Sunday, January 30, 2005

"Reinstalling XP" and/or "My Lost Weekend"

I have tried very hard to avoid negative posts on my Blog, but this one had to be posted...I may delete it--maybe not. Anyway, my daughter's PC has been experiencing the dreaded Spam and Spyware attacks. She called me at work the other morning almost in tears complaining about how her browser was covered up by “ten million” pop-ups. So, like any valiant want-to-be geek father, I tried to calm her fears with “bring it home this weekend and I will fix it.”

Mistake #1: never read the instructions until something does not work.
Man, if I could only turn back the time on this one… I tried to first run the spybot removal software programs. I used Adaware or however you spell it; then I found over 6000 cookies or whatever it finds and followed the directions to quarantine them. From there, I ran a through virus scan Sophos and found it has a have dozen Trojans and the dreaded Sasser virus. Evidently, Sophos antivirus had been turned off somehow or had not been updating like it should have. So, I tried to have Sophos delete the infected files. I must have deleted some important files because when I tired to click on the Start button in Windows, and then click on the control panel, the explorer window would close without showing me the contents of that window. I knew I had to reinstall Windows XP to repair the damaged files. Of course, I did not read the How-To’s on the Microsoft site, and when I inserted the Windows XP Home CD, and rebooted, and entered the “5000” letter authorization key code that I had to use a flashlight and 4X reading glasses to decipher the encrypted code found on the back of the Gateway desktop, while standing on my head, I was exhausted by then.

Mistake #2: never use an antivirus after you have not used an antivirus and you do not know what you are doing or saying…nor shall thy reinstall XP again AWWWW!!!!!
Ok, it was 10:30 pm, Saturday night, and I had not idea what to do next. So,
I started the reinstall. It ran, and ran, and ran, and ran. I noticed after the deceitful message “this install will take 39 minutes” had been sitting there for an hour that it was in a loop. Restarting itself like a stuck LP. For you that do not know what that is—you have probably already stopped reading because you know I am crazy and are already bored with this post anyway- so I am not going to tell you what they are. At this point, the clock on my PowerBook told me I needed to just turn of that piece of junk PC, and go try to lay down and forget about it for a while.
At 8:00 am Sunday morning, I first fired up the drip coffee maker. Boy, did that coffee smell good. I just knew, that I was going to boot-up that PC and it was going to reinstall Windows XP and life would be fine. WRONG! I used my PowerBook to Google reinstalling XP and found lots of interesting crap. Finding the MS site I read the notes on how to reinstall XP and there is was: NOTE: before attempting to reinstall XP, delete undo-guimode C:\Windows\System32\Undo_guimode.txt. Makes me swear, and it is the Lord’s Day. As a good Presbyterian, I reassure myself that if God had to reinstall XP, He would probably bring Hell-Fire and Brimstone down on all of the Microsoft corporate campus in Redmond, Washington. No, actually, I have faith that God uses UNIX or he too is wishing he had a dual-30 inch Cinema Display hooked up to an Xserver with a warehouse full of PowerMac G5s.

Reflections: This is why I will never spend a dime of my hard earned money on a PC. Sure Apples are not perfect, and they tear up and go crazy too. I just think there must be a better way to spend a whole weekend. Arrivederci--Gateway. A Mac Mini looks better everyday!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 How to Record a Podcast

How to Record a Podcast by Glenn Fleishman -- Podcasting involves two distinct tasks. First you have to record the audio and prepare it for listening. Then you need to syndicate it via RSS so others can subscribe to your programs. In this tutorial, Glenn Fleishman shows you some nifty tricks for recording your audio, especially if you want to capture phone interviews for syndication. How to Record a Podcast

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

How To Make Effective Presentations

In true learning communities we all present and we all learn. We all coach and are coached. We all consult and are consulted. Presentation skills need to become more than the province of a select few. When they are internalized and broadly shared, they help individuals and groups meet the goals of schooling.

Robert J. Garmston and Bruce M. Wellman

How To Make Effective Presentations

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Will Our School become a Windows Switcher?

eSchool News online story of how this writer thinks schools will use the Mac Mini

Here are my thoughts on this issue...

ok, using the school discount, I have configured a Mac Mini for my school and with 1.42 GHz and 80GB Ultra ATA drive, SuperDrive (a must for classrooms creating multimedia presentations), 512 MC DDR333 SCRAM - 1 memory-- $736.00

Wired keyboard and mouse set $52.00

Apple Protection Plan $99.00

without the monitor, is only $887.

This is not bad, but it has a couple of issues. When you plug in the mouse and keyboard, there is only one extra USB port. This is acceptable for me in that all my printers are networked. If you have a scanner or plan to use PDAs, you will need to throw in a cheap USB Hub to the cost of the Mac Mini. I would have to use the Apple keyboards unless we can find inexpensive PS2 to USB converter plugs. The ones I have seen so far, are $25.00 each. That would cost - $50. That is why I picked the Apple mouse/keyboards for $52.00.

