Sunday, June 25, 2006, 3:34 PM // 0 comments

Having Fun With iSight and Photo Booth

A few years back my brother Stephen hosted a party. He set-up a camera on a tripod and asked his guests to take a self-portrait using a a shutter release cable. For years I thought about this idea of "party self-portraits" and waited for an opportunity to invite my guests to do the same. This past Saturday Lisa and I hosted a Summer Party and using Mac iSight and Photo Booth I invited my friends to take their own self-portraits. Here's a few of my favorites. Click the photo to enlarge.
iSight Photo BoothPhoto Booth pictures
Using iSight with Photo BoothHaving Fun with Photo Booth
Photo Booth iSightPhoto Booth
iSightApple - iMac - iSight
Mac Photo Booth Mac iSight

Click here to see all the Photo Booth self-portraits.


Friday, June 16, 2006, 6:03 AM // 1 comments

Google Spreadsheets: Share Your Work

by Terri Wells -- SEO Chat Articles

Google SpreadsheetsDoes it make sense for a search engine company to offer an online spreadsheet application? That’s what some analysts wondered when Google introduced Google Spreadsheets. It makes a lot more sense than you’d think at first glance. Keep reading to find out why.

The very first electronic spreadsheet dates back to 1978 and was created by VisiCalc. Why would Google go for something this ancient as its next "hot new service"? There are at least two reasons. First, many people still use electronic spreadsheets, and in ways they weren't originally intended (to-do lists, quick and dirty databases, and others). Spreadsheets serve a role in people's personal lives and hobbies as well as at work. The second reason is that the most popular current spreadsheet application leaves users a little frustrated, in ways that Google can easily fix.

I'm talking about Microsoft's Excel, of course. The analysts who didn't wonder whether it made sense for Google to introduce a spreadsheet application figured the move was aimed squarely at the software giant's relative stranglehold on office productivity applications. Actually, Google Spreadsheets is not an attack on Microsoft. Like many of Google's services that mimic desktop applications (Gmail, Google Calendar, and a word processor which might take on new users again next month), Google Spreadsheets is more of an attack on applications and data that are bound to a single computer.

I admit, I'm not a heavy spreadsheet user, but I know people who do it for a living. So in addition to playing around with Google Spreadsheets myself, I asked our office manager, Kimberly Keyser (if you watch our "News You Can't Use," you know who I'm talking about) to give me her impressions of the service. Her duties require her to use spreadsheets all the time, and to share them with her boss. She was happy to help, and I was grateful for the assistance. Before I get to that, though, I'm going to take you through the interface.

Next: How it Looks and Works: the Basics >>
If you're interested using this application email me and I'll invite you to obtain an gMail account. Then you'll be able to sign-up, use, and share Google Spreadsheets.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 7:52 AM // 0 comments

What is Mesothelioma / Asbestos Cancer?

Definitions of Mesothelioma / Asbestos Cancer:

Saturday, June 10, 2006, 1:55 PM // 1 comments

Grateful Dead Keyboard Curse Continues

Keyboardist for Grateful Dead dies at 51

Grateful Dead Curse - Vince Welnick - Brent Mydland - Keith Godchaux - Ron “Pigpen” McKernanTHE NEWS TRIBUNE
Published: June 4th, 2006 01:00 AM

Vince Welnick, the Grateful Dead’s last keyboard player and a veteran of other bands, including the Tubes and Missing Man Formation, has died, the Grateful Dead’s longtime publicist said Saturday.

Welnick died Friday, said Dennis McNally, who would not release the cause. He said Welnick was 51. The Sonoma County coroner’s office said an autopsy would be performed this week.

Welnick was the last in a long line of Grateful Dead keyboardists, several of whom died prematurely, leading some fans to believe in a curse.

Welnick replaced Brent Mydland, who died of a drug overdose in 1990. Mydland succeeded Keith Godchaux, who died in a car crash shortly after leaving the band. And Godchaux had replaced the band’s original keyboard player, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, who died at 27 in 1973.

Two other Grateful Dead keyboardists, Bruce Hornsby and Tom Constanten, are said to be scared shitless.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 9:22 PM // 0 comments

Billy Preston: 1946-2006

The Real Fifth Beatle

June 6 - Billy Preston has died after a long illness as a result of malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure and other complications.

