TED Talks To End 2013

Wow, it's been two full months since I've written anything here.  Yikes!  Anybody who knows me knows that I never stay quiet for that long, but my online persona has managed to do it somehow.  I really want to be more consistent and frequent in 2014.

In that spirit, here is a post to end 2013 and get into the rhythm of blogging in 2014.  This is a few TED talks that I've really enjoyed or found stimulating that I think are worth checking out.

Thoughts On USC Firing Coach Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin GraffitiLast weekend, University of Southern California Athletic Director Pat Haden fired head football coach Lane Kiffin.   There's been a ton of press and public reaction.  From what I could see over the past few years, it seems like it was the right action to take, but I also think that coach Kiffin is not getting the most objective treatment possible by the public.  Maybe that's just part of what comes with being a highly paid coach in a high-profile

TED Talks To Start September With

TED TalksI've still got a couple hundred TED talks to go through before I've caught up with present day (September 2013).

Note To Self: Mac OS X Screenshot TIps

LogoI take screenshots on my Mac infrequently enough that I keep forgetting the command sequence I want to use for capture-a-window or capture-the-entire-screen, etc.  So every time I need to take screenshots, I have to look it up again.

TED Talks To Watch, Week of July 22, 2013

TED TalksI've been tearing through my backlog of TED talks; as I move into the 2011 and 2012 talks, I find there are a lot of talks that seem to start out focusing on the speaker, not so much the topic.  It's like somebody told the speaker "TED Talks are powerful if you can link the subject to your life," so I'm seeing more talks that have the most tenuous connection between the personal experience of the speaker and the topic they're there to talk about.

TED Talk Favorites for the week of July 14, 2013

TED Talks To WatchHere are a few more TED talks I've watched and think are worth watching again.  Without further ado, here goes.

Note To Self: Fixing A Broken Mac Time Machine

I noticed over the last week or so that the Mac Mini at home was having problems with Time Machine backups.  I was getting an error message saying something to the effect of "An error occurred while creating the backup folder."  Hmph.

Luckily, and not surprisingly, I'm not the first person to run into this problem.  I found a page with a suggestion that did the trick.  Here is the page, in case it happens to me again...or maybe to you.

Note To Self: LiveScribe and Evernote Integration

LiveScribe PenI've had a Livescribe pen for a few years now, and I use it all the time.  I remember first seeing a demo of the pen at the JavaOne conference; it was shown there because it runs Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME, or "Little Java" as we liked to call it sometimes).

More Favorite TED Talks, June 2013

RSS LogoMaybe the title of this blog post is misleading.  It's not that these TED Talks happened in June of this year; this is when I'm finally getting around to watching and writing about them.  Anyway, here are a few more TED talks worth watching.

TED Talks for early May 2013

Here are a few more of my favorite TED talks; I recommend checking them out and hope you find them as interesting as I have.

Tilden Tough Ten, 2013 - A Recovery Run

Tilden Tough Ten Bib, 2013After we moved to the East Bay, I started to learn the parks and trails for me to run.  There are some gorgeous parks and great running trails, as good and varied as I've experienced on the Peninsula.  My standard had been Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino, but I think I've found its East Bay match: Lake Chabot Regional Park, in Castro Valley,  There are tons of trails at varying degrees of difficulty, and you can run pre

My webOS experimental period is over

Broken Veer webOS phoneSo, I had been following Palm's webOS work for a while and it sounded like it had amazing potential.  Reviewers were saying that the webOS interface was more advanced than the iPhone's interface (some of the same people worked on both), and it was a truly different smartphone.  But Palm was in trouble and I wasn't sure they were going to survive long enough to make it worthwhile to buy a webOS device.

TED Talks for the week of April 8, 2013

RSS - TED TalksI'm on my way home from Savannah, Georgia, where I was at Red Hat's North American Sales Kickoff event.  It's a great way for me to re-connect with people across the company, and to get a couple of days of the latest force-feeding of product info.  No matter how well I try to stay connected with our product groups, I always learn something new.  It's great...and tiring!

TED Talks To Watch, Week of March 18, 2013

TED Talks To WatchHere are a few more TED Talks I think are definitely worth a watch.

TED Talk Reviews, Week of March 2, 2013

PodcastsHere are a few more TED Talks I think are definitely worth watching.  I'm still going through a long backlog of TED Talks so you'll find these are a couple of years old.  Still, if you haven't watched all the TED Talks over the last five years, you might find some here that you hadn't seen.  These are great ones, in my opinion.

