Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hooray for the Flash Drive!

I haven't posted in so long I almost forgot my password!



Shiny Shiny has an intriguing article about an unusual use (IMHO) for flash drives with the new Vista operating system.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Holiday Laziness

I hope everyone had a very good Thanksgiving. I did. I'm being so lazy over the course of my 5 day break! I'm taking the time to just sit around, surf the web a little, watch some tv, and work on my network. I came across this video today. This guy has way too much time on his hands!! LOL


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Google Earth Hacks

Google Earth did an update in recent months, and there is a site called Google Earth Hacks that's pretty cool. It's not affiliated with Google but has some great downloads for the Google Earth app. Check it out.

Google Earth Hacks

Monday, October 16, 2006


This cracks me up. Reminds me of that commercial from a year or two ago where the guy is clicking his mouse. His wife asked him something about what he was doing and he told her he finished.

The End of the Internet this is just...real good :- |

McDonald's has reportedly shipped some mp3 players with a trojan horse. Seems that the fast food giant teamed up with Coca-Cola in Japan to give away some mp3 players preloaded with music and spyware. Supposedly the trojan horse contains a variant of some code that will steal passwords when attached to your PC. McDonald's is reportedly handling the situation.

Link to Article at Engadget

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I am officially a commentator! If you've not yet been to the Lifehacker site you MUST go. It is a website with all sorts of tips and tricks for computers as well as a host of other things. It is a VERY informative site that I think you will enjoy!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

New Web 2.0 Tool

I came across this new tool (at least new to me) while surfing yesterday. It's called StumbleUpon. You sign up for it and get the little toolbar that works similar to Google's toolbar and surf away. You fill out a little form with your interests, and that's the websites you will see! It's pretty cool.

Stumble Upon

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Login to the Africam!

Check out the live webcam over in Africa! I saw some wildebeasts today!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rural High Speed Access

I can relate to this article. My mom lives in a very rural area, and I work in one. Fortunately, I live in a small town with a couple of choices for high-speed access. I would find it very difficult to give up my DSL. My mom lives about as far in the woods as one can go, and she has DSL! It's through a company called CenturyTel, and they specialize in rural high speed access. However, I have some friends that live a little further out, and it hasn't got to them yet. Hopefully, it will soon.

Excert from the article

Verizon is not alone in its desire to reduce the number of landlines it owns. Big phone and cable companies are reluctant to upgrade and expand their networks in sparsely populated places where there are not enough customers to justify the investment. Instead, they are funneling billions of dollars into projects in cities and suburbs where the prospects for a decent return are higher.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Update: It's A Girl!

The itty bitty baby panda at Zoo Atlanta is a girl!!!

Mother and baby are doing fine. She will be named in a ceremony when she turns 100 days old.

Link to Yahoo article

Saturday, September 09, 2006


These two pandas at the Atlanta Zoo are the proud parents of a baby panda. The little cub was born Wednesday, September 6. The baby panda is very, very small and is only the size of "a stick of butter." You can watch the mother panda, Lun Lun, and her new baby on the Panda Cam.

Image from Yahoo/AFP/File/Steve Schaefer

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Florence Update

Looks like Florence will probably not be a threat to the US, although it could hit Bermuda. It's becoming disorganized so the Weather Channel doesn't look for much to come of it as of now.

Let's hope so.

Update: Florence has some more thunderstorms so it's still possible for it to evolve into a hurricane, but still it's not a threat to land.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


This picture is of Florence from this morning. She's churning away in the Atlantic and gaining strength. So far, she appears that she is going to miss the mainland US. Hope so.

Image from The Weather Channel

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A New Name

Now Tropical Depression 6 is officially Tropical Storm Florence. Let's watch the progression of the projected path over the next few days.

Image from The Weather Channel

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tropical Depression 6 UPDATE

It still doesn't amount to much yet, but Tropical Depression 6, with winds of 35 mph, could become Tropical Storm Florence later today. Let's see what happens.

It's still a long way from anywhere, and let's hope it stays that way.

Image from The Weather Channel

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!

How did Labor Day begin? According to the US Department of Labor, there is still some doubt as to who proposed the holiday.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Link to Article

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What A Find!

Some manuscripts have been found and are dated to be the earliest ones of composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Dated to be written in 1700, when Bach was only 15, demonstrate his musical ability and genius at an early age. They contain arrangments of other composers' works and are arranged for the organ. They are very musically demanding.

Image by Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

Read the rest of the article here.

Here We Go Again

I don't want to run this in the ground, but let's follow this one and see what it does over the next several days. This can be kind of interesting, although I hope it doesn't amount to too much.

Image from The Weather Channel

You can follow the storm's path on The Weather Channel home page.

Crash on the Moon

The European Space Agency successfully launched a spacecraft to the moon and over a three year mission tested such technologies as a low-thrust ion engine. Cool. Star Trek rules again. It orbited the moon for months taking readings and high resolution pictures of the moon's surface. It was luanched in September 2003, and scientists deliberately crashed it today.

