Sunday, November 25, 2007

You have a story to tell

I wrote this to my class on our class blog

Six feet under final six minutes

Sit down, I have something important to tell you...
I was in my twenties when my father died. My youngest son was about a year old. My dad died of a rare disease, but this is not about my dad, it is about you. Every day is a gift. This is not just a gift to you. Each day of your life is a gift to all the people who love you and anybody who does now and or will someday want to know you. Believe it or not what happens to you is important. We think we have a long time, but we never know, we likely do, but...

My first wife was thirty-three when she was killed in a car accident. In a blink of an eye she was gone and I was a dad raising three kids on my own. Her story passed to me to tell them. But, this is not about her, or me, it is about you. You may live to be over a 100, but someday you will not be around to tell the story of who you are now. But, now you can tell that story, you have the power to tell that story now, to the whole world.

Gone the Sun
In the book Gone the Sun, Winston Groom writes, “Sometimes I think we should be issued another paper, a Life Certificate if you will – which could contain some brief statement for historical purposes that could explain how a person lived and what they accomplished and where they failed and why.”

You have a story to tell to people who may not be alive yet
Someday somebody will wonder what it is like to be you, now. Maybe your children, grandchildren, great...

Maybe that person will be you
You may someday look back on life and wonder what it was like to be you, now. You may someday be your own audience. You can also share stories as you remember them of folks you care about who are already gone...


"Hey, my name is Rianna,
I am a Junior at Tesoro High School and I am on the varsity song team." This is what Rianna's MySpace blog says. According to the LA Times, "Rianna Woolsey, a 16-year-old cheerleader, last logged onto on Dec. 6, 2005. She died the next day when her car smashed into a tree near her home in southern Orange County." Her page that has not changed since her death. The page is a time capsule of a life cut short. The only part that is different is the section where readers post comments. Since her death over two years year ago, friends have written probably over 1000 messages there. Her friends whom she authorized to post to her page still are posting there, to her, to this day. When I mentioned her on our class blog last year, I received a nice Email from a member of her family thanking me for mentioning her, for remembering Rianna. This person found the post through Google. As I mentioned in that blog post:

Every blog post we make builds our legacy and tells the story of our lives. This is so important, this is what folks will look back on when we are gone. This is our lives with permalinks and cached in Google. Her (Rianna's) words, my first wife Candy’s words, or my sister’s (who died from Cancer a few years ago) words, or my father’s words, all these words and stories I have, and the stories you have, that we hold in our memories can now be written and shared in the world by us and those living with us and preserved for a world without us. Rianna’s continuing story is in the comments of Rianna’s MySpace page. Her memory is shared for those who never knew her there. It is a story started by her before her death certificate and still being written by those who remember her.

As you contemplate your final movies for this class or even your next post to your blog or MySpace or Facebook, or wherever; remember, you don't have to be heavy, or try to do something poignant. Your memory of the best burrito you ever had in your entire life is a good story, an important story. It is a story that may be real important to someone who wants to hear that story either today or someday. Perhaps that person, someday, may be you. I wish I had videos of loved ones lost telling the story of the best burrito they ever had.

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Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob

Jeff, Nicole, Madison and Jacob

Photos of Jeff, Nicole and Family
Today I had the extreme pleasure of being able to take a set of photos of son Jeff, his wife Nicole, their kids Madison and Jacob. It was their family Christmas photo. We went to a park near where we all live in San Jose. What a beautiful, lovely family they are. We are very proud of all of them!

[More photos here on Flickr]

Saturday, November 24, 2007

iPod Classroom

ipod classroom

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article by staff writer Michelle Quinn:

Baxter Wood is one of Hubert Dreyfus' most devoted students. During lectures on existentialism, Wood hangs on every word, savoring the moments when the 78-year-old philosophy professor pauses to consider a student's comment or relay how a meaning-of-life question had him up at 2 a.m.

