Archive for May 2007
I’ve been using Mac OSX for less than a year and only now I’ve started playing with metadata. I’ve accumulated quite a number of PDF documents and I have lots of photos on my hard drive and to me the most natural thing seemed to add comments (actually tags, using the trick to prepend a “&” to each tag for ease of searching in Spotlight) either through the Finder “Get Info” window or through iPhoto’s interface.
The problem is that I often use the Terminal to do a variety of tasks and a lot of the commands that I use on a daily basis do not play well at all with Finder comments: for example if you use cp or mv to move files around, the affected files will not keep their Comment entry. This is because the metadata is not kept with the file (possibly using the extended attributes) but instead is stored in the .DS_Store file located in the parent directory of any given file. Neither rdiff-backup nor rsync (which I often use to transfer files to a Linux server) play well with metadata and you risk that your backup does not properly keep the Finder (or iPhoto) Comment. If instead you move files around with Finder (or use other backup solutions like Super Duper), your metadata will smoothly follow the files in their new location.
For a short while I toyed with the idea to code a cp/mv replacement, either through a bash or python script, but for the moment I decided that I would like at least to be able to create a backup (snapshot) of all the current Finder/iPhoto comments.
I know this isn’t surely new, but I just discovered that Stanford and UC Berkeley have made available on-line a number of faculty interviews and seminars through iTunes. Actually you won’t find this content directly on the iTunes Music Store but you need to go their respective iTunes U web sites and click a link to be taken to the dedicated area in iTunes. “Stanford on iTunes U” can be reached here, while UC Berkeley’s is here.
The geek in me has already found some interesting content there, notably the Computer Systems Colloquium laboratory at Stanford, with an interesting lecture (available in video) from Professor Dave Patterson on the Berkeley View on Parallel Computing. On the UC Berkeley iTunes site are, among others, the audio recordings of lectures from Professor Jan Rabaey on Low Power Design (some slide material can be found on his homepage at Berkeley). For anyone interested in low-power design techniques, those are a must read!
I’m sure there are many other universities that have their own iTunes U sites. I mentioned the two I researched so far that have the most material close to my professional domain.
Just stumbled on a nice video tour of Intel’s D1D Fab in Oregon, where the 45nm process is being ramped up. The guide is Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow and director of the Technology and Manufacturing Group. The video can be found here, and here you can find a little fact sheet by the video’s author.