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Boston

Mather Tomb

Oct 31, 2019

Copp's Hill Burying Ground is said to be haunted by Increase Mather, according to Bostonians.

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Mather Tomb
Internet

ShortPixel

Sept 22, 2018

If you want to reduce the size of your images, ShortPixel is an awesome tool to use.

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Short Pixel Feature

Hot off the Press... back in July of 2020

Reset Preview Icons

Every so often I find that my preview thumbnails through my Mac finder disappear. They don't disappear entirely, they just stop displaying the preview of the file and show only the generic jpeg icon. It's a fairly cumbersome problem, especially when the icon previews help determine which files I may want to use.

Fortunately, there's an easy fix for this and it's basically nondestructive.

  • Open to the Preferences folder of your home directory
  • (your home > library > preferences)
  • Delete com.apple.finder.plist
  • Right click on Finder icon in the dock and select Relaunch.

Note: This may not fix all icons. I find that it works best with EPS files and AI files.

  Filed under the Macintosh category. - Permalink

Boston 2024

On January 8, 2015, the City of Boston won the right to represent the United States Olympic Committee recommendation hosting city for the 2024 Olympics.

This came a surprise to many as Los Angels seemed to be the favorite city, considering they hosted the summer games before and have the facilities in place.

Not everyone in Boston was happy about being selected as a potential hosting city. About six months later the City requested to be removed from the United States Olympics committee recommendations.

Boston2024 Believe Window

If you look around Boston, you may still see some signs of the push to bring the Olympics to Boston. This sticker was recently spotted on a window on Columbus Ave.

What Happened?

One of the reasons that Boston withdrew from being a hosted city was because of the underestimate of cost to transform the City from an ordinary city to a world-class Olympic hosting city.

Some Key Points

  • While the Mayor of Boston gave it a lot of support, the newly elected Massachusetts Governor - Charlie Baker had some doubts about how it would get pulled off.
  • The winter of 2015 was brutal on public transportation in the Boston area. The city was hit with record snowfall and caused serious delays for many days. Some experts felt that the MBTA would need to have a serious upgrade in order to host the Olympic Games. A quick fix was not a realistic option.
  • An independent audit was requested by the Baker Administration and found that many expenses were underestimated by millions of dollars.
  • The public opinion in Boston started to go down once people understood the cost of the project and the magnetite of the change. In six months the public support for the bid went from 51% to only 40%. (wbur poll)

  Filed under the Boston category. - Permalink

Yankee Candle Village

One of the places we like to shop at in central Massachusetts is Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield. It's a fun place to spend an hour, or more, browsing around all the cool candle and accessories that they have,

The one downside is that the place is literally in the middle of nowhere. So usually if we are stopping here we are going to or coming back from a destination - such as Vermont or something in Western Massachusetts.

Yankee Candle Village Desktop
Yankee Candle Village Mobile

Five Things to Check out at Yankee Candle Village

200,000 candles! You certainly find the perfect candle here!

Did you know that you can make your own candle jar? You can pick out various colors and designs in the Wax Works section. Fun thing for kids to do. (The Wax Works Candle-Making section is closed due to COVID-19)

It's always Christmas time at the Yankee Candle Village. They have amazing Christmas displays throughout the store. Certainly a fun tradition! Stop by in July for Christmas in July festivities.

Look for the 25-foot Christmas Tree and 6-ft Tall Nutcracker Lots of great classic toys and stocking stuffers for Christmas.

Find the place where it snows every 4-mins!

  Filed under the New England category. - Permalink

Upload to Different YouTube Channels

If you manage multiple YouTube accounts under the same login, it can be difficult to setup up the Final Cut Pro export option. This is because when you set up the YouTube export option, there is no option on which channel to upload the video. The video will always get uploaded to the default account.

This is a common situation for people with branded YouTube accounts.

This is a problem if the intended video is for another channel. You can't move videos between channels. According to YouTube official instructions you have to download the video, switch to the other channel then re-upload the video.

Alternatively you could just export the video to the Desktop and then open up Chrome and YouTube and then upload the file to the channel of your choice.

You Tube Manage Permissions

Easy Solution

So the quick and easy solution is to assign a different email address to the channel that you want to upload to. This is a bit tricky to set up, so let me walk you through the steps.

Note: You can easily set up a secondary email account on Gmail, Yahoo, or any place else. You need a real account because you'll need to verify the email and permissions.

Set up the email first, before going through these steps. If you're not using a Gmail account, make sure to log in to Google first before going through all this.

Steps to assign a new user to a YouTube account:

  • Go to YouTube.com and click on your image on the top right of the screen, and make sure you're on the channel that you want to assign the new login. (If it's not using the "Switch Account" option to select your channel)
  • Then click on the image again, and select "YouTube Studio"
  • Click on Settings on the bottom left.
  • In the Popup window, select the "Permissions" menu item. You'll see a link where you can Manage Permissions. Click that link.
  • You may be asked to log in again - just Google adding an additional layer of security. Click on the "Manage Permissions" button.
  • You may be asked to login again - fun times.
  • On the Manage permissions dialog, click on the icon in the top right - it looks like a plus sign next to a person. This is how you invite new users.
  • Make sure the permissions are set to Owner or Manager - so they can upload videos.
  • After you click on the invite button, a confirmation email will get sent to the email address. Click on the link in the email.

Meanwhile Back in Final Cut Pro

Once this is all set up, you can now set up a new YouTube export option.

  • Open up Final Cut Pro Preferences (Command ,)
  • Select the Destinations in the top menu.
  • Click "Add Destination" in the left nav
  • Click YouTube
  • Sign in to your new YouTube account
  • Done!

Now you'll see two options to export to YouTube. There's no way to configure the name that gets displayed next to the YouTube icon. That might be a setting set up by YouTube.

  Filed under the Final Cut Pro category. - Permalink

Test Cases Specs

On January 25, 1988, Presiden Ronald Reagan gave the following quote at his last State of the Union address:

"As ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu, said, "Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish; do not overdo it.""

