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June 2007
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August 2007

July 2007

U-Verse TV

Love it!  HD picture is gorgeous and it is MUCH cheaper than Time Warner.  Plus there are not 5 duplicate channels.

Interesting, I can watch the HD channels with a regular TV.  I assume I'm use the HD stream but will have to see.


I am not going to blame anyone person, especially both my husband and I are also responsible.  As the U-Verse tech was leaving, the Orkin guy came by, so it could be him too.

After the install, I let the girls out and then back in.  Then I loaded up and took the boxes back to Time Warner.

Husband came in while I was out and let the girls out too.  When we let them back in, there were only two beagles.  The best beagle, oldest, best trained and most wonderful was missing.  Marcie. if anyone cares.

We walked up and down the street and through the neighborhood.  Couldn't find her.  Finally at 8:00 pm I came home and looked her up on petfinders and found:

I found a sweet older female beagle playing on Josey Ln between Valwood & Valley View. The poor thing nearly got hit during 5:00 traffic, so I stopped & picked her up. I drove around trying to see if anyone was looking for luck so I brought her home. She was wearing a yellow collar with a black & white checkered pattern on it. I had to take her to the Carrollton Shelter...I hope you find her!

That has to be her.  Just has to.   I'm going to bail her out of jail in the morning and probably can't sleep until she's in my bedroom.

On a happier note ....

ATT U-Verse - Middle of the install

So we're in the middle of the install, and I'm without phone lines -- I think they are replacing the phone block and if they are smart they will put it somewhere else.  It's at the apex of the house right now, which does keep the wires high and neat.

I feel pretty good about the internet -- we'll go to dynamic IPs, and that's fine with me.  And cool with the husband -- he's got a VPN and claims it works with the wireless when he's on the road so should be fine.

I'm still worried about the TV experience, I am used to full HD and two DVRs.  I need to find a temporary solution for the DVR thing.  But maybe their video on demand service will suffice.

ATT U-Verse

I'm really sick to death of our local cable company -- they have done a slow creep on the pricing and it's up to $150 a month, and they keep changing the line up. 

Also, I am not in love with our Internet provider.  That is cost just under $100 a month and when you could pick up the phone and talk to a human that understood what was going on, it was worth it.  Since they sold us, the new company takes forever to even answer the phone and they don't understand what is going on.

SO, I looked into reducing our costs on the cable and got sold ATT U-verse, solving two problems at once.  I've order the U-300 and Elite speed, which should cost us just about $110 a month.  That also means I can get rid of the second phone line, and another cost savings.

The install guy came as advertised, and they are currently replacing some of the old equipment so we can have new. He's also been working on the cabling.  I'm anxious to see how it works out, we're going to lose some service like two DVR's, but we're supposed to have Whole House DVR at some point. 

Fixing other people's computers

I hate fixing other people's computers.  They become yours.

I even have the Think Geek shirt and sticker that says:  "I will not fix your computer".

However, one of my favorite people at my school called yesterday morning with a note of desperation in her voice -- her notebook wasn't working.  I suspected, but didn't say, that there was something wrong with the power supply.

She brought it by this morning, I plugged it into the wall and we had green lights, then we didn't, then we did.  I noticed that there was a little bit of a notch in the wire near the brick, and sure enough that is the culprit.

Even better news, it will get shipped next day air and she won't have to pay for it (but as she pointed out, built into the price).  However, it was $62.00 plus tax, and while Office Depot had a couple that might have worked, the cheapest was $80.00

Not bad.

Except I'll have to fix it again someday.

But we did have a nice visit!

Carnegie Mellon

It was an interesting workshop.  I met Higgy, which was one of the highlights of the week.

I survived parking my car in one spot and walking all over the place.  I also survived sleeping in their dorm room.

Several things I didn't realize.  First, the workshop was one day longer than most AP workshops.  Second, that a Texan would be presented most of the sessions.  It was good, since she did work on Gridworld, but the point was to see different people.

Don Slater's presentations, especially on Alice were great, so I am sorry I didn't have the funds for Alice.  Maybe next year I'll just go to the Alice workshop.

Mark's presentations were good too.

However, I wish there had been more concrete teaching examples. 

The free books were great!

Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson : Why would you want to teach high school computer science?

 Alfred asks why -- well, one of my fellow "new" CS teachers in my district could probably tell you better. 

Yes, Alfred, we do have a young man -- in his 20's, I believe who is going to start his 3rd year of teaching.  He took over a program from an existing teacher, pretty early in the first year. 

I don't know all of the details, but I do know that his family are teachers.  He did work in technology for a while before he decided to try teaching.  It was also very difficult for him to get his first teaching gig, and he got a really good one.  It's a 5A school, so he should be able to teach CS full time.

There is seldom a stand alone CS teacher certification. In fact if there is one I am not sure I know where it is. How do you even know what/how to prepare?

Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson : Why would you want to teach high school computer science?

Alfred also asked is there are any CS teacher certifications.  Texas DOES have one, and does have several programs to prepare.  Texas had one when I got certified, and since I had a BS degree in CS had to go through what they called at the time a defiency plan.  I chose to get secondary certification through Texas Woman's University and to get both math and computer science.  I had to take all the teacher courses, Texas Political Science, Speech, one computer science course, and enough math courses to meet my defiency in math.  I then had to pass a test.  Of course that was 15 years ago.

We had a period of where we transitioned to a different certification system, and for about 5 years there was not a formal state certification.  However, TEA did approve several programs including an online and summer program through Texas A&M that gave certification.

I don't know the details, but we do have an certification plan now, and I do know that someone who is already certified can take an test to add the certification.