May 2006 Archives
While last week's two exams were difficult because they were back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday, this upcoming week's of three exams will be an endurance test, as they are scheduled Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons.
Last week's exams were the classes I enjoyed or were all the subjects I have worked in for the last 10 - 15 years of my life, pre-showing up to the Master in Multimedia Systems. Design, Interactive Authoring, XHTML/XML, Interactive Narrative, Interactive Design / HCI, and Cultural & Critical Theory.
Please say a prayer or do an Exam Dance for me... ;o)
Come Friday, June 2, 2006, at 5pm, I will be Free (from exams)! Wahoo!
Then comes the Summer Project, of which I will announce soon... Mark your calendars, as the MSCMM exhibition of all of our Projects will be Sept. 27 - Oct. 4, 2006 at the Regent House at Trinity College, Dublin.
Sat. May 27, 2006 about 10 something pm. The last week or so, Ireland has had a series of North Atlantic depressions (lows) generate winds and storms blowing through daily. For the last week, if the winds are high then I don't have cell / mobile reception. Not just the Vodafone 3G / GPRS internet and email is down, but also my phone call reception. The funny thing is that it is not regular but comes and goes.
This is very frustrating to say the least, not just for my moblogging, but also to call out and receive text messages. But I have not heard a single thing from Vodafone. No emails apologizing for the brown out. No notices on their website. Nothing.
Compare Vodafone to my mobile provider in the States: Cingular Wireless (formerly AT&T Wireless). I frequently don't get reception in Dublin when wandering around streets with buildings that are 4 - 5 storeys tall. I can drive around Downtown LA with buildings that are 25 - 60 storeys tall and have full reception the whole time, as evinced by this moblogged photo. During the worst of the Santa Ana wind storms, I never lost reception in Orange. The wind picks up a bit in Dublin and suddenly... nothing.
What up Vodafone?
Maybe you ought to institute the service that my website hosting provider has, a real time listing of server status. Come on, Vodafone, throw us a bone... if you can't deliver good reception, at least have a notice on your website of what is up.
No, I didn't even call Customer Service, as the nice call center folks are usually less aware of what is going on with their mobile network than I am and they have to call another office to find out what is going on...
Ok, T-Mobile, when are you going to enter the Irish mobile market, kick ass and take no prisoners? Vodafone, O2, and Meteor are fat, flabby and need a good run...
Ok, whether you are a theist or not, I am voting for the developers of AdBlock Plus for sainthood. I know I am late to jump on this bandwagon, but today I installed the AdBlock Plus extension onto my Firefox and blocked a few common image / swf based advertisting servers.
Now rather than nearly having a migraine triggered by flashing ads, three of my daily visited sites are now peaceful and have a much better content to white space balance.
Given that I don't mind text ads, I did not block any of the text ad servers. I understand that folks need to be able to pay for their servers and the like, but please choose ads servers that are not an insult to the eye and / or that fit with the design of the site (like text ads...).
Yes, yes, I know, my minimalist streak is rearing its head... Images should be content not assault.
I am trying to study for the two exams that I have upcoming for this week (Tues & Wed) that cover 6 subjects and am finding myself immersed in an wide variety of primary texts and commentary, as well as academic papers, on design, technology, culture, and narrative. This has lead to some interesting, if not down right amusing, juxtaposition of ideas and writing styles.
Exerpt from "The Futurist Manifesto", by F. T. Marinetti, 1909
We went up to the three snorting machines to caress their breasts. I lay along mine like a corpse on its bier, but I suddenly revived again beneath the steering wheel - a guillotine knife - which threatened my stomach. A great sweep of madness brought us sharply back to ourselves and drove us through the streets, steep and deep, like dried up torrents. Here and there unhappy lamps in the windows taught us to despise our mathematical eyes. `Smell,' I exclaimed, `smell is good enough for wild beasts!'
And we hunted, like young lions, death with its black fur dappled with pale crosses, who ran before us in the vast violet sky, palpable and living.
And yet we had no ideal Mistress stretching her form up to the clouds, nor yet a cruel Queen to whom to offer our corpses twisted into the shape of Byzantine rings! No reason to die unless it is the desire to be rid of the too great weight of our courage!
We drove on, crushing beneath our burning wheels, like shirt-collars under the iron, the watch dogs on the steps of the houses.
``Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ``free'' as in ``free speech,'' not as in ``free beer.''
Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
I will leave Edward Tufte's principles of information design for another post...
Three Laws of Robotics:
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Thurs 05.18.06 - This was the day that I printed out the last of my class notes at our class lab and brought them all together in four big binders. On my way into town, I walked to the Luas via the TCD Botantic Gardens, which are in full bloom and the sun was peeping in and out of clouds (photo on left).
Here is how I know that Dublin is at a high latittude (53 degrees north): Bright, strong afternoon sun at 7:41pm (center photo). The sun has been setting around 9:30pm and I am told that in June it will be after 10:30pm. My mom will be very happy when she comes to visit.
Near midnight, I finally had all of my notes collated, organized, hole punched, and living in their respective binders (right photo). Now just to read it all plus finishing up my "required" book reading. I also finished reading "Photography: A Critical Introduction" (edited by Liz Wells, I highly recommend this book) on Thursday, now to finish the last chapter of Susan Sontag's "On Photography".
