Monthly Archives: March 2007

I got a MacBookPro with two OSes

I just purchased my dream machine. A MacBook Pro, 15.4″ wide matte LCD, 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB Ram, 150GB HD. Plus I got a Microsoft bluetooth mouse that works on the mac very well. My old ibook is still around but happily resting.

One of the best parts is running Windows and Mac OS X on the same machine. I’m as big of a Windoze hater as the next mac zelot but… I use Windows for work. Testing web designs in different browsers mainly. Windows actually does somethings a bit better. (blasphemy!) So I use both.

I set up Windows XP SP2 with Apple’s Boot Camp. It can resize hard drive partitions without destroying the data you already have. (not many mac apps can do this) This enabled me to dual boot. In order to use Windows I had to restart the machine and hold down the Option key. This gave me ability to select the OS I wanted to boot too. But only one OS at a time…

Because my work requires me to go back and forth testing on different browsers I needed to do something a bit quicker. (Despite the fact this is the fastest booting machine I’ve ever owned) Plus what follows is just cool as hell.

The solution was to use Parallels to run a real Windows install virtually. You might ask why did I create a whole new partition to install Windows on when I could have just created a virtual machine?

Parallels Desktop for Mac will boot a Windows install on a partition just like it’ll boot the OS in a file. This way I can boot into the Mac OS then start the Windows OS with Parallels then use Apple + Tab keys to switch back and forth between different applications in different operating systems. Parallels even shares out a Mac directory so you can read and write to it from Windows.

This setup is much quicker than using Alt + control or Alt + Enter to leave the Parallels virtual machine. Its so quick it actually keeps up pretty well with the speed of my work.

A big leap forward in productivity and power IMHO.

end geek transmission… thank you ruby!

Graffiti IS Art

Mark Schultz over at the N&O’s Orange Chat blog writes:

Graffiti or Art?
So we sent staff photog Leslie Barbour to shoot a town worker painting over some gang symbols at the Chapel Hill Community Center this morning.

I was talking to Leslie about the story later this afternoon, and she said we shouldn’t call the gang symbols “graffiti.” Graffiti is art, she said, and added that we should call it what it is: “tagging.”

I got where she was coming from. But I don’t think the average person on the street makes the distinction or is up on the word “tagging.” Was I wrong? Is it inaccurate or worse to label the “LBU” tags showing up on more than a dozen locations in Chapel Hill and Carrboro this past week “graffiti”?

Leslie is right. That bit of paint is tagging. It has a very different purpose than graffiti. Graffiti is “mainstream” art now. Some people put graffiti in the category of Street Art. Check out all the wonderful photos of street art on Flickr.

From today’s Chapel Hill News article Gang signs on the rise:

Graffiti — how gangs mark territory and send messages to rival gangs — is a growing problem. McKinney called it a newspaper of the streets.

This is incorrect. I would use Tagging instead of Graffiti. I hope the Chapel Hill News writes a correction. This could seriously misinform people. Ignorance of the details isn’t going to help a community come to terms with its growing pains. Informing people about the seriousness of gang violence is important. But using graffiti as a visual shorthand for gangs isn’t going to help. It will only narrow people’s fear and cause them to “know it when they see it”. The whole issue is much much more complicated.

The article did later include,

Not all graffiti is gang-related, Cousins said. Three young men were charged with defacing the bridge on Umstead Drive with graffiti. Someone also defaced the new Army recruiting station. Neither incident had anything to do with gangs, she said.

I’d like to see the Chapel Hill News do a story on the artfulness of graffiti. Its culture is diverse and does have its dark parts. Many forms of art have similar issues. But this doesn’t diminish the importance of this form of expression.

I’m really concerned that the newspapers misrepresentation of Graffiti as solely a criminal act will cause locals to become prejudice against this art form. Many large cities with wonderful artists working in the streets have very aggressive scrubbing campaigns that destroy public beauty. A balanced story must be told.

(Comments are broken on Orange Chat: I tried to leave a comment on the N&O site but had no luck. Even attempted to register. Once I was supposedly logged in I still got an error. So I gave up and posted my comment on my blog.)

