Category Archives: Computers

Voting recommendation

I read that if your state is not a swing state, you should vote for a third party candidate so we get more choices in the future. Iowa is a swing state so I recommend voting for Clinton.

People ask about who I am voting for and I say Clinton.  No surprise here.


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Spring 2015 Session

We are well underway for Spring 2015. I am fortunate to work with Anthropology professors and lectures this semester. Topics range from Mesoamerica, native people in North America, and the topic of genocide. I’ve tuned into the course recordings to check that they are going well. With the help of the library I am also providing video clips for limited playback on the web. My second faculty person has been trained to run their own setup and recordings. It is possible to train some faculty to take that responsibility. It saves me trips to the location. I think it empowers faculty.

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Post Election

I received the news today via the Internet. I didn’t stay up last night to see the results.

Brailey had some negatives. 79 million dollars was spent on one senate seat. That would build part of a children’s hospital on a regional level.

Jutta and I were interested in local politics and that went well. Locals removed a republican from the county board of supervisors. Voters said no to a jail extension. Our candidate won in the supervisors race.

I wonder how the Hatch/Branstead race turned out as far as votes. Looks like a big win for Branstead.


.Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 11.03.30 AM



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Tech Forum 2014

The two sessions I went to are:

  • Lync Panel Discussion (another online meeting software)
  • Large Lecture Transformation Project (ID implications)

Did you know you can now have your genome sequenced for $1000?

There is 50 times the power of a Cray computer in your smartphone.

47% of USA population take at least one medication per day.





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About half way through Spring 2014

We are approaching the mid point for the Spring 2014 semester here at Iowa. I am monitoring 3 anthropology courses. I get to hear most of it unless I am working on something else or get distracted by a support call. I am learning about native people in North America and Ancient civilizations in another. The nice thing is that these courses are originating in our classroom so I can be in the office more of the time during the day. Just finishing up on developing a course on Health. It will be all online so making the materials for the modules was so important. I have some touch up things to do with the lectures for the health course and place the captions on the introduction video and we are ready to go.

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Made the leap to Adobe CC

Well, I decided to install Creative Cloud version of Adobe applications at home sooner than I anticipated. The price was right. As professional staff at the University of Iowa I am eligible for an educational discount. The cost was just shy of being free. I didn’t install everything possible and retained my CS4 versions that are not subscription based. The apps I picked were Dreamweaver CC, Photoshop CC, Flash CC, Audition CC, Muse CC and After Effects CC.

The deciding factor was the price. Second was a perceived need to stay current in the industry. Everything installed just fine.

I explored Muse CC first. It is easy to create webpages with the program. It is setup to publish to Adobe’s hosting service. I saw that I could create paypal payments with the program. That is a first. It has a few easy to add interactive menus. I think it is a work in progress so it will be interesting to see what happens to it in the future. Next, I am going to determine if it is really possible to create a shopping cart website with the program.

It is fairly expensive to run a shopping cart web site that takes credit cards, prices start at $20/month at Dreamhost. At that price point you get a service that allows you to build a site online that takes credit card information and tracks your inventory on a simple level. $20 per month compared to just a few years ago is quite inexpensive. There are more expenses for security, and credit card transactions. But it is in the ball park of allowing just about anyone to setup a business online. As an artist I would like someone else to do the fulfillment portion of the deal so I could just focus on making Art. But that is unlikely.

Well, back to CC. The next program I looked at was Photoshop CC. I went to look at the filters and I found one for adjusting focus. I think they call it tilt-focus. It is very nice.

Then I looked at Audition CC. It is very similar to Soundbooth that I currently have on tap. It is alittle easier to edit sound files with it. And I see a boat load of filters in it. Very nice.

I looked at After Effects CC for a few minutes. I’ll have to read up on it. I installed it to learn more about it.

Then Dreamweaver CC, not much change.

