Month: December 2002

The Toadies rocked Deep Ellum Live last night

The Toadies show was awesome last night. They played to a packed crowd at Deep Ellum Live. Before the show we had speculated on whether or not Lisa, the bassist would play. She didn’t. I thought the show just wouldn’t be the same without her but I was wrong. The show was classic Toadies. It’s too bad it was their last. They are such a great band.

Dad and I are now ASA-certified sailors

Back after a much-needed break from the laptop. Today I completed my ASA Basic Keelboat certification. It was a great weekend of sailing. Now that I’ve got my cert I can rent the J22’s at Chandlers. Who’s ready to go sailing?

The cert covered two classes. The first class was the weekend before Thanksgiving. My wife, kids, sister, and brother-in-law got me the beginning sailing class as a birthday present (thanks again, guys!). The owner of the “ntssweb” had asked, “Are you sure you are up for winter sailing?” It had sounded slightly foreboding, but that weekend was one of the most perfect weekends for sailing ever. The wind was up and the temp was warm but not hot.

When we picked 12/28 for our Intermediate class I figured we wouldn’t get as lucky on the weather as we had the first weekend. But when Saturday rolled around it turned out to be another beautiful day. The morning wind was a little lighter than we would have preferred but it picked up in the afternoon.

This morning there was some fog on the lake and it was a bit chilly but the wind was up and we were working hard, putting the J22 through its paces, so I barely noticed the cold spray. (On both mornings I was able to take advantage of some fleece pullovers I got for Christmas which worked perfectly as a middle layer).

If I may say so, my Dad, who was taking the class with me, and I executed our sailing skills pretty darn well. I was a bit sloppy leaving the slip but I shook it off and subsequently nailed the slalom course and the race course. We’ve still got a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to logging more hours in the boat but I was feeling pretty cocky by the time the weekend was over.

The written test was 130 questions. We both scored well, just shy of a perfect score. I don’t know about my Dad but I was really hoping for 100%. The sailing school owner had said there had only been one perfect score at his school in the last several years and I was disappointed I couldn’t bump that up. (Advice for ASA Basic test takers: Understand the different horn signals, night-time lighting requirements for sailboats, and what equipment is/isn’t required on a sailboat of a specific length). My Dad beat me by one question. DOH!

I’m still working on “creating a vision” for the rest of the household, but if I can add some advanced creds to my diving and sailing certs, log a bunch of time doing both, and save up cash, maybe I can have a second career as a dive shop/charter boat operator. Now that’d be the life…

Farewell to OS/2

So farewell then, OS/2 – Windowed to death, finally. ‘Better Windows than Windows’ Losedows [The Register]

“…Now the legacy is over. Man, it was a sweet OS!!” [Tom’s Blog]

Back in the day I worked in the mainframe department of a large semiconductor company. Only a couple of select individuals had PCs. Everyone else had dumb terminals. And this was 1992. When we got our first PCs, they were loaded with OS/2. I think OS/2 had a better terminal emulation or something. We were always thumbing our noses at the Windows folks. OS/2 was for people with “serious” technical needs. I learned REXX on OS/2 and loved it. I used it for a lot of different tasks, much like Perl or Python is used today. Then, slowly, our systems became dual-boot because there were Windows apps we had to run that wouldn’t run on OS/2 for some reason. Eventually, we were all-windows. Forced by The Man to use a “sub-par” operating system.

John Robb’s definition of a k-log

Here’s a good interview with John Robb of Userland about what a k-log is….There’s an interesting observation in the comments to this interview. There’s a programmer who’s been doing what I do (keeping a Project Notes type file) for years.” [Tom’s Blog]

I like the concept of using blogs in a corporate setting and I think the project notes file is a good idea, but the question I have about that is, wouldn’t it be better for you and that guy and anyone else, to put their tips and tricks into a corporate knowledgebase (maybe topic-specific) that everyone could easily share and contribute to? A project notes file doesn’t sound leverageable by the org. His sounded like he publishes his such that the whole org can get it, but still, there ought to be a framework for capturing that type of knowledge that encourages others to contribute.

I also agree with the comment-provider that blogs seem very one-sided when compared to a discussion database, and that it is harder to understand the context of a post. That may be something I will get over with more exposure and use.

Am I too hardened by my history with Lotus Notes? I am keeping an open mind but there do seem to be hurdles…

Mississippi Students Build Their Own PC’s

Mississippi Students Build Their Own PC’s. Mississippi couldn’t afford to put PC’s in every classroom. So students are building them as part of an ambitious effort to add computer engineering to the curriculum. By Michel Marriott. [New York Times: Education]

I think it is awesome that these kids are cranking out machines, especially with the goal of putting one in every classroom in Mississippi. They are learning a ton and helping their school and community But, they are paying over $600 per machine just for the parts. Didn’t I see that for $199 you can get a Lindows box at Wal-Mart? If Lindows is a problem they can pony up another $100 for the one that comes with XP.