Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SJSU Earthquake Update

Library website screenshot

Earthquake Update
According to reports from folks who were there the Academic Success Center in Clark Hall really rocked and rolled last night. According one employee, "the lights swayed a lot and it was very loud. It was pretty frightening."

The quake happened after I left. Reportedly they evacuated immediately and the center remained closed for the night. We opened this morning on time, I was there before 7:30am and I saw no damage except for a few books that had fallen off my desk (totally understandable if you have seen my desk!)

A lot more books fell in the combined city and university King Library. They were closed for most of the morning and that caused us to be swamped in Clark Hall (the old SJSU Library.) Their university library clients who normally go their to use their computer labs ended up coming to us to use the computers in the Academic Success Center in Clark. Of course, we were lucky, it could have been way worse!

So, what can you do about it?
Sign Up For CERT training, be prepared!

Disaster Preparedness Training from Spencer Wong, of University Police. He sent this BE (Before Earthquake):

This is a message for those who have already signed up for the class and people who are still debating on whether to attend.

Once again, the training is on Nov. 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 8:30-4:00p.m on the first two days and 9:00-2:00 on the last day totaling approximately 20 hours of training. The schedule breakdown is as follows:

  • Nov. 2nd
    • Introduction to CERT
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Team Building
    • CERT Organization
    • Scene Size Up
    • Terrorism
    • Fire Suppression
  • Nov. 9th
    • Disaster Psychology
    • Disaster Medical Operations I & II
    • Lifts and Carries
    • Evacu Trac
  • Nov. 16th
    • Search and Rescue
    • Search Maze
    • Final Exercise

If you are making up a section because of an incomplete, please show up to the training on the designated date. Dress code: whatever you are comfortable wearing.

Meeting Place: UPD 214. Please meet in the lobby! There will be signage to direct you. If you have not signed up yet, we welcome walk-ins, but I much prefer to have a list of approximately how many people so I can prepare the copies/handouts.

There is still time brother!
Find out how to prepare for the big one, Email Spencer Wong and get trained! Oh, by the way, Happy Halloween.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When the Earthquake Hit

Quake image

I was in the kitchen when the earthquake hit
It sounded like a heavy truck coming down the street, it was very loud. It was a real roller. Nothing fell off the shelves. It was not very far from where we are, so we felt it really well. The whole house rolled. It was a moderate quake, but we felt it very strong because we were only about ten miles from the epicenter. I wonder what they will call this quake? It was relatively mild compared to the Loma Prieta Quake. I was in San Jose (on campus) when that one hit too. Sue is at the gym and has not gotten home yet.

Map of Quake Epicenter

The cat is not (yet) in the house

Mac OS X 10.5

SJSU Bookstore Lacks Leopard
The SJSU Bookstore has not yet received its shipment of Mac OS X 10.5. Reportedly the soonest we will have the new OS is Thursday.

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Ars: Leopard In Detail

Mac OS X 10.5

Great in-depth analysis of Leopard
Ars Technica writer John Siracusa has this great in-depth analysis of the new Apple operating system. It is a must read if you are interested in the deep geek side of things. According to Siracusa:

I'm most excited about Leopard's internals. They're the star of this release, even if they don't get top billing. There's a good reason we've already seen so many prominent Leopard-only software announcements. This is where developers want to be.

This is not an optional upgrade for higher ed customers who intend to keep their software applications current. Enough new applications will be Leopard-only that you WILL have to upgrade. It is our responsibility to do that in a way that honors our responsibilities under our license agreements with Apple. In short, better plan on setting aside money in your budgets no later than next fiscal year.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Audacity for Podcasting

Audacity for Podcasting

Screencasts on using Audacity for Podcasting
Jason Van Orden has a great resource for folks looking to do cost effective podcasting using low-cost tools like Audacity. He has made these very good screencasts showing us how to use Audacity. This is a useful resource, they are done on a PC and compliment very nicely the PDF document file I have made about using Audacity.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Leopard is very good (and could be better)