Online Resolutions for 2013

Happy New Year 2013!Happy New Year, everybody!  I hope you all have an enjoyable and prosperous 2013.  Or just a fun one; whatever makes you happier.

A Few More TED Talks Worth Watching

RSS LogoHere are a few more TED Talks I really enjoyed watching; maybe if you've got some spare time over the holiday week, you can enjoy some of these as well.

A Few More TED Talks Worth Watching

Here are a few more TED Talks I really enjoyed watching; maybe if you've got some spare time over the holiday week, you can enjoy some of these as well.

This Week's TED Talks I've Enjoyed

TED Talks Okay, so now that you know what podcasts I listen to on a regular basis, here is an update of some TED talks I've watched and really enjoyed.  Again, there are plenty of TED talks I watch and don't really get much from, and others I watch and think "Okay, that was fine to watch once but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to others, and I wouldn't take the time to watch it again."  These talks, in my opinion, are definitely worth watching again.

NCAA looking bad in defamation lawsuit

So full disclosure here: if you didn't already know, I am an alumnus of the University of Southern California, a fine institution.  I was disappointed when the NCAA dealt out severe penalties against the USC football program a couple of years back, for running back Reggie Bush's family receiving benefits from a booster.  What caused the penalties against the school, though, was the NCAA's claim that an assistant coach knew about the benefits to Bush's family.  That assistant c

Podcasts I Listen To, 2012 Edition

PodcastsIt's been a while since I took the time to write about the podcasts I listen to, so I thought I'd update my list.  If you're interested in comparison, here's the original post I did describing podcasts I was listening to on a regular basis, in September 2009.  Many of them are the same; notable absences are the LOST Podca

TED Talks to begin September

TED Talks To WatchHere are a few more TED talks that I've enjoyed listening to and are worth repeating.  Lately, I've watched / listened to a lot of TED talks that I've found mildly interesting but not that good, or where I've felt that the speaker has rambled, or I didn't really get the point of the talk.  Trust me, I'm filtering a lot.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these TED talks:

Solar Energy Production - August 2012

Enphase Energy logoHere is the energy production report from our Enphase Energy monitoring system in the month of August, 2012.  This is the electricity that our house's solar photovoltaic (PV) panels produced in August; the panels are connected to devices that monitor energy production from each panel, and send telemetry data to a little device inside our house.  That device

Favorite Food Joints In Hayward

Restaurant iconOnce again, it's been way too long since I've written anything here; I think my travel schedule has gotten in the way of being regular about blogging.  (side note: I have learned a lot about how to deal with travel in my new job, almost a year into it, but I still have quite a bit to learn)   Too bad; I've got lots to talk about.  There are more great TED talks I've listened to in the last couple of months, I have som

A Couple Of Months' Worth Of Great TED Talks

RSS Feed: TED TalksI don't know what happened to the time, but I haven't made the time to update the blog lately.  However, I have been continuing to go through the backlog of TED talks, so here are my notes on a bunch of TED talks I've listened to over the past couple of months and have enjoyed.  I hope you do, too.

A Few More TED Talks For Your Enjoyment

PodcastsI've been away on vacation for a few weeks in India (more on part of that vacation in a different blog post; we stayed in an eco lodge that was fantastic).  But the TED talks don't stop, and I've got a few more that I've enjoyed watching for various reasons.  I hope you do, too.

Three TED Talks To Watch This week

I'm about to get on a plane, so have just a few moments to describe this week's TED Talks I've enjoyed and recommend.  Without further ado, here goes:

More TED Talks To Watch

I've been traveling in the last couple of weeks, and somehow haven't made time to write about the latest group of TED Talks I recommend watching.  I'll try to remedy that now; here are three more TED Talks I've enjoyed and find stimulating to watch.

Bill Gross is an inventor, and he spends his 18 minutes talking mostly
about his quest to find a way to capture solar energy cheaply.  He walks

This Week's TED Talks To Watch And Listen To

I didn't manage to get the time last week to go through my collection of watched TED Talks, but I have a few more this week to share.

By the way, I would also be happy to write about TED Talks that I've watched and do not think are worth watching and I can explain my reasons why.  If you're interested, let me know and I'll write some thumbs-down reviews,s too.

With that, here are a few TED Talks I think are worth watching.

