Access to Access

Years ago I was one of two people who scheduled 100+ teachers in the huge English program at Rikkyo University. We did the scheduling across two campuses, many classes, and all manner of individuals' requests. While most of the serious work was done with Post-It notes, we always ultimately put everything into Access.

Since then, I have only messed with simpler databases like iData and HanDBase. Those two programs have done everything I need on both Mac and iOS, which normally means keeping track of lists, although I have kept track of tutor mileage in HanDBase.



Onward with 32-bit Windows 7

Just as the past term's finals week began, my partitioned Mac laptop failed rather spectacularly: It could no longer find its own hard disk, neither the Windows 7 nor OS 10.8 partitions.

For a nominal fee, a friend sent me an old HP laptop he had sitting around. It is only a 32-bit machine and had Windows Vista on it, so I bought a 32-bit student version of Windows 7. It was a bit unsettling to see 154 critical updates waiting as soon as I upgraded the OS. Today I found another 104 updates that are currently downloading.

Perhaps the current updates will resolve the highly annoying problem I am encountering where a new folder creation or folder rename request will not show up in the Explorer window unless I go up/down the folder hierarchy then return to where the request was made. How clunky!

Cat Video

One of my friends jokes about quitting engineering studies to spend the rest of his life watching cat videos. If they are like this one, his argument might have some merit.

Just 36 seconds long, the video is certainly enhanced by the soundtrack.


Today I attended Indianapolis Power & Light Company's (IPL) IRP. The person who alerted me to the event is a fellow student. It was held in the old city hall, which had some superb marble.

It started with a good breakfast. The coffee was somewhat thin but the fruit was fresh and the pastries not too sweet.

The speakers did a good job and handled occasionally aggressive questions rather well. Many charts, however, lacked vertical axes, which rendered them useless. When asked about this, the most common reply was that the data was proprietary; however, we were given the option of seeing the numbers if we signed non-disclosure agreements. IPL expects large commercial and industrial consumers to stay constant, but they do predict a constant 1% increase in residential customers.

The last speaker before lunch addressed distributed generation, which interests me. When IPL started buying from distributed generation sources, it expected three types: biomass, solar, and wind. Wind has proven unsuccessful because nobody wants to see or hear the turbines, central Indiana doesn't usually get much wind, and zoning laws prevent them when the turbine are tall enough to be of use. Biomass was un appealing to most customers, ample economical quantities seemed hard to come by, and the one landfill in Indianapolis already captures its methane to use for something else. This solar remains the sole distributed generation source tapped by IPL.

The second part of the day was fairly short with various scenarios. During this part, the Sierra Club and Citizens' Action Coalition took a more hostile tone. IPL hurt itself by having some faulty data in one particular slide; people homes in on that.

My reason for going was just to see what happens. I am an IPL customer and interested in power generation. I had no angle to work, no axe to grind, no research or extensive to propel me. As a mere spectator, I had a good time and was generally pleased with how things went.

Battery Innovation Center

Today my friend Nathan and I drove to the Battery Innovation Center in Newberry, Indiana, to tour the facility as a regional IEEE event. We seemed to be the only two students, but we had a good time.

After enjoying pizza and sodas, we heard about the establishment of the BIC. Then we got to tour the facility, see the divers battery testing and manufacturing equipment, experience the clean room, and marvel at the 1MW serial battery setup. We also heard about a renewable energy center at IUPUI, which neither of us had heard a word about in our classes.

The two-hour drive down (and two back) has left me quite tired.

Spring 2014 Term Completed

My spring 2014 terms are over. All my Ivy Tech grades are in:

  • DESN 103, A: This AutoCAD class was enjoyable and useful for laying out 2D designs.
  • ENGR 272, A: A pioneer offering, this was a fast-paced digital logic course with a substantial lab component. We did plenty of interesting things, including Mealy and Moore machines and VHDL.
  • ENGR 279, A: The capstone course required for graduation, also a pioneer offering.

Final grades have now been submitted at IUPUI. Both ECE 202, circuit analysis II, and ECE 210, sophomore seminar, wound up as A+ classes. That makes me quite happy.

Today was also the graduation ceremony for Ivy Tech. I completed my AS in Pre-Engineering (Electrical) Magna cum Laude but opted not to attend the ceremony. One reason is my computer crashed during finals, so I spent a good part of today resurrecting it. Another is that my summer courses will start Thursday, so it does not feel as though I have completed anything.

That said, I hope my fellow graduates enjoyed the ceremony. Below is Daniel Rodriguez, a Peruvian EE student, who wore the Peruvian sash shown below over his graduation robe.


OS 10.9 Mavericks Dumped

The week before finals, my OS file hierarchy collapses irreparably. I take the chance to do a clean install of OS 10.9 Mavericks, which has kernel panics a few times per hour. I update to 10.9.2, which results in a few kernel panics per day. So it is sayonara, Mavericks, you worthless OS.

My 2010 MacBook Pro runs well under 10.8, but I fear 10.9 is going to be the future of Mac OS X. If so, I'll need a different OS.