Joshua Tree

        

I had never been to Joshua Tree before, which is somewhat weird, considering it’s so close to L.A. and my fondness for the outdoors. It was beautiful there. The rock formations were amazing. The boulders, rounded by thousands of years of sand blasting, made me feel like a kid on a jungle gym, leaping from boulder to boulder, scheming how I would make it a little bit higher. I did plenty of climbing.

It was like summer and then a Los Angeles winter. As soon as the sun set behind the rocks, the chill began to set in. A few hours after sunset and people were digging out more layers to stay warm.

It had been far too long since I slept in my tent. It was nice to be alone in the crammed space with just a few things around me to worry about. It really does just reinforce how much unncessary stuff I have in my life, but then again, I don’t live in a tent full-time. I’ve made a threat here and there about doing that very thing though. Somehow, I just think it would be a good thing to do for a while…or maybe not.

Despite it only being a short trip, it felt like I was out of town for days. It was energizing to be away from the lights of the city. Millions of stars lit up the night sky. If you looked in one area, you were sure to see a shooting stars. I wished, as we all sat around talking and playing guitar, that the moment could be re-created at a later date.

A Reminder

Plenty of you have already signed up on the Jeans And A T-Shirt guest list, but those of you who haven’t should do so immediately. In additon to getting a monthly email newsletter with guest list-only contests, giveaways and other treats, you’ll know about stuff before the other kids do. You’ll be a hit on the playground. Rocktober is upon us and we’re going all out to celebrate. Sign up and stay tuned.

Thursday Three – Concerts

1) What was the first concert you attended? The very first one was Pat Metheny. I don’t remember it very well, but I remember Pat’s mom making us gingerbread cookies arond the holidays. That’s kind of cool, eh? The first concert I remember well was Michael Jackson.

2) What was the most memorable (life changing) concert you ever attended? Why? This can change from day to day, but almost any time someone asks me this question, I usually say Radiohead at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas. The capacity was around 500 or less. They were touring on The Bends and decided to stop in the small club with less than a day’s notice. I was right in front and was so incredibly blown away at how incredible they were. I was listening to The Bends constantly and was just in awe of Thom Yorke. Man, now that I am thinking about it, I’m quite sure this was the best show I have ever seen. It was so loud and intense. I wish I could go back in time and see that show again…and again.

3) Do you feel ticket prices for the concerts you attend are fair? Ticket prices are decent for most of the shows I go see, but Ticketmaster are rapists. A $10 show turns into a $17 show. Never mind the parking. The only reason I put up with it is because a) there’s really no alternative and b) music is such a huge part of my life that I’d probably be willing to pay twice what I pay to see most bands. Tickets to see bands like The Stones or The Who are outrageous and they should be ashamed of themselves.

She’s Back

It is with great enthusiasm that I point you to dooce.com. She’s decided to start publishing again. Yay. If you need an introduction, visit the about section. By all means read through the archives. It’s some of the most wickedly funny commentary available on the web.

How To Set Up A Mac

I realize that 99.9% of you don’t come to my site seeking advice on Macs, but the thing is, I not only use Macs, but I also service, maintain, and set them up for a living…or rather, I try and make a living of it. Most of my clients are graphic designers, though I’ve also worked with regular users that don’t need anything fancy except for a helping hand. I was recently reading of some bad experiences people were having installing OS X, namely Toke from K10k.net and Jeffrey Zeldman. Seeing as how I’m a fan of both sites, I figured I would send them some advice. The response from K10k was a bit overwhelming, but it was cool that I was able to help so many people out. I figured I would post it on my own site as well, with a few links that I find to be totally indispensable.

I’m not going to tell you that OS X is perfect, that font management kicks ass, that it never ever crashes, that some programs simply do not work as well as they did in OS 9. I’d be lying. Apple’s marketing is ahead of the truth, and that’s really the tip of the iceberg. I set my clients’ Macs up a certain way that works best for their needs. The following instructions assume that you have basic knowledge of Macs. It’s also geared towards designers. I’m a designer only by hobby, but I set up my Mac the very same way. I rarely get a call from a client saying that OS X is acting up or isn’t working at all. I want to share with you how I set my machines up in hopes that you will benefit from it and will give OS X a chance, even if you have not had a positive initial experience. Forgive me in advance if you already know some of this stuff. I’m just trying to help you out, not be a condescending OS X zealot. I think there’s a lot wrong with it, but there are many more reasons to switch from OS 9 for most people, especially everyday regular Mac users that just use it for word processing, emailing, etc.

Please read this entirely before you do anything. There’s an important hint at the end for people who own the new dual processor G4s.

01) By all means, do not, under any circumstances, install software or use a machine out of the box. Apple’s default setup, partitioning, etc are screwy and almost always do more harm than good.

02) Backup all of your data with Retrospect (to a file on a FireWire drive is the best way to go).

03) Backup all of your data with Retrospect again (if possible). If you don’t have enough extra drive space for a second backup, make sure you verify your backup in Retrospect).

04) Start up from the OS X disc and run Disk Utility.

05) Depending on the size of your hard drive, you’ll want to partition your drive into at least 5 partitions. Sound excessive? It’s not. Trust me. You’ll thank me later. If you aren’t a designer, 3 or 4 partitions will do just fine. If you don’t use programs that utilize scratch discs (i.e. Photoshop or Illustrator), you don’t need that partition.

Partition 1 = 10 GB (OS X will go here)

Partition 2 = 3 GB (OS 9 will go here. You can make it smaller or larger, depending on your OS 9 dependency. FWIW, I just did a clean install with a 1GB OS 9 partition)

Partition 3 = 2 GB (You should name this ‘Fonts HD’ or something like it. This will serve as your font repository for use with Suitcase or Font Reserve. I suggest Font Reserve, simply because OS X is sensitive to corrupt fonts and Suitcase does not check integrity.)

