Setting up an RSS Feed with Firefox – MacBook Pro (or any Apple OSx!)

Setting up an RSS Feed using Firefox on a MacBook Pro (Works with all Apple OSx’s)

This is actually one of the easiest, most useful things I have recently done for my computer.  I spend a LOT of time on my personal computer (my macbook pro) as well as my work computer (which is an iMac).  I Prefer to use the internet browser Firefox versus Safari for a very simple, but very important reason.  Firefox allows you to store passwords, user names, and such very easily- Safari does as well.  Firefox, however will allow you to just click on the field (say username field for example) and it will enter your username in automatically for that site.  It remembers the address and username/password associated with it.  You would never want this if you were constantly sharing your computers with others or if it was public in any way, but both of my computers rarely are out of arms reach from me.  Unless it is the weekend and I am away from work.. On my laptop.

To set up the RSS feed for my class mates sites (shown below) I followed these simple steps.

Step 1:  Go to the Bookmarks Menu (at the top of the screen) and select Create New Folder.
***I named this Folder WS 320- so things were easy to find, but you can name it whatever you want to categorize your RSS feeds and web pages as.  I also have some set up for Sports blogs, recipes, etc.

Step 2:  Open up the website in a new tab.

Step 3:  Select from the Bookmarks Menu -> Subscribe to RSS Feed.

Step 4:  Once you select the Subscribe to button you will be prompted to pick a folder/location to save the RSS feed to.  Just select the folder you created in step 1.  Now all of your saved RSS feeds will appear in the location below!  For easier and faster access to information!

A screen shot of my RSS feed in Firefox
Screen shot from my MacBook Pro using Firefox Internet Explorer.  If you notice all the different bookmarks and widgets I have set up, you will notice that I use Firefox primarily.

I found this tool extremely useful for this class especially.  It made it SO much easier just to have the ability to quickly go and check other students blogs as well as find information very quickly.  I found it very helpful also just for my personal pleasures of reading magazines and news stories.  If you notice, I also have an RSS feed set up right next to the WS320 folder that is for the “Latest Headlines”.  After I utilized this tool for the first time, I quickly became aware of its capabilities and how it could just help me be more efficient in my non-productive tasks.  Efficiency is key!  Love it!

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Setting Up Speech on my Mac

MacBook Pro – Setting up Speech

I had previously set up “speech” on my mac to be able to listen to PDF files while I was on the airplane.  I get dizzy sometimes reading on the planes, so I thought it would be a great way to utilize a mac function and get some extra credit for class.  Unfortunately, the voices are extremely boring to listen to on Mac.  I’m not sure if there is a way you can get a plug-in for some other voices.  Like James Earl Jones would be a good one maybe haha.  I seriously fell asleep after about 5 to 10 minutes of listening to “Alex” and “Albert”

I’m using a MacBook pro running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 mac OSX with 8GB ram and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.  I’m pumping some serious photo editing and music power out of this baby!  Time for a clean up soon though.

It was super easy to set up.  I just went to my dock where all the mac applications most utilized or placed there are located.  This is where you will find Safari, Firefox, Word, Text/edit, etc.  All I did was select System Preferences -> Speech -> change the settings to your preference -> hit apply.

The Screen shot below will show the final page with all the settings I had set up.

I personally did not enjoy listening to the readings.  I found it somewhat useful to listen and read at the same time, but I noticed I read WAY faster than the mac presets could read.  This was super distracting, but  I guess I just read at a higher level than my computer!  (haha- for now)…

Sound Engineering- Digitalizing Audio

Sound Engineering and Digitalizing Audio 101

This is just A sample Lesson Plan for Teaching Sound Engineering and Digital Recording (trying to think of some cool ideas for the project side of how I could suite this lesson for someone who barely knows anything about music, or computers for that matter).

These lessons are meant to assist people who are wanting to learn to :
– Learn the recording process
– Record a song on their own
– Record an instrument on their own
– Compose or Edit a song (without any instruments at all)
– Publish your song on a disk or the web

Lesson Plan

Lesson 1:  Music Overview- Recording/Producing Overview- Why Digitalize Audio?

