Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Strange Windows Update

When I popped on to the computer last night, I had an update request from one of the friendly icons perched on the bottom of my screen. "A new update is ready for your computer" it's thought balloon informed me.

I dutifully clicked on it and it began the update. I was taken aback when I realized what kind of program it wanted to install into my Windows directory. This new program would take a look at my Windows file, then tell me whether I had previously installed a pirated version of Windows and whether I needed to upgrade to a legitimate version. Well, since I bought the computer from Dell, with the Windows installed, I have a great deal of confidence that it was not a pirated version of the software.

It was the request that bothered me.

"Excuse me, can I come in and check for stolen goods?"

"What? Of course I don't have any stolen goods, I am a law abiding citizen."

"Then of course you don't mind if we invite ourselves in to just have a look around."

At least that's what it felt like. And coming in the guise of an update made it doubly troubling to me.

So I ended up not only canceling the update, but also checking the box which said not to ask to update this piece again. Which of course now makes me paranoid that a note has been taken somewhere that I am "uncooperative".

Monday, March 26, 2007

Living and Working 207

I'm excited to be started a new quarter today here at the University of Washington, Tacoma. I will be teaching a course with the same title as this blog. One of the unique aspects of this course as opposed to the others I teach is that it is not for Computing and Software Systems students but is open up to to the rest of the campus.

This is also the first time I am teaching a sophomore level course. Until just recently only upper division courses were taught at the UWT and the first freshmen class only started this last fall.

Whenever there are younger students coming through a course such as this one, I end up learning quite a bit myself. It is one thing to read the trades, go to the conferences and attend the dinner meetings, special interest groups and poke around on your own, but it is another to have discussions with those who have been raised on the technology and are finding new uses for it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Evite as a Event Tool for Galleries

Linda Danforth, founder of the Tacoma Arts Cooperative, uses Evite as a method for announcing shows and events. I was talking to her about the effectiveness of the website and the results she had experienced using it. Two interesting points. One, it is an effective announcement tool for tracking RSVPs, attracting attention and getting people to save dates. It is also good for it's reminder capability. The downside, and point two, is that many email accounts are now looking at the evites as SPAM and may not be getting the message to the intended recipients. Linda mentioned that about half of those she sent evites to did not open up the email. These are friends of the artist and also people who have responded in the past. It may also be that so much information was in the heading, including date, time and place, that many may have gotten all the information they needed. Still, she is thinking of going to individual emails for announcements in the future. I can see this as being a good supplement, but I also like the features that come with www.evite.com in regards to an event preparation tool.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Artists Using Technology

I am always looking for examples of how artists are making technology an integral part of their working lives. Not so much from a production standpoint, but rather from a sales, marketing and distribution standpoint. This requires a greater business sense and leverages opportunities to save time, make money and reach customers in ways the struggling artist has not been able to in the past.

One small example occurred today when I was invited to a showing of art jewelery. Unfortunately the WSA Industry Achievment awards are the same evening, and since I was a judge for the latter, I cannot attend the former. However, the event sounds great, the artist is wonderful and I received the invitation through Evite. There is a good chance that the electronic invitation was propagated through a predetermined email list. The invitation itself was nicely designed and there was an automated reminder sent as well.

I wonder how many artists are utilizing the likes of an Evite in order to draw a crowd to their shows?

Monday, March 19, 2007

The South Sound Collage

I have been working with the Creative Cities Leadership Series initiatives with the Chamber of Commerce in Tacoma. Several initiatives came out of the first week of meetings including research toward the development of a Arts Incubator. This incubator would also be supported by and help support a technology driven ecosystem to make working artists more viable financially.

Today the group behind the effort met and a lot of the discussion surrounded a television show now under pre-production called "Collage". It will focus on South Puget Sound artists, art history, art venues and works of art. Hopefully the production of the half hour show will start in the Spring and be ready for air by Summer or even beforehand.

In the meanwhile, Paul Schrag is leading the charge toward the necessary feasibility assessment that will be done. This will include artists lofts and living space, rehearsal and gallery space and hopefully co-op equipment and recording/production facilities.

It will take some time, but could development into a thriving centerpiece to an already active arts community.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Quick Corrections

Alec was very good about handling the correction. He has subsequently posted it on his blog.


Good Review, Wrong Name

It was nice to see a strong review for Big River in the The News Tribune today. The one fault I had with it was painful. Though they thought highly of my character and the performance, they attributed it to the wrong actor. Funny. So much for clipping that one. Still, it is always nice to get validation as an actor.


Hopefully you have seen the press release from the EDB about Infoblox renewing its lease in Tacoma for another six years. Growing from sixty...