art center canvas™ software module

Working on IA for another module for Art Center Canvas™ a browser based software application for arts and cultural institutions. The main community model is in beta. We’re just getting ready to launch a small site to show what the application does. The application uses opensource components. It really rocks and we can’t wait to show off what it can do.

more to come.

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Enhancing my new desktop computer.

So, I really had to buy a new computer. I was without another machine if my MacBook Pro needed to visit the apple hospital so I bought another portable. A shiny, tiny Mac mini. What a sweet little box. I needed to give it a bit more zoom though. I started by upgrading it to the new spotted cat OS. It makes the little block zoom. But to make it scream I needed processes to have all the help they needed to be efficient.

Mac mini Dimensions

I headed over to other world computing.
Memory upgrades. YES. The 3 gig upgrade looked very good and only 79 bucks. That will help feed the OS beast. Next step, looking to replace the 5400 rpm hard drive with a speedier 7200 and more gigs to store all those photos and mp3’s. Hitachi Travelstar 200 gb is looking very good — 200 bucks.

Everything arrived and I took out my tools to begin opening the little chicklet. Prying it open carefully took a bit of patience. I didn’t want to scratch or break any of the plastic pieces. I took out my putty knife and a few old plastic membership cards. The mini is an amazingly tight piece of technology. Getting to everything I needed to however only took care and patience. Now that the new RAM is in place and the new hard drive my mini screams. Adding a wireless mouse and keyboard completed the workstation.

Yippie.

Apple Wireless Keyboard

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Apple developing mini-disc adapter

I read an article this morning at AppleInsider about Apple developing a mini disk adapter. I see the need for saving money. I actually see the reason for skipping using a CD at all. The story goes around in a circle and never really answers any questions. If you are going to ship an adapter with every disk; why not just send the bigger disk? The real question that needs to be answered is : How do you make an adapter available that you don’t have to send with each disc?

Sounds like Apple needs some design help here. What is your idea?

Here’s some excerpts from this silly mess.

“In such situations it would be advantageous to use a reduced diameter (lower storage capacity) disc,” Fadell explained. “Such advantages include reduced shipping costs, reduced production costs, etc.”

The iPod chief pointed out that one currently available solution to using reduced diameter discs in slot drives is that of a rigid adapter that when used in conjunction with the reduced diameter disc enables a disc player to accept and play the reduced diameter disc.

“However, this solution does nothing to reduce shipping costs since the rigid adapter (with its larger footprint) must be shipped with the reduced diameter disc and therefore a standard sized shipping container must be used to accommodate both the rigid adapter and reduced diameter disc,” he wrote. “What is needes is a cost effective method and apparatus for shipping reduced diameter discs that assures the end user will be able to use the reduced diameter disc in a slot drive designed exclusively for a standard diameter disc.”

Therefore, Fadell’s invention calls for a “compactable memory disc adapter” that can be shipped in a compact form and expanded by the customer once extracted from the retail packaging. It could then be fitted around the edges of a 8cm mini-disc, effectively allowing for the reduced diameter disc to play in a slot interface designed exclusively for standard 12cm diameter discs.

AppleInsider | Apple developing mini-disc adapter for slot-loading drives

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Kindle: Reading Device doomed to fail.

Amazon.com: Kindle: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device: Kindle Store

Reason one. Excuse me but why would I want something that looks like a calculator to read a book instead of a book? Can’t think of a reason why. I also think that the folks Amazon seeded these devices to wondered why too. (Although it appears they put all the positive reviews up first) If you look at their website there are 505 customer reviews and the device has barely crept above 2 and, is that a half, stars. Only 97 people give it 5 stars. That’s the people that were interested enough to beta test.

Reason two. Just because you sell books doesn’t mean you understand books. Amazon isn’t a bookstore they are a distribution center.

Reason three. Physicality matters. You can’t pass a book you read on to someone else. You can’t take it to a book trader or used bookstore. You can’t use it to hold your ticket on the train while you wait for the conductor.

Reason four. People that provide reading material call themselves content partners.

Reason five. Dumb name. Ever heard of kindling? Do you want to start a fire with an e-book? Wrong metaphor.

Reason six. Why pay for access to things you already get for free or through your current isp?

Reason seven. A book is about its cover, paper, typeface, and illustrations — they are part of the experience. If not all books could have a black cover and be the same text face using the same illustrator.

Reason eight. How many books could you buy for 400 dollars?

Reason nine. I own my books and I have access to them indefinitely.

Reason ten. The electronic product isn’t cheaper than the physical product.

Reason eleven. The oldstyle books were wireless from the begininng and still are.

Reason twelve. UGLY.

I love good technology. I love good design. I think that the need for devices that allow the reader to change the contrast of the page and the size of the type are needed. I’m waiting for someone smarter to make a smarter device. This isn’t the device to make me an early adopter and I love the bleeding edge.

I’m going to head over to Joseph Fox Booksellers and buy a real book.

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seeking texas travel voy·eur

I have been following the trip of two friends at their website : seeking texas. Shortly into the trip they mentioned a landing spot Marfa, TX. I decided to take a virtual voyage there. First, I went to google maps and searched for the city.  You can check it out here: google map. This is what my first view of Marfa looked like:

 Marfa, texas - Google Maps

Not much context eh? Ok lets step back a bit and look again.