The idea behind this quote can be applied to Test Cases for regression. I often see that when initially creating the QA test engineer will overwhelm the test case with complex steps and validations. It's important to keep the test case as simple as possible.

Tips and Tricks

Each test should focus on one test result. (This will make it easier to downgrade tests.)

The test case should piggyback on a parent test. For example, the common path to the functionality being tested. This will make it easier to change future enhancements and make it easy to test that test against other paths that customers may take.

Keep the test as simple as possible. If there's complexity involve consider splitting the test up.

Test Cases should be easy enough that anyone new to the organization could be able to follow the steps. However, don't keep it too simple to miss out on the reason behind the test.

Just like developers have code review, QA should have their test cases reviewed by their peers.

  Filed under the QA category. - Permalink

Good Bye Evernote Plus

Last week I was up for renewal for my EverNote Plus subscription. I decided not to renew and become a basic EverNote subscriber.

Five Reasons Why I Didn't renew

Wasn't Using it Much. Over the past year I wasn't contributing any new content to my notebook. I basically use EverNote to look up information.

Seems too expensive. When I used EverNote it was great but since I rarely use it, I have felt that the $30 a year subscription wasn't worth the cost.

Seems Bloated. The application took up too much memory and disk space. I just felt it was too much of a hassle to open the application to find anything - let alone be the sole application to store day to day notes.

COVID-19. My main use of EverNote was reading on the train. As I am not traveling much on the train, I don't have the need for the application.

Billing Issue. Last year EverNote was quick to bill me for my subscription. No warning that my membership was coming up. No email to let me know that a payment was processed and thank you note. It seemed very cold and made me feel unappreciated.

Substitute Applications

There are four applications that I am now using for Notes.

Google Keep - I have a work account and a personal account. So I have quick notes that are targeted for work or home.

Day One - great way to organize daily thoughts. The calendar views make it easy to see what I thought about last week. Very useful when reflecting one on one meetings.

Notion - my reference go to app. This is where I store information that I may need to use later - such as database queries or how I access some reports.

Apple Notes - my quick note app. If I need to remember a phone number or what wine to get at the store - then it goes in to Apple Notes. I can always transfer the info to another notebook source. This helps reduce the clutter and the app loads fast.

  Filed under the Evernote category. - Permalink

GetPrank

Sometimes it nice to take a break from the every day craziness.

Use the getprank.com site to safely transform someones computer into a totally different computer. They could come back to a Windows XP, Windows 7 or ios.

There's different types of pranks: Pet Prank, Cyber Hacker, and Fake News.

Prank Website
https://geekprank.com/

  Filed under the Internet Tools category. - Permalink

Apple Notes

This week I have decided to go "all in" with using various note-taking tools. I have made the decision of moving away from the Evernote subscription service. One of the reasons that I have decided to move on was that that I haven't been using Evernote much and couldn't justify paying for the services.

On of my note-taking apps is Apple Notes. It's great because it's available on my iMac and iPhone. I don't use my Samsung Galaxy Tab E as much because of working from home due to COVID-19.

I have been playing around with Apple Notes and I like it. It does take some time to get used to using the applications. (I had to promote it to my iPhone Homepage so that I would use it more frequently.)

Three Things I have Learned

Here are some things that I have discovered.

Limited AppleScript Support

Works With Apple Script - No surprise, but it works with AppleScript. At this time it's not possible to create a new Note using AppleScript. I checked the dictionary and it doesn't support it. (Weird that EverNote has better AppleScript support) Right now you can basically show an Apple Note file.

This is my AppleScript that I was trying to run:

tell application "BBEdit"
	set docname to name of text window 1
	set doctext to contents of window 1
end tell
tell application "Notes"
	create note name docname with body doctext
end tell

No Text Services

There's No Text Services Actions - In the Keyboard preference panel, there's a service section. This is where you can enable services such as "Search in Google" or "Send Message." There's no ability to send selected text to Apple Notes.

Checklist

You can create a checklist and when things are done, the item gets moved to the bottom of the list. When starting a note, to get to the checklist format simply type in Shift-Command-L.

You can also add list levels by typing a Tab next to an item to make it a sub list. So if you're putting together a Saturday morning shopping list, you can have the top-level be the stores to visit and the sub-items be the things to pick up in the store.

  Filed under the Macintosh category. - Permalink

Martin Park

One of the youngest victims in the 2013 Boston's Marathon bombing was 8-year old Martin Richards. In 2019, a special children's playgound opened as a special tribute to him.

Marting Park Desktop
Martin Park Mobile

Five Things I Learned

Offical name is Martin's Park at Smith Family Waterfront.

The park opening day was on June 15, 2019 - 2,252 days after the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The park cost $13 million to plan and build. Most of the money came from private donations. The city did contribute some funds but it was a "standard" contribution.

The park is about one acre.

There is a stone leftover from the Boston Public Library renovation.

Park Video

Juliana spending an hour at the park on a cold November day. She enjoyed the different playareas and how open it was.

Location

Located at 64 Sleeper Street on the South Boston waterfront, just steps away from the Boston Children's museum.

  Filed under the Boston category. - Permalink

Bewitched Statue in Salem

In the heart of downtown Salem, Massachusetts, in Lappin Park, is a statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens - the popular TV character on Bewitched.

Bewitched Desktop
Bewitchedmobile

Eight Things to Know

  • Installed on June 15, 2005 at a large ceremony by fans and a few protesters - some people weren't happy that a TV witch statue stands in the home of the 1692 Witch Trials.
  • Statue was installed 35-years after the show did some filming in Salem, Massachusetts. The show was set in Westport, Conn.
  • Before being installed in Salem, people were able to get a preview of the statue at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
  • The statue and surrounding area is owned and maintained by TV Land - so if there's any damage done to the statue it will be fixed by TV Land.
  • In the original agreement, the will remain at Lapping Park for 10 years. After that the city can request the statue to be removed
  • Statue is 7 1/2 feet tall and weighs 3,000 pounds.
  • According to bewitched.net, TV Land spent $75,00 to install the statue. The statue was sculpted by StudioEIS under the direction of brothers Elliott and Ivan Schwartz.
  • The movie version of Bewitched by Nicole Kidman was released 9-days later. (Perfect timing?)
T V Land Side Walk
Small TV Land Mentioned on the pavement.