Billy Preston began his career playing in the bands of Little Richard and Ray Charles as a keyboardist, however he was probably best known for his work with the Beatles. He played on their 1970 Let It Be album and on the songs "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Something", from 1969's Abbey Road. Signed to their Apple label, in 1969, Preston released the album That's the Way God Planned It and a single of the same name (produced by George Harrison).
His relationship with Harrison continued after the break up of The Beatles; he was the first artist to record My Sweet Lord (the single flopped), Get Back - The Beatles with Billy Preston - www.paulaltoblli.comand he was on several of George's 70's solo albums. Preston also made notable and energetic contributions to the Concert for Bangladesh, a Harrison-organised charity concert, and, after George's death, the Concert for George. Preston also worked on solo recordings by two other ex-Beatles, John Lennon and Ringo Starr.

After the Beatles, Preston played keyboards for the Rolling Stones, alongside pianist Nicky Hopkins. Preston appears on the Stones' albums Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, Goats Head Soup, It's Only Rock'n Roll and Black and Blue on which he contributed harmony vocals on "Melody." . He toured as a support act with the Stones in 1973, and recorded his live album Live in Europe in Munich with Mick Taylor on guitar. In 1974 composed one of Joe Cocker's biggest hits You Are So Beautiful. In 1975 he became the first musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
Melody - Rolling Stones (inspiration by Billy Preston) - paulaltobelli.comIn 1975 and 1976 he again toured with the Stones, this time getting to play two of his own songs, backed by the Stones, in the middle of every concert. The Stones and Preston parted company in 1977, mainly due to a row over money. He continued to play on solo records by Stones members, and made an appearance again on the Stones' 1997 Bridges to Babylon album.

The 1980s were lean years for Preston. He was arrested and convicted for insurance fraud after setting fire to his own house in Los Angeles, and he was treated for alcohol and cocaine addictions. In 1991, he entered no-contest pleas to the cocaine and assault charges. He was sentenced to nine months at a drug rehabilitation center and three months of house arrest.

Preston managed to conquer his problems in the early 1990s, and toured with Eric Clapton, and recorded with a wide range of artists.

Preston participated in the tribute concert "Concert for George Harrison" at Royal Albert Hall and his performance of My Sweet Lord has received critical acclaim. He also recorded on the last album of Ray Charles. He toured with The Funk Brothers and Stevie Winwood in Europe in early 2004 and then with his friend Eric Clapton in Europe and North America. It has been claimed that his big contribution to the Beatles' sound was made clear with the release of the Let it be naked album.

Preston played clavinet on the song "Warlocks" for the Red Hot Chili Peppers album Stadium Arcadium released in 2006. Although very ill, he jumped out of bed after hearing a tape of the song given to him by the band, recorded his part, and went back to bed [1]. Preston's final contribution was playing Gospel-tinged organ on the Neil Diamond album, 12 Songs.

Listen / Download:
Get Back - The Beatles with Billy Preston
Melody - Rolling Stones (inspiration by Billy Preston)
Nothing From Nothing - Billy Preston

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 9:51 PM // 0 comments

Is it 666 or 999?

A lot of noise has been made about today being June 6th, 2006, aka 06-06-06. So, here's my six-six-six sense on the subject...

Listen / Download:
Mercedes McCambridge -- aka the devil's voice from the Exorcist-- rehearsing for her role
The Exorcist - Richard Pryor
If 6 Was 9 - Jimi Hendirx


