overall concept of Microsoft Academic Search is similar to Google Scholar in that "it allows users to search across the Web for articles in academic journals, databases like PubMed and OA repositories" - and eventually it will point to print books and/ or articles available in local libraries.

Is this a great time to be an academic or what? I am really looking forward to trying this tool.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Podcast Postscript

Podcasting on Tierra Bella

I am still recovering from doing the podcast yesterday [Link]. I have been sick for about a week. It has been very disappointing, I took two days of vacation last week with hopes of going to the Sea Otter Classic [Link] and covering that. The Sea Otter is one of my favorite events and Sue and I went last year and got some good shots [Blog Link.] I have been hating being sick and not being able to go. This year the Sea Otter and the Tierra Bella fell on the same weekend. I hoped to do both, but I barely did one. I totally lost my voice after the Tierra Bella. Today I am resting, no Sea Otter this year. At least the podcast rocked! I really enjoyed doing that. I did the podcast and did many more interviews while Jim Chaskin took pictures. We traveled as a reporter/photographer with me being the reporter. That was a lot of fun. I really like Jim, he is a very nice guy and a great conversationalist.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Podcast: Tierra Bella 2006

Tierra Bella Riders

Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast Eleven - Recorded April 8, The Tierra Bella, 2006.
To listen to a High Fidelity audio (20.5 MB) click here: MP3 File Here
To listen to a Small File Size audio (5.13 MB) click here: MP3 File Here
Experience the Tierra Bella 2006 in the words of the folks who rode and put on the event. This podcast goes to various locations on this the annual century ride put on by the Almaden Cycle Touring Club. It is great to hear the folks tell in the own words what a great ride this was and how much fun was had on this lovely April 8, 2006. ACTC Podcast eleven, 22:22 minutes.

As an added bonus you can hear my voice progressively fade away!

My Bicycle Club podcast:

Oh yea, it is also on iTunes!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Podcast: Mutton Master, Bicycle for Sheep Herders

Podcast ten - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part IV. Session length 6.5 minutes, 6.3 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

Special bicycles for sheep herders? In this, part four of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006 you will be invited into a conversation with John Norstag of Thursday Bicycles. Norstag is from Pocatello Idaho and makes a bicycle called the Mutton Master. This is a serious working bike with a built in welded on rack made for hard work. I hope you enjoy this Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast. ACTC Podcast ten, 6.5 minutes, 6.3 MB MP3 File.

Blodgett: Podcast Audience Very Small

Is anybody listening to Podcasts?
As Renee Blodgett (and many others) points out [Link] only one percent of Internet users are listening to podcasts. We have seen an explosion of content being generated, but where is the explosion of audience? According to Blodgett the problem is the content out there is not compelling enough, yet.

Speaking of Blodgett
Renee ought to know, she is owner of Blodgett Communications [Bio Link] [Company Website]:

I have been providing full service corporate communications and marketing consulting to technology companies and executives worldwide for over 15 years.

Since founding Blodgett Communications, my client base has spanned across industries, including the social media sector, digital photography, blogging and RSS, mobile & wireless devices, embedded software applications, OCR, networking, digital audio and video, Internet technologies, video online publishing, anti-spam and security, speech recognition, collaboration tools, web publishing, VoIP, CRM, content management and the home entertainment PC convergence space.

Her blog, Down the Avenue [Link], is a testimony to the power of Cluetrain's first thesis "markets are conversations." Our SJSU Marketing students and professors should be reading her everyday. Her client list is a virtual Who's Who of emerging technology and she knows everybody that matters. (Oh yea, she is a really nice person too!) If I were a marketing student I would be trying very hard to get an internship with her.

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SJSU is a commuter school

According to Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro [Link], speaking to the Rotary Club of San Jose on Wednesday, San Jose State University President Don Kassing said:

It's time, he said, for people to stop calling San Jose State a "commuter school." It makes SJSU sound second tier and inferior, he said, and it's insulting to the students who don't live on campus, including many who work to support a family.

It's a first step toward getting people to stop thinking of San Jose State as second-rate. The 30,000-student school has seen a 30 percent jump in applications from last year and admissions are also up, Kassing told the audience. And, he pointed out, the new library and Campus Village residence mean there are more students on campus now than there have been for decades.

I do not think there is anything wrong with being a commuter school. In my opinion it reflects our role as serving students who are not served by the traditionally more expensive, primarily residential, private and University of California universities. I do not think it makes us inferior. I think it makes us stronger. The long lines of cars filling the parking lots in the morning is evidence that the vast majority of SJSU students still live off campus and some commute long distances to attend SJSU classes. The great big library we have is not just ours, it is the result of partnering with the city. Like most of our students the library has one foot on and one foot off campus. I think embracing and being proud of that enables us to better serve our students.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Recent Bike Club Podcast Shows

Podcast nine - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part III. Session length 10:49 minutes, 9.9 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

This is part three of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006. In this show we are having a conversation with San Luis Obispo custom titanium bicycle frame builder Jim Kish. Jim Kish is the owner of Kish Fabrication. He is also an instructor at the United Bicycle Institute where Jim has been teaching the art of titanium frame building to hundreds of students from around the world. I hope you enjoy this Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast. ACTC Podcast nine, 10:49 minutes, 9.9 MB MP3 File.

