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November 2009

TAC - our Tech Support People

I dropped by TAC today to pick up one of our laptops I asked them to be reimage.  Sadly the hard drive is broken, so they couldn't.

TAC is short for Technical Assistance Center and they are the go-to for any type of technical problems.  From Desktop Support, laptop support, software applications (Novell, Groupwise, Chancery, etc), to Televisions, Telephones, Wireless and Network Connectivity.

In other words, I'm the go-to at my school to them, and every technical support problem flows through me and the librians to TAC (they send them other requests including AV stuff).

They are SUPER people.  I really like working with them because I know they care.  They have a gruff exterior (well, Ron does), but you can tell that they work at our district because they truly care to have technology in both the adults and kids hands.  In fact, I've even asked because they are even more overworked and underpaid than I am.  And yes, like me, they are all about the kids.  And the teachers, but mostly the kids.

My wish is that they were better appreciated by the district -- and I'm not just saying this because they told me they knew that I blog :-)  I really do mean it.

@Chumby One

First an unboxing video.

Now a review.

I love the original Chumby's, technically I have three, but the third is put away because his screen is too dark and depressing.

However, they are better made, cuter, etc. AND cost more money.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I bought a Chumby One because I have all the functionality in different devices on my desk at home, and can't use it at school as it shouldn't be on the network (it's a none network device).  i bet some of Chumby's websites are blocked.

Why do I like Chumby.

I love the programmable alarms.  I love the sleep feature.  I like being able to schedule alarms on my computer.  Chumby Widgets make me happy (love the egg timer, love some of the news ones and the Woot one), and I am learning to like to make Flash Widgets.

One thing I really like -- the "Go To Bed" widget I made, and I've about to make a couple more, as they are easy to do, since I have and know Flash.

Yes, I need a life.

I wish I could remember exactly what a lady at my doctor's office said to describe me, it was very nice, very sweet, and something to the affect that not only was I a nerd, but that it was good thing, given by god.

Very cool.



Loving my Windows Home Server yet again

I have my photos on my Windows Home Server, and made a bit of a mistake last night -- was trying to create a jpeg thumbnail for a project, and ended up resizing the real picture instead.  Yikes.  However, deleting it and restoring it from the most recent backup took literally less than 5 minutes.

Loving the Windows Home Server....

@Camtasia CAN make movies for ATT Home Manager

Yes, I have the discontinued Home Manager, but all the features are still working, and I figure the important (address book) will even after the web stuff stops working ....

Anyway, I did some reserch and the Home Manager can read WMV files that are 840 x 480 or 320 x 240 (chuby sized).  Haven't tried the Chumby sized, but did do a 840 x 480 and it works like a champ.

By the way, the audio does show up on the Chumby and can be quite annoying.  Use judiciously, probably true with the Home Manager, but haven't gotten that far.

New use for @Camtasia - for @Chumby

Making movies for your chumby!

Camtasia makes quick and easy movies for the Chumby.  Just wish I could do the same for the ATT Home Manager Frame.

So how did I do it?  I set my production settings to 320x240 (Chumby screen size) - Flash Output - Template No Controls, advanced settings SWF, and take the rest of the defaults.

Not sure how to do audio -- that's probably something on the Chumby end that I need to research.

You can see the movie I've done at -- it's the second widget (the first is a couple of pictures of Macy that I created with Flash.

This is a site I've had for a while, and haven't really done anything with it.  I basically have it as I don't want another puppy miller to have it.  

It's at and I'm using it to store some @Camtasia videos I've made.

I've decided when I have professionally done photos, the best way is to display them in a Camtasia movie (that way people can't easily grab and steal them), and I can add some narration, so the photos are more meaningful.

I've also used Expression Web to create the webpages, etc.

Unlearning How to Teach

This paper argues the importance of a further shift to "Meddler-in-the-middle". "Meddler-in-the middle" positions the teacher and student as mutually involved in assembling and dis-assembling cultural products.


One of the people I follow mentioned this, and it's very much like I teach.  I demo what I want from them, then cut them  loose and while they are working, I'll "unstick" people, grade, or work on my own projects, from campus tech stuff, to personal projects.