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Category: programming

10/15/11 04:47 - ID#55308

Language Learning Lab

Back in the late 90s, one of the first fun computer jobs I had was working in the foreign language learning lab at my school. Up until that point I was dead set on botany or german as a carrier. I had computer programmed and tinkered my whole life but never realized it could be a job for some reason.

While there I did so many different things, one of the most fun was a desktop app for mac that could check students in and out of the labs by swiping their id cards. I went to the cafeteria manager and asked him if we could borrow their card reader for testing and he let me, then when it worked I went to the professor I worked for and showed him and we got our own reader. The system really simplified and organized time tracking.

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The code is so inefficient and redundant looking back but it's interesting to still have it.
::READ PDF::

Check out the amazing referral I got for the year I worked there. I wonder if my current boss could match this despite my significantly upgraded skill and dedication to my current job.
::READ PDF::

Lab assistants typically had little technical know-how and experience with software in this area. This changed when Paul Visco was hired. Paul started the job as student assistant and finished it as technical manager and technical support analyst. Paul brought the most varied and extensive background to the job of any of the LLC assistants I ever had, including one who served from 1991 to 1996. More importantly, the few Macintosh hardware and software applications in this multimedia lab that Paul was not familiar with, he taught himself at an amazing speed, not stopping until he had in-depth knowledge of the equipment or program. For example, Paul had never worked with FileMaker Pro, the database development software. When took up the software in my lab, he started from scratch to develop a lab visitation database application that he integrated with an I.D. card reader to automate the registration and sign-in process for students. I should mention that he managed to interface a card reader model made for Windows only with an iMac due to his astute technical skills and relentless efforts in searching the WWW until he found a solution.

There are two important testaments that I would like to make in regard to Paul and with a view of the position for which he is applying. First, after eight years of being a Macintosh lab manager, and — at the time — after almost 15 years of experience with Macintosh applications including desktop publishing, digital video, courseware authoring, MIDI, and image editing, Paul was the first person I met who knew more about the Macintosh in some areas than I did. As a result, I entrusted him with administrative duties such as system software maintenance, equipment and software trouble-shooting, as well as software installations. This freed up valuable time for me to meet my teaching, research, and service obligations while I was assured that the job in the LLC would not only get done on time but also effectively.

Second, I was thrilled to have a student worker in my lab who was intrinsically motivated to do everything in his power to ensure smooth technical operation, to search for new ways to improve lab management, and to identify software that could get certain tasks done better than the one the LLC had at the time.

Paul’s work for the lab went above the and beyond the call of duty. He always put in extra hours just to learn new software or solve a problem, taking responsibility for attending to essential administrative and technical tasks without having to be assigned. I am convinced that to a certain (healthy) degree Paul identified with his workplace, a type of involvement in the daily and special routines that I had never seen in a student assistant before.

Paul was very pleasant to work with. Due to his exceptional skills and reliability,our work relationship quickly turned into one of cooperation and trust. He was well liked for his friendly personality and much admired for his expertise by his fellow lab assistants. Students using the lab were thrilled to have a peer who knew every facet of the lab and could solve their technical problems on the spot. Faculty frequently commented that they appreciated Paul’s hiring because when they needed help and could not meet up with me, they knew they could receive qualified support in the lab from Paul.

I give Paul my highest recommendation because his technical skills, his sincere curiosity about everything Macintosh, and his open and cooperative demeanor make him an ideal candidate for the position of Multimedia Specialist in an educational and Macintosh dominated workplace.


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Permalink: Language_Learning_Lab.html
Words: 811
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/15/11 04:47


Category: history

10/15/11 04:03 - ID#55307

Old Documents

Today, (e:Terry) and I are cleaning out the office and found all kinds old CDs with data going back into the late 90s. Its so interesting to see how much I documented and saved. I really don't do that at all anymore because every company has online services but back then I scanned and saved everything.

Here is a note from our old landlord saying I was a good tenant. I thought I would have needed it someday.

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Back in the day when (e:Terry) and I lived in Germany we had to hike to a castle for class project. We had a long journey and this was before mobile internet. I carried a pad and paper with me and we decided to try and come up with a comprehensive list of all of the television shows we remembered. When we got back I typed it up on my blueberry ibook.

[txt]1011/Sitcoms_List_158.txt[/txt]

Wow, (e:terry) just found the originals.

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Back in the day my email was pav2@dana.ucc.nau.edu - when is the last time you saw an email with so many subdomains.

My old phone bills from Germany, you know, just in case.
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At that same time I downloaded so much crap from the internet via hotline. It was an irc/warez/ftp software so downloading before torrents. Its amazing how much crap I collected including everything that I considered secret or underground like making bombs, stealing cable, hacking software and phones, etc. Clearly I did not make bombs and I never stole cable but I think I downloaded it all just because the internet was new to me and I thought the information would go away once the government cracked down on it. Really that never happend but I was a paranoid person.

[txt]1011/hotline_hacker's_handbook.txt[/txt]

An email from (e:terry) to our friend Jörg after we got back to Ameria.
[txt]1011/Jörg.txt[/txt]

One of the first website I made was for a group called Parents Anonymous.
I can't believe how ugly this was. It was when I first discovered the web as it was for community service for a scholarship that I made it.
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Permalink: Old_Documents.html
Words: 375
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/15/11 04:59


Category: web

10/15/11 11:40 - ID#55305

12 year olds driving on drugs

I was reading this article called "Pot smoking may more than double crash risk" on USA Today's website this morning

It seems obvious that driving while high is dangerous. Anyhow, the part that struck me was this:

A large U.S. survey in 2009 estimated that more than 10 million people aged 12 and over had driven while under the influence of illicit drugs in the previous year.