Salem Saga

The Bewitched episode that was filmed in Salem was called "The Salem Saga." You can find it in Season 7, Episode 3 in the Bewitched collection. It first aired on October 8, 1970.

  Filed under the New England category. - Permalink

Customize Browser List View

The Final Cut Pro browser window shows all the videos that having been imported into the currently selected library. You have the option of using the filmstrip and list mode.

The list mode seems the be the best mode to keep the browser view in since you can get more information on the individual clips.

Users can customize the view of the browser list view by adding/removing the columns.

Final Cut Browser Listing
My setup of the Browser Window

My Custom View

I recently update the view on my install so that I can identify some useful information. I added notes so that it would be easier to read the display.

  • I removed the Start and End Columns since they didn't add any more information to my clips.
  • Frame Size - I can now easily identify the 4k clips from the regular clips.
  • Frame Rate - This is important as clips that are using 240 fps are videos that are shot using Slo-Mo on the iPhone.
  • Codecs - Useful to tell the different codec the clips are in, and helps identify the different cameras that are being used.

What Prompted This Change?

I was trying to figure out a way to find video clips that I recorded using Slo-Mod on my iPhone. I thought that Apple would make it easy to find certain clip types. They didn't.

The Frame Rate is the right way to identify the perfect clips to change the clip speed. It will highlight the clip to use for this type of effect.

While you can apply the clip speed to any video clip, the higher frame rate will work the best.

This is why when shooting a subject, it's best to think about how you'll use the clip in production.

  Filed under the Final Cut Pro category. - Permalink

Google Chrome URL Page

Google Chrome has a lot of useful built-in debugging tools. You can access many of these via single page URL Cheat Sheet:

Chrome URL Page
Type this in the Browser URL field: chrome://chrome-urls/

How Does this Help QA?

There are some useful items here for QA. Here's a few that I encountered.

Chrome Flags - This is where you can see all the experiments available in the current browser. This is useful to check on every once in a while. You can find out what new tools are may get released soon and you can play with them.

Accessibility - This allows you to take a deep dive in Chromes Accessibility based on what's loaded up right now. You can find out more about Accessibility testing that's available in Chrome on the Accessibility Page.

User Action - This is useful when you want to see how Chrome responds to certain keyboard/mouse actions.

Inspect - You can setup the Port Forwarding. Useful when you need to debug an issue on a particular server. You don't have to change your system settings, simply enable it at the browser level.

Net-Export - If you need to do a data dump of web activity, this is the place to get it done. Simply enable the logging and perform the activity. A full dump of all the activity will be dump into a JSON file. This is useful when a developer may not be able to reproduce the error on their end, and they may find something in the logs to explain why.

Dino - Everyone's favorite Dino game is available whenever you want.

Fun to Explore

Take some time to check out all 85 links on the Chrome URLs page.

Again, to access the page type this URL in the Browser URL field: chrome://chrome-urls/

  Filed under the QA category. - Permalink

Why You Should Learn Tech Skills

With the evolution of technology, there's an imminent change in every industry and they will all become tech companies in the future. The need for using tech tools and hiring tech talent is increasing every day, and it's the only way for workers to stay ahead.

Should we all learn at least one tech skill? Yes, we should. Regardless of whether you want to work in a tech company or not, having a tech skill at your disposal is something that will level up your experience and make you more prepared for a professional career.

Despite what you may be thinking right now, you don't necessarily need to have a bachelor's degree in computer science to learn a tech skill. There are cheaper, short-term options that you can try like coding bootcamps or online courses. Here, we'll show you some of the reasons why you should start learning a tech skill and where you can learn them.

It Makes You a Problem Solver

Most tech skills, like data science, software development, or machine learning, function to solve a problem in a logical sense. Learning how to code will make you practice logic every day, see problems at a bigger scale, and discovering new paths to solve problems.

This isn't something that will only help you pay bills, learning how to code provides you deep analytical thinking and you'll soon become a problem solver once you start practicing every day. Problem-solving skills can be applied to every situation, not only when in coding.

It Makes You Future Proof

Almost every company is becoming tech-focused regardless of the industry. Just think about how many jobs that used to be manned by humans that are now automated by machines.

Almost everything is automated these days, from self-driving cars that will replace drivers to bookkeeping software that doesn't need human intervention. This leans the scale for people who have programming or any other tech skill. Being able to understand these activities will help you to ensure your role in the future, where almost everything is automated.

Most Tech Jobs Are Lucrative

Have you ever browsed Glassdoor to see the average salary of a data analyst, machine-learning engineer, or even a software developer? Most of these professions earn from $77,000 to over $123,000.

Salary rates differ in every case, but let's take data science as an example. Data analysts make from $100,000 to $123,000. The justification for this is there's a huge demand for them but supplies are low. As a result, data scientists end up having great salaries. This phenomenon occurs in several other tech jobs.

One should also consider the case of a software developer, who, on the other hand, is highly demanded yet supplies are steady. Software developers make less than data scientists, but the annual salary is still approximately $100,000 per year.

Tech Skills Help Companies Save

Saving money is important in everyday life. This is also true for companies that wish to expand. Having a basic knowledge of computer science will help you not only save money but also save time.

Calling the tech support department can be frustrating as the solutions it provides may not be suitable. Time is a resource that can be wasted when dealing with unnecessary problems you can solve yourself.

And the same happens with projects. If you have an idea and want to bring it to reality, but no one understands your explanation, the project might not be accomplished. Having the tech skills required for that specific project will help you generate desired outcomes.

Most Wanted Tech Skill

Most Wanted Tech Skills

Now that you are familiar with some of the tech skills, it is time to consider which path you want to take: a bachelor's degree or a tech Bootcamp. Regardless, you should be able to learn something you enjoy with a good salary. Here are some of the most in-demand tech skills these days:

Software Development

The ability to develop software gives you the flexibility to choose which tasks to automate at your company. We know some tasks can be repetitive and time-consuming. Processes like verifying data, dealing with accounting math, and doing statistics are tasks that a computer could do, and perhaps even better than us.

