Monday, April 30, 2007

SP4449 Heads North, 1984

SP4449 heads north

SP4449 Heads North, June 1984
I just recently had some super8 movies I shot during the 1980's converted to digital video. This short movie clip was made of the World's Fair Daylight returning to Portland in 1984. My then very young sons and I chased the train north. This video is unpublished and features a full daylight train with McCloud steam, SP, Amtrak and even some BCR Alco action. Since the film was silent, some music from the band Everyday Jones was dubbed in to give it a bit of a Winterail flavor.

Dreamweaver CS3 Interview

Scoble interviewing Kenneth Berger

About Dreamweaver CS3
This is great for web developers, or those who want to be:

If you create web pages for education institutions and are as concerned as all of us are about accessibility and 508 compliance, in short, you have got to check this out. In this Scoble Show interview Robert Scoble talks with Kenneth Berger, Adobe’s Product Manager for Dreamweaver CS3. Scoble and Berger talk about many of the new features of the new CS3 version of Dreamweaver, including accessibility compliance. There are some great new tools here!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Walk in Ventana Wilderness

Ventana Wilderness Hike

A hike in the Gorge
This weekend our bicycle club had a bike ride and a campout at Arroyo Seco called the Lupin Loop. The Ventana wilderness, which is also called the "Gorge" starts here. We had to work on Friday so we did not ride down with the club. On Saturday they had a hike and so we went for a hike in the Gorge. It is amazing that something so rugged is so close to home.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Three on a bike at SJSU

Three on a bike

Three on a bike on campus
I photographed this on my way to work. I have seen them several times and I wish I knew the story behind it.

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Bob Sutor at SJSU

Bob Sutor

Sutor's visit rocked!
Yesterday Bob Sutor, IBM's Vice president of Standards and Open Source, visited SJSU. He spoke to a small group of Business, Engineering, Computer Science and Journalism students and faculty. He put on a great presentation, I wish my whole class could have heard it.

Sutor spoke about open source and how it differs from open standards and about the need for hardware and software manufacturers to comply with open standards to ensure interoperability. He also spoke about Web 2.0 and blogging. According to Sutor blogging, which has been in the mainstream for 4-5 years, is changing the face of journalism, business and politics. Sutor said, "everybody is a journalist."

On the subject of open source, Sutor spoke extensively about Web Services and Apache Web Server, the free application that powers the majority of the world's web servers. "Apache is an example of open source," Sutor said. According to Sutor the first web services standard was published seven years before by both IBM and Microsoft on the same date as his presentation. "There is still a place for proprietary solutions," said Sutor. But, he said, "you can build a business on open source, just ask Google." Google's servers run their own version of Linux according to Sutor. "Education is the biggest adopter of open source," Sutor said. As an example for how open source applies to education and government agencies, Sutor recommended the Guide to Open Source Software for Australian Government Agencies. Sutor also spoke a lot about Moodle and other open source solutions for education.

Sutor spoke a lot about open standards and how they relate to competition and innovation. From the perspective of the provider competition may not seem good and they may work very hard to convince you of the need to go with a sole provider. But for the buyer competition is good as it drives down prices and drives the providers to innovate. But, in order for this to be possible buyers have to insist on open standards to assure interoperability, according to Sutor. It is hard for some vendors to let go of closed standards. Sutor said letting go of closed standards for them can be compared to the five stages of grief.

Sutor  spoke extensively about virtual worlds and specifically Second Life. He showed the group IBM's SOA island in Second Life. Note - IBM SOA stands for Service Oriented Architecture. The IBM island has customer briefing rooms where employees can meet with each other and with customers in a virtual environment that eliminates the need for travel. According to Sutor there are between 36,000 to 38,000 people in Second Life at any given moment. Second Life has its own currency and its own virtual economy. They are planning to open source their server software which would enable organizations like SJSU to create our own virtual worlds, said Sutor. "This is huge," he said.

We need to do a better job of spreading the word on events like this. I have only captured a small amount of what Sutor said. I was inspired.

Full Disclosure
My wife, Susan Graziano Sloan works for IBM in a different division than Sutor. She works on IBM's DB2 database product and wrote a couple of books on DB2 including DB2 for z/OS.

