Journey to the center of the iPod vortex

My iPod Photo fits nicely into my Macromedia team jacket.Today, I shoved off into the brave new iPod world as the vortex has finally sucked me in. Today, I am no longer an iPod virgin. My iPod Photo has finally arrived, and the world is good again.

Seriously, I decided it was time to take a look at all that iPod hacking, podcasting, and audio blogcasting going on. I've loaded up my modest mp3 collection of 1900+ songs in about an hour, and the Old 97's are happily humming along in my head right now. Just 8GB so far with plenty of elbow room for my entire digital photo collection.

The iPod phenomenon is really amazing, and I'm surprised that it took me this long to dive in. There are people who use it for just about every purpose under the sun. People who cook by it. People who just want to keep their iPod cozy and warm while still being stylish. Personally, I'd like to catch up with those who want to use it with Linux, and others who want to run Linux on it. So if you see me on the street just tap me on the shoulder coz I might not hear you ;-)

Using the the wireless network at the Concord Public Library

Today was my first experience using the wireless network since the library has reopened. I didn't ask anyone for instructions and just assumed I'd figure it out knowing that at least Windows XP would scan for available SSID network ids. Using my little WiFi Finder I discovered that the Periodical Room had the strongest signal at full strength, and the study in the corner beyond the Emerson statue had good reception but less than the periodical room. In the remainder of the library I could not detect a signal at all, including the Thoreau Room and the Rotunda. I chose to read in the study since I was looking for the quietest area and there are several walled desks lined up across the wall to limit visual distractions.

I'll spare you the detailed description with getting on the wireless network, but here's a few hightlights:

[More]

TalkingTree Blog joins up with GalaxyGoo Blog


I've recently had the honor to be invited as a guest blogger on GalaxyGoo which emphasizes the unique nexus of web technology and science. Today I've made my first introductory post to GalaxyGoo Blog. Since I've never had an "About Me" section on TalkingTree.com, I'm reposting my GalaxyGoo blog entry here to serve just that purpose.



About Me
Hello, my name is Steven Erat and I'm the new kid on the GalaxyGoo block, er..., blog. I've been invited by Kristin Henry of GalaxyGoo to contribute blog entries based on my experience in both scientific research and software development. You might even know me already from my blog on TalkingTree.com or through my employer Macromedia.

[More]

Concord Bookshop: A reading from local author Alan Lightman

A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit

Ten years have passed since I first met Alan Lightman when I heard him read from his second novel Good Benito at the Concord Public Library in 1995. I particularly enjoyed how Alan used highpitched, nasal tone when he read the part of Arnold Scalapino, a cantankerous old physicist that fell into recluse while living in Fells Point, in east Baltimore. I recall a shiver ran up my spine when Alan delineated familiar places in Fells Point like Aliceanna Street, The Horse You Came In On or the Cat's Eye Pub, as these places I knew very well since I had grown up in east Baltimore.



Once again, I had the pleasure of hearing him read, this time from his current book, A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit. A crowd had drawn this afternoon in the Concord Bookshop to listen to Alan read the first in a in this collection of essays.

[More]

Wired Magazine on Motor Neurons From Embryonic Stem Cells

Wired Magazine has a brief overview of the importance of a new paper published in Nature Biotechnology. The significance of the article centers around how coaxing stem cells to grow into specific cell types is governed not only by their immediate chemical environment but also the transient nature of that environment. So its all about the timing of what chemical signals are presented to the stem cells.

Being able to focus stem cell growth towards a specific cell type enables scientists to generate new cells to replace damaged or deficient cells of the same type. In this case, the creation of motor neurons from stem cells is a big leap towards solving spinal cord injury.

A former acquaintance Ole Isacson, a Harvard Neuroscientist, comments on the research in the report.

A good review of the state of stem cell research can be found here: Stem Cells - Hype and Hope

What's up around Concord?

This week the Concord Public Library launched it's new website. Some of the new features on the website include access to the Special Collections including original survey diagrams by Thoreau, as well as a Brief History of Concord.

Since April or May of this year the library has been closed while under renovations and additions. It's expected to reopen in January, and I supposed the new and improved website is part of the PR to build anticipation for the reopening. I for one have been anticipating the reopening for quite a while. I live just a couple blocks from it, and I can't wait to start spending my weekends there in new reading rooms. For me, the library has been particularly difficult to concentrate in because of the creaky floor boards.

[More]

Photo Gallery of Mexico: Oaxaca, Mont Alban, San Miguel de Allende

Click for Mexico Photo Gallery

[View My Photo Gallery] [ Travel Mexico with 3rd House Party]

What follows is an excerpt from a personal letter to a friend in Spain, made shortly after my return home from Mexico:

[August, 1999] For my trip to the south of Mexico I used the budget travel guide "Let's Go". When I arrived at the airport in Mexico City, I found that my luggage was lost, but I was so tired that I was having difficulty thinking& even in English! That night I went to a hotel where my reservations were made one week in advance and a clerk at the desk told me that I did not have a reservation. He denied that that I paid money, and told me that there was another hotel across the street. After some arguing, someone helped me out. The clerk finally returned my money, 130 Pesos and I left. It was clear that this clerk was lying and wanted to keep my money, and he immediately rented the room to someone else.

[More]

TalkingTree now using BlogCFC and Aura

My blogging frequency has recently dipped while I've been building a new blog that incorporates Ray Camden's supreme blogware, BlogCFC, and the Aura skin available from Leorex.

Some of you may have noticed growing pains this morning and last night as I pushed the new blog live, so thanks for hanging in there while the CSS glitches were worked out when I noticed some unexpected issues in MSIE after having done the majority of development with Firefox.

Blending the Aura skin with BlogCFC was suprisingly easy.

[More]

Hiking Mt. Moosilauke in Summer



Click to view photo gallery of this hike to Mt. Moosilauke!
This past weekend my wife and Ihiked to Mt. Moosilauke in the Western region of the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Trailheads start at the Dartmouth Outing Club's Ravine Lodge, on Rt 118 about 25 minutes from Lincoln, NH.


The Dartmouth College Ravine Lodge is an ideal starting point for a variety of hikes leading to Mt. Moosilauke. In summer, parking is freely available near the lodge. In winter, parking is available a mile away back at the Rt 118 entrance, and costs a few dollars.


Starting at the Ridge Trail trailhead, we completed a nine and a half mile loop that included the summit of Mt. Moosilauke. Ridge Trailto Beaver Brook Trail provides a less travelled and very scenic six mile route to the summit. The return trip can be made down Gorge BrookTrail or the Snapper Trail, each about three and a half miles. We completed the firstsix miles infive hours due to the ascent.Returning from the summitback down Carriage Trail and Snapper, the return to Ravine Lodge took just two hours.


Enjoy the photos!


See also:

Monster Resume Writing Service

I'd like to recommend the Monster resume writing service. Recently I decided it was time to update my resume, especially since my entire career history before Macromedia was in Biology, and I had nothing to reflect the professional computer skills and web-related technologies I've learned in the last 4 to 5 years. I've come a long way since my first BASIC program in 1981 or my first HTML page in 1994.


The service requires that you first complete one of 4 resume wizards, depending on which type is appropriate for your industry or career level. That wizard entails a very lengthy and highly detailed battery of questions requiring not only details and facts but short answers or essays. These questions address your professional career, educational background, certification levels, and has a variety of customizations. I spent 6 hours on a Saturday afternoon completing a wizard because I put a lot of thought into how I responded to questions such as:

[More]

Previous Entries / More Entries