Just curious how this works…
Lately, I’ve been emailing myself what I’ve accomplished at work. It’s had a surprising impact on me, in that, on those days where I feel like I got nothing done, I actually got quite a bit done. Take for example this list from one of my more recent visits to a charter school:
That was over the span of about 4 hours… And while I felt like I got “nothing” done, the truth was, I was moving pretty much non stop. That feeling was coming from not getting done what I went there to do, which was a bigger project than I was able to tackle that day (which is why it didn’t make the list).
I’ve realize that this is something my brain does in my home life as well. There are times where I feel like I really got nothing done, when in reality, the time was quite productive. Let’s quickly document the weekend… because on the whole: I got a lot done:
All in all, a fairly productive weekend. A lot got done. A lot still got left undone. That’s okay. I might need to do this more. Who knows.
My mind has been thinking a lot about communication lately.
There are area’s of my life where I want to communicate more, but don’t. The reasons are boundless:
The funny part is, as I look back at this blog, there was very little I held back from it during the period from highschool to early college. I documented all sorts of stuff about my life… no matter how mundane… And to this day, it sits here, available for anyone to go and see things I’ve done in the past.
I could post to Facebook… But that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for comments. I’m not looking for short blurbs.
I could make videos – But do I really want to put this face to these words?
Well, for now, I just feel like writing something… So I’m going to… very much the same way I used to in the past.
I’m sitting at Math and Science Academy, in the server room, listening to the whir of the server fans. There’s no major problem at the moment. I don’t *really* need to be here. But my tech helpers are off at the First Robotics tournament in Duluth, so I decided to hang here to “cover the desk”. I’m working on various things at the same time, keeping up on emails, etc. But so far, it’s been a pretty average work day.
I had an idea to setup a VPN connection for the entire school to a remote location to try to solve a problem we have with our modem when to many connections start happening. I haven’t implemented it yet, but I’m dreaming of both how that might work, as well as what could be accomplished with such a setup. The real question though: could it be done with minimal latency such that it doesn’t slow the whole school down in any meaningful way :-). I’ve always wondered what kind of limits there were on all this cloud based stuff :-).
My kids are at school. I’ve been taking them almost every morning, and picking them up every day. It’s been a change in schedule for me as it greatly reduces my work time during the day… But it saves us some money, and helps the kids to not get overtired. It also gives me more time with them, which is a good thing I think. Amber is picking them up today though… so I’m going to try to use the extra time wisely. Link has developed a love for math lately. Addition is his thing. We’ll see how far we can push that before he starts in public school next year. Ellie is just a constant bundle of love. I have no idea what her real passions are yet, or real talents are… but whatever they will be, I have no doubt she will attack them fiercely.
I have sound rehearsal tonight at Church. I still do that. Lately, it’s been pretty much every week. I enjoy it. It gives me a chance to think about life, to meditate, all while serving and listening to great music. Hearing the same sermon 2 to 3 times a week from different perspectives also has me wanting to “preach” myself. There’s that video idea from earlier in the post popping back into my head.
Overwatch is the game of the year for me lately. I’d love to be more competitive than I am, but for some reason, I just can’t seem to move up on the ladders. It seems like I’m back to Reinhardt this season, although when dealing with solo-queue’s, I’ll probably still push for D’va for the mobility. I greatly enjoy the pace at which the game goes… Anything less than competive these days though I tend to find underwhelming. A new hero was announced today. We’ll see what changes that brings. I still play World of Warcraft as well, just not daily.
Is it sad that Facebook is the primary form of communication for me about news about pretty much everyone in my life, with maybe the exception of Richard. It told me that my wife was on day 45 of 90 (way to go honey!) of her exercise challenge, which I knew she excised nightly lately, but not she was half way. It told me today was Nikki’s birthday, which I knew, but probably would have forgotten if it hadn’t told me (Happy Birthday!). I guess my communication has always been digital… just interesting that I get it all from Facebook now and not directly via the likes of AOL Instant Messenger (BTW: I use Skype now for most chat related things, Google Chat sometimes, I don’t text message very well, I’m never on AIM, and I’m always on Mumble for real-time voice communication (but I won’t tell you the mumble unless you ask me to).)
I doubt this will become a regular thing again, but it feels good to put some of this on paper just for the sake of archiving it. Documenting your life matters, if only for yourself to look back and see how far you’ve come.
Biggest concerns of the moment: Getting work done. Finding more work to do. State testing for all my schools!
This free writing has killed some time for me. Time to change locations I think to get some work done from the home office.
I don’t blog much anymore, but today felt like a day worth documenting in my blog. After 108 years, the cubs have won the World Series again.
I’ve had an interesting relationship with the cubs over the years. They are my favorite National League team, and I would say for the most part have been my favorite baseball team (with the twins in close second, or perhaps, at times, being my favorite). It’s a fandom that can be traced back to my Cousin Darin’s love of the team… and has been one I’ve never quite fully understood how it came to be.
Growing up – I wore lots of cub shirts. I remember Darin looking at the newspaper Grandpa’s house to look at the box score. There would be conversations about Ryan Sandberg and whether or not the Cubs could actually win. Darin was far more of a fan than I was, but somehow I got attached.
I remember taking a trip to Wrigley with my family. We had standing room only tickets for a game that really wasn’t all that important. It happen to be Cabbage patch kids day, and we got 2 Jonathan Bradley dolls… Of which we still have today (at least I have mind… not sure about Amy’s).
