Why Apple Rocks!

Yesterday Firefox, my favorite browser, quit unexpectedly.  This is very rare, but it does happen.  It would not relaunch.  So I deleted it and reinstalled from a fresh download.  I launched it, but it would not launch and I got a crazy error message saying Firefox was already running.  Confused?!

So, I restarted my Mac.  Still no go, same error message.  So it was time for search and destroy.  I killed every file related to Firefox.  Restart.  Relaunch.  Still no go.

OK, google to the rescue.  Apple’s website had a useful article on what happened during the crash.  Some invisible file was corrupted.  It even showed you how to find it and delete it.  I tried.  No dice.

Screaming and frustration.

So, I decided it was time to restore my software to it’s original state by erasing the hard drive and reinstall the system software.  This is no easy task.  First step – backup all data.  That took a while.  Then find the system disks.

Panic!  Can’t find them.

OK, try the system disks from the Mac Mini.  Same OS, should work.  It does fine.  Formats the drive and then installs the OS 98 percent and then hangs up.  I try it again.  Same result.

So I try it without the iLife package (where it was hanging up).  It installs.  OK, I’ll deal with it.

I start updating the Mac with software, etc. and try to run the DVD player.  No go.  Then another program won’t run.  This is now too much.  I give up.

Safari is running, so I look up the Houston Galleria Apple Store phone number.  I am now at an all new low.  The tech teacher having to call for help.

The girl on the phone is polite, helpful and even makes an appointment for me at the Genius Bar with in 90 mins. of my call.  I pack up my MacBook, get in the truck and drive.  My iPod is seriously low on power, but it helps me chill out.

I get there 10 min. early and only wait 10 min. until I am helped.  They have me up and running in 30 min. – no charge.  Nothing but helpful associates who know their product.  This is why Apple is better than Windows or Linux.  You just can’t get this kind of customer service anywhere else.

Fat Police Strike!

TX State Calorie Police Bans Candy

TX State Calorie Police Bans Candy

No, I’m not talking about large officers of the law, I’m talking about the state of Texas.  As of next year, my district is banning all food sales by groups, clubs or organizations – this means no candy, sodas, bake sales, bbq plates, etc.  The state’s crazy and draconian rules are so hard to interperet the district just flat out banned all food sales.

We made nearly $2,000 by selling candy this year.  We really need a new fundraiser.

And it can’t involve taking students out of class either.  Those types of fundraisers (we used to do a girl’s football game) have been banned too.  Got any ideas?  Please comment – please!

Cool Links #39: Bonus Long Weekend Edition

If you’re like me, a long weekend is just another excuse to chill on the computer.  Especially when it is getting hotter like today here in Houston.  So, here’s some more cool links to cool off with:

1 – This is one I get all the time from my students – how can you lighten hair in photoshop?  Nicole Young has the answer in this video from PhotoFocus.

2 – The JEA has an insightful, but not helpful post on why high schools should keep their printed media alive.  They don’t, however, have any answers as to HOW they can keep them alive in the current mania of budget cuts and the added economic slump that is killing ad dollars.

3 – Dkzody, a yearbook teacher who is wondering how much longer the yearbook will survive at her school.

4 – Joseph Niepce’s wooden camera is going on display in a museum.  Cool!

The first camera

The first camera

5 – I love minimalist web design.  It looks great and loads fast.  I am always trying to get my students to get their sites pared down and here’s a great list of 40 examples of minimalist design.

6 – The dPS has a lengthly and helpful tutorial on How to Shoot Baseball. I’m sure it will work for softball too.

Back to school tomorrow.  Nearly done.

Cool Links #38: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

As we all celebrate a much needed three-day weekend, let’s all pause to remember the real purpose of the holiday on Monday – Memorial Day.  Please remember those who have served and given the ultimate price as well as those who served and only stood and waited, for they protect us too.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

1 – This is why you don’t pre-slug your newspaper headlines.

Newspaper Slug Gets Published

Newspaper Slug Gets Published

2 – Great poster of retro cameras.

Retro Cameras Rock!

Retro Cameras Rock!

3 – Blogush has an excellent post on how we set our students up for failure and how we should or at least could be helping them to “race and always win.”

4 – Traditional yearbooks printed on paper are in danger of becoming extinct.  I know that at my school, sales have dropped about 2-3 percent a year for the last 15 years.  We now sell fewer than half the books we sold in ’98.

5 – I teach in a school with a high rate of students on free lunch.  This article in the Washington Post hit a chord with me, but it was almost the very end before the lightbulb went off.  There are many good and sensible reasons that poor students don’t feel a sense of urgency about anything.  The take-away was on the last page of the article “No sense in trying to hurry when you are poor.”

6 – This article about “Why journalists deserve low pay,” has made the rounds of the internet this last week, it’s been tweeted and blogged, but I’m going to blog it again anyway.