But Wood is not sitting in a lecture hall on the UC Berkeley campus, nor has he met Dreyfus. He is in the cab of his 18-wheel big rig, hauling dog food from Ohio to the West Coast or flat-screen TVs from Los Angeles to points east.The 61-year-old trucker from El Paso eavesdrops on the lectures by downloading them for free from Apple Inc.'s iTunes store...

Not only is this a huge benefit to the public, this is a benefit to society at large. Emerging technology makes it possible for us to extend learning, knowledge and education far beyond the classroom and that is a cool thing, a very cool thing!

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Kemp in Merc

Article on Kemp

Jeremy Kemp Gets SJMN Recognition
It is great to see when one of San Jose State's really talented faculty gets due recognition. Today, when I was looking at the on-line edition of the San Jose Mercury News I saw just such a thing. SJSU faculty member Jeremy Kemp was highlighted in a story by Kara Andrade. Andrade said, " On any given day, Kemp logs into Second Life from his laptop and finds his students struggling with the building of virtual objects, such as flying carpets, and helps them learn online skills. He often chats with his students using the Second Life voice tool, which helps him tune into his students' frustrations."

Kemp does not just use Second Life. Kemp, along with Daniel Livingstone of the School of Computing University of Paisley, Scotland is one of the two developers of Sloodle. According to Joe Miller, VP Platform, of Linden Lab, which created Second Life, "One of the things that I’m most excited about is a mashup between Second Life and the learning management system, Moodle. Its called Sloodle."

The writer for the Mercury News did a great job covering Kemp's class, but she just touched the surface.

This is going to be huge for higher education. We are extremely lucky to have one of this technology's leading innovators right here at San Jose State University! Kemp deserves a lot of recognition for his great work.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Leopard Word Adobe PDF Export Problems

Convert to Adobe PDF

Another Leopard Icky Sticky
Yesterday, while working on a Microsoft Word file (in Microsoft's almost ancient version of Office for the Mac, Office 2004), I ran across another icky sticky Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard problem. The problem occured when I went to export the Word file to PDF. In short, I couldn't. It did not work. The computer gave me the error: "please install Adobe PDF Printer." When I tried to do that from the appropriate printer pane (which should be spelled pain, that is now located in Leopard's System Preferences panel) the install failed. Here is how the problem was described by Andrew Miller on an Apple forum:

My 3 physical printers work, but Adobe PDF is not. When adding it asked to select driver and gave me 2 Adobe 8.0 options, both the same. Doesn't matter which I select it simply doesn't work. When printing from Word to Adobe PDF pinter pauses and doesn't want to restart the job.

I was well agitated when I found this. This is the second Leopard Icky Sticky I found in one day (the Treo problem being the first.) Then, on the Apple forum I found a fix. It is more a hack than a fix, but it works, written by a guy named Jerry:

I was able to get back my Adobe PDF. here's how I did it:
  • Launch Acrobat (in my case it is version 8)
  • Select "Repair Acrobat Installation" under the Help menu
  • Deselect everything except for the "Adobe PDF Printer"
  • Click continue and you're done!

I do not think you should have to do these kinds of things to get your software to work! I installed Leopard as a clean install, not an upgrade install, on this computer. All the software on this computer has had all updates applied and all was up to date as of yesterday. I do not mean to sound like I am ragging on Leopard. It is a great OS. But, it just needs to get its bugs worked out. Leopard still has too many icky stickies. IMHO it has a way to go before it is ready for wide spread deployment. I would not recommend Leopard to regular users, not yet anyway!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Treo issues on Leopard

The bleeding edge: one reason it is better to wait for awhile to upgrade your Mac OS to Leopard
Palm Treo synchronization is apparently broken under Mac OS X 10.5.x Leopard. I went to sync one of my two Treos (my work Treo) to my work MacBook Pro which is running Leopard. The Leopard version of iSync did not even see the Palm device.

I went to Apple's forums to see if I could find a fix. This is what I found there, "There are currently undefined issues regarding Palm synchronization under Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.5.1."

I went to Mark/Space's Web site. This company makes the Missing Sync products for synchronizing devices like Treos to to Mac OS X running computers. Here is what I saw there, "As we confirm issues, we will post summaries for each product. We recommend that The Missing Sync not be used with Leopard..."