Photo credits AP/ESA/Yahoo

Link to full Article on Yahoo

The Wiki Bandwagon

I've decided to step onto the Wiki bandwagon. I have a teacher friend who has a classroom full of wireless laptops she received last year with a Title IID grant. She also got a set of CPS units this year, and her students are going wild with them! A CPS unit is a set of little remote control "clickers" that students can use to answer questions. The software package can keep up with the correct/incorrect answers a student gives. I want to introduce this teacher to the world of a Wiki, possibly beginning by just giving them a place to host essay paragraphs, definitions, maybe some pictures, etc. I've done a little reading about it today, and I think I'm going to give it a try. I think I'll start by doing the Lifehacker "introduction" to wikis. I've got one set up on my home computers now that is not on the Web. I think this can be a good way to get started. To read the Lifehacker page on personal computer wikis, click here. It took me a few minutes to figure out the "server" side software as the command line commands didn't exactly work as notated on the site. However, once I got going things were pretty simple!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Heading North

Ernesto is headed north after making landfall in North Carolina last night. It's still got some gusty winds and is delivering rainfall on the order of 3-6 inches. It will be bringing winds to the Virginia area and interacting with some weather in southern Canada and heading into New England.

Bye-bye, Ernesto.

Image from The Weather Channel

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Picking Up Steam

Ernesto is picking up some steam as it heads up the Atlantic coastline today. Its winds are now at 70 mph, just 4 mph shy of hurricane status. The warm waters of the Atlantic are helping to feed its frenzy. Hopefully, it will soon go out to sea.

Image from The Weather Channel

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tropical Depression Ernesto

Ernesto is now a tropical depression. It's bringing heavy rainfall, but it doesn't seem to be too serious of a storm. Some flooding is predicted later in the week. The Pacific Ocean seems to be having the hurricanes this season.

Image from The Weather Channel

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tracking a Storm

Well, Ernesto is still a tropical storm, but look at how the projected path has changed from its first course. Meteorologists work very hard to give accurate forecasts using computer models, but it's a difficult task.

Image from The Weather Channel

Monday, August 28, 2006


Ernesto is still weakening, but who knows what will happen?

How about its course now?

Image from The Weather Channel

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Almost 12 hours later, and Ernesto is downgraded.

Image from The Weather Channel.

One Year Later...


The name brings shivers up and down your spine, does it not? Probably the worst storm in history, it devoured New Orleans and destroyed much of the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Families were uprooted and settled elsewhere. Many have returned, but I'm sure their lives are nowhere near normal, but will they ever be? It was such a horrific event I can't imagine what all of these victims faced as the storm raged through last year.

Let's hope Hurricane Ernesto is a weak storm.

Here We Go Again

Another hurricane season is upon us. Ernesto is strengthening in the Carribean and is currently projected to come to Florida and progress northward to adjacent Gulf Coast States. Meteorologists depend heavily on computer models to show them the possibilities of what storms will do. This path could change over the next few days. I wonder what changes, if any, the path will make? Let's watch the course of this storm and see.

Images are from The Weather Channel.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Welcome Back

I started this blog on August 14, 2005. I haven't done a wonderful job in keeping it updated this summer, but maybe I can do a little bit better. We've got some new things rolling out, and this summer kept me pretty busy keeping some of the old ones in working order. The student information system keeps me hopping.

I hope all students and educators everywhere have a great school year. It's amazing how you start your countdown on day 1 isn't it? I overheard someone say, "One down and 189 more to go."

I know the feeling.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Using Data to Improve Education

There's a push out there in America that calls for more data from schools. Why? Schools are now governed by a law from 2001 called No Child Left Behind. Schools are under pressure to prove their children are making adequate yearly progress. Data is compiled and reported and this adequate yearly progress (AYP) is determined. Administrators are using data from various programs to identify students who are weak in certain areas in order to better prepare them in those areas. They can also use data to determine which teachers are better in certain concepts and address those concepts with students who perform lower in these areas. School systems are hiring additional personnel to help compile this data for reports so administrators can see how students are improving in their classes. It can be an expensive endeavor for school systems.

There is an article with the Arizona Republic that explains this process pretty well.

Clustr Maps

Well I can't figure out how to make my Clustr Map work, so until I do, here it is.

Locations of visitors to this page


As you can see, I am in the process of giving my blog a major facelift. This is really easy, and hard, to do. This is new ground for me personally, because the code takes a little adjusting, and I'm not used to reading this kind of code. I know, I know. I'm behind the times.

Please bear with me as I get things finished up here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trees? In Antarctica?

Can you believe this? Global warming could actually cause trees to grow in Antarctica within a century.

Article on Yahoo

Saturday, July 08, 2006

San Francisco of the most beautiful places in the U.S., or at least it must be because I haven't seen all of them.

I took my first trip to California a couple of weeks ago. I've heard all my life how pretty the city of San Francisco is and how cool it gets in the summer. Well, I'm hear to tell you that Mark Twain's quote of "the coldest winter I ever had was a summer in San Francisco" is definitely true. Compared to the heat and humidity of the deep South I felt like I was going to freeze to death as I waited on a cable car to take me back across the city. I had on 2 shirts and a jacket, and I'm guessing with the wind chill it must have been close to 45 degrees or lower! In June!

I took lots and lots of pics. Many of them are over on flickr where you can view them. Before I left the city by the bay, I just had to get a picture of the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. We took a Fire Engine Tour that drove us over the bridge, as our hosts gave us some interesting facts about the city, the Bridge, and the city of Sausalito. It was money well spent, and you can read more about the tour here. If you're ever visiting San Francisco, I highly recommend it!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Money Well Spent?

Some things in this world NEVER seem to amaze me.


It seems that every month or two I come across an article where someone has received a grant to do a "study" on something. The results are always so painfully obvious to me. Why do we need to spend millions of dollars on things that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out???

