Sunday, September 30, 2007

Finished Halo3

Well... On Thursday I finished Halo 3, after only about 6 hours of gameplay. As I stated earlier, I was on easy. Walking through the entire game, checking out stuff, new weapons, learning to fly, etc... Now for bumping it up a level. The ending was setup very well for being the ending of the saga. (I will not spoil it for anyone) This game put me much more involved than most other games, with the exception of Oblivion. I connected with the other NPCs (non-player characters) and felt that it was my duty to protect them at all costs. The AI on the harder level is actually significantly more difficult than the easy level. They will actually come after you, even when you are trying to recharge your shields. Funny story, I was hiding behind some boxes and several of those little guys (grunts) came charging after me with grenades. They got to where I was and the grenades went off, killing all of the them and me. Talk about overkill for a suicide bombing. One would have effectively taken me out.

Great game - well worth the money - and a MUST OWN!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I was asked.. "So, Steve, when did you get your copy of Halo 3?" Well, I had restrained myself to purchase it on Tuesday from Costco, instead of waiting in line at Midnight.. (really good deal - $49.99)

Currently, I am playing the campaign on easy. So, I am literally walking through the game. Just until I get a feel for the controls and how things work.

First Impressions

It looks like a Halo Game. Halo 3 looks like Halo and Halo 2, except bigger and better. The graphics are not as graphically stunningly-awesome like BioShock or Gears of War. I didn't go "holy crap, look at that water". However, it is totally smooth. The frame-rate is clearly the number one priority of their graphics engine. There's no tearing, no drops, no slowdown. It's just smooth and seamless.

The story picks up literally minutes after Halo 2 ends. This, of course, means that you should familiarize yourself with the storyline if you want the game to make sense. The dual wielding (two guns) option, combined with the addition of a pile of new weapons makes the mind work much more than with Halos 1 and 2. You're constantly asking in the back of your mind, "is this the right combo for what might be coming. Namely the FLOOD!" Also, you'll need to watch the reaction of the enemies, as they are funny. It's a really solid game.

Oh, one other thing you can do Single Player is you can play cooperatively single player online. If anyone sees me online in Xbox Live I'm "verylost" and I'm happy to play if the family is asleep.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Satellite Dishes attached to the roof.

As most of you are aware, I have been riding my bike to and from work. I find it a good way to get some fresh air and it is far cheaper on the wallet than driving. In fact, it takes me less time to ride the ye‘old bike than to drive the truck. But, that is a conversation for later.

So, there is not much to do while in my travels, so I look at the various houses that I pass and noticed a trend. Satellite Dishes mounted to the roof. Not in the side of the house or flashing (like mine when I had Satellite), but in (through) the shingles.

Does this seem like a good idea???

Shingles move, not much, but they still move. What happens when those holes become wider from wear and tear. Can we say ROT?

Get Cable! Then you will not need to even lose sleep about having a bunch of holes in your roof. OR if you do not want to get cable, it is not that much harder and looks even nicer if you mount the satellite dish into the flashing hanging down from the roof.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Broke My Laptop...

It was a warm Friday afternoon around 3-ish and I was humoring the notion of dual booting my laptop with Vista. But, first, I have to partion my drive to make space... So, on a mission to find a disk partioning tool, such as Partion Magic. I ask my fellow colleagues for such a disk... And there is my first issue. "Hey Dude, do you have something I can partion my drive with?" Well here is a disk that may work, but I am not sure. TO his credit, he did have a disclaimer on the cd. I boot to CD and check out this version of Bart PE. Naaaa. Nothing that will solve my dilemma. So...

I Reboot...

Unable to load Operating System... Are you kidding???? I did not do anything!!! Reboot again... Nothing....


You hear from the other side of the room.. "You have your data backed up to the network, right???" Uh.. Network??? Yeah.. no...

So, I am rebuilding my laptop with XP and Vista. Why? Why not..

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Directions on Exporting and Importing from Excel to Outlook

Importing an Excel List into Outlook Contacts

You only need to do this if you already have the email typed into an Excel Spreadsheet. If you have the addresses written down but haven't already typed them into something, go to my directions on how to add Contacts in Outlook and start there. If you have an Excel Spreadsheet set up, then read on.