I had been considering upgrading my own MacBook that I use for syncing my other (personal) Treo to Leopard. That plan is on hold and my work Treo is now a disconnected device. This is another reason to wait until Mac OS X 10.5 has been through several Rev's before upgrading. If you don't need it, if you don't gotta have Leopard now, if getting your work done is more important than being on the bleeding edge; I say, stick with Tiger!

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MoveOn on Facebook

LA Times Article

MoveOn vs. Facebook
According to Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, " launched a campaign Tuesday on Facebook against Facebook." The article said:

Facebook allows its members to opt out of the ad system, called Beacon. But contends the program violates users' privacy by requiring them to opt out rather than voluntarily opt in. "The sole reason for this new feature is to serve corporate advertisers and make it easier for them to micro-target Facebook users with ads," MoveOn .org spokesman Adam Green said. "Breaching privacy is against the type of community Facebook should be striving for."

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Leopard updated

Click to view Apple Info

One down, two to go (at least!)
The first major up date of Apple's powerful and innovative new version of Mac OS 10.5, Leopard is out. Leopard is 10.5.1 now. Folks who love to be on the cutting edge and are willing to take a few chances and maybe have to deal with a few compatibility issues should upgrade (I did!) Those wanting to wait and not have to worry about the new bugs that are normal in the first few versions of an operating system may want to wait awhile. Maybe until early 2008 for version 10.5.3 or later of Leopard. Note, Apple just quietly updated its veteran OS X 10.4 Tiger to 10.4.11.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby News

New Baby Coming!
Eldest Son Steve's wife Luci posted this to their blog:

For those of you who have not heard. We are having a baby. Lorena and Eric have graciously accepted to be God parents in a ceremony that will be officiated by a family friend. We are very excited. The baby is due May 30th, 2008. We are 12 weeks 3 days today. Over the weekend I will have Steve load pictures of the ultrasound. At the end of December we should be far enough along to determine the gender.

We are very excited and looking forward to our new grandchild. More about this and other family news is, or will be, posted on our family blog.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Guerrilla Photojournalism

Commentary by Daum

Soldiers as citizen photojournalists
Meghan Daum, who is often heard in commentaries and features on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, wrote this insightful commentary that contrasts the role of professional photojournalists and soldiers themselves who are photographing the war in Iraq.

Daum said, "Amateur war photos snapped by participants have a certain immediacy, but they lack the punch and power of work done by pros." Daum contrasts the photos taken by professionals, like the photo of James Blake Miller, the Fallujah Marine, taken by LA Times photographer Luis Sinco with those taken by soldiers themselves. Daum said:

Despite all the professional "shooters" doing their best to cover the war, much of the action we see is brought to us by the people doing the fighting. Soldiers record artillery fire with hand-held digital video recorders and post the clips on YouTube. Snapshots taken with cellphones -- some as innocuous as tourist photos, others downright gruesome -- abound on the Internet. In other words, to look at photographs of the Iraq war is, quite often, to see guerrilla photojournalism.

I found Daum's commentary very insightful. I recommend it to anybody interested in journalism, new media and citizen journalism.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Podcast Tech Specs

Apple tech spec

Geek RSS Stuff: What are the rules of podcast compliance?
THE TECH SPECS - According to Wikipedia, "As of September 2007, the iPod had sold over 110 million units worldwide (stated in "The Beat Goes On" conference) making it the best-selling digital audio player series in history." If you want an audience for your podcast you have to be able put your content on the iPod platform. There are plenty of tools that make it possible to do that, but to make it easier for folks to find you, and to make your podcast look more attractive in the iTunes interface, you may want to tweak that RSS feed.

If you are ready to take the leap into true XML hacking, Apple has the technical specification right here. In short, this is the podcasters Bible. Thou shalt comply! (Resistance is futile...)

