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That really is not the right word… More like roommate shopping is what I’ve been doing here in Lubbock. I can live in a house that’s decent and fix it up but if the roommates stink my life will be miserable.

I’ve found a few places that I like and today I plan on going and meeting the potential roommates since that will be the selling factor for me. All of the homes are close to campus which is a big plus for me as I do not really want to pay for a parking pass (or gas). They all have hardwood floors with carpeted bedrooms which is great, less cleanup and less to worry about. My only catch is that the one landlord said no indoor pets, even though Jackson is small and is house trained. Now I have to figure out what I am going to do with him.

I also finally filled my schedule up with a blow off elective. I need 2 hrs. of electives and this will fill that requirement up and since I only have to go to class 2-3 times a semester I’m even more happy. My dilemma now is grad school. I only have 70 hrs. left to get a Master’s but I can’t decide if it’s what I really want to do. Do I continue with the Bachelor’s and get out in the workforce (or military) or take my time and get the Master’s degree and then make my life decisions? It is a lot to think about while I’m here, but it has to be decided some time…

I will be traveling tomorrow to Lubbock to find a place to live for next semester. You can reach me through e-mail or my cell phone. Your best bet is e-mail though because my phone will probably be turned off most of tomorrow.

I have no problems with getting in front of people and talking. I can explain things well and if I stumble I usually recover. However, I hate with a passion giving PowerPoint presentations. It is not just the giving of the presentation but the creation of it that frustrates me as well.

First off, unless PowerPoints are done correctly they are useless. What is correct? Giving me some text and walking me through what you have written is definitely not. I would rather just listen to you speak instead of having to try and pay attention to two things. Give me graphs (interesting ones only), cool pictures, and a little humor and I’ll be your most attentive listener. If you bombard me with data and text I will more than likely fall asleep or completely tune you out.

When you are presenting do not look at your slides. I am your audience, not the screen. If the screen needed to hear you it would have sat in my chair. Take some notecards with the basic facts about each slide and use those to make your presentation. I can get the basic info from what you are saying and look at the slides for the rest. The more you talk towards the screen the less I and others pay attention, so stop it.

Lastly, I do not need “cool” sounds or “killer” animation to keep interested in the presentation. Do not try to make up for your presentation’s lack of information with some snazzy slide-in sounds, it just doesn’t work. The noises are annoying but the animations are good when they are done right. If you have animation on every letter in your presentation you should be dragged out of the office and fired on the grounds of wasting everyone’s time. Just animate the things you are trying to draw attention to. That means you should not be drawing attention to everything.

That is my brief overview of bad “PowerPointing”. I have a presentation to finish before August 2nd, so it’s back to work for me.

Why are hosts not upgrading to MySQL 4.1? Is everyone just waiting for 5.0? My host is just now making the move to 4.1 and yes, it can break some things but they will be very minor breaks and will affect people who wrote poor SQL.

4.1 is needed. Sub-queries need to be a standard thing. Referential integrity shouldn’t be a question of what table type a person is using. Once 4.1 gets into full swing hopefully we’ll have something that people choose to write good code for.

In other news, as soon as this comes on the market I will be buying one.

After messing with the database that runs this site last night and trying to plan the new release, I am tempted to completely drop the database and start from scratch. I would probably pick out some of the best posts and port them over but I don’t think porting the whole database is the best idea.

Right now posts do not have categories and in the new instance they are going to have them. I will have to go through and edit every post’s categories. It’s not something I am prepared to do.

I guess I have had the database so unkempt that it deserves to be scrapped. I just don’t want to lose so much data, but when you must, you must.

I won’t be posting any new pictures on flickr for about a week. Brant took the camera to Colorado for camp so I am left with my mom’s Sony Cybershot and I don’t really like it all that much.

Hopefully Brant brings back the SD400 safe and sound.

I have been playing with Ruby on Rails over the past few days and there is nothing else to say except, “wow”.

I built a whole application, database and all, in 30 minutes. Ruby’s “generate” scripts created all of the controllers, views, and models and all I had to do was edit the controllers and views to suit my needs. I threw in some of the Rails Ajax stuff and had a basic accounting application up and running in 30 minutes.

Work is a week past its halfway point and things are going well. I’ve found that PowerBooks have trouble connecting to WPA-TKS protected wireless networks. Does anyone know why this is? I get an “encryption method” error whenever I try to connect. Anyone with ideas please send them to s [at] badice dot com.

I have been paying pretty close attention to Hurricane Dennis and as the possibility of it hitting New Orleans gets higher the worry goes up. For those who don’t know, New Orleans sits well below sea level and is protected by dikes from Lake Pontchartrain. If a category 4 hurricane hits the area it will be devastating and we may actually see the “end” of New Orleans. If the dikes are breeched the entire city will be under 15 ft. of water. The real scary part is the fact that after the storm is over the water will only be able to recede to the point where the dike failed which means the city could be under 2-6 ft. of water for weeks as it has no other way to escape.

It’s a very scary possibility and from the most recent news that I have heard New Orleans and Jefferson Parishes are under voluntary evacuations right now.

I mentioned that I had moved servers and that changes were on their way so I thought I’d expand a little on what’s happening.

This site is now hosted with A Small Orange. So far I am very pleased with the service and the technical support I have received during the move. The reasons for the move are many but the most obvious one was the downtime and latency issues. Hopefully all of that will be a thing of the past now.

I have been doing a lot of picture taking and most of it is available at flickr. This will soon be integrated into this site as well. A new visual design is in the works and maybe a few other exciting things.

I have left my comments about the London bombings out for right now as I try to get my thoughts together. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who were killed in this senseless and cowardly act of violence.