  1. Right click on the Import Spreadsheet Template and choose Save Target As and save it somewhere on your hard drive.
  2. Open the spreadsheet that you have already created.
  3. Open the Import Spreadsheet Template that you just saved.
  4. Copy the column of names from your spreadsheet and paste them into the Import Spreadsheet Template. If you didn't separate the names in your spreadsheet into first and last columns, then just copy the one column and paste it into the LastName column.
  5. Copy the email addresses from your spreadsheet
  6. Paste them into the template in column BE (that's way over there!) If you have two email addresses for some students, the second address can be pasted into column BG on the template.
  7. Save the template spreadsheet.
  8. Then save it again following these directions.
    • File
    • Save as
    • Click on Save as Type and choose Text (Tab delimited) (*.txt0
    • Name it and save.
    • Say yes to the message that pops up asking you about format
    • Then close the spreadsheets. (It will ask you about saving again. You can say no.)
  9. Now you are ready to bring it into Outlook
  10. Open Outlook and click on Contacts. (You can set up a separate folder to keep the parent email from getting mixed in with the other.)
  11. Choose File
  12. Then Import and Export
  13. In the new window that opens, choose Import from another program or file
  14. Click Next
  15. Scroll all the way down to Tab Separated Values (Windows)
  16. Click Next
  17. Browse to find the .txt file where you saved it in step 8
  18. Click Next
  19. Select Contacts (or the folder in Contacts that you set up if you used a folder)
  20. Click Next
  21. Click the Map Custom Fields button
  22. When you see the new window scroll down to find EmailAddress under Value and scroll down the Field side to find E-mail and click on the + to expand
  23. If you don't see EmailAddress under Mapped from next to E-mail Address then drag it from the Value window to the Field window where it is in the window. Do this for E-mail, E-mail 2, and E-mail 3.
  24. Click OK
  25. Click Finish
  26. Now you should be able to go into your Contacts and find the new addresses.

Exporting a Contact List from Outlook

Once you have all the email addresses in your Contacts, you may want to share those with the other teachers on your team. Here is how you would do that.

  1. Open Outlook and go to Contacts
  2. Click File
  3. Select Import and Export
  4. Select Export to a file
  5. Click Next
  6. Scroll down to the bottom and choose Tab Separated Values (Windows)
  7. Click Next
  8. Select Contacts (or the contacts folder you want to export)
  9. Click Next
  10. Browse to find where you want to save the file and name it with a .txt extension
  11. Click Next
  12. Follow steps 21, 22, and 23 above.
  13. Click Finish
  14. Now you are ready to follow the Importing directions above on your team teacher's computer.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Putting a signature on your email

If you would like to add an autosignature to all of your email messages (like the one I have below) follow these simple steps:

· Open Outlook
· Choose Tools
· Then Options
· Select the Mail Format tab at the top of the window.
· Click the Signature Picker button at the bottom
· Choose New
· Next
· Type in the signature that you want to show up in your email
· Then Finish, OK and OK again.

You might want to send yourself an email as a practice run to see if it shows up and looks the way you want it to. You can always go back in and edit it.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Keyboard Shortcuts

This week's tip is for those of us who like shortcuts. Here is a list of Keyboard Shortcuts. These are things you can do by clicking the mouse a few times, or you can do them quickly with a couple of key strokes. Some of you may not find them useful, if not, keep on doing it the way you've been doing it! I've tried to put the ones I use most often at the top of the list.

Windows Program Key Combinations
CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window
CTRL+C: Copy
CTRL+V: Paste
CTRL+Z: Undo
CTRL+B: Bold
CTRL+U: Underline
CTRL+I: Italic
CTRL+SHIFT+>: Makes the font larger
CTRL+SHIFT+<: Makes the font smaller
CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu
ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
ALT+F4: Quit program
SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently

Dialog Box Keyboard Commands
TAB: Move to the next field in the dialog box
SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous field in the dialog box
SPACEBAR: If the current field is a button, this clicks the button. If the current field is a check box, this toggles the check box. If the current field is an option, this selects the option.
ENTER: Equivalent to clicking the selected button (the button with the outline)
ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button
ALT+underlined letter in dialog box item: Move to the corresponding item

To Copy a File
Press and hold down the CTRL key while you drag the file to another folder.

To Create a Shortcut
Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder.

General Folder/Shortcut Control
SHIFT+click+Close button: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders

General Keyboard-Only Commands
F10: Activates menu bar options
SHIFT+F10 Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object)
ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box
SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature
ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu