Journal: News & Comment

This is "Penmachine.com: February 2006," a page that archives an entire month's entries from my online journal. The latest material for that month is at the top. For my newest entries, visit the home page.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - newest items first
# 4:45:00 PM:

First beauty and cosmetics podcast episode from my family posted

Lip Gloss and LaptopsI'm psyched. Lip Gloss and Laptops is a new beauty and cosmetics podcast my wife and her friend have put together, and they launched their first episode today (it's for March 1, but it's already that date in Europe, okay?).

They've already been mentioned on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code podcast twice, and are investigating possible sponsorships and such. I think they have a great idea going, and can probably make a good weekly program out of it. Watch for episode #2 on March 8. And tell your cosmetics-loving friends to subscribe at lipglossandlaptops.com/subscribe.

Men like a lot of different things in women, but for me being married to someone who has her own podcast is pretty damn cool.

(Oh yeah, I am a nerrrrrrrrrrrrd. Proud of it.)

 |

# 1:03:00 PM:

Not a phone geek

I'm not a phone guy. I have a really basic mobile phone, nothing special. And I wish it were even more basic—like, could I get a PLAIN SINGLE-COLOUR background screen please, instead of some photo monstrosity that makes it hard to read? I'm glad that Engadget now has Engadget Mobile to hive off the endless latest-new-phone announcements so I can read about other gadgets, which I do like.

My favourite story about mobile phone techie-ness is of a guy (I can't remember who, or where I heard about him) who dropped his cell phone and busted the screen. He said, of course, "Damn, gotta get a new phone."

Then he realized something. "Wait a minute. It still works. JUST LIKE MY OLD LANDLINE. Pick it up, dial a number, if it rings, answer it." So he kept it.

I'd do that.

I did like Phil Torrone's old-school rotary cell phone hack from Gnomedex last year, though. It even has the old electromechanical bells. That is cool.

 |

# 12:52:00 PM:

Speaking tips from Dave Shea et. al.

Dave Shea: Working with CSSVancouver's Dave Shea (and his commenters, me included) gives some great tips on speaking to an audience. Some of it is contradictory, but that's okay.

I used to work with Dave, and he has an easygoing style that works well for the often very technical topics he discusses. I've added his page to my long list of rants about speaking and presentations at penmachine.com/powerpoint.

 |

Monday, February 27, 2006 - newest items first
# 11:25:00 PM:

Two free instrumental MP3s: "Hotcake Syrup" and "Marina Bay"

Marina BayLast night I uploaded two free podsafe MP3 instrumentals, one new, one old.

"Hotcake Syrup" (3 MB MP3 file) originally appeared here almost a year ago, in March 2005, before I was actually podcasting my tunes. In addition to showing up on the CBC Unplugged picket line podcast last summer, it has become the regular theme tune for the diabeticfeed podcast—and they didn't even know I was diabetic when they picked it. How about that?

"Marina Bay" (4.2 MB MP3 file) is new, and both one of the slowest and one of the quickest to record I've ever done. It was slow because I laid down the basic parts (piano and three takes of guitar) in early December, then never got around to my plan of teasing out the best guitar bits and adding more instruments. Then this week I listened to it, tried simply adding some heavy phasing, tremolo, reverb, and delay effects to the guitar, and discovered it didn't need anything else.

Don't forget, if you subscribe to my podcast, you get the new songs first.

 |

Sunday, February 26, 2006 - newest items first
# 12:28:00 AM:

New free Mac multi-protocol chat client

Years ago, Bill pointed me to the Mac chat client Proteus, which handles all the various protocols (AIM/iChat, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo!, Jabber, etc.) very well, and I bought it then and have continued to use it ever since. As of this weekend it's now free, so if you have a Mac and don't like Adium or iChat or the various other options, give Proteus a try.

 |

Saturday, February 25, 2006 - newest items first
# 9:27:00 PM:

Podcasting advice

MXL 990Last night we recorded the first episode of Lip Gloss and Laptops, the new health, beauty, and cosmetics podcast by my wife and her friend K.A.

UPDATE: Over on Dori and Tom's site, I was so absorbed in reading about Tom's return from the hospital that I completely missed Dori's links to the Wise-Women podcast tutorial. And Todd Cochrane's book on podcasting would certainly be a good read too, though I haven't checked it out personally yet.

The gear

The way the session worked was that the hosts spent the past week or so doing research and prep, then went over their notes while I set up the technical end, which consists of:

  • Our eMac, now set up in the same basement studio where I record my own instrumental tunes.
  • A new M-Audio FireWire 410 audio interface, which just arrived yesterday, almost a month after I ordered it—which is a whole other story I'll relate in a later journal entry.
  • Two condenser microphones: an MXL 990 (photo) (part of the package with the M-Audio interface) and a Samson C01 (borrowed from work) on boom stands.
  • GarageBand software to record their voices.

The session

Once we had everything set up and levels checked, I left the room, shut several doors for sound isolation, and went upstairs to wrangle our two daughters and K.A.'s son, to try to keep the noise levels down. It took a couple of false starts before the hosts got comfortable, but eventually they laid down a single continuous 20-minute take that was quite good, and which we'll upload for subscription on March 1.

As engineer and cable rassler, I spent part of this morning mixing their vocals with music and promos from other podcasters, and tweaking levels, then sent it to the hosts for approval. Since I had received the M-Audio interface and MXL mic not an hour before we set up, I didn't quite know how they worked and made a few mistakes in my setup, so I had to use the Audacity sound editor to do some more in-depth sound editing, which shouldn't be necessary for future episodes now that I know better what I'm doing.

Resources and advice

Although I have lots of experience recording music and my own solo voice, I haven't previously done anything like this podcast—which has two others hosting it, and which we are trying to give better-than-average sound quality. So in prepping for the session, I used some handy online resources to help figure out what I needed to know:

The last session implies that I should probably hook up a dbx 266XL compressor/gate to the chain before our next session. Why that particular model? Because I already own it and it's stored in a portable rack case in the same recording room—we use it in my band for the bass drum on my kit, and otherwise it's just sitting on a shelf in the meantime.

In the long run, I'll probably want to get something like this to make the editing and mixing process smoother.

 |

Friday, February 24, 2006 - newest items first
# 2:36:00 PM:

Mackin' on cupcakes

Crazy DeliciousIan Schafer of ClickZ writes about that SNL video:

According to "The New York Times," NBC threatened video-sharing site YouTube with a lawsuit, asking it to remove about 500 NBC-related clips from its site, including the newly popular "Lazy Sunday" clip from "Saturday Night Live" ("SNL"). Sounds logical. The copyright holder and content producer own said content and don't want it distributed willy-nilly across the Web.

