September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001.  I have no emotional investment in the events of that day beyond what I will call generic patriotic indignation.  I didn’t (to my knowledge) know anyone who died.  I wasn’t personally affected.  As an American, I’ll always feel “something” about what happened that day, but I know it will always pale in comparison to that felt by those who were there and/or by those who lost friends and loved ones that day.  


But this year that “something” is just a little larger.  In August my son Kyle and I visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York.  I thought I would share my observations and feelings about that visit.


First, the Memorial.  Twin mammoth waterfall pools where the towers once stood.  Awe-inspiring in their own right!  And the plaza…to say it was “clean” would be an understatement.  This is the cleanest, best cared-for public exhibit/monument I have ever experienced.  The place is in a constant state of being cleaned/mowed/swept/polished.  And everyone working/posted there, no matter their duty, seems as if they feel both proud and privileged to have been assigned there.  The place reeks of unspoken, almost subconscious reverence.


Then there is the museum.  Constructed in the sub-basement levels of the former WTC, it is simply awesome.  A long escalator takes you down from the street level, and then grand staircases take you the rest of the way down.  They limit attendance via ticket/reservation, so you never feel crowded.  There are guided tours if you wish to take one, but you can just browse.  Under one of the pools is an incredible exhibit that takes you through a minute-by-minute timeline of the events of that day.  You can hear air traffic control recordings and voice mail recordings.  Some of it seems, admittedly, a little silly.  “These are the shoes worn that day by the photographer who took the picture to the left.”  (No joke.)  But who am I to judge?  The place is so emotionally charged, I frankly was grateful for what I consider a bit of curatorial whimsy.


I could go on.  I don’t care who you are or where you are from, if you visit this place and are not moved in the slightest, you are dead inside.  If you have the means, do consider checking it out.


Little Things That Remind Me Why I Love My Job


Things are uncertain where I work.  Some if it is because of where I work and what the economic downturn has done.  Some of it is because the the world of I.T. is poised on the cusp of massive change.  The Old Ways, tried and true though they may be, are about to be swept away.  Dealing with an industry that thrives on innovation and rapid advancement (I.T.) while working in Academia, the essence of which seems to deny rapidity at any level is challenging during the best of times.  Add to the mix what is perhaps the most convoluted State bureaucracy in the nation and leadership operating under the misguided notion that 64 distinct entities can somehow all be the same just because they’re all in the same State and, well, I’ll say it again: Things are uncertain where I work.

It’s easy to let all of this get to you if you think about it too much.  It’s depressing, really.  As someone blessed with more than his fair share of Common Sense, working in such an environment can be a soul-sucking experience.  No one is empowered to or takes the initiative to make serious decisions without first holding series of meetings involving scads of "stakeholders" under the misguided belief that everyone must be happy with the decision that needs to be made.  More often than not this leads to nothing getting accomplished.  But at least everyone’s happy!

And then there are the specific incidents of nonsense.  Just today I was called to one of my computer labs to open up the backs of the tables where the cabling is run.  The fire inspector had noted that there was a power strip plugged into a power strip.  This apparently is a no-no.  So I get there and am greeted by someone who points me to the table in question.  I open it up and proceed to go around the room opening all of the rest of the tables too.  This person was confused.  "They only said that one," I was informed.  I smiled, and said, "I can guarantee you there are at least three more of those hookups in this room!"  "But," she sputtered, "we were only told about that one…"  "Wrong is wrong," I said, "If it’s wrong there, then it’s wrong everywhere.  And if it needs fixing, it needs fixing everywhere.  We’re going to do this right or we’re not going to do it at all!"  Exasperated, she said (again), but they only found that ONE!"  "Oh, so we’re legal-’til-we’re-caught on all of the other ones??" I exclaimed.  She looked mortified and almost shushed me, like I had said something horrific–a Truth that dare not be spoken.  "I’m going to have to call my supervisor…"  "You go ahead and do that," I urged, "I’ll have that conversation with [name]!!"

Why did I even need to have that conversation?  It’s pointless crap like that which wears me down.  Until the really cool stuff happens.

I have a good deal of flexibility in my job.  I can chain myself to my desk if I so choose, dispatching assistants to the labs and classrooms to do "hands-on" work when it needs doing.  I can also go myself.  After the incident with the power strips, I decided to go in search of why I love working here.  I found it in a couple of places.  I had an appointment in a professor’s office to try and figure out why his computer had no network connection.  This professor is a vocal coach.