More TED Talks For Your Listening / Viewing Pleasure

TED Talks This week I'm throwing in a few of my favorite TED talks with no apparent theme.  I like them each for different reasons.  I'll get right to it; here are some TED talks I've found interesting; check them out via these links or directly on itconversations.com.

Two Fun TED Talks (both magic acts)

TED Talks To WatchIn working my way through my backlog of TED Talks I've watched and enjoyed, I found two that are pure entertainment.  One is about 20 minutes long (and well worth it), the other a full 30 minutes long that doesn't seem at all like half an hour.  Here they are:

This Week's TED Talk Recommendations

Okay folks, here are a few more TED Talks that I've listened to via the TED Talks podcast and find worth listening to again.

Don't Clean My Room!

Recently I stayed at a Sheraton hotel on business travel.  In many
hotels, I notice a note that says something to the effect of "Help us
save the environment: if you want your towels washed, leave them on
the floor; if you hang them up, we won't wash them."  I don't know
that the hotels always follow their own guideline, but I like the
sentiment.

SIP phone app for Linux - SFLphone

SFLphone logoWhen I joined Red Hat a few months back, I have been looking for a stable phone setup, because none of my current phone setups are reliable as I'd like them to be:

A Few More Entertaining TED Talk Podcasts

Here are a few more TED talks I listened to and found fascinating to watch or listen to.  By the way, the TED Talks podcast is available both as audio-only and as full audio-plus-video.  A lot of the TED talks are really best watched, not just listened to, because there's a lot of great visual material in there.  Whenever I can, I'll try to indicate which of my favorite TED talks can be experienced in audio-only mode.

This Week's Podcast Recommendations

I've listened to and watched a lot of TED talks; it's fantastic that hundreds of these talks over 6+ years are available in podcast form.  There are a ton of them that I like, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites, a few at a time.  Here are three TED talks to start with:

Podcast Recommendation: Jeremy Rifkin Interview

I recently ran across a great podcast episode that I think is worth listening to.  Jeremy Rifkin has published a book called The Third Industrial Revolution, and I heard him talk about it in this 40-minute interview.  I was interested t

Podcast Recommendation: The Bugle

Happy New Year, everybody!  One of my new year's resolutions is to publish more regularly; I resolve to post something to this blog at least once a week.  Finding stuff to write about isn't my problem; it's making the time to do it.  So this year, I'll make that time.

Which Is More Viable: Solaris or Illumos?

 I have been watching the Illumos open source project since it began as an offshoot of OpenSolaris.  It was meant to be a downstream distribution of Solaris, meaning that changes in the open sourced Solaris operating system would make their way into Illumos.  The problem is, after Oracle acquired Sun, Oracle clamped down

Adopting Our Cat, Lulu

Two years ago today, we adopted a sweet little cat we named Lulu.  This is her the day we adopted her, at about 7 months of age.

We feel strongly about adopting animals from the local animal shelter; the people who work there just want to do right by the animals, and they work hard and with little funding.

Setting up basic networking in Solaris 11

This is one of those brief how-to entries, mostly for myself.  But if you use any flavor of Solaris 11, you might find this helpful as well.

I recently upgraded my home-built media server; it was time to get some new hardware and a case that could fix all six disks I use for managing our data.  The new machine is pretty sweet, but it entailed me getting a new motherboard, which has a different Ethernet built-in NIC, which means that my Solaris 11 Express distribution sees a different device.  By default, Solaris didn't handle it well.

Fixing a broken Tivo Series 3


Well, it had to happen some time: the Tivo finally lost its disk.  Actually, it lost both disks: the original 250GB internal drive, and the 750GB external eSATA drive that I bought for it.  It's weird to me that both disks started having unrecoverable sector failures at the same time; maybe the surge suppressor isn't doing its job right...I don't know.  In any case, I looked around for advice on how to fix the problem.

Great opinion piece: why the U.S. shouldn't give up on solar technology

We've been generating electricity with our roof-mounted solar panels for four months now, and the first three months have been net-positive (i.e., we're generating more power than we're consuming).  We love it, but there has also been some bad news in the press recently about Solyndra, a company in Fremont that got a big loan from the U.S.

How To: Logitech Harmony Remote and the Panasonic PT-AE4000

It's been a while since I've made the time to write; I'll start with an easy one here, a sort of how-to for myself in case I need to do this again, and maybe it'll help others, too.  I've got a bunch of other stuff to write about: we've had a full summer of solar electricity, I made a decision about my cell phone technology, and I'm about to start a new job.  It's been a busy summer.

