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May 4, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Several Days In May


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Today's song is So Far Away by Carole King, released in 1971.

Last night, I was one of two presenters at the San Diego Macintosh Users Group May meeting. Laurence McAhren gave a demonstration of Macintosh maintenance tips. He led the group through a few basic strategies to keep your Mac running well and then provided a short discourse on various utilities available for hard disk repair issues.

My topic covered Automator Workflow Basics using a Keynote presentation. Automator is Apple's answer for users to easily build their own automatic processes that perform a series of steps that would otherwise need to be manually completed. My presentation includes links to various sites that further explain the concept of Automator and some of the currently available workflows users can download for their own usage.

It was fun to work with Laurence up there on the stage at the meeting. We could look out over the tops of our laptops and see the hundred or so attendees in the audience. It was an interactive presentation with Laurence and I answering questions as they arose during our respective demos.

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Apple has a new batch of cool ads showing two guys in a Mac versus PC discussion. As Microsoft is forced to push Vista further out into the future, Apple continues to make inroads into the Windows marketplace. Former Windows users continue to come on over to the Mac experience where computing is fun and productive. This new series of ads capitalizes on the new needs of computer users and how Apple solutions better meet those needs.

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My long-time friend, Bob Springer, sent me a site link for an artist who creates really cool images. Take a look at some of his works and decide for yourself. My favorite from that collection is Mother Nature.

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I recently mentioned my completion of two Project Management courses offered through a local college. I developed a class description I would like to see offered online. It's a consolidation of various classes that a student would otherwise needs to take and then patch together (somehow?) segments of those various classes to obtain what I think should comprise one class by itself. The class I envision reproduces the real-world experience a project manager encounters on every significant project. Knowing how to flow the processes of a project effectively is key to success. My proposed class would provide that knowledge in one package.

Below is that class description, if you know of any online class that fits this description, please let me know. Thank you. :-)

I would like to take a course that walks me through a small project using Microsoft Project software in the following ways. The same project is used throughout the course using an initial set of values for resources, time, budget, etc., as follows:
  1. The project defines its mission and objectives
  2. A team is assembled and the cost for all resources is determined
  3. The baseline is established and the project starts forward
  4. Resources are consumed, the earned value is calculated and reports of various types are created to show the status of the project
  5. Problems arise, resources need to be adjusted, change management is required, risk management reassessed
  6. The Critical Path and other reports are updated with different scenarios explained so that the wisest choice can be made to bring the project back on track

The goal of this class is to use the smallest type project possible to teach these various real-world influences on a project. The class examples would take the student through the reasoning for each step and why one idea for a solution would be better than another. The student would learn how to use some of the typical reporting process in Microsoft Project to monitor the project from the baseline to the actual progress and completion.

In short, after taking this class the student would know a great deal about how the software is used to work on a small but challenging project and use the various components to reflect the actual activity of the project.

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May is a time for me to remember those that passed-away this month:

  • My maternal Grandmother, Edna Wilson, died on May 6, 1969
  • A high school friend, Nick Braico, died in Viet Nam on May 5, 1970
  • My friend and brother-in-law of friends, Angel and Linda Rodriguez, Jay De La Torre, passed away May 6, 2003
  • Brother of Linda Rodriguez, Jimmie Johns, was murdered on May 29, 2003

That last item obtained some legal closure for the John's family recently. The murderer was found guilty of first-degree murder in late March of this year. Yesterday he was sentenced to 92 years without the chance for parole. He is 22 years-old now, so he has a long time to repent for his crime.

I'm told he denies any remorse for his actions. I think in about ten years, when his brain chemicals start changing the way he thinks, he'll start to wonder why he needs to be imprisoned further. He may start talking about how he's "changed", how he's not the same as he was at 19 when he murdered Jimmie. That's when his real punishment starts, in my humble opinion. From that point on perhaps he'll feel rage and anger for the rest of his life and how mad he is at himself for throwing his life away when he killed Jimmie during an armed-robbery in Jimmie's store.

Don


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