I never was much on math, but for my money, I like the iMac configured for schools with 512 MB, 80 GB drive and Superdrive
$1,585.00 with APP. Then, we could wait for the possible iBooks with G5s coming this fall. We will not have our money until then, so...forget the Mac Mini, I vote to hold out til the fall and see what is gonig on then.

Buy yourself a Mac Mini for home and enjoy not having to worry with all the PC Blue Screens of Death, and email viruses and worms. "Life is Random"..."Live Long and Prosper"..."the check is in the mail"..."have a nice day"--OUT!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

What to See Me on TV?

Click the link above to navigate to the video clip that features my when I worked at Whiteville High School. I am in the second part of the video. If you have high speed Internet, you can click on this link. It uses Real Player.



Advanced Technology Competencies: From In-Service to the Classroom
On-line professional development offered by the Department of Public Instruction through LearnNC's Learning Space. Visit the Course Website to read the course description. There is no charge for this course; and it is entirely independent and self-paced. It is technology-intensive and may fulfill your school system's requirments for technology credits.

Professional Development Series 
Five teleconferences and one facilitator video archived on the web

Course Web Site-requires a LearnNC Account
Account and Course Registration
* email confirmation may take over 24 hours (course is free, LearnNC account not required).

North Carolina Educators may borrow videotapes of these programs from the NCDPI Video Library.
Schools outside of NC may purchase programs from Western Illinois University' Curriculum Clearinghouse (scroll to Starschools)


Program 1  Practical Application of the NC Computer Skills Curriculum

Sri Lankan Classroom

Originally uploaded by heterotopias.
This makes me want to setup a deal with this school to send my student in exchange for theirs. My students whine and complain about having to come to school in their temperature in their centrally heated and air conditioned classroom them my students. These Sri Lankan students returned to school not because the courts force them, but because they want to...


Originally uploaded by jimmydan.
This is one way to keep anyone form stealing your iPod. I love this idea. Too bad I threw away my daughter's old walkman like this. Cool idea.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Techno-lust Or Techno-Envy?

Head on over to Apple's site and check out the new tech toys. The new iPod Shuttle is a must for Valentine's Day. I am glad I did not spring for a second iPod for the gym. I tried to carry my iPod Gen4 in my gym shorts pocket, but on the treadmill, it almost pulls my pants down. I never listen to over a handful of up-tempo songs while working out. 512 Meg will be perfect for me. Got to get my wife one too. Maybe, I will just get her one. She likes the iPod I have except that it is too expensive and too heavy for her when she works out. So, for our families point of view, the iPod Shuffle is right in line with our wants.

Will schools adopt this Mini- Mac

1.42GHz PowerPC G4 (this is nice processor in the iBook. Fast enough for word processing, surfing the net and 99% of what schools use computers for)
256MB DDR333 SDRAM (needs at least 512MB, and can be purchased cheaper from or several other vendors)
ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB DDR video memory (adequate?)
80GB Ultra ATA hard drive (Got to spring for this one over the $499 model)
Combo drive (forget this option, got to go with the SuperDrive!)
DVI or VGA video output-- (this blew me away, look for a reburb Cinema Screen, I saw one for less than $550. They will be dropping, Apple dropped the price on the 20 inch Cinema Display too $899 for educators, now that is a deal.
AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth optional Got to have these features. Bluetooth 2.0 is much faster, and a great plus to have and wireless is nice so you do not have to look at the ugly wires.

Which out, you might better spring for the iMac. I want the Mini Mac / Mac Mini to replace the CPUs in my computer lab at school and keep the old monitors.

Friday, January 07, 2005

My GigaDial Station

Lots going on here in southeastern NC. The weather this week has been wonderful. Temps in the 70's- in the Winter! Hard to focus on teaching. I am thinkful that the first week back is only a three day week. Next week is a long one. I was listening to The Evil Genius Chronicles created by Conway, South Carolina's own Dave Slusher. Dave mentioned how he uses a tool called GigaDial to listen to podcast. Matt Bischoff also uses this tool. In an effort to try to better organize the podcasts I listen to and hopefully share the them with fellow educators, I set up a "station": Leave podcasts into my GigaDial-inbox!

If you have a podcast related to k-12 education click on this button and add the podcast to my station. When your browser opens my station page, to add a podcast, just copy and paste its url into the window at the top of the page. If you have listened to a podcast that is listed on Gigadial you can add the url from the list of podcasts.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

#1 Go on a diet and drop 15 pounds before June 1.
#2 Tell my family how much I love them more often
#3 Try to get to church more often
#4 Go to the Gym 5 times a week
#5 Listen more than I talk
#6 Read my Bloglines everyday
#7 Go to a movie