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RIP Dwayne McDuffie

Dwayne Mcduffie
Dwayne Mcduffie

These past few days I have been ranting about how excited I was to watch the new All Star Superman movie and in doing so was more than happy to mention the man who wrote the script for the movie, Dwayne McDuffie. I have enjoyed his comics and cartoons/movies (even before I knew he was involved in making them), and wanted to give proper credit and explanation for why his work is so good. I have never been very good at writing stuff like that (always more technically minded, sorry)… I was going to ask my buddy/cousin Jeremy to write something to put on here to better explain why McDuffie is such a great asset to the Comic community, but I had no idea it would end up being under these circumstances.

Earlier today, Dwayne McDuffie passed away. It was very shocking and sad news and I wasn’t sure how to respond. By the time I had a chance to talk with Jeremy about it he had already written an amazing and heart-felt note on his Facebook page about Mr. McDuffie. I asked for his permission to post it here and he obliged. So, without further ramblings from myself, here is a very nice tribute to Dwayne McDuffie:

Today I was informed of one of the hardest things I’ve had to hear so far in this short year of 2011: Dwayne McDuffie has passed away today (2/22/2011) after a surgery Monday had complications. for those that are wanting to see: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=30969 was the page tweeted to me by Alex Mason (thank you for keeping me updated man). This is something that is really hard for me to deal with at the moment because i just worked 13 hours on 4 hours sleep so for those that are reading this, bare with me because I’m about to go off on a tangent.

Dwayne McDuffie is/was my favorite Comic Book writer to read. Everything he wrote in my opinion was gold. From the co-creator of Milestone Comics (which includes my favorite comic book character period: Static) to the recent run in JLA vol 4 that was hampered severely by Dido’s executive team his writing always stood out to me. He had a way of making you want to know more about the characters he was writing about, a different take than the usual straight forward status quo, and often times he would use often forgotten characters to make the ones he was working with better. He could take a story that many would avoid and work it into a realistic yet fiction setting. A talent like McDuffie can be replaced? but it’ll never be duplicated or respectfully mirrored. He was a man that could break down and rationalize any fight fans could think of (look up McDuffie’s break down of a fight between Superman/Wonder Woman it makes you step back and really think about the characters in a different light) when asked on his forums.

I’ve yet to read a comic book series as good as the Static 1-45 (owns about 2500+ comics and has read about 2x that). This series covered a lot of REAL issues within each of it’s pages. A lot of DC comics can be broke down into about 4 styles: Superman, Batman, Cosmic, random. By this I mean: Superman: super light side, with a lot of justice yet big blue holding his morals, Batman: grit and schemes and plans and the ‘shadows’ everything dark about the world (note I believe about 70% of comics tailor to this style), Cosmic: space stuff like GLs and Darkseid, Teams: JLA/Teen Titans/JSA/Outsiders/Doom Patrol/REBELS/LoSH/etc. each of those styles cover a different issue of sorts, most avoid the real issues at all possible usually only alluding to them. In Static’s series? you name it it was more then likely in there if a teenager has to deal with it (lol of course not everything, but it did a really good job).

I would of liked to see Dwayne’s comments on the first issue of the new ongoing Static series that Felicia Henderson (writer of Fresh Prince and the 2010 run of TTs) is going to be writing. While a lot harp on her? McDuffie displayed a respect and a lot of praise in her work in that short span with Static. I think they’ll probably make the first issue a ‘in memory of Dwayne McDuffie’ issue, if not I’ll be disappointed in DC comics as a whole.

Now I have to sit back and look at whose left? while I like Johns and Morrison work a lot, they did not bring a balance view to comics imo. That added to Dido’s tyrannical reign leaves little faith that McDuffie’s characters will be treated with the respect they deserve (other than Static and possibly Hardware). He was one of the only writers that when writing a African descent character that did not immediately make everything about the usual wrongs of their history. He would put them in the here and now, respect their history, and not make such a deal to the point of pushing away readers (for example: what a lot of Black Panther’s writers do). He made me want to read more of different race characters that’s for sure, because besides Black Lightning and Apache Chief in Super Friends I didn’t know of many, then Green Lantern John Stewart in JLA cartoon (which i later learned was being produced by McDuffie) and Static in Static Shock (written/produced by McDuffie) cartoon.

Static-Shock-The-New-Kid
Watch Static-Shock Cartoons Online

Static Shock the cartoon is what made me go out and start buying comic books (which at the time Static was not in comic books… so i started on Xmen academy and Teen Titans). I now own a lot of the Milestone comics titles, including the complete Static series 1-45, his mini in 2001, and the more recent stuff too including Milestone Forever (a 2 comic must read imo) and his JLA vol 4 run.