Mac OS x 10.5 Leopard

Leopard First Impressions
On Saturday I got to play with Leopard at the Apple store in Los Gatos. My first impressions of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard are very positive. For me it is a more compelling upgrade than Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was from Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. Leopard seemed fast and I like the ability in Leopard to create my own share points, a feature that had been available in the server versions of Mac OS X before. In my opinion Tiger was a mostly cosmetic upgrade from Panther, but Leopard is another breed of cat. That is clear in the fact that the system requirements have changed for this Mac OS X version (they did not with the last upgrade) and that NetInfo Manager is totally missing from the Utilities folder that is nested in the Applications folder. NetInfo, the user authentication engine brought to Apple along with Steve Jobs in the Next acquisition is dead, replaced apparently with a local open LDAP database. I hope Apple has left me a way to activate root if I want, (short of going to the command line and changing the root password using the sudo command, or booting into single user mode and mounting the root user.)

Of all the things I have seen in Leopard the one feature that stood out is Spaces. As I said before, the future of operating systems can be summed up with the word "Virtualization." Spaces is like Virtualization in practice. In fact, virtual desktops have been around a long time. Linux has had them for a long time in KDE. But, this is the first time they have been a feature in Mac OS X (that you did not have to add in with a third party application.) They are great once you get the hang of them! But, they could have been better in Leopard. From what I saw the way they appear to have been applied in Leopard is as separate user spaces for the same user. They seem to me to be like running multiple instances of the Mac OS X Finder. For example, I was not able to have all my palettes in Photoshop on one desktop while the image I was working on was in the other. I guess what I would like to see would be more like virtual monitors than virtual desktops. I would like to be able to scroll to the right or left and suddenly be in the other virtual monitor and be able to have my palettes in one virtual monitor while my image was in the other virtual monitor or to have facing pages in InDesign be in two virtual monitors. Or to be able to work on a very large photo in pieces in multiple virtual monitors and be able to work on sections of an image without having to zoom in and out. Now, that would be very handy indeed.

Still, as I said, my first impressions of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard are very positive and I am going to buy it. For me it is a compelling upgrade, I plan to make as soon as Leopard is in stock at the campus bookstore. Then, I will post more on the the subject when I really get to see what this baby can do on my own systems.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Beyond Leopard and Windows Vista

Eric Traut talking about Virtualization

Beyond Leopard and Vista: Virtualization and Windows 7!
Today is the rollout day for Apple's new version of Mac OS X, Leopard, so why am I talking about Microsoft? Emil Protalinski on October 19, 2007 posted links to some great videos recorded by Long Zheng that really show where operating systems are going. In short, the future is virtualization. October 13 Microsoft’s distinguished engineer Eric Traut made a presentation at the University of Illinois about Microsoft’s virtualization technology. Virtualization solves some of the problems there have been with operating systems, such as backward compatibility with legacy applications. Virtualization will make user OS environments increasingly hardware agnostic. Parallels software, which allows you to run Windows on a Mac OS X, is an example of virtualization at work today. Protalinski said in his post, "If you don't want to watch the 8 minute video, I'll try to summarize by saying: 'Windows 7 kernel in 25 megs on disk and under 40 megs of memory.'" This is the world of operating systems beyond our current concept of them.

Microsoft has some wonderful, smart and passionate people and Traut is a great example of that.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

SJSU investigating student for threats Daily says

Spartan Daily Online

"Student accused of V. Tech-like threat"
According to this story by Michael Rizzo in today's Spartan Daily:

Multiple investigations have been launched by campus police and university officials into accusations made on Sept. 29 that a resident of Hoover Hall threatened the use of guns to "go Virginia Tech" on a fellow resident.

Tonight Update News, the university TV news program put on by SJSU broadcast news students, is in production. I am looking forward to seeing their coverage of the story.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

European Vacation Photos

Doug drinking a beer

Europe photos are on line here
I am done. I developed the last three (of 12) rolls of black and white film, scanned them, edited them, mixed them in with the many digital camera photos and have posted them. It has been a long and slow process but I have several hundred photos on line now that chronicle the cruise trip. I hope you like them!