Carrboro Citizen Arrives

We got a Carrboro Citizen newspaper on our doorstep yesterday evening. Its really nice to have it delivered for free. ESPECIALLY when it doesn’t sit rotting in our parking space like the Chapel Hill News.

This Citizen’s paper design reminds me of my Grandparent’s home town paper The Hickory Daily Record. I think its because its small, full of local ads, and beautifully less sophisticated. I remember the Hickory paper having some sans serif fonts in the 80’s. More sans serif fonts Carrboro Citizen. PLEASE. Très Modern!

I would read the Hickory paper on my Gradparent’s old couch and feel like I was in a foreign country. I didn’t know the issues, the businesses, or the people. But in Carrboro in the complete opposite. I know the writers, the topics, the events, and the issues. I feel part of this bit of newsprint. Not sure how exactly considering I’m a digital dude to the core. Its probably Kirk and Jocks fault. 🙂

The Citizen’s website is based on the wonderful blog platform WordPress. This is an excellent demonstration of how WP can become just about anything. Not just a blog.

The site looks really wonderful. Clean, readable, and elegant. Just what a good website should be. A real contrast to most of the horrible website designs newspapers have out there. I remember talking with Kirk Ross about the idea of digital first and print second. The concept, to me, was about using browser based applications to enter and edit text. That text would then end up in a database. In return a print designer could grab that text content and lay it out for the press. I wonder how the Citizen is handling it workflow. I imagine its a work in progress like any other startup. To me using modern work flow at a newspaper could be a HUGE competitive advantage. Not just because its easier than old ways but because it could save money.

Its all thanks to Ruby and all the wonderful people she’s introduced me to. Its thanks to them I know all of this. I’m involved. Committed even. Its a new thing for me. I’ve never lived in a small town like Carrboro. Even though I technically live in Chapel Hill I feel incredibly close to Carrboro. Carrboro is where my heart is.

Guess this is part of settling down. Finding your happy niche and growing roots. Nice to have the Carrboro Citizen follow me along for the ride. May it be a long one we share together.

VCU beats Duke in NCAA first round

Final Score
VCU 79
Duke 77

I’m a very proud VCU alumni right now. The VCU men’s basketball team did a great job. But I have to admit I didn’t like bball much in college.

Living in North Carolina will change you tho’. As will marrying a Chapel Hill native who went to UNC. Fact is there are so many cool basketball fans down here. That makes it so much easier to be a fan. To hang out with people ya love and watch amazing feats of athleticism.

My twitters about the game tonight. Newest on top.

VCU 79 Dook 77 Final BIG UPSET! I can’t believe duke lost in the first round…

VCU 38 Dook 40 halftime

VCU ties Dook!

VCU within THREE!

VCU three pointer!

19 / 4 run by Dook…

VCU just went 9 shots without scoring 😦

Watching VCU (my alma mater) play Dook

One Million Blogs for Peace

On the right side bar of my blog I’ve put up a badge that links to a really interesting campaign. Its called One Million Blogs for Peace. Here’s some more explanation from their site. You can sign up here. Their blog is here.

The Concept
Between 20 March 2007 and 20 March 2008 (the fifth year of the war), we will attempt to sign up One Million Blogs for Peace. By signing up, a blogger is stating his or her agreement with The Pledge below. They will then be able to participate in various challenges launched by One Million Blogs for Peace. They will also be listed on this website with a link to their blog.

Bloggers may take The Pledge and sign up before the launch date of 30 March 2007 and will be declared an “Inblogural” (Inaugural Blog) of the movement.

The Pledge
I believe in the immediate withdrawal of all foreign combat troops from the nation of Iraq. I believe in using my blog, in whole or in part, as a tool toward this end.

Who’s Eligible
For the official count (toward 1,000,000), a blog must be based in the home country of a nation currently engaged in the Iraq War. As of now, those nations are: Albania, Australia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Additional blogs from other nations may list themselves as “Support Blogs”. While not counting toward the 1,000,000 count, these blogs will be eligible to participate in some of the challenges and will be listed in their own section.

Don’t forget to show up for a anti-war rally near you this Saturday March 17. Its the beginning of the fifth year of the war in Iraq. What a sad day… Find your local rally here at the United for Peace & Justice website.