Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

books

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

I’ve had the torturous fun of publishing three books. The first was a simple comb-bound manual with a DVD to go with it. The 2nd and 3rd were “perfect bound” paperbacks. Dying Again was printed by Thompson and Shore, Spinach and Beyond by McNaughton and Gunn. Both are local book makers. I also designed, laid out, and published a book for a friend – poetry written by a nun who had died. McNaughton and Gunn also did that sort run.

I got to tour the printing plants for both companies, and twice for McNaughton and Gunn. They let me come to see the cover coming off the press both times, which is a real thrill after all the work to design and ready the cover.

The last two times I turned in PDF files, with a hard copy to reference. Amazing to bring all that work to fruition on a shiny CD.

So I truly enjoyed watching this short film of how a book is made – from the ’40s. My how things have changed. And yet some have also stayed the same.

So I share it here, hope you’ll enjoy it and get a chance to see a modern book maker some day. It is still an awesome experience, but computers ahve made it a whole ‘nother world!


Printing a Book, Old School from Armin Vit on Vimeo.

Are cell phones dangerous?

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Well, I don’t think we really know yet. But spending too much time on the phone does seem problematic on many levels. The precautionary principle should apply, especially for teens who spend so much time on the phone. Nothing really alarming has shown up yet, but reports of brain surgeons using headsets is interesting.

I personally love the speakerphone feature on my Palm. So I spend a lot of time on voice mail on speaker phone, and any conversation to set up appts. ends up on speaker so I can manipulate the calendar option, and long conversations are easier on speaker if no one else is around.

The phone also tracks minutes, I’m around 700 a month, so I know I’m spending a lot of time with the radiation generating device. I liked finding this info on which phones generate the most radiation. Mine is a bit high, actually.

So I do have the head set, I will see about incorporating it when I’m doing lots of call backs.

But I love love love my new phone, and not having a land line, and having all in one convenience. But reading this article does remind me to use the speaker phone more often.

Google Street Views

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

The street view option is now available for Google maps.
It is a fascinating and interesting experience to cruise around, viewing familiar scenes on the web. As a frequent walker, it is just interesting to see my common views available for the world.
My neighbors at least was scanned some time ago, there are some trees shown that are no longer there, I think they were gone right around when Zomba died. I also checked out another house that had a wheelchair ramp there for a short period of time – the ramp is there, so that also dates the process – the ramp was installed about 4 weeks after memorial day, but yet the leaves were still on the trees and had not turned.

Interesting, my street was skipped in the process. I live on one of those very rare private streets within the city, I’ll have to spend some time to learn if all the private streets were skipped. I have mixed feelings, I like staying anonymous (you can only find the satellite view) but I also feel sort of left out. Maybe anonymous is the wrong word. Unrevealed? Unseen? Obscure?

The very far west side of town has also not been included, I suppose it will in time.

But as a visual person, I am looking forward to the first time I have to go to a new location and I can go there with Google maps street view first. Amazing technology.

creative protests/demonstrations

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

It is always a difficult thing to communicate a cause effectively. People don’t like to be overwhelmed, issues get lost in the mass of things we should be concerned about, and certainly intimidating or harassing people is one of the least effective ways to communicate.

This simple video loop is extraordinary. It takes the issue of landmines and gives it a unique twist, the video is fascinating to watch, the concept clear – what about the people who live with the fear of TOUCHING THE GROUND every day. It is art, performance, and the message is quietly powerful.

Go to the site, click on http://www.dangerousground.org/kbps.html
It does take a while to load, so don’t even try it without a broadband or better connection.

It loops, so you can read the information bits that flash below the video. Haunting, effective, and powerful.

It is an important message, and an issue with a few simple solutions. It got my attention, and my interest in sharing with more people. That’s good.

test post

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Did a few computer updates tonight and finally setting up extensive back ups — and accidentally erased by blog — interesting to see how panicked I was.
Back and all is well. I guess I’m attached to it.

unauthorized networking illegal in MI

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Michigan has a law on the books making it illegal to access a computer network without permission. The 1979 law was just used to prosecute a man in Sparta MI for using the WIFI network of a cafe without going into the cafe.

Bizarre in so many ways. There are a few unsecured networks in my neighborhood – as there are all over the place. Hpw do you even figure out who to ask? A well intentioned bill to prevent hacking that hasn’t kept up with technology or practical use.

building community – on line gaming

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

If you check out this article in the Detroit Free Press on my nephew, Graham, you can see that building community takes many unique forms in our family.
He has created an island within an on line game to hang out with friends.