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Friday Funnies: The no help desk

Poor service video

Fighting back against bad service
This is how customers can fight back against poor customer service! Record the call (they do) and put it on the Internet. This is the power of global reach. I love the way "Mark" left the case number in just so the vendor knows who they made angry enough to put this video together.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

SJSU Film Festival

SJSU Film Society

SJSU Film Festival May 10
On May 10 is the 2007 Film Festival being put on by the SJSU Film Production Society. Students are invited to submit films for consideration for the festival. The event is at 7p.m. on May 10 at the University Theater. Films may be submitted in Mini-DV or DVD format to the FPS Box in the TRFT Office on the first floor of HGH. No deadline information was given for submission.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bruce Chizen coming to SJSU

Bruce Chizen, the chief executive officer of Adobe Systems will talk at noon on Thursday, April 26, in Engineering 189. For more on the speaker series, check this out.

POY event in San Francisco

Great event this weekend in San Francisco
Pictures of the Year International will hold its annual education and awards program in the San Francisco Bay Area on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. The two-day program will include: six presentations from the premiere award recipients; a panel discussion on the evolution of multimedia; a Fotovision cooperative presentation by Alex and Rebecca Webb; two POYi slideshows; and the prestigious awards ceremony.

Insomnia Photo Festival

Apple Photo Contest
Apple's first ever Insomnia Photo Festival challenges you to shoot the perfect picture in just one day. On Friday, April 27 at 5 p.m. Eastern (2 p.m. Pacific), we will post a photography assignment for you to complete. From that time, you will have 24 hours to finish and submit your ideal image.

Grand prize winners will get a 15" MacBook Pro, a copy of Apple's new photography software, Aperture, and an 80GB iPod.

Tuesday Funnies

Your Eyes

Tuesday Funnies
Friday funnies came late. I am planning to use this video today when we talk about Fair Use.

IBM VP to talk at SJSU

SJSU Talk on Open Source
Keith Callenberg of the SJSU Linux User's Group reports, "Bob Sutor, VP of Open Source at IBM, will be giving a talk on open source titled "Open Source and Standards as Catalysts for Innovation and New Business." The talk will be held in BBC 202 this Thursday (April 26) at 4pm.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Spell Check

Camera Phone Post: It's "its"
Sign in front of Academic Success Center April 23, 2007.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Bill Darrough Story

The Bill Darrough Story

The Bill Darrough Story
As shown at Winterail 2007

The photos in this show were taken by Bill Darrough and/or are from the collection of Bill and Jack Darrough. This is an amazing collection of photographs. In a conversation with Bill Darrough's brother Jack in August of 1988 Jack said, "Bill died in 1942, he was 22 years-old. He suffered from severe teenage acne and they had treated it with massive doses of radiation, which at the time was thought harmless. The radiation cleared his acne but Bill died of cancer." According to Jack, he and Bill came from a railroad family. The members of a railroaders family were then given passes and could travel free on the nation's passenger trains. The period that Bill lived in was near the climax of the era of steam railroading in this country. Jack said Bill would pack two suitcases, one with film and the other with sandwiches and the young man would go on trips alone photographing trains. In my opinion had he lived he would have been one of the greatest railroad photographers of the twentieth century. It is an amazing story and so my son Ken and I are trying to tell it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Need to fix SJSU

Opinion: Being a student is hard enough!
We do not need to make it harder. So, why do we make it so hard and what can be done about it?

In my opinion a President's level body should be formed to look into what are the unnecessary stress points at our university. This investigation should be carried out as openly and transparently as possible while respecting the rights of privacy of the individuals involved. Students, faculty and staff should be encouraged to report to this new office processes and procedures we have at SJSU that are unnecessarily cumbersome, bureaucratic, redundant or irritating. The commission of the new body would be to investigate each problem and too keep it on its agenda until the problem is resolved and the process streamlined. Lack of funds to fix a problem is not an excuse for the perpetuation of the problem. If a problem process is investigated and found to be cumbersome and stress causing it should be discontinued or brought to the attention of the chancellor's office and/or the state legislature. In my opinion there is no excuse for the sorry state our higher educational system is in. If we fix these irritating cumbersome, bureaucratic and redundant hoops we make our students jump through we not only will lower the campus tension level we may find we are saving the taxpayer's money.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

1000 step print job

Camera Phone Post: A thousand steps to printing in the ASC
For most of us printing from our computer involves a few steps. We select print from the file menu and send the job to a printer. But, students in the Academic Success Center have to pay to get their print jobs done using a system called Pharos. Trick is there is no place to pay in Clark Hall. The place students have to go to get to a machine to pay to be able to print a page in the Academic Success Center is five hundred paces away in the King Library. Then they have a five hundred pace walk back to Clark Hall to finish their job.

