Archive for November, 2010

Birth Blog Announcement of Evan Clare

Monday, November 22nd, 2010
Doing tricks for Aunt Shealyn

My wife Lindsay and I are excited to announce the birth of our first child: Evan Isaac Clare

Evan was born on Tuesday November 16th 2010 at 19:33 at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ontario Canada. He was born 7 pounds 10 ounces, 8 lbs 4 as of Monday November 22nd.

His four grandparents, two aunts, one uncle and many others in the GTA have all had a chance to hold him. He’s even been held by one of his three great grandmothers.

Thanks to everyone who have sent their congratulations, cards gifts and love. He’s blessed to be born into such a caring community.

Full gallery can be found here

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Lindsay and I have setup a private web site with a lot more pictures of us and Evan. If you feel like your one of our close friends who should have access and don’t please send one of us a E-Mail and we’ll be sure to make sure that happens. At a later date I’ll create a post that describes how a leashed a GMail account to a PHP script and private web site to allow us to send updated pictures of Evan from our smart phones so that our close friends and family could see the little guy’s cuteness ASAP but giving as a lot of control over those images.

AppleJack free disk maintenance tool for OSX

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

If you use a Mac, and you haven’t had a chance to install it yet, I’d like to recommend AppleJack.

AppleJack is a free open source tool that automates the basic UNIX tools are a few other basic maintenance tasks for OSX. All things someone comfortable with the command line could do themselves, but AppleJack automates the process and more. It’s routine repairs disk contents, repairs permissions, validate the system’s preference files, and gets rid of possibly corrupted cache files.

In my experience AppleJack is as good or better than commercial OSX maintenance tools and makes the most of the proven command line disk maintenance tools that come with almost all UNIX operating systems.

Once you have visited and downloaded and installed AppleJack it is ready to be run. To run it restart in Single User Mode (SUM), by holding down Command + S keys at startup, and then when prompted type applejack, or applejack auto (which will run through all the tasks automatically), or applejack auto restart (which will also restart the computer automatically at the end of the process).

One of my favourite features of AppleJack is that it lets you issue commands like applejack auto shutdown to have it run through its whole routine and shutdown the computer when it’s done. A great task to run at the end of the day, and it looks really hacker-cool when its running.

I run AppleJack every once and a while, or when something goes wrong for un-explained reasons. Occasionally it catches problems and alerts me, but mostly I feel the benefits of good computer hygiene.

Integrating others’ works into your own: My practices

Monday, November 8th, 2010

I am not a lawyer, and I am not prepared to give legal advice. That said, here are some general practices for dealing with copyrighted works that respect the tradition of academia and are influenced by the current realities in Canadian intelectual property developments. This is the same advice that I’ve been giving my Interactive Arts and Sciences students in the two courses I teach at Brock University.

Three important principles are:

Access Canada (formally CanCopy) which gives educational exceptions to copyright does not apply on-line, only to some paper-based situations.
The distinction between “taking” or “making” a copy versus referring others to an artifact is very important.
“Fair Dealing” (“Fair Use” in the U.S.) is not well defined. There are exceptions for small portions of a text for educational use or satire etc., but there is no set amount. Canadian judges have not created a test, like a percentage, for all types of media. However, for practical reasons many individuals and institutions have chosen “workable” number with the advice of legal council.

Linking is almost always a good idea. Many court cases in the US and Canada have held that you are not liable for directing people to something hosted/posted by someone else that violate copyright. For example, showing a YouTube video posted by someone else should not leave you liable. Additionally, most of the library’s agreements with journal providers insist students are linked to the articles, NOT downloaded and redistributed.


Reusing artifacts, or otherwise including images and other media from the web. Any explicit prohibition from reusing work trumps anything else; an image with a copyright logo or ‘not for reuse’ message would unsurprisingly prevent reuse. In the absence of those types of messages, using a work with a citation *should* be fine.