Here's the catch: "Lazy Sunday" was viewed over 5 million times on YouTube. It almost single-handedly is helping revitalize the "SNL" brand and appeal. This is arguably the best thing to happen to "SNL" in a decade.

 |

# 1:57:00 PM:

Yummy CBC podcasts

CBC is getting ready to go podcast crazy. You can sign up to be in early on the game.

And, while it raises a good point, doesn't this article almost reading like something from The Onion? Almost?

 |

Thursday, February 23, 2006 - newest items first
# 10:33:00 PM:

Taking an iMac on the road, maybe in a VW?

Via Bill M. at work, here are three very brilliant Volkswagen ads.

Speaking of threes, here are three photos showing how I packed up a 17" iMac G5 into a standard carry-on piece of rolling luggage so I could make a presentation last week. It would have fit entirely inside the bag had it not been for the metal foot, so an iMac can make a very nice substitute for a laptop if you have a power outlet available:

Packing the iMac 1 Packing the iMac 2 Packing the iMac 3

 |

# 4:14:00 PM:

My first video podcast, and a "re-pod"

Over at the Penmachine Podcast, I've done something different: since I changed my subscription feed a couple of weeks ago so I can use Apple's iWeb to update the podcast more easily, the huge list of old songs and other tracks I posted there no longer appears in the feed. So I'm starting to insert some of those older tracks in among the new material.

NOTE: By the way, if you were subscribed to the old podcast feed, you should have been automatically redirected to the new one, so you need not do anything. The new feed address is http://www.penmachine.com/podcast /audio/rss.xml, if you want to know.

Anyway, I posted two things yesterday:

  1. One is new to the podcast, both in content and format: a promotional video (19 MB MPEG-4 video direct download) I made a few years ago for my band, The Neurotics, in iPod video format. Yes, it's my first video podcast.
  2. The second is a tune I originally posted last October, "How Tall Jennifer Is" (3.7 MB MP3 file direct download) which also happens to be the first track on my album that you can (and should!) buy.

And if you're subscribed, you've probably got 'em already. How 'bout that?

 |

# 1:59:00 PM:

Testing the Qumana blogging tool

I'm writing this from within the Qumana blogging tool (Mac beta 2), to which I was pointed by Qumana guy Tris Hussey.

So far it's interesting, and we'll see if I'm compelled to keep using it.

Hmm. The title didn't come through when I posted, so I had to edit the post in my browser. Still some bugs to work out.

 |

# 11:10:00 AM:

Embarrassing typos

My favourite/most embarrassing typo of all time is this 1996 cover of Ms. magazine, which misspells "feminism." As an editor, the irony makes the empathetic pain I feel even stronger.

Errors on the covers of major magazines and books are pretty rare, but Darren points to a recent one, a typo of "launch" on the cover of a new O'Reilly tech book, and back in 1983 even Time misspelled "control."

Of course I make typos and spelling mistakes here, but I do try to minimize them, and they're a lot easier to correct online than in print. Plus I don't have a proofreading staff, other than you my readers. And you sure let me know if you spot something.

 |

# 12:55:00 AM:

It sucks to record drums

None of my original tunes on my current or previous podcast pages, or on my album, include me playing drums. This even though I'm a drummer in my band and have drums set up in the room where I record my stuff.

That's because drums are awkward to record. Here are some examples of drum mic techniques, via Ian's Tape is Rolling blog.

 |

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - newest items first
# 7:57:00 PM:

Links for SFU students, Feb 22

As of tonight, www.penmachine.com/sfu takes you to my list of links from this evening's SFU "What Editors Do" session.

In the future, www.penmachine.com/sfu will go to the latest post for my SFU sessions, such as for my upcoming March 2 session at the Surrey campus.

 |

# 5:33:00 PM:

Another Artigiano latte

Oh, right on. My favourite coffee joint, Caffè Artigiano, now has a blog—or one of its employees does, anyway—with RSS, even.

Another Artigiano latte

I think I'll drop in and have myself a latte right now.

 |

# 2:45:00 PM:

End of radio

Radio TowerTod Maffin thinks that Chicago's recent move to implement widespread Wi-Fi access across the city heralds the end of broadcast radio as we know it.

And I don't think he minds all that much.

Wonderful photo by Carrie Musgrave.

 |

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - newest items first
# 4:40:00 PM:

Mass email software for the Mac, or on the web

Sending email campaigns can be a pain (and I'm not talking spam!), and it's worth paying a bit of money to make it work right. So far, Campaign Monitor looks like one of the best options for commercial email. For stand-alone Mac software, Mail Drop appears good, and would work out cheaper in the long run for large sendouts.

I'm not affiliated with either organization, just so you know—they're just the best results I've come up with after a quick search. Tuglet is also interesting, but when I tried it out, it didn't work all that well. I'll give it another shot and let you know the results.

 |

# 2:33:00 PM:

What Editors Do at SFU Downtown and SFU Surrey, Feb 22, Mar 2, and May 11

As I seem to do every semester, I'll be speaking to a class of students in Simon Fraser University's "What Editors Do" class tomorrow night, February 22, at the downtown Harbour Centre campus. Very shortly after that, on March 2, I'll do the same thing to a different class at SFU's new Surrey, B.C. campus, and again May 11 downtown. I enjoy these sessions a lot, so if you're in one of those classes, I look forward to seeing you there.

Sites I linked to at the session

 |

# 1:26:00 PM:

The first podcast PR coup

As far as podcast publicity goes, it certainly doesn't hurt to get your promo played on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code and Todd Cochrane's Geek News Central—two of the world's premiere long-running podcasts, with tens of thousands of subscribers each.

I guess Air and Kerry Anne are committed now.

 |

# 12:39:00 AM:

First posted pics

Someone got a MacBook Pro already, and you can see how similar it is to its PowerBook predecessor. Not that it stops us Mac-heads from gawking, of course.

UPDATE: Other World Computing has taken one apart already.

 |

Monday, February 20, 2006 - newest items first
# 11:26:00 PM:

Why you don't need search engine optimization (SEO)

Lip Gloss and Laptops Podcast flower mascotI wrote a slightly controversial and rather popular article called "Boosting your search engine ranking: it's no trick" almost exactly a year and a half ago. My thesis was:

I'm not in the business of search engine optimization, and don't have much expertise in it. The reason is that, on the modern Internet, well-built and well-maintained websites do not require search engine optimization.

