Teacher, Instructor, Mentor

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Many people who read this blog know that I have been supporting educators for over 20 years. I have been honored to have known some of the best in many different schools. All of these teachers know when they called with a technology issue, I was there quickly to assist them and ensure them that they can do what they do best, teach! I know that in helping them, I have learned a lot about teaching and always felt that I missed my true calling, which is to share my passion for technology with others and pay it forward for the younger generation.

At the beginning of this School year 2020-2021, I was excited to accept a job as a technology teacher for one of our local Carrer and Technical Centers. I had many people ask me if I have ever taught before? I always responded with a definite yes! I have taught teachers summer courses on ways to use technology in their classrooms. I have also been teaching adults online using YouTube as my classroom. But I have never taught young students in a classroom, and I have always wanted to have a chance to share my knowledge and pass along my technology skills to a younger group of students.

When I was hired as a teacher, The Superintendent told me I would have to attend IUP College and be accepted into the VOED teaching program. College at the age of 57, am I nuts? Well, I talked it over with my wife and kids, and they all felt that I would be able to handle going to school and teaching at the same time. So I applied and was accepted into the college program, and I am now happy to say I completed my first semester with an A! Yes, my daily was right for believing in me and supporting me in becoming a teacher.

I had my second review yesterday, and the Administration told me that I am teaching at a proficient rate which is what I was hoping for. I was then asked if I made the right decision to teach? I answered with a definite YES! I also told them after graduation the day before that I have to find a way of leaving my seniors go to do great things. It is funny how you spend an entire year with students, and then one day they are gone. But I know that I gave these young men enough technology skills to seek out a college for more education or head out into the workforce, and I guess that is what all of us TEACHERS strive to accomplish!

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Overweight and Old

I always knew one day I would get older we all do and it is something that no one has ever found a way stop. Each day I look in the mirror and I can see signs of aging. I really hate the gray breaded look but my lovely wife say not to color it any more. I really need to color it before I head back to a college campus. But getting older is just a part of the life that we all live. I think that is why when we start to have grandchildren it gives a new outlook on life seeing a baby where we all started slowly grow to an adult over some years. But the clock keeps ticking and the lines of aging keep coming across our faces and bodies.

Now let’s talk about being overweight. I have fought my weight for years sometimes even beating it back. The other day I got off of the couch and my belly came off a few seconds later this is telling me I am getting way to heavy. It could be the beer which I have cut way back or the chips which I can’t put down or maybe even the love for food? What ever is causing this belly of mine to grow has to stop! I started once again today back on the treadmill and watching what I eat. Everyone always says never watch what you eat during the holidays. Well let me tell you my friends and you stuff those big meals down your throat it will be even harder to loss any of that weight. I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions because they just set you up to fell. No I believe in the old way of exercise and watching what you eat.

Today I weighed in at 230 lbs. There I said it. Out loud for the entire World to read. That is if you read this blog at all? My fast goal is to drop to 200. I am not sure how long this will take but I am hoping before Spring. I will track my progress with everyone here and share my ups and downs of weight loss. Stay tuned!

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Heading Back To College

College

Getting older does not mean that we can not learn more. Education is something we should be doing life long and never stop looking for more knowledge. Heading back to classes and buying new books for school at my age seems a little crazy at best. But when you begin a new career path you must earn a degree to allow you to follow your dreams.

As I move through the process of earning my degree I will give all of you more updates and my progress and let you into the world that I have now entered. But I am proud of my current career change and I am also proud that I can give something back to this great field that I love so much TECHNOLOGY!

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Reading Best Affordable Entertainment

Books

As I was sitting in my office at lunch the other day a thought crossed my mind. Reading is the most affordable entertainment that you can give to yourself. It also opens your mind and allows you to sink into the world of the writer. I read across many genres and enjoy being lifted into new worlds that our mind imagens. It is the job of the writer to not only tell a story that you can sink into but to paint the scenes in our minds and to pull us into the story. As you can find on this site I have written a few short stories as well as one novel and I enjoyed the way I had to create the scenes so that the reader is pulled into the world I saw when I wrote the book.

Here is an example of scene building. In the first act, I will show you what a book would be like with no scene building then I will follow it up with a scene that your mind will see.

Act 1: The little boy was carrying a ball and thinking about finding some friends to play with. (No Scene building)

Act 1: Sammy was carrying a ball down a street and noticed a basketball hoop hanging from the side of an old run-down building. He thought to himself that he needed to run three houses down the block to the house with the chain-link fence and get two of his friends Billy and Jimmy to come down and play a little basketball. (With Scene building)

Sometimes people say writers build to much fluff into their stories. That is why some books have 600 pages and some others have 300. But it is the fluff that will pull you into the story and allow you to understand a character better. This is the reason, Stephen  King’s books are so long. He has a remarkable way of pulling you into the story and keeps you there throughout the entire book no matter how long it is.