Lesson 2:  What You Need
2.1- Hardware
2.2- Software
2.3- Instruments
2.4- What the Pro’s use

Lesson 3: Getting Started in Digitalizing Sound
3.1- Connections
3.2- Multi-tracking Interface
3.3- Now What Do I Do With All This Stuff!?
3.4- Do I need instruments to be able to record/compose/edit?
3.5- Tips and Tricks for Getting Started

Lesson 4: Mixing, Mastering, Puzzling, Plastering
4.1- Editing Steps and Tips
4.2- What is Mixing and Mastering?
4.3- How do I make my song sound clean?

Lesson 5: Publishing and Finalization

Digitalizing Audio

Digitalizing Audio

Every single one of us has heard music before in his or her life.  In fact, most of us probably own an MP3 player, stereo, boom box, walkman, instruments, piano, or anything else related to music.  Interestingly enough, which most younger people do not realize (not the college generation, but the young young kids who are 8 years old and have iPhones), is that someone (maybe something) has to actually make  the music become digital.  Bands do not just record music to a tape player or just to a CD and then send it to iTunes, Atlantic records, or anyone really.  That’s impossible, it’s not feasible, and it would definitely not work in today’s age.

There’s WAY more to it than that.  I am just getting passed the beginning stages of conquering learning this feat, and am going to teach the ins and outs of basic music recording/production or… in a more technical and professional way of stating it… I am going to be teaching you the basis ins and outs of Digitalizing Audio.

With the internet boom over the last couple of decades, the music industry as a whole has been entirely reshaped.  We all have heard of Napster.com- the first website that allowed you to upload, download, and share music files you had saved on your computer from CDs.  Essentially, this was the first step in changing the entire music recording and production industry. While Sean Parker, the founder of Napster, is virtually facing a lawsuit from everyone who ever recorded and sold their music.  A little something called “copyright infringement” – “unlawful sales”, and other various business crimes for sharing music with everyone.  Basically this doesn’t allow for the artist and other agents involved in their career to profit from royalties at all.. because it is all for free.  While Napster did get off for most of their charges eventually the company had to claim bankruptcy to get out of all the allegations.

While this won’t be about Napster, Napster has shown the music industry how to succeed in the digital age.   Thankfully for companies like Apple who have developed software like iTunes, selling the final product becomes a lot easier with the internet revolution.

The digitalizing process, the recording process, the production process, are the areas that I will be covering.  How to take a live recorded sound (in a studio or live venue) and turning that into a time mapped easily editable data file.  Then from there, uploading that to iTunes, your website, or wherever to make money from your songs.

The software I will be using is called Fruity Loops Producer Edition (http://flstudio.image-line.com/) on a Windows Vista 64-bit computer.  I will show you how to begin to record a song by yourself and artist, how to edit it (in a very basic sense, this could go on for years and years to teach), and how to get your product on the web to promote- or CD.

My Biggest Dream …

Dream Chaser.

A term that was often used in my house growing up.  Chasing your dreams was not a something my siblings and I thought of doing. No.  It was something we did.  Growing up with parents who were both involved with Amway outside of their day jobs in one day hoping to own their own business- or at least have a new revenue stream from selling Amway products to their peers. Whether they considered themselves successful or not was beyond me (I was a very young little lad), but what their kids have picked up along their parents journey through Amway may prove to be more valuable than any amount of money that selling Amway products could provide.

Amway used this term Dream Chaser to get their followers, customers, and sales peoples FIRED UP!  Attending these events when I was a child was overwhelming to say the least.  I can remember the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida (the arena where the Orlando Magic NBA team plays) being packed full of thousands upon thousand of Amway distributors, customers, and leaders, just listening to people speak about their success stories.  While the events were completely over my head, I did pick up vital information about one important skill.  Especially in the area where my dreams are pushing me.

Sorry to be blunt, but I love music.  I love business.  I love entertaining.  But more importantly, I LOVE meeting and hanging out with people.  It was honestly one of the greatest days of my life when I figured out what I want to do.  While being an artists, performing in bands, composing, playing live shows, recording, and playing.listening to music is fun… It also needs a “business” behind the music.  Here is where I come in… or at least, dream of coming in.

