Wednesday, October 18, 2006

CoRD Remote Desktop for Mac

I recently downloaded and installed CoRD (A Cocoa Remote Desktop Client) for my Mac Book Pro and I have been extremly impressed with this remote desktop app. CoRD remote desktop for Mac

It was a simple OS X drag and drop install and it was running smoothly with no crazy configuration. My only complaint is that there is no documentation so I was actually super suprised and happy when it worked so well.

Setup: to setup CoRD on my Mac I started the app and then entered the IP of the Windows XP computer I wanted to connect to and hit the Green Plus button to start the Remote Desktop session. That was it! Really! I have no idea how my XP box is set-up as it predates me so I could have gotten lucky but anyways that would be a Windows XP issue not a CoRD issue.

I have been using CoRD for about a week now and would recomend it for any Mac users who need to be able to remotely connect to a XP box.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sharing My Documents folder between OSX and Parallels

After having receintly installed Parallels software on my Mac Book Pro I quickly realized that I needed to be able to share files between my OS X OS and the Parallels / Windows XP Pro OS if it was to be of any use. I found a couple of ways to accomplish this but my favorite by far is detailed below.

Step 1: Install Parallels


-This one is a no brainer. Just follow the installation instructions included with Parallels to install the app and then Windows XP.

Step 2: Install Parallels Tools


-Here is a quick how-to install Parallels Tools

Step 3: Stop the Parallels VM


-Click on the Red Square on the right side of the screen if Parallels is running.

Step 4: Enable Shared Folders in Parallels


Enable Shared Folders in Parallels
-First Click on Edit at the bottom of the screen to edit your current Parallels VM
-Second Click on Shared Folders in the left view (if you don't see Shared Folders, click on the add at the bottom of the screen and add that item in)
-Third Click the check box to enable shared folders and then add in your shared folder by click on the plus at the bottom of the box.
-Fourth select the directory you wish to share. I chose the full home directory but you could just use the Documents sub directory depending on your needs.
-Finally, Click OK.

Step 5: Map the Windows My Documents Folder to the Parallels Share


Map My Documents in Parallels to OS X
-First start the Parallels VM (Click on the green play button on the right)
-Second right click on the My Documents Folder in Windows XP
-Third change the Target of the My Documents Folder to the Parallels Share to map the Windows My Documents to any folder you wish in your OS X directory.

Notes:


-Some initially had problems with the Parallels Shared Folders but they have adressed those and I have had no issues.
-Windows WILL create its own directories for My Music, My Pictures, My Movies etc in whatever directory you map My Documents to.
-I kept everything simple by mapping My Documents on XP to Documents on OS X but that decision is up to you.
-You can set up Parallels to show your share on the Desktop or make sure the share is running through Parallels Tools, that you installed in Step 2 above.
Parallels Tools : Shared Folders

WARNING:


-You have now opened up your previously protect OS X files and directories to Windows XP. This means any viruses and spyware you may get now can potentially cross the Windows OS X barrier and cause unplesant issues. Proceed with Caution.
-It was my decision that without those files being accessible in Parallels, I had no real use for Parallels, so I set it up. Just remember to use protection ;-)

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Shrimp running on an underwater treadmill

Video of a shrimp running on an underwater treadmill taken at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. Pacific Biology researcher David Scholnick keeps his shrimp fit with this workout routine.


10/12/2006 UPDATE: I originally published this story on Digg referencing a movie I had just posted to YouTube on October 3,2006. My Digg story (see link below) went no where really. BUT, my YouTube video started getting some pretty good play. By October 10, the Shrimp Running on a Treadmill video had gotten about 5,000 views. Not bad I thought. Then it hit and all of the sudden the little shrimp that could went viral (If you know the research this comment is WAY funnier).