[Photos on Flickr Here]

Jeremy Kemp of SLIS at SJSU

About Jeremy Kemp
I first met Jeremy in his capacity as a manager for the SJSU distance education program. He trained my help desk support staff on a half-dozen occasions. My student workers enjoyed his instruction and commented favorably on his teaching style.

Later, Kemp became involved in the Second Life community and brought his knowledge to campus with expansive passion. He is now teaching in the School of Library and Information Science at SJSU.

I consider Kemp an to be expert without peer in the arena of Virtual Worlds. I think our university is very fortunate to have him in any capacity we can get him. He has spoken to my class on this subject several times. One of the most exciting of those occurred on October 25, 2006. On that date spoke to my journalism class virtually alongside a famous SJSU alumni. Kemp presented to my class along with Aaron Uhrmacher, Senior Account Executive at the PR company Text 100. Kemp was in the class, Uhrmacher was in another part of the country. Despite being thousands of miles apart, they both presented to the class in real time side by side on the screen from within the virtual world called Second Life. The tool Uhrmacher and Kemp used to talk to each other and the class was Skype. It was a wonderful immersive experience. We recorded the session and released it as a podcast a year ago.

He did an excellent lecture on promotional aspects and public relations features of Second Life. I know he is well known in that community because he was able to secure a notable PR executive to co-present for the lecture. The students raved about the experience in a subsequent conversation we had about the class.

Kemp and I have had many great conversations since then on the subject and he has never hesitated to be a rich resource in providing me with ideas and the fruits of his research in this area. Thanks to Kemp I am planning to incorporate Second Life in a very direct way this semester. We hope to convene the class for a class session in Second Life.

Kemp is a gift this university has. I cannot say enough good things about him. We are very lucky to have him.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Al Weber on Photography

Al Weber on Black and White

Al Weber on Traditional Photography and Digital
In March 2006 photographer and conference presenter Al Weber presented at the Silver Conference at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. I really enjoyed seeing this video of his presentation and I invite you to view it. It speaks about traditional silver "analog" photography and the relationship between it and digital photography. I can really relate to his expression of how it feels to be working in a darkroom. I really miss it!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Feeling Analog

Women on scooters in black and white

Feeling kinda Analog
I did something radical on our vacation to Europe. I took a 35mm film camera. Then, I did something even more radical, I only brought black and white film. Of course, as well as shooting analog film I also took a digital camera. I shot a lot more digital than analog. I am very concerned about the ability of digital images to keep for many decades without a lot of work and careful stewardship of the image files. Conventional black and white photos, I have seen, can be neglected for decades, maybe even centuries and still survive long after disk drives have failed and even color analog photos have faded away.

What I discovered though was something else. Black and white film gives you a very different interpretation to a moment than does a digital photo. How the film reacts to light is much different to how a digital sensor does. Yes, you can do things with a digital photo and Photoshop that you cannot with film. But, and heres a mind blower, you can do things with film and under an enlarger that are hard to do in digital. It is all in how it reacts to light. One is not better or worse than the other. They are just different palettes, like comparing oil paint to water based paint. They are different mediums. Another side benefit was after my battery died in my digital camera, I could still make pictures. I even bought a roll of color film in Rome and shot that as my digital was dead after the battery died. (Note: If you are going to shoot only digital, bring backup batteries!)

Once in the airplane on the way to Europe a flight attendant got angry with me. She had asked me to turn off my film camera when we landed. I said I could not. She thought I was being smartellic. I tried to explain to her the camera neither turned on nor off, that my camera was powered by springs. She just could not comprehend of such a thing. It was totally off her radar.