Why are 12 year old driving, much less driving on drugs!?!

Studies like this are so stupid. I can't believe people waste money on this, if there was any government funding it is even more outrageous but my guess is the funding was done by insurance companies.

I love the really awesome discoveries.

And the response was dose-specific, the authors said. That is, the more marijuana smoked -- in terms of frequency and potency -- the greater the likelihood of a crash.



Wow, what a freakin surprise. You mean the more drugs you consume, the more they affect you? That seems so surprising. I wonder how much these people were paid for this stupid study.
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Permalink: 12_year_olds_driving_on_drugs.html
Words: 190
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/15/11 11:40


Category: programming

10/15/11 03:09 - ID#55303

switch to git?

I spent the evening moving my surebert repos from svn to git on github. After reading a lot of the git pro book I feel comfortable using it and the speed working with local repos is nice but there are a few things that stress me out.

The one thing that I hate/love is that tags do not actually exist as materialized files. One one hand this saves a ton of space. The repos are an tremendously smalller than in svn. I can export when needed but I liked having all of the tags in a repo for surebert because then I deploy all of the tags separately on the server and let the programmers link by defining the base path in their app. This was so easy before as I would just set the servers to sync the tags directory so that any time new tags were made, they were available immediately on all the servers.

If I like it maybe I will move more of my bizillion repos over. Thanks to the creators of svn2git
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Permalink: switch_to_git_.html
Words: 179
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/15/11 03:09


Category: pets

10/14/11 11:07 - ID#55299 pmobl

So allergic to Timothy Hay

I started trying to work hay back into the tortoises diet so they can be ready for winter. Orchard grass is okay but Timothy Hay sends me over the edge. I broke out in hives and had to use my inhaler. That was at noon. I still can't breathe at 11pm. I think I am going to have to throw it out and switch to grass instead.

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Permalink: So_allergic_to_Timothy_Hay.html
Words: 69
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/14/11 11:09


Category: linux

10/11/11 11:48 - ID#55282

Fedora 17 gets a name - Beefy Miracle

I really need to start participating in these votes.

Votes :: Name

1182 :: Beefy Miracle
1035 :: Liege
881 :: Never
791 :: Gernsback
641 :: Rocky Ripple
628 :: Alpharabius
550 :: Panguipulli
505 :: Tubeteika
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Permalink: Fedora_17_gets_a_name_Beefy_Miracle.html
Words: 22
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/11/11 11:48


Category: food

10/11/11 11:25 - ID#55281 pmobl

NoNoo Ramen Bar

The other, while on a walk with zooey we came across the sign for a new Ramen Bar on Elmwood. I cannot wait until it opens. It is right over by Bistro Europa aand the new TeeShirt store. I sense two favorite restaurants about to be on the same block.

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Permalink: NoNoo_Ramen_Bar.html
Words: 53
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/11/11 11:25


Category: biking

10/11/11 11:19 - ID#55280 pmobl

Biking in South Buffalo

Went on a nice biketide with (e:james) and (e:terry) on Sunday. This is where I thought the drawbridge would come in handy, although this time we cut across the railroad tracks which shortened the trip a bit.



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Permalink: Biking_in_South_Buffalo.html
Words: 45
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/11/11 11:21


Category: pets

10/11/11 11:14 - ID#55279 pmobl

Tortoise Underground

Tortoise B is a much better digger than Basra. I guess Basra was good when he was younger. Maybe once your shell is big enough you font care anymore.

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Permalink: Tortoise_Underground.html
Words: 31
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/11/11 11:14


Category: buffalo

10/10/11 04:26 - ID#55275

Pedestrian Draw Bridge To Unite Buffalo Inner and Outer Harbor

I am so tired of having to go all the freaking way around to around Dug's dive to get to the outer harbor. Sure, if you are in a car, the way over the skyway is convenient and quick, but for pedestrians and bicyclists, the path all the way around is long, industrial at best, and grueling. Especially for pedestrians.

It so annoying when you finally arrive at the outer harbor and you can see the inner harbor and downtown buffalo are about 200 ft away but about an hours walk back. I understand that building a chicago street auto bridge would be expensive but why not a tiny pedestrian draw bridge.

After extensive searching I found a place with a similar project in Duisberg, Germany and they did build a pedestrian draw bridge

The sign starts out saying, "When you want to open up a once industrial harbor for the people, you need to build a bridge..." I think that sums up exactly what we need here in the Buffalo harbor. I wonder what it would take to get such a project started.

The sign continues on to say that bridge was the idea of Stuttgart Professor Jörg Schlaich and that he worked with the Duisburger Firm Stahlbau Raulf.

Missing Image ;(



Here are some more pictures from the wikipedia article.
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I am also willing to settle for an even less expensive zip line, lol.
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Permalink: Pedestrian_Draw_Bridge_To_Unite_Buffalo_Inner_and_Outer_Harbor.html
Words: 267
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/10/11 05:14


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