At this point I must explain something about being "The I.T. Guy."  The I.T. Guy is generally revered.  Usually when we show up, it’s to "save the day" from the perspective of the person whom we are there to help.  Indeed, most people can’t get out from behind their desks fast enough so we can sit down and "work our magic."  Most of them do so and proceed to go about their business as if we are not there.  This allows us to experience all sorts of cool stuff!  I have had more interesting conversations with people from all sorts of academic disciplines than I can count; just because I was in their office working on their computer for 20 minutes.  It’s awesome.

Back to the vocal coach.  I’m sitting in his office troubleshooting his computer while sitting at his piano.  Yes, piano.  Everyone in Crane has a piano in their office, and the network jack just happened to be next to his.  So I’m sitting at the piano doing my thing while he coaches his student on a cappella improvisation while singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."  She’s doing well, but clearly in too low a register.  "You probably ought to start with C," he said.  I instinctively reach down and hit middle C on the keyboard.  There is the slightest flicker of surprise (yet approval) on his face for just an instant as he nods at his student who finds her note and proceeds.  I was part of her lesson for the day!  And I got to listen to her sing.

This sort of thing happens to me all the time.  The "hero" there to save the day is frequently invited to stick around, sometimes even to participate in the lecture/discussion to which he has been privy the last 20 minutes while he "figures it out."  Sometimes I do.  Most times I don’t.  Too much to do!

I finished the work day in a basement lab putting the finishing touches on a problem that had gone on far too long with too many "cooks" involved who were about to spoil the soup.  There is something very satisfying about kicking them all out of the virtual kitchen, rolling up your sleeves, and just making the soup, dammit!  Because you know how, how it should be done, and can "just do it."  I did it.  And it was indeed satisfying.

It is opportunities like those that make putting up with all the rest of the bullshit worth it.  I could go on about how working in the presence of a few thousand 18-22 year olds keeps you young at heart, but that’s fodder for another post, another day.  I LOVE my job.  More than that, I love where I get to do it.  Change is coming, yes.  And bureaucracy will never die.  But at least I get to experience all of it HERE.

Sick of Spit, Baling Wire, Band Aids, and Duct Tape

I apologize in advance if this seems remarkably self-indulgent.  On the other hand, it’s a personal blog–I’m allowed to vent here!

I preface this with the following statement:  I love my job!  There are good days and bad days, as there are with anyone doing anything.  But my good days far outnumber the bad ones, and even on the worst, I still enjoy what I do.  But man, things really suck right now. 

I manage and maintain a little less than 600 computers on our campus, almost single-handedly.  That any of them work at all right now is incredible.  I am professionally ashamed of the house of cards that is the foundation on which nearly everything "works" and relies.  What was once a decent, robust, and streamlined system is now showing the signs of far-too-long a period of "just-in-time" management by yours truly.  If my System were a body, it’s suffering from a multitude of paper cuts to which I keep applying band-aids.  Eventually I need to do major surgery, but I have no idea when.

I need at least a week of uninterrupted time in a dark room with headphones on, no phones, and no people.  A week might do it.  Maybe more.  But I can’t even manage to take a "vacation," so when the hell is a week’s worth of system surgery supposed to happen?  Who will keep up with the band aids in the E.R. while I’m elbows-deep in viscera?

Nobody.  That person doesn’t work here.  There is no one with nothing to do, no one with room on their plate.

And I’m exhausted.

Review: Billy’s Deli

Billy’s Deli is now open in Potsdam.  It’s where The Fields coffeehouse was.  Enter on Main Street next to the fair trade store.  The stories I’ve seen in the local paper say they are touting fresh, local products for their sandwiches.

The first thing I noticed is that BOTH entrance doors now work!  They didn’t before.  And the "Please Use Other Door" sticker is still on the door.  (I’m a stickler for this.  I’ve never looked it up, but I’m pretty sure that having one of two exit doors blocked is a fire code violation.)

The second thing I noticed is the decor.  They brightened up the place and got rid of the old service counter.  I can’t say it’s an improvement.  But I’m old-fashioned and really liked the way The Fields looked and felt.  This is a highly subjective point, however.

FRIENDLY!  They are really excited and enthusiastic about being open.  Customer service is awesome!

My tastes are simple.  I ordered a "sub"–heavy mayo, roast beef, and extra Swiss cheee.  That’s it.  That’s all I want.  I got it.  And it was delicious!  The kitchen/prep area is clean. 

