Categories
Computers

Hard Drive Formats

If you’ve ever wondered what to reformat your flash drive or external hard drive, you are not alone. There are several formats to choose from, but there is likely only a couple that will work for your needs.

Formats

FAT32

FAT32 is the most common format found on flash drives (also known as thumb drives, USB sticks, or jump drives). FAT32 is perfect for these small devices because the format can be read and written to from every major computer or device (including Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux computers).

There is only one problem with FAT32, it cannot save a file larger than 4GBs. That might be a problem if you’re working with video or have a large ISO file that you’d like to store.

exFAT

FAT32 is being phased out for exFAT that can store files larger than 4GBs. Unfortunately, older operating systems do not support exFAT and there may be some compatibility issues.

Just like FAT32, exFAT can be read and written to across many platforms, including Windows and Mac OS.

NTFS

NTFS is a Windows format that can only be written to by a Windows computer (unless special software is installed). NTFS is the format of choice for running a Windows operating system but isn’t ideal for flash drives.

HFS+

Like Windows, Apple also has their own format called HFS+. This format has been the standard for Mac computers and their external devices. This format can only be read and written to by other Mac computers (unless special software is installed).

This format isn’t ideal for devices that will need to be accessed by Windows and Linux computers.

APFS

APFS is Apple’s newest format. It will replace HFS+ in the coming years and will offer several advantages over the 30-year-old format. APFS is designed for solid state drives and will make all of Apple’s devices more compatible with each other. Apple TVs, Apple Watches, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs will eventually all run on APFS providing greater security and speed in the future.

ext4

ext4 is the successor of ext3, the format used by Linux operating systems. This format cannot be read by Macs or Windows computers (unless special software is installed). Unless you are running a Linux operating system, you may never run across this format.

Categories
Blog

Would You Watch a Dream?

Nightmares and other lucid dreams have always fascinated me. I have written over 250 of them in my journal. Many of them I remember in vivid detail. I’ve always wanted to share them with others. Like in a movie. A dream that you could watch.
I’ve pitched this idea for a few years now. As creative as the movie industry might be, enthusiasts are decidedly not ready for what I’d like to bring to the theater. The conversation usually goes like this…

I want to make a movie with no plot, no setting, and no title.

There’s a pause. A bewildered look forms on whomever I’m telling this to and I continue.

I’ve never seen a good dream film. Inception was a good start with the train randomly coming through the street and the buildings folding in kaleidoscope fashion, but it wasn’t random enough! Dreams are random.


Intrigued, the person listens. I can tell they’re totally against the idea, but for some reason, the idea is irresistibly intriguing — they listen anyway.

‘Breaking the mold’ is a cliché everyone uses, but imagine a true dream film! I want this movie to have no beginning, just like how dreams are, and an abrupt end.

By this time more ears are tuning in. I’ve got their attention.

Think about your dreams. The story usually begins right in the middle of something. There are no opening titles, no credits, you’re just thrown smack into the action with no explanation. Kind of like life!

Sometimes I ask one of them what their dreams are like, everyone one of them says they don’t remember their dreams. So I tell them one of my own.