Besides, if you're creating your own company, and want to build an in-house digital platform, software development skills will help you a lot. There's a school where you can learn this skill in 20 weeks. Thinkful's immersive software development course will prepare you for the development of killer apps. You'll learn all fundamentals of software engineering and programming languages like Node.js, MySQL, and others.

Data Science

If you enjoy math and statistics, data science is for you. Data science refers to the ability to find meaningful insights in large datasets to make better decisions, prove a hypothesis, or find patterns. To become a data scientist, you need to understand programming languages like Python.

Galvanize is one of the leading schools in data science. Galvanize Data Science Bootcamp is oriented towards decision making. You'll learn how to work with machine learning, the statistical process, data analysis, and data visualization.

UX and UI Design

'Design' sounds like something artistic, right? Yes, but UX and UI design are far the traditional sense of 'design'. UX and UI design are related to user experience and how to improve it.

However, UI is more oriented to the interface and functionality of a software product. There's a reason why many users prefer to use Apple's iOS. The operating system is intuitive and comfortable for users. This is what UI design is capable of.

With Springboard's UX and UI design courses, you won't need prior skills or experience to learn. You'll learn everything you need to know about this skill from scratch and you'll be trained with practical classes with client-facing practices.

Mobile Application Development

We're all mobile users and we understand the importance of mobile apps. The reason why mobile app developers are in high demand is every company wants to have an in-house mobile application for users. These days, we spend more time on our phones than any other device.

Mobile developers work with Android and iOS operative systems, with each one working with a different language. Android developers work with Java, while iOS ones work with Swift or Objective-C.

App Academy's mobile development course will guide you through all of the processes of creating a functional mobile app. You'll have real-time practices that will allow you to track the performance of your project.

In Conclusion

No matter which path you take, learning a tech skill will open many opportunities that will boost your career or company. We know that technology is always changing, therefore, you need to stay ahead.

  Filed under the Business category. - Permalink

Clip Art Library

Clip Arts are great when you want to add a bit of life to a presentation or email. There are plenty of companies that offer clipart - at a price. You shouldn't need to buy one if your only looking for a simple image for an email or Slack comment.

The folks over at Clip Art Library has a large collection of clip art available at your needs. All the clip are for non-commercial use.

A quick search for "Snowman" produced 826,000 images - surely there's something that I could use.

Website Description

ClipArt are graphic elements used to create a design. In other words, this is a raster or vector picture that may have any graphic format. For instance, raster clipart comprises of photographs, drawings, which are composed of pixels, the scanned images can be also used here. A vector image is painted with the help of special editors, which are composed of curves and which may be edited at any time. Usually, they have EPS format.

Clipart is used to create a web-design, you can also draw up bills, posters, make cards, collages and wallpapers. Thanks to ClipArt and its individual elements, the new image is created including all the elements; it looks like it's a photomontage, a creation of the new design. At the same time, it will be a big plus if ClipArt goes without a background since you do not have to waste time removing it. What's the format of this kind of image? These are widely known PNG and GIF formats; the images can be saved both with a background and without it. There are also scrapbook kits for creativity, which consist of png images; those are a set of elements and backgrounds

Clipart Lubrary
http://clipart-library.com/

  Filed under the Internet Tools category. - Permalink

Combine in Template in Snagit 2020

One of the features of Snagit 2020 is the ability to use templated for combine images. This makes it really easy to show a side-by-side comparison. It's a nice feature to quickly put together some professional-looking designs.

Simply select the images in the Recent Capture tray or in the Snagit Library, right-click and select "Combine in Template." You'll see the following dialog box:

Combine In Template

At this point, you pick the template that works best for the message that you want to communicate. The thumbnail images help

Note: If your use to how combine worked in previous versions of Snagit, simple select the first option "Custom Steps" as it will show you the previous combine functionality.

Combine In Template Custom

Some Thoughts on Snagit Combine Feature

There's very little flexibility with combine images. I find the combine options in PhotoScape X to offer choices with margins, spacing between images and size of the combined image.

PhotoScape X Combine

I don't like how TechSmith Snagit appears at the bottom of every template. You can select the bottom object and remove them, just an extra step that I don't feel that I have to do. Snagit should do what BBEdit does when creating a new HTML document, add a setting to "Give BBEdit credit."

The other thing I don't like about the templates is that they are small size: 612 x 792. It doesn't really work when you combining 5 images. Sure you can resize the canvas but then you're having to adjust everything else.

If I need to put together a quick comparison, I'll probably use Snagit. But for detail combinations, I'll probably just export the images in Snagit and put it together in PhotoScape X.

  Filed under the Macintosh category. - Permalink

Captain Jeremiah O'Brien

Captain Jeremiah w was one of the key players in the American Revolutionary war. He holds the honor of being the first Revolutionary Captain to win the first Navel engagement against the British forces. This was an important event as it gave hope to the Colonial Navy forces that they could win against a strong navy.

Three months after the battle at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, the first American naval battle of the American Revolution was fought off Machias, Maine. The Americans, using pitchforks and handmade weapons managed to get on the British armed warships and brought the war to the seas. The five O'Brien brothers, Gideon, John, William, Dennis and Joseph overpowered the British and managed to kill Lt. James Moore.

This later became known as the Battle of Machias.

Captain Jeremiah Tablet
This Tablet is located in the Massachusetts State House in the Nurses Hall area.

Tablet Text

In Commermoration of his distinguished services in winning the first naval engagement in the war of the revolution and of his subsequent exploits in said such war as the first regularly commissioned naval officer and commander of the revolutionary Navy of Massachusetts

A grateful Commonwealth has erected this tablet

1937

Five Things I Learned

Tablet was created by John Paramino, who also created other work around the Boston - including the World War 2 Memorial, Declaration of Independence Tablet and more.