There's no trick to it: make a good website, and your search rankings will improve. Any site that is built logically, with valid, well-structured code and good content is already as easy as possible for search engines to index, and for other sites to link to.

Here's the latest evidence—the website for Lip Gloss and Laptops, the health, cosmetics, and beauty podcast that my wife and her friend are starting. If you search Google for beauty podcast, it's already on page 1 of the results, at #10. Even better, try cosmetics podcast. Top of the list!

And get this: they haven't yet recorded a single episode. They only registered the domain a little over a week ago, and the site has appeared in dribs and drabs since then. A few days ago your lovely hosts recorded an audio promo, and the first actual podcast goes out March 1. They've had some visitors, a few subscribers, and links here and there (such as the ones in this journal entry).

But all we did was build a well-constructed website, with useful information on it—even before the podcast goes live—and made sure that search engines, podcast directories, and other podcasters know about it. And there you have it.

Oh, go subscribe, will you? Thanks!

 |

# 12:46:00 PM:

Incandescent vs. compact fluorescent light bulbs

Energy saving fluorescents are all the rage.You never know what will get people rolling on a discussion. Over at Lockergnome, an article about compact fluorescent light bulbs set off quite a conversation.

The followup at Chris Pirillo's site is particularly informative. I learned lots that I didn't know, and which will inform my future CF purchases.

 |

Sunday, February 19, 2006 - newest items first
# 12:42:00 PM:

The Gnomedex song: first draft lyrics

Chris Pirillo asked me (either that, or I suggested it, I'm not sure which came first) to write a theme song for the next Gnomedex conference in June. Here's my first crack at lyrics for "The Song":

CHORUS
Gnome-dex! It's geeky fun
Gnome-dex! It keeps us out of the sun
Gnome-dex! For the girls and boys
Gnome-dex! With all the high-tech toys

VERSE
Podcastin', aggregatin', video bloggin', crazy taggin'
Photo galleries, startup salaries, Chris and Ponzi running madly
And of course don't forget
All the free schwag
To be had

[SUBMITTED QUOTES GO HERE]

BRIDGE
The audience might heckle you on up the stage
Your choice of web feed format might cause a rage
Is it the world's heaviest usage of Wi-Fi?
I don't know, but we sure are gonna try
To blow that bandwidth (all that bandwidth)
Sky hi-i-i-i-gh

VERSE
Forget CES and Macworld, OSCON and Foo Camp
MacBooks, Tablet PCs, mobile phones say "Look at me!"
Don't know what makes it so good
We'd write an algorithm to explain it
If we could

CHORUS
Gnome-dex! Tickets are hard to get
Gnome-dex! Is it Web 3.0 yet?
Gnome-dex! It's geeky fun
Gnome-dex! It keeps us out of the sun

 |

# 3:15:00 AM:

Lip Gloss and Laptops audio promo

My wife and her friend Kerry Anne have prepared an audio promo for their Lip Gloss and Laptops beauty and cosmetics podcast, which will launch March 1. Go give it a listen.

 |

Saturday, February 18, 2006 - newest items first
# 9:05:00 AM:

Enhancing iChat

Miraz has a cool idea for instant messaging software like iChat.

 |

Friday, February 17, 2006 - newest items first
# 12:03:00 PM:

People on the Google Earth

Until recently it was hard to see people in the satellite photos on Google Maps and Google Earth, until recent improvements in the resolution of the images. Now Antonella is asking people to highlight places where you can see people. There are lots.

 |

# 9:20:00 AM:

Getting started with blogging

If you subscribe to my podcast (and of course you do!), you already have the latest episode, which is the audio transcript of a Northern Voice panel I participated in on February 11—with Kamloops city councillor Arjun Singh, WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg, and Vancouver superblogger Roland Tanglao.

It's about "getting started with blogging," and if that's something you're interested in, it's pretty useful. It makes a nice compliment to the previous episode (actually recorded a few days later, confusingly), entitled "build your website in 15 minutes or less."

 |

Thursday, February 16, 2006 - newest items first
# 11:52:00 PM:

Round the bend

These British Columbia circle routes provide fascinating paths through B.C., some short and close to home, others immensely long and shockingly remote. I wonder if I'll ever complete any of them.

 |

# 4:20:00 PM:

I appreciate the sentiment. Probably.

Ponzi at dinnerIn her Valentine's post, Ponzi wrote: "I so love Canada! I just want to fold up all my Canadian friends into little squares so I can stuff them in my pocket and take them with me where ever I go. You guys and gals ROCK!"

Right on. Er, I think.

A and MSince our daughter's birthday is on Valentine's day, my wife and I didn't go out for dinner by ourselves. In lieu of that, we're going to do something else romantic tomorrow, Friday night: we're going to record a promo for her new podcast!

Now, Ponzi and Chris may have a pretty good time together, sure, but is my wife not the most awesome partner for a geek like me?

 |

# 3:57:00 PM:

Making Apple's iWeb publish proper RSS feed links on your own web server

A reader of mine, Heath from aeriaeffect.com, emailed me today with a question about Apple's new iWeb, how it handles publishing websites to a folder (rather than to Apple's paid .Mac service), and how to make RSS feeds work properly with its Subscribe button. I thought the answer might be more generally useful.

Heath's question:

Having recently purchased a new mac with iLife 06 and iWeb, I've decided to try my hand at webdeveloping. I am having some issues getting the site to publish correctly and I ran across the following post of yours:

http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/ iweb/topic3885.html

I took a look at your podcast page and saw that you were able to get the RSS button to work correctly on the Blog template using a non-.mac webserver. I've been trying to get my own site to work, to no avail. If you have the time, I was wondering if you might be able to send me some hints on how to get it working.

My site, www.aeriaeffect.com is set up with the Blog page, but the RSS feed is pointing to:

http://www.aeriaeffect.com/ www.aeriaeffect.com/News/rss.xml

When I published to the local folder I put in the base url: http://www.aeriaeffect.com and then clicked publish.

The folder that my site is saved in locally is located at /users/ haeria/Sites/www.aeriaeffect.com/ and I think that for some reason it is trying to populate the feed with that local folder. I've tried not putting in the url when I publish and that hasn't worked either.

Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated, but I understand if you do not have the time to look into this.

I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but here's my understanding of what iWeb does, and my top-of-mind suggestion.

[iWeb Site Organizer]iWeb uses the name you give the site (the top level, globe-icon thing in the Site Organizer source list on the left side of the iWeb window) as the name of the folder it makes on your hard disk when you save. So if you've called that www.aeriaeffect.com, and it makes that the name of the folder on your hard disk, which could be the source of the problem because it expects you to upload it to a folder called www.aeriaeffect.com on your web server (i.e. http://www.aeriaeffect.com/www.aeriaeffect.com/ !).

