It has been a busy summer. The school has about 50 laptops. I got them out to the staff and kids midyear as quickly as possible and as a result there was no organization involved. Some did not even have antivirus software. So I have to go through all 50 one at a time installing our new management software on them. There is undoubtedly a more efficient way of doing this task but my labor is cheap. We also have 148 iPads that had to be integrated properly into Apple Configurator and our Mobile Device Management software one at a time. No shortcut for that. Of course in order to do all of this I had to learn how to do all of that. Piece of cake. The more I work with iPads the less enamored I am with the things as a teaching tool for the classroom. I, of course, look at the things from the school techie angle. The teachers that are using them seem to get what they want out of them. Now if Surface Pros were in the same price range….
I have rebuilt three computer labs with new (to us) computers. We own no imaging software so I have had to install everything by hand. It is amazing how fast the process can go with lots of cds and a chair with wheels. Again, my labor is cheap. I have a student working for me during the summer and he has done a large percentage of the work. His labor is real cheap. Oh, and somewhere I am supposed to take a month off. On the other hand if I work I do not spend money.
I have been playing with TouchDevelop a bit also. I have not spent a lot of hours with it but enough to get the general idea. For writing software on a device it may be a decent option but if a computer is available it is not even a close runner for building programs for Android or iOS. I am just used to seeing more code on the screen and only seeing 5 or 6 lines just limits the way I am used to coding. I am really a bit confused by the whole idea of using a language like this to program on a mobile device. Why? It is kind of fun to learn something new but using one of several computer based languages seems much easier and more efficient. I can understand wanting something to write a quick program if a computer is not available but write a game? I use BASIC! on my Android phone occasionally when the Good Idea Fairy bites me and I do not have a computer handy. If I get more than 20 or so lines of code I just wait until I get to a computer. I will be helping a programming camp next week and the guy putting the camp on is going to use TouchDevelop. Hopefully I will get a broader perspective.
For the last three months or so I have been training for my mountain bike race next Saturday, the Butte 100. I am only doing the half, “only” 50 miles. The Butte 100 has been called the hardest mountain bike endurance race in the US, and the 50 mile piece is the hardest part. I have had better ideas for a Saturday. Give me another couple of months and I might be sort of ready. A friend of mine has done it twice. He is at least 20 years younger and is in very good shape. He had issues just trying to finish both times. Since the start and finish are at the same place I keep telling myself half of this race has to be downhill. At 60 you would think I would be smart enough to not do things like this. At 60 I am no smarter than I was at 20 and I was not too bright at 20. At 20 I was running around through jungles being chased by bad men with guns. A bike race is a lot less risky and a lot more fun.