Friday, 27th of February, 2009
Picture - In order to efficiently burn 60+ copies of the CD we are distributing for tomorrow's 4th grade strings camp, I decided to round up all the CD burners I had in the house and plop them into one computer, taking advantage of the multiple recorders option in Nero so I can crank them out quickly. I was surprised to find that I had 10 CD burners - this could become very efficient. Since I'm "only" making 60 copies I'm not going to go crazy and try to put them all into the 10-bay tower case that I have. Besides, IDE only supports 4 devices anyway, and I'm not about to find out how many CD burners a 300 watt power supply can handle before something bad happens. Moderation is key - I put 3 in one computer, and 3 in another, so I can burn 6 at one time.
Wednesday, 25th of February, 2009
Since I now have the Multitap adapter for the Playstation 2 I have been trying to find good 4-player games on GameFly. I've had Sonic Riders around for a while now but I have finally decided I can't warm up to this modern interpretation of Sega's Sonic and I sent it back.
Medal of Honor Vanguard, on the other hand, is excellent. All the things that make Call of Duty an excellent came are there, such as group combat, and somehow I was able to get used to the new standard controls better than in Call of Duty. It does support Multiplayer up to 4, but only in multiplayer activities - there is no multiplayer story line. The multiplayer arenas also seem a little small. In many ways it's not as fun as older Medal of Honor multiplayer modes, but we do get 4 player action for the first time, and at least it has it - unlike the stripped down Call of Duty port to PS2.
Tuesday, 24th of February, 2009
I've wondered for most of my life how semi truck drivers shift between their 18 or 20 speed transmissions, and I finally got the motivation to search on Youtube today:
Another great gearhead topic are 6-wheeled cars. This thread has some great examples.
Saturday, 21st of February, 2009
Today was the sightseeing day for the Nashville tour that we were chaperoning. We started out by walking through the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center to experience the largest individual hotel in the world outside of Vegas. Then we moved on the Opry Mills Mall down the street, which wasn't much of a sight by itself. For most of the time there I felt like I was at the St. Louis Mills since it was layed out the same way, though the Gibson guitar store was definitely interesting.
After lunch downtown at BB King we went back to the Opryland for the Grand Ole Opry show, which ended up being one of the most entertaining music shows I've attended. The artists and performances provided quite a bit of variety, all the way up to the more modern rock-like country numbers. There is no doubt that here you get to witness the top talent in country music, and among such a variety of artists is a short period of time. I've seen some amazing fiddle playing by some really good touring bluegrass groups, but I have not seen this amazing double melody/harmony playing until today.
Thursday, 19th of February, 2009
I have been spending some time this week in WebIntelligence on the Business Objects XI 3.0 platform to identify and get used to any changes from XI R2. Here is what I have noticed immediately:
- The new "quick formula editor" box is awful. If you make any typos while writing your formula, it won't parse, and you will then proceed to get an error where the only option is "Close" or "Help", and after you hit Close you are prompted with "You need to validate this formula or you will lose it. Would you like to validate it?" If you select Yes, you go back to your original error, and you are stuck in an endless loop of two boxes. If you click No you lose your entire formula altogether! I suppose one has to get in the habit of hitting CTRL-Enter to get into the proper Formula Editor every time they are writing a formula, but that is an extra step caused by a deficient feature!
- The section in the help file that lists all the valid date format strings is gone! Now how am I ever going to find the distinction between "MM/dd/yy" and "mm/dd/yy"? Unless someone can help me find it I'm going to have to save the page from the XI R2 and distribute it to my XI 3.0 students when I teach it because that is the page in help that I use most often!
- Hyperlinking between documents is no longer what feels like a hack, but you can only create hyperlinks in Interactive View mode in Infoview. But once you're there, you can select reports in the repository to link to, and it has an interface to link an object to the prompts for the destination report, as well as useful hyperlink options.
- You can finally write normal If-Then-Else and Else If statements, and you are not forced to write nasty, semi-colon-separated If functions with tons of parenthesis in them.
- Quick tools to align objects with one another like in Xcelsius have found their way into WebI. They are encouraging you to use it, because the quick right-click, Position menu item has been moved. Now you have to right-click on the object, find Align, and then Relative Position. The new object alignment is a good thing, but now I have an extra menu to go through if all I want to do is position the object 0 pixels from the left edge of the page, which happens a lot when you're trying to format the report for Excel output.
- Data tracking lets you virtually have two microcubes for a query, and your reference data doesn't even have to be the most recently run result set - you can freeze your reference cube's data. However, it is limited in that when you purge the query, it purges both cubes. Once you do that, your reference data is lost, and data tracking isn't doing anything for you unless you select your most recent result set again as your reference data.
Wednesday, 18th of February, 2009
I've been relatively indifferent about the bad news floating around lately regarding the automotive industry until I came across this announcement that will clearly affect what kind of cars people will be able to choose from in the next couple of years:
GM disbands unit that creates high-performance vehicles
DETROIT -- General Motors, focusing on mainstream products in a battle to survive, has scrapped a unit that produced high-performance vehicles.
GM today disbanded High Performance Vehicle Operations, which is based at the company's suburban Detroit technical center, and redeployed its engineers, said spokesman Vince Muniga.
"All high-performance projects are on indefinite hold," Muniga said. "The engineers are moving into different areas of the organization, and they will work on Cadillacs, Buicks, Chevrolets and Pontiacs."
The unit created low-volume vehicles for GM's divisions designed to appeal to enthusiasts and bolster the company's image. Products included V-series Cadillacs and the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, HHR SS and a V-8 version of the Colorado...
The High Performance Vehicle Operations unit could be reinstated once GM regains its financial health, GM's Muniga said.
"These guys are pretty good at what they do," Muniga said, "They are moving into different areas to work on core products." ...
Friday, 13th of February, 2009
I almost forgot it was staff development day at Ladue, but I quickly remembered when I turned onto Lindbergh. It just didn't look the same without all the school traffic.