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Android, the Gphone OS

Android, the Gphone OS
Having many makers building, and many programmers building on, this open source platform is going to mean the ability for folks to get phones with many options and to not be locked into one manufacturers design philosophy, as we are now with iPhone. Competition is a good thing, and now Apple has competition, serious competition! Maybe now we will get an iPhone with interchangeable batteries. We can have our portable Internet our way! Imagine what this could do to news delivery...

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Research Interests

Can traditional news reporting values survive?
In this time of disintermediated news reporting, the sources of stories can quickly and easily post content directly to Internet places like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and blogs. Often, there is no fact checking or context to this content. True or not, these stories can be accessed quickly, spread virally and linked to by citizens using Internet technologies. Professional journalists, scrambling to responsibly cover news stories that spread at Internet speed, can seem to be left in the dust. The pressure to publish fast, too fast, is almost irresistible. How can traditional news reporting values survive and be a value in such a fast paced environment?

I would like to do traditional research on this topic and conduct interviews with practitioners of both new media and traditional media. I think a focused podcast on this topic alone would also be very worthwhile. Such a podcast could stimulate a conversation that needs to take place on this topic on a broader front.

What I envision is a well produced audio podcast, similar in style and professionalism to what Terry Gross does on NPR. This podcast would consist of a series of interviews of new and traditional media professionals as well as journalism educators. This approach would be combined with a literature search, research of what has been published in juried publications and where possible a search of the transcripts of conference presentations. There are many opportunities for partnering and synergy in this research. For example, The Committee of Concerned Journalists (CCJ) work discussing the future of the profession would fit right in with the research I am planning. As CCJ said on their Web site, "Journalism's first obligation is to the truth."

In my opinion the truth is our greatest core value as journalism educators. The news consuming public has more choices than ever before for sources of information. YouTube is competing with responsible information sources for attention.

With many of the information sources on the Internet not so committed to truth, how do journalists compete for an audience and still uphold the values of the fourth estate? That is what I would like to research.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Family Blogs

Steve and Luci's blog

The family that blogs together
Both of our two older sons have blogs. Steve and Luci have a great blog that covers their growing family as does Jeff and Nicole. It is very cool to me to be able to peak in and see what is going on with them.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Email Unification at SJSU

SJSU Email: Litigation Readiness and Email Unification and Archiving
PODCAST -- There has been a lot of discussions at SJSU about unifying all the different Email systems we have into one system. Litigation and Litigation Readiness issues are often cited as the driving engines behind this push. This is true, but there are other issues to be considered.

What should be considered?
This great Podcast from is an important listen. In this podcast, industry expert Mark Diamond discusses the legal ramifications of email archiving, and how they impact IT strategy. Litigation Readiness is becoming an irresistible force that I think will make this happen. The cost of trying to get information from SJSU's current dispersed dispirit Email systems across our campus enterprise to answer one subpoena could cost us far more than just properly preparing in the first place would.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Leopard Favorites: Apple Mail

A lot to like in Leopard: Apple Mail
All in all my opinion of Mac OS X 10.5 is overwhelmingly positive. My first favorite is the new version of Apple Mail. Yes, I like the new stationary features, but most of all I like Apple Mail Leopard Editon's support of RSS. According to Apple, "Subscribe to an RSS feed in Mail and you’ll know the moment an article or blog post hits the wire. Even better, you can choose to have new articles appear in your inbox alongside your latest email messages. Sorting your news is easy, too. Use Smart Mailboxes to organize incoming news articles according to search terms that pique your interest. Mail shares its unread RSS feed count with Safari, so your reading list always stays in sync." I know Thunderbird can do it too, but I use Apple Mail and I think that is way cool!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Least favorite Leopard behavior

Folders in doc

My most disliked thing in Leopard
One thing I have read ,and totally agree with, is the statement that an operating system should not get in the way of getting your work done. As much as possible, it should be invisible. One of the best way for an OS to not get in your way, is to leave a path back to previous version interface elements, especially interface elements that a user knows well and that aids productivity. One of the best things about Windows XP is that no matter how much they tweaked the interface they left a path back to "Classic Windows" the interface that harks back to Windows 2000 (Win2K) and before. This Win2K interface , though not glitzy, allows users to get a lot of work done fast. It was a good workflow many of us old farts had established.

