October 21st, 2004

spikey blonde

Voting

So I did my absentee ballot last night (I'm a registered voter in Miami County of Ohio). It's a little interesting as this is the first time I've actually voted (I still think it's a waste of time and I'm not going to have any true impact, but that's another rant). Issue 1 in Ohio is a gay marriage ban, but this guy does a good job of pointing out how it's so much more. I ended up googling on this issue, mainly because I was curious as to how it would go, but also because Ohio already has a "Defense of Marriage" act that bans gay marriage as is, so I was wondering why this amendment was being proposed.

For those who are curious as to how I voted, feel free to ask for specifics, but I voted primarily for candidates that were pro-choice, pro-civil unions/gay marriage, and better funding for schools and teachers. It was also surprising to note how Republican my home county is. I never paid attention to local politics, but every incumbent is a Republican, except for the coroner. I didn't vote for any of the Supreme Court justices as I know nothing about them.
buzzed, B&W

I'm such a geek

So, while Kelly has complained about my tech heavy posts, I can't resist this one - Kelly, I'd reccomend you stop reading now.

I'm at Firetower Coffee House here in Helena, which offers free wireless, but not through the One Helena Hotspot program (which I don't really like as they limit you to two hours on the network). But that's besides the point - being an inquisitive guy, I thought I'd explore the network a bit. (I've done this previously at the Mudhouse in Springfield, Missouri, and most WAPs I at least take a cursory look at.)

Using the dos command ipconfig, I found the default gateway, but when I tried to connect to it with my browser, no luck. Apparently the Linksys router they're using allows you to have one gateway, and other IP to the web interface. (Though my quick look through the admin interface didn't show any where to set this . . . ) Anyway, using WinPing from this site, I scanned the subnet, and found a variety of computers on the network. I'd guess INOVATIV-FIRE1, INOVATIV-FIRE2, AND INOVATIV-FIRE3 are the computers they use here, but there were many other computers on the network, and I only see one other laptop besides mine here. Weird. Also found the web interface for the HP 1220C printer. I also finally found the admin interface to the WAP, which happened to be using the default Linksys password . . . anyway, just a random ramble about my exploration, as I avoid compiling my quarterly reports . . .
buzzed, B&W

What the hell?

Okay, those who know me know that I'm a big fan of technology in education, but what the hell is Carroll College here in Helena thinking . . . they have calculator requirements listed on this page. Could someone explain to me why almost all their classes require the TI Voyage 200 (note for you old timers, this is the new version of the TI-92) - though this does explain why I saw a girl at the coffee shop using one of these with an introductory chemistry book . . .

Like I said, I think tech is great, but requiring a near $200 calculator for classes that aren't even of calculus level seem absurd. On the other hand, maybe they're requiring because their faculty has really got it, and figured out how to integrate the calculator into the curriculum, which would be awesome. I mean, the built in features on the Voyage 200 are amazing, with lots of built in apps, such as Cabri and Geometer's Sketchpad, but I somehow doubt that all these features have been integrated into the classroom.

Of course, there are some parts of Carroll that really are pretty cutting edge, such as their VP for Student Life keeping a blog (even though he's pretty conservative) . . . argh, and I find all this while I look for recycled/used computer parts for my office . . .