Friday, December 31, 2010

Moving Itunes? Here's How!

I have a lot of music. I spend a lot of time listening to it. My ipod has 100 gig of music on it and I rotate the tunes from my itunes library on my computer.

So.... when the music folder on my hard drive got so big that it wouldn't fit, I bought a big hard drive and proceeded to move the music from one drive to the other.

This is actually not a big deal, just copy or move the my music folder from one place to another and then just remind windows where it is. In Windows 7, just hit the start button and right click on music. On of the options will allow you to select where Windows will expect to find music.

So far this is easy. Now open itunes. Oops. it can't find the itunes.itl file and so it makes its own. You are pretty much toast, all your playlists, checked songs etc are gone and itunes doesn't know where the music is.

Here is the trick that I learned... and you should use.

Start itunes with the shift key depressed. Then you can tell itunes where the .itl file is and voila, you will be good to go.

However, itunes still may need to relocate your actual music. Just select a couple of tunes, if there is a grey exclamation point next to the song name, then itunes has lost the location.

I bet there is a way to hack the .itl* file but for me it was easier to select all my tunes in itunes and add them all again. This gave me a new chance to organize the music the way I wanted it. Classical in one folder, vocalists in another etc.
I love my ipod but I hate itunes. At least now I can move it around without too much trouble.

One more quick note. My music is stored on my computer at the highest quality that is available. I'm not sure what the future holds but I want the best sound that I can store. When I load my ipod I use the convert to 128K AAC option. To load an ipod from scratch, i.e. 0 to 100 gig, takes more than a day because it has to convert each song as it loads. By the way, 128K is half the size of 320K on the ipod so it may be worth converting. Can I hear the difference? I don't think I can.
*in fact you can hack the itunes.xml file and then destroy the .itl file. I'm told that this will cause itunes to create a new .itl file based on the .xml file. I won't try this, at least not with the size of my library.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Want to Have Some Real Fun!

  1. Take one terrific grandson named Sam.
  2. Add one simple wooden birdhouse Kit from the Birdhouse Depot, great people to deal with.
  3. Predrill all the nail holes so the nailing is easy for a little hammer.
  4. Read the directions out loud and show him the pictures so he understands what's going on.
  5. Mount the house right away so you can see the finished product.
  6. Add some cookies when you're done!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ever need to make a label?

About five or six years ago my daughter bought me a label maker as a gift. I didn't think I needed to make many labels but honestly, I loved it. It was this little hand held gizmo. on the right.  It had a keyboard and used about 6 AA batteries. The labels were great and the thing did a great job but finally the motor burned out. Too bad because I have a few feet of label tape left.
So I started looking for a new label maker. I decided on a brother pt-1230PC for a couple of reasons, first, it was on sale and second it has no keyboard. That is the cool part... you just think a label and it prints... Just kidding... but almost.

This little baby, on the left, plugs into a USB port and the software for running it is on the printer. It loads up in a second, not installed, just runs from the printer. You type your label and press the print button on the screen. Out pops a label and you hit the big button on the top to cut it off.

The part that intrigues me is that this is better than plug and play, its plug and use. Nothing to install, you can use it on any windows or mac computer. It uses batteries and just weighs a few ounces.

Think of the magic of devices that work magically without leaving a footprint on your computer.

BTW: if you are thinking buying one of these look at the other models, the next model up makes one inch wide labels, this one only goes to a half-inch. It also make iron on labels for the kids camp cloths. The white or black on clear tape are great for labeling electronics with notes like "Drive E:"

Here's a final picture of the whole gizmo. Bravo brother! (They don't capitalize their name, they were originally founded by e e cummings)
Software is onboard, no looking for the CD for installation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What the heck do we need now?

Welcome to my new graduate students... This is some of what we will talk about on Tuesday night.

What do we really use computers for… would an ipad® do it for us…

  • What did you use a computer for today?
  • Did you check your email? 
  • Did you surf the net?
  • Do a little shopping?
  • Check up on your friends (facebook®)
  • Did you “google” an address or map?
  • Did you find the answer to a NYtimes crossword puzzle clue?

In short, did you turn you computer into a terminal for the day’s work?

  • Were the files you used stored online?Was the data you needed, online? 
  • Did you save your files to an online location?
  • Did the music come from a service like itunes?

So much of it is online that…

  • Computing power is not as important as bandwidth.
  • Processing power is trumped by browser speed.
  • We have put our confidence online with our music, pictures and other documents.
  • Have we misplaced our confidence?
What do we need to go online?

  • A computer, or computing device, that has a strong network connection.
  • Wireless, wired or some combination.
  • We need nice clear video that is able to project what we need to see on the monitor.
  • We need an input device, our fingers, mice or keyboards. That allow us to interact.