The following article is a great example:

It seems that "zoning out while reading may impact learning." ??? Hello??? How many times did I study for a test in college and not remember what I just read??? It wasn't because I couldn't read it. It was because I wasn't interested in it or it was difficult to understand, and as a result, I "zoned out." Did it impact my learning?? Well, yeah!!! I couldn't answer that question on the test so obviously I "zoned out." So, I didn't LEARN anything from studying because I couldn't concentrate on the subject either from lack of understanding or from boredom.

A whole lotta computers, software, classroom supplies, equipment, etc., could have been purchased with the money it took to do this study. How many more are out there that are just like it? I'm sure these folks mean well enough and feel that their findings are necessary, but I just get upset about stuff like this at times. It just seems like it's too obvious to me. I'm all for research into the cure of diseases as well as educational research projects such as whether or not Accelerated Reader is working to improve reading in your school.

Oh well...I got that off my chest.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New Computer

Dell has a new version of the XPS that works similar to the iMac. It's a little heavy for me to carry around, but I think the design is really cool!

Check it out.

Dell XPS M2010

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Some New Stuff

I've been working on a personal project. I have a friend who has helped me set up a Debian server. I've been playing on it a good bit, and we installed and set up Moodle. I've talked about Moodle before in my blog. It is an open source course management system. I don't have it on the "live side" yet, but I'm getting there with my little demo version of it. I think this will be a good thing for teachers to use as possibly a course supplement to their classes. It would expose students to online classes as college courses using Blackboard and WebCT do.

If you haven't tried out a Linux distro yet, I encourage you to do so. I played with Ubuntu a little bit, and I really like it. I wanted a server install and went with Debian. I'd like to look into the Edubuntu and see what it's like. It's geared for K-12 environments and is open source as well.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

The End of the School Year

Well, it's all over but the shouting this Friday. For the kids, that is. Their last day of school for this year is the 19th. Wow, I graduated from HS myself on May 19th.

This summer is going to be very, very busy for me so I doubt I will be blogging too much. I hope everyone has a safe and fun summer!!

Until next time....

Tech Bits ~n~ Bytes

Monday, May 01, 2006


I have to post about Gasper, the beluga whale at the Georgia aquarium. Gasper is sick with a condition called osteomyelitis. It is a bone infection, and the vets don't know if he will get better or not. If you haven't been to the aquarium and seen the whale exhibit you really need to go. While Gasper is sick he is being treated and held in a separate non-public tank away from the rest of the whales. Gasper has lesions on his body that could be related to the infection, but so far treatment has not helped. Gasper is a favorite among the audience and often blows bubbles and chases them.

Let's hope Gasper gets well soon.

Pictures were taken by me.

Information about Gasper was taken from an article by Bill Hendrick in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Out of Touch

I've been really swamped lately, and I know I'm behind with my blog posts. Our tech plan is turned in, and maybe we won't have too many revisions on it. That's was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do since I took this job!

We've got a lot of things coming up at work in the next several weeks, so I don't know how regularly I'll be posting. Kids get out of school on the 19th, and teachers work a few more days. I will probably work most of the summer because we have a few projects to complete.

I'm not completely out of touch, but just may not be posting a lot in the next few weeks. I will try to do better.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Technology Planning

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I've been stressed writing our new three year technology plan for the system. It has been a major chore for me, and it's the first one I've ever done. I don't lack a whole lot with it, but just enough to make me jittery and know that I must finish it. I'll be glad when May 1st comes and goes!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Georgia Photo Blog

Some of us Georgia educators have gotten together and formed our own photo blog called Georgia Photos. We each upload our own photos taken in various areas of the state and write little captions about them. We each have a separate blog, and I have included the links in my blogroll. Thanks to Stephen of Stephen's Untold Stories for doing this!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google Calendar is Here!

Google Calendar has finally arrived. You can add events, share with friends, import items from Outlook, and search for events on the web.

Google Calendar

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Icon of the Past

Originally uploaded by Bluester.

I found this as I was strolling through flickr. I didn't have an SE, but I had a Classic II which looked very similar to this computer. I bought it in 1991, and I am pretty sure it probably still works even though I haven't booted in up in a few years. This is supposedly displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, according to the description on flickr.

Not responsible for pictures on this external link

My visit to the Georgia Aquarium

I took a little trip to Atlanta yesterday. I went with a group of people from the southeast who decided to take a day trip into Atlanta for a little tourism. One of our stops was the Georgia Aquarium. I was so excited to get to go without having to worry about traffic and parking. Wow...was it EVER crowded. I don't think I've ever been to an attraction where there were so many baby strollers, wheelchairs, kids, and adults. I heard there were about 16,000 people there yesterday. I can believe it. I managed to take about 100 pictures in the 45 minutes I was in there, but I had to get out because the crowd was just making me nervous. It's a great attraction and offers a great view of the marine life, but I think I'll wait until the "new wears off a little." I uploaded my pictures to flickr so you can see them.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Maintenance List

I've compiled a little list of things that need to be done regularly to computers. I am trying to get into a routine of this hopefully a couple of times per month.

