Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter in San Jose

Winter came to San Jose yesterday. The days are getting longer once again.

About the photo: This photo is shot on film, with a Nikon 105mm 2.5 lens (Ken Compton's old lens) on a N90S on Fuji 400 film exposed at 200. Click on photo to see a larger version.

Monday, December 21, 2009

End of Fall at San Jose State

Fall is finished at SJSU. This photo was taken between Clark Hall and Dwight Bentel Hall on November 29, 2009. Two guys were tossing a football in the late afternoon that day. Just click on the photo to see a larger version of the image.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ram's Last Day

Today is a day of many celebrations at the help desk. It is both happy and sad as today is Ram Kumar Rama Roo's last day. Ram has been at the help desk for three years and is our senior student lead. He will be missed!

We had a help desk celebration to celebrate that, several staff birthdays and the end of the semester. (Click on the above photo if you would like to see it larger.)

Why Google Apps for Education?

Why Google Apps for Education Video

Members of the Google Apps Education team explain Google Apps, how Google Apps work, the benefits of Google Apps as well as provide some information about Google's education program.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Solutions: Linking Apple and Google Calendars

Linking Apple iCal and Google Calendars

This video, by Gary Rosenzweig of MacMost.com, shows a free way to link Apple iCal Calendars and Google Calendars so that when you put an event in one it appears in the other. This is a good way to get Google Calendar events to appear on your iPhone, for example. There are other, not free, solutions as well including Spanning Synch. I like Spanning Synch if you have multiple Apple Macs where you will be entering calendar events, or want granular control to link multiple calendars.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How we use Google Docs at the Help Desk

We have been using and are crazy about Google Docs at the San Jose State University Help Desk. Why? Because Google Docs have greatly improved our ability to collaborate efficiently. Rather than e-mail copies of Word files from person to person and hope the end result is not mass confusion; we invite users to work together of the documents we have stored in Google's Web cloud.

We build right sized collaboration teams of subject matter experts (SMPs), staff users, writers and editors around a document based around the need to get the job done. In this post we will illustrate how we do this.

For any of this to make sense; you need to understand the concepts in the following video. This is how Google Docs works:

Understanding Google Docs Video

Sharing a document with others is very simple. Here is another video that shows you how to add people to collaborate on a Google Document.

As you follow the progress of a team around a document, you may want to view the revision history to see who did what to the document. It is easy to do this. Select "see revision history" from the file menu of the Google document.

See revision history in the File menu of Google Docs

After you make this selection you can see the work of the multiple editors of, or contributors to, the document and/or roll back to a previous version.

A view of the revision history of a help desk document.

Using Google Docs we have been able to create teams around on-line and training documents based of the expertise and the skill sets needed to create successful documentation. We have also been using this approach for several years for asset management. This work flow has significant potential also for group efforts like department newsletters. It is hard to imagine reverting to our old inefficient work flow of mailing Word files and tracking changes to those files.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fall light, leaves and shadows

Behind Dwight Bentel Hall at SJSU, Fall 2009.

(Taken on Fuji 400 film, Nikon F3 camera. Click on photo to enlarge)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hackers are people too

According to M. E. Kabay of Network World, "During the 1990s, the term "hacker" became synonymous with "cracker," which is a person who performs some form of computer sabotage." But, that is not what the term originally meant:

"Hacker: A person who writes programs in assembly language or in system-level languages, such as C. The term often refers to any programmer, but its true meaning is someone with a strong technical background who is "hacking away" at the bits and bytes.

"HACKERS ARE PEOPLE TOO," a 2008 documentary directed by Ashley Schwartau and produced by Winn Schwartau, is a refreshing look at intelligent, healthy, original people who are far from the twisted misfits...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Philz Music Moment

Philz Coffee
is one of my favorite hangouts near SJSU. This evening as I walked by there after yoga I couldn't help but notice they now have music. I grabbed a snap with my iPhone. The place has been crowded with students preparing for finals.