Obama Addressing Students

I can tell you my first "political memory", it was January 21, 1981, I was 11 years old. When was came to school that day TV sets were in the classroom. By mid day we were watching Ronald Reagan's Inauguration. I remember the Pomp and Circumstance around the event. As it was a Catholic school we prayed for the President, and for the Hostages released from Iran that day. Where President Reagan wasn't addressing the students directly, I do feel I learned a lot that day. I also learned a lot about the meaning of the Presidency some from Reagan's speech, some from the teacher afterwards. To be honest, I suspect my belief that the government is not the solution to problems may have come directly from that speech. Now, I don't believe in everything Reagan represented but that one thing stays with me to this day. It occurs to me that from the people I've stayed in touch with there's a pretty even split between conservatives and liberals but the majority of them are politically active or at least aware. I think any interest I have in politics today can be traced back to that day and I suspect that other people in that class would feel the same. So, I have to ask a question, in the last 28 years how did we get from a point where people would believe that a President addressing the youth of the nation might be the worst thing to happen to humanity? As I read tweets and blog entries there is a lot of "OMG! Obama is coming for the children. Lock them in the cellar for their own good!" out there and quite frankly it scares me. I didn't come out of the Reagan Inauguration an Alex P Keaton ultra-conservative clone, and I don't believe that children will come out of the school that day as full fledged socialists. I would like to believe that they will come out of school more politically aware as I and my classmates did.
    Posted: Sep 7, 2009

It's The End Of My Hard Drive As I Know It and I Feel Fine or Why I'm Running Tiger on Snow Leopard Weekend.

So, I had some disturbing news this weekend, my MacBook Pro, Zen, had his hard drive die on me and unlike most folks who have had a drive crash, I'm not panicked, once I figure out how I am going to work over the next few days until Apple can replace the drive I've been doing what I need to get an old machine up and running. ## What Happened ## So I was doing general decrufting to prepare for the snow leopard upgrade things started feeling wanky. Emptying caches took longer then it should've. Repairing permissions and scanning the disk were throwing errors. I dropped out to single user mode and ran fsck on the drive. Then it happened the drive start throwing I/O errors and I knew it was on it's last legs. I couldn't get the machine to boot after that. Like his namesake I think I heard Zen say "I have failed you. I am sorry. I ...", and yes it was the first time I heard Zen refer to itself as I. Initially I was panicked, then I thought for a minute. I had just done a full system backup to prepare for the upgrade. All my critical data is stored on [dropbox](https://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTQ0ODcwOQ) so I didn't need to worry about losing data. The IT gods were looking out for me, I have all my data, the AppleCare on that machine expires Next month, so the repair would is free now but would cost me money by the end of next month. To quote a baseball legend, "today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth". ## The Pleasure In Dealing With The Apple Store ## This is third time since I bought this machine that I've had to go to the apple store for a repair. The first involved the keyboard (probably caused by me eating one too many lunches over the keybaord) the second was the power supply shorting out. In ever case dealing with them has been a pleasure. The one thing that surprises me geniuses is that they always seem to trust my technical skills, unlike other technical support folks. For example when I got to the apple store without an appointment last night their first reaction was that I'd need to make an appointment, however once I explained the triage I had done, they were aware that all I'd need to do is drop off the machine since I had already done as much as the genius would do before tagging it for a repair. The other thing that surprises me was how willing the geniuses are to take your word. A genius called this morning to confirm that it will take a couple of days to do the repair and he talked about what happened. After I explained that I was prepping for the Snow Leopard upgrade the genius said they'd install Snow Leopard and iLife '09 on the machine. He didn't ask for proof I bought Snow Leopard or iLife '09 he just told me that they would install it since I said my plan was to do the install. This really impressed me, I expected that the machine would come back to me in its original state (tiger, iLife original, etc) instead of with the software I said I'm running on it. It might be that geniuses are trained to be very careful with folks who's machines are being reparied, it might be the classic pre-mac Apple ][ plate on outside of the MBP. Either way it was refreshing. ## How Will I Survive Until The Laptop Is Fixed ## Like I said before, I'm lucky. A while back I gave a friend of mine, Helen, my old MacBook when I upgraded to the Pro (I upgraded because the machine was a little underpowered for my needs) as part of a plan to get her to join the dark side and become a switcher. Something that worked she loves the computer and it has become her person non-work machine. WHen I told her about my predicament she gladly loaned me the old MacBook so I could work for a few days until I can get Zen back in his Snow Leopard form. The interested thing is that this Mac is still running Tiger so little things are driving me crazy (no spaces, a couple of 10.5 apps that I miss, etc) But at the end of the day I'm grateful that this went down the way it did.
    Posted: Aug 29, 2009

Blog Hiatus

Folks who follow my tweets / facebook /etc know I've been up to my ears in a project. I've got to put seanreiser.com on hiatus for a couple of weeks until I get things running smoothly with this new client.
    Posted: Aug 27, 2009

Thoughts about the Facebook FriendFeed Merger

Just got done listening to the latest [FFundercats "emergency chat podcast"](http://www.ffundercats.com) discussing the Facebook / FriendFeed merger. Of course there's a lot of fear around this from the community. Will they merge the 2 systems? If I'm only a friendfeed user, will I have to get a facebook account in order to retain all the things I've posted in friendfeed? If they merge the 2 systems will my contacts be merged? Will my Facebook friends be able to see my FriendFeed activity or vice versa? Will I have to become Steven Perez's bunneh vampire? Actually we all know that DYSP's bunneh vampires will take over the world but I digress. First off, I'd like to say that I don't they that the FF guys owe us a thing. They built a service, let us play there and now they've found their way to make money, good for them. Let me let you in on a secret, that's why they started FriendFeed, that wanted to profit. Other then the fact that they should've let Scoble break the story, I don't think anyone else was "screwed". It's funny, we never learn. This happens with communities all the time on the net: 6apart, blogger, flickr and youtube all leap to mind. And everytime it happens people are outraged and yell and scream "You Owe Me". Well, in the case of a free service, especially one that doesn't have any advertising, we're owed nothing. We got to play in a playground, they got to prove something has value and that's that. If can't handle that level of disappointment, don't play in their sandbox. If you're not backing up your activity on these services you haven't been paying attention web startups there past 15 years. I plan that if I'm not capturing some I post and put it into a DB that I control and backup, it's going to be gone. It's a risk we take with every web service we use. So if you want to keep your tweets, your facebook statuses, comments you make on other blogs, your own blog posts make sure you have an extra copy. Part of the reason I'm running a lifestream at [play with keyboard](http://playwithkeyboard.com) is to backup my activity into a separate database that I control (I'm still importing older content that I have stored on my homebox). Now, I do have some concerns about cross contamination of the groups. I really work hard at siloing my friends. Where there is cross contamination, I really reserve facebook for people I actually know and linkedIN for people I've worked with but I liberally add "interesting people" or just people who post interesting things on friendfeed and twitter. It's funny I share the same information on most of these networks, it's just a matter of siloing what's coming in to me. If I have only a few minutes I'm more likely to scan facebook statuses then FF or tweets. Ironically you are more likely to be my friend if you're a facebook connection then a friendfeed friend (I'll rail on using the word friend for any of this some other day). This might be the number one reason why a [decentralized network](http://rsscloud.org/) is important. But that's a discussion for another day.
    Posted: Aug 11, 2009