1. Update your OS with all patches.
2. Scan your computer with updated virus software.
3. Schedule and run scandisk.
4. Schedule and run a defrag.
5. Scan for spyware/adware. Make sure these programs are updated.
6. Uninstall unused programs, especially if you downloaded freebies.
7. Backup your My Documents folder. This typically contains most users' documents.
8. Empty the Recycle Bin. Yes, it takes up space, too!
9. Run cleanup utilities such as disk cleanup or CCleaner.
10. If you're up to it, image your machine and store the image on a network storage device or CD/DVD.
11. Clean up and back up your email accounts, particularly if you use Outlook or Outlook Express.
12. Clean out your temporary Internet files, as well as any temp files. Some of this will be done with disk cleanup.
13. If you use wireless encryption on your home network, change your passphrase or security phrase.
14. Dust off your keyboard and inside of your computer with a can of compressed air. You can do this every 2-3 months depending upon your environment. Schools are very dusty, so once a month is probably a good choice!

Regular maintenance on your computer is just like changing the oil on your car. It can mean the life of the machine.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My Butterfly Pictures

Today was such a gorgeous day outside. I got out my mom's new camera, and I chased a couple of butterflies around the cherry blossoms. One of them just seemed to enjoy posing for me! He would sit so still and motionless as I snapped pic after pic. At one point, I noticed he has a little hole in his wing, but he went from tree to tree to land on the blossoms. The wind was blowing a little and the butterflies would just hover around because they were trying to fly into the wind, but it was too strong for them! They kept plugging along, though, until they could finally get back to the trees.

You can view more of them here.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Password Strength

This is a very cool article on using strong passwords and what it takes to crack them. This is a good reference in creating strong passwords.

Link to Article

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Another Prodigy?

Check out this video on CBS News of a 4 year old playing his little "pocket trumpet."

LOL...check out the shoulders when he takes a breath. He plays one mean Satin Doll.

Link to Story



This is a great video of a kid playing a rendition of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. The tune, actually written around 1680, is the composer's most famous work. It is popular in crossover music, and this video is a great example. Why once, according to its wikipedia article, it was even the chord progression to the popular 1970s Burger King jingle, "Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us..."

You learn something every day, I guess.'s a little loud, so turn down the speakers some.

I think it's cool when kids show off their talents like this.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Spray Can Printer

This is really cool. It's a video so if you have a dialup connection it may take a little while to load.

It does fast forward about 45 seconds into the video so this is normal. Watch it all the way to the end so you can see what's "printed."

Link to video

Sunday, March 26, 2006

New Online Word Processor

Thanks to Stephen over at Stephen's Untold Stories for pointing me to this online word processor called ajaxWrite. Be careful though. It doesn't work in Internet Explorer. You'll need Firefox to open it.

Mouse Dead?

Many times I observe a user panic when the mouse is frozen and no longer seems to function. Most of the time, a reboot of the computer will take care of this. However, the keyboard can be used for many functions. Here is Microsoft's page on keyboard shortcuts.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The IP Address

This is a short little tutorial on the IP address. What is an IP address? First of all, IP is short for Internet Protocol. The IP address is made up of octets of binary code, but we see actual numbers instead. There are 4 parts to the IP address. It may look something like In binary form, it would look something like the following: 11000000.10101000.00000001.00000001. To find your IP address of your computer that is currently connected to a network, go to Start, Run, type cmd, and in the MS-DOS window type "ipconfig" without the quotes. There will be some numbers pop up and the ones next to IP address are the ones you will be looking for. However, if you have a router on your home network, you will see the IP address of your computer as it appears on your home network. This is not the IP address of your computer when it is connected to the Internet. Your router has this address stored in its management console. To find out your WAN (Wide Area Network or in this case, IP address on the Internet) you must go into your router's configuration to see it. Addresses that begin with 10.x.x.x, 172.x.x.x, and 192.x.x.x are private addresses and are addresses your LAN will use. Your ISP has a block of addresses that it can assign to either your computer (if not connected to a home network) or to your router. To see what your IP address on the Internet is, go to IP Address World.

Standardized Tests

There's an interesting article in the New York Times today about standardized tests and how many are being given in this day and age.

Link to Article (may require registration)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Need to Print from Several Computers in Your Home?

This is a quick and easy setup for using a print server. A print server, such as the one shown below, will enable a USB printer to be placed on your home network and accessible to anyone using any computer. The USB cable attaches to one end of the server, and the other end attaches to the printer. The network cable is attached to the other end of the print server and its opposite end is attached to your switch or router. Of course, there is also a power adapter. It is just not shown in this picture.

Now you are ready to use the software. This particular print server is made by Netgear. I have found it very good for what I do. There are other brands, such as Linksys, and there are also some wireless models available. This is really just a preference of the user. You can even find printer switches available, but I didn't have very good luck with that choice. I recommend the type of setup I am using here.

Once you have the physical setup, insert the disk that came with your print server. The following graphics are from the Netgear setup utilities. This print server is very simple to set up.

Start the Print Server Setup Wizard and the above screen will appear. Click Next.

Select your printer from the list above. Click Next.

Select your printer name and network name. Click Next.

I recommend using a static IP address for your printer. This way, the computer always knows the address of the printer on your network. If you set it to automatic, your IP address may change each time you login to your computer. Make sure you set it to an address that is in your IP schema range and is not already in use. Click Next.

All Done! Now it's time to add the IP port to your computer. Start the Add Printer Port Wizard. Just keep clicking Next until your printer is added. Do this to all of your computers where you'll need to print. Make sure you have the printer's drivers loaded. That's all there is to it!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hello Again

I haven't written anything for several days mainly because nothing really very newsworthy has jumped out at me. I've read the headlines, kept up with some techno stuff, and I guess I just don't see anything that impresses me. I mean, for example, who was taken by surprise that the Vista lauch would be delayed????