I’ve only been there once so far and only had that one thing.  Will I go back?  Most likely.  But I have to say this: the deli at the IGA has larger subs with more "stuff" (meat/cheese) for less money, and my taste buds don’t have a preference (based on this one visit to Billy’s).

Your mileage will vary.  I encourage you to try them out!

A Couple Of Meeting Maker Tips

This post is targeted at SUNY Potsdam personnel who have Meeting Maker accounts.  If that’s not you, stop reading now because this won’t make much sense!

There are two very useful features in Meeting Maker that I have come to realize are very underutilized on our campus.

1) Auto Pick.  In the days of paper-based calendars, secretaries/assistants had to spend a lot of time coordinating schedules and arranging meetings.  Responsible use of Meeting Maker makes this unnecessary, though I suspect an awful lot of this still goes on.  Assuming that everyone with whom you would like to meet is a user of Meeting Maker, all you need to do is create the meeting and invite the guests.  You can decide if they are "required" (i.e., you can’t practically hold the meeting without them) or "optional" (their participation isn’t critical).  As you add them, Meeting Maker will indicate whether or not they are available.  If anyone is unavailable, you can schedule the meeting at that time anyhow and tell them they have to go (and reschedule whatever is in the way–probably only an option if you are their boss!) or you can use Meeting Maker’s "auto pick" feature, which will automatically pick the next block of time that is long enough to hold the meeting and in which all required attendees are available.

I used the phrase "responsible use of Meeting Maker."  This needs definition.  I define "responsible use" as setting your preferences to indicate your general availability, e.g., Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:30.  "Responsible use" also includes accounting for ALL of your time commitments in Meeting Maker.  If it’s blocking your availability, it should be in Meeting Maker.  This includes lunch, meetings with people who don’t use Meeting Maker, days off, taking your dog to the vet, etc.  You might be leery of putting personal information into Meeting Maker, but that’s what the "Private" option is for.  When you create an event, click on the "Options" tab and check the "Private" check box.  That event then blocks your time (so people know you are unavailable) and appears as "Private" to all of your proxies (anyone else you have given permission to see your calendar–even those with read/write access).  If you don’t account for all of your time commitments, then you are "fair game" for anyone else trying to schedule time with you!

2) Inflexible Banners.  Let’s say you’re going to a 3-day conference.  You want people to know you are unavailable, but you also want to use Meeting Maker to track the sessions you’ll be attending at the conference.  I’ve seen several people who block off the whole day with a "meeting" that says "conference" (or something) as a means of ensuring that no one (or auto-pick) thinks they are available on those days.  Scheduling overlapping meetings in Meeting Maker is possible, but it’s clunky, annoying, and ugly. 

There’s a better way.  Create a banner spanning multiple days to indicate your conference.  As you are creating the banner (giving it a title and setting the date and duration), click the "Options" tab.  You will see that by default, all banners are "flexible."  If you un-check "flexible," the banner will automatically block off your entire day!  This leaves the day free for your personal use.  You can put in your conference sessions and anything else you want.  Or let’s say you want next Friday as a working "day off".  Instead of scheduling a "meeting" (with yourself) that runs from 8-4:30, you can just create a banner called "No Meetings" and remove the "flexible" option. 

Playing Schedule-My-Boss phone tag is something no one needs to be doing anymore (if everyone concerned is using Meeting Maker)!  If all users are diligent about keeping their calendars up to date, scheduling people should be a breeze.

If you have questions about either of these features, schedule a meeting with me in Meeting Maker.  My calendar is up to date!!  🙂

Why Your Computer “Slows Down”

I see it all the time:  People put off getting a new computer for as long as they can.  I know people still trying to make due with 8, 9, even 10 year old computers.  And why not?  They’re still "working"!  It’s understandable; they can be a serious expense, ranging from a cheap $300 netbook up to a fully-equipped-and-loaded desktop computer for several thousand dollars.  The frustrating thing…the issue with which so many people wrestle…is that barring hardware failure, their 10 year old computer is every bit as "good" as it was the day it was made.  Computers don’t "slow down," they are simply being asked to do way more than that for which they were designed.