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My Future

Camera Phone Post
Behold, my future.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

News Media Everywhere

Camera Phone Post: I have never seen anything like it
The news media are everywhere. I was interviewed by Channel Seven. This is Karina Rusk, the person who interviewed me.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia on my mind

Students killed

My Opinion: We need to do what we can to reduce stress and tension
I don't think we do enough to reduce stress at SJSU and tension is often unnecessarily high on our campus. A campus does not have to be as tense as ours is. With a little effort we could make it much more pleasant and less stressful for students to get an education at SJSU. It seems to me that reducing student frustration, stress and anxiety is not a high enough priority on our campus.

For example:

  • I believe the hassles students have to go through to get enrolled at SJSU are incredible and inexcusable.
  • When students at SJSU have problems it is not clear to students where to go to get their problems resolved. Getting solutions at our campus can be like navigating a maze of disconnected groups that do not talk to each other. For example, today students at SJSU had to pay fees. Many of them created tickets in our "Help Desk" ticketing system asking to get their fee paying issues resolved. Since the university does not have one ticketing system for the entire campus the only resolution we could give our students was to point them in the direction of another help desk who we thought could help them.
  • In our computer lab in Clark Hall there is a print station. You have to pay for prints when you use the computers with a card that you have to add value to. But, there is no place in the lab to add money to the card. Try telling that to a student who is in a rush to print a paper before a class.

At the time I am writing this I do not know what set this guy off in Virginia
But, in my heart, I think there is a lot we could be doing to reduce stress at SJSU. It may cost a little bit to fix these stress points. But, it is worth the cost. Life is so short, and so precious.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm Busted by Apple

Less than a week after starting vlogging I am busted!

Please be aware that you've exceeded 75% of your .Mac data transfer quota for the current period. At the current rate you may exceed your quota, especially if you have received this email towards the start of a two-week monitoring period (the 1st or the 16th of the month). If this happens, access to your site(s) will be turned off.

My new vlogs are here and here. I am no longer going to be casually posting my train and/or family videos on this tech blog. If you are interested in that content you may wish to look at the other two blogs and see if one suits your fancy.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Jeff comments on previous train

Jeff comments on train

Jeff comments on 1983 train
Jeff Sloan, then five, comments on the train in the previous post. Like the previous post this Video is in Quick Time 7 format, download free viewer.

Santa Fe Train 1983

Santa Fe 1983

Santa Fe, Near Collier, CA, 1983
In the summer of 1983 I borrowed a VHS tape deck and a camera and went out and shot some video. It was the first video I ever shot and the beginning of the end of my film making for about 20 years. After sitting around about 24 years this early tape is in pretty bad shape. But, here is one clip that is barely salvaged. This is the face of railroading not so long ago.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Funnies: I think we're a clone now

I think were a clone

The era of Mac clones
From early 1995 through mid-97, it was possible to buy PowerPC-based clone computers running Mac OS, from companies like Power Computing. They frequently offered better performance at a lower price than true Macs. When Steve Jobs returned to power at Apple one of the first things to happen was the discontinuance of this program. This funny and entertaining music video (complete with Dogcow) was made at the start of that period.

The future of Ultra Mobile Computing

Ultra Mobile Computing

The future of computing
I truly believe the future of computing is ultra mobile with always on wireless broadband. Pervasive and wearable computing devices may not even be thought of as computers. This is what it may be like.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Scoble SJSU visit?

Scoble at Bloghaus

Scoble on podcasting
At last night's class we showed this video by Jason Miller. We are using Scoble and Israel's book Naked Conversations as a text in the class. In the class I told the students that Scoble puts his phone number on his blog. They did not believe he would answer so I called him. He answered. It was very cool.

