Archived news items from October 2006
Since this is old news, some links may be broken.
Actually late Tuesday night....
In X-Moto, I'm now working on level eighteen. They're hard, so it's slow going. And I'm not playing that often at the moment.
Anyway, there was a time when I'd leave school for the day anywhere between 4:30 and 5:30 almost all the time. I don't know if I'm just in the mood differently or if this extra prep (Algebra II) is really making that much of a difference, but lately I've been leaving school between 9:30 and 11:00 a couple of times a week. Wow.
With Lakeline Church moving to LHS in the next two weeks, a semi-busy social life, and school going like this, I haven't had much down time at all.
In other news, I always like to mention my Linux habits here, so I should confess that I'm currently downloading Fedora Core 6, released today. And Firefox 2.0 was released today as well, though I haven't installed it yet. And the beta of Flash Player 9 for Linux was released about a week ago, at long last.
Oh, and the update below was written when it says it was, but X-Moto locked up my machine before I could upload it. It's no longer timely but probably worth posting anyway.
slightly later Tuesday night....
Did I say that I'd beaten the first six levels? Now I've beaten the first ten.
This is what I'm talking about.
Actually late Tuesday night....
I showed a student a little bit of ElastoMania last week. Just enough to pique his interest.
Unfortunately, what he brought to school today was not a copy of ElastoMania, but a copy of X-Moto, a relatively new, open-source clone.
This evening I made the mistake of downloading it and getting it to compile. I've already beaten the first six levels, though the controls are different enough that I'm not exactly breezing through. And the first six levels of X-Moto are harder than the first six in ElastoMania, if I do say so myself.
This does not bode well for my free time the next month or so.
With not having to lead worship this morning, last week was one with few evening commitments. I got caught up on grading, and otherwise used the evening to have fun creating technical things.
Monday afternoon and Tuesday evening were spent working on a "Linear Programming" PowerPoint presentation for Algebra II. I spent overall probably six hours on it so I could use it for 15 minutes during a single period. Oh, well. It turned out really well, though.
Last Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening I spent trying to update my program that copies grades from my own gradebook into GradeSpeed. The district switched to a newer version of GradeSpeed this year, and though it's better in many respects, my old program no longer worked with it. My synchronizer is still not as slick as it'd been, but at least at this point I can get things copied over in only five minutes or so.
Thursday evening was the most satisfying, though. For years now I've had a program that allows my students to vote for music they'd like to hear in the classroom while they're working on their programming assignments. At first, it was a relatively simple thing to vote, because I only had a couple dozen albums.
Lately, however, with 213 albums to choose from, having to vote yea or nay on each album each period consumes a fair bit of time. So now that I've got all my web stuff at school using a common authentication module and cookies and the like, I can tell who a student is as they're first visiting the page. So Thursday evening I did my first real AJAX programming and wrote some code that will read the cookie of a logged-in user, request the list of albums that user previously voted for, and auto-fill check marks by those albums.
As a devious side-effect, this only works if the student has already logged in in some fashion, and the easiest way to log in is for a student to check his assignment status. So in order to save them time voting, I force the students to first look at their current course average, which is probably a good thing for motivation.
Anyway, Friday night I watched Leander beat Westwood for Homecoming, and Saturday I caught up on sleep. And you already know about this morning.
Normally at this time I'm just finishing running through all the Sunday's songs with my band one last time before the service starts. This Sunday, however, our youth pastor Mark is teaching, and the youth band is handling the music.
So I get to "sleep in" and have a slow morning before going to church. It's a nice thing.