Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: computer

Colorful ponies from days gone by… still running in circles.

Categories: computer, organization

Bills. Receipts. Reminders. Piles of paper.
Why do I put off doing my taxes until the last minute every year???
You would think I would learn, right?

Anyone else out there in the same predicament???

Categories: computer

So somewhere along the way while I was in Dover… my computer CRASHED!
Okay, maybe “crashed” is the wrong word… let’s say it went black!!!

So a little background… I’ve been getting this error message for awhile.
And like most people, I ignored it thinking & hoping that it might not be too bad?!
Ignoring a problem hoping for the best. And it seemed to work. Kinda.
As I was working on my computer, the screen would suddenly go black. No warning.
About once a week when it started. More frequently as I continued to ignore it.

When the computer would restart, I would get this error-message screen…

But while I was in Dover, the screen stayed black after restarting. No message.

I could tell that my MacBook Pro Laptop was turning on because the keys would light up. But the screen was black. Bummer. And because of this, my blogging has been “on hold” for quite some time.

I took my computer to Lapin Systems in Lincoln Park to see what they would say. Fix it or time to buy a new one? Of course, he suggested fixing it… he is the Fix-It Guy after all. But everything he said sounded logical and he seemed very trust-worthy.

He explained that the white screen error message is a “Kernel Panic” alert.
Thus my question that is now the title of this blog post. It’s an indicator of a hardware issue somewhere inside that is triggering this alert.

Turns out I had a dead Graphics Card. And unfortunately, In my laptop, the Graphics Card is embedded in the Logic Board. So I had to get a whole new Logic Board. Which was still a LOT less money than buying a new laptop. Which I was dreading as a new laptop means new Operating Systens, which means a lot of conflicts with my antiquated software. New Logic Board, no changes, no problem.

So I just got my laptop back – all good to go. Thanks to Lapin Systems.
But now I’m WAY behind on all my blogging… so I’m going to be dropping in a lot of out-dated, back-dated, old posts to fill in the void.

My apologies ahead of time. Bear with me.

Categories: artists, Chicago, computer, creativity

Chicago flag created by the students at Lane Tech High School using laser cutters, 3D cutters & 3D printers. Each student in the LT Makers group designed & created their own “tile” as part of the overall “flag.” Each tile representing “something-Chicago” in a topographical form to make up this really cool Chicago flag being displayed at Navy Pier!



Categories: computer, organization

Eight more hours & counting. And still calculating…

Categories: computer

Well, it’s been a long couple days with fingers crossed.
Hoping that the “data recovery specialist” would be able to work his magic to get my laptop computer back up & running AND get all of my files, photos & applications back in place. Good news – everything’s back. Whoo-hoo!¬† Computer running. Looks as good as new! Huge “expensive” sigh of relief. Immediately after picking it up, I went to the Apple Store to buy a new AirPort Time Capsule to start a regular regimen of backing-up my computer!

So now I’m back in business…
and I’ve got a lot of blogging, a lot of photos to share & a lot catching up to do!
Watch for some “retroactive” posts put back into place as though nothing ever happened!

Categories: computer

If your Software Update alerts you to upgrade to OS X Mavericks… BEWARE!!!

I hit “upgrade & install” and now my Mac Laptop hard drive is all screwed up. I hit that RESTART button many, many times. But it just kept coming back to this same screen. Nothing else. No chance of escape. The Apple Store said they could repartition my hard drive, but that would erase everything on my computer! Everything!!! Not an option.

So instead my laptop is now with a specialist trying to do some “data recovery magic.” Expensive magic. So did the Mavericks upgrade break my computer?… who knows. The Apple Store Genius says no. The fact that it happened during the installation makes me think otherwise. So think twice before you upgrade to OS X Mavericks… and be sure to back-up everything on your computer now!!! I just learned a very valuable & expensive lesson.

Categories: computer

So a pattern like this is pretty cool. Graphic. Colorful. Repetitive. Kinda fun…

Unless it shows up on your computer screen…

So I had to take it into the Apple Store for a repair.
You know it’s never a good sign when they refer to your laptop as “vintage.”
And just a quick heads-up… they don’t “fix” vintage!!! Seriously.

Apparently, any computer that is six years older than the date the stopped making that
model is considered “vintage.” And seriously, they don’t fix “vintage.” I wasn’t kidding.

So I am now the proud owner of new Apple Mac Book Pro…
Excited to have a new toy. Not so excited to have to figure it all out again…
and hope that all of my files, music & software all transferred over okay.
And just for the record.. my wallet isn’t so happy either.

Categories: art fair, computer, process

Okay… so everyone’s been raving about the “Square” and how wonderful it is
for processing credit card transactions on my iPhone. My plan was to use it at
last weekend’s art fair… but everything didn’t go quite as planned!

When I got to the location, with a LOT of “atmospheric interference”…
which is just a nice euphemism for impending doom, gloom & storms…
my iPhone was not receiving a very strong signal. So we decided to go “old school”
with my original system of accepting cards and processing them after the show.
While I’m still intrigued by the “Square”… here’s a few things I learned…

1. With the “Square” you can now accept all four major credit cards for the same
minimal processing fee. No longer is American Express a huge expense to accept.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

2. You can still use the “Square” to process credit cards manually after the show
by typing the information in by hand. My understanding is that the processing fee
is slightly higher for manual transactions.

3. If you are going to process manually, you need to “capture” the credit card number
and expiration date as normal with your old knuckle-buster. But you ALSO need to
write down the “secret” code on the back of the card and the customer’s billing address
zip code. If you don’t have all of that information, you cannot process the card manually.

4. When you get to the point where the customer has to sign, they literally use the fleshy
tip of their finger to write on the iPhone screen. Here’s the best part… if they mess up
or want to start over, you just shake the phone and it erases the signature. Do over!

5. On the customer’s receipt, there’s actually a Google Map with a pinpoint showing
the actual location of where their credit card was used. Very cool.

6. Seriously seconds after pressing “send” to process & authorize the transaction,
the information showed up right away on my laptop. Right away!!!

So I’m looking forward to my next art fair and the chance to use the “Square”
as it is intended. Swiping the cards right through my iPhone. I’m sure I’ll have more
to say about the “Square” as I continue to use it more. But for now…
I’m hopefully intrigued and think it’s going to be great… as long as I can get past
poor reception and my fear of losing battery power after a long day at the fair?!

Categories: computer

It’s been a long time coming… trying to convince myself I needed it…
but I finally took the “technology plunge” last night!

My original iPod was failing…
my cell phone is one of the oldest out there!
And I’ve been working extra hard for the past few weeks…
so why not treat myself to a new toy?!

I’ve had it less than 24 hours and I’m already addicted!
It now has thousands of songs, a few fun video games, my favorite
new movie “Across The Universe” and some great “aps.”
Plus Internet access anywhere, anytime with the touch of a finger!


I’ve downloaded a few fun “aps”… or “applications” for the unaware.
Including a few favorites – “Tipulator” as seen on the latest Apple commercials
where you can easily determine restaurant tips & instantly split the bill
by the number of people in your party. How many dinners have ended with
an awkward session of determining who owes what?! No more.

Plus “One Tap Movies” which will tell you with “one tap” where the closest
movie theater is to wherever you are at that time – plus the shows & showtimes!
Oh, but wait there’s more… it also shows you the movie’s preview trailer!!!

And that’s just the beginning of the iPhone fun… I’m hooked.