The Woodminster Cross Country Race

This morning was the final leg of the East Bay Triple Crown: the Woodminster Cross Country Race at Joaquin Miller Park and Redwood Park in Oakland began at 9AM.  It was a gorgeous day for a run; actually, a little on the warm side for top times, but perfectly clear skies and some great views of the Oakland hills from the park.  In fact, this was the first of the three races that didn't have the threat of rain

Big funding for residential solar power

I saw this story yesterday, about Google investing $280 million in SolarCity to help them grow their residential solar business.  I think this is fantastic news.  Here's why.

Decisions: what's my next phone, tablet on AT&T?

I've been intrigued by the new HP/Palm products that are just arriving on the market.  I like what I've seen of webOS so far, and the combination of a tiny Veer phone plus the TouchPad looks really, really interesting.  My question: is there a combination of phone and data plans from AT&T th

Lake Chabot Trail Challenge Half Marathon: Check!

Today was the second leg of the three-race East Bay Triple Crown trail running trilogy.  The Lake Chabot Trail Challenge half marathon started a little after 8:00AM in

Our Experience Researching And Installing Solar Electricity

  I've been a big fan of solar power since I was a kid, and it's been a dream of mine to live in a house run by solar power, whether that be solar heating or solar PV (photovoltaic, i.e., solar electric cells).  Now that we own our own home, we've been looking into home improvement projects that could also help the environment; the two big ones are water catchment and solar electricity power generation.  We decided to go with solar first.

Running the Tilden Tough Ten in Berkeley, May 2011

Last year, I heard about a 3-race running series in the East Bay called the East Bay Triple Crown.  I heard about it too late to enroll in all three races, so I vowed to try to do them all this year.

Solar power used at the individual's level (not big arrays)

I'm a big believer in solar energy; we are almost done with our solar installation at home, and the system looks and performs beautifully.  (more on that in a separate blog post)

What I'm not a big believer in is those huge alternate energy installations that you always read about as the savior of our country.  You know, huge solar farms that require the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a report about how they affect the local ecosystem, or huge off-shore wind farms.

Workaround for VirtualBox problems with SATA on Windows guests

On the home media server I'm running Solaris 11 Express (a.k.a. Nevada build 151a).  Overall, the machine has been running great over the last couple of years, upgrading from various OpenSolaris builds.  No problems overall.

Note to self: Solaris 11 Express changes default access for initial user

This blog entry is a note-to-self administrative entry.

Solaris 11 Express just released today; I've been playing with the build, which is from the same source tree as OpenSolaris was.  I wanted to see how familiar it looks, so I installed it.  It installed just fine, looked much like my previous OpenSolaris installations except for some new branding elements (actually looks pretty
nice).

Lots of Financial Incentives for Nissan Leaf Customers

As I've just started writing here recently, I've been doing a fair amount of research into the feasibility of getting solar photovoltaic (PV) cells installed on our house, both to power our house and potentially to provide power for charging an electric car.  I love the idea of producing enough power from our roof to be able to charge an electric car, thus eliminating my car's gas usage.

Cost of home solar power and how to pay for it

It's been a couple of weeks since I last wrote about 1BOG (One Block Off the Grid), the web site that helped me get up to speed on solar power for the home.  In that time, I talked to the nice folks at 1BOG, and they set me up with an in-home appointment with a company called groSolar.  1BOG has negotiated a group discount with groSolar for 1BOG members in the San Fr

Researching solar power for the home

This is the first in what I expect will be a series of entries about our efforts to determine whether now is the right time for us to invest in solar energy for our home.

Up and running again!

There's not a lot to this post; it's mostly a note-to-self kind of thing.  If this post shows up, then I successfully migrated my development and test build of transcode.com to the production environment.  And if that's true, then my whole scheme for using VirtualBox to keep track of my Drupal test-and-development work for transcode.com works!

UPDATE: it worked! Oh, I love it when a plan comes together.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Working around a problem with terminal in OpenSolaris

When I upgraded my OpenSolaris media server from build 111 to build 127 to build 134a, I found that I started having problems when I tried to ssh into the system.  Here is the error message I see from my terminal:

PTY allocation request failed on channel 0
Warning: no access to tty (Bad file number).

