Photo of worker adjusting a wireless access point.

Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007
RFI: How much to create learning environment online?
Hematography Plus is an instructional CD-ROM, "a visual resource and comprehensive reference in morphologic hematology." It's all about blood.

It was released by the University of Minnesota in 2000 and has since sold over 3,500 copies. It's a solid learning tool and was purchased by hospitals, clinics, schools, and the military.

The last copy of Hematography Plus shipped this year.

There is interest in recreating Hematography Plus on the Web. Karen Lofsness, the driving force behind the original, would like to get some kind of idea of what that would cost.

If you're interested in taking a look at Hema, send me an email (pfhyper, at the gmail domain) and I'll send along a password and site where you can download the compressed CD master for evaluation. Then send along some idea of a ballpark dollar amount of a web implementation.

This is very preliminary. No funds are yet in place. We are not yet interested in how you would do it or how you would want to change it for the Web at the moment. We would just like a ballpark figure as to what you think it would cost.

Karen would probably want to repurpose the cell artwork. It's a custom 8-bit palette (I think).

Budgetary Realism.
Can it be done for $15,000? $20,000? A sum of $100,000 would probably be way beyond a potential budget.

System Requirements.
Windows 95 or later with assistance from our FAQ.
Mac version requires classic mode.

More info on the project here.


The original Hematography I CD-ROM was released in 1996 by a major publishing company and it was costly (maybe $500+). So was Hematography II which included a little exam and the ability to save the student's score to disk. Teachers loved it. Also pricey.

Hematography Plus, the final CD-ROM, had more features than the other two but Karen reduced the price to $99 so students could afford it.

It's programmed in Lingo, the language of Macromedia Director. It's an older version of Director. There is no plan to keep it in Director but I guess no plan not to either. I see it more as a pure web play or web + Flash.

I programmed it and I also have been on retainer to provide technical support. I estimate less than ten calls a year even as OS's were changing. We officially support it on Windows 95, 98, and NT but it's still running on everything through XP (sometimes with system adjustments) and there's a report that someone is using it on Vista. On Macs, it works fine through OS 9. (Intel Macs ended Hema's compatibility.)

Drop me a line if you're interested.


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Monday, May 28, 2007
Blog search tools II
See 5/26 post too.

The Rollyo searchroll doesn't do a good job with its embedded advertising and it's difficult to tell the ads from the results.

I switched to my good friend Google and so far, it looks pretty good. Ads? Yes. But we are all accustomed to the Google ad concept so that makes their search tool more usable. (Non-profits, schools, and government can turn off the ads.)

Besides creating a search engine for a blog or site, you can access your personal search engine(s) via Google.

Much more control over the look-and-feel and you can specify keywords for tuning your search results. There are also a few advanced features: context, annotations, and refinements. (Sorry, I'm not taking the time to even dig into them right now. You'll have to go look yourself.)

I have invites to the Google Co-op world where these personalized search engines exist. Drop me a line if you need one.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007
Blog search tools
I had a Technorati widget over there on the right for searching my blog but it wasn't working. In fact, a direct search on my blog at Technorati also failed. Don't have any idea why.

So I now have a Rollyo widget over there on the right. It generates a confusing array of results along with a bunch of ads that look suspiciously like results. I am not amused.

Stay tuned. I suppose Google must have something I can use here.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007
Apple to release new MBPs?
I start my new position at University of Minnesota Extension (Family Development) on June 11, the week of Apples Worldwide Developers Conference. I think my MacBook Pro order is in process and now Endgadget reports that Apple will release their next gen MBPs at WWDC. They have irrefutable evidence, as is always the case with rumors.

Even if this is fact, I doubt I would be able to have one in my hands before August (although I could attempt some string-pulling with the U's Apple rep). I'll keep what I'm getting.

And hey Pete, what about this new position. Yes, I'm transitioning from the U of MN Cancer Center over to Extension Services but my job description won't change much except it will be more Web and more my Web shop to keep tuned.