Sometimes I just get writer's block, not that I write all that well anyway. I don't know what else to call it when I just don't have anything to say. I've been working a lot lately, and I'm just really, really tired when I get home. I am very exhausted right now. This will be short and sweet.

If you have a question about some little technical issue or know-how, just leave a comment below. I will see what I can do to answer them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Security Tips

This site is several months old, but it still contains some very useful information. I recommend it for everyone. It is from Learn how to recognize possible security threats and how to avoid them.

Link to Article

Monday, March 13, 2006

For Big Files

Have a really big file you'd like to send someone? Sometimes email accounts have limits as to how much space they will hold. Gmail is great for large items, and it will hold over 2 GB of space. There is another online service called where you can drop off your files for someone to pick up at a later time. Files are removed after 7 days. It's perfect for mp3 files, videos, etc. It will hold 100 MB of space. Not as big as Gmail, but useful nonetheless. Just don't store copyrighted items there.

Thanks to Jason for this tip!


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Another Browser

I came upon another browser today. It's called Maxthon. It has tabbed browsing and a built in RSS reader. It has gobs of different settings and views. Try it out!

Online Tools

Some time back I wrote a little entry about Writely, the online word processor tool. In recent days, Google has purchased Writely. New registrations are temporarily suspended while moving to Google's systems.

I looked around the web and found some other online productivity tools. You can now enter presentations online as well as spreadsheets. Here are some that you can view and try out.


These online tools are easily sharable for others. Your data can be accessible anytime, anywhere.

Chemical Equations in Word

If you'd like to write equations in Word just go to Tools, Customize. Under Categories, click on Format. Under the right column (Commands) find Superscript. Click on it and drag it up to the formatting toolbar at the top of your screen. This is where your font, font size, and alignment is located. Release your mouse and the Superscript icon should insert itself into the formatting toolbar. If you don't see your formatting toolbar, go to View, Toolbars, and make sure that formatting is checked. Do the same thing for Subscript. This is the one that will use most often for chemical equations. In your Word document, type H2O4. Highlight the 2 and click on the Subscript tool. Do the same thing for the number 4. Your equation should now look like this:

If you really want to get creative, you can use the equation editor, but you'll probably have to add it where you can use it. Go back to Tools, Customize. Look under the Insert Category and find Equation Editor on the right side. Click and drag the Equation Editor where you want it. You can now make all sorts of symbols for mathematical and chemical equations.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

For The Geek

If you are really into networking, hardware, gaming, and the like, take a trip over to TG Publishing and check out Tom's Hardware, Tom's Networking, and all of the other links the site has. This site is full of articles, reviews, news, etc. of a lot of really cool items. It just has tons of stuff to view and read!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Online Tech Encyclopedia

Ever hear a tech word that you really aren't sure what it means? I know I do. I came across a Web site today called Techweb that will allow me to type in a tech term and receive the definition. It also gives a few of the top search terms to give you some ideas. Hope you find it useful!

Tech Encyclopedia

Image from Techweb

Free Software!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that I have your attention, it really is true. Check out this link.

Educators need to check out this site. It's called FREE--Federal Resources for Educational Excellence. It has LOTS of good links on it.

Update: I can't believe what all FREE has on its site! You really must check it out!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wireless USB

I kinda look forward to this. Expect these devices by September. It will be nice to have a few less wires to worry about.

Link to Article

Image from Belkin

What Do You Think?

Apple's MacBook Pro with Intel processor...What do you think? Comments?

Hats Off

I'm not much of a Twins fans, but I do remember Kirby Puckett when the Twins and Braves played in the World Series. I thought he was a good ball player and a good individual. He died of a stroke today. May he rest in peace.

Photo from AP/Jim Mone

Story at Yahoo

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Now Here's a GREAT Idea

This is a really great way to incorporate the video iPod in a special education classroom.

Link to Video

Teacher Technology Skills

University of Pittsburg-Johnstown professor Bernie Poole has an article over on Education World about technology skills and proficiencies that teachers should possess. In a nutshell, these skills include:

Proficiency in Productivity tools--word processing, database, spreadsheets, extracting data, etc.

The ability to troubleshoot common classroom technology problems--Amen!!

Where to go for technical assistance when it's beyond your knowledge and ability.

Know how to find web resources for your subject area.

Know what's available on the web for your subject area.

And lastly, be open to new things!!!!
Don't get yourself in the rut of "this is the way we've always done it" concept. Change, move on, explore, adapt!!!

In another article on Education World, author Doug Johnson of Mankato Public Schools in Minnesota does a wonderfully funny but thought-provoking article on a comparison of pencils and iPod use in the classroom. It made me think a little more. He makes some very, very good points. You go, Doug!

99 Run Commands

I came across a helpful article over on digg. This is from a forum and contains 99 run commands to use in Win XP. I definitely can use this list!!

Link to List

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Check out Symantec's Internet Threat Monitor and read about their cybercrime stories. Makes you think and be more careful.

Link to page

Funny Picture

Someday, somewhere, some kid will try this.


Aurora Pictures

View this site to see some nice pics of the Aurora Bourealis phenomena that takes place in various parts of the world.

Picture taken from above link

Oh No!!!! Reinstall Windows???

Lifehacker has a good article on reformatting and reistalling Windows. Being that I've done this only quite a few dozen times, it's not nearly as scary as it sounds. The article is informative and "to the point." Good reference material. Print it out and save it somewhere in a safe place.


