Time Machine Is Not All the Backup You Need [Mac Tip]

timemachine.png Mac OS X Leopard only: If you’ve got a FireWire drive hooked up to your Mac, chances are Leopard’s dead simple backup utility, Time Machine, has you backing up your data—and that’s a huge step forward if you weren’t backing up at all pre-Leopard. But Time Machine is only one piece of a full backup scheme. Macworld runs down what Time Machine can do (effortless, regular, intervention-less local backups) and what it can’t (system clones and online backup). If you want to complete your…


Time Machine Is Not All the Backup You Need [Mac Tip]

Amy Winehouse and Nassim Taleb

Will Amy Winehouse — who won five Grammys last night — help or hurt the music industry? A few years ago, I went to a tasting event called The Joy of Sake. There were about 100 of the best sakes from Japan. A pre-event talk for retailers discussed the decline of sake in Japan. (Soju is cool; sake is old-fashioned.) That was the reason for the show. I loved tasting 30-odd high-quality sakes but the overall effect on me was the opposite of what the promoters wanted. I quickly became a…


Amy Winehouse and Nassim Taleb

The car as oikos

Chrysler chairman Robert L. Nardelli, in a New York Times article on the trend to outfit cars with elaborate entertainment technology:

“I think a vehicle today has to be your most favorite room under your roof. It has to bring you gratification; it has to be tranquil. It’s incidental that it gets you from Point A to Point B, right?”
Thus the car as oikos. Note that those who are to dwell in this house of the future are deemed incapable of finding gratification in low-tech endeavors:…
The car as oikos

- A Flock of Pigeons. You have to buy them individually

  • A Flock of Pigeons. You have to buy them individually though.
  • According to my New York Times Sunday Magazine, girls have more latitude in their identities, while boys are trapped in boyness. “…if ushered into a room and told they could play with anything, nearly half the boys chose "feminine” toys as often as “masculine” toys, provided they believed nobody, especially their fathers, would find out.“ Boys aren’t really given the leeway to, say, "create an amazing dance routine.” We’ve…



- A Flock of Pigeons. You have to buy them individually

Diversions

Eagle motif in St. John’s Gospel:8th-century Northumbrian mss

Click through the picture to experience my disappointment in not finding a larger version of this wonderful image. Actually, to truly experience my disappointment you will need to (painlessly) register at the Parker Library site and then try searching several whichways to unsuccessfully hunt down the manuscript. Tease.

The eagle illustration represents St John and comes from an 8th century Northumbrian gospel manuscript. Although it does not appear to have been uploaded as yet,…
Diversions

Links: file-naming conventions

I remember reading a columnist in one of the Ziff-Davis mags, back in the mid-90s, lamenting the busting of the old 8.3 file-naming conventions that DOS imposed. With the new Win95 long filenames-with-spaces convention, he predicted that people would actually lose more files than find them again. He used as an example their production process, in which every directory name and every character in a filename carried a specific meaning in the workflow. That kind of discipline ensured that everyone knew what state the files were in. With longer filenames, he was afraid that users would be mainly writing reminders to themselves rather than helping out the next worker on the production line.

Reading the identifiers article reminded me of a 43folders.com blog posting, and that led me to other postings related to how folks name files. The people commenting are mainly graphic designers and web designers, whose work involves tracking lots of little individual files that collectively make up a single job.


This is from the developers' point of view. Read the original post but skim the comments to get an idea of what developers have to consider when creating files the users will depend on. The Old Joel on Software Forum - Restrictions on # of files in a Windows Directory?

E: if it is problematic to have several thousand separate directory entries in one directory, I could envision a directory structure in which the all user IDs ending in '0' go to a directory called c:userdata, user IDs ending in '1' go to a directory called c:userdata1, etc. Or use more digits from the end of the user ID for greater granularity: c:userdata00, c:userdata01, etc.

Vox Populi: Best practices for file naming | 43 Folders

But, just so I don’t lose you, do give me your best tips in comments: What are your favorite current conventions for naming files? How does your team show iterations and versions? Do you rely more on Folder organization than file names in your work? How have Spotlight, Quicksilver, and the like changed the way you think about this stuff?

My god, there are 86 comments on this thread and many of them are detailed and illustrated....

...and then Lifehacker.com gets in on the fun. There are some some commenters who say "don't include the date in the filename" as that info is already captured with the file and you can sort on that info in most file managers. I include the date because I often share my documents with others and the date in the filename is the quickest way for them to discern whether they have the latest copy. Ask the Readers: Filing naming conventions? Another very long posting that inspired the 43folders post above. It's interesting to note that, for designers, they all have certain types of info they want captured in the filename, such as the client name and draft iteration. But where they put that info depends, probably, on who set up the system first, tradition, etc. What Do I Know - File Naming / Organization Methods?