The tablet was unveiled on Saturday, June 12, 1937, in a small ceremony. It was the 162nd anniversary of the Battle of Machias.

Former Representative Joseph F. O'Connell gave a speech about why the tablet was important - early historians of America ignored how the Irish were a big part of the Navy.

Jeremiah O'Brien died on September 5, 1818 in Machias, Maine - while it was still part of Massachusetts. Maine didn't become a state until March 15. 1820.

Along with this tablet, there were five ships in the United States Navy has been named USS O'Brien for him and his brothers. You can tour the SS Jeremiah O'Brien at Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

Parts of Joseph F. O'Connell Speech

Here are some parts of the speech that we put in the records of the First Session of Seventy-Fifth Congress:

Massachusetts’ has determined that, in the march of time, the achievements of her heroes shall not be lost in the oblivion of the past, and today dedicates in enduring bronze this tablet to the memory of Capt. Jeremiah O’Brien, a Massachusetts naval hero of the Revolution, who won the first battle of the sea, on June 12, 1775; who captured the first enemy flag in battle on either land or sea; and who was the first naval commissioned officer and commander in chief of the Navy of Massachusetts in the War for Independence and of the Revolution.

She proclaims to the world, on this anniversary of the Battle of Machias, that she celebrates the day by recalling, through this official action, her proud claim that it was a native-born citizen of Massachusetts who first challenged England’s power of the sea.

This State is proud of the fact that it was off her shores that an English flag was first hauled down, after a sea battle in which the might of the British Empire had been successfully resisted.

Cooper, in his Naval History of the United States, called the battle off Machias the Lexington of the seas, and so it has been accepted by critical historians, and it is most appropriate that O’Brien’s success should be thus known. The Battles of Lexington «id Machias are much alike. In each Instance the regular force of the British had gone to attack the citizens of Massachusetts; in Lexington to destroy the supplies of the patriots; at Machias to intimidate and to secure the furnishing of lumber for the entrenchment of the British troops in Boston. The British were beaten in both battles—on land by the embattled farmers, and on the sea by Jeremiah O’Brien and his intrepid crew, after a bloody battle.

O’Brien’s victory—not alone in the personal odds against him— was graphically described by former Secretary of the Navy John D. Long, when he said: “It was the first challenge of the infant American Navy to the giant, and almost omnipotent, naval power oi Great Britain.”

it is quite fitting that this tablet to Capt. Jeremiah O'Brien should be placed in this beautiful setting with those whose work portrays the Revolutionary spirit; with Otis defying me might of Britain before the Supreme Council; with Paul Revere carrying the news of the approach of the British to Lexing¬ ton; and the citizens of Boston, under the leadership of Sam Adams, casting the offensively taxed tea into the waters of Boston Harbor.

....

May the enduring bronze of this memorial be a symbol of the courage and faith that brought into being our Commonwealth and Nation.

  Filed under the Boston category. - Permalink

Market Basket

One grocery store that many New Englanders are familiar with is DeMoulas Market Basket. They are well known for having the best selection with the lowest prices of other regional chains.

As of January 2020, Market Basket operates 80 stores within three states - 49 locations in its home state of Massachusetts, 30 stores in New Hampshire, and a single store in Maine.

Market Basket Desktop
Market Basket Mobile

Five Things I Have Learned

The first DeMoulas Super Markets store with the Market Basket name store opened in 1975 in Salem New Hampshire.

For some reason, Market Basket doesn't allow photography within the store. When you enter the store, look at the glass door and you'll see a notification that photography is prohibited.

During the 2014 Protests, Market Basket was trying to lure in customers with a 4% reduction on everything you buy. This didn't help as people were loyal to the protest.

In 2010, the company purchased land in Bourne, Massachusetts at the site of the former Cape Cod Factory Outlet Mall. The company paid $20-million for the land where Arthur T. was a major investor. After the purchase, a prominent real estate investor appraised the property at $9 million. This was one of many financial family disputes.

You can download this week's flyer from their website.

2014 Protests

In the summer of 2014, customers were boycotting shopping at Market Baskets. This was a direct result to have Arthur T. Demoulas return as CEO as he was outstate from the company by his cousin Arthur S Demoulas. In the media, they were referred to as Arthur T and Arthur S.

THe protest resulted in stores being empty from shoppers for about seven weeks. Some workers didn't want to work because they didn't want to cross the picket line and encourage shoppers to stay away.

The entire event ended on August 28th, 2014 when the Market Basket shareholders announced that Arthur T. Demoulas reached a deal to buy the company from rival relatives for more than $1.5 billion.

What's more amazing that customers returned back to Market Basket. Despite shopping at other supermarkets for several weeks, they still wanted to buy their groceries at Market Basket.

Six years later, shoppers are still doing their weekly shopping at Market Basket over Stop and Shop and Wegmans. In Framingham, on a recent Sunday morning, the Ashland Market Basket was packed while the Temple Street Stop and Shop was very quiet.

You can watch a 2016 Documentary about the protest: "We the people: The Market Basket Effect."

  Filed under the New England category. - Permalink

Normalizing Audio

In many audio applications, there are functionality to fix the audio so that it's the same tone throughout. That is, fix the audio where it's too quiet or too loud. Rogue Amoeba Fission's has this functionality and it works really well.

In Final Cut Pro, the easiest way to fix audio is to use the Audio Enhance Feature which is available under the Modify menu or simply use the Control Command A.

The key thing to remember is that after you apply the Audio Enhance Feature, you need to go under the clip Audio selection and check off the boxes:

Final Cut Audio Checkbox,jpg

Audio Demo

This week's demo is to see if it's better to use the Final Cut Audio Enhance feature or to do the audio editing using Rogue Amoeba's Fission. Listen to this clip, it's less than 3 minutes, and see for yourself which clip is better.

Side Note: This clip was translated off a TV broadcast that was recorded on VHS. I digitalized it about 17-years ago using Cleaner 5.

  Filed under the Final Cut Pro category. - Permalink

Regression Test Planning is like Packing for a trip

This is a follow up to last week's post.

Vacation Packing Experts will tell you take less than you need. Such as this tip from The Blonde Abroad:

Here's a traveler's secret. After all that packing, chances are you won't use half of what you plan to take. So why not save yourself the trouble and leave half behind? A neat trick that I've always done is set out all the clothes that I want to bring and definitely think I'll need and then take just half of them.

How does this relate to QA Regression Test Planning?

When planning the test strategy for a new function to add to the regression test, you should revise the coverage to focus on the most important functionality. When a feature is first created every part is critical but over time some of the features become less critical. When it's time to add the feature to regular regression - as part of the QA Transition Plan - some minor features are treated as critical issues.

Three Tips to Writing a Test Plan

It's QA job to balance the priority of testing the functionality to the amount of time that is available for regression testing. Here are some best practice tips I have learned over the years:

Know What is Important - The QA Team Lead needs to work with the product and Developer Lead on the critical parts of the feature. The group needs to decide what functionality is critical to the product going forward - post-launch. This is where the packing analogy comes in - decide now what is critical to take on the next release journey.

Tag Jira Tickets - When writing the test case, it's a good idea to reference the original Jira Ticket. I can't tell you how many hours have been spent searching in Jira for the QA ticket, just to find the product description or specs. I have found that test tickets may have error log notes that may help debug issues that happen long after the product was released.

After all is said and done more is said than done - I have seen projects that were once mission-critical, become a very low priority in a very short time. Despite all the "sense of urgency" that was initially given, other projects become more important. Ideally, a good QA Lead will follow up with the product to verify the priority of the feature functionality. However, balancing other projects usually distract QA from the ideal process.

  Filed under the QA category. - Permalink

Phone Number Format in Apple Numbers

Apple doesn't have any formula to format a numeric field to a phone format. It's actually pretty easy to set up using a custom format.

Steps to Create a Phone Number format

  1. Select the numbers in the column that you want to format
  2. Select the Cell under the format section on the right of the table
  3. Under Data Format select Custom Format
  4. Click the "Edit Custom Format" button.
  5. Now change the format to this:

Apple Number Phone Format

Some Notes

  1. I put in a rule so that only the numbers that match "8004249090" will get formatted. Everything else stays the same.
  2. The ### are special data fields in Numbers. You can't just type in the ###. You have to drag and drop the txt format to the field area.
  3. I had to type in the brackets and the dash
  4. If you click on the blue box you can remove the separator and reduce the number of numbers being displayed.
  5. Keep an eye on the number in the preview section, as it will help you build out the correct format to use.

  Filed under the Computers category. - Permalink

Password Meter

Secure Passwords are critical nowadays. It's important to make sure that people can't guess it - whereas at the same time you don't want to forget it.

The Password Meter is a great source to generate secure passwords. You can start by typing in a password that you use today and see if it passes the secure test. If it isn't, use the tool to add characters to make it more secure.

Password Meter
https://www.safetydetectives.com/password-meter/

Very Useful Site!

Here's four reason's to use this site:

Update Your Password - Experts will tell you that you should update your password every 60-days. Don't just update it by increasing it by one numerical value. Be Creative and unique. Password Meter will help.

More Passwords the Better - Experts encourages people to use different passwords for all your sites. The Password Meter helps with making sure each one is unique.

Randomize - The randomize feature is a great way to come up with password ideas - hey there's only so many ways you can use your cat name.

Good Habits - The Password Meter site will help you form good password habits. When you use this site a few times you'll start thinking of better passwords that will be tough to c

  Filed under the Internet Tools category. - Permalink

iTerm2 Shortcuts

iTerm2 is a very popular replacement application for Apple's Terminal. The application makes using terminal services a lot more productive. One great tool is the Key Mapping.

i Term Screen Shot2020

iTerm2 KeyMapping

If your copying/pasting the same commands every time you open up iTerm2, you should know about the Key Mapping functionality. You can easily set up keyboard short cuts to perform some common commands.

Examples

  • ps -ef | grep chrome ## Show active processes
  • tar -cvf- . | gzip -9 > files.tar.gz ## Tar and Compress the current directory
  • bbedit /etc/hosts ## Change the local host file
  • su - apachectl restart ## Restart apache
  • mysqldump website >mysql-backup.sql # Quickly Backup the mysql database
  • sudo -u company /home/company/.virtualenvs/dev-ppc-two/bin/python run_report.py

i Term2 Steps Keys
Follow the steps below to put your own KeyMapping

Setting up the KeyMapping

It's really easy to set up KeyMapping. You do it for each profile. Which makes it great as you may have different commands for each server that you are connecting to.

  1. Open iTerm2
  2. Type Command , to open up Preferences
  3. Select the Profiles on the Top
  4. Select a Profile Name in the left panel
  5. Then Select the ‘Keys' sub menu
  6. Click the ‘+' under the row of "Key Mappings"
  7. Click on the "Click to Set" and define your hot key
  8. Under the Action Menu scroll and search for "Send Text"

As you can see there are a lot of action items. iTerm has a nice document of all the capabilities that you can do. Some tricks you can do:

  • Quickly open up a profile that is tailing the error log file using the "Split Horizontally with Profile."
  • Switch between live and dev sites using the "Change Profile" action.
  • Search for ‘Errors' and ‘Warnings' that you may have missed using the "Find Regular Expression.."
  • Check out various AWS instances by opening the profile in a new tab via "New Tab with Profile."

  Filed under the Macintosh category. - Permalink

William-Loyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) was an American Journalist and crusader. His writing focused mostly on Woman's Suffrage and civil rights and was a strong abolitionist.

On October 21, 1835, he was a victim of a mob attack after he gave an abolitionist speech. The mob plan to carry him from the Old State House to the Boston Commons. Once there they were going to tar and feather him. The Mayor and his aids were able to come to William Loyd Garrison's rescue and take him to the city jail to keep him away from the mob. He escaped the city.

Many years later the city felt really bad for the way William Garrison was treated and decided to honor him with a statue on Commonwealth Ave.

