Friday, January 18, 2008

Theirs vs Theirs -- Throwing Arms

Okay, there is a new throwing arm video on the net that you should see. No, it is not a trebuchet. It also isn't made of timber. Take a look here.

and yes, I'm also doing this to test embedded links.

Contrast that video with this one I shot a couple years ago:

as you can see the principle is the same, but the implementations are vastly different. (Neither of these throwing arms were made or contributed by the Dowdberry clan but we did shoot the 2d video.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Political Perspective

I'm not known as a very political animal, and at 45, I'm not going to start being political now. But I am 45, so I can say a thing or two about Political Perspective.

The perspective I'm speaking of is not a candidates political point-of-view, nor is it my political point-of-view. Rather, it's the physical point of view involved in a candidate's website. I've spent this evening reviewing the "ISSUES" addressed by each of these candidates:
  • Obama
  • Clinton
  • McCain
  • Huckabee
  • Romney
  • and very briefly Duncan Hunter
and I can now say, without any hesitation or ambiguity, that Mitt Romney has the least readable website. I'm 45--did I mention that? And I had LASIK 8 years ago (maybe 9 now.) I'm also diabetic (yes, full disclosure). The age, the LASIK, and the diabetes have contributed somewhat to mild case of far-sightedness. I don't like wearing reading glasses (as my far-sightedness is mild) but I do frequently bump up the font size on any web page I'm reading. This is a simple matter of Ctrl-+ in Firefox (the only browser I use on a day-to-day basis.)

Unfortunately, when browsing to Mr. Romney's website, I find that all of the information is shifted and distorted. He apparently can't find someone that can properly build a useful web site. No, I don't expect the candidates themselves to be masters of CSS--but is it too much to expect them to hire someone that can?

I've put no links in this document (though there are many obvious ones possible) as I've not made up my mind on what candidates to support--you could call me an undecided. But I have decided that Mitt needs a new geek.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Geography Quiz

We have been consumed this week (especially this weekend) with this geography game:

Know Your World

Matt Fischer sent us the link and Joy has been striving to master it. I pretty much stink at it (in comparison to Joy.) Admittedly, she's invested a lot more time in it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Pastor Dave,

I took a quick look at the Computer Science department curriculum at Colorado School of Mines (Mines) and at Abilene Christian University (ACU). In my examination, I compared their coursework with what I would expect an undergraduate degree in CS to provide/require for graduation. In each case, a sample four year program (as specified by the school) was reviewed.

I find that the ACU coursework is fairly typical of any college or university—it provides the standard core classes and has an additional subfield of study—software engineering. The “non” software engineering is more what I would call a traditional CS undergraduate coursework list. The software engineering variant trades off Calc 3 for Web Development and more applied software skills. Both seem prudent and effective. The student's interest should guide his selection in one area or the other (with the advice of faculty of course.)

I was a bit dismayed in Mines' CS undergraduate curriculum. They route all students through a common first year—basically an introduction to engineering. There would be no CS at all until the sophomore year (though clearly, you may need/want to write some software to aid in the calculus and physics courses required during the freshman year.) Additionally, much more applied science and engineering is required throughout the Mines' four year schedule. I can't honestly recommend this CS school for someone solely interested in Computer Science. If the student is interested in doing applied mathematics, engineering, and computer science then Mines may be the right school. If interested more in the “pure” computer science, this probably isn't the right school.




Tuesday, January 1, 2008