To rename it, click on the globe icon in the source list, then from the top menu bar choose View > Show Inspector. [iWeb site name]In the inspector window, click the globe tab at the top and then rename the site in the field. The problem is, iWeb doesn't let you leave that blank, so if you rename it to "home" for instance, it will want to put the RSS feed at http://www.aeriaeffect.com/home/News/rss.xml -- as far as I know, there's no way to make it just work as the root of the website that way (i.e. http://www.aeriaeffect.com/News/rss.xml). So you might have to put all your website content inside a folder called /home (or whatever) on your web server to make it work.

In my case, I'm only doing my podcast entries, not my whole site, so I've called it "podcast" in iWeb, and I drag the whole folder called "podcast" into the root of my web server. So it lives at http://www.penmachine.com/podcast/ and also at http://podcast.penmachine.com/ (which are the same place). I set the podcast.penmachine.com on my web server, so that's a different thing.

[RSS buttons]One workaround would be to upload to the site root as you are now, but use a different button (not Apple's default one, which you can click on and delete), like a standard orange RSS/feed icon:

[iWeb link]

Download one of those, drag it into iWeb, click on it, and set a hyperlink using the arrow icon in the Inspector. Type the actual place the feed is (http://www.aeriaeffect.com/News/rss.xml) and you should be okay, without having to move where the rest of your site pages are.

I hope that helps.

 |

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 - newest items first
# 8:40:00 PM:

I'm writing this from the EAC meeting

Hey everybody from the Editors' Association of Canada Vancouver monthly meeting!

UPDATE: Okay, I'm home now. I've posted:

  1. Audio of my 1 hour 23 min talk (about how to build your own website in 15 minutes or less) on my podcast (as well as the EAC-BC podcast).
  2. My slides from the event.
  3. The websites we started with Blogger and with WordPress.

You can also read about what a blog or a podcast or a web feed is, my album, and my wife's upcoming podcast.

I'll post more info to penmachine.com/eac and the EAC-BC site soon.

FURTHER UPDATE: At my podcast there is audio from a separate (but related) Northern Voice panel I participated in on February 11—with Kamloops city councillor Arjun Singh, WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg, and Vancouver superblogger Roland Tanglao—about "getting started with blogging."

 |

# 3:20:00 PM:

Make a podsafe video, win $2000 USD (or maybe $5000 USD)

[Daily Planet TV screenshot]Lucian over at the Planet TV Show is putting together something very swanky: he's offering at least $2000 USD, and up to $5000 USD depending on the number of entries, for the best podsafe music video.

You need to watch his video podcast to get details right now, but there will be a website at podsafemusic.tv fairly soon, and he describes some of the scoop on his February 10 episode. I'll also be writing the theme music (Lucian uses "Washing Off Like an Aardvark" from my podcast as his theme for Planet TV now), and I'm planning on giving it a "Friday Night Videos" sort of vibe.

Only after listening to the "Friday Night Videos" audio clips at that website do I realize, more than 20 years later, that they're sort of '80s overproduced knockoffs of "Baba O'Riley" by The Who. I guess I shouldn't have expected to notice that when I was 13.

 |

# 3:12:00 PM:

What is that Gnomedex thing anyway?

MooseCampBlipTV is another video sharing site, and a cool one. It has a clip of Vancouver's Sarah Pullman interviewing Chris and Ponzi about , which I've written about repeatedly and am going to again in June. is a bit hard to describe, but since Chris and Ponzi organize it, they do as well as anyone.

Incidentally, I am composing and recording the Gnomedex theme song this year, and you can contribute. It probably makes the most sense if you've been to the conference before, or are going this year, but that's not required.

 |

# 9:37:00 AM:

Build your own website in 15 minutes, tonight at 7:30

Blog the New CoffeeTonight I'll be giving a talk at the monthly Editors' Association of Canada meeting in Vancouver about how to set up your own website in 15 minutes or less.

Of course, I'll go on for more than 15 minutes (get me talking about websites and I'm hard to shut up), and in fact I plan to set up two websites using two different services, probably Blogger and WordPress, as well as talk about some other easy tricks to make your site effective. I'll be focusing on websites for editors, but it will probably be useful for anyone.

The meeting is in the Welch Room of the YWCA Health Centre on Hornby Street. Admission is $10 for non-EAC members, $5 for students, free for members. Maybe I'll see you there.

 |

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - newest items first
# 11:01:00 PM:

Eight is never enough

A and MEight is a significant age—in our society, you're no longer a little child. You're most of the way to ten, closer to puberty than to diapers, starting to learn some actual math and reading books without pictures in them. You look out for your younger siblings.

Our oldest daughter turned eight today, and all those things are true for her. This year she will get to visit Hawaii and fly on a plane for the first time. She is a great girl, on the way to becoming a fabulous woman like her mother. Happy birthday, M.

 |

# 1:19:00 PM:

Mixed emotions

Cool! (Via Kottke.)

Sad, in a lost-puppy sort of way. (Via Bill.)

 |

# 11:55:00 AM:

Bring back Da Vinci, on air or online

coronerscardHere's what I wrote today to Chris Haddock's company about the cancellation of Da Vinci's City Hall:

Sorry to hear about the cancellation of Da Vinci. It remains the best drama on TV (not best Canadian drama, just best drama, period).

As a bit of informal market research/suggestions:

  1. If you can bring all the seasons to DVD, I'll buy every one.
  2. If you make future TV movies or other Da Vinci shows, please make them available on DVD, and maybe on the iTunes Store, too. I'll buy 'em.
  3. Obviously, if CTV or another network were interested in taking over broadcast of the show, I'd be all over it.
  4. More radically, if you could make NEW episodes, even half-hour or 22-minute ones, and put them up for sale on iTunes for their standard $2 or something, I'd buy every one. Heck, I'd subscribe if there was a way to do that.

TV isn't the only way to get new shows out there anymore. I don't know what an episode costs to produce, but if you had a few hundred thousand people around the world paying $2 for each one, it might work. Perhaps it's worth thinking about, anyway.

Thanks for such a great show.

It can't hurt to try.

 |

# 1:08:00 AM:

Change your Penmachine Podcast subscription

Mixing boardUpdating the web page for my podcast of original instrumental tunes has become a hassle, even though I'm preparing new material all the time, so I'm beginning a transition: as of now, podcast.penmachine.com goes to a new page that uses Apple's iWeb for maintenance and updates, which should speed things up and let me post more often, even though it gives me less control over the look and code of the page.