Scobles coming to SJSU?
Besides being an author, a professional podcaster and an A-list blogger, Bob is a long-time friend and a former student of our Journalism School. When we talked to him he said he would be happy to come and talk to our class. A month and a half ago, I talked to his wife Maryam, and at that time she was open to the idea of coming also. I am hoping she is still open to the idea and that they will both come. As far as I am concerned (this is my class) this event, should it happen, could be open to the world. Perhaps we could Skypecast it? It will definitely be podcast. Stay tuned for more!

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Monday, April 09, 2007

The Greatest Moment

Best Moment Of Your Life

Vlog: The Best Moment of Your Entire Life
When I assigned this to my class I told them I would also do the assignment. So, here is my video. It was actually not an easy assignment and I put a lot of thought into it.

UPDATE - If the video shown above does not play for you!
This movie is posted in other places that may work better for you:

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Family holiday gathering

Madison Sloan

Madison on Easter
Yesterday we had a fun family gathering to celebrate the holiday. Little granddaughter Madison stole the show. It was a very pleasant day.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

RSS Rocks!

Sage Lewis on RSS

RSS is awesome!
Sage Lewis of explain why RSS is Awesome!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Saying goodbye to a friend

Colin leaving SJSU

Good party on a sad day
Yesterday was a sad day at the help desk as we said goodbye to Colin. Colin has worked for the university about seven years, mostly at the library. The last six months he worked at the help desk. We lost a really good one! We had a huge party for him Friday night.

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Presentation on RSS

RSS Presentation

My class presentation on RSS
A slight reschedule. We are going to have the session on Second Life the following week. This Tuesday we will be talking about RSS! Here is the related PowerPoint presentation on the subject.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Funnies: Supermarket 2.0

Supermarket 2.0

Supermarket 2.0
This video plays on the concepts of Web 2.0 and puts them in the context of grocery shopping.

Quiet Campus

Quiet Times SJSU

Quiet Times
The campus can be a place of extremes. One day you have a mad rush of students and faculty, the next day the only folks on campus are the staff and the people who wander in from the community. Both the bustle and the quiet are good, I am glad we have both. Too much of one or the other would be too much.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Whine and Dine Season

April Flowers

Whine and dine season is here!
It is April and that means the 2007 Whine and Dine rides have started. Yesterday's ride was great fun. A lot of old friends showed up for the ride as well as some new friends. There is a blog for the rides. Everyone is invited. These are great bicycle rides.

Whine and Dine 2007

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Strike Averted

Faculty Strike Averted - Bee Says
According to the Sacramento Bee, Administrators and faculty at California State University announced a tentative contract agreement Tuesday, eliminating the prospect of faculty strikes scheduled to start next week.

The agreement marks the beginning of the end for a negotiation process that stretched nearly two years. The deal, if ratified, would raise the average salary of a tenure-track faculty member from $74,000 to $90,749 over four years, CSU officials said. The average salary for a full-time, full professor with tenure will go from $86,000 to $105,465.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Camera Phone Post: Night at SJSU

Balmy night in San Jose
Students at night using computers outside campus buildings. Wireless networking made it possible. Using my camera phone I was able to get the photo posted to the Internet before I reached my car as I walked out of Tuesday night's class.

Vlogging Presentation

Video Blogging presentation at CATS2007

Presentation at CATS 2007
At the recent Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS) conference in Fullerton I did a presentation on video blogging (aka vlogging.) I recorded the presentation and a copy of that is here in MP3 format. Sadly a problematic mic caused a lot of hiss in the recording and I did my best to filter that out. (Note to self: never trust untested equipment.)

The PowerPoint from the session is here. I had a lot of videos in the PowerPoint. I have removed those from this web version of the PowerPoint and replaced them with hyperlinks to the vlog posts. I will be presenting this presentation at this evenings Journalism 163 class. I am including direct links below for reference.

List of video blog posts from presentation:

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Monday, April 02, 2007

A Sunday in Mojave

UP train in Mojave

BNSF Train approaching Mojave

BNSF train closer

Just over a week ago in the desert
Here are a few of the photos I took with a film camera recently in Mojave. Mojave is where the mountains end and the great Mojave desert starts. A lot of trains roll through Mojave. Morning is the best light and the looming mountains make for an impressive backdrop for eastbounds.

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