One of the best things about that Win2K Windows interface was the start menu. Clicking on start, in that interface, gives you a textual tree of your applications. This lets you arrange and get through and to your applications quickly. In Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger, and before) you could drag your applications folder to the Dock, click on it, and get a similar interface in Mac OS. It was almost like having a start menu right in the dock. Well, that is gone with Leopard. In 10.5 Leopard if you put you Applications folder in the Dock and click on it you get the ugly fan. If you right click on it it becomes very apparent, short of some yet unknown terminal hack, you cannot get back to Classic Mac OS X behavior. When I want to use my very productive, tried and true Classic Mac OS X workflow I cannot anymore. That is just plain wrong! Apple could learn from Microsoft on this one.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Aditi's Birthday

Happy Birthday Aditi

Happy Birthday Aditi
Aditi Sinha is one of our senior student assistant leads at the help desk. She has been at the help desk for a long time and soon she will be graduating. Aditi is from India. She is smart, dedicated and committed to the help desk and the folks who work there. She almost always has a smile and makes us all feel like family. She is a natural leader and an inspiration. She is one of the nicest students I have known in my over twenty-three years at the university and when she graduates it will be a big loss for us and our university. We are really going to miss her.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

I Lept into Leopard

My Leopard desktop

The new cat is on my computer!
Well I did it, I made my first Leopard install. Next I will be installing Vista on the same computer! The cat is definitely fast and there are things I really like about it and things I really do not like. For example, I really do not like desktop clutter so the default desktop had to go. More on that later though. We are off to a social engagement!

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Europe trip reunion

Cruise Partners

Cruise reunion
This afternoon we are getting together with the cruise group to share memories, photos and perhaps to plan for our next trip. We have not seen them since our parting in Rome. This should be a lot of fun. I burned DVD's for folks of the trip pictures.

[More Vacation Photos Here on Flickr]

Friday, November 02, 2007

In Design User Group Meeting

In Design User Group Meeting, Wed., Nov. 14
The next meeting of the Bay Area InDesign User Group for Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 at 6:30pm, to be held at Adobe San Francisco, 601 Townsend St, at 7th St. .

Come join us in learning about InDesign's Transparency features!

InDesign CS3 introduces some powerful and innovative transparency features. Now you can apply transparency effects independently for an object's fill, stroke, content, and text and you can apply almost all Photoshop effects inside of InDesign. This presentation will show how to make these effects work and -- even more importantly -- how to get them to print successfully by following some important transparency best practices.

As always, the evening will conclude with the group's customary raffle of valuable software, books, and prizes.

I plan on going and welcome folks who may wish to carpool with me. To register, or for more information, go here.

Conversation with University Leadership

Featuring SJSU President Kassing and Provost Sigler
On Tuesday, November 6, from 1pm to 2:30pm, in the Resident Activity Center Building B, there will be a Conversation with University Leadership featuring President Don Kassing and Provost Carmen Sigler.

Issues With Leopard?

Is Leopard Ready?

Problems with Leopard?
Rob Meads article asks, Is Leopard Still in Beta? implying that it was not ready for general release. Some users are reporting problems with Leopard. This may be shocking to some but this frankly is to be expected. With the first version of a new operating system, no matter how through the beta testing was, it simply cannot reproduce the variety of systems and configurations found in a general release. Users who want to try the cutting edge technology frequently find it to be the bleeding edge.

Leopard vs. Vista Showdown
Engadget has this unusually non-biased comparison of the features of Microsoft's Windows v.6 Vista vs. those of Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The blog Seattlest has some great advice for folks looking to upgrade to Leopard. Not everybody is overjoyed with the changes in Leopard, Matt Neuburg writes about the six things he hates about Leopard.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Kassing's Halloween ULP?

Is this an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP)?
Last night President Kassing's office released two new presidential directives, an hour before midnight on Halloween. Could one of these directives been a violation of the staff union agreement, an unfair labor practice and a violation of state law?

Updates on this topic will be posted here, on my union blog.