Wikipedia now has one million posts. If you haven't explored Wikipedia you need to do so. It's a free online encyclopedia where anyone can contribute an article. It seems to link to almost everything there is. Check it out.


Dave's 2 Cents Worth

Amen, brother!! You go!!!

Link to post

Thoughts and Ramblings...

I've had a lot of fun writing this blog this school year. Right now it's a tough thing to do. I've been really busy at work, and I've just not been able to think of anything to write about. Have you ever experienced that? I see soooo many things I want to do out there in classrooms, but my day is pretty much composed of troubleshooting and helping people find easier ways to do some sort of computer related activity. That's ok, though. I enjoy it. I've been having to work late this week so I've been pretty tired in the evenings when I get home.

My evenings pretty much consist of surfing the net in an attempt to find new things to read about or do. Last night, I loaded wikipedia on my iPod. It's pretty cool. It boots into Linux, but will automatically boot into Windows for my music if I so wish. I was concerned for a minute or two that it was going to hose my iPod, but everything worked according to the instructions. I found them on I just love that site. It has some of the neatest, most interesting articles on it. I also enjoy I've even "dugg" a few articles myself, but I've not posted one yet. You should check out those sites. I've learned a lot through my daily visits to them.

I'm a little disappointed by Apple's announcement about the hi-fi iPod setup. I don't really need anything like that, but I guess the folks out there who are much younger than me would enjoy it. So be it. I'm really interested in the new MacBooks with the Intel processor. I'm thinking I may get one of those in the next few months. Need to let a little testing be done on them first. I'm not one to break the ground on new stuff. I like mine to be tried and true. Do you?

I'm getting curious if anyone ever even reads what I post here. If you do, please leave a comment sometime. I think it's working. I notice my ClustrMap charts locations from around the globe. I find that interesting, but is it only a random "next blog" click or do you ever come back here? Oh entitled...Thoughts and Ramblings...


Monday, February 27, 2006

How Star Trek is This???

Have we really found a way to control the weather??? Read this article.

Link to article

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Free Podcasting Service

I just read about this on Lifehacker. GCast is a free (ad supported) service where you can record and host your podcast. This looks like it could be very useful. It's made by the producers of GarageBand.

Link to Site

What's in a name?

This post was recently "dugg." Interesting how companies come up with their names.

Link to Post


Now this I gotta see!!!!

Picture video that takes an hour to download on a DSL line at present can be downloaded in seconds from tower to tower with this protocol!!!

Link to Article

Monday, February 20, 2006

Will the real George Washington please stand up?

I came across this article on Seems that the George we all know and love on the $1 bill is not how he really looked? So, for a cost of $1 million, an expert has recreated what Washington may have looked like and formed a waxed figure for all to see. This is pretty interesting.

Click here for the article. It may be a little slow to open since being "dugg up."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Beware of Online Predators


How many of you saw the Dateline broadcast last week where the journalists and police had set up a house as a place to lure and catch pedophiles? It was enough to make your skin crawl, wasn't it?!!? I decided I would include a post where you could find some links to publications online on how to deal with such issues and to keep your children safe as they experience the Internet.

Kid Safety on the Internet
A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
Internet Safety Awareness

As a result of reading these pages, I hope you can be better informed on how to protect your child and keep them safe online.

New Hybrid?

Oh, if this is true I hope I can get one of these. I love my SUV, but I really hate the gas mileage.

Ford Hybrid Vehicle

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Another Gadget

Yes, I loooooove gadgets. My iPod mini has a new addition--the inMotion mini speaker system made by Altec Lansing. This company makes very good quality speakers for stereo systems as well as computers. I was amazed at this little set's quality. It's about the width of 3 iPod minis and the height of a little over 2. You can tell how the iPod is docked in the picture to get an idea of the size. It's battery powered but comes with an AC adaptor. You can't control the volume really through the iPod itself but through the speakers' volume control. I got it on sale for about $100. I like things that are small and portable. Who'd have thought I'd ever have given up my big cabinet speakers with 12" woofers from 20 years ago for something this small??? Now, granted they are not going to carry 120 watts across the room or anything like that, but for your desk they are great!!

Image from Altec Lansing

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

On a lighter note...

Since I am a musician I have an iPod mini. Yeah, the Nano came out about a week after I bought it, but I like it and it serves its purpose for me. Can't stand the can have those things, but I have an old pair of Altec Lansing computer speakers that I attach to it. Since I'm not much of a person to listen to music anytime except when I'm at home I hook it up to external speakers. I have a pair of headphones if I need 2 pair. of my co-workers recently bought a Nano. She was upset because her Nano was black, but ALL of the accessories were white. The case, the earbuds (which she hates, too...we have deformed ears and they won't stay in our ears for some reason), the cables, etc., are all white. She wants some black accessories!!!! LOL

Anyway, being an iTunes customer AND a musician of classical training, I am always looking for good instrumentalists with quality recordings. Well, I've found a trombone quartet you need to listen to. It's called the Momus Trombone Quartet, and the music on their album entitled The Lexington Project is really great. I highly recommend anyone to listen to it. This group has excellent technique and skill.

Someone sent a video to me in an email the other day of another trombone quartet. It was a group of all girls, and they were playing Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever march, and I swear one of those girls played the piccolo solo down to the trills!!! Her bell was in the way so I couldn't see if she was using the trigger or not on the trills! It was awesome. When they repeated that section they did it in double time, too! I don't know who they were or where they were from, but it was so cool!!

