Hard Drive Formats

If you’ve ever wondered what to reformat your flash drive or external hard drive, you are not alone. There are several formats to choose from, but there is likely only a couple that will work for your needs.

Formats

FAT32

FAT32 is the most common format found on flash drives (also known as thumb drives, USB sticks, or jump drives). FAT32 is perfect for these small devices because the format can be read and written to from every major computer or device (including Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux computers).

There is only one problem with FAT32, it cannot save a file larger than 4GBs. That might be a problem if you’re working with video or have a large ISO file that you’d like to store.

exFAT

FAT32 is being phased out for exFAT that can store files larger than 4GBs. Unfortunately, older operating systems do not support exFAT and there may be some compatibility issues.

Just like FAT32, exFAT can be read and written to across many platforms, including Windows and Mac OS.

NTFS

NTFS is a Windows format that can only be written to by a Windows computer (unless special software is installed). NTFS is the format of choice for running a Windows operating system but isn’t ideal for flash drives.

HFS+

Like Windows, Apple also has their own format called HFS+. This format has been the standard for Mac computers and their external devices. This format can only be read and written to by other Mac computers (unless special software is installed).

This format isn’t ideal for devices that will need to be accessed by Windows and Linux computers.

APFS

APFS is Apple’s newest format. It will replace HFS+ in the coming years and will offer several advantages over the 30-year-old format. APFS is designed for solid state drives and will make all of Apple’s devices more compatible with each other. Apple TVs, Apple Watches, iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and iMacs will eventually all run on APFS providing greater security and speed in the future.

ext4

ext4 is the successor of ext3, the format used by Linux operating systems. This format cannot be read by Macs or Windows computers (unless special software is installed). Unless you are running a Linux operating system, you may never run across this format.

Ray’s Drive Inn Review

Ray’s Drive Inn is the Home of the Original Puffy Taco and has been serving San Antonio residents delicious food since 1956. Those who live nearby love Ray’s. But for those who have never been, you’re missing out!

If a photo can say a thousand words, the thousands of photos taken by customers say millions! And I 100% agree with them. The food is spot on excellent!

While the trademarked Puffy Tacos are their specialty, Ray’s Drive Inn offers a full menu that includes seafood, burgers and every conceivable kind of taco you can imagine!

Check out Ray’s Drive Inn, you’ll likely become a regular!

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Puffy taco power.

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Taco Tuesday with Steve and Marty McHugh

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Ray’s Drive Inn hosts car shows occasionally because good food and classic cars are awesome!

Making Friends on the Web

Some of us are introverts. I’m an introvert. I can spend a whole weekend inside working away on my computer and be surprisingly content.

Even though I’m alone at a desk, I still have the potential to make friends all around the world. I’ll never forget the time a girl from China messaged me on Skype. She asked me to help her with a Photoshop project.

She lived in Hong Kong. I don’t know how she knew I would be able to help with her Photoshop project… I had literally helped another student with a similar project that day.

Closer Than You Think
This is the travel poster I designed for the unknown overseas college student. I was hoping that she would study the layers and learn how shadow effects worked. (Insert eye roll here)

The day she reached out, I had accidentally turned my Skype settings to allow anyone to message me. At first, I was surprised that someone from Hong Kong was trying to message me. I thought she might be a scammer. But, she quickly mentioned the Photoshop project and because it paralleled with what I had helped another student with earlier that day, I listened.

uiw-mac-lab-communication-art-aaron-garcia-geekdomAt the time I had a work-study job at UIW where I helped students with creative projects on Mac computers. I really enjoyed sharing what I knew about Final Cut Pro X, Photoshop, WordPress, and Apple computers in general with students and faculty. They would ask me how to do this and that, each time I somehow knew the answer.

I’ve spent more than a decade with my eyes on a screen. If the computer were a physical world, I could say I’ve seen many countries. I’ve learned how to edit videos, photos, extensively explored Excel’s capabilities, configured DNS Records, run virtual machines, created ISOs, recovered deleted files, experimented with steganography, generated strong passwords, used Terminal, made PDFs searchable with OCR, converted various file types, created encrypted archive files, opened a Bitcoin wallet, designed a font, I’ve installed many operating systems, and the list continues.

