Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Adieu Amplify!


Another one bites the dust, eh?  Bellow is an email I got from amplify the other day announcing closure of their service.  I have to say that this is something that doesn't really affect me.  I noticed that a number of people that I follow on my professional (outward facing) twitter account had amplify accounts so I decided to give it a try.  Used it for a couple of stories (aka amplifications) and followed other people on there.  The thing that really didn't make sense for me was the "why use it" factor, if you have a blog.  I can obviously copy, paste and link on my own blogs, so I really didn't see much utility in the service.

In any case, adieu, amplify.

Dear Apostolos, 
After much consideration, we've decided that it is time to shutdown Amplify. On behalf of the team, I want to thank you for being part of our journey. It is important to us that we shut down the service in the most responsible and considerate manner possible. Towards that end there are two things that you should consider: 
  • First, we've arranged with Clipboard (a new service under entirely different ownership and management) to give you an account on their service, which is currently accessible by invitation-only. You can accept this invitation and register your account now.

  • Second, from the registration page, Clipboard will allow you to easily request that your old clips be preserved in Clipboard. If you don't want them converted, then do nothing. We can't guarantee that we'll be able to convert all of your older clips, but if the demand is sufficient, we will do our best.
We hope that you'll accept the invitation to join Clipboard. Like Amplify, they believe that the Web is better when people can easily save, share and discuss the parts that they care about. 
For more information, please see the Clipboard blog post
All the best, 
Eric GoldsteinFounder, Amplify 

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Restore fail?

Last Friday I got my new iMac at work (yay!) and I was busy transferring stuff from my old iMac that I have to give back to my old department soon. Due to this setup I didn't spend much time looking into what came withy iMac, in other words what came in the box.

When I looked more closely yesterday I saw that the recovery disc was missing, or rather a recovery disk was not included. A quick web search proved that apple no longer includes a system restore disk, something that I've had with each Mac I've bought since 1994.

Sure, MacOS Lion does make a recovery partition but what if your entire drive is borked? OK, the web says that your machine can download things off apple's servers. What if you don't have a connection? Take it to the apple store, I guess.

Maybe I am making more of this than I need to, and I have rarely used my restore disks, but it sure is nice to have them around just in case.

-- Post From My iPhone
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Πάει και ο Φλεβάρης

Εντάξη, έχουμε ακόμα δυο μέρες εώς το τέλος του μήνα αλλά μπορούμε να πούμε πως πέρασε ήδη, στο κάτω κάτω έτσι όπως πάει αυτός ο χρόνος μέχρι τώρα θα ερείπια ο Δεκέμβρης και δεν θα το πάρουμε χαμπάρι :-)

Ο Μάρτης σίγουρα θα είναι μήνας-σίφουνας, τουλάχιστον για μένα. Στην αρχή του Μάρτη έχω ένα σεμινάριο περι Learning management systems ατο οποίο θα πα. Με συνεργάτες. Στην μέση του Μάρτη, κατά την διάρκεια του spring break, θα παρουσιάσω κάτι στο ετήσιο συνέδριο NERCOMP (άλλες 3 μέρες εκεί).

Κοντά στο τέλος του μήνα έχουμε το ετήσιο συνέδριο Αμερικανών Εφαρμοσμενων Γλωσσολογων (American association of applied linguists) το οποίο θα είναι στην Βοστώνη φέτος, οπότε ευκαιρία να παρεβρεθώ (ακόμα δεν ξέρω όμως αν το τμήμα θα πληρώσει την είσοδο μου). Και τελικός στις 30 Μάρτη, σε εβα γειτονικό πανεπιστήμιο θα έχουν ένα panel discussion με τον Στήβεν Πίνκερ (συγγραφέα του "γλωσσικού ένστικτου") και άλλους γνωστούς για το θέμα γλώσσας.

Οπότε με λίγα λόγια η δουλειά για τον μισό Μάρτη θα γίνει απο iPad και iPhone :-)

-- Post From My iPhone
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(my) Mac Mini is EOL'd...

With the announcement of Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8 for those keeping score) there is another list coming out of supported machines.  Even though I haven't updated my Mac Mini (mid-2007) to Lion yet, I was wondering if it would run Mountain Lion.  It seems like my mid-2007 Mac Mini will no longer supported by this new OS, but that is quite OK in my book.  Even two operating systems behind this machine kicks some serious ass in terms of productivity, and with a RAM upgrade and upgrade to Lion (which I purchased, but need to re-download and make a bootable flash drive from) I think it will keep going for a few more years at least (heck, people with 10.4 and PowerPC chips are still productive).