Update: I did a search online and found the video of the trombone quartet playing Sousa. You can view it online at the Website of the International Trombone Association of 2002. Click on Bones Apart Stars and Stripes Forever. Enjoy!

Another Update: You can find the Bones Apart quartet Website here. Their schedule says they will be at GMEA next January!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hard Drive Interests

I occasionally have folks ask me, "Why does my computer make that noise?" I usually tell them it's nothing more than the hard drive doing its thing as the computer boots up. Hitachi, a maker of hard drives that are in many computers, has a page that contains sounds that their hard drives make if there are various problems. I personally have not heard any of these sounds, because the computers I have worked on sometimes use IBM, Maxtor, and Western Digital hard disks. They don't have quite the same sounds. Anyway, I thought you might find it interesting.

Hitachi defective hard drive sounds

Saw this on Digg. Interesting and cool video of how a hard drive works. Now you can see what it actually looks like on the inside as well as how it works. This is part of a Colorado State University Controls Lab demonstration.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Where Were You When...?

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.
-- President Ronald Reagan after the Challenger disaster

Many times during my life I've heard people say they can remember exactly where they were when JFK was assassinated. I can't relate to that experience since I was only 6 months old. I can vaguely remember when his brother RFK was killed, but I don't have any recollection of MLK's death, either. I don't actually recall when we landed on the moon nor do I really remember Apollo 13 having difficulty and having to return to earth. However, I was in my last semester as an undergraduate when the Challenger disaster happened. I had left the music building and went to my apartment for some reason. My roommate was there watching TV. She stated that the Challenger had just blown up. I stared at the TV in shock and sat down for a while to watch. It was an unbelievable sight to see.

I can remember that day in February 2003 when the Columbia was re-entering the atmosphere. I was watching a news channel of some sort that morning, and I can remember the weatherman stating that the shuttle was scheduled to land in about 15 minutes in Florida. I began channel surfing and as I came back around the same channel a few minutes later there was a ticker scroll at the bottom of the screen stating that all contact with the shuttle had been lost. I watched this for several minutes as I became aware that the shuttle was gone. Burned up. At first, there was speculation of terrorist activity that was later dismissed. As the days wore on, I watched information on TV about the Israeli pilot. It seems that he flew on the mission to bomb a nuclear facility in either Iran or Iraq some years earlier. He was late in returning from this mission and it was speculated that something had happened to him, but he did eventually return safely.

I salute all of those who have given their lives in the pursuit of making this a better place to live and work. Some folks may think that we spend too much money on space ventures and the like. I frankly haven't come to a conclusion one way or the other on that, but these are people just like the rest of us. People who have families, hobbies and interests, homes, kids, etc. Kids who now are missing a parent because of disaster. People like you and me.

Challenger Crew

Photo from NASA

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My new toy

I'm a gadget person. I love to play with them. I have an assortment of hardware ranging from external hard drives, a wireless router, switches, print servers, printers, a PDA, cameras, etc. My Dell Axim recently began giving me trouble with synchronization so I decided to find another PDA. I didn't really need anything powerful and expensive, so I opted for the HP iPAQ rx1955. I enjoy using it. The wireless functionality has been flawless! It runs the new Windows Mobile 5.0. I can set up my POP3 accounts much easier than I could with Windows Mobile 2002.

Click on the graphic to view the specifications.

USB Flash Drives

I'm sure quite a few of you folks own your own USB flash drive. Believe it or not, I have seven of them!! I find them quite useful. However, many of you may not know that there are portable applications that can be found on the web just for flash drives. There are portable versions of Firefox, Thunderbird, antivirus scanners, Open Office, etc. Just do a Google search for "portable applications USB" and you'll see what I mean! You can even load Spybot on a flash drive and clean your own hard drive of spyware from your flash drive! There is also a fully functioning distribution of the Linux operating system that can be run from a flash drive.

I've even read a few articles from the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where we'll soon be able to purchase wireless USB hubs for our printers, etc. I look forward to a life with fewer wires!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


This has been some week, and it's only day 2 of 4!! I've networked 3 printers to about 60 computers, and now I've got to work on a library program issue. Tomorrow is going to come early!!!

Kathy's blog has a new address. Make sure you check it out!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

What a week!

Wow this week has been something else!! Work, work, work, work, work!! I've been so busy during the day and evenings I haven't had time to post too much. I am so tired. I will be glad when this weekend arrives. It'll be 3 days!!! Yay!!!

I will try to post more next week. I've had several deadlines and problems to deal with this week. I need a little R & R.


Monday, January 09, 2006

TTTC--Too Tired To Care


I am too tired to update anything tonight so I thought I'd just enter something simple--no reviews, no articles, no nothing by just typing. This is really more of what a blog is supposed to be, isn't it? I mean, if we are to use blogging in the classroom shouldn't it be like a journal of thoughts and sometimes ramblings? I'm not very good at just jotting down personal thoughts, so mine may be more like ramblings. The typos are going great tonight. I can type pretty well, but I'm so tired I can't concentrate very well and I think I'm backspacing over more mistakes and correcting them that I am actually attempting to make sense.

Had some good laughs today. Ya know, laughter is just what we need sometimes. Some of my colleagues really make me laugh, and when I laugh in the office everyone knows it. Sometimes I embarrass myself when somebody comes to see what I'm laughing at because I can laugh so loudly. Oh well, if it makes others smile in the process what's a little boisterous noise going to hurt?