Working Around A Weird OpenSolaris Upgrade Problem

I've got OpenSolaris build 127 running on my home media server, and I've been thinking it's time to upgrade it to the most recent available build, build 134.  But when I tried to do that, I got an error from the Update Manager:

A Spreadsheet To Help You Purchase A Car

In 2002, I decided to buy a new car.  I love doing research, but I hate dealing with car salespeople.  Luckily for me, I found this article that changed my whole way of buying a car, from research to dealing with the car dealerships.  I read the article (it's not short), but the spreadsheet is my own.

Here's how my car shopping spreadsheet works:

Joe Di Pol is The Man (tm)

This is Joe's first Relay. He just finished his 2nd leg, in The dark, with uphill climbs, for 5 miles. Here he is. Go Joe the Fat Bastard!


-- Posted while mobile

1st rest stop during The Relay




We are resting in Sonoma after Van 1's first segment of The Relay. Everybody ran well; we are about 13 minutes ahead of estimated pace. Muchas gracias to Doug for his generosity providing such a civilized place for us to rest. Doug, you rock! We are back in action around 7:15PM tonight, then again tomorrow around 5:30AM. -- Posted while mobile

The Relay, Leg 1 Done!

7.4 miles, 58:48, felt pretty good! Still gorgeous here. Wow.


-- Posted while mobile

Location:Solano Ave,Napa,United States

Starting line at The Relay

And we're off! Stay tuned for updates during the race.





-- Posted while mobile

The Relay: 200 miles, 12 runners, this weekend!

  Tomorrow morning I will participate in "The Relay" for the second time.  Last time I did it, two years ago, I had a blast, and although you get very little sleep doing this crazy running race, I thought I would do it one more time.

Sustainable plants seminar




I didn't think there would be so many people showing up at the City Hall seminar. I guess we are not alone in caring about saving water, money, and our community. I love being in Hayward.

Some relevant web sites given out during this morning's seminar:

Culture of trust




Saw this at DrupalCon San Francisco this morning. It jut struck me as yet another example of how open and cool the Drupal community is. I don't often see signs of trust like this, and it is refreshing whenever I do. -- Posted while mobile

G-Snap! Event: Stanford vs. UConn Women's Basketball Title Game

Last night's NCAA men's basketball national championship between Butler and Duke was a game for the ages.  Tonight's women's national championship should be no less exciting, in my opinion.  It pits the #1 UConn Huskies against the #2 Stanford Cardinal.  UConn is riding an historic, 76-game winning streak;

Why UConn Women's Basketball dynasty is good for the game

My wife got me hooked on women's college basketball.  Back in the day, when my alma mater was a powerhouse I used to root for them but now I join my wife in supporting her school, the Stanford women's team, which is currently ranked 2nd nationally and has a good chance of playing for the national championship against the University of Connecticut (a.k.a.

Interesting article about how Sun's approach brought itself down

I just read this blog post by Jeremy Allison, one of the lead developers of the Samba file server software package.  I think he's got a good take on some of the stuff Sun did wrong, considering the limited amount of space he had to write the piece.

European Commission Approves Oracle-Sun Acquisition


Next Wednesday, January 27 2010, Oracle is hosting an event to discuss how Sun and Oracle fit together.  I expect we'll hear them actually talk about the two companies being together, now that the European Commission approved the proposed acquisition today.

USC Football Loses Pete Carroll, Hires Lane Kiffin

Wow, what a crazy week for the University of Southern California athletic department.  As a Trojan alumnus (note the color scheme of this web site), I've been fascinated with the news recently that head football coach Pete Carroll was chosen to become head coach of the NFL Seattle Seahawks club.  And just as the rumors of Coach Carroll's potential successor was getting thick, USC announces it is choosing

Our StoryCorps Story On The Radio Today

I just got an exciting phone call from KALW (91.7 FM), a Bay Area public radio station (good station; my wife and I listen fairly regularly to it).  The call was to let us know that part of our StoryCorps interview will be on the radio today, then archived on their web site.  How cool is that?  (answer: way cool)

The Fiesta Bowl blogged live, tonight


I just wrote about tonight's Fiesta Bowl that Rich Garcia and I will be snapcasting tonight at 5:00PM Pacific Time.  Come join us and check out the new features in G-Snap!  The game should be a lot of fun to follow, and we'll do our best to make it worth your while.