Portland has a lush music scene.  It could perhaps be one of the most versatile music scenes in all of the country… but not too many people know this.  Portland has also, a lush website creation/development industry, a lush technology sector, and a lush graphic design and artistic design industry.  (I’m jumping around, but I promise I will tie it all in)  Nashville is a lush country music haven.  How was Nashville started?  How did Nashville become such a huge hub for country music?  Essentially, Nashville started with karaoke bars and other forms of live entertainment for people out on their way in the late 1800s.  From then on, in came the music men finding talent and taking talent to the next level.  Now we see Nashville as the country music capital of the world.

So what do I want to do?  I want to give Portland bands, musicians, fans, and my fellow Portlanders something for them to follow and love about Portland.

Rose City Studios is my business I am working on creating.  What is it?  It is a website- a music management connection, a marketing connection for bands, artists, composers, musicians, venues, and anyone wanting to see what’s happening with Portland music.  Maybe one day it is a bar?  Maybe one day it is a record label?  Maybe one day it becomes something I haven’t even thought of?!

But for now, what RCS does- is connect people in the Portland area with what is happening with their music scene.  People will be able to see interviews with touring acts like Tim McGraw or whomever else comes to town.  Thy will also be able to see what types of bands are playing at what venues in portland on a daily basis.  A magazine – Roce City Monthly (or something) will be sent out to subscribers which showcases the acts which came to town recently, along with which bands are making it big in town and which venues have which specials going on what night.  It’s incredible really what could come of Rose City Studios… I’ve began some work (but the website is far from done), check it out at http://www.rosecitystudios.com

Simple Technology

After doing much research on Valerie Thomas and her work with the illusion transmitter, I started wondering about other technologies that have grown or matured into everyday use.  What Valerie did was create the Illusion Transmitter which has matured into 3d technology which we now are now utilizing in our televisions.  I decided to look a little further online and see what other technologies might qualify for this category (maybe even find some gender related ones as well).  Or at least, those that may change the world that were intended for something entirely different.

space shuttle 3The very first technology is used for breast cancer screening.  After reading online about NASA’s different technologies that we may use everyday, I found this gem.  The chip and screening used was originally used for the Hubble space telescope to render images.  Since the rays aren’t very damaging and not very expensive to replicate, this has transitioned into the medical field where many women can get screened for a much less cost.

Another NASA technology used for medical purposes and even sports performance purposes is Electrolyte Concentrates. This was originally manufactured for the deficiency that astronauts may experience in space on their missions.  These concentrates would allow their nutrients to be replenished very fast to allow their body to perform its necessary functions in space with all the dehydrated food and such they would be eating.  This has transition into medical fields where  they use IVs on patients experiencing high dehydration or another sickness that may hinder their nutrient intake.  Also, through sports and overall bodily day-to-day health.  now you can buy electrolyte concentrated sports drinks, powders, and other packages that are full of electrolytes to prevent dehydration and nutrient deficiency.

Memory Foam is used in beds pillows and many other devices for human comfort.  This was also another technology that NASA developed for astronauts out in space that we now use everyday.  This is also transitioning into the medical field and the physical development/therapy sector as well.  Prosthetic hips, legs, and other parts now contain this memory foam to essentially replicate the feeling of cartilage or joints.

The blogging process

Well, what more can I say?  I’m not very good at this whole blogging thing.  but hey, it’s my first time really so I can’t blame myself.  I’m really struggling to figure out what the definitions of things such as “widgets” or more so what they actually do.  It is interesting how much “code” or behind the scenes work you have to do just to create a simple website such as this.

It kind of makes me interested in the coding process of creating websites.  Just viewing this post in HTML view is interesting to see the differnt brackets that are created when you do something like thisIt seems so simple for users of Microsoft Word or Apple Pages (any word editor), but for coding you must create what is called elements, I am learning.  In the code (the HTML5), you write brackets like <i> then you write your word similar to this <i> Italic Text </i> and it will appear Italic Text on a website.  However, it will appear with the brackets in a normal text editor.

It all is so simple, yet seems so complicated.  Granted, I am just scratching the surface and I’m sure that once you get the hang of it the code becomes second nature like a musician reading music (I assume).

I can definitely see though how some people can make very lucrative careers out of blogging.  It is interesting how blogging is such a simple idea (write about a subject consistently and post it to the world wide web) yet so effective for business and other purposes.