I think I’ve spoken enough/explained how strongly i feel about this man’s impact on my life. Without him? I wouldn’t be the comic book fan I am today. I will miss you and your writing Dwayne. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family/loved ones. most of all, as a loyal fan you will never die to me, because you’ll live on in my heart/mind and forever be a foundation to my comic book views, opinions, and approaches to comics.

thank you for the amazing time you gave to us.

RIP Dwayne McDuffie

Jeremy Campbell
Jeremy Campbell

About the author: Jeremy Campbell is a young well-rounded and hard-working Michigan man. He owns thousands of comics and has read even more. When he’s not sharing his knowledge and love for comics, he is probably writing his own (in the form of role-playing stories) or watching sports (or working).

Note from Alex: if you are looking for any books/comics written by Dwayne McDuffie, you can find them, but they are selling out fast!
Here’s a good place to start.
Also look here for movies/cartoons he wrote/produced.

Ubuntu Unity Not Quite Unified

Ubuntu
Ubuntu

Today I decided to upgrade my Netbook from Ubuntu 10.04 to 10.10 so that I could test out the Unity interface without having conflicts from my custom settings I had going on with the previous interface…

The Good

On one hand I have to say it is a lot cleaner and more crisp than I had first thought. The glitchy/buggy issues I was having with the menu/title bar were gone and the launcher bar seemed to work correctly this time. Also the overhead hub (or whatever they call it) for viewing files and applications seemed to be better as well.

The Bad and The Ugly

So what didn’t I like? Getting to my files was a major pain! I have multiple partitions and like to keep most of my media files (audio, video, and even digital comics) on a separate partition and it took meĀ  a solid 5 minutes before I could figure out how to access them.

Here’s what I had to do:

  1. on the launcher bar, select the grey/white icon for “Files & Folders”
  2. wait 10 seconds for the overhead hub thingy (I’m just going to call it that until I figure out what the official name for it is) to show up.
  3. Then click the “Documents” folder at the bottom-left (any folder would work I suppose, but the options are limited to the main 4 or 5 folders in your Home directory).
  4. Look at the upper-right corner (just below the powerbutton icon) and click on the folder (again, grey/white) and FINALLY the “File Manager” will show up!
  5. The “File Manager” should look familiar, so browse files & folders and mount drives as you normally would.
  6. I highly recommend this step: in the launcher bar you should now see an orange/pink icon that looks like a folder with an arrow cursor on it. right click on that bad-boy and then select: “Keep in Launcher” so you don’t have to go through this mess all over again!

Why did that have to be so stinkin’ difficult?! They better fix that before 11.04 when it hits the Desktop version as a default interface!

**And No, you can’t just go to “applications” and search for “File Manager” because it wont show up!**

Other Problems?

You can’t use print screen when the overhead hub thingy (told ya lol) is active. Also, looking for applications is a little annoying… sorting through the system applications is even more annoying as now they are all grouped into one “System” category instead of having sub-categories of “preferences” and “administration”. There are a few other “minor” issues, but I can look past them for now.

Conclusion:

The first 3 minutes I thought – Oooh Shiny!
The next 20-30 minutes I thought – GIVE ME BACK THE OLD NETBOOK INTERFACE! (or even Gnome)
After that I thought — Meh… it’s not bad once you figure it out, but that’s not a good way to kick things off… I may be more forgiving than most… Anyone coming over from Windows or Mac for the first time is probably going to hate it and curse Ubuntu and perhaps shun Linux altogether for it…
That’s just my thoughts…

Batch Zip and Rename – I love the Terminal!

Today I needed to compress numerous (around 25) directories into individual archives (in this case, zip’s) and then rename them with a different extension (in this case ‘cbz’). This would have been extremely painful to do manually… I mean, right click a directory — one at a time — then left click “compress” (or zip, depending on the context menu)… and I’m not even going to go into renaming (there are at least 3 ways to manually rename a file, and I don’t want to describe them now. If you care to know just ask).

So what did I do? Did I really bother with all of that nonsense?! NO WAY! I have no patience for that!

Here’s the easy way:

1.) First, open your terminal (sorry, this is for Mac and Linux machines only, I don’t have time to convert the code to work on Windows).

2.) Next, navigate to the directory your files are in.

3.) Finally, run this command:


for dir in `ls`; do zip $dir $dir/*; mv $dir*zip $dir.cbz; done

And it’s as simple as that! All done in one easy process, just a few lines of code!

