Selected Works™ & BePress

Bepress is an internet based service from Berkeley Electronic Press. They basically allow a user to display their work. i.e. a Professor’s CV which has a list of publications, those publications are then displayed by Selected Works™ & BePress as downloadable PDFs. These works can then also be described, downloaded, their bibliographic references can be downloaded, etc. Berkeley Electronic Press archives the Documents and presents them in an understandable, accessible, usable format. They have integrated Google search. Seems like lots of Love all around.
This kind of thing would be really good for an organization like the one I work with.

This is a picture of a page. See this page live.

This is a picture of a page. See this page live.

BePress has a lot of features, it integrates with a lot of other services too. One service which looked really cool was their service for working with the editorial process used in working papers.

Simple Linguistics software

I often see good (maybe not sexy), software, like iBable designed on the Mac for scientific purposes. I often wonder, “Why hasn’t anyone done something for or with linguistics?” linguistics is a big field. Don’t get me wrong. It is also a field with few standardizations for data interoperability, and even fewer standards for data description and markup. Just seeing something like iBable is inspiring to want to learn Ruby and do something for linguistic data.

The Apple developer program is only $99 a year.
Tutorial on Ruby by Phusion.

SSH and Terminal

I used an ssh connection from the Terminal today for the first time!

Picture of Apple Terminal


I feel like a real man now.
I needed to transfer a 106MB folder from one subdomain to another subdomain on my DreamHost webserver. It has been my experience that whenever I copy or move folders with a lot of sub-folders that something(s) do(es) not get copied all the time or all the way. So I needed to archive my files and move them as a single object. But I do not think it is possible to zip files with an FTP client (at least not with Interarchy). For a solution I turned to ssh and a lot of googling.

So to ssh into my webhost I had to enable a user from the DreamHost panel.

Picture of  panel to Enable ssh for user on DreamHost.

Panel to Enable ssh for user on DreamHost.

User Account Type Page at DreamHost

User Account Type Page at DreamHost

Second image from another tutorial.

Then I had to open terminal and create a key. I found some sensible directions in the knowledge base.

    To generate a secure public/private key pair to log in securely, and without a password (if you want):

  • In Terminal type: ssh-keygen -d
  • Hit the “enter” key three times.

    Replacing “username” and “yourdomain” with your FTP username and your-domain,

  • copy & paste/type the following into Terminal:

    ssh 'test -d .ssh || mkdir -m 0700 .ssh ; cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys && chmod 0600 .ssh/*' < ~/.ssh/

  • Press return/enter key again.
    Wait for it to ask for the Password:

    Enter the password of the FTP user who's username you inserted in place of the example above.
    If it asks you for the password multiple times, type in the same correct password each time.

    Then you will be at the root in your Terminal window.

  • type: ssh
  • You're logged in!
    Now any time you want to log using SSH you can just repeat
    from the command line (Terminal), no need to repeat the other steps.

So from here on I was in my webhost but still didn't know how to get around. Evidently I needed to use long paths so $ cd /home/username/directory would move me from directory to directory. I could not just $ cd /directory.

Once I was able to get to the directory I needed to archive, I still needed the archive commands.

I thought I wanted to use zip as my archive utility. The zip command to do that would be:
$ zip -r folder
Though my friend Daniel said that I might should have used tar gunzip tar.gz instead of using the zip command: "Zip compresses each file separately and then archives. Tar+gzip or tar+bzip2 archives first and then compresses."

The commands to use the tools Daniel suggested would be like the following:

$ tar -cf blah.tar folder/
$ gzip -9 blah.tar

gzip compressed tar I guess this is a combination of the above two commands. Not sure. Didn't try it.
$ tar czvf folder.tgz folder

$ tar jcvf filename.tbz folder

After the file was compressed I used Interarchy to move the single zip file to its new location. I also needed to unzip the file. (I also read this.)
To unzip the file I navigated to the directory where the file was located and then used this command:
$ unzip folder
I had to use the long path too. So it was really:
$ unzip /home/username/directory/ folder

What a sense of accomplishment!

Merging iLife Libraries

The Problem:
One user on in a small business / family network can’t use (with metadata) all the media in a colleague’s or family member’s iTunes or iPhoto Library.

In our family there are three Macs (2 everyday machines and a server). On many work and personal tasks we function as a small workgroup. Unfortunately iTunes and iPhoto do not facilitate the sharing of media libraries (or for that matter the merging of media libraries). For instance, my wife had her own music and photo collection before we got married. Now if I want to browse that collection from my machine, there is iPhoto & iTunes sharing. But I can not add tags or other metadata to photos on her Mac. I can not create smart folders which we both can use.

For our music we moved my collection to the Server and made it like a “media center”. When we get new music we add it to the server. If we want a copy on our own machines we pull it as needed. i.e. for an iMove project. This solution has not allowed my wife to add her collection to the server, nor has it solved the manny duplicates which exist because we like many of the same songs. Now I have found a solution to this: PowerTunes.

Now the same problems exist for our photos. However, there is no real advantage (or software) for hosting the family photos on our sever. But we still need to define a photo capture strategy.

  • When we take new photos, to which computer are we going to download the photos?
  • Where will we have the master library?

I don’t have a complete solution to our photo capture, retention and access needs but iPhoto Library Manager is the only software out there that will let us maintain the metadata and merge our iPhoto Libraries. However, This is a fantastic first step strategy:

  • Consolidate the iPhoto Libraries.
  • Designate an computer to be the Master Library holder.
  • Share that iPhoto library across the network.
  • Back that computer up.