All the old tunes are still at penmachine.com/musicpages/demos.html and on the Podsafe Music Network, and of course some of those are on my CD too. But the new tracks (and there are four today already) are on the new page now.

So what does it mean for you? Well, if you want the newest tracks I post, you should go to the new page and subscribe in iTunes or your favourite other podcatching software. (The new podcast subscription is at penmachine.com/podcast/audio/rss.xml.) I'll redirect the old subscription URL there soon enough so that the change happens automatically for everyone, but for now you should make the change yourself. All new tunes will get posted to the new feed from now on.

This also helps me prep for producing the Lip Gloss and Laptops podcast, a beauty and cosmetics podcast for the thinking girl, run and hosted by my wife Air and her friend Kerry Anne, which will premiere March 1 or earlier. We'll have a feed for you to subscribe to there pretty soon too.

Exciting stuff, eh?

 |

Monday, February 13, 2006 - newest items first
# 6:09:00 PM:

CBC kills its best show

DaVinci For ChiefWhat? No more Da Vinci? What kind of insanity is that?

That sucks. One less reason to watch television.

Sheesh. Time for them to get more than just the first of eight seasons on DVD, I would say.

 |

# 12:57:00 PM:

Creative play, playful work

A fine, short Wired article about how games and professional tools, especially in music, are converging. I want Nintendo's "Electroplankton." I think my girls will love it.

 |

Sunday, February 12, 2006 - newest items first
# 10:50:00 PM:

And now...

...after all that pontificating, I can just say, "Oooh! Oooh! Homestar Runner has a podcast!"

And I can say "!" too, though I'm not quite sure why.

 |

# 8:57:00 PM:

Beginning with f-stops, ending with joy

Julie and JenThe benefits of conferences like this weekend's Moose Camp/Northern Voice and the upcoming Gnomedex in June are bit hard to pin down. They're not strictly technical—you don't necessarily leave knowing how to code better PHP or take advantage of tax loopholes or fix your camera—rather, both Northern Voice and Gnomedex focus almost as much on the social and business aspects of computing as on the machinery of it all.

What I really get out of them is the trends you can smell in the air. Because some of the people who help invent new technological things—technically yes, but also socially and entrepreneurially—show up and speak at these events, and chat in the halls, and go to dinner, you can start to suss out that, for example, stuff is really changing in the worlds of online video and music and digital identities. And you get to meet people who create honest lists of ten reasons to date a geek (thanks, Maryam), or who point to cool video sites that make MPEG-4 and Flash versions of your movies on the fly (thanks, Robert), or get you excellent hotel deals (thanks, Tris) without telling you what hotel you're visiting until after you pay (and that's okay).

Here was the big trend: while there was certainly a lot of talk of technicalities, in almost every session I went to, attendees steered the conversation in other directions, away from the gadgety-ness of it all and into the mind and heart. In the session, we spent awhile talking about lenses and f-stops and such, but ended discussing beauty and inspiration and art. In Colin Brumelle's music presentation, we started with business models and technology, yet ended talking about joy. One of the best panels was all about love.

As I noted last year, what's interesting about Northern Voice in particular is the mix of participants: women and men, experts and beginners, old and young, local and visitor. This year seemed busier than last, and more egalitarian.

The buzz from the self-organized Moose Camp spilled over into the main sessions, so that even when there were people onstage, the audience wasn't afraid to talk back or even take over, to interact, to support, and to challenge. People came and went, took and posted thousands of photos, blogged and instant-messaged and podcasted in the background. It was less like a meeting than a hive. Rather than sitting and blogging it all, I walked around and talked to people, and used the wonderful Nikon camera I borrowed from Alastair Bird to try to capture people, and smiles.

I didn't photograph this, but in one of the other rooms of the UBC Robson Square Conference Centre there was some sort of business meeting. The slides I spotted on their projection screen as I walked by were the worst stereotypes of brain-numbing multi-level bullet-list PowerPoint hell. I got the feeling that many people at are on a mission, conscious or not, to take technology away from that sort of hell, to help it become something that brings people yet closer together, to take it off the screen to wherever we need it to go to become our better selves.

And then I came home, and had dinner and wine and bread with lobster oil with my wife and daughters and our friends and their young son—and my wife and her friend and us guys, their husbands, discussed the new podcast that those two lovely women, the non-geeky, are about to start. So the trends in the air spread their joy, and the world is changed.

 |

Saturday, February 11, 2006 - newest items first
# 11:06:00 PM:

Northern Voice: Day 2, Sessions

DSC_0230.JPGDSC_0169.JPG DSC_0170.JPG DSC_0171.JPG DSC_0173.JPG DSC_0174.JPG DSC_0176.JPG DSC_0177.JPG DSC_0178.JPG DSC_0181.JPG DSC_0182.JPG DSC_0183.JPG DSC_0184.JPG DSC_0185.JPG DSC_0186.JPG DSC_0188.JPG DSC_0190.JPG DSC_0191.JPG DSC_0192.JPG DSC_0193.JPG DSC_0194.JPG DSC_0195.JPG DSC_0196.JPG DSC_0197.JPG DSC_0198.JPG DSC_0199.JPG DSC_0200.JPG DSC_0201.JPG DSC_0202.JPG DSC_0203.JPG DSC_0204.JPG DSC_0205.JPG DSC_0206.JPG DSC_0207.JPG DSC_0208.JPG DSC_0209.JPG DSC_0210.JPG DSC_0211.JPG DSC_0212.JPG DSC_0213.JPG DSC_0214.JPG DSC_0215.JPG DSC_0216.JPG DSC_0217.JPG DSC_0218.JPG DSC_0219.JPG DSC_0220.JPG DSC_0221.JPG DSC_0222.JPG DSC_0224.JPG DSC_0225.JPG DSC_0226.JPG DSC_0227.JPG DSC_0228.JPG DSC_0229.JPG DSC_0230.JPG DSC_0231.JPG DSC_0232.JPG DSC_0233.JPG DSC_0234.JPG DSC_0235.JPG DSC_0236.JPG DSC_0237.JPG DSC_0238.JPG DSC_0239.JPG DSC_0241.JPG DSC_0242.JPG DSC_0243.JPG DSC_0244.JPG DSC_0245.JPG DSC_0246.JPG DSC_0247.JPG DSC_0248.JPG DSC_0249.JPG DSC_0250.JPG DSC_0251.JPG DSC_0252.JPG DSC_0253.JPG DSC_0254.JPG DSC_0255.JPG DSC_0256.JPG DSC_0257.JPG DSC_0258.JPG DSC_0259.JPG DSC_0260.JPG DSC_0261.JPG DSC_0262.JPG DSC_0263.JPG DSC_0264.JPG DSC_0265.JPG DSC_0266.JPG DSC_0267.JPG DSC_0268.JPG DSC_0269.JPG DSC_0270.JPG DSC_0271.JPG DSC_0272.JPG DSC_0273.JPG DSC_0274.JPG DSC_0275.JPG DSC_0276.JPG DSC_0277.JPG DSC_0278.JPG DSC_0279.JPG DSC_0280.JPG DSC_0281.JPG DSC_0282.JPG DSC_0283.JPG DSC_0284.JPG Espresso-y #1 Espresso-y #2 DSC_0288.JPG DSC_0289.JPG DSC_0290.JPG DSC_0291.JPG DSC_0292.JPG DSC_0293.JPG DSC_0294.JPG DSC_0295.JPG Red DSC_0297.JPG DSC_0298.JPG DSC_0299.JPG DSC_0300.JPG DSC_0301.JPG DSC_0302.JPG DSC_0303.JPG DSC_0304.JPG DSC_0305.JPG DSC_0306.JPG DSC_0307.JPG DSC_0308.JPG DSC_0310.JPG DSC_0311.JPG DSC_0312.JPG DSC_0313.JPG DSC_0314.JPG DSC_0315.JPG DSC_0316.JPG DSC_0317.JPG DSC_0318.JPG DSC_0319.JPG DSC_0320.JPG DSC_0321.JPG DSC_0322.JPG DSC_0323.JPG DSC_0324.JPG DSC_0325.JPG DSC_0326.JPG DSC_0327.JPG DSC_0328.JPG DSC_0329.JPG DSC_0330.JPG DSC_0331.JPG DSC_0332.JPG DSC_0333.JPG

 |

# 11:20:00 AM:

Post-Moose Camp geek/Greek dinner

Post-Moose Camp Greek dinner 1It was an adventure getting to this Greek taverna in West Vancouver during Vancouver's rush hour on Friday, February 10 after 's Moose Camp.

And driving in the car with Chris and Ponzi reinforced one thing to me: if you're thinking that their performances on the Chris Pirillo show are an act, they're not. The two of them, whom I've known for about a year now, are just as charming and talkative and hyperactive in person as on their podcasts.

Here are my candlelit-style Greek restaurant photos:

Post-Moose Camp Greek dinner 2 Post-Moose Camp Greek dinner 1 Ponzi at dinner
Attack of the orange-faced monster DSC_0161.JPG Yum
Ted Leung Car GPS Pirillo driving

 |

# 12:14:00 AM:

Northern Voice: Day 1, Moose Camp

Gettin' tiredAlastair Bird was kind enough to loan me his really swell Nikon D70 digital SLR, and at Northern Voice Moose Camp today I went a bit wild with it (and I haven't even posted anything from the wild GPS-fueled Quest for Persian Food/Ending at Greek Food excursion with Chris and Ponzi yet):

Canada 1 Canada 2 Stone Gargoyle Bank Copper 1 Copper 2 Sails 1 Sails 2 Moose Reg Desk Campers Roland Ponzi and Chris Coniferous Ceiling Wash My Kind of Valentine Out In 6 Second Ceiling Crane Orange Flag 1 Orange Flag 2 You Need to Go to School Who Knew 1 Who Knew 2 DSC_9968.JPG DSC_9969.JPG DSC_9970.JPG DSC_9971.JPG DSC_9972.JPG DSC_9973.JPG DSC_9974.JPG DSC_9975.JPG DSC_9976.JPG DSC_9977.JPG DSC_9978.JPG DSC_9979.JPG DSC_9980.JPG DSC_9981.JPG DSC_9982.JPG DSC_9983.JPG DSC_9984.JPG DSC_9985.JPG DSC_9986.JPG DSC_9987.JPG DSC_9988.JPG DSC_9989.JPG DSC_9990.JPG DSC_9991.JPG DSC_9992.JPG DSC_9993.JPG DSC_9994.JPG DSC_9995.JPG DSC_9996.JPG DSC_9997.JPG DSC_9998.JPG DSC_9999.JPG DSC_0010.JPG DSC_0011.JPG DSC_0012.JPG DSC_0013.JPG DSC_0014.JPG DSC_0015.JPG Gettin' tired DSC_0017.JPG Scoblesushi DSC_0019.JPG DSC_0020.JPG DSC_0021.JPG Roland and PowerBook 1 Roland and PowerBook 2 DSC_0024.JPG DSC_0025.JPG DSC_0026.JPG DSC_0027.JPG DSC_0028.JPG DSC_0029.JPG DSC_0030.JPG DSC_0031.JPG DSC_0032.JPG DSC_0033.JPG DSC_0034.JPG DSC_0035.JPG DSC_0036.JPG DSC_0037.JPG DSC_0038.JPG DSC_0039.JPG DSC_0040.JPG DSC_0041.JPG DSC_0042.JPG DSC_0043.JPG DSC_0044.JPG DSC_0045.JPG DSC_0046.JPG DSC_0047.JPG DSC_0048.JPG DSC_0049.JPG DSC_0050.JPG DSC_0051.JPG DSC_0052.JPG DSC_0053.JPG DSC_0054.JPG DSC_0055.JPG DSC_0056.JPG DSC_0057.JPG DSC_0058.JPG DSC_0059.JPG DSC_0060.JPG DSC_0061.JPG DSC_0062.JPG DSC_0063.JPG DSC_0064.JPG DSC_0065.JPG DSC_0066.JPG DSC_0067.JPG DSC_0068.JPG DSC_0069.JPG DSC_0070.JPG DSC_0071.JPG DSC_0072.JPG DSC_0073.JPG DSC_0074.JPG DSC_0075.JPG DSC_0076.JPG DSC_0077.JPG DSC_0078.JPG DSC_0079.JPG DSC_0080.JPG DSC_0081.JPG DSC_0082.JPG DSC_0083.JPG DSC_0084.JPG DSC_0085.JPG DSC_0086.JPG DSC_0087.JPG DSC_0088.JPG DSC_0089.JPG DSC_0090.JPG DSC_0091.JPG DSC_0092.JPG DSC_0093.JPG DSC_0094.JPG DSC_0095.JPG DSC_0096.JPG DSC_0097.JPG DSC_0098.JPG DSC_0099.JPG DSC_0100.JPG DSC_0101.JPG DSC_0102.JPG DSC_0103.JPG DSC_0104.JPG DSC_0105.JPG DSC_0106.JPG DSC_0107.JPG DSC_0108.JPG DSC_0109.JPG DSC_0110.JPG DSC_0111.JPG DSC_0112.JPG DSC_0113.JPG DSC_0114.JPG DSC_0115.JPG DSC_0116.JPG DSC_0117.JPG DSC_0118.JPG DSC_0119.JPG DSC_0120.JPG DSC_0121.JPG DSC_0122.JPG DSC_0123.JPG DSC_0124.JPG DSC_0125.JPG DSC_0126.JPG DSC_0127.JPG DSC_0128.JPG DSC_0129.JPG DSC_0130.JPG DSC_0131.JPG DSC_0132.JPG DSC_0133.JPG DSC_0134.JPG DSC_0135.JPG DSC_0136.JPG DSC_0137.JPG DSC_0138.JPG DSC_0139.JPG DSC_0140.JPG DSC_0141.JPG DSC_0142.JPG DSC_0143.JPG DSC_0144.JPG DSC_0145.JPG DSC_0146.JPG DSC_0147.JPG DSC_0148.JPG DSC_0149.JPG DSC_0150.JPG