Partition 4 = 1 GB (You should name this ‘Scratch HD’ or something like it. You can make it larger if you feel the need, but 1 GB should be just fine.)

Partition 5 = Whatever is left over (Use this as a storage partition)

06) Install OS X on the first partition.

07) Install OS 9 on the second partition and configure it to run as slim as possible. If you need to, make a separate startup set for OS X in Extensions Manager that just has the bare essentials.

08) Make sure your startup disc is set to the OS X partition and then restart.

09) Install all of your applications fresh. It’s a pain, but it’s essential.

10) Install any new applications onto your OS X partition (unless they are classic applications).

11) Make sure any applications that utilize scratch discs, are using your Scratch HD.

12) Put Your fonts on the Fonts HD.

13) Restore anything you need to from your Retrospect backup.

14) Enjoy OS X

NOTE (updated): For those who are trying to install OS 9.2.2 on their new G4 Tower Macs (Dual Optical Drive macs), or doing a restore of any sort, boot off the install disk, use the Disk Utitity to reformat and/or partition the drive. Install OSX on partition 1, use “Software Restore” to install OS 9.2.2 on the OS X partition and copy the OS 9.2.2 folders from partition 1 to partition 2 Now you have a bootable OS 9.2.2 partition. Delete the OS folders from partition 1 and make sure you tell Classic (in System Preferences) where to find OS 9. Much easier than the earlier method. [Hint courtesy of Macintouch.

Take a look in any of the Software Restore CDs.

There is an invisible directory called ‘.images’ which contains the replacement images for all sorts of things, including the OEM OS 9.2.2 required for booting the new mac properly.

Copy the files to the appropriate location and you’re good to go.

Other Places To Go and Things To Read

Subscribe to the Dr. Mac email list. It’s one email a day with great hints and software tips. The site is also searchable and has a wealth on info. The guys that run the site are the old pros that have published a number of great books on Macs.

Apple Knowledge Base – You’ll find all of the official Mac stuff here.

Apple Discussions – Apple’s discussion boards are a great resource. You’ll find a lot of people with the same problems you’re having and a community of people willing to help.

MacFixIt – THE place to go to find about the problems and the solutions. It’s worth paying the yearly subscription if you think you will use this site. I use this site more than any other.

Macintouch – This site has been around almost as long as people have been using the web. While it’s not as comprehensive as MacFixIt, it’s a daily visit for me.

MacNN – Up-to-the-minute Mac news. They also have an extensive bulletin board with a very supportive community of people. What you don’t find on the Apple Discussion Boards, you will likely find here.

Mac OS X Hints – This site can be a little more technical than the other sites, but is a great place to go, especially if you like getting under the hood and poking around a bit.

VersionTracker – Hands-down, the best place to find every bit of software you are looking for. It’s updated throughout the day and also has user reviews for each program. Is there something you want your Mac to do, but don’t know where to look for the program that will do it? This is the place to look. There is a subscription service available here as well that you can bundle with a MacFixIt subscription. They’ve got my money. I visit this site multiple times a day.

I hope you find this little tutorial helpful. If you have questions, please just leave it in the comments and I will do my best to answer. You can also hire me if you require more in-depth consulting.

Thursday Three – Heroes

Go get your Thursday Three on.

1) What makes a person a hero? To paraphrase, the dictionary refers to a hero as someone noted for courage, achievement and celebrated for their bold exploits. For the most part I think that’s pretty true. A person that I look to as a hero, and there are many, is someone who represents, and otherwise stands for, things that I believe in. It can be as simple as a particular taste in music or as complex as spiritual and ethical beliefs.

2) Do heroes play an important roll in your life? If so, when are they the most helpful to you? Sure, they play an important roll in my life, but I think equally, if not more important, that we look to ourselves for strength as well. As a firm believer that we (every single person and creature on Earth) are all one being, it’s vital that we realize that the inspiration that we look for in other people is actually inside all of us. It’s a nice thing to have people in our lives that remind us of that very fact.

My heroes are most important to me in times of personal doubt or reflection. Sometimes they even become helpful when I’m not looking or when things are going just fine in my life. Those are usually very rewarding instances.

3) If someone was looking to you as a hero, what would be the top three values or characteristics you would emphasize? The first would be honesty, both with themselves and with me. Second would be integrity, or to put it another way, practice what you preach. The third would be to have an open mind and be free of judgement. I guess that’s kind of four.

Win Tickets to See Spoon in Los Angeles

In getting ready for the month of Rocktober, Jeans And A T-Shirt is proud to present the first in a series of ticket give-aways. You’ll have to act fast and follow the directions. The first person to email us back will win the tickets. Read the following directions carefully.

Spoon will be playing The Troubadour in Los Angeles on Rocktober 23. All you have to do to win the pair of tickets is register as a Guest List member (just click on ‘guest list’ and fill in the blanks). Once you have registered, send an email with answers to the following questions:

1) What U.S. city does the band call home?

2) What is the name of the Spoon track that appears on the Monthly Mix?

Make sure you register for the Jeans And A T-Shirt Guest List before emailing us your answers. We’ll match your registered email up with the email that you send us.

NOTE: This contest is open to all residents of planet Earth, but please make sure you will be in Los Angeles on Rocktober 23, 2002. It’d be a damn shame to see the tickets go to waste, seeing as how we worked hard to get them. Jeans And A T-Shirt will provide the winner with one pair (two tickets) to the show. The winner will be responsible for everything else. By entering this contest you agree that Jeans And A T-Shirt shall not be held accountable for anything under any circumstances (except prividing the tickets, of course).