And these days if you have an e-reader you can find so many great FREE books which makes the reading endless. I would recommend signing up for a free account on Book Blurp. I get FREE book offers every day. I would also suggest that you read works from authors you have never heard about you will be surprised how it will open your world.

 

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Coffee To Start The Day

Black Coffee

I have been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember. When I was very young I can remember sitting with my mom at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee with her. But I also remember it was more milk and sugar than coffee. These days I normally use Almond milk at home but when I get to work I just like it black. I think part of that reason is I don’t keep any Almond milk at work and there is normally no creamers around so black it is.

So where do you like to get your coffee from? are you a Start Bucks type of person or are you more of a McDonald’s kind of maybe some other little store on your way to work? We like 1/2 cafe at home and straight-up 100% caffeine at the office. Let me hear how and where you get your coffee fix?

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Automating Tasks By Programming

Visual Studio

If you plan on or even if you are working in the technology field you need to learn and have an understanding of programming. It really does not matter which language you want to learn as long as you have a good understanding of how to automate tasks. I have been writing custom code and automating tasks for nearly 20 years. I have found a use for this talent in every job I have had in the technology field. Even working at a school district recently I was able to automate importing new students into the library software from the student information system. Once I had the connection up and running I was told that no one else has been able to do this. They were asking for this to be done for 10 years. The reason I tell you this story is because once you learn how a process works and if you can write some code you to will be able to automate a process.

I am currently writing a large project to automate build SQL statements. Right now the job is done by hand each time the database needs to be updated or split I am asked to run my SQL UPDATE query by hand on the SQL database server. This is time-consuming so it is a great time to automate this process. I will keep you updated on this process. The bottom line is not to be afraid of programming and take your time. You will hit snags once in a while but take it from me you will be saving hours of manual coding in the future.

If you have a process and you do not want to program it please contact me. If you can show me what the process is and what you need it to do I will be happy to contact writing the program for you.

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Upgrading My Home Server with VMWare 6.7

VMWare

I spend some time upgrading my home server to the newest VMWare 6.7. We have been using this new version at work and I wanted to dig into more if the features. At home, I like to run to servers for testing. I run Windows Server 2012 as well as Ubuntu Server.

I have spent most of my weekend setting up a new VM of Ubuntu Server and preparing it for testing out automation scripts. I want to create my scripts using Ruby. I am using the IDE called Ruby Mine from JetBrains.

If you have any projects that you are working on or need assistance with any of your servers or need new scripts please let me know. I am also always available for remote training.

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Swift Programming for IOS

Swift Programming

If you are in the computer field in today’s World you can never stop learning new and exciting computer topics. As you can see from the title I am currently taking a course on writing code for IOS. I have a few projects in mind for the iPhone and the iPad. I have been coding for Windows for years. You can see from my past blog posts that I have also been writing bash and power shell scripts for Windows and Linux Servers.

I have also spent a lot of time programming MySQL and MSSQL Databases and writing front end programs in both Visual Basic and PHP for Web Development. The simple truth is once you get one programming language down and learn how to debug syntax other programming languages are not hard to follow. Well back to the lessons.

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Upgrading Computers with SSD Drives

SSD Drives

Upgrading a computer from the old spinning hard drives to a new SSD will make your computer faster. With no spinning disks, the computer will be able to seek your applications and data so much faster. I have also found that this will add new life to your computer and you will get a few more years out of an aging PC.

We have been seeing hard drive failures over the past few months. This makes sense because all of the computers were purchased around the same time. Replacing a drive is a simple process and you should also re-install everything onto the new drive. I never like cloning the drive because you will most likely be pulling over old information that was making your computer run slow in the first place.

One thing to look out for is the connectors for the hard drives. I hope by now that you have SATA cables in your computer. If you have the older cables you can buy adapters to convert the connectors to the new SATA style. Remember to check first before you buy your new SSD drives so you can order connectors if you need them. If you want to upgrade your computer and you are not sure how to do this please reach out to me and I will be able to help.

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Setting Up New iMacs

 

iMacs

At work, I am responsible for all of our Apple products from iPads to iMacs as well as all Mac Laptops. On top of this, I am also responsible for all security cameras and recording devices. I am also the Software Engineer which mean I take care of all of the databases and client software for well over 5000 devices.

We were lucky enough to get new 21″ iMacs. I am working to get all of them set up exactly the same way. By doing this I know that when each user sits down to work on these devices they will all have the same experience.

If you are looking for a new computer for your house I would have to suggest an Apple Mac. The operating system and the software are the most stable that you can get. And if you need help learning or just setting it up please reach out to me.

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