Pachyderm Kickoff Meeting Wrapping Up

The big Pachyderm 2.0 Kickoff Meeting in San Francisco is just about wrapping up now. It’s been amazing the last couple of days. This group is simply incredible, with representatives from museums, universities, colleges, and the corporate world.

And they all Get it. The energy and excitement in the group is tangible. They are here for the collaboration and the process, not for fame or fortune. It’s awesome.

We’ve broken off into working groups. I’ve been placed into the Software group and the Metadata/Interoperability group.

We should have our reference Pachyderm server running in the Learning Commons by early next week (we’ll be restoring a Ghost image of SFMOMA’s Making Sense of Modern Art exhibit server).

REALLY looking forward to playing around with Pachyderm, and seeing what kinds of things it can (and, perhaps more importantly, can’t) do.

Project updates on the PachyBlog.

APOLLO Sherlock Search Prototype

I’ve just put together a prototype Sherlock channel for APOLLO. Easy peasy tool to write (actually, 99% of it is the default Sherlock channel template file, with a couple of minor tweaks.

This is starting to feel much more useful (to me, anyway). An all-in-one application interface for searching and viewing learning objects.

Next, I want to complete the tool to use a SOAP interface (rather than the DOM-based screen-scraping it’s using now) so I can have a little more control over what gets sent where. Sherlock made the screen-scraping version much easier than the SOAP version, though…

APOLLO Sherlock Channel Prototype

(click on image for bigger version)

Panther Rocks! (or, Loving the Cat…)

Panther simply rocks. At first, I thought it would take a while to get used to Expose (I am/was a die-hard Virtual Desktop user) but I’m actually quite liking it. The whole thing feels like a much faster OS (not sure if it actually is or not – who cares? perception is everything).

This is a scaled screenshot of Expose at work. The effect is awesome when viewed live (check out the vidoes on the Apple site). It’s surprising how much info you can have available at once…

In this screenshot, I’ve got Mail, NetNewsWire Lite, Safari, iChatAV, OmniOutliner, several Finder windows, 2 Keynote presentations, OmniGraffle, iTunes, Transmit, BBEdit, DEVONthink PE, Terminal, and a few other utility windows that blew off the screen when Expose activated. All playing together nicely.

Never thought I’d like a cat – very much a dog person… Maybe the next build will have a canine code name?
Expose at work.

Killing MT Spam Dead

I just came across the MT-Blacklist plugin for MovableType. It seems like the perfect solution to the extremely annoying problem of weblog spam.

Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve had to remove over 100 spam comments on this weblog. Over 99% of them were apparently from bot software that spiders the blog to bump up the Google ranking of the target site.

Anyway, long story short, I’ve installed this plugin (relatively painless), and it doesn’t require any modification to the MT code. Just drop 3 files into place, make sure you’ve got Storable.pm on your system, and configure away…

I’m crossing my fingers on this. I was |– THIS CLOSE –| to disabling all comments on this weblog because I’ve wasted too much time removing the unwelcomed spam (and much thanks to Yahoo! for doing SFA to stop their users from spreading this garbage.)

UPDATE: It’s been a week, and no comment spam! YAY!

What features do YOU want to see in a “Learning Object Repository” ?

We’re still in the planning stages for the next version of the software that runs CAREO and friends.

This would be a Good Time to send in wish lists for things that you would like a learning object repository to do, things you like/dislike/can’t stand about the current version of CAREO, or even (especially) Pie-In-The-Sky wishes/dreams about what you would like to see.

Ideally, feature requests would point toward making the software more usable in a real-life context (i.e., “This is what it will take for me to use LO Repositories in the classroom…” etc…)

Anything goes. If you can, attach a priority to the request (I MUST HAVE… I would kinda like… etc..)

Feel free to post requests in the comments section here, or send them in by email or AIM/iChatAV.

Note, this is similar to an earlier request I made, which focussed on the server software side of things. Here, I’m more concerned with functions/features/interface from a user’s perspective.