Computing Devices…

  • Cell phones, netbooks, tablets and big old computers all seem to work for us.
  • I have a friend who listens to “Pandora” in his car. He uses his ipod to control his cable box and he can surf the net for movies from his TV?
  • My daughter reads the NY Times on her Kindle, cheaper than the print edition.
  • People who used to buy books from Amazon and have then delivered now use their Kindle. (Is UPS scared?)

So what do we need…

  • An Iphone, Ipod or smartphone for talking and music… 
  • A Kindle or Ipad for books and magazines…
  • A netbook to get on the internet to search, shop or scratch out a letter or email…
  • A computer with some special software that is not available on the internet… 
  • A device that will privately store your data…
In the future:

  • We may just need a colorful terminal… 
  • We don’t need much storage, now that it is cheap…
  • We don’t need much processing, now that it is faster than we ever imagined…
  • We now need connections and bandwidth…

So as we look at how computers work, lets take the time to look at how we use them too. This change in the way we do use computers happened quickly, what’s the next change? How can we prepare for it?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Welcome to CEDo510

Computer Systems: How they work

As you can see by paging back through my blog, I usually blog when I have classes in session. Otherwise I'd be pretty much writing to nobody.  During our class I will muse occasionally here but mostly the information you need, will be on the Angel Site.

Here is a nice new picture from my back yard... (That's the Homestead High School parking lot in the background)

This little guy came for the crabapples but I think he's going to stay for the lecture.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things Just Got Better!

People are always telling me that google docs are just not good enough. Well, I think things may be changing. Google seems good at fixing the things that irritate and adding things that amaze.

See what I mean?!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What is this Omer Counter Thing doing here?

As a child, holidays came and went. Each had its own rituals and foods. Some I didn't even notice, others were pretty much good for a day off from school. Now that I am older, and have time to think about these things, I spend a little more time wondering what it is all about.

When my dear daughter asked me to write her an Omer counter I had to look it up to find out what it was. I find the idea interesting for many reasons. Most of which it makes the counter, if you choose to be one, congnizant of the passage of time and the season more than ever. It gives us a chance to prepare for the holiday that celebrates G-d giving us the Torah.

The Torah, everything you need to know about life in one easy to handle scroll, is an amazing gift and however you believe it came to be, it certainly has had a profound impact on Jews and non-Jews alike.

I found a couple of interesting articles on Counting the Omer. The first is from the blog PunkTorah regarding the counting:
So, what does this all mean to us now? Well, it can mean many things. Counting the Omer can be used as a tool of self reflection. We can take this time to recognize the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt, from the gift of our freedom. The Sages tell us that G-d freed us from slavery in order to give us the Torah on Shavu’ot, so this should be a time of preparation. Counting the Omer gives us the time to learn from the gift of freedom G-d has given us and incorporate it into our lives, to grow one day at a time, taking a spiritual accounting, to make sure that we are heading in the right direction, to look at what we are doing that is right or wrong and to try to make ourselves ready to receive the honor of the Torah.
Counting the days is another way of directing our mindfulness to the passage of time. Be aware of the days as they pass, count them, give them meaning. We have been freed from slavery, rejecting the confusion and idolatry (philosophically, literally, and spiritually) of our own Egypt’s and are being made ready to re-focus our lives.
Another interesting article from The United Synagogue Website called Counting the Omer - And Making Each Day Count click over there for an interesting read.

Making each day count is probably a good idea anyway.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Web 2.0 and Collaboration

When one talks about or tries to explain what Web 2.0 is about, (s)he quickly comes to the conclusion that when all is said and done, its about collaboration.  Working together, sharing ideas doing the job together, finding joint or group solutions. Using the power of many minds to solve problems. With that in mind I offer two very cool blog posts on collaboration and web 2.0. 

100 Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration (Part 1) 


100 Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration (Part 2)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Think about this for a few minutes...

Two articles caught my attention yesterday. Oddly they made me think of a teary time I had in the Jewish section of Rome. I saw children playing and wondered how many were lost during the war. After reading these two articles my thoughts turned to how many ideas were lost and what the world might be like today if the holocaust had not happened.

Miep Gies, Protector of Anne Frank, Dies at 100

By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN - Published: January 12, 2010
Mrs. Gies was the last survivor among Anne Frank’s protectors and the woman who preserved her diary.

The Tel Aviv Cluster By  Op-Ed Columnist DAVID BROOKS
Published: January 12, 2010
Israelis’ embrace of technology and commerce has had a desultory effect on the nation’s public life, but an invigorating one on its economy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stritch Faculty Institute 1/14/2010

This week I will be presenting at thte Stritch Faculty Institute. I am teamed with another Stritch Professor, April Folgert. If you want a peek at our presentation go to:

Interestingly enough, that is not the actual URL I used to create a smaller, more manageable URL. The original is: way to long to comfortably email or pass on to someone else.

Try it to make URL's more manageable. There is another site that does the same thing.