MacOSX Diagnostics

Brian’s XServe is acting up, and we’re trying to figure out wtf went wrong, and trying to work with his IT folks that are managing the box for him.

In our quest for answers, I came across these resources (which have been dutifully bookmarked, delicioused, and added to my DevonThinkPE cache). I’m adding them here as well…

They’re trying to round up a hardware diagnostic CD to check RAM, motherboard, etc… Here’s hoping for good backups…

UPDATE: Looks like it was a stick of RAM that decided to go south. Hopefully the many power cycles and reboots didn’t scramble any data…

NetNewsWire 2.0 beta 10 does enclosures!

Haven’t tested it out, but the latest NetNewsWire beta now supports downloading enclosures (even automagically into iTunes). It didn’t trigger on all of the old enclosures in my 300-odd feeds (I shudder to think about all of the bandwidth sucked up if I have to download all enclosures in all feeds…), and there haven’t been any new ones today to test, but this looks promising!

There are a whole buncha updates in the latest beta, too. Feels much snappier (but that might be an optical delusion), and the UI has been cleaned up a bit (including a CSS Zen Garden-ish style sheet selector widget).

Smart List options still don’t include “Date” (for selecting items within a date range, for instance), but I’m sure that’s in the works

UPDATE: My personal pet peeve bug in previous betas appears to have been fixed. In older versions, if I was reading items that were trickling into the New Items folder as the feeds were being updated, all kinds of funkiness could happen, often with things like “Grr!” or “Crap!” accompanying them…

UPDATE: Podcast download worked like a charm – it just automagically picked up Dave Winer‘s New Year’s Eve episode of Morning Coffee Notes. Neatly added to iTunes, with proper genre etc… Cool.


I’ve heard from my brother, who is building a house in Phuket. He’s fine, and his house is still there. Can’t say the same for the waterfront, or the tourists that were going for a pleasant morning swim.

An old friend of mine is from Sri Lanka, and his wife is from India. I wasn’t sure which parts of the countries their families are in, but was hoping for the best. I heard from him last night, and all of their family members are OK, in unaffected regions.

I simply can’t imagine the sheer scale of this disaster. Individual photos and videos are scary enough. But when looked at from space, with an overall perspective, with the death toll officially over 70,000 82,000 122,000 155,000 (and unofficially 470,000) at the moment (and rising daily), I’m just stunned.

That’s like 25 30-45 43-47 55-167 World Trade Center disasters. In one day. And rising as rescuers and officials make it into more remote areas.

UPDATE: While channel surfing, I passed by an interview with some joker who proclaimed “This disaster is second only to 9/11″ – yeah. Second to that, except that it’s now well over 50 times (in the range of two orders of magnitude!) bigger.

Second, because that joker didn’t know any of the people killed/injured/devastated by the disaster. (neither do I, thank God – but that doesn’t lessen the scope of the disaster)

I’m still trying to imagine the sheer scale of this (what proportion of Calgary would that be? (over 15%) How many U of C campuses? (over 5) ) and this guy so totally misses it.

DevonThink Personal Edition now has WikiLinks!

I just switched back from NotationalVelocity to DevonThink Personal Edition – the big reason? DTPE now has automatic (as well as explicit) linking between entries, in wiki style. And a whole bunch of new features, too. Sweet.

Now, if only it would get the auto-find-on-keystroke interface (like Launchbar or Quicksilver, but just for the content in the app) done like NotationalVelocity has… That would be the perfect personal content management system…

Bashpodder – iPodder Aggregator in 44 lines of BASH

I’ve tried a bunch of iPodder aggregator programs. None have turned my crank. They’ve been quirky, unreliable, misbehaving beasts. All I want is a simple, faceless app that reliably sucks down the enclosures from a set of feeds.

Bashpodder is perfect! It’s a BASH script, with a grand total of 44 lines of code (many of them are comments). You feed it a list of RSS feeds, and it sucks down the enclosures. It works fine via Crontab, so it can run invisibly in the background.

I’m running it now on the APOLLO XServe (I’ll migrate it to my desktop box after the break), and it’s slowly crunching through the backlog of podcasts I’ve missed. After it’s caught up, I’ll schedule it to run every morning at some ungodly hour so I get all the bandwidth I need, and the podcasts will be ready for me to drop onto the iPod first thing in the morning…

It would also be trivial to deploy Bashpodder as an auto feed mirror, complete with .m3u playlist files (but I’m not planning on doing that…)

Blended Learning Strategic Advisory Council?

We were talking today about how to be more strategic with our various inter-related projects (and specifically with the communication of status and plans), and the idea of some form of blended learning strategic advisory council was raised. The theory would be to have representatives from various organizations (University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Alberta Learning, BCCampus, and any other relevant organizations) working together to share strategic planning for projects related to blended learning.

The goal for us is to move our efforts into a more transparent setup, so communication with partners and interested organizations would become easier and more effective.

This would provide a clearinghouse for information related to the various projects (APOLLO, Pachyderm, BCCampus, SciQ, Mavericks, etc…) so balls don’t get dropped, and everyone is on the same page.

We’ll be putting together a proposal over the next few weeks, and I’ll post updates as they happen.

Anyone have any thoughts on this idea?

Northern Voice Speakers Announced

The Speakers and Schedule for Northern Voice were just announced. That looks like a pretty full docket – and one heck of a fine bunch of speakers. The problem is going to be choosing which sessions to attend ;-)

My day will look like this:

  • Tim Bray’s keynote
  • Robert Scoble’s session
  • Tod Maffin on Podcasting
  • Stephen Downes on Community Blogging
  • Intro to Blogging (panel, including DJ Wiki himself)
  • Multimedia Content (panel, including Marc Canter)
  • Tools demo
  • Very quick bite
  • sprint for the airport…

ps. please forgive them for their evil “browser detection” script, for they know not what they do…