The Shadow Man

I’m in a mall. It’s night. I’m likely a security guard. I’m on the second floor. I’m running from something.
I come to an escalator. You know that silver metal panel that you step on before you get on? Well, it’s open.
It appears like the escalator is out-of-order and was opened up for repairs. The metal panel has been lifted up and left open.
Underneath the panel, there is a manhole, with a ladder. It is surrounded by work lights.
I’m being pursued by something, so I run into it. Climb down the ladder into the hole.
Once I’m all the way down — I’m in a house. It’s daylight. Sunshine is coming through the windows. It’s a really nice house. American Colonial. Every light is on in that house.
I run to the front door. I open it and step into another house. As if two houses had been combined together. Where the front door of one is the back door of the other. Like Monster’s Inc. with the closet doors.
I close the door behind me and I’m in another house. This time there are fewer lights on. It’s a different house.
I run to the front door of this house. I open it and step inside yet another house! Each house is different and there are fewer and fewer lights on. I do this many times.
The sunlight coming in through the windows of each succeeding house becomes dimmer and dimmer.
I run through many houses. Their interiors vary greatly. But in each succeeding house, it’s darker and messier. The ground seems to slant downwards as I run forward.
I look over my shoulder occasionally and there’s the shadow man! I have a distance on him, but he’s closing in.
27903232956_58ebb4afe6_o (Priime Fir)The shadow man is a void. He walks upright like a person would walk — even in daylight. He’s unlike any shadow I’ve ever seen before. This shadow doesn’t appear on the walls or on the floor. No, he walks like a person, independent of lighting.
Looking into the shadow man there’s a void. It’s a hole that appears to be a mile deep.
I quickly gather that this shadow represents death. He’s coming for me. He’s in the shape of me. As if I were a toy being put back into a package. If the shadow man catches up with me, both of us will merge and I will disappear from existence!
I finally come to the last house. There are no lights on in this house. It is nighttime. The only light in the house comes from a vintage tube television with static on it in the den. Across from the TV, there’s an empty recliner. The house has a 70s vibe.
There’s nowhere to run!
I can see the shadow man coming down the stairs in the hall. I look to my left and I see a door. It’s to an office.
I run into it and shut the door, leaving it open just a crack like I found it. The door has a frosted window on it. Like an old-time detective movie.
It’s a small office with wood paneling. There’s only a desk, a chair, and a lamp that’s been left on. There are no windows in this office.
I hide behind the desk. I see the shadow man pass by the door.
He hasn’t seen me. I wait for a few minutes; debating whether I should bolt out the door and make a run for it. I’m cornered here!
It’s deadly silent. I can hear ringing in my ears.
I decide to make a run for it. I run back the way I came. Through all of the houses and back up the manhole.
Once out, I slam the metal panel shut.
The dream ends.

What a True Dream Film Looks Like

My audience is dazed. They are silent at first. I see that look on their face, the same feeling I get after waking up from a dream. Not sure what to think. Just processing everything.
I tell them…

That feeling you have is the feeling I want my audience to have after the movie ends. I want them to sit in silence, processing what they just saw, as if they had just woken up from a real dream.

That stunned/processing feeling isn’t something that movies generally leave you with. It’s rare. My dreams leave me feeling like this all of the time. But, I hate that I can’t share it with anyone. No one will see what I saw. But if this were a movie, the entire audience would have experienced the same dream together for the first time ever!
Essentially what I want this movie to be is an experience. Not a linear story. I want you to feel emotions you don’t feel too often. Confusion is a great emotion! It’s the sign of a new experience.
To keep this dream film authentic, I don’t want it to have a title. When you go up to the box office, I want that tile to be blank, only displaying the showtimes.
black-in-deep-redI want the movie poster to be a solid color or blend of colors like a Rothko painting. I want it to make you feel something, without saying anything.
This movie is unapologetically anti-pop. It’s not for you to like, it’s for you to experience. Just like a dream.
I remember 10 years ago telling my cousin that I wanted a movie theater with a 360-degree screen. I wanted a more immersive cinematic experience. One where you could look in all directions and be right in the center of the action. My cousin humored my idea but suggested I settle for a 180-degree screen instead. I can’t tell you how enthusiastic I was when I discovered that some computer games used three monitors blended into one — similar to my idea.
Today, there is a better option. Virtual Reality headsets would be perfect for a true dream film. For the first time, you could experience true first-person perspective. Look in all directions, just like a video game.
I want the experience to be as dream-like as possible. Settings should subtly change. Some characters don’t need faces. There is no beginning. The end jarringly leaves you wanting more. There’s so much detail in the dream-film that you’d have to watch it several times to see everything. There wouldn’t be a trailer, you’d have no idea what you were about to see. Just like a real dream.
If I could, I would give this kind of experience to the world. A true breaking of the mold, not for the sake of breaking the mold, but for the sake of being true to an original dream.