 Marfa, texas - Google Maps

Does that give you a better idea? I also searched for the town on the web. I found this website which enlightened my perspective even more.  From the website:

Where is Marfa?

Marfa, Texas is a small town in the mountainous Trans-Pecos region of Southwest Texas. The Trans-Pecos is considered all territory lying west of the Pecos River and east from the border of New Mexico down to the confluence of the Pecos and Rio Grande River. Located equal distance from the major cities of El Paso (189 miles to the northwest) and Midland (188 miles to the northeast), Marfa is an incorporated town in the county of Presidio, edging the Mexican Border by the town of Ojinaga 60 miles to the southeast, Jeff Davis County on the north and Brewster County on the east.

Now I know a little bit more. It’s near Big Bend. I’ve always wanted to take a camping trip there. But I would actually have to go back to Texas. Hmm. I’ll be checking out their next landing pad soon.

Marfa
now has a population of around 2400. The largest employers are the
Border Patrol, the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization
and U.S. Customs. As Marfa is the seat of government for Presidio
County, a significant number of residents are employed through the
county offices.

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Posterizing the Modern GOP : can’t pick just one

Three posters designed by Rich Silverstein. “Here is my thinking,” Silverstein said, “What if we could TiVo the last six-plus years and play them back – without comment — for the American people, and let them connect the dots? It’s not a pretty picture.” Click on the images to see them full size. Print them out and put them everywhere.

2007-11-15-Posters_names_150.jpg2007-11-15-Posters_slogans_150.jpg2007-11-15-Posters_events_150.jpg

Although I think this is plenty to think about It was easy to come up with more.

national debt
war profiteering
mushroom cloud
illegal wiretaps
abuse of power
preventive war
patriot act
mercenaries
intelligent design
dead or alive
no child left behind
hard work

I’m getting weary.
I had enough a long time ago.

oh, one more…
impeachment

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apple OSX leopard [review]

Updated my macbook pro to leopard this past week. I had heard that the update 10.5.1 was on its way. This was reassurance considering some finder copying dataloss.

I backed up the whole dang drive. Just being safe. Ready to go.

I have been looking forward to this update; not for all the eye candy or new features. I have been looking forward to performance enhancements and I was not disappointed. I feel like I have a new machine. Spotlight rocks. I actually don’t need Launchbar or quicksilver to launch applications or find files. Very fast. Very sweet.

I keep my dock on the side so I don’t have to endure the “glassy dock shelf” or springing stacks. I do dig the icon view when expanding a folder. I got rid of the desktop as quick as I could. I’m not interested in the time machine look.

I dig the sidebar and how the groups have been named devices, shared, places, and search for. expanding and collapsing the groups is handy.

Shared devices and network items just show up in the bar. Excellent.

That’s it so far. More to come.

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apple wireless keyboard oh my! [review]

Just last week I took a trip to the local Apple store. I had made up my mind to get a new wireless keyboard. A friend and colleague had purchased the full size keyboard and I tried it out. But it was time to go wireless and to dump the number pad which I almost never use. I wanted to get back some desk space.

Boy did I get back some deskspace.

The keyboard is the same size as the one in my macbook pro but response of the keys is much better than expected. Being wireless is new found freedom. It’s a great design detail how the batteries load into the top of the keyboard. even with the batteries the keyboard is incredibly light.

I do miss the apple key.

I also bought the wireless mighty mouse. I’ve loved that mouse from the beginning.

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sculptor, metalsmith, works of man

This is Matthew Naftzger. He is an amazing man — warm heart and inquisitive mind. He’s holding a sculpture he sold recently; a sad and triumphant moment. He is a great art bud. Talking with him is aways a pleasure.

My office [stellarvisions] is doing some work with him, restructuring his website and working with him to articulate his vision in an authentic way on the web. His thoughts are glistening interwoven threads and hold tiny marked detail much like the art he makes. The work is an intricate orbit of space – time and the way in which  hu-MAN-ity leaves its mark on everything… that is how I see the work. I hope I can do it justice.

His new website isn’t ready yet but you can see work at the current worksofman.com

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Philadelphia artists who collaborate and share b32

fused glass workshop presentation

I haven’t written about much Art here at unpredictable thoughts now that I have my stella gassaway artlog in which I write about what is happening in my studio and what new work I am making. That space is all about me.

This photo is an image I took at building 32 at sherman mills in the neighborhood of east falls. I live there and I have my art studio there. This image is about the culture of sharing I find so important in being part of the community. Sandy Chierici is one of the artists that has formed a collaborative to offer workshops and experiences to artists and nonartists alike. She hopes to increase the interest in warm glass in the philadelphia area. This is a group of participants in one of her workshops taking a look at a slide show of work in which Sandy explains techniques used in the pieces.

I have been working with the group. I recently designed their identity and have created some marketing materials for them. You can check out the temporary website : b32, a new site is currently under development. It will offer much more in depth information.

Its great fun to take photos and learn about other mediums and the wonderful artists that share the experience.

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