iPodDisk 1.3

Music rescue, part II

By Dan Frakes - MacWorld, July 2006

Although there are clearly unethical reasons for copying music directly from an iPod to a computer, there are legitimate ones, as well. As I explained just over a year ago:
If you’ve got an iPod, you know how easy it is to get your music onto it and to keep it in sync with your music collection. But you may have also discovered that Apple has made it difficult to get music from your iPod to your Mac. The reasons behind this are understandable: Apple doesn’t want people using iPods as “music mules” to illicitly copy tunes between computers. The problem is that, like many policies made necessary by the actions of a few bad apples (no pun intended), this design makes it difficult for those who have legitimate reasons to get music off of their iPods. As my Playlist colleague Christopher Breen wrote last week, it’s quite possible that someone in search of such functionality is just trying to get their own, legal, music back. For example, if your hard drive suddenly bites the dust and you didn’t have the foresight to back it up, you’ll need to restore your entire Music Library. If you can’t do it using your iPod, this means re-ripping all of your music from your CDs (a process that took me several months). Even worse, if you’ve got a good number of tracks from the iTunes Music Store, getting those back won’t be easy—Apple’s official policy is that you should have backed up.
Another situation—one in which I’ve found myself on several occasions—where there’s a legitimate reason for such copying is if your music is on your desktop Mac, but you’re on the road with your iPod and laptop; if you want to copy some of your iPod’s music onto your laptop and listen to it from there, you need a way to do so.

Unfortunately, there’s no “official” way of performing such a task. So it’s in this context that I’ve frequently recommended Senuti (4.5 mice), which provides an easy-to-use, iTunes-like interface for transferring your music from your iPod to your computer. In fact, Macworld liked Senuti so much that we named it as one of our 2005 Eddy Award winners.

However, a couple weeks ago, my colleague Jonathan Seff showed me a new alternative to Senuti that takes a different, but similarly easy, approach: iPodDisk 1.3. Whereas Senuti runs as a standard application—one that closely resembles iTunes itself—iPodDisk is basically invisible: It simply “mounts” your iPod in the Finder, where it shows up just like any other FireWire or USB hard drive. (Your iPod must have disk use enabled, via its preferences dialog in iTunes, for iPodDisk to work. In fact, what you actually see in the Finder are two versions of your iPod—one that looks like an iPod, and one that looks like a network volume; the latter is the iPodDisk version.)
iPodDisk mounts your iPod in the Finder
Of course, if you’ve ever looked inside your iPod in the Finder, you know that not only can you not browse your music collection on it, but you can’t even see your music files. (If you’ve read up on the topic, you know that your music is actually in a number of invisible folders, with cryptic file names that make them nearly impossible to work with.) The magic of iPodDisk is that its Finder volume presents your iPod’s audio (and video) content in a way that makes it easy to browse:
Your iPod, seen through iPodDisk
You see folders for Albums, Artists, Genres, and Playlists; opening one of these folders displays your iPod’s contents in the appropriate file/folder hierarchy. For example, the Genres folder displays a folder for each genre you have in iTunes; within each genre folder are folders for each artist in that genre; within each artist folder are albums by that artist; and within each album folder are the tracks on that album.
iPodDisk genres
iPodDisk genre browsing
You can also use the Search field in Finder windows to quickly find particular tracks, artists, albums, etc.

To copy music from your iPod to your hard drive, you use the Finder’s familiar drag-and-drop, just as you would with any other file. When you’re finished, ejecting iPodDisk’s iPod volume quits iPodDisk; you can then eject your iPod itself.

Note that iPodDisk works only if your iPod is not linked to the iTunes Library on the computer on which you’re working. This makes sense, since you wouldn’t need to use iPodDisk if you were on that computer—you would already have direct access to the original music files on your hard drive. (In fact, when I tried to use iPodDisk with an iPod linked to computer on which I was working, I had trouble ejecting the iPod at all—OS X claimed that the iPod was “in use” even though iPodDisk hadn’t mounted the iPod.)

A more significant drawback is that I haven’t been successful in getting iPodDisk to work with the iPod shuffle; Senuti, on the other hand, works just fine.

That drawback aside, iPodDisk is an excellent tool for getting your music off your iPod and has earned a place on my hard drive—right next to Senuti. I still prefer Senuti for some things; for example, Senuti lets you browse like iTunes and even lets you listen to tracks. But iPodDisk’s Finder-like drag-and-drop interface is perfect when you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 11:04 AM // 0 comments

Is this kid f'in cute or what?

Joe Altobelli #1
Joe Altobelli #2
Joe Altobelli #3
Joe Altobelli #4
Joe Altobelli #5


Friday, June 02, 2006, 11:40 AM // 1 comments

Judging by this guy's hat...

...I just don't think he's going to make it

Paul Altobelli

About Paul Altobelli

Paul Altobelli is a veteran Internet, marketing and technology professional with considerable expertise in search engine marketing, web site development, design, implementation and project management. [more]

Flickr Photos