The Objections

I get pretty enthusiastic about this idea. Not from a commercial sense, but from a creative one. If I wanted a return on investment (ROI) — I’d make a film that fit a mold and ticked all the checkboxes that make a movie popular.
This is not intended to be a popular film. It’s intended to be original. Not by breaking with tradition just because, but because this concept naturally has no mold. Our dreams naturally don’t make sense and we accept them. All I want to do is bring this experience to the awake world.
Unfortunately, this is a tough pill to swallow for many. There’s a strong desire to have a story. A story that is linear and makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, some don’t believe it’s an enjoyable movie.
But I argue, people love dreams! They love sharing them if they can remember them, and they love trying to interpret them. I believe that art can be abstract. Just like a painting. It took awhile for some to accept abstract art. Not every painting has to stem from a refined realist style.
For some reason, movies haven’t gotten there yet. We accept abstract art, but not abstract movies. Why not? Why does everything have to make sense in a neat story form? Our own lives don’t make sense.
When we are born our first memories begin randomly. We stare at the floor, we study it. We do not ask why we are here until later. That’s how I want a dream film to begin. I don’t want my audience to know why they are there. I want them to be intrigued. I want them to see something new. Something authentic. I want the dreams to be real.
That’s all I can really say about that.

How I Remember My Dreams

As aforementioned, I have documented at least 250 dreams in vivid detail. Before I started writing them down, I only remembered dreams that woke me up and left a big impression on me. Usually nightmares or occasionally heavenly dreams (dreams like winning the lottery or finding the love of my life). But eventually, I figured out a trick to remember more of them.
The secret to remembering your dreams is to try to remember where you were last when you wake up. So when I wake up, I sit there and try to remember where I was last. Suddenly it comes to me. It will be a fragment of something. I’ll remember a location or an object from the dream.
I write that down. I begin working backward. Eventually, I unravel the dream in reverse order. Sometimes this hurts my head and I have to give up. Other times I push through and unlock the entire dream.
I write whatever comes to mind in reverse order and then I reconstruct the dream in chronological order. The key is to outline the dream backward and then return to fill in all of the details. Once that’s done you can rewrite the dream in story form.
That’s it. Once you’ve captured it, you’ll never lose it again. Your journal will remember the dream for you. And now that I have some, I think they might make great movies.
So I ask you…

Would you watch a dream?

Categories
Food

Chisme Review

When it comes to food, I’m not the adventurous one — my girlfriend is. Kara pushes me to have new experiences, visit new places, and try new foods. Which I end up loving, but I’m initially reluctant to go. Thank God for adventurous girlfriends!
On this particular adventure, we ate at a local eatery called Chisme. In case you’re wondering, it was delicious, definitely go! But, I’m sure you want to know all the details.
Chisme means gossip in Spanish and judging from chatter on social media, the gossip is about the great dish they had!
We went for brunch, so I chose the Mexican Hamburger Torta with papas. The sandwich consisted of beef, ham, Cheddar Mayo, avocado, jalapeños, lettuce, and tomato. A delicious dish for $13.50.
IMG_0507
I devoured the whole thing. My only regret — there wasn’t more food! But, I know it’s all about portion control. I really, really, liked this dish! Had there been more, I would have eaten it.
Kara opted for Huevos Rancheros: eggs anyway, Salsa Brava, bacon, beans, and papas for $12.
IMG_0508
She loved her plate too. And would gladly come again.
There is indoor and outdoor seating. We tried them both. Initially, we sat outside because the Mariachis were playing inside. The hard floors produced a lot of echoes. It was a little noisy for us, but then it was a little chilly outside. So, we moved back inside. The Mariachis had relocated outside and the noise level soon subsided.

Both seating areas offered a spectacular atmosphere. It’s quieter outside and echoes a lot inside. Your seating choice will come down to preference. Service does appear to be zippier inside though. Some reviewers have noted being forgotten about outside and I could see how that could happen, based on our brief patio experience. But not to worry, inside they can’t miss you!
All in all, I recommend eating here at least once. We will certainly return! Chisme is located at 2403 North Saint Mary’s Street. Click here to view their menu.

Categories
Web

How to Make a Website

Your website is an important component of your lead generation strategy. It will be the metaphorical flagship of your online fleet. All of your social media profiles and newsletters will link to your website which should be the centerpiece of your online presence.
Building a website is a lot easier than it was at the turn of the 21st century. You do not need to know how to code or be incredibly tech savvy to launch your own website. But, you might need some guidance on where to go to get what you need. This post will show you one method to achieve this goal.
Once you are familiar with web administration, you’ll eventually feel more comfortable trying different services or configuring your website differently to rank better in Google or load faster on mobile devices. It can get complicated fast, but don’t worry we’re keeping it simple in this article. Baby steps!