“Knowing your guildies in real life was amazing,” Feldt said. “Everyone could relate and talk about events, both personal and public, and everyone would put forth ideas to go to the bar, have a party at a house, and all that. Knowing them in real life also means you don’t get anyone … well, unhumorous or mean.”

Graham and my additional nephew Ian created the

Cult of Azathoth, a guild on the Darkspear server in “World of Warcraft.” A guild is a collection of players who group up for quests and dungeons.

It is yet another way to build community. I think my 9th grade students would especially appreciate it.
So while I’m out here hanging out with cows and farmers and eating organic food with people, they are hanging out in their attic on the computer playing night and day also communing and learning to appreciate other people and viewpoints. Who is to say?

bad bad set up and other support

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Love the internet, because if someone provides bad service everyone can know. Not only do I track it elsewhere on this site (local experiences good and bad) but I can blog about it as well.

I got the wireless router from Linksys and actually called the tech dept. ahead of tiem to be sure I was getting the right thing for a MAC. It came about 6 dyas later. Insert the CD which is clealry labeled — Don’t do anything until you run this CD! But it was full of windows software and of course worthless.
I understand the concept of walking through a router set up through a browser, so I decided to just jump in. Not only did it not work, but it disbaled my internet to my wired computer.

I called tech cupport and had one of the worst experiences ever with a tech person in India (I’m guessing) who couldn’t understand or be understood the language we were using. Half hour wasted. He insisted that he could only help once the internet was working and could not direct me to any instructions or web site or anything to set it up (fill out the form correctly) on my own. He demanded that I call my ISP first and then call him back.

Eventually the e-mail help line sent me instructions that began “The setup disc will never run on a Mac system simply because it was designed for Windows only.” and that were so poorly written I could only guess they were translated “Please right down the key or save it on your notepad for future reference.” But they steered me in the wrong direction, and in the middle switched back to windows instructions. Following those isntructions, the wireless network didn’t show up at all. I had at least previously at least had it show up — just tha tno one could access it.

So I went back and improvised. It works. I appear to have security as well.
I’ve gotten two surveys from Linksys concerning my experience. Poor poor poor and poor.
We’ll see what follow up they do.

Long ago (1987) I had a terrible experience with the local Mazda Toyota Dealership on Washenaw, they lied they cheated they totally took advantage of me in really slimey ways. So they survey to Mazda was blazing in my anger — they had actually broken the law switching numbers nad info for the Secretary of State.

For two years I got regular phone calls from Mazda making sure I was happy with the car and letting me know they had listened to my feedback. When it came to buy my next truck I did choose a Frod, but was wiling to consider the Mazda. Its just that Ford was making it. I went to Varsity Ford and they blew me off and were rude — so I went over to Gene Butman and was treated realy well. That week my dad’s partner also watned to buy a Ford. Guess who got that business as well?

The verdict is out on Linksys. I’ll report back.

RSS Feeds

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

One of the UM Enriching Scholarship classes this week was on Web 2.0. So I’m learning about this concept – concepts of conecting communicating and gathering info which includes RSS feeds. I joined Bloglines.com and now have that as an “aggregator” so subscribe to RSS feeds for news, blogs, and other. It is a little easier than my customized Google page.
So now I see that this blog is available as an RSS feed – you can be notified with every new entry. Scroll to the end of this page and click on RSS feeds. You need to have an aggregator to subscribe — Google or Bloglines are both good but Bloglines is a little more user friendly my opinion.
I still have questions and some puzzles, but I’m slowly learning and so far very fun and efficient.

wireless and new

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

I’ve been having some disturbing signs from my imac and I also have trouble spending the hours I need to spend in my back room writing and editing for the book. Mac Notebooks were on sale. And lovely. So I took the jump and here I am. A fun feature is you can take photos on the comuter– mypicture.jpg
and you cn make it have interesting effects
mypicture_2.jpg

I’m using my neighbors wireless until I can set up my own. Very sweet.
It took about one hour to transfer everything from the old to the new — including applications. Easy as pie.
And — it is fast as all get out and just way cool.
My last notebok was the 152 I think it was. A small thing, black and white screen, it still works but with a floppy drive, scuzzy ports, and no other connections I can’t get info on it or off it. And it is clunky and slow and of course OS 7 or thereabouts! But I carried it all over the country and it was fun in its time.
This is so way cooler and beyond.