7 – The The Impotence of Proofreading

8 – Eight awesome layout solutions to improve your web page’s design.

9 – Too bad this site hasn’t been updated in about a year, but they have several great tutorials such as mixing audio in garage band and creating lower thirds in final cut.

10 – Advanicing the Story blog has a post on using web stories to add interest and information to your broadcast stories.

11 – Silber Studios has a terrific short about how Ansel Adams created the magic of his Moon at Half Dome shot.

12 – Circulation figures for all the top US newspapers in a fun and creative graphic.

13 – How my students work.

If it wasnt for the last minute, nothing would get done around here

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done around here

14 – The Creating Lifelong Learners Blog has an excellent selection of iMovie ’09 resources.  We no longer use it after transitioning to Final Cut, but it is still a great choice for those who can’t afford FCE or don’t want to deal with the learning curve.

15 – Tom Brokaw, the former NBC anchor, gave a great speech at this year’s SPJ convention.

Have a great holiday and if you see a soldier, sailor, airman or marine thank them for your freedom and their service.

What A Great Looking Bunch!

Finally found a copy of the photo we took last year in Arizona at the ASNE Reynolds Foundation Journalism Teachers Fellowship at Arizona State.  I highly recommend all high school journalism teachers apply to one of the five ASNE two week workshops.  Professionally, those two weeks were the best time I’ve had as a teacher.  As June speeds closer, I miss my compadres from last year and hope that they are all doing well.

2008 Reynolds High School Journalism Fellowship at Arizona State University

2008 Reynolds High School Journalism Fellowship at Arizona State University

Media Rock Stars

The kids in my media classes might sometimes feel like nerds, but in reality, just like the guy who invented USB, they are rock stars! I love this commercial.

Cool Links #37: The End is Near Edition

With only three weeks of school left, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But they are three very busy weeks.  Lots of performances that we need to shoot video and stills of for the web site and video podcasts. So, here are some tasty cool treats to help you keep it together until the end of the year.

1 – Making Teachers Nerdy has a top flight list of free public domain music and images for student use in projects.

2 – Seems like yearbooks are going out and unfortunately making news – in the worst ways.  This one from Tampa, Florida is a real head scratcher and nearly not safe for school because of the content of the news story and the yearbook. And then in Arizona, a teacher was put on paid leave after two inappropriate remarks were found in the yearbook.

3 – As usual, another perfect post from the digital Photography School – An Introduction to Shooting Sports Photography.  A number of great take-aways:  Best one is use a radio.

Listening to the broadcast of the game while you work will give you a play-by-play account so you can understand exactly what is going on.

4 – This photo is simply amazing.  The detail in this gigapixel photo is incredible.  In the future we won’t need zoom lenses.

5 – Here in Texas, journalists have been operating without any kind of official state protections for journalists.  But now Gov. Rick Perry has done one of his rare good acts, he signed a Shield Law for Journalists.

6 – It is always great to see someone who sees a future in journalism for those who are willing to try to keep moving in whatever direction today’s journalism takes you.

7 – Google rolls out some really great and useful web search options.

8 – The Buzz Machine has a post that more than suggests it is time for newspapers to drop the paper.  News must FIND the consumer, not the other way around.  That’s how news works in the digital age.

9 – The Washington Post has a terrific MediaStorm project gallery with a number of great multimedia shows with audio, photos and video.  Worth a look.

10 – The Guardian (UK) has a terrific read about the writing of the novel 1984 by George Orwell.  The tale of how he was able to complete this masterpiece is nearly as interesting as the book itself. Worth reading anything written by the man who penned these rules.

Orwells Rules of Writing

Orwell's Rules of Writing

11 – The News Videographer blog has a scary post about how dangerous it is to be too complacent when behind the eyepeice of the camera.  I too know how dangerous it is to ignore how close that football player is before hitting the button and then the ground.

12 – Is Stephen Colbert right?  Are America’s newspapers on a death watch?  Read the New York Times (a newspaper you know) to find out.

13 – Upload speeds, laptops, deadlines, HD, SD, online quality?  Which one takes precedence?  The One Man Band Reporter blog has a mix of recipes for mixing up the best video in the field for transmission over the Internet.

14 – If you use a Mac (and you should), then you need to know every way there is to relaunch the finder.

15 – Went to see the new Star Trek movie this last week and I liked it.  I liked this post even more – what photographers cna learn from Star Trek.

16 – More from the dPS, an incredible step-by-step guide to fixing multiple problems in photographs using Photoshop.

1 7 – Just a little sign that is probably found in every yearbook staff room:

You have nothing to lose but...aw, well finish this caption tomorrow.

You have nothing to lose but...aw, we'll finish this caption tomorrow.

I guess I’ll finish this post next week.  🙂