Wednesday, February 28, 2007


So I still haven't received my first message from the Economist that I signed up for last week, so I guess I'm still resorting to writing about my life. Lately I've been getting more interested in setting up an LTSP server running edubuntu (a version of Linux designed expressly for K-12 use) and using thin clients in classrooms. Seeing as how my school has a plethora of lousy computers, this setup seems like the best solution to our technology needs. I was disappointed to read this afternoon that we'll likely need some more RAM to power the servers themselves, but we are slated to receive 80 new P3 computers next month, so maybe enough of them will come with 256 MB of memory to piece together a few good terminal servers for my edubuntu project. If not I guess we'll just be running some slow setups.

In other news, I'm hoping to start a blog on my own experiences in the lab trying to come up with creative things for the kids to do, but I think a whole website might be more appropriate. Maybe that's what hartmanbot will have to eventually become. It seems like a worthy cause, which probably means someone is already doing it. I haven't really investigated that much.

Finally, Benita and I booked tickets to Costa Rica for this summer and we're both pretty excited about the trip. We take off at 2am on June 30th and have an 8 hour layover in Panama City before heading on to San Jose. We're going with a few other people, so it should be a really fun trip. I'll be sure to blog about it a bit when the date arrives. Cheers -joe

Thursday, February 22, 2007

So I finally registered a site and started putting stuff up on it. Check it out if you have some time to kill:

Hartmanbot was the name of my botball robot last year. I used to challenge the teams of students in my elective class to sumo matches against Hartmanbot and I think he only lost one time, maybe twice. In any case, pretty much all the other names I would choose were already taken. I guess Hartman is a more popular name than I realized.

So the best part of getting a site is that I have been learning a lot of new CSS programming stuff. I actually rebuilt the entire site from an existing template, but the new one is all in CSS, which I'm really enjoying experimenting with. Oh, and I've also started a site for the Geosense tournament I'm planning on holding later this year at Albert Einstien. You can check it out here, it's also all in CSS.

Finally, I've been trying to think of some way to be more consistent with my posts, and I decided that I needed some sort of catalyst for writing. Since I pretty much only get any informational knowledge from The Economist, I immediately thought of some way to incorporate that into my blog. So I think what I'll do is comment each week on one of the articles that The Economist features in one of its free weekly emails. There are three that I signed up for: business this week, politics this week, and from the editors desk (or something like that). I'm leaning towards the editor's desk right now, but we'll just have to see what I think of them. Hopefully with a little more regular posting I can get some other people's opinions on some topics and I can stop just being an Economist mouthpiece repeating back everything I read within their pages. Cheers -joe

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


So I finally got to see the Roots last night. Great show at the House of Blues in San Diego. They had a four piece guest horns section that was incredible, and of course the regular members were great as well. There were three definite highlights for myself, the first being that it was the bass player's birthday last night so at one point the whole band stopped the show and we all sang Happy Birthday to him. The second was the very end of the show, when Black Thought did his best James Brown impression and the horns section really got going, it was like a soul concert, and I can't say how privileged I felt to witness it. There just aren't that many bands out there doing music like that anymore, just great. My favorite part though was the first song the band did for their encore. They all came back out to applause and started in with the guitar tune of "Roxanne" which the newly reunited Police just performed at the Grammy's the night before. Then Questlove himself did his best Sting impression and the place just exploded. I can't believe the crowd had that much energy that far into the show, but it was just infectious and everybody started yelling and jumping around. Good times all around.