Garrison Desktop
Garrison Mobile

Seven Things I Learned

  1. The Quincy granite pedestal is six feet high designed by John M. Wells. The entire statue weights two thousand six hundred pounds.
  2. The part of the statue that shows William-Loyd Garrison sitting was created by Olin Levi Warner, best known for the bronze portals on the doors of the Library of Congress.
  3. Installed on May 13, 1886, at 6 pm with about 50 people attending a very informal ceremony.
  4. The statue was to be displayed on October 21, 1885 - the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Mob attack but due to unforeseen delays in the casting, the work wasn't finished until May 13, 1886.
  5. The statue shows Mr. Garrison as he appeared around the age of 63. Note the overcoat that is thrown over the chair as a decorative effect.
  6. The face of William Loy Garrison was taken from an actual mask that John Rogers had.
  7. At the base of the statue is the words "I will be Heard" is from the anti-slavery newspaper "The Liberator"

William Loyd Garrison Statue Location

The statue is located on the Commonwealth Ave. Mall, between Dartmouth St. and Exeter Street

Lesson from William Loyd Garrison

John Stuart Mill, British Philosopher pointed out two lessons from Mr. Garrison's career:

The first lesson is: Aim at something great; aim at things which are difficult (and there is no great thing which is not difficult). Do not pare down your undertaking to what you can hope to see success in the next few years, or in the years of your own life...

  Filed under the Boston category. - Permalink

Minuteman Statue in Concord Massachusetts

One of the most famous statues in Concord, Massachusetts is the Minuteman statue at the Old North Bridge.

Minuteman Desktop
Minuteman Mobile

Eight things I Learned About the Statue

Installed On -The statue was Installed on April 19, 1875, as a permanent memorial for the centennial of the fight at the Old North Bridge. President Ulysses S. Grant was at the dedication. On the same day, the statues of John Hancock and Samuel Adams statues were raised in Lexington.

Rebuild the Old North Bridge First - Prior to the statue being placed on the current location, the town of Concord had to put up a new bridge. The original bridge was taken down in 1793 and there was never a need to put up a new one.

Statue Specs - The statue weighs approximately 1500 pounds. It was cast from ten discarded brass cannons donated to the town from Congress. The granite base came from a quarry in Westford. The Ames Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Massachusetts did the casting - you can see the signature on the base of the statue back.

Design By - Created by Daniel Chester French for free of charge as he was an unknown artist. He was only 23 when he created the Minuteman statue. He was paid $1,000 ($22,909.56 in 2019). That money came from the will of Ebenezer Hubbard, a local farmer who lived in downtown Concord.

Specific Location - The statue was placed on the spot where Acton Minuteman Captain Issac Davis and Abner Hosmer were killed when the British troops fired.

Pedestal Work - John Cole of Westford did the pedestal work. He was paid $975 for his work.

Missing Statue - In early January 1975, in a secret town selectman meeting, a vote was made to approve the National Park Service to remove the top of the minuteman statue so a cast can be made on it. On January 16, 1975, the statue was taken down. At the time people were told it was one of the National Park Services bicentennial projects. The statue was placed back on the pedestal on April 1st - plenty of time for the town's bicentennial celebration. It was later revealed that the cast was made because of a bomb was found at the base of the statue on November 26, 1973. The National Park Service wanted a cast of the statue just in case the original one was destroyed or removed illegally.

New Cast Request - At a Town Hall meeting in November 1992, a request by the National Guard was made to make another cast of the minuteman so that a new statue could be placed in Washington D.C. That request was denied.

  Filed under the New England category. - Permalink

Moving on From Wondershare Filmora

This is a new blog series that I am starting up here on cryan.com. I have been using Final Cut Pro Demo for a couple of months and finally made the decision to purchase the application. This blog series will offer some tips and tricks I have learned while using the application.

The goal here is to answer some questions that people may have about performing certain tasks within the application.

Wondershare Filmora

Prior to going all-in with Final Cut Pro X, I have been doing all my editing using Wondershare Filmora. It's a great application with a lot of power and cool tools.

I have a lifetime subscription, and still plan to use it every once in a while. I just thought it was time to move on to something that would give me more control.

Five Reasons I Switched to Final Cut

  1. There are a lot of very cool Titles/Transitions that come with Wondershare Filmora. If I want to expand on the collection, I can subscribe to the Filmstock store and get more effects. I felt that this really limited my resources. Final Cut Pro has a lot of third-party apps that can get even cooler resources.
  2. Filmora has a lot of great tools and effects around text titles. Users can expand on the defaults to create their own styles. Final Cut Pro has even more capabilities.
  3. Final Cut Pro has more power with importing media. When clips are imported they can be analyzed for balance color, fix the audio issue, and more. Final Cut Pro has a better preview section so that you can see the clip before importing. Wondershare Filmora only uses a standard Open dialog with limited capabilities.
  4. It's a lot easier to combine multiple camera shots to a common audio file in Final Cut Pro. I like to do multiple camera angles of some events and it's so much quicker to put it together in Final Cut Pro. The timeline can be enlarged to show the audio wave details - making it easy to match up similar video clips.
  5. Quick Imports. I can plug in my GoPro or insert an SD card into my computer and Final Cut Pro's Import dialog box will open up and let me know that there are files available to import. Once the files are imported, I can see how long the clips are, when they were created and leave notes about each clip for later use.

Lots More to Expore

There's a lot to learn about Final Cut Pro. I am enjoying several different online classes to learn about the application.

I found the Final Cut Pro X Weekly class on Lynda.com to be very useful. Each week they put together a quick hit tip on various topics such as Speed Effects, Keyboard Shortcuts, Color Correction, Timelapses, and so much more. Most clips are 5-mins long and they are packed with information.

  Filed under the Final Cut Pro category. - Permalink

Testing is like

Using some of the phrases from WordStream:

Testing Typewriter Desktop
Testing Typewriter Mobile

Testing is like herding cats. Cats are fiendishly complicated to manage, they eat when they want, sleep when they want, come and go as they please. A cat is going to do what it wants when it wants and there's precious little you can do to change that. QA Testing isn't entirely like that, but it's close.

