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august 16, 2000
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august 22, 2000
This is crunch week for Alan as programmer, as I have 5 days to get a lot of code done, as well as document it! Our intent is not to try to finish it all and I will continue to work on it as I travel to .nz and .au

photo hereMost of my projects reside on the "skunkworks" web site, with links to the prototypes and my cryptic notes. Again, this resides currently on a Apple G4 workstation in the CREATE office.

photo hereThe first project is the Ideal gas Law Game, where groups of students will be able to manipulate a simulated system. Depending on which "group" they log in to the server, they are trying to achieve an assigned target pressure by manipulating controls for volume (the chamber size), temperature, and number of moles of gas. photo hereEvery change made by a member of the group is changed for all other students who are logged in. They can also use a chat window to discuss what they are doing. A second version is where competing teams use the same environment but each team is trying to reach a different target pressure.

photo hereThe students will log in through a "generic" multi user log in application I created that can be used as the entrance for any of our other projects. The functionality of the shockwave application can be changed by editing the parameters of the HTML code. The login application creates the connection to the multiuser server and sets up functionality that can be used by whatever application we branch to.

photo here The graphics for the interface where created as a 3d model using Strata Studio pro which was rendered as a 24bit image and then modified in Adobe PhotoShop. The final image was saved as an 8-bit indexed palette image so it would require less file size in Director/shockwave.

today's photos
- all photos   o o o o

o o Fay Canyon Hike Hike

In development is an administrative tool for the instructor to use that will allow he/she photo here to create new student groups, to define the initial starting conditions for the groups, to check the current conditions of any group, and to send messages to the chat window of any or all groups. The other part will allow the data for three groups to be displayed at the same time. This application makes use of the database features of the Multiuser Server.

photo here A second project provides a way for student to practice balancing chemical equations.

photo here They will see an equation and then use the controls to increase and decrease the coefficient for each reactant and product. Again, the chat features will provide a means for the students to discuss their attempts. They will all have to agree that they have reached the correct answer before it is posted for other students to see.

photo here This application too will have an administrative tool for the instructor to create new problems and to monitor/display the progress of students as they work on the problems. In this tool, the instrcutors will be able to upload new problems by simply importing a formatted equation from MS Word (as am RTF format file). The tools in the admin application allow them to locate the coefficient buttons and to set the correct answers.

That was a lot of work the last 2 days, so in the afternoon, I took off to visit with my good photo here friend and colleague Jay in Sedona (thanks for lunch, Jay!). Afterward, I headed out for a hike to Fay Canyon, in the red rock canyon area of West Sedona, where many of the hikes feature Anasazi Indian ruins.

photo here The hike is not long, and a branch trail early on leads to Fay Canyon Arch, which until you get close looks more like an alcove or a cave. Below the cave are some scanty remnants of an Indian ruin, but this place is so accessible that it is pretty much trashed by people who come here. I cannot imagine what goes through the un-enlightened minds that decided to etch their name or other epitats on these canyon walls.

photo here Farther up the canyon one finds the markings of the people who flock to Sedona for its mystical or metaphysical reputation, like a strange circle arrangement of 5 stones and a juniper branch. Is this a power vortex? only my hat knows.

Deeper in the trail where the forest gets thicker, I was marveling at the tiny red Penstemon flowers which were attracting small green hummingbirds. photo here Suddenly the cell phone I carry for emergencies (and that rarely works in the terrain I hike in) was ringing, and it was my sister calling from Baltimore! It was a great chance to catch up before I leave for New Zealand (she and her husband went a year ago and provide a lot of pointers for my planning). Thanks for calling me in a canyon, Harriet!

photo hereToward the back of the canyon, a climb up a ridge and a walk around a slickrock ledge yielded a supreme view of Fay Canyon from another small Anasazi ruin. This one, less accessible, was in better shape, and in the late afternoon sunlight, the picture was not as good as the real thing!

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