Thoughts from a Fighting Photographer

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Merry Christmas

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Learning Wordpress

Tech pendants claim that it is not IF your hard drive will fail but WHEN will your hard drive fail.
Well this date was this past Aug. on my 24″ iMac with a 1TB hard drive.

Think now of all of the data on your hard drive currently. Will you be ready for disaster?

Replace Hard DriveThis failure (disaster?) can be manageable. First it did force my hand into purchasing a new 27″ iMac with a lot more RAM. No longer will Photoshop grind slowly in the background. A silver lining you say.

Necessity is truly the mother of learning. Here are the other aspects that the dead hard drive have forced my hand into doing.
The first was that I felt that I could replace the hard drive. Why? Because as any good geek, it was a challenge and besides what did I have to lose? Success! Thanks to instructions from ifixit.com, the machine is back in operation as a backup media computer. Still using Snow Leopard for the OS, because “if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it”

All is not lost!

Thankfully I had the insight to actually have a workflow that included regular backups.  I currently use a Drobo FS as my NAS for both data and music, but more importantly, ALL of the digital photographs that I have taken over a long period of time.  A hard drive failure is the digital equivalent of a house fire for all of your photographic prints.  😦

Backups work! Go do one after you finish reading this blog!   One month after the computer died; the Drobo lost one of its drives. Oh No! It worked as it should.  The drive was replaced without even a hiccup in data. I have also gone and increased my storage capacity on my Drobo.  Bring on the data.

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Now for the last of the problems!  The only thing that was NOT backed up was the files to alter the web pages to my photographic site,  Northern Image Photography.  These had been save using iWeb. (Oh the shame of it.)  So here comes the last stage of the recovery .  I am in the process of converting my self-hosted sites over to WordPress sites.  Maybe this blog was my gateway drug to easy web pages!  I am leaning towards trying the
Luminescence Lite wordpress theme.  But I am open to suggestions….

Hopefully this learning curve won’t be too difficult.

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Blended E-Learning

E-learning and Digital Cultures

This is my submission of a “digital artifact” for the EDU MOOC.

The photo is entitled:Blended Learning

Blended E-Learning

This course has explored a variety of issues; the first of which was the concept of “utopia vs. dystopia” of computers in society.  My personal reason for engaging in this course was to examine strategies or methodologies to E-Learning.  As a secondary school science teacher we are constantly examining different methods of delivering courses to students.  I will be taking a course to develop a “Blended Learning” style of curriculum delivery to grade 11 biology students.

As teacher we have long ago shifted our paradigms from being “the Sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side”. No longer is material spouted socratically from the instructor; however the teacher must still be there to direct the students as to what to examine, and be able to assist in interpreting the material.  The internet and computers are/will be excellent tools to use in learning material.  The information will be universally obtainable; current; and open to further or deeper understanding.  It will also be strewn with inaccuracies; personal opinions versus actual fact; and political viewpoints.  It may be more important than ever to have a “real” human to guide students through the maze of blind links, and YouTube wannabees.

Will e-learning be the panacea of education? I don’t think so! I attempted to complete two MOOCs as an experiment as to one form of e-learning.  The first course I had high hopes for. It was advertised as “how to convert your face-to-face class into a robust online course based on theory and practice”. It folded and died within the first week of operation, presumably under its own sheer weight of students.  The course could not handle the volume of students and was not organized in its set-up.  The robust online course was comprised on a “talking head” on a video reading the subtitles. It has yet to be revived.

This course was at least interesting and entertaining to consider the concepts supplied by the various videos and reading. Yet, and this may be due to my rigid science background, I am still longing for more substance on e-learning. Yes it was advertised as “not a how to do” course, but “to view online educational practices”.
Blended e-learning is my hope for the evolution of education.  There is a wealth of material out there that should make text books obsolete!  Let us just hope that the pedagogical pendulum does not swing to the full extreme of removing the knowledgeable guides. When that day comes, just remember three words….

klaatu barada nikto


Hello world!

Hello World has always been the traditional “first” program run to test your code. I guess it is kind of fitting as the default first blog that anyone writes. Myself, I prefer:

The HAL 9000 computer from the Discovery. Space 2001.

Hello Dave

Hello Dave!

This has a much more modern feel to it. Computers are not just an appliance that can be used.

Computers have a life force of their own. You, as the user, need to understand and join with this force to have any computer do exactly what you want. If you don’t, the machine rebels. You know the signs…a paragraph in Word will not line up; a file will not allow you to copy it, etc. Computers can be paranoid and vindictive. Isn’t that right HAL!

So what is the purpose of this blog? This will be my attempt to pacify the demons. It will journal my struggles with both my photography and my computing literacy. It will document my fight to balance digital art and the life forces in computing. This “fighting photographer” does not only describe the fact that I practice Taekwon-do but that I fight to get perfection in my photos, my techniques in digital manipulations and I fight to get the spirits of the computers to allow me to do these things.

Human life was never meant to be easy. One is probably most alive in the fight for existence. Welcome to part of my fight. So cheer, or put on the gloves and stand shoulder to shoulder and fight with me. Feel alive.

And by the way HAL, start singing “Daisy Bell”… you should be afraid.