Monthly Archives: January 2007

Den computing…

So, I’m sitting here this evening streaming from my Mac Mini while typing this post across the room from the LCD TV, using a bluetooth keyboard & mouse. All in all, a very effective “den computer”. The Macs today have a great “across the room” interface with Frontrow and the remote control that ships with all new Macs. This is a part of the convergence of computing and entertainment that’s been building over the last few years. Windows Media Center, Max OSX & Frontrow…choose your favorite, but it’s a good way to be able to get ‘net-based music, LAN-based content (via iTunes for the Mac), etc. Also, a decent DVD player.

However, it’s still all way too complex and too many moving parts. As a geek, I think it’s cool, but I realize that this is a paradigm that still needs UI work before it becomes pervasive. Why are cell phones pervasive? Because they work, whatever your language or technical skillset…computing is not there. Getting closer, but not there. The digital media center of 2007 is tantalizingly close, but no cigar 😉

Wiki wiki web…

So, I’ve been wanting to put up an instance of Mediawiki so I set one up for the FF@ listserve community. We’ll see how this is taken up by the group. I was pleased at how easy it was to set up Mediawiki under my ISP; uncompress the code, copy to a directory, set up the MySQL database, run the install script (plug in database info) and poof, there it is…I’d used PMWiki before, and that’s pretty easy, but Mediawiki has more features & flexibility…

Check out the Flyfish list Wiki.

Troop 449 goes to Washington!

Troop 449 took advantage of the 3-day weekend and traveled to Washington, DC to do some sight-seeing and work on Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge. We started with a Saturday night tour of the Mall with the lights on the monuments. This ranged from the silly antics of the scouts at the Washington Monument to the spectacular fountains of the WWII memorial, to the eerie glow of the Korean War Memorial. Saturday, we scattered around the Mall, visiting the Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Air & Space, among others. Stopped briefly at the capital for a picture of your correspondent. Had dinner Saturday at Ben’s Chili Bowl, a piece of Washington History! Drove back Monday, after visiting Arlington National Cemetary. All in all a great trip!

January has hit the ground running…

From the pause of the holidays, to full speed ahead! Things are really getting in gear at work and at home. It’s time for a new semester, which is always fun. I’ve always enjoyed the sense of a new beginning, both as a student and as an instructor. I’ve got another small group (15 students) for my systems analysis class, which is a nice number. Enough for good group dynamics but small enough to really engage everyone. It’s a busy time at my “day job” at MCNC as well, as we are in the throws of a strategic planning process, as well as getting ready to enter budget planning season.

On the home front, Scouts are busy (heading to Washington, DC on a trip tomorrow), though I’m stepping down as scoutmaster after 6 years to hand the mantle to one of my compatriots. After being a scoutmaster and a cubmaster for several years before that, I’m ready to step back from the “front-man” role. My youngest son, Jeff, is working on his Eagle project, restoring parts of an old cabin at Moorefields Plantation near Hillsborough, NC. Hope to finish by early February.

High School band is still moving on (I’m president of the band boosters) but as Jeff is not in the winter club ensembles, my personal involvement is not as great as in marching season.

Nothing of great substance here; just wanted to post a few fresh bits…


Preserving champagne!

So, here’s an odd little post 🙂

Opened a bottle of Moet at midnight last night, but only wanted a glass for each of us.  I put a “vacu-vin” stopper in the bottle, pumped out the air, and then put the champagne top (the little metal cap with the wires under the bottle rim) back on over the vacu-vin cap.  Opened the bottle about 2PM today and and Jan & I finished the bottle, sitting on the front porch…just as fresh and bubbly as when first opened.  Maybe this is old hat to everyone, but it was news to me.