If you just want to do a batch zip, without the rename, use this code instead:


for dir in `ls`; do zip $dir $dir/*; done

I hope that helps someone out there…

Update

Here are a few different methods to try for batch-zipping in Linux:


## zip all files and folders in current directory
zip -r "${PWD##*/}.zip" *

## zip the contents of each folder from the current directory into an archive
for x in *; do if [ -d "$x" ]; then cd "$x"; zip -r "../$x.zip" *; cd ..; fi; done

## zip each folder into an archive
for x in *; do if [ -d "$x" ]; then zip -r "$x.zip" "$x"; fi; done

## another way to batch-zip
for i in $(find ./ -type d -maxdepth 1);do zip -r9 $i.zip $i; done

## same as above only using tar instead of zip
for i in $(find ./ -type d -maxdepth 1);do tar -czvf $i.tgz $i; done

Website Template Fixed – Now looks good in all browsers!

Firefox Internet Explorer Chrome and Safari
Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari

Remember when I said there was a problem with my template layout that caused it to display funny in every browser except Firefox? Well I finally got around to fixing it and thought I’d share the solution with you all. I figured it might be helpful to someone.

Why The Difference?

The different browsers display things slightly different sometimes because they use different “kits” (or rather — rendering engines)
to parse the HTML/CSS/JavaScript and convert all that code into the page you see (I’m trying to keep this in layman’s terms as much as possible).

Who Uses What?

Firefox uses Gecko
Chrome and Safari use Webkit
Internet Explorer uses Trident
Opera uses Presto

What To Do?

For code you only want used by Webkit (Safari & Chrome):
follow the guide here — http://css-tricks.com/how-to-create-an-ie-only-stylesheet/

For code you only want used by Trident (Internet Explorer):
follow the guide here — http://www.evotech.net/blog/2008/09/css-hack-for-google-chrome-and-safari-31/

How to speed up a slow iPhone OS 4.0 upgrade.

How to speed up a slow iPhone backup (via OS X Daily)

I recently tried to update my iPhone to version 4.0 but the backup process of the update was taking FOREVER!

I assumed that the only way to speed it up was to clear out any non-vital data, such as text messages, pics, and etc. I backed up my pics to my Mac using iPhoto and deleted them form the iPhone once done. I deleted all text messages, old voicemails, and removed a bunch of apps i never use and don’t really want/need. Then I shut it down and back on again and put it in airplane mode.

Now the backup portion of the update seems to be going faster, but still horribly slow. Apparently it is doing a full backup without exception (meaning it backs EVERYTHING up even if it was backed up previously and unchanged since).

If you have any tips feel free to post them in the comments below. Otherwise all I have to offer is what I typed above and this link I found: here.

***UPDATE***

I have noticed this seems to be quite a popular post (based on the results I am seeing on StatPress), so I think it important to update you all on how everything went.

I have a friend who works in Technical Support for AT&T. She offered some extra help in figuring out the problem. To make a long story short, this is in fact a problem associated with older phone models (such as the 3G) and here is the process that worked best for me (your mileage may vary)…

What to do

Step 1: Backup your purchases to iTunes. File->Transfer Purchases from |your phone’s name here|

Step 2: Backup your photos. Since I was performing this upgrade on my Mac at work, I used iPhoto to do the backup.

Step 3: Delete all photos from your phone (don’t worry, you already backed them up in step 2 right?).

Step 4: Delete any old/unused apps from your phone. This will decrease the amount of data on your phone which will speed up the upgrade process.

Step 5: Delete any old/nonessential text messages, emails, voicemails, and etc.

Step 6: If you have a ton of music/video on your phone, as long as it is safely backed up to iTunes, go ahead and remove it from your phone.

Step 7: Put your phone in airplane mode. Settings->Airplane Mode->On (this will prevent anyone from calling/texting you which might interrupt the Sync).

Step 8: Turn Off Notifications. Settings->Notifications->Off (this will prevent your apps from sending you push notifications which could interfere with the Sync).

Step 9: Begin the Upgrade process. It should begin by doing a full backup of your iPhone, then proceed to install the new OS, then if everything goes well it will restore your data and apps to your phone.

Step 10: Turn your notifications back on and turn off airplane mode.

Other Notes

If for some reason your phone does not have the data and/or apps on it after the upgrade, first ensure that the upgrade was in fact successful. Go to Settings->General->About->Version and it should say 4.0 (followed by some numbers and/or letters in parentheses). If it says something else, restore the phone to factory settings and try again.

If your phone is upgraded to 4.0 and you are still missing your data/apps then simply re-sync your phone with iTunes and you should be all set.

Another problem people have been having is connection to the network (AT&T phone service and/or 3G/WiFi). My phone had this problem and my friend informed me that this was actually the most common complaint they had.

To fix this, simply put your phone in back in airplane mode, wait a few seconds, then turn airplane mode off again. If this doesn’t work, try powering off your phone then back on again.