Do you blog in your classroom? If so, how do your students use it? I'd love to hear comments on this subject. What are your districts policies on students using the Internet in this manner? I feel that ours will need to be expanded a little bit because of this. We can already use student work, but with parental permission only.

Thoughts? Go ahead. I've got sandpaper in my eyes from the sandman, and I'm outta here...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Google Doodles

I don't remember really ever reading about the Google logos actually called "doodles" but it seems they are! I found a link today to some Google Doodles of the past.

You can see them at Oodles of Doodles.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Need a new computer?

Many times I am asked about new computers. People want to know what kind to get, what should they get on it, how much memory should it have (that one is almost ALWAYS confused with hard drive space), etc. I usually get the comment "I don't want to get one and do a lot with it, just some e-mail, word processing, a little Internet surfing, but I don't want to play games." I've included just a basic table of what to look for as of today. The brand doesn't make a lot of difference. Most of the support is the same now. Besides, everything is antiquated almost the next day after you've plugged it in! My advice would be to get as much as you can afford.

CPUAt least 2.8 - 3.0 GHz (no Mhz here)
RAM memory512 MB - 1 GB
Storage (Hard drive)80 GB - 160 GB
Operating SystemWindows XP Home (Pro for work)
MiscellaneousWireless Networking if more than one computer

I included wireless networking because sometimes you can resurrect an older machine to help in the storage of files. I have Dell XPS R-450 machine that I bought in 1998. I put a 1 GHz processor in it in 2001. Now it's my experimental machine. It's where my Moodle test is, and I'm considering making it a test machine for some Linux OSes where I can learn how to use those. I connect it to my network wirelessly because I have enough cabling around here!!


This is kinda neat. This is a website where you can record and share online audio. This could be a great classroom tool. Teachers could record audio of students telling about something they've learned, read a poem when studying a poet, etc. Check it out.


Online Word Processor

I was reading an article about the CES in Vegas today and saw the comments about OpenOffice being too big to be really portable. One hundred and forty-four megabytes is a lot of space for a program on a flash drive, but still, I like OpenOffice. It's free, so why complain too much?

However, as I read further I saw a link to an online word processor called Writely. I haven't read the whole site yet, but it looks interesting even though it is in beta. Check it out.

Writely--The Web Word Processor

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Google PC??

Is Google talking about offering a PC? Read this blog entry.

I hadn't thought of this...

When the hurricanes hit the gulf coast recently one thing we all were aware of was how people had to relocate to other school systems. For some reason it had not occurred to me the condition that those gulf coast school system SISs were in (Student Information System---in the educational IT world that can be a "dirty word." I'm only joking.) I can't imagine the effect there would be on losing data like that. I found a blog today that commented on this very topic. This was posted a few months ago, but I am glad to know that the state systems were able to help out these local systems in disaster recovery of data. Wow!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Some Yahoo News...

There's a new blog over at PC World. It's called Digital World, and it's written about consumer electronics. Read the Yahoo article here.

Motorola announced a new radio service.

Microsoft needs patching. Again. Yahoo news article here.

Read all about the "double dip." ???? Dual-core processors!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Tips and Tricks

Did you know that you could hold the Ctrl key down and click on an icon and drag it to another location to make a copy? I didn't. Read here for more tips especially for PowerPoint.

PC Mag also has some tips and tricks for Office and Windows. For example, if you want to zoom in or out on a Word document you can hold down the Ctrl key and use the scroll button on your mouse to control the zoom in or out. That's cool!

I discovered several years ago. I have found quite a few answers to computer problems there. You might want to take a look at it. This link will take you to the troubleshooting section.

This site has a page that will detect most parasites on your computer. You know...the ones that come in pop-up ads. I go to this page periodically to make sure all is well.

Be careful of different paper weights in your printer. This can be one of the major causes of paper jams. Make sure you use the same paper weight to print your pages. Don't mix the paper. Make sure it's flat and not crinkled or curled. has some good reasons for upgrading to Windows XP SP 2. If you haven't done this yet, surf on over to their page and read up on why you should upgrade. The wireless networking options sold me on it last spring. Why have YOU waited so long?

If you want to get really technical, check out Daniel Petri's web site for some really in depth info of various windows topics. I've learned a lot of things by reading Daniel's site.

Need a .dll file? Go to to get the one you need. Don't worry. The site explains how to install a .dll file.

And, for all of you classroom teachers, here's a web site with tutorials for various application programs as well as articles, handouts, and tips. You can view this site to get ideas for computer centers in your classroom.

Thanks, Dave, for making me feel better.

Visited Stephen's blog today, as I do daily, and saw his link and article to Dave Warlick's 2 cents blog. I really like this paragraph. Makes me feel less "mathematically challenged." (And if you know me, you know that I am!)

Full literacy goes way beyond being able to perform mathematical operations with a dozen numbers on a piece of paper. It means being able to employ information that can come as thousands of numbers, regardless of what they look like. They may be numbers. They may also be the bits and bytes of text, images, sound, animation, or video. We must know how to process all of this information to add value.

Read the full post here.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Watch Your E-mail

The Sober worm variant is expected to reappear on Thursday, January 5, 2006. This particular worm is political in nature coinciding with the 87th anniversary of the founding of the Nazi party. Always beware of what you open in email. Worms are particular pests because they are so easily spread through networks. They can sit silently on a computer and send out spam without the user's knowledge.

Make sure your antivirus software is always up to date.

You can read the story by Michael Kahn at Reuters at Yahoo News.