So there are a few additions to the apps in CC. I really could not afford to not install it. At work they are thinking about upgrading us to CC though we are reluctant because we use non-Adobe tools like Camtasia. I would really like Audition CC at work. That is one area we are lacking, a good audio editor. We have CS6 currently. We like Adobe Premiere Elements 11 as it does the work we need to do without being overly complex. It does chroma key with plenty of controls. The output options are written in English rather than Premiere’s lists of broadcast quality presets. Most of the time we want output that is a file, an mp4 ready for Camtasia and captioning.

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Flame Painting Series

Flame1 Flame2 Flame3 Flame4 Flame5 Flame6 Flame7 Flame8

digital paintings 1280×720


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Interfacing with faculty


My job this morning was difficult to start with, a new faculty person, a mac user that I needed to train on how to run a windows box, start and stop a recording, and annotate using a touch board. I wound up spending most of the 15 minutes allocated to training trying to get the windows box operational. One of the student tech helpers suggested that they would call the their supervisor and I agreed. I was on plan B and C at that point. Faculty had come early and tried to login to the windows box using the wrong password and it had ┬álocked the user out after a number of failed attempts. So when I got there it wasn’t going to let me log in. So I rebooted thinking that another user was logged into the box. That didn’t work and time was running out so I used my own log in to access the box. But the box decided it needed a few minutes to start with my log in. Then the mouse froze. Another reboot. Mouse worked. My login worked. Loaded the powerpoint, initialized both lecture capture softwares, checked audio levels, and told the professor we were ready. I had 30 seconds to tell him how to use the drawing board and how to start the recording. I call back to our office to get confirmation of the primary recording stream. Video and audio are good. We are good. I walk out the classroom and the supervisor is there and wants to tell me that faculty should ask for help before trying to login. Right. Get back to the office and write the email that explains everything and how we will proceed and improve on the next class session. It all boiled down to faculty having no respect for the technology and blindly trying to take control of something they know nothing about, the windows box. And the supervisor wanting to somehow interface with faculty to do my job. And, somehow do it better. Without even knowing the specifications of the project.

You may wonder, why not run the recording on the mac? Well that was the supervisors idea too. So his graphs and fonts might work properly. Only a week in advanced I had told the faculty person to check his keynote to powerpoint presentations to make sure they played correctly before class. Every time I have tried Panopto on the mac, to record a lecture, it has failed. Why anyone would use a microsoft based program on a mac and expect it to run is crazy. Panopto is radically different in terms of interface between Mac and PC versions. Hell it has enough problems running on windows. You’ll have to trust me on this one.

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Thinking about Adobe CC

I spent some time thinking about updating to Adobe Creative Cloud. They want $20/month forever. I have some regrets that I didn’t buy CS6 Web Premium when I had a chance at the local bookstore. I was hoping that I could continue to use CS4 but I found out it has bugs in Mac OS X 10.8.5. The two CS4 programs I use– Photoshop , and Dreamweaver, both at launch ask for Java 6. Java 6 seems to freeze my system now and then. I am reading that both Photoshop and Dreamweaver actually don’t use Java. I don’t know what to think. I’ve been searching for answers on the Internet.

But back to Creative Cloud. $20/month doesn’t sound too expensive but it is deceptive. If CS4 Web Premium was $399 then it would take 20 months to equal the price. But CS6 costs $600. Ouch. That would be equaled in a few years. Really the only program I want is Photoshop CS6 and Dreamweaver CS6. I’m looking at ebay and they seem to be all selling at a high price. The nice thing about CC is that you will be on the update path provided Adobe doesn’t come out with something post-CC. Little business can’t really afford CC. Regular price is $49/month. CC gives you many but not all of the Adobe products which is nice. But you don’t have a perpetual license but rather a subscription.

I wonder why our local bookstore could sell CS6 Web Premium for $399 but Adobe sells the same thing now for $599.

Maybe I can get CS4 to work…It would save a boat load of money.

UPDATE: I am able to get CS4 working on OSX 10.8.5. I am a happy camper. Now I can wait to the end of time to upgrade to CC.

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Level 3 Chart



I think I learned how to use the Diagrammix. This is a chart of what I do at the University of Iowa. Best if you click on it to see it enlarged.

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