Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Michigan Hydro History

James R. Bernier recently gave a presentation on the history of hydro electric power in Michigan (he works for Consumers Energy). He was generous enough to provide the presentation for posting.

Please take a look at the for details!

Hot Cocoa Movie

This is a new web site, about a short that I made to send off to Sundance. I need to flesh out the history more, but I plan to chronical the events (good and bad) surrounding my first short film.

The name of the film is Hot Cocoa.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Google Desktop 2.0 Beta

So, there's a new revision of Google Desktop, now version 2.0 Beta.

They have this sidebar thing which is kind of interesting. I guess it could be compared to Konfabulator (recently purchased by Yahoo) or Dashboard on the Mac -- although not as pretty as either of them. It is extensible by 3rd parties with a plug-in system. Even though it's not as pretty, I think it is much cleaner and I'm sure it uses a lot fewer resources.

Anyway, if you're already using Google Desktop, and maybe especially if you are using Outlook e-mail, you should give it an upgrade and check it out. For Windows XP and 2000 SP3+ users only.

There is also an Enterprise addition, also free, but premium support can be purchased.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Google Moon

You just knew this was coming, right? I'm sure that Google Moon is just the beginning of the universe. Google Mars will probably be next, but it's only my guess.

This is in honor of the first Manned Moon Landing on July 20th, 1969.

What happens if you zoom in, way in? You have to find out!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Can you imagine a web site where you don't have to click on a button? Try to try it out!

This is something very clever. I'm not sure, but it just feels nice to be floating around from menu to menu without clicking on anything. It seems more intuitive or something. You'll just need to try it out for yourself!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mac OS X Migration Assistant

I just bought a new iMac for home, to replace an old iMac, primarily because of running out of local hard disk space, but also to have more speed and memory and so-on. So, for the first time, I tried the Migration Assistant.


Whenever I buy a new Windows computer, I literally spend several days loading software and copying files. Getting this new Mac going took about 3 hours, and that was just time data transfer time, not my time loading CD-ROMs.

It's very simple, just connect a firewire cable between the Macs, turn the new Mac and old Mac on, and the Migration Assistant will prompt you for what pieces of information that you want to migrate. I chose them all (default) and simply waited for everything to get done. When I was finished, my new iMac was configured just like my old iMac, desktop icon clutter and all. It was really amazing.

I don't know of a utility that does this kind of thing in the Windows world, other than ghosting a hard disk, which is sort of a brute force approach. I'm not even sure if it would be possible in the Windows world, with all of the registry settings that every program might use.

One thing is for sure, it's pretty painless to buy a new Mac and use it right away!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

G8 Summit

This is the 31st G8 Summit, and this year it's in Scotland, hosted by Tony Blair. It started today.

I chose to link to the Wikipedia page on this event, because I think it's one of those topics where it's handy to be able to click around and read about aspects of the conference.

The G8 is a conference by the leaders of 8 countries, which are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. The President of the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament will be attending as well.

I've recently read a couple of books about the European Union. One of the interesting things, I think, is how sometimes the member countries are part of a world group, and sometimes it's just the EU itself. In this case, 4 of the 8 are part of the EU. Even though I'm sure that the 4 EU countries do not agree on everything, they are part of a common state, with similar ideals.

This year's topics include the financial well being of Africa and it's citizens, as well as global climate change.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Keynote 2

I've recently started working on a presentation, about Ephraim Shay's diary during the civil war, and I decided to use Keynote 2.

Keynote is part of Apple's iWorks Suite, which now just consists of a word processor called Pages and the presentation program called Keynote. There are strong indications that Apple is working on a spreadsheet program that will be part of iWorks in the future.

I don't do many presentations, and I've never used Powerpoint, so my experience is limited. So far, I've found Keynote to be extremely intuitive, and similar to Pages, which I've just been using for a couple of months. I'm pretty sure that Steve Jobs has had a lot of input into the Keynote design, because he said he's been using it for his own Keynote presentations for quite a long while before it's release.

Just like Pages, there are a lot of themes available, and I chose Parchment, as I am doing a historical presentation. Within a theme, you can choose from several masters, for each slide, to have bullets or pictures or whatever. You can add music from iTunes to any slide, drag & drop a photo onto a slide, and add transition effects when switching from slide to slide. I haven't actually hooked up to projector yet, but I'm using a notes feature that I can read from, that will only display on the primary monitor, while the secondary monitor only shows the slide.

Last Thursday, I started with a blank slate, and now I have 25 slides. More work needs to be done, but I don't feel like I'm spending much time learning software. I'm spending time digging up information for my presentation, as it should be.

One more thing, I'm becoming a very big fan of Wikipedia. Not only do I use it for research, but I also modify and improve things, as needed. What a wonderful invention...