I remember buying tickets to all 3 Twins Vs. Cubs games in July of 2000. Darin and his dad were going to come to visit and go to the game with us. Sadly, a family relative died. My parents went down to Nebraska for the funeral, and Darin didn’t come up… But, thanks to Richard and his family, I did manage to make it to 1 of the 3 games. The claim to fame for that game: We were sitting right on third base, Mark Grace hit a wicked foul ball and it flew up to our row, bounced (ricocheted?) off some woman’s head, and flew BETWEEN Mike (Richard’s Cousin) and me. Mike had just come back from the concessions so we were both standing up when it happened and saw the white blur go right between us. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to getting a baseball at a game (and I still blame Mike for not getting it :-)).
I remember watching the 2003 playoffs when Bartman caught the foul ball:
And every moment after that wondering why the Cubs just couldn’t seem to get it together.
I remember that year also being the year that the Twins could have played the Cubs in the world series (But Twins lost in round 1… but I had hope going into it).
I remember the home run races with Sammy Sosa and Mark Mcgwire.
And now, forever etched into my brain will be the night the Cubs finally won the world series.
Congrats Cubs! The Curse has been passed (Sorry Indians)!
Here’s another technical blog post. I wanted to document this here in case it helps someone else, or in case I have to do this again at another school. Here’s the scenario:
A school has purchased a rather large quantity of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 computers via a retail channel. The school has NOT purchased eopen (site) licensing for quick and easy deployment, but wishes to upgrade all of their retail machines to Windows 10.
With Windows 7 or 8.1, the solution was relatively simple, despite being somewhat painful… You would prep one machine, sysprep it without a license key, and then image the rest of the machines using something like Fog or Clonezilla. Upon boot, you’d enter the product key, activate, and any other cleanup steps that needed to be taken. If you try to follow those same steps with a windows 10 upgrade machine, you’ll run into 2 problems.
The first problem is imaging the windows 10 install. Windows 10 install via the upgrade tool will not allow you to sysprep it. Supposidly there is a workaround out there for this, but in my experience, it’s not worth it anyway (and even if you did, you’ll run into the second issue)… The simple fix to this problem is to do a clean install of windows 10… But…
That brings us to the second problem: Windows Activation. Windows 10 upgrade activates based on some version of the hardware ID. So if you simple do a clean install of windows 10, sysprep, then image it, you’ll end up in a situation where all the machines you image will not allow you to enter any valid product key. The reason being, is the hardware hasn’t been activated yet via the special upgrade process windows has created for this.
So that leaves you wish 3 possible solutions:
It turns out, there is a way to do a clean install of Windows 10, without doing the upgrade first. It does involve getting a “GenuineTicket” for each machine first, but that is FAR faster than running the windows 10 upgrade process on every machine. Here are the workflow steps:
Part 1 – Get The Licensing
Part 2 – Build The Image
Part 3 – Deploying The Image
The other cool thing about this setup is that once it’s done on every machine, I believe that you no longer need to do all of the steps. In theory, the next time I will need to imagine to windows 10, it will *should* behave much more like my enterprise licensing, and activate without needing me to copy the GeniuneTicket again (or even including it). My understanding is that this is because the hardware id *should* already be on file with Microsoft, so it should auto-activate. That said, I have not confirmed this yet, as I haven’t had a need to reimage any machines. As a precaution, I am keeping my GeniuneTickets for every machine so that I don’t need to do part 1 ever again. I’d do pretty much anything to never have to type a product key again.
Final Disclaimer: I’m not sure any of this is how Microsoft wants things done. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not. If your client/school/whatever can afford it, I’ll always encourage finding a Microsoft Rep and getting the enterprise licensing to allow you to do this without the activation headaches. KMS/AD activation is so much easier to use in a larger environment :-).
Let me know in the comments if this helped you or your organization!
So I wasn’t sure I’d write a part 2, but so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how smooth windows 10 has been for me since the clean install. Here’s a quick synopsis of what I’ve found so far:
1) I like the faster boot ups. Windows 8 was faster than Windows 7 when it came to booting. Windows 10 seems to be just a tad bit faster yet. Given that my motherboard’s POST cycle bootup is about 30 seconds on it’s own (Raid cards take a bit to boot), having windows only take 5 to 10 seconds to get up is a nice thing to have for those times I need to scramble to get back into a game or webinar.
2) It’s stable. I didn’t have very many stability issues with Windows 7, but Windows 10 seems to be just as stable on my machine. That’s a good thing. It doesn’t seem to have the hiccups that Windows Vista brought when I first upgraded to it.
3) Some of the new features are rather nice… The ability to record a game without needing my nVidia recorder, or Bandicam is kind of interesting. Quality seems good. Gaming also seemed to magically work over RDP, which was something that never seemed to work very well in Windows 7.
Cortana is also very interesting. I have her setup to respond, but she doesn’t quite do some of things that might be able to save me some time… For example, I would love to be able to say “Start Warcraft” and have it open… However, program shortcuts don’t really seem to work yet. If they get Cortana working as well as Siri or Alexa, I could get used to talking to her.
I haven’t made use of much else that is truely “new”. I probably won’t use the multi-desktop stuff. Some of the legacy windows 8 menus are still getting in my way, but it’s not that bad. I did have to disable some notification sounds to get my computer to stop beeping every 10 seconds.
All in all though, I would consider this one of the most successful OS upgrades I’ve had, minus the day 1 difficulties I had with drivers and getting it installed.