xmllint

This Linux tool is my new best friend. We get thousands of XML files from our clients for loading user, class, and enrollment information. Some of these clients customize our software or write their own software for generating the XML. This means we frequently get oddities in the files which cause problems. Thankfully I am… Continue reading xmllint

December Dilemma

From a CNN article, For Many, December’s a Dilemma by Joe Sterling (mentioned by Phillipe Copeland): Navigating the Christmas season can be a challenge for the millions of people who don’t celebrate the holiday. Many acknowledge and sometime embrace the season’s customs, such as gift-giving and sending out greeting cards, while at the same time… Continue reading December Dilemma

Computer Metaphors

An effective way to explain something is to use a metaphor. This can be especially effective by picking an metaphorical object or behavior with which the audience is already familiar. The one I see most often is comparing computers to a car. This morning I saw this on an email list describing a person’s experience… Continue reading Computer Metaphors

Superhero Economy

Watched a number of episodes of Justice League Unlimited today. Buildings, roads, and machines get pulverized by the violent actions. Someone rebuilds all the destroyed stuff because in the next episode, everything is pristine to get pulverized again. So much rebuilding must suck for insurance premiums. However, it does ensure lots of construction employment, material… Continue reading Superhero Economy

Racial Profiling

Walking home from the bus in high school, I saw police cars and officers in front of my house. Their presence made me extremely apprehensive. The only little assurance was my father talking to the officers. Someone broke into the house and stole some of our stuff. We felt violated. Our own home was unsafe.… Continue reading Racial Profiling

Microsoft Outlook 2007 Wishlist

From 2001 to 2006, Microsoft Outlook was the email client I used for work (and on my home computer to access work stuff). Back then, Exchange was not available, so a number of the features were more hacks than reality. However, it worked pretty well. When I changed jobs, Netscape and Thunderbird were the pre-installed… Continue reading Microsoft Outlook 2007 Wishlist

Feedback Loops

Remakes don’t scare me. Some are good. Some are bad.  The thing to remember is, “Its just a movie.” The world won’t end over a poor movie. There’s always another one in a few weeks to either like or hate. If it stands up to the test of time, then you’ll buy the Blue-ray and… Continue reading Feedback Loops

Bottle v Tap

Its funny what people think about something we take for granted. Brown tap municipal tap water was stated as the reason for drinking bottled water. Is it a corporate v goverment thing? Is it because bottled water is so much more expensive than tap water so it must be better? From Coca-Cola’s letter to the state… Continue reading Bottle v Tap

TED Talk: Picking apart the puzzle of racism in elections

By Nate Silver A less than convincing point… The list of states with voters reporting a racial bias only well matches the Obama-Clinton difference map because Nate draws the audience to the states he’s picking on: Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia (5 hits). He totally ignores the strong race bias in South Carolina,… Continue reading TED Talk: Picking apart the puzzle of racism in elections

Losing My Mind

CPR/AED training requires time on the floor rescuing dummies. Objects in pockets, like my Digital Elph, interfere with rescuing dummies. Digital cameras on desks without supervision have a tendency to disappear. (Not so much from coworkers kleptomania but from my distractions.) So I put it in my work backpack.  Today is the First Day of… Continue reading Losing My Mind