In Europe I saw only one or two other film cameras that were real cameras. I only saw one empty film box on the ground the entire trip. When we went there eight years ago they were everywhere on the ground. But, for now I can still get film and I will continue shooting it. I do not think I will be sorry. But, I think I could be very sorry if I didn't.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anniversary of my mom's passing

My parents

On this day in 1984 my mom died
My father died in 1977 and my mom never quite found herself after that. My mom was a smoker and the records probably show that it was a smoking related illness that killed her, but she was really already slowly dying a long slow death from a broken heart. My parents grew up as next door neighbors. They lived in Pittsburgh, Kansas. They eloped before my mother was old enough to marry. They ran away from home across the state border to Joplin, Missouri where they married. They lied about her age. My grandma (on my mothers side) went after them. She found the sheriff. When they caught up with my parents my father told the sheriff they had already consummated the marriage. The sheriff then told my grandmother there was nothing he could do about their marriage. That was the law then. So, my dad lied. They did plenty of consummating later though, they had five children of which I am the youngest.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What is for lunch?

Vlog about lunch

What Journalism Students are Having for Lunch
In my class today we did a fun assignment. I wanted the students to be able to tell a story on the Internet using video. So I came up with an assignment where they do a short video talking about that they had for lunch, and post it to the class blog. It ended up being a lot of fun and the answers are pretty interesting I think. They did a great job!

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Wet October

Forklift in water
Normally this is Fire Season
Typically the first two or three weeks of October are hot and dry, very dry. This is normally our fire season. But, not this year. We have had a very wet and cool October. Heavy rains at times have caused spot flooding on campus. If this is any indication, it will be a long winter this year. That is good, we need the rain.

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Major outage at the King library today

According to informed sources, "there has been a major blackout in the data center of the SJSU public library." Both their data and phone communication systems have been affected. Students have not been able to use the computer labs there. Students can go to the Clark Hall computer lab or the AS computer lab in the student union.

Update: 11:04am
Reportedly their phone system is back up, but data resources are coming back online a few at a time. It is not known when all systems will be online.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy

Baby Jacob

Jacob was born when we were away
Then all last week we were sick. So, our first meeting with this cute guy, our grandson, had to wait. Well, the best part of being well was meeting this sweet guy. Jeff and Nicole are lucky parents. First Madison and now Jacob. He is a sweet baby!

[Click here to see more photos]

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yesterday at JACC

Emerging Technology for Mass Comm

We had a great time presenting at JACC
What a thrill and honor it was for Cynthia McCune and I presenting at yesterday's Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) Northern California conference at SJSU. It was standing room only in the room. We had a limited amount of time so I had to rush through this PowerPoint. If folks would like to view it at a slower pace, here it is in PDF format. To save file space I have not encapsulated the videos. Links to them are in this PDF.

Some folks asked, how do I get started using emerging technology? In my opinion the place to start is to start a blog. No matter what it is about, start. It can be about your friends and family. It doesn't matter (in fact that can be the best place to start) blogging is as easy as doing email! Set aside a couple of minutes every day. You have to use the tools regularly in my humble opinion (IMHO). Besides, sending a daily email to the world every day can be a real gift to your future generations and to yourself a few years from now.

Then, I recommend you start reading. Here is a brief reading list to get you started:

  • We The Media; Dan Gillmor
  • The Innovator's Dilemma; Clayton Christensen
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto; Chris Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger
  • Naked Conversations; Robert Scoble, Shel Israel
  • The World is Flat; Thomas Friedman
  • Smart Mobs; Howard Rheingold

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

I am at JACC Norcal

The Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC)
The first JACC meeting I attended was in 1975, as a student. Well, in a sense I am a student again. Justin Beck, the multimedia guy from the San Francisco Chronicle is doing a presentation on podcasting. He is a former radio guy and an early podcaster. He is talking about how newspaper podcasts differ from traditional newspaper reporting and how radio journalism is and is not like podcast journalism. His focus is audio podcasts, not on video, and I am really enjoying his great presentation.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Apple and Success

Is Apple facing issues dealing with success?
According to this posting in Business Week:

By broadening its share of the computer market and diving into whole new businesses, the company has become a case study in the challenges of taking a cherished brand with a devoted (some would say cult) following into the mainstream. "The customer base is now more diverse, including students and mainstream consumers, and it's harder to satisfy as a whole," says Lopo L. Rego, a marketing professor at the University of Iowa who studies the impact of customer satisfaction on financial performance.