How does this happen?  Imagine your computer is a pickup truck.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a Chevy S10 or a Ford F350.  It’s new and it can do the job.  In this analogy, "the job" is driving on a flat, straight road.  There are no hills.  There are no curves.  There is no wind, snow or other weather.  It’s a flat, smooth, straight road in the middle of the day.  You bought your truck to drive, and so you start driving.  Everything’s great!  The road is flat and so the truck uses very little gas.  There’s just one catch, however: every mile, there’s a guy at the side of the road and as you drive past he tosses a sandbag into the back of your truck.  "No big deal," you think as you continue your way down the road.  You hardly notice it!  The truck’s performance hasn’t been noticeably hindered, and you’re still not using very much gas.  As you drive along, you see all kinds of sights and side roads leading to all kinds of destinations; some of them fun, some of them work, but all of them open.

This continues every mile.  The road is still straight and flat and there’s still no weather hindering your progress, but every mile a new sandbag lands in the back of your truck.  They keep piling on, higher and higher, heavier and heavier.  You start noticing that you’re using up gas faster and faster.  You also notice that some of those side roads are now no longer an option.  Why?  Because you’re now too heavy and over the weight limit!  As you get heavier and heavier, your truck gets less and less efficient and more and more roads are closed to you.  Eventually it becomes impractical to use your truck because you’re stopping every mile to get more gas and there’s nowhere to go anyhow because no road will let you pass because you’re so heavy.

That analogy isn’t perfect, but it’s basically apt.  The truck is your computer.  The highway system is the World Wide Web, colloquially (and incredibly incorrectly) referred to as "The Internet".  The side roads are individual web sites.  The sandbags are the software requirements of constantly-improving technologies that demand more and more computing "horsepower" to execute efficiently.  Your computer is every bit as powerful as it was the day you bought it.  But the work it is expected to do is constantly evolving, and it’s not getting easier! 

I know a couple that still have the computers they bought 25 years ago.  They still use them and they work just fine.  How can this be?  Simple: Their needs have not changed!  They bought those computers to do word processing and nothing else.  The original software as purchased with the computers still works.  Their printers still work.  The computers still work.  Their needs have not changed, so everything is, from their perspective, just as good as it was when the computers were new.

But today everyone is online.  The Internet and the software needed to use it is the sandbags.  Web sites and all the "stuff" that you see on them get more and more complicated to display on your computer screen.  As a result you have to download a near-continuous stream of "software updates" just to stay current.  If you buy an actual truck and take care of it; change the oil regularly, put new brakes and tires on it when it needs it, keep it clean, etc.; it might last you 25 years or more, just like those 2 computers.  It will have some wear and tear, but it will basically be as good as the day you bought it.  The needs of drivers don’t change all that much.  Our roads don’t change much. 

The Internet, on the other hand, is constantly evolving.  Therefore, whether you want them to or not, your "needs" are evolving in kind.  If you expect to remain compatible with the "Internet" and all of the technologies that make it possible, you should be prepared to buy a NEW computer a minimum of every 4-5 years. 

And watch out for sandbags!

Why I Complain

When I am unsatisfied with something, I complain.  Put another way, I "report my dissatisfaction."  I try to make that report to someone who can do something about it.  I have been told that it’s pointless.  I am asked why I bother.  "Horton Hears A Who" is why I bother.  Let me explain.

In Dr. Seuss’ "Horton Hears A Who" the elephant Horton has befriended a population of Whos which lives on a dandelion.  They can’t be seen, but can be heard by Horton because of his massive ears.  Horton is persecuted because of his assertion that the Whos exist.  As a means of punishing him, his persecutors threaten to destroy the dandelion.  Horton informs the Whos of this and they frantically organize themselves and start chanting in unison, "We are here! We are here!" in the hopes that the rest of the outside world will hear them.  It’s not working, and the town is scoured to make sure that every last person is shouting.  A child is found who is not participating, and he is encouraged to do so.  He doesn’t know what to say, and when he is told that it doesn’t matter he settles on yelling a single word.  That word is "YOP!"  His "YOP!" combined with the rest of the Who populace’s exhortations finally breaches the sound "barrier" between the Whos and the outside world.  Horton’s persecutors can hear them and realize he’s not crazy and spare the Whos’ existence.

When I contact a company and tell them I think their product or service is deficient in some manner, I don’t expect them to change it just because *I* feel that way.  Unless I commissioned a unique product and paid for it to be a certain way, I have no right to that expectation.  Unless the problem I’m reporting is especially egregious, e.g., "The manhole cover at the bottom of the stairs exiting the Student Union at the School for the Blind is missing," I don’t necessarily expect anything to come of it. 

