February 21, 2006

I had to get up and drive into the school this morning. This is our one normal teaching day for the week so I wanted to make sure that I was there to be able to eliminate as many problems as possible. Not time to spare. We have to squeeze the classes in as quickly as possible. Dominica decided to stay at home today because Oreo is not ready to be left alone yet. He has had an accident in the house every time we have gone out for the last several days. So she got to sleep in and play with the dog all day.

Classes went well today. Dad did all of the teaching. I was just there for support. I managed to get two additional computers set up today with Linux and wireless connections so that we can deploy them to classrooms that do not have Ethernet run to them yet. Eventually we plan to have at least one computer in every classroom but that will take a while to accomplish. We also deployed ten new optical mice today so that the entire computer lab is now using brand new Logitech three button scroll wheel optical mice. That is going to make a big difference. The old, two button mechanical mice that they were using were awful and everyone always had something different. Now they can actually get used to using a scroll mouse like normal people have instead of using those ancient things. Even if the computers are on the slow side we are working hard to make the experience as modern as possible. They are all using either 1280×1024 or 1600×1200 displays, over half of them are LCDs, the operating system is about as new as you could possibly hope for and now nice, scroll optical mice. So I don’t think that we are doing too badly. I have not figured out how to deal with sound. We have sound on a lot of the monitors but that will just cause distraction in a lab setting. I am thinking of having “extension cables” that allow us to have a headphone jack on the desktops that the students can just plug into with headphones whenever they want to be able to listen to something.

I came home and Dominica and I set to cleaning the house a little because dad is coming over later and we only ever clean the house when we know someone is coming over. I stayed at the school late so that kids could use the lab after school. Dad left a little earlier so that he could run to Warsaw and pick up some commercial light bulbs and fixtures to put into the server room in the basement. Currently we have no light in there at all and it is really dark. Fortunately there is a large glass window looking into that room from the “DVD room” and there is one light bulb in there so there is enough light when you really need it but it is far from comfortable.

We managed to get a decent amount of cleaning done before he came over. His HDTV isn’t working very well so he brought over his HDTV tuner card so that we could try it out in Min’s computer. We didn’t manage to discover anything except for the fact that there is no HDTV reception here in Geneseo whatsoever. We are nowhere close to even getting a single mediocre signal. At least not using the antennas that dad brought over and we sure are not going to be investing in anything better just to find out if we can get a station or not. When Andy was here he had a regular old NTSC television tuner and a powered antenna and he was unable to get anything with that. So it is very unlikely that we can get any television out here. Which is really crappy because we live so close to the city. Dad is much farther away and we got tons of television when I was a kid. We could get Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and once in a while something out of Canada. But nothing here. I guess it really shows why cable and satellite took off so well. If we can’t get anything here in Geneseo who can? And we even have line of site to one of the antennas.

So it didn’t take too long before we knew that we had to give up on trying to figure out what was wrong with the HDTV. I am going to take Dominica’s computer over to dad’s house tomorrow so that we can try working on it there.

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