Monday, March 30, 2009

One of these mornings...

From a message on my Blended Learning and Instruction comment wall (BL&I), I learned that the iCal event I'd collected from BL&I over the weekend had failed to optimize itself into my local time zone (JST). Though the new event was visible in desktop views (Day/Week/Month) at 13:30 JST, 2009.03.28, hidden in the background was the event's actual UTC (GMT), and accurate JST calculations of starting and ending times. Need I add that I missed the event?

[caption id="attachment_44" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Event displayed at 13:30 JST, 2009.03.28"]30 JST[/caption]

Since I recalled that WiZiQ featuring recordings, I re-drilled the BL&I website (Ning) from top to announcements, to events, to the one I'd missed, and looked for a link to or mention of a recording. Though there was nothing like that visible on-site, there was a WiZiQ sign-in box barely peeking around the edge of my browser window (Safari default size, about a hand-span in breadth).

So after dredging up a suitable mail address and password for the WiZiQ site, and logging in, I found just what I'd been looking for, a "View Recording" button in the center of the window!

The story continues from there, ...:

I tried to "View [the] Recording" (rectangular button below the Tags, Embed[ding] Code, and URL; above). However, the first four out of five times I tried, after successful sign in to WiziQ. I got messages displaying, "You are not authorized to view this recording." Much to my surprise, as I was returning to that recording page to collect evidence of what was going on, it finally loaded! I'm looking forward to watching the show now, and wondering whether anyone can explain the flukiness of access to the recording of it.

(comment yet to appear on WiZiQ,

Integrating Technology into the Classroom Using Moodle and Wikis)

... and resumes here, well, actually, resumed as a draft posted in Safari, and continues now in Firefox:

I started this post in Safari, and got as far as pasting in an overt URL and typing the page of the WiZiQ page (above). In Visual editing mode, twice I tried to insert the link, covered by the display text I'd selected. However, after the page background faded, the link dialog box never un-faded, , and all page controls below the bloxi URL became useless. The only option was to reload at the browser control level, hoping the auto-save had done its thing.

Fortunately it had, but paragraph divisions between default formatted passages (aligned left) above and below the block quotation and reference weren't appearing in the post display, not even in Firefox, until after I came back and hand-encoded them in HTML view. Whenever I get through a troublesome online session like that, I wonder whether ordinary learners or run-of-the-mill site visitors would ever go through all the bother, or ever come back again, much less tell you about it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

OS X Update on PowerBook G4

The PowerBook G4 (1 Ghz Power PC, with 1.25 GB of memory) that I've been using for work has no partitions. When I tried to update the operating system from OS 10.4 to 10.5, the installer indicated there insufficient space available for the 6.5 GB installation. I checked, and found only 5.8 GB free. That was with iDisk on.


After turning iDisk off, I checked again, and found 6.58 GB free. However the OS 10.5 installer still indicated that a standard installation of "Mac OS X cannot fit...." So I decided to customize the installation by deselecting Printer Drivers, which require over a GB of space on installation. That sufficed to get me past the first hurdle. The Installation DVD is now checking itself for consistency, a step that is possible to skip....


The installation finished, prompted a reboot, and prompted me to update software. A complete update would have required an additional 2.1 GB - unavailable. In the detailed list, I deselected everything but the security update.


Wow, finally! No wait. Another reboot launched a SetUp Assistant. The assistant got my MobileMe address right, accepted my current password, but then choked on the Japanese location and telephone number. Though I chose English as the main language to use prior to installing OS 10.5.6, the assistant had auto-generated my location, possibly by retrieving it from Apple Japan, in Japanese characters. That and a Japanese telephone number associated with my MobileMe account choked the assistant when I clicked to continue registration. Long story, short: Clicking "Continue" (anyway) in a intervening dialog box seemed to have aborted the registration, because the assistance routine terminated with a reminder to register. 


Stay tuned for selective software removals to free up more space for system software and native accessory updates.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Computer Change-Over: Systems and Wares

Got a new Mac mini up and running, networked through a Time Capsule (1 TB) wirelessly at first. Now a PowerBook G4, my previous mainstay, is hard-wired to the Time Capsule. 

  • [Add details and illustration about here.]

I followed a colleagues advice, and started with the mini more or less as a blank slate, at least as far as file applications and documents go. I'll add or retrieve what I need as I need it. First of all, I sync'd Address Book, iCal, and Mail particulars from the PowerBook to the mini through MobileMe. I plan to continue to do so after archiving Mail folders and messages, and installing OS 10.5 on the Powerbook (6.5 GB required, 5.8 available on working partition). 

Applications and suites I've installed so far include:

  • iLife

  • iWork

  • Microsoft Office

  • Skype

  • Time Machine

Mmm..., not necessarily in that order, but that's about it. Next will be:

  • NeoOffice (done)

  • Foxmarks for Safari (done)

  • ... (a multiple clipboard add-on [iClip])

Then we'll see.... [I've embedded a spreadsheet (below) that I'll use to collect initial use dates, and perhaps to log use periodically, as in Tools, types of site, and such (2008.09.03), but it has disappeared {which may happen every time you open and save a document that includes html code for media} (2009.03.12).]

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Server Software: Leading Choices

Current results from Nick Denton's home server software poll indicate that folks responding favor Ubuntu Server Edition a hair more than the commercial Windows Home Server, 2849 to 2846. Each has garnered 32% of votes among five choices, which also include FreeNAS, Debian, Apache, and other (Which Home Server Software is Best, results, retrieved 2009.03.03). For overviews of the server software's strengths, see Hive Five: Best Home Server Software (Jason Fitzpatrick, 2009.03.01).

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