The one thing that I like about the new Mac Minis is the lack of internal optical drive.  I would prefer to have an external drive rather than an internal.  My superdrive broke a few years back, but since my Mac Mini is my only home computer (and it's used all the time), I can't afford to take it in for servicing.  Once I get a new Mac Mini for the home office, I look forward to using its external drive on my existing Mac Mini (not that I've used optical media, other than DVDs of course, in a long time).
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Syndicate on the xbox - return of a classic!

Classic Syndicate
This past week I came across a mention of the game Syndicate for the xbox 360 (and PS3 and PC obviously).  Back in the day,  I remember playing the original on my friend's Amiga (and not liking it much), but as soon as I got my own computer (a Performa running System 7.5.3) and I got over the learning curve of the game I went on to complete it.  As far as I remember the final stage was a major pain in the behind!

In any case, just like many games have in the past, this franchise is getting a revamp and it's coming out on newer consoles as a third person shooter.  The trailer looks pretty good (see bellow), and with good cinematics and storytelling it looks like a promising video game.  Maybe I can dig up my old CD-ROM that contains Syndicate for System 7.5 and run it in an emulator to see what the specific story line was - more or less evil corporation wants to take over other corporations by using cybernetically enhanced humans to destroy other corporations' cybernetically enhanced humans, but the specifics escape me.  Looking forward to the revamp! :-)

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File dis-organization

I was reading Rebecca's post the other day about file dis-organization and her journey to figure out what to do with a problem that plagues most academics that I know: that of finding interesting articles, downloading them for potential future reading, and then losing track of things (or not knowing where things are).  I have to say that I've struggled with the same problem as well over the past few years and I think I've given up on trying to figure out how to organize things - luckily MacOS has a good enough system search (provided that everything is indexed) that allows me to find (most) things.

My files reside on my hard drive, on MobileMe iDisk (even though that is going away soon), Dropbox, sugarsync, SkyDrive, and ZumoDrive (again, even though this is going away soon). I was thinking of getting Papers for the Mac, but then I thought to myself: what about times when I am not using my mac? In retrospect I should have just gotten it because I almost always use a Mac, and if I don't have one at work I always try to find a way of getting one.  I have tried zotero, but I honestly didn't like it because of the need to use Firefox (which has become pretty unstable over the years, and zotero tends to make it crash, at least in my experience).  Mendeley is not bad, it was introduced to me by @cdetorres, but I've never really gotten "the hang of it" - perhaps it's now time to revisit it, given that it is getting good reviews from people I know and whose opinions I value. The one fly in the ointment is that their iOS client kind of stinks... oh well.

So, my file organization? Just create a folder named "articles" and dump things in there.  If I am working on a specific project, that project gets a folder, but other articles that are interesting just get dumped in "articles" and I figure it out later ;-)
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Adieu ZumoDrive?

Adieu ZumoDrive???

I got the following message from ZumoDrive support last night:

This is an important ZumoDrive service announcement. You are receiving this email because you have an active ZumoDrive account.
Motorola is excited to announce that we’ll be moving over to MotoCast to continue delivering innovative, cost effective solutions for accessing, sharing, and consuming your digital content. MotoCast provide seamless, instant access to all your computer's content from your smartphone, tablet or even another computer safely and securely. Stream your own music, videos, photos and files without the burden and cost of uploading to a public cloud. For more information or to download the free MotoCast application please visit
As part of this transition to MotoCast, Motorola will be shutting down ZumoDrive. After May 1, 2012, ZumoDrive users will no longer be able to use the service. Any content remaining in your ZumoDrive account beyond May 1, 2012 will be securely deleted along with all account records.
If you want to retrieve your data stored on ZumoDrive, we strongly recommend you take action as soon as possible to download it. We have made it easy for you. All you have to do is:
Get the ZumoDrive downloader tool from here:
- Windows downloader:
- Mac downloader:
Log in with your ZumoDrive account within the ZumoDrive downloader
Choose a location on your hard drive to save all of your ZumoDrive files
Make sure that you have enough space on your hard drive for everything in your ZumoDrive account.
For more information, see our support article at and see answers to frequently-asked questions at
Note: Users of HP Cloud Drive, HP Web Service Store Bundle Customers, Cruz Sync and Toshiba App Place Bundle subscribers are unaffected by this shutdown and can continue to use their ZumoDrive powered service. ZumoCast service is also unaffected by this shutdown.
We thank you for your support and use of ZumoDrive. We look forward to sharing the new MotoCast experience with you!
The ZumoDrive Team