I do switch campuses and will be over in St. Paul rather than Minneapolis.

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Monday, April 16, 2007
Wireless Cities Today
I'm in U of MN Walter Library at the Wireless Cities conference and Lev Gonick is going to do the first keynote. He's going to tell us about OneCommunity (used to be OneCleveland). He's CIO at Case Western in Cleveland.

Watch my Twitter feed for updates.

Watch here too.

I present at 3:15 with Garrick Van Buren, Jeremy Iggers, and Cris Lopez.

There is a conference blog.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007
The penguin is a girl
The penguin is a girl. Novell's PC Mac Linux marketing videos. Scroll the list to find them.

Mark vs. Fred. Mark Cuban and Fred von Lohmann discuss YouTube and the future of copyright.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007
Microsoft is dead.
"A few days ago I suddenly realized Microsoft was dead." begins Paul Graham's essay, Microsoft is Dead. Not really dead but at least no longer a threat. Sort of like the Dark Side without the Force.

It's insightful and I agree with his points.

Yes, Microsoft is still big, still profitable, and still with deep, deep pockets. So deep that they could become a critical force again. Paul tells them how:
So if they wanted to be a contender again, this is how they could do it:
  1. Buy all the good "Web 2.0" startups. They could get substantially all of them for less than they'd have to pay for Facebook.
  2. Put them all in a building in Silicon Valley, surrounded by lead shielding to protect them from any contact with Redmond.
I feel safe suggesting this, because they'd never do it. Microsoft's biggest weakness is that they still don't realize how much they suck.
via Chr15 P1r1LL0

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Friday, February 23, 2007
Introducing the Book (repost)
Improved version of The Book video with better subtitles. ZrednaZ at youtube reposted at a new URL so my old link broke.

And thanks to Roy for pointing me to this...

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Sunday, February 18, 2007
Blogger: The Switch
Update: Still have an old-style Blogger blog? It looks like if you go to, there is a log-in available for the old blogs. I can't test it as I'm in the new system. And I'm reasonably happy with it.

Google rolled the new Blogger out of beta several months ago and they have been inviting me to migrate my blog to the new system. I've avoided the move because I was afraid of losing comments (I use Haloscan for commenting because they provide a trackback system) and because I use for categories. I knew the part would break; wasn't sure about the comments.

Yesterday Google forced my hand. I was not able to get past the migrate screen without, well, migrating. I could still post via email or youtube or flicr to the old blog but I couldn't edit any posts. So I pushed the button.

The new Blogger does have categories to replace the tagging system I used.

No other problems so far.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007
Cringely writing for Technology Evangelist
Local budding blog empire Technology Evangelist has scored big with Robert X. Cringely, aka Mark Stephens.

I first started reading Bob back in his InfoWorld days (where still exists another RXC). His departure with the Cringely moniker in 1995 was a bit controversial. His 1992 book, Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date, an entertaining history of Silicon Valley. He also did the PBS show Triumph of the Nerds.

In 2005, Cringely started NerdTV, sometimes described as a Charlie Rose for geeks, where Bob would interview technologists. A few weren't really that well-known but still excellent choices and made for an interesting interview. I think the shows were online only and available in several different formats (including a podcast). My favorite was his interview with super model Anina, who happens to be a cellphone geek (show #9). And if you don't know who Brewster Kahle is, check out Bob's interview (show #4).

I was waiting for the second season to start and even emailed Bob. Now I discover that NerdTV was a financial bust. That's where the Technology Evangelist folks come in. They've been working with high-quality video, they admire Bob, so they ended up filming the second season (coming soon to an Internet near you).

So thanks Evangelist, congratulations on the addition of an excellent writer, and Welcome, Bob!

Bonus links: Pioneer Press article on the Cringely-Evangelist deal and Ed Kohler's follow-up post at Evangelist.


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