Choose a Domain Name

Depending on your personality, choosing a domain name can be easy or hard; it’s a lot like naming your first pet or child. Some thought needs to go into it, but not too much. Remember you can always buy another domain. Many are nominally priced.
Most people are familiar with .com domains. Ideally, you’ll want to go with that.
For example, I launched a website called llamaleads.com I could have chosen llamaleads.net or something more trendy like llamaleads.marketing. But, I chose llamaleads.com because it was memorable and more importantly available.
If the domain that you want is not available you may attempt to buy it from its current owner using a domain name negotiation platform like Domain Agents.
To purchase available domains, I recommend Hover. Try a few names, keep them short, easy to spell, and consider getting a .com if possible. After you have purchased your domain, return here to continue your journey.
Choosing a Domain Name

Choose a Web Host

Congratulations on purchasing your first domain! Now it’s time to put that domain to work for you. I recommended a domain registrar that makes this next process a little easier than most.
You may choose any domain registrar that you wish, there are many out there, but I thought that you would appreciate the one I selected because it offers a lot of one-click choices. You can achieve similar results with other registrars, but I would have to delve into what DNS Records are and I promised to keep this simple, right?
Assuming that you have already purchased your domain from Hover and are already logged in, the following steps will help you connect your domain to a web host (the easy way).

Using Hover Connect to Pair Domain to a Web Service

In your Hover Control Panel click on edit > use hover connect.
Hover Control Panel Connect Domain
You’ll then be greeted by another panel. At the time of writing, there are 23 services to choose from. I recommend taking a look at them all to determine what suits your needs best, but since you’re new to this, I’ll make a recommendation—Squarespace. It’s toward the bottom of the list.
Hover Connect
Once you’ve made your determination, be sure to read the instructions carefully when they appear. By this stage, you’ve already purchased your domain, so if any of these services say it is unavailable, it is because you already own it.
Connect to Squarespace Prompt

Build Your Website

By this point, you should have purchased a domain and connected it with a website development platform. Explore the menus of the web builder you chose and start experimenting. Web development is something you learn by doing. It gets easier with time and you will learn that there are many ways to achieve a similar result.
You may choose at a later date to move to a different web builder because the current one doesn’t fit your needs or hire a professional to develop your website for you. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged. Keep working at it and you’ll soon discover that it was easy all along! You can do this!

Squarespace Now You See Me Foundation
This is the Squarespace configuration panel for nowyoucme.org (Now You See Me Foundation), a non-profit that supports disabled athletes rebuild their lives after a tragic accident. If you love a good cause, I encourage you to check them out!

 

Categories
Geekdom

Why Innovation is Dying in San Antonio

Last night, I had the privilege of attending Startup Grind San Antonio for the first time at Geekdom. Events like Startup Grind are the main reason I joined Geekdom. While the event was open to the public, I recognize how special the Geekdom community really is and I want to continue the conversations started at the event with members in the future.
Guest speaker Debra Innocenti-Placette of Innocenti-Jones PLLC said a lot of incredible things last night, but the words that resonated the most with me came during the Q&A session at the end.
A great conversation usually has to warm up or be sparked spontaneously. So co-speaker Drew Placette was bent on asking Debra a tough question. He asked why our tech ecosystem in San Antonio seems to be dying.
[wpvideo sfjPr0eA]

Our tech ecosystem, especially scalable startup ecosystem seems to be dying. We don’t see a lot of things coming out of here, like we used to. I know we have a lot of good things, but there is also a lot of smoke and mirrors in San Antonio around stuff. Why don’t we see actual viable startups coming out of San Antonio? Besides capital. What do you think we can do to actually change that?

This is the pink elephant in the room. I think most San Antonians can acknowledge that true innovation is more likely to be found in other places (insert your own city here, like Silicon Valley), not San Antonio.
Personally, I don’t think of San Antonio when I think of innovation. When I think of San Antonio, I think of flintlock rifles and cannons going off at the Alamo or Fiesta. Not bad things to be known for, but I would like to see San Antonio also known for other things too! Creativity, innovation, and the city of the future… I don’t believe I’m alone in this characterization of San Antonio or my desire to see it grow in new ways.
Debra’s answer struck a chord in my heart. Things I had been saying all along but thought I was the only one thinking these things. I thought that these ideas were at best revolutionary or at worst the Twilight Zone (a delusion).
Her answer was so good, I’ve loosely transcribed it for you. Quote it, tweet it, share it with your friends. Let’s do something about this!