Weekly Release Testing is like World of Warcraft because getting to green, and staying there, is testing hand-to-hand combat that never ends. The closer you get to the release day, the more cunning and more ferocious the feature testing you must face, and defeat. Release Day is a battlefield littered with the corpses of features that weren't up to the challenge.

Regression testing is like bacon: Everyone loves it. Some people try to say they hate it. That just means they love it even more.

Testing is like a can of Campbell's vegetable beef soup. If you can, think of the juice as the product features; you need the juice to make soup, and you need the features for testing. The vegetables are like testing best practices. The meat is like gray-hat testing. Last you have sodium which is about 85% of our daily value and it's not really that good for us. But it's also what keeps the soup fresh, and that freshness is why I get to keep eating my cans of soup. Similarly, there is a ton of code in the codebase today, but about 25% of the code created is not used on a daily bases. But that code is fresh, and to the end-users, that freshness is just as important as any other code.

  Filed under the QA category. - Permalink

Student Loan Forgiveness

I don't have any active student loans, but I still get someone trying to scam people that do. In this voice message, the caller puts some pressure to make sure that I call back.

If your looking some some student loan help, there's lots of legitimate places that can help: studentaid.govL Student Loan Forgiveness and Usa.gov: Replay Student Loans.

Listen to the Voice Message

Transcript

Apple supplied the following transcript:

'Hi my name is Rachel Cooper and my ''''_ ' ' 0157 I'm calling you today in reference to your student loans I need to discuss your payment options with you as soon as possible um it looks hear that there is an urgent changes to your account ' ''''' ''''' recently so if you can go ahead and give me a call back the number is 866-230-8249 I'm also going to go ahead and give you a reference number to have handy when you do a call back it will just make things a little bit easier on ''' ''''_ and that reference number is 25243''

Don't fall for these scams. Make sure that you know more about the company before giving any confidential information.

  Filed under the Media category. - Permalink

PosterMyWall

If your having a small party this summer, and looking for a good way to promote it on social media - try PosterMyWall for some great templates.

There are lots of great ideas. Many of the designs are in animated and just about everything on the page game be changed!

PosterMyWall has lots of categories and types available. You can sign up to remove the watermark and get access to more content. It cost $30 - $90 per quarter. If you doing a lot of designs - say you on a company's social group or on a PTO board - your better off doing the $90 plan.

Poster My Wall
https://www.postermywall.com/index.php/g/4th-of-july#

Happy 4th of July!

  Filed under the Internet Tools category. - Permalink

All-in-One Snag-it Capture

The Snag-it's "Capture All" feature is my new go-to screen capture. It really is an upgrade to the standard MacOX screen capture. If you're using Snagit - you should use it instead of the "image Capture" shortcut.

When you type the shortcut Control - Shift - O, you bring up the standard capture crosshairs to select the area you want to select. When you let go you get a little post-capture option - including the option to change the selection. Which is great because I can't tell you how many times when I do the capture and the selection wasn't 100% correct.

Capture All Snagit

Five Reasons to Use All-in-One Capture

As mentioned above, the ability to change the selection after the initial capture can save a lot of time later.

You can select the Panoramic capture to capture webpages. This is great when you want to capture a page that has an internal webpage frame. The panoramic capture depends on you moving the page, whereas the Chrome webpage capture depends on the page scroll.

Movie Capture - maybe you want to take a video instead of a screen capture. This is a quick way to start that process.

Undo - If the capture was taken at the wrong time, you can undo the selection. Saving you from generating useless files when doing bad screen captures.

  Filed under the Macintosh category. - Permalink

St. Francis of Assisi Garden

Just behind the Old North Church gift shop is the St. Francis of Assisi Garden.

The Chapel of St. Francis was created to meet the needs of Italian immigrants who were members of the Waldensian Reform movement. Once the movement left the area the Old North Church used the building as a gift shop.

The garden was created as a special area to remember the Waldensian Reform movement.

Francis Desktop
Francis Mobile

Four things I Learned about the Garden

The St. Francis of Assisi statue was placed in the garden on August 17, 1902.

The St. Francis of Assisi Garden is a sitting area, whereas the 18th Century Garden is where you'll find all sorts of plants and shrubs taken care of by members of the congregation.

St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and ecology, making him the perfect companion for the outdoor garden - you can find similar statues on eBay and some garden shops.

St. Francis Feast Day is October 4 = I wasn't able to find any information that the Old North Church does in the garden on that day.

  Filed under the Boston category. - Permalink

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

On the backroads of Holliston, Massachusetts is the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Its not only a special place to attend Mass but a place to walk around and be inspired by the 30-acre shrine.

This is the home of the Xaverian Missionaries.

Christmas Lights Fatima
Christmas Lights on Display - This year marks the 60th year of lights.

Shrine Mobile

Six Things I Learned about the Shrine

Established in 1950 by a group of priests from Italy. In August 1952, a group of Xaverian Missionary Fathers purchased a 15-room house that had a barn and 23-acres in Holliston. This would be the site of the current shrine.

In July 1948 - Archbishop Richard J. Cushing gave approval to the building of an outdoor shrine on the seminary grounds.

The priests and seminarians designed landscaped much of the work of the shrine.

The Rosary Walk is a 900-foot-long string of boulders fastened by a marine chain as a reminder to pray the rosary every day. The chains are connected to an anchor that was donated by the Navy in memory of President John F. Kennedy. The string of boulders is said to be the largest rosary in the world. Each boulder bears a plaque inscribed with the Hail Mary prayer.

Every thirteenth of the month is "Mary Day" - which honors the appearance of Mary to the children on the thirteenth of each month.

Christmas Lights Tradition - Since 1960, the shrine grounds is decorated with Christmas lights. Hundreds of visitors visit to check out the light display. Lights cover almost half of the 30-acre shrine.

Finding the Shrine

The Our Lady of Fatima Shrine is located at 101 Summer Street, Rte. 126 in Holliston. Note: Check out the satellite view on Google Maps.

  Filed under the New England category. - Permalink

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