The article goes on to talk about issues other companies have faced dealing with success and growth.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

The heart of the union

Frank Borelli

The heart of the union
While it is easy to get caught up in hearing the wonderful speeches at the big union meetings like General Council by labor leaders like Andy Stern and politicians like Dennis Kucinich. Yes, that is all great, but the real heart of our union is those many many activists who donate their time and do the hard work without fame or monetary reward. It is folks like Frank and Kathryn and our SJSU labor reps like Jeff, Dennis and Vera and so very many more other unpaid volunteers at all our campuses that make our union work. It is these folks who are the heart of the union and who we all owe a huge debt to. They all deserve our thanks and our admiration because they are all good people who give us so much. Because they all care about us; we have a union.

[See More General Council Photos here on Flickr]

Kathryn Plunkett

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

iPod Touch as Thin Client Mac

iPod Touch as Ultra Mobile Portable Thin Client Tablet Mac
This post was done from an iPod Touch. This is what I call an ultra mobile PC. Or, should I say, an Ultra Mobile Thin client Tablet Mac. With its ability to use AJAX Web apps (and it's lack of local apps for doing "work") the iPod Touch is really a cross between a tilt iPod and a wireless only thin client. This it seems to do very well. Considering the fact that it uses a light version of Mac OS X. It is not out of line to think of this as a thin client Mac. Or, the UMPTCM!

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Steve's birthday today

Steve Junior

Son Steve's Birthday
Today my eldest son, Steve turned 31. It seems amazing to have a son in his thirties. Steve is doing well and is living just east of Seattle with his wife Luci and their kids. Steve is working at Boeing. I wish we could be with them today. They are all very much in our thoughts. Happy birthday son!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dreamworks Animation SKG CEO to visit SJSU

From the President's Office:

President Don Kassing will moderate a conversation with Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO and director of DreamWorks Animation SKG, on Thursday, October 11, from 2 to 3:15 pm in Morris Daily Auditorium. The campus community is cordially invited to attend and get an inside view of the company and movie-making from this undisputed giant in the industry; there will be a question-and-answer segment for the audience at the end of the conversation.

A pioneer in computer-generated animation, Dreamworks is the creator of Academy Award-winning Shrek, Shark Tale, and Shrek 2, the third-highest grossing movie of all time. Upcoming new releases include Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar: The Crate Escape.

Jeffrey Katzenberg co-founded and was a principal member of DreamWorks Studios from its founding in October 1994 until its sale to Paramount in January 2006. Prior to founding DreamWorks Studios, Katzenberg served as chairman of the board of The Walt Disney Studios from 1984 to 1994. As chairman, he was responsible for the worldwide production, marketing and distribution of all Disney filmed entertainment, including motion pictures, television, cable, syndication, home entertainment and interactive entertainment. During his tenure, the studio produced a number of live-action and animated box office hits, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. Prior to joining Disney, Katzenberg was president of Paramount Studios.

Katzenberg's visit is hosted by the Animation/Illustration Department of the School of Art and Design. As part of his visit, Katzenberg will lunch with department faculty, students and invited guests, tour the Animation/Illustration facilities, and review students' work.

Andy Stern

Andy Stern at GC 2007

For me one of the most exciting things about General Council is hearing the stirring speeches given there. Andy Stern is the president of the Service Employees International Union, the largest and fastest growing union in the United States and Canada. He is also an author and I read his book, A Country That Works. It is a great book.

I am not at General Council or work today. I became ill on our vacation and after working long hours at GC over the weekend I ended up sleeping 13.5 hours last night. I guess I crashed.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

General Council 2007

CSU delegates at General Council
I am at General Council 2007
General Council is the big bi-annual convention of state employees in California. It is a very big deal. In is a huge coincidence that it is happening this year in San Jose. Because it is such a big deal it attracts a lot of attention, especially in an election year. Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and SEIU President Andy Stearn spoke to General Council 2007 on the subject of universal medical coverage. This is a very important issue for our country and we as a nation need to find a way to provide coverage for our citizens. I took a lot of pictures today and am really happy with this photo:

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich speaks to General Council 2007

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