 |

Friday, February 10, 2006 - newest items first
# 2:13:00 AM:

The free instrumental "Camp Walk" rocks, okay?

Today (Friday) at Moose Camp a bunch of photographers (collectively forming Photo Camp will use some of my music as the soundtrack to a short movie assembled from their pictures, starting just after 1:30 p.m.

I custom composed and recorded something for the occasion. The tune is "Camp Walk," (1.7 MB MP3) a hard-rockin', vaguely White Stripes-y instrumental that's a minute and a half long. "Camp Walk" rocks!

 |

Thursday, February 09, 2006 - newest items first
# 10:29:00 PM:

Don't call him Charles

Charlie and SpongeBobWe have a fish.

His name (in part) is Charlie.

He seems to be healthy, although right now his tank smells... well, the best description I can think of is that it smells like body odour. The aquarium shop people think it's a new-tank bacterial bloom, and should go away.

Neither my wife nor I, who had aquariums in past years, have any experience with that. Charlie doesn't seem to care. Our kids like him.

SpongeBob is a metal lunch box who lives outside Charlie's tank.

 |

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 - newest items first
# 10:00:00 PM:

Clockin' it into mah microphone

I've been gizoogled.

Thanks, K-Dawg. You... uh... rizzock.

 |

# 11:34:00 AM:

Podcasters at the meetup

Podcasters 2:3:06 06:24 PM #2Here's a list of people who came to Tod Maffin's Vancouver podcaster meetup last Friday:

Tod Maffin, Kim Maffin, Ted Riecken, Derek K. Miller, M.J. Ankenman, Bryan Hoff, Heidi Hoff, Ana María Carrizales, Luis Casuso, David Musil, Sarah and Michael, Monique T., James Sherrett, Travis Smith, Jason Toal, Rebecca Bollwitt, John Bollwitt, David Drucker, and Robert Sanzalone

I'm not sure that's everyone, but it was most of us.

 |

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - newest items first
# 8:45:00 PM:

No matter which way you go

Remember how I said I loved the song "Walking With a Ghost" by Tegan and Sara?

Well, here's a measure of how good it is: my two daughters (6 and 8) love it too. They're singing it into my microphone as it plays in iTunes right now. They also think the White Stripes version is okay.

 |

# 10:42:00 AM:

I predict Sony's e-Reader will fail, no matter now cool

Sony e-ReaderSony has a neat eReader ebook device coming out. It uses a remarkable electronic paper technology that apparently looks like paper, and requires no power except when changing pages.

I'm sorry to say this, but I can't see Sony succeeding with its ebook technology, because it's Sony. If any company is capable of taking cool technology and screwing it up by trying to keep too hard a lock on the content, Sony is the one.

Think MiniDisc and the proprietary ATRAC encoding, and Sony's refusal to support MP3 until it was way, way too late. Think their attempts to shut down and muzzle (ha ha) sites that promoted hacks to the Aibo robotic dog—which they've now discontinued because of low sales, largely because the best potential customers were the ones who wanted to hack it (contrast with Lego Mindstorms). Think last year's rootkit DRM audio CD fiasco (which has prompted me not to buy anything from Sony for the foreseeable future). Think Memory Stick. Think the lockdown of content for the PlayStation Portable. Think Sony's hard-headedness around the Blu-ray next-generation DVD format, leading to another format war with Toshiba's HD-DVD (although Toshiba is to blame here too).

Honestly, Sony hasn't been able to take a rational approach with content since it helped invent the audio CD with Philips 30 years ago, and that was only because people seemed not to be thinking much about what digital audio meant back then. Buying a record label and a movie studio in the interim only skewed their perspective more.

Ebooks will come. But I predict Sony will be an afterthought when they do.

P.S. Yes, yes, I know Apple is sometimes almost as bad. But Apple seems to understand that total content lockdown isn't resonable. iPods have always played MP3 files. You can convert your iTunes music purchases to non-DRM files fairly trivially, using Apple's own software. (Purchased TV shows are another issue.) Apple isn't perfect, but they've struck a better balance. And right now, they're eating Sony's lunch in a lot of markets as a direct consequence.

 |

Monday, February 06, 2006 - newest items first
# 12:10:00 AM:

Apple's new "itpc" podcast URL prefix

This is news to me, but perhaps not to others. I just got myself a copy of iLife '06 from Apple, and I have to say that iWeb in particular is pretty slick. Yes, while the HTML it outputs does validate (yay), it is extraordinarily poorly structured, using a series of <div> tags instead of proper headings and such. But hey, 1.0.