For as much time as I’ve spent alone on the computer, the Internet has introduced me to many new people who I’ll never meet in person. I’ve held conversations with Londoners and Asians. I use software from Canada and Switzerland. I’ve made friends and had many arguments with people from around the globe on social media.

I’ve found that I prefer making friends. Skip the politics, there’s more to life than that.

I recently commented on K.C. Wise’s blog blackbunchedmassmom.com. I read her about page, which will inspire improvements to my own. I feel as if I know her, even though I’ve only read a few posts and her about page. It was a great post, inspired profound reflection, I recommend giving it a read.

While there are those who insist meeting in person is a prerequisite to forging a lasting friendship… I point out that for the heavy thinkers — it is our thoughts, our souls that are boundless and can travel across the world; echoing into time.

Obama needs no introduction. With as much as we’ve seen him and heard him speak, it’s like we know him. Social media gives us the opportunity to experience a similar phenomenon mutually.

So if you want to be my friend, simply comment on my blog and follow me on Twitter. The Internet is the world’s largest mixer. We may know how easy it is to argue with a complete stranger, but how about transforming strangers into friends?

My 100,000 Photos

When asked if I’m a photographer I typically respond, “Well I have 100,000 photos on my camera roll.”

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You see, I recognize that there are better photographers out there. They’ve mastered the art of manual settings. They know how to compose an image, not just capture what they see.

agarciatv-45197 (Priime Cocktail)

My style is point and shoot. I capture what I see while trying to get the best angle. I don’t mess with makeup or ask my subject to pose a certain way. I’ve messed with manual settings only when absolutely necessary. Sometimes, I add filters.

undefined goal (Priime Chiaroscuro)

I photograph everything. Even my food. I capture life experiences. I take photos of my girlfriend. I photograph what’s in front of me to share it with others or just to save it for all time.

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Many of my photos never see the light of day. I snap it and then it remains unappreciated on an Amazon Cloud server somewhere in a distant land.

Sometimes I publish photos 6 years later on Instagram; those are always fun.

I capture memories and history; preserving them for all time.

So if you ask if I’m a photographer, well I’m not a snooty one. I know the tools, I’ve used them quite a bit. As far as my skill level — I’ll let you judge.

The Unexpected is Spectacular

I had a profound thought while watching fireworks go off on New Year’s Eve. A firework that was supposed to shoot up into the air exploded on the ground instead. While this is really dangerous, it was really awesome! I caught the whole thing on video and took stills from the footage to post on Instagram.

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Sometimes life doesn’t go as expected and things blow up. But even when that happens remember life is spectacular!

The Epiphany Sparked from a Misfired Firework

For me the past year had been filled with unexpected surprises. Not all of them good ones. But now looking through a new lens I realize that’s what makes life spectacular. It was the experience. The ride of life. Everything that comprises this soap opera is fantastic! I’m glad to be here.

I’ve never been one to just go with the flow; I’ve always been a fighter. I don’t want to die. I don’t want bad things to happen. I want to be in control, but despite my efforts, life will be life. I’m finally coming around to accepting that. Even enjoying life for what it is.

Even in the bad times, life is good. Something good comes out of everything. That’s what this misfiring firework showed me.

If you haven’t noticed, I can be very deep. It’s just a misfiring firework, but to me, it was a metaphor inspiring a new outlook on life.

Look at the guy who is just standing there. He is unflinching, taking in the moment. Then there is the guy running. In this metaphor, I’ve always been the guy running. Assuming that I knew everything would be okay, what an experience to stand there and see a firework explode that close!

I’m not actually saying that we should stand close to real fireworks. I’m talking about the misfiring fireworks in life. The experiences that you wouldn’t sign up for again, but now that you’ve experienced it, you can tell your friends and you wear it like a badge of courage.

Story from my Life

For me, that would be my episode in the hospital. I had come down with appendicitis and needed my appendix removed. I didn’t know I was that sick, so I waited three days before seeing a doctor. When I did, the doctor told me I needed to go to the hospital immediately.