60 Minutes story about Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach

The Texas Tech football program has a genius for a coach; that would be head coach Mike Leach.  He just got fired today after a crazy news story two days ago about his treatment of one of his players who had a slight concussion.  The story smells funny to me: the father of the coach is ESPN analyst and former football player Craig James, and it sounds like James called in the complaint.

A Brief History of Video Compression

Some of you who know me know that I used to write software for digital movie recording and playback, with some hardware assisted magic.  It's been a while since I've been active in that space, so I'm a little rusty when it comes to the recent history of compression standards for dealing with high quality digital video.

Fantastic presentation on Asia's rise, how and when

Sometimes I read the Presentation Zen blog because I enjoy learning about how to make presentations more interesting and effective.  This morning I ran across a posting on the blog that mentions a guy named Hans Rosling; the posting said he's great at presenting statistics, which happens to be something I need to do for a talk of my own soon.

Stinging (but nicely-written) article about AT&T mistreating customers

I always enjoy reading Robert X. Cringely's writing.  Today, I just ran across a column he wrote about how AT&T is blowing it with its customers.

VirtualBox 3.1 review

It seems like I barely get done upgrading to the latest release of VirtualBox when I hear about yet another new release.  That happened again to me a couple of weeks ago, when I heard about VirtualBox 3.1.  It run it at work on Mac OS X (I have Windows and OpenSolaris guest OSs running on the Mac), and I run it at home with OpenSolaris as the host on one machine, and Ubuntu Linux as the host on another.

Getting TrueType Fonts On OpenSolaris

This blog entry is one of my system administration note-to-self blogs.  It's a quick one about how to get popular fonts onto OpenSolaris.

The info is here, in this blog entry.  Basically, two steps:
  1. Set up the "extra" repository, which has nice fonts packages and the Adobe Flash software, plus some other goodies;
  2. install the package.
And that's it; you get pretty, pretty fonts.

OpenSolaris Bug In Time Slider, and Workaround

Our home media server, the computer that holds our household's music, photos, TV shows, and other stuff, is running on OpenSolaris.  Until recently, it was running on the November 2008 release (2008.11) but I recently upgraded it to the most current build (b128) because there are some great features in OpenSolaris that I'd like to take advantage of.  Two in particular are deduplication as part of ZFS (which will save space on the hard drives we have on that server) and

The Pac-10 Championship blogged live

USC Punks UCLA, 28-7 in 2009 version of annual college football rivalry

So for me, a Trojan, the score is nice to see.  But the real story of the game was what happened in the last minute of play.  I almost skipped over it because the game's outcome was settled at 21-7, but you can see the video below.  USC had the ball and was ready to take a knee to run out the clock.  But UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel called a timeout; apparently, he felt like it was still worthwhile for him to try to get the ball back one more time.  So USC's Coach Pete Carroll and staff responded by calling a real p

Admin: Making OpenSolaris Boot Disk Mirrored via ZFS

This blog entry is a "note to self" entry.  I've got a system running OpenSolaris and I want to protect the data on the boot disk by mirroring it with a second disk; if one disk fails, ZFS will let me boot from the other disk, and I can easily replace the failed disk without any downtime.

Building a Home Fileserver using ZFS - articles

There is a nice series of articles, written some time ago, about how to configure a home file server / media server using ZFS.  I thought I'd point out the article here; I just re-read some of the articles and thought I'd share a good source of information.

If any of you have useful links to more information about how to set up a nice home media server, comment on this blog entry.  I'd love to see the extra info.

Using OpenSolaris As A TiVo Backup Device

OpenSolaris logo TiVo logo

Marc Andreessen's Guide to Personal Productivity

I just saw somebody point to this blog entry by Marc Andreessen (if you don't know him, check out his Wikipedia entry; he is best known for his work as a Netscape founder, but has made money doing some other things since then, too).  The blog entry is a pretty quick read, and has some good tips on being more productive.

Acquia Drupal Available on OpenSolaris

I just published a short how-to video showing how you can easily install Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris.

Pac-10 Football: No Tougher Conference in 2009

Full disclosure here: I'm a USC alumnus and love what the football program has been doing the past eight years since Coach Pete Carroll has taken over the team.  But I'm also on record with some of my buddies as being a fan of several other programs in the conference, most notably Oregon, Cal, and Oregon State's programs.  I'm no expert, but year after year for the past five-plus years, the coaches seem li

Here's why I love Sports Illustrated

So, my alma mater, the University of Southern California, lost its football game on Saturday against the Ducks of the University of Oregon.  The loss was painful and was the worst loss the Trojans have had since coach Pete Carroll took over the program eight years ago.  I expect to see many stories in the press about this game, many trashing the Trojans.