What I do find interesting is that if you publish a podcast with iWeb, Apple includes a Subscribe link that has something new. Previously, to subscribe in iTunes you needed an iTunes Music Store podcast directory URL, which took you to a podcast's page in the iTMS, where you could then subscribe. Here's the link that appears on my podcast page today:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=73799388

But in iWeb, your podcast page Subscribe link button is something much friendlier—the RSS feed's actual URL, but using an "itpc" (iTunes Podcast, I presume) prefix, which just subscribes you in iTunes. That will work with ANY podcast feed (or other feed, I presume, though what iTunes might do with it is another question), whether it's in the iTunes Store or not. In my case:

itpc://www.penmachine.com/rss/podcastmp3.xml

If you're already subscribed, it just takes you to your subscription in iTunes. I haven't yet tried to figure out how to map itpc: to another program, like NetNewsWire or Juice Receiver. But it could be done, and makes one-click subscribing much easier, since podcasts have their own prefix instead of just http:

Now, this probably runs afoul of some process for creating these things, but I think it's an improvement over the old iTunes Store method.

 |

Sunday, February 05, 2006 - newest items first
# 9:19:00 PM:

My four things

I've been putting it off, but I guess I can't Fight the Meme forever:

Four jobs I've had:

  1. Graveyard shift self-serve gas station attendant
  2. Drummer
  3. Stay-at-home dad
  4. Park naturalist

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  2. This Is Spinal Tap
  3. Star Wars (Han shoots first edition)
  4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Four places I have lived:

Four television shows I love to watch:

Four places I have been on vacation:

Four of my favorite dishes:

Four websites I visit daily:

Four places I would rather be right now:

Four bloggers I am tagging:

 |

# 3:50:00 PM:

Squeezed

Anil Dash: "It sucks to be in the music retailing business anyway, where else do you end up competing with both Apple and Starbucks?"

Oh, and he links to something I found a year and a half ago, but it's worth re-mentioning: why not to buy diamonds.

 |

# 2:18:00 AM:

Knowing how many and what place

Metacritic Top Movies 2005Jason Kottke is quite right.

Simply scroll down to the bottom of this meta-list of top movies to see a brilliant piece of information design.

 |

Saturday, February 04, 2006 - newest items first
# 11:35:00 PM:

Vancouver podcaster meetup photos

Robert has posted some photos of last night's Vancouver podcaster meetup:

Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 1 Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 2 Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 3 Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 4
Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 5 Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 6 Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 7 Vancouver Podcasters Meetup 8

I'll put my few up before the end of the weekend. (UPDATE: They're right after this paragraph now.)

Podcasters 2:3:06 06:24 PM #3 Podcasters 2:3:06 06:24 PM #2 Podcasters 2:3:06 06:24 PM #1

 |

Friday, February 03, 2006 - newest items first
# 2:38:00 PM:

What does it mean to be a technology evangelist?

Jeff Barr from Amazon tells you.

 |

# 1:59:00 PM:

Wankharp

Pikasso guitar by Linda ManzerMy ol' pal Bill has created a lovely new word—wankharp:

Any instrument with a ridiculous amount of excess capacity which is used primarily to display technical ability of no musical interest except in the context of its own display. Painstakingly crafted, fantastically expensive to purchase and fanatically maintained wankharps are only enjoyed ironically by anyone other than an actual or potential wankharp owner.

Most commonly, wankharps are used to bridge the gap between the kind of technical exercise the practitioner enjoys working and the kind of music that people actually like to listen to. This is accomplished through the wankharpist's performance of some whimsical, easily recognisable piece of music that the performer would never otherwise play and the audience would never otherwise seek out.

Here are examples one (played) and two (photos).

 |

# 1:43:00 PM:

Derek's CD album now available through Best Buy

Penmachine Sessions album cover - buy nowNow that's cool: as of today, you can buy my album (and thousands of other independent releases) via bestbuy.com.

Here's the story on that, as well as a couple of background interviews on U.S. National Public Radio that explain the deal and the CD Baby service I use.

(Don't forget that you can also buy the album directly from me and get a bonus data DVD along with it.)

 |

Thursday, February 02, 2006 - newest items first
# 9:37:00 PM:

Vancouver podcaster meetup Friday February 3

If you're coming to Tod Maffin's Vancouver podcaster meetup at the Beatty St. Bar and Grill at 5:30 tomorrow (Friday), I'll see you there.

 |

# 11:26:00 AM:

The evolving agenda of a Northern Voice panel

I'm on a panel titled "Getting Started With Blogging" at Northern Voice 2006, with Arjun Singh and Matt Mullenweg. Along with the ever-blogging Roland Tanglao, we're constructing a wiki-based, collaboratively edited agenda for the session. I've linked to it at:

penmachine.com/voice

...which is where any other material I post about the conference will also go as it approaches. If you are registered at the Northern Voice site (you don't need to be coming to the conference, although if you registered before it sold out, that would probably have been sensible) and want to make comments on the wiki page, go ahead.

 |

# 10:45:00 AM:

Save your life

Adic Scalar 100I've written and spoken before about why you really, really, really need to back up your computer data.

But Tim Bray—who helped invent some major Internet technologies (and thus knows what he's talking about), and who also happens to live here in Vancouver—has a great article today about backups that is:

  1. Eminently practical for power users and newbies alike.
  2. Sensible, from a different-than-usual perspective about backups.

His best advice? Never erase anything, and keep two copies of it all. That pretty much sums up an effective backup approach.

 |

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - newest items first
# 10:17:00 PM:

Two free instrumentals in one: "More Red..." and "Less Red Than Red"

[Red slab by Roland Tanglao]Roland is apparently making a short photo film with the theme "Red," and it will be exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds long. He asked if I had any music that would fit, so I decided to write something exactly that length, which is "Less Red Than Red" (1.9 MB MP3 file).

Now, 1:30 is pretty short, so I made a longer mix of the same composition with some extra instrumentation (most notably piano), which is 2:45, and that is "More Red Than Red" (3.8 MB MP3 file). [Fuzzy red by Roland Tanglao] Although they come from the same source recording, I think the emotional result is a bit different, especially with the piano coda on "More Red," which was, as usual, mastered by Les Thorn in New York City.

Why don't you check them both out yourself and let me know what you think in the comments? If you subscribe to the Penmachine Podcast, you should have both tracks on your computer (and maybe iPod too) already.

 |

# 11:33:00 AM:

Photo pools for Northern Voice and Gnomedex 6.0

[Moose]While next week's Northern Voice conference is now sold out, those who are attending can add photos to the Northern Voice Flickr photo pool I just set up:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/northernvoice/

Please also use the tag northernvoice for your pictures of the event, whether you put them in the group pool or not. I've also set up something similar for Gnomedex 2006 (use the gnomedex tag) in Seattle in June.

Anyone who's a member of Flickr can join the groups.

P.S. If you're going to Seattle, for Gnomedex or another purpose, organizer Chris Pirillo has a great list of Seattle restaurants for you.

 |

Journal Archive »

Template BBEdited on 29-Apr-2010

Site problems? Gripes? Angst? - e-mail dkmiller@penmachine.com
Site contents © 1997–2007 by Derek K. Miller

You may use content from this site non-commercially if you give me credit, under the terms of my Creative Commons license.

eXTReMe Tracker