Sunday, September 17, 2006

Big in Sweden

Sweden is a wonderful country.
I would move there in a flash.
Love the food and the people and their outdoorsyness.
They are progresive and proud of their mixed economy and social welfare system.
Not sure about queing up to buy alcohol but hey no where is perfect.
Why am I so hot for Sweden?
Coz they have publish a story on me and my podcasting classes.
Podcasting is huge in education right now.
Every where you look someone is running a workshop on how to get your students into learning stuff through the magic of the pod.
I was so stoked with the publicity I bought myself a new Ipod for the family to "gift" me.
It plays videos an all.
It is semi justified by the fact it will come in handy to pacify my son with educational vodcasts.
National geographic, nature channel, one called Ecogeeks- all free too.
It is totally justified by the fact it is TAX DEDUCTABLE.
I always feel guilty buying stuff so I have to justify it to myself somehow.
Loving the new Itunes with the 3D flip through thingy.
Of course The Sydney Morning Herald is trying to beat it up as a lemon.
I feel I have to defend Apple.
I guess I'm branded and a Apple snob too.
But what other company generates such excitement about design and innovation?
Yes they arent perfect .I tried to argue with this Apple service guy the other day- it was like the scene from Dark Star where he argues with the computer.
Sorry Dave but i'm not programed for refunds or negotiation . This ship will self destruct in 5 seconds......
But I love them all the same.
That's customer loyalty for ya.
It works on gut feelings not rational thought processes.
Why do some people hate Macs so much?
I usually retort "What are you- a communist? You want the whole world on one operating system?"
Sometimes it works.
If they remember what a communist is.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dilemmas of a Cyber Dad

Computers and technology are a twin edged sword.
It can cut both ways.
Sorry if that's stating the bleeding obvious but that's a nice way to lead into today's rasp.
There is an almost overwhelming tide of information flowing into my world at the moment.
I have to try and stay on top of developments in technology and audio software in order to teach my eager students.
(strangely, some of them are.)
Mining manuals, jigging guides, scouring sources, translating textbooks, fossicking on forums, it is a relentless quest for knowing a little bit more.
Of course the goal posts aren't being are just being shifted, they are driving porches, leaving you eating the dust of last months upgrade.
It's like you're mapping the coastline but the Teutonic plates are shifting every afternoon.
I geta few freebie Quick start guides and the like but by Jimminy they go out of date fast.
I was teaching podcasting with Audacity on PC then switched to Garageband on Macs.
Garageband is great for podcasting except for a few strange foibles like you cant export to MP3.
Meanwhile the new Beta version of Audacity is also a vast improvement.
You can move tracks around in relation to each other, reduce noise and export to mp3.
So I now use them both.
that's as well as
Cubase SX3- a very powerful but complicated audio app.
Reason-a totally awesome virtual studio.
Protools LE -simple and reliable
Not to mention all the other bit and pieces.
Even Itunes (which a groovey new version was released today) has got more and more complicated.
So I'm using all these programs and trouble shooting my Mac Lab (coz students do the strangest things when they don't know what they are doing).

Sometimes I have to go for a long walk in the bush , far away form things that go bleep and crash.
Another new problem is my two sons.
Marlon is 8 and has a type of Autism called Aspergers Syndrome.
He wants to be on the computer 24/7.
Now my other son Logan who is two can navigate his way around (this is kinda spooky to watch) the Mac I get no chance to get online at all.
Except for my secret Wi Fi hotspot that is.
Down the back of my house I can log in.
I don't know who paying for it but I thank them here.
Whoever you are you are saving my arse fella.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dont feed the Non-Natives?

Watched "the New World" the other night which is the story of Pocahontas shot in a very realistic but dream like way by Terence Malick who made the Thin Red Line.
These stories of first contact between Native people and White men always choke me up.
I just want to yell -"Dont trust em-they will ruin everything".
Which is basically what Colin Farrell as Captain Smith says to Poc.
But she trusts him and almost gets taken to the cleaners but she survives and actually grows to have the supreme satifaction of rejecting Captain Smith years later.
Still in the minds of Native Americans was she a traitor coz without her the first settlers would surely have perished?
In the film they seem to have a perfect life. Hunting, fishing ,hanging out, smoking peace pipes. It looks ideal esp. compared to the white trash settlers who argue and spout the gospels as they cheat each other.
It is a wonderful film if you like long, love stories and frolicking in the fields.
There is a bit of carnage but probably not enough to interest the lads.
You see I want to go back to pre-Columbus America or pre-Cook Australia.
For a visit at least.
I want to work out whether they were happier than us.
Whether they smiled more than us.
Laugh more than us.
Argued less.
All those barrometers of well being.
Whether they were depressed and over-ate.
Whether they couldn't get up in the morning.
Or killed each other as much.
Or worked as hard.
Coz our modern life is a wonderful gift but to what can I compare my modern life.
I'm looking for a scientific control so we can acertain if it's all been worth it.
Progress and it's relentless march.
Does it play the tune you hum along to?