Madison Scouts Making Big Moves for 2010

I've always been a big fan of the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps, and it's been breaking my heart to see them slip over the past few years.  I'm an alumnus of the Santa Clara Vanguard, and I always felt that there were two corps that just carried themselves with a class that was undefinably different than other corps in the activity: SCV and the Scouts.&nbs

Netflix streaming is coming to the PlayStation 3

Sweet!  Man, Netflix is everywhere: we've got it now on our TiVo; it should be interesting to see how the Netflix experience compares on PS3 vs. TiVo.

Do you use Netflix streaming?  If so, on what?  And what is the experience like for you?  We like it on our TiVo Series 3, even if it's a little more sluggish than TiVo programs stored on its local disk.

Waiting for BADCamp to start




Bay Area Drupal Camp is about to start, here at UC Berkeley. The crowd is cool; there's a good, positive Saturday morning vibe. Tao Starbow just started the introductory greeting and he's got the crowd laughing. Nice job, Tao!

-- Posted while mobile

Cringely's Take On Net Neutrality

I really enjoy reading Robert X. Cringely's stuff; he talks about technology, but with a nerdy business point of view.  He is brave enough to put his opinions out in the open and is good about acknowledging when he's wrong.  Plus, it's just damned entertaining reading...if you like reading about business and technology.

How to publish your Drupal site's content as an RSS feed

This site (http://transcode.com) was built using the Drupal open source content management system.  The more I learn about Drupal, the more I like it.  It's easy to set up as a blog engine.  But, I didn't know how to give people an RSS feed for my web site, so that other people could easily subscribe to my blog.

Well, now I know.  Here are two pages with good instructions on how to publish an RSS feed for your Drupal web site:

Sometimes, TiVo Really Guesses Right

A buddy of mine recently asked TiVo to record the Presidential Address to the U.S. Congress.  When that happens, TiVo sends you an email message confirming what it decided to do with your request.

Turns out, TiVo really knows what my buddy likes.  Check this out:

Chick Corea at Yoshi's




I cannot wait for the show to begin... -- Posted while mobile

How to push a simple Drupal web site from test to production

Now that I've re-done my web site, using the Drupal open source content management system, I am going to need to take the development version of my site and push those new features to the hosting provider that actually runs the live site. I have my basic web pages + my Transcode blog showing up on the Drupal-created web site's main page.

Podcasts I'm currently listening to

I've been meaning to write some notes about the podcasts I listen to these days, but I just haven't made it a priority. But a friend of mine just asked me if I have any I'd recommend, so I'll list what I listen to and note my current favorites.

Favorites:

Housing Price Trends in the Bay Area, 2005 to 2009

Several years ago, I started looking at housing listings in the Bay Area to get an idea of whether I could afford to purchase a nice place to live.  Housing prices in the Bay Area are insanely high compared to most of the United States, and I figured I might have to watch prices for a while.  So I signed up for one of those online real estate search services where you input your search parameters (price, location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.) and every once in a while I would get an email saying that I had listings that matched my search parameters.

Controlling TiVo from OpenSolaris with Galleon

I have been looking for ways to use my OpenSolaris-based media server at home to serve as a content backup for the TiVo.  I found an open source Java application called Galleon, and managed to get it to work on OpenSolaris.  I'm writing this to describe what I did to get it working.  First, a brief explanation of what Galleon is.

Great video tutorial on integrating Twitter into your Drupal site

I just found a good video tutorial that shows how to use the Drupal Twitter module, giving your Drupal website the ability to display tweets on the site, and also to post a new tweet when you've added content to your Drupal site.

Twilight in the East Bay

About to settle down to dinner on a beautiful Friday dusk.


-- Posted while mobile

Welcome to the brand spanking-new Transcode blog

This blog entry is proof that I have finally taken the leap in setting up and taking ownership of my own blog website.  I've had a blog on blogspot.com for a while now, but I decided it was time to own the whole enchilada.  So, I've re-designed this Drupal-based web site to hold my personal blog.  It's been a lot of fun figuring out how I want my site to look, what functionality it should have, how to talk to it from remote blogging client applications, and how to configure my website's developmen

Transcode

To see product information for the software company Transcode, go here.

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