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.


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. 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.

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.


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
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…

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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

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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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