ZumoDrive is one of the cloud storage providers that I use, and given that it has a pretty nifty iOS client, and it integrates with Yahoo! Mail (which I still use) it was pretty useful.  The weird thing is that their website is operating  as if the shutdown will not take place, but they knowledge base FAQ article spells it out.  I wonder why they decided to shut down. They were one of the better online cloud storage providers 
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Assassin's Creed: Revelations - 50% sync

This past weekend I got more gaming in that other weekends (mostly because most of my other work is done...except I've been procrastinating on one project...more on that later).  I ended up going a but past the 50% sync on Assassin's Creed Revelations having retrieved 2 (out of 5) Masayf Discs, cleaned up all of the templar dens (and getting all of my assassin recruits trained to some level) and getting most viewpoints synched (and most shops repaired).

I've said this before, but I will say it again, Inception-like environment of Desmond in animus, being Ezio, while he is experiencing Altaïr's memories...not bad!  It also helps with tie things together.  With 50% of the game done, I am wondering how things will wrap up in the end (or will they?)  The one issue (thus far) is that I have no idea how to find animus data fragments in an easier fashion.  If I bump into one, great, but other than that, there are no treasure maps that lead to you to animus data fragments.  Luckily you only need 30 or so to unlock all of Desmond's memories, but there are 100 (and you can bet there is some sort of achievement associated with getting all 100).

More playing later... now time for work!
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Τελευταία εβδομάδα στο ΙΤ

Την πρωτοχρονιά του 2011, όταν επέστρεψα στην δουλειά (βιβλιοθήκη) μετά τις γιορτές έμαθα πως μου έδιναν μετάθεση στο τμήμα ΙΤ, χωρίς να με ρωτήσουν με μετέθεσαν Το καλό είναι πως το τμήμα ήταν πολύ γαμάτο οπότε για μένα ήταν κάτι σαν προαγωγή ;-)

Πριν περίπου ένα χρόνο λοιπόν, πήρα μετάθεση και ήρθα στο τμήμα ΙΤ (που μου έδωσαν και ένα καινούργιο 27αρι iMac!) και όλα ήταν καλά. Τώρα πάλι αλλάζω τμήμα, αλλά αυτή την φορά εθελοντικά και πάω στο τμήμα εφαρμοσμένης γλωσσολογίας ως μάνατζερ του διαδικτυακού τους προγράμματος Μάστερ. To 27αρι iMac το αφήνω πίσω (σνίφ σνίφ) αλλά μάλλον με περιμένει νεότερος υπολογιστής το νέο τμήμα. Το τμήμα γλωσσολογίας είναι στα παλιά μου λημέρια, το κτήριο Whealtey στο οποίο βρισκόταν η πρώτη μου δουλειά. Τώρα μετά από 6 χρόνια επιστροφή στο κτήριο! Το καλό είναι πως τουλάχιστον τώρα θα έχω ένα παράθυρο, στην παλιά μου δουλεία στο Whealtey ήμουν λες και ήμουν στην φωλιά του Batman ;-)

Άντε να δούμε τι νέες περιπέτειες θα έχουμε φέτος στο νέο τμήμα :-)
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Castle defense games...when did they become so popular?




I was browsing the free iPad app of the day and I came across this game called Gem Keeper which became free for today. As with many iOS apps that look vaguely compeling and have just become free,  I decided to download it and give it a try; and I have to say that it is quite addicting.  The question that comes to mind of course is when did castle defense games become so popular? I remember a while back one or two castle defense games coming out (dealing mostly with fantasy related themes like wizards and orcs) but there seems to be a castle defense game these days to suit all tastes.  Why am I shooting fuzzy little creatures and why are these creatures after crystals (that supposedly turn them into some sort of gremlin)?  I don't know! (although to be fair, it may have been in an intro screen that I skipped in favor of playing).


It seems like tower defense games have become one of the favorite touch-friendly games out there and I am wondering why. The mechanics are all the same from TD to TD, so why the variety?  Hmmmm.... If anyone has an answer let me know :-)


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