Only 4 comments in this one, but they have good detail and pretty much mirror the other postings. Read this one to get a flavor of the longer screeds. File Naming and Archiving | 43 Folders

A single post detailing another designer's setup at his workplace. Use a boilerplate folder setup and consistent, meaningful names | 43 Folders

QoTD: On boredom


“Being bored doesn’t mean that “there’s nothing to do,” as children imprecisely complain to their parents on a rainy day, dragging their feet on the rug and kicking the sofa. It means that something big–whether it’s rain, other people, or our own hot-to-the-touch-fears–is keeping us from doing what we want to do, from playing outside, from expressing ourselves, from moving forward.”

Nancy Franklin, critic for  The New Yorker


QoTD: On boredom

Hi, Mom and Dad!

Lust and I have been getting some nice publicity recently: Seattlest just posted an interview, Seattle Magazine has a feature about me, Seattle Metropolitan included me in a feature on “15 People to Know for Spring Arts,” Modern Tonic posted a lovely review, there’s that interview at Newsarama and they also posted about my Lust downloadable wallpaper, there’s a 1/3-page review in ReadyMade magazine (though you can’t read it online), a review that I haven’t seen yet in…


Hi, Mom and Dad!

Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing

In case you missed the story, a 108 year old man by the name of Harry Richard Landis died on Monday, Feb 4th and with his passing another man, Frank Woodruff Buckles, earned the truly incredible distinction of being the last known surviving American-born veteran of the First World War. Of the 4,734,991 U.S. forces mobilized between 1914 and 1918 Frank Buckles is the last man standing. 


Last Man Standing

ActiVest

activest-sm.jpg

The ActiVest is a useful vest – well-made, lots of pockets, rain hood, warm – that integrates the design of the Slouch!Buster travel chair (the straps fold into their own pockets when not in use). My wife got this for me last Xmas, and I have found it very useful on dozens of occasions: beach walks, hikes, meditation groups, and other situations where I need back support. When I was younger my back needed no support, but luckily this was invented just as I felt the need for it. Nice…


ActiVest

Today a quote worthy of George Orwell:

“…the damaged state of American democracy is not the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil industry, lobbyists, terrorists, illegal immigrants or Satan. The point is that this mess is our fault. We let in the serpents and liars, we exchanged shining ideals for a handful of nails and some two-by-fours, and we did it by resorting to the simplest, deepest-seated and readiest method we possess as human beings for trying to make…


Today a quote worthy of George Orwell:

Jumping the gun on a MacBook?

Although UNC requires incoming freshmen to buy a laptop computer, and although some SILS classes require a laptop (I'm thinking here of the database or programming courses), by and large, I've found that I haven't really needed a laptop on campus. I prefer taking notes by hand on paper, and the campus is lousy with workstations where I can check my email, which is what most people do anyway. Most of my homework and papers I prefer to write on my home PC, simply because it's already customized for my peculiar needs. Nevertheless, since I entered the program, I felt a burning urgency to purchase a laptop--I'm falling behind! All the other kids have a laptop! I'm feeling left out!--and took advantage of a pretty good deal at the campus computer store to buy a black MacBook with the eerie glowing ghost-apple on the lid. I added an extra gig of RAM and donated the printer that came with it to a charitable organization. So, no worries there.

I also bought several of the Take Control ebooks to learn some more about the Mac. I tried out various backpacks, briefcases, and sheathes. I bought a Bluetooth mouse. I dedicated a spot to it on my desk where it sits and recharges.

And where it still sits, mostly unused. It's a fine machine, but I just haven't needed to use it.

The new MacBooks are now arriving with Leopard, which means that's another expense I'll have when I decide to upgrade the OS. Fortunately, I've bought no other software to install on it, so the hard drive and OS are still pristine, making the upgrade easier, I should think. Thinking more calmly now, I should have waited to buy till Leopard was pre-installed on all MacBooks.

It's clear to me now, looking back, that I had induced a panic state in myself over this issue and reason's sweet song would ne'er enter my ear. I took out a loan from the bank in order to pay for both my spring semester tuition and the MacBook, so paying that back every week is a constant reminder of getting too far ahead of myself.

Update: I wrote the above over a couple of days last week. This past Saturday, I decided to reinstall XP on my home PC, after dithering on that decision for a while. The reinstall went fine--except that Windows couldn't see the second internal hard drive, which holds all of my install files for my other software. I verified that the BIOS could see the drive but XP remained willfully blind. I schlepped the PC to Intrex (where I'd bought the PC in 2006 or so) for them to diagnose and (I hope) fix.

I didn't enter a panic state on this snafu, interestingly enough. I took the precautions of backing up my volatile data to my external USB drive and to the cloud, so they're accessible if I need them.

And, need I say, I had a laptop--an underused MacBook on which I could check my mail, finish my homework assignment due on the following Monday, and store info on my paper that's due in 2 weeks. Funny how these things work out.

Addendum:  Back up those drivers, kids! And print out your Device Manager settings! I should have inserted the motherboard CD and installed the RAID and sound drivers; that's why Windows couldn't see the second internal hard drive. OK, that goes on the master checklist for reinstalling Windows...