Long story short, I almost died. And while that week in the hospital was terrible and I’d never volunteer to do that again — I now have a story to tell. Now that it is over and I’m through it, the experience added character to my life.

Experiences like this one are the kind no one wants to have, but once we experience them — we have an inside perspective few will have. It’s awesome!

What are some of your spectacular moments?

WordPress.com Introduces Free Images

Now I don’t have to go upload my own or download from pixabay.com, though I highly recommend them.  This new feature drops another exclamation point behind Why WordPress.com is Better, a post I published recently.

How to Add Free Stock Photos to WordPress.com

Adding a free stock photo to your post or feature image is incredibly easy! For adding images directly to your post, click add and choose the third option, “Free photo library.” You’ll then be greeted by a blank pop up. Use the search bar to search for photos relating to a keyword.

How to Add Free Images on WordPress

Since I am writing about free stock photos, I decided to search for “photo.” I chose one of an iPhone taking a photo of a sunset because I take a lot of my photos with my iPhone.

Searching for Stock Photos in WordPress

To add a stock photo as a featured image, click on the featured image panel on your right, click choose featured image and then click the WordPress icon on the top left of the popup that appears.

Choosing a Free Stock Photo as Your Featured Image

Now that I can add free stock photos this easily, I’ll likely blog more! The featured image is my favorite part of blogging. I can’t explain it, but I just love choosing gorgeous stock photos and writing a post to accompany them. Perhaps that’s the visual artist in me. I admire images.

Hope you found this post helpful if so let me know in the comments! I know I’m really going to enjoy this new feature.

If It Doesn’t Hurt It Isn’t Love

I was recently asked how well I take constructive criticism of my creative work. With the speed of a Patellar reflex, I replied, “If it doesn’t hurt it isn’t love.” My response was a proverb found in the Switchfoot song “Yet.”

If it doesn’t break your heart it isn’t love
Nah, if it doesn’t break your heart it’s not enough
It’s when you’re breaking down with your insides coming out
It’s when you find out what your heart is made of

For creatives, we love what we do. We pour so much of who we are and what we’ve experienced in our work. The best songs are inspired by heartbreak or an intense passion. You have to feel something.

I take pride in my work. I pour a lot of myself into it. Creativity is part experimentation and part love. How much love I put into my work determines how much it hurts when it is rejected.

To understand the creative process, one must understand how much skin a creative puts into the game. When I put little heart into my work, it not only shows — it makes me immune to criticism.

For a company to move forward and remain relevant, it must be innovative. Innovation is creativity. Creativity is love. Love is putting yourself out there; taking a risk with a part of yourself.

Your idea or creation may be rejected. Have thick skin? It might not be a question of how thick your skin is, but how much skin you have in the game. How much of you is out there?

Send a drone off to battle and it costs you little. Put yourself out there and it costs you your life. This is a metaphor for creativity. A part of me is out there when I choose to put myself out there. If rejection is inevitable, why put much heart into my work at all?

Real love hurts. It hurts because you were all in. Love is the beauty. Without love, there is little to admire.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

If you want marketing that sticks, if you want it to move people — it must be an emotional experience for both the creator and the consumer. It must be genuine. Not mass produced or random.

Why I Write

In this blog, I have been chasing after that soul. That soul within me. The one I don’t share often. I am trying to express myself in the most genuine, vulnerable, and honest way possible.

Being real is being yourself. Being yourself is the hardest thing to do. It’s so tempting to copy, deflect, and hide your true self.

I write to practice coming out of my shell. I could hide behind accolades, but we all know those are empty words. They are a front. Shared struggles are relatable. And relatability lends credibility. That’s worth more than any accolades one could be decorated with.

We are moved by true stories because fictional stories are too fantastic. The best art is interwoven with the truth. It makes you feel something. Communicates a feeling well.

One day when I’m brave enough, I’ll share something. There’s so much to share. Dreams, experiences, thoughts, beliefs, ideas… so many topics that would make for great reads. That something will move you as it moved me. But, I’ve got to dig deep for it. That’s why it’s gold.