I make my report in the hopes that not only am I member of a group of people that share similar dissatisfaction, I also hope that A) the company/provider is keeping track of customer reports and B) I’m not just a Who…I’m the child (from the story) that makes the difference; that the company/provider has a threshold under which they won’t react and that my report is the "plus 1" that pushes them over that threshold.  It is often said that "one person can make a difference."  It doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is alone, however.  The better message is that there is strength in numbers.  I may be only one person, but I report in the hopes that I’m but one of MANY.

So THAT is why I complain.  YOP!!!

I.T. Management Truisms

IT Management Truisms
(as compiled by Rick DeVries, Calvin College,


  1. If it’s not easy, users will not do it. (Or: users follow the easiest path to their own end.)
  2. Users don’t care about security until it affects them.
  3. Our convenience should not be their inconvenience.
  4. Users will not back up their own data.
  5. Standards matter to us. Flexibility matters to them.
  6. Users don’t like change, but they expect us to keep them up to date.
  7. Today’s favor is tomorrow’s expectation.
  8. Users don’t want to know the details. They want to know how it affects them.
  9. I.T. is responsible for 80% of the problems people have with their systems.
  10. Vendors are responsible for 80% of the problems I.T. has with the systems.
  11. No plan survives intact after the first contact with users.
  12. A temporary solution should not be better than the permanent solution.
  13. Desktops are part of their office. Laptops are part of their life.
  14. Desktop performance degrades over time as a result of user activities and I.T.’s inability to effectively manage them.
  15. The only thing users read in pop-up message windows is "OK" and "Cancel." All other verbiage is ignored.
  16. The "P" in PC stands for personal." Users believe they have the right to control their own desktop as they choose.
  17. We are not in the "happiness business." Not everything we need to do will be well liked by our users.
  18. Most users don’t care what OS they have. They don’t even care what applications they have. They do care about getting their work done.
  19. Users resist change if they perceive it will impact them negatively. They will embrace change if they perceive it will impact them positively.
  20. Customer satisfaction is a matter of meeting user expectations. We can either raise service levels to meet expectations or lower expectations to meet service levels.
  21. A lack of information is better than wrong information.

REVIEW: Labman 11 Conference

Many people I know don’t see the value of professional conferences.  Some can’t stand the thought of being around so many people all day long.  Some don’t think they have anything to learn.  While it’s true that the Internet has dramatically shrunk our planet and that "getting together" can happen in all kinds of ways that don’t involve actually "being there"; there is no substitute for face-to-face discussion, presentation, celebration, and commiseration with one’s peers.  I derive a great deal of value from conferences and am better at my job for having attended them.

This week I attended the 11th Labman Conference, held this year at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA.  This was my third time attending this conference.  There were sessions and presentations on many topics.  I did not choose to attend them all, but will offer my reviews and opinions of what I did experience.

Day 1

The opening keynote was given by Professor Keith Hartranft of Northampton Community College. He bounced around a bit, but was engaging and interesting.  His overall message was that as I.T. Support at our campuses, we should keep the needs of the teaching Faculty in mind when designing our systems.  I tend to agree to a point.  We all–Faculty and non-teaching professionals alike–tend to forget that the real reason we are ALL here is to serve the STUDENTS.  It is with THEIR needs we be primarily concerned.  Everything else is secondary.

The first session I attended was by Joseph Williams of Temple University titled "Are Computer Labs Still Necessary?" I was looking forward to someone stating that what with almost every student having their own computer that we now didn’t need to have so many computer labs on our campuses. I was disappointed.  In studies of their own campus, Temple has determined that with student computer ownership approaching 100% demand for campus computing resources is higher than ever.  Reasons? Students can’t be bothered to carry their computers around with them; when they do, they won’t necessarily have/own the software necessary to do their coursework; and even if they do, they would rather work on the comparatively large screens provided in the campus facilities.

I next attended the first of a two-part vendor presentation given by John DeTroye of Apple Computer.  The presentation was on Systems and Client Management and Best Practices using Apple’s OS X Server. It was a pleasure to hear John present.  He is obviously a decision-making, high-level engineer at Apple who knows EXACTLY what he is talking about. I knew much of what he was presenting, but picked up a few ideas to research. John seemed fond of letting us know that he knew lots of cool stuff he wasn’t allowed to tell us, prompting me to ask, "so that’s NOT an iPhone *5* you have on your hip?" This got a few laughs from the room, but Jon deftly countered with, "No, this is just something I picked up in a bar in Cupertino." 🙂

Wright State University presented a spin on the Dual Boot Mac scenario by detailing how they took their tech-bloated instructional podia to lean, clean, and usable by using dual-boot Mac Minis and some of the hurdles they had to overcome to make the tech work in their environment as well as keep their user base happy with the arrangement.  While something I’ve already done myself, the session was very well-received by the attendees.

