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Day 677: My Happy Tech Life, July Edition

Maitri McGeoPants

The Road Home Unconference is less than a month away. The “unconference is a new format that is shaking up [the] conference industry, because it is easy to convene, flexible and inexpensive. It is perfect for industries where the expertise lies in the audience … the premise is that ‘there is more expertise in the audience than there possibly could be on stage.'” The aim of the New Orleans Road Home Unconference on July 28th is to discuss problems with the Road Home Program and come up with solutions that will be fed back to those in charge. Make ICF do its job. Are you registered?

* Meeting Capture – I’m working with Alan Gutierrez and KC King on how to record and archive the discussion at the unconference. The object is unobtrusive and thorough meeting capture — we don’t want people engrossed in conversation and idea generation made self-conscious by a tape-recorder or video camera shoved in their faces. Ideas?

* New Orleans PodcampChristopher Johnston is organizing a New Orleans Podcamp scheduled for April 2008. Two applications that come to mind for New Orleans are a) podcast newsletters from neighborhood organizations and other groups, and b) adding the vocal and sound touch when archiving various aspects of New Orleans. Since serious podcasting is my next geek project, I’m excited to begin working with him in the context of several New Orleans meetings, projects and communities that can benefit from this technology. Read this article to learn more on podcasting.

* New Laptop – It’s time for a laptop upgrade. PC or Mac? Why do I bother asking when I always end up buying a PC? For the record, Vista 64 will come nowhere near my new baby.

* WP Me ASAPWordPress 2.2.1 is out, with major security fixes.

* Cleophatra Does MilwaukeeChristy has a blog and I didn’t know. Apparently, she and I have been doing similar things lately like looking up old classmates online, attending The Police concert and making Simpsons avatars. Christy and Greg are visiting Milwaukee, one of D’s favorite cities, soon, so I left her some what-to-do-there suggestions. The Miller Brewery Tour, baby!

11 comments… add one
  • racymind July 7, 2007, 4:26 PM

    I recently bought a new laptop. Get 2 gigs of memory…

    I will eagerly await the podcast premier!

  • Varg July 7, 2007, 4:51 PM

    Sign me up for Podcamp. I listen to podcasts all day long at work and have been itching for a chance to do one.

  • liprap July 7, 2007, 5:09 PM

    Hee! I’m loving the Groening-ized you!

    But wasn’t there a t-shirt available that said “I’m Blogging This” ?

  • spocko July 7, 2007, 9:10 PM

    In my experience people forget the whole video camera or tape recorder if you just leave it there.
    The real pain in the but is the TRANSCRIPTION of the event.

    When I have led brainstorming sessions we recorded, but the actual work we work on big note pads that were easier to transcribe.

    And one thing that I really suggest is after you do a real brainstorm session. *You know, no bad ideas*
    You stop and do a ranking of ideas. Then when you pick two you do a quick brainstrom roadblock session.

    “We like this idea. Why won’t it happen? What must we do to make it happen? Is there a better way to make it happen.”

    Execution of great ideas is also a very important issue that you can use the wisdom of the group to gather.

  • Bob July 7, 2007, 9:21 PM

    I second the 2 GB of RAM. Not only is it necessary if you do decide to run MS Fista, er, Vista, but the unused RAM goes for filesystem cache, which improves performance and battery life.

    Get a glossy screen if you can. They are purdy.

    If you’re going to stay plugged in a lot get a 7200 RPM HDD. If you plan to go mobile a lot get the more energy-efficient (but slower performing) 5400 RPM disks.

    Screw Blu-ray drives, save yourself the $700.

    I’ve been looking at getting a Dell Inspiron 1520 with an Intel T7500 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB disk, GeForce Go 8600M, 802.11n wireless, 15.4″ screen, etc. $2100. I’ll probably wait until late fall, though, hoping that the hybrid solid state hard disks appear…

  • spocko July 8, 2007, 2:12 PM

    I’ll second Bob’s comments on size of ram and staying away from MS Fistla. My Toshiba with a glossy screen is great. Blu-Ray agreed too oversold.

    One thing that I normally wouldn’t suggest, but I did with the laptop was get the extended warrenty since I haul the laptop around alot. They are more fragile than they want to tell you and the AIG warranty that I got had a provision that I had to DIG to find. If you get your screen smashed due to someone tripping on your cord and it breaking, they will cover a replacement screen. But not all warranties have that.

    I’ve already used the warranty to replace the powersupply brick. 125 bucks (out of 400) so that’s not a total waste yet.

    And I’ll recommend a piece of software, Clipmate by Throne Soft. One of the most useful utilities I own. It’s like a minidatabase for your cut and pasting activity.

  • Maitri July 9, 2007, 9:48 AM

    Having hauled around my fair share of laptops and never having broken one, I’ll take my chances. Then again, as Mark F can attest to, there have been certain liquids spilled on laptops which the warranty covers. I always buy Dell and you can purchase the warranty even after the oops.

    Don’t worry, pets, I have my own IT guy at home, who will hook me up well!

  • missedexit July 9, 2007, 12:04 PM

    Came through Adrastos’ blog. Tried to get to the Simpsons’ avatar site & ended up at Miller Beer site, not that there’s anything wrong with Miller beer, but I’d rather hit the Simpsons’ site.

  • Maitri July 9, 2007, 12:10 PM

    Fixed, thanks for pointing it out. The link should have instead been for Duff, eh?

  • missedexit July 9, 2007, 4:07 PM

    Thanks for the Simpsons site/avatar, very cool!

  • Alan Gutierrez July 13, 2007, 4:05 PM

    Please become a Mac user! Come join us. You can always run Windows using Parallels.

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