In full homage to Startup Grind, which is bare knuckles honesty… I think there’s a number of things that we are failing on and we need to work on. I think we can do it! One of the things is, we need to go back to the beginning values. Geekdom has a touchstone value that is critical. It’s the initial mantra of ‘where startups are born’, the embracing of the creatives, the messy people, the disorganized people, the people who are disruptive and don’t follow rules well, the engineers who have cabling and circuit boards falling behind them as they walk… we have to make sure that we continue to embrace and nurture creatives.
And creatives are not comfortable with rules and structure. That’s not to say you can’t have rules and structure, because there’s always a balance. I love rules and structure! But, I also love creatives and I think that balance is critical. I think that pendulum has swung too much, citywide, [to the other side].
We really need to have a conversation about what innovation is… innovation literacy. When we use the word innovation, this is what we mean. If a company is striving to be innovative and disruptive, we need to understand what that means.
Innovation means a number things: it means that you must have a commitment to hiring people who ask questions. Why are we doing it this way? Is this the best way to do it? Can we do it another way? Why is this person in charge? People who challenge things, loosen up structure and allow for disruption.
Creatives and innovators don’t like rigidity. In terms of, if you have dress codes where everyone has to wear suits and ties—that’s not going to promote innovation. If you’re hiring people who are followers and not challengers and leaders that’s not being innovative.
If you are requiring people to have degrees… a bachelor’s degree, if that’s like a requirement in your job description… you’re going to be shutting the door to a lot of creatives.
When you go into portals for jobs and one of their requisites is 5 years of experience in X or the system kicks you out… we have a broken hiring system! That needs to be fixed.
The work is heavy in terms of shifting that whole culture. But, we also have a culture in San Antonio where people want to stay in the same job for the rest of their life and be comfortable. And they don’t want to hire people under them that are smarter than them or that will challenge them. Because they don’t want things to change. In other more viable, more vibrant ecosystems we have people eying a position above them and they want to hire someone under them that can take their place. They want to cultivate that. They want a dynamic system that’s going to change, that’s not static. We’re not there yet in San Antonio. That’s not the culture here. There’s work to do there.
There’s a lack of diversity in most of the leadership organizations here, including in the tech community. How can we say that we are an ecosystem or an industry of innovation and disruption, if we cannot even be innovative in representation in leadership? That’s not innovative.
That’s saying innovation because it’s a nice shiny word and it sounds good, it’s got good PR ring, but we’re not serious about it. We’ve got to re-dip into the well of our core values. We’ve set them right, we just need to understand the words that we are saying. We’ve got to be serious about them and not drift away from those values.
You can drift away from your core values unless you revisit them and think about them. That’s why organizations have mission statements. It’s not because some lawyer said you need to have a mission statement that’s one sentence in this part of the document. It’s because you must have an understanding of mission.
Until we learn what innovation means and really commit to it… until we invite creatives in, encourage them and make them want to stay… until we embrace diversity… we’re not doing what we’re saying we want to do.

Her 7 minute response summarized every conclusion I came to over the past year of unemployment and even before that. I thought about companies I had worked for and startups I had been a part of; each experience taught me a slow lesson about what’s needed to be innovative.
I had asked myself why San Antonio wasn’t at the pinnacle of human progress—now I know. I was slowly placing a finger on key reasons, but her answer neatly summarizes a significant time of reflection.
Granted this is a perception. There are lots of great things happening in the city that I don’t know about. And I’m likely not alone in this. So it makes sense after several interviews and rejection emails. Even at my own university. The place I credit for teaching me a large portion of what I know. That I can 100% relate to what Debra sees wrong with San Antonio. But the good news is we can do our part to fix it and we are not alone in this common vision.
Conversations like this one are special. They spark curiosity. They lead to more questions and eventually more conclusions. Like why stay in San Antonio when there are other places that have figured this out? Is there any reason to attend college anymore? These were also touched on in the full talk.
We are not alone in these thoughts. There are more people, even where you live, who think like us. People who question things. Who are curious. In San Antonio, Geekdom is one place where people like us gather. I’m glad I found this place. Maybe I’ll see you there sometime?