What do I mean by my Shrimp on a Treadmill video went viral? In Internet slang viral means that a topic, email, video, picture reaches a kind of cult status where its growth is explosive and fueleld by word of mouth. Viral is a bit of luck and a bit of quirckyness and here is the timeline as best as I can figure:

The viral video cycle:

Oct 3 : Video Posted. The video is from one of our Pacific University researchers and I posted it to YouTube because I figured it was a good way to get some press for the University.

Oct 10 : Through word of mouth, YouTube addicts, IM's, emails, and who knows what else, the video got enough views to place it 95 on the YouTube Science and Technology most viewed list.

Oct 11 : The video gets picked up by Flark.
Oct 11 : The video gets Dugg by another user and shoots up to the home page. Between Flark, Digg and who knows what other references, the video hits 40,000 views. Thats a 10 fold increase in views over one day.

Oct 12 : The video is still going strong and has over 57 comments on YouTube, 57,000 views, and 100 ratings. The video currently sits amoung the top 35 for the month in Science and Technology for all the categories: Most Viewed, Most Discussed, Most Favorites, and Top Rated.

Oct 13 : The video continues to buzz along. I got an email from Pacific University Biology department and it looks like Netscape picked up the story and it rose to the top 15. Netscape then contacted Dr. David Scholnick and did a short writeup on their site. The current YouTube hit count is at 75,000 and it looks like quite a few blogs have also picked up the Shrimp on a Treadmill story. Unless it hits on the main YouTube list, I am guessing it will start to loose steam over the weekend.

Oct 16: Seems like things are dying down a bit. The current YouTube hit count has climbed to 95,000. Even though I don't see an explosion in the near future any higher, only time will tell. Still, almost 100,000 eyes on a previously unseen video and research is a huge success.

Oct 18: It looks like the little Shrimp that could has picked up some good media momentum. I just got a Google Alert today that the story was picked up by MSNBC:
Scientists put shrimp on a treadmill http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15319541/
MSNBC - USA
... such as a shrimp, where a decrease in performance may mean the difference between life and death," said David Scholnick, a biologist from Pacific University. ...


The story was also picked up by Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,222149,00.html. The copy is the same between the stories so it looks like it is a wire pickup which means HUGE momentum and coverage.

I also heard from David that he has been contacted by other news agencies such as the Discovery Channel who are interested in the story.

Oct 19: The story has filtered back to Pacific University. I originally posted this video and started the Viral Video Ball Rolling ... or Running I guess but purposely did not notify anyone on campus. My strategy was to allow the video to run its own course organically. It looks like the Biology department has been so happy with the results, they have started to put out the word on campus. The current YouTube view count for the "Shrimp on a Treadmill" video sits just over 100,000.

Oct 23: The video went to YouTube's home page, featured videos and just exploded! I got flooded with comment emails over the weekend and now has 5700 comments and 750,000 views! It is still on the home page this morning so once people get into work it could go even bigger. At this point I am not sure if there is more media coverage to come from this new level of exposure or if we are moving into an area of over exposure but we will see.


Lessons from a Shrimp on a Treadmill and the Viral Video Phenomena
As hard as you might try, if your posting does not have the requiste cool factor or is not quirky enough to be a phenomena, it is probably not going to go anywhere. It might but that just points agian to the unpredictable nature of viral marketing that I am trying to predict.

The first week of your video is critical. Don't try to self seed it or inflate your numbers. If the people aren't finding your video there is a reason.

There is a critical point to your video. You need to get on a page which is a subset of the greater media: IE: Digg's front page, YouTube's Most Viewed, Discussed, or Rated, Flark's home page, SlashDot's front page, etc. The issue with these sites is they are so content heavy that if your peers are not moving it to the top, it quickly falls off.

Once you have reached that critical point of viewership, the shelf life of your media, is now a guess. Some famous viral videos: Star Wars Kid, Numa Numa Guy, and Shakira Hips Don't Lie Spoof had shelf lifes of about 6 months and millions of views.

This exposure is worth millions in good or bad press depending on how it spins and is largely unpredictable and uncontrolable. Your job now is to capitalize on any press and media coverage created by the video to build your brand or further your goals.