Podcast eight - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part II. Session length 8.15 minutes, 1.9 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

This is the second of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006. In this show we are having a conversation with local San Jose steel bicycle frame builder Dale Saso and Texan Custom Carbon Fiber Composite Bicycle frame builder Nick Crumpton. Though Crumpton also builds with steel, the conversation focuses on carbon fiber as a frame material choice for building for all kinds of riders. I hope you enjoy this Almaden Cycle Touring Club Podcast. There are more shows coming. Podcast eight, 8.15 minutes, 1.9 MB MP3 File.

Podcast seven - Recorded Mar 5, North American Handbuilt Bike Show, part I. Session length 15.42 minutes, 3.6 MB
To listen to audio click here --> MP3 File Here

This is the first of a series of podcasts recorded at the North American Handbuilt Bike Show, in San Jose California on March 5, 2006. In this show Richard Schwinn of Waterford Precision Cycles and Hector Chavez of Winning Wheels Bike Shop on the Monterey Peninsula are interviewed for the Almaden Cycle Touring Club podcast. Podcast seven, 15.42 minutes, 3.6 MB MP3 File.

Ultra Mobile PCs and RSS will kill print

Ultra Mobile PC's + RSS + Wireless Networks will kill print
It is my opinion that Ultra Mobile PC's (UMPC) [Link] that are relatively low cost, like the recently announced Origami PC's will be the straw that broke the camel's back of print publications. Some folks are predicting they will be as ubiquitous as purses are now for women. Blogger Julie Jacobson has a post about them "When men carry purses" [Link]. Using existing technologies like RSS and wireless networks, text books as well as the news can be delivered to your Origami or other UMPC while you sleep and then viewed anywhere, even on the light rail away from the network or in the bathroom. The tablet form factor is more like a book than a laptop computer and the screen is sharp for easy reading. The Origami UMPC can even be linked into your "digital hub" home systems to control everything, including your media center. Who needs textbooks and having to lug them in a backpack? Who needs newspapers, with all of the distribution and waste disposal issues involved? Who needs paper notebooks when you can take notes on your UMPC with a stylus, and who needs ink?

Update Link
Microsoft site on Ultra-Mobile PCs.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Not a hack: New Macs to boot Windows

Apple enables new Intel Macs to Boot Windows
Apple just announced "Boot Camp" software [Link]. The current version is in Beta, but according to Apple "Boot Camp will be a feature in “Leopard,” Apple’s next major release of Mac OS X, that will be previewed at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in August."

More great information in MacCentral [Link].

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Emerging Pedagogy Tools: SSE

SSE stands for simple sharing extensions to RSS and OPML. For this post the focus is on SSE for RSS. This new, two (or more) way RSS, can be a way to create a channel between a client, or clients, and each other or the university. We know RSS is an elegant way to create a "trusted source" conduit of information that is one way, for example between the university and a group of interested individuals such as "all students." But it is only one way. Now, the new specification, SSE takes RSS and turns it into a conversation. This could be more elegant and less spam prone conduit than e-mail. Since SSE (like RSS) combines the best of both push (like email) and pull (like itunes) technologies this could be a way to exchange asynchronous time based media without the hassles of streaming media. Here is more info:

SSE, RSS, and Web data by ZDNet's Phil Windley -- Late last year, Ray Ozzie started talking about a new specification from Microsoft called SSE. As Dan Farber wrote on this blog when the announcement was made: RSS syndicates information in a simple and straightforward way, but it's not bi-directional. Ozzie's team created SSE to enable loosely-coupled applications [...]

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

About print

I think it is too soon to know what that profit model will be for emerging journalism. I think perhaps the future may be starting to emerge around a model of services+search+mapping+attention+reputation+mobile devices. Somebody has to figure out a value ad there for journalists and I think it will be reputation+quality of service+attention.

About the bathroom test, I think tools like origami+rss+wireless & e-paper will start to break down the aversion to using devices rather than tree-paper and that soon we will be able to take our content anywhere including the bathroom and beyond the net without going to print. I think the cost of energy alone is going to doom the print model, it is the delivery model that dooms print, other issues just hasten its demise.

The emerging consumer market will see print as alien and quaint as we now see transcontinental rail passenger travel. I think books too will eventually meet a similar fate. The cost of producing, distributing, holding and disposing of paper based media is going to be increasingly hard to justify, even for niche media, and consumers are not going to want to pay it. Not when easy alternatives exist and the collective memory and habits of print media consumption ages and dies off.

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