[End Thurs 05.18.06]
Sat 05.20.06 - I am currently reading Lev Manovich's "Language of New Media", of which I am enjoying as it is theoretically wrapping up the school year. "Actionscript for Flash 8" is up after that. Good thing that reading is one of my top 5 favorite activities of all time. ;o)
FYI: The first of the exams is on Tue. May 23rd and the last is on Fri. June 2nd. If I appear to fall of the planet, that is why.
Tues 05.16.06 - Before starting the "serious" exam studying, I decided to invite my fave folk from our apartment building over for a tapas dinner party. When all the food and wine was lined up on the table, it was so beautiful I had to take a photo.
Tue 05.16.06 - 59 days after I first reported my internet outage in my room to Trinity College's IS Services networking folks, I now have a working ethernet. Thanks to Colm from Cresent for the speedy repair this morning.
ISServices: 59 days from report to repair?!? Y'all are makin' Aesop's Tortoise look like he is traveling the speed of light...
Back in December I started thinking about re-designing Black Phoebe, in February I had a long flirtation with the idea, and since March I have been sketching and researching.
Well, rather than a Big CSS Reboot with the rest of the gang back on May 1st, I am going to be web 2.0 trendy and implement incremental or iterative design.
1 step + 1 step, looped over time will get me a new design. And so it has started. Watch the i++.
In March, I had a chat with a friend who I had encouraged to start blogging and set up her blog for her. We talked about numbers. Yes, hits. Unique visitors. The if you show me yours, I will show you mine, weblog hits chat.
I came out with the smaller numbers, even though I had been at it for three times as long. Her assessment was that I didn't blog about sex so my numbers peaked with my Nokia Lifeblog and Photo Friday referrals. Don't forget the random Google/MSN/Yahoo searches (cute+toes), as well as family and friends who actually read this blog regularly.
It was keen moment of junior high locker room shower humiliation. The moment only lasted that and then it was over. I would rather have regular readers who enjoy my photos and writing than the current crop of foot fetishers that are finding my sister and I's toes on Google (Thanks for coming, FF folk, but it was my sister's birthday and I treated her to a pedicure. Nothing more.).
For the final Audio class project, lecturer Nicky Ward had us make a soundtrack to a video. I chose to string together a bunch of my video clips of Scruffy taken with my Nokia 7610 over the last year and put them to the late '60s cartoon theme song, "Underdog".
Thus, I present to you, the compressed version of "Wonderdog".
Sun 05.14.06 - The 1st of the 5 MSCMM exams is on the 23rd and the last is on June 2nd. Today is get organized day, and then tomorrow I start reading & making notes/outlines.
Fri. 05.12.06 - Today is the last day of classes for the MSCMM 2005-2006 class. Next up is exams and then our summer project. We have had three days of sun, warmth (68-73 degrees F), no coat, short sleeves and we all have a bad case of Spring Fever.
Thurs 05.11.06 - Apartment-mate Laura and Computer Science-mate / fellow blogger Mino.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen's Nokia 7610 in early Feb. 2005 whilst on a walk in Hart Park, Orange, Calif.
While riding on the Luas to school this morning, I checked my email on my Nokia*, and found this lone note from my sister, Allison:
"I have some sad news to tell you. My dog Freckles died today, May 9, 2006. My mom found him in her yard this morning. He was almost 14."
For those of you who knew him hopefully you can agree with me on this, Freckles was a great dog. There are a lot of good dogs, but few great dogs.
Freckles was friendly, laid back, and very very nice. He was very gentle to all who approached, except men that he deemed unworthy (like past roommates' dates : "H-A-R-D L-U-C-K" and icky work dude)**. Toddlers loved him and would lurch up to him at the park and grab him around the neck before their parents could catch them. Freckles would not snap or even lick, but just stoicly receive the love.
When Mom and Allison lived at the Costa Mesa condo from 2000 to 2005, I really got to know Freckles. Whenever I would come over, he would greet me nicley and if I would say the "W-A-L-K" word, his paws and nails would dance happily on the entry wood floor. I would dogsit him when Mom and A were out of town and once had a big scare when I put him out in the yard before going to a gig at Alex's, only to come back to find him gone gone gone. I rode my bike around the South Western quadrant of Old Town Orange yelling, "Freckles, Freckles" from 1:30am - 2:30am. Around 5:30am, I heard a scratching at the side door and there he was... back and refreshed from his Walkabout. Mom theorized later that he went to sleep under one of the Ford Explorers down the block thinking it was her car.
Goodbye, sweet and lovely Dog. Thank you for being Freckles.
* Yes, yes, yes, I know. I am a complete MoGeek. ;o)
* *Freckles did like Dave Irish and I am sure he would have liked The Zen Master, if he had met him.
Wed 05.10.06 - Rather than 'Work in Progress'.
Can someone tell me why in English (UK version) it is "Works in Progress" or "I am good at maths" or "drinks driving" or... And English (US version) it is "Work in Progress" or "I am good at math" or "drunk driving" or...
Why the grammatical difference?