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April 2010

School Website Navigation is improved!

We’re TAKS testing, and my assignment today was to sit in the hall, 30 minutes at a time, different places.

So being the geek I am, I took my computer and external hard drive – which is worth another blog entry.

The website is at and I got the following done:

    • put Yearbook pictures of the faculty on the faculty pages.
    • put Yearbook pictures of the various clubs on the clubs pages.
    • Improved the navigation

I took the Small Business starter kit and changed it drastically.  Still had multiple layer navigation which I admit was a pain, but managed to eliminate that today.

I’m going to look into graphics tomorrow, but I don’t promise a lot of progress because people keep “sucking out my brain”.  It’s exhausting because they keep wanting me to tell them what to do and I won’t.  Just because I’m happy with something doesn’t mean it’s right.

Is TAKS really that stressful?

So far today, I've had three special ed students part out on me, and a fourth just be more snarkie than usual.

I have 12th grade PAWS, didn't know what we were doing with them --and they told us at the last minute -- but I knew they were to be doing SOMETHING.

One of my special student there decided he had to be somewhere besides my room, and got very upset when I wouldn't let him.  He broke my first rule -- talking during announcements.  My second rule is that I never ever let anyone go anywhere until announcements are done.  Thus I didn't hear them at at all.  He said "Can I", and I said, "No, " Sit down" which I know know means stand up and argue with me. 

My really special student came complete unglued when I asked him to write his first flowchart with Raptor.

Then another one went off on me over something that happened over a week ago, but I haven't seen her since she's been in ISS.  Sent her to her counselor.

Last domain changes are moving

I had three domains that I hadn’t moved from GoDaddy yet.  The first ( moved today, and best yet, I don’t think there was any interruption in Email.  I initiated it on April 19th, and it happened today (April 25th) so it takes about 6 days to happen.

The next domain – click-l was initiated later in the day (10:15 pm), so I don’t expect it to move until later today or even tomorrow.

The last domain is the school domain.  I did not get it going until the 20th, so I expect it to move tomorrow or Tuesday.

Fun stuff going on at school

Came in this morning to find at least one row of ceiling tile missing from ceilings.  It’s WAY cool because you can see the old part of the school.  Now, the ceiling in my room goes to the top, but not the ceiling in the hall.  We have network wiring, wireless network wiring, heating/ac ducts, sprinklers and all kinds of interesting stuff heading by acoustical tile ceiling.  It’s really cool to peer up at the past.

I’m told they are putting in new heating and air conditioning.  And the coolest part is that they claim we will have real working thermostats in each room.

Okay, I’ll believe it when I see it.

You have to understand that I have been at this school for 17 years, almost 18 years, and we’ve had new HvAC threatened before.  However, this is the closest we’ve seen it happening.  Last time, they came out and surveyed, decided they couldn’t do it, got sued by the district and I got a set of new computers over it.

We have a boiler / chiller system.  And the temperature in my room is inversely proportional to the temperature outside.  Today, I could hang meat in the room, and in January, we could bake potatoes by placing them in the edges of the room near the radiators.

Oh, some of the radiators are already gone.  Not mine…..

The other nice thing is that they are working at night.  Much safer.  Wonder if they are working on the weekends too?

Be interesting to see what comes out of this.

Got my Java to look better

I had a bit of an epiphany this morning -- and I have a project that is a bit better.

My java project now has four files, only two that the students have to touch.  Originally, to do the 1980's console type program, I had two files that the students touched.  The driver and the class.

So here is the output:

I have a main program with the lab name (students don't have to touch):

A really ugly program that does the output (students don't have to touch)


And then the two lab programs:


The driver with the test cases:


And the actual class:

We'll have to discuss HTML etc as we go along, but learning HTML never killed anyone.

Here's the actual files (note that the lab itself is from Stacy Armstrong's APlus Materials.  lab02a

C# is prettier


Same code to do the stuff the ugly Java did:


        public Form1()

Rectangle test = new Rectangle();

test.setLengthWidth(2, 6);
label1.Text = test.print();

test.setLengthWidth(12, 5);
label1.Text = label1.Text + "\n" + test.print();



Much prettier, and I did try “\n” in Java, but it didn’t put a carriage return /line feed in my label, while C# does.

Making Java more interesting

One of the things that drives me absolutely nuts about the Java materials I am using is that the majority of the programs are console programs.

Sorry that really sucks when my regular children get to do real live Windows programs.

So I have decided I am going to rewrite the labs so that they at least display the answer with Swing Frames and Panels.  It’s either that or rewrite them in C#, which I am also close to doing.  Unfortunately we have a district final.

We’ve been purchasing Stacy Armstrong’s materials so I am going to give some of the labs a try.  He does some graphic programs where he has a runner that does the heavy work, so I think I’m going to try the same thing with SWING.

Frankly, this is more exciting can a console window.


However, I am scared of this:

 * @(#)
 * JFC Lab02a application
 * @author 
 * @version 1.00 2010/4/21

import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;
import javax.swing.BoxLayout;

public class Lab02aFrame extends JFrame {

* The constructor
public Lab02aFrame() {

JMenuBar menuBar = new JMenuBar();
JMenu menuFile = new JMenu();
JMenuItem menuFileExit = new JMenuItem();


// Add action listener.for the menu button
new ActionListener() {
public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {

setSize(new Dimension(400, 400));

JPanel panel = new JPanel();
panel.setLayout(new BoxLayout(panel,BoxLayout.Y_AXIS));

// test cases
Rectangle test = new Rectangle();

JLabel label1 = new JLabel();
test.calculatePerimeter( );

JLabel label2 = new JLabel();
test.calculatePerimeter( );

//add more test cases

// Add window listener.
new WindowAdapter() {
public void windowClosing(WindowEvent e) {

* Shutdown procedure when run as an application.
protected void windowClosed() {

// TODO: Check if it is safe to close the application

// Exit application.

The students need to add their test cases between the comments, and I’ll have to teach them to make a new label each time they need a new test case.