Lunch was provided in the student center dining court on both days of the conference.  They had a lot of variety and we all had $10 vouchers, which was more than enough.

The highlight of the conference was Tuesday evening’s social function: a AAA Baseball game at Allentown’s Coca-Cola Park between the home team Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the visiting Toledo Mudhens.  Sponsored, I am told, by Computer Lab Solutions (makers of LabStats), we had a section of the park’s picnic pavilion available to us with GREAT seating down the third base line and all-you-can-eat ballpark food.  Josh Norman of Computer Lab Solutions even threw out one of the opening pitches.  It was a screaming fastball dead-center in the strike zone and after catching it, I saw the catcher remove his glove and flex his left hand as he winced in pain.  I know from sitting with him for most of the game that Josh has a family in Idaho, so it was probably bad news he gave to the managers and scouts who were doubtless trying to recruit him after witnessing that throw!  But at least the kids at the game will live happy lives now that they all have Josh’s autograph.

To those of you conference attendees who chose NOT to attend the game, I first must thank at least ONE of you.  Your decision freed up a ticket for my wife, who came with me on this trip, and allowed her to come to the game with me!  The rest of you will never know what you missed.  A picture-perfect evening in an impeccably-groomed, well-maintained ball park with great company and good food.  Oh, and look over there…a baseball game?  Even if baseball’s not your thing, this was a great social and networking venue.

Day 2

Day 2 was more sessions.  I attended the following:

Managing Windows 7.  This was presented by Purdue and was a listing and explanation of the Group Policies used during their Windows 7 rollout.  I look forward to the posting of this powerpoint more than any other.

The Casper Suite JAMF Software.  Presented by Lauren Nicholas of Moravia College, this suite is a combination Mac deployment and management suite.  Initial impressions are that it doesn’t do much more than Apple’s own Remote Desktop, Workgroup Manager, and Automator can do, but there must be something to it because a lot of people are using it.  I will be investigating it at some point.

The last session I attended was put on by Northhampton Community College.  Some students had taken some old x86 computers and kit-bashed them into a SOLID and powerful (and power SUCKING!) computing cluster!  This was absolutely incredible and something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years.  It was great to see someone actually do it.

The "goodbye"/closing session was fun and mercifully quick.  The organizers had more prizes than attendees!  Everyone left with something.

I close with some comments on the Vendors.  Computer Lab Solutions and Faronics were their usual, personable selves; well-represented and friendly.  I was also very glad to make John DeTroye’s (Apple) acquaintance.  He’s someone I hope to meet again.  But Apple really "phoned in" their presence at this conference.  If they didn’t have logos on their shirts and if their name tags didn’t say "Apple" on them, we might never have known who they were!  No banner, no sign, no iPads/iPods for people to play with.  They just sort of…sat there!  Given their status in the industry, I expect them to SET the standard, not sit there and get shown up by everyone else in the room.

I applaud Randy Brodhead and everyone else responsible for pulling together this year’s conference.  On an arbitrary and just-made-up 1-10 overall scale, I give this conference a 9.5.

iPad impressions 2

Do you remember the thread/storyline in the Peanuts comic strip in which Linus decides to once and for all give up his baby blanket?  He gives it to Charlie Brown and tells him that under no circumstances is he to give Linus back the blanket.  

I did the same thing in college when I got my first Turbo Mouse.  (It’s a trackball mouse.) I kept habitually using the regular mouse over the Turbo Mouse.  One day I took it down the hall and gave it to my friend Lisa and instructed her NOT to give it back to me for at least a week no matter how much I begged for it.  After a week, I didn’t even WANT it back!

I think I might need to do the same thing with my Macbook Pro, though not on so dramatic a scale.  Perhaps I’ll just start leaving it at work for a few days (a week?) and see what happens.  Not that I can practically live without it on a long-term, day-to-day basis–but it’s the only way I’m going to give the iPad a proper shakedown.  I keep gravitating to my Macbook pro.  It’s pure habit.  Like a well-used, trusted baseball glove.