Archive for June, 2009

MeaWebCT

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Ray Henderson, new president of Blackboard (Bb) learn, sent out an E-Mail/blog post to the WebCT/Bb community today that amounts to a bit of a mea culpa.

As Brock University transitions from their WebCT CE 6 (Blackboard Learning System CE) Learning Management System (LMS) to Isaak, Brock University’s Sakai-Based LMS, it’s nice to see someone from Bb give a honest assessment of their acquisition of WebCT.

Ray shares what he’s come to understand and most of their clients suspected:

…the WebCT course management systems went through a major re-write just before Bb and WebCT merged – CE6 and Vista 4 were the results of that re-write. Just after the merger was completed more than 500 clients ended up going live on these new products.

It wasn’t until these clients went live that we discovered a large number of bugs (over 2,000) and some critical architectural issues. Frankly we made a mistake in not battle testing the new releases ourselves after the closing of the merger and for not keeping WebCT’s support center in Vancouver at full strength.

Brock University was one of those clients, and you can ask anyone who was at Brock University during the fall of 2006 or the start of term in winter of 2007 and 2008 to find out the number of issues Brock had – or read the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Educational Technologies’ annual reports.

That said, it’s small consolation to finally be given a frank assessment of what append and to know that Bb is finally willing to give an honest accounting of that part of their company’s history.

Brock gave-up a considerable amount of features when they abandoned WebCT CE 6 and may have missed out on some real potential with Blackboard 9. But that said, almost everyone at Brock University is pleased with Sakai and the transition appears to be going very well.

Formula One One Again!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

After lots of crazy manoeuvres by the FIA and major teams in Formula 1 they’ve finally come to an agreement. That’s good for fans and good for the sport, as the uncertainty was really starting distract from the racing.

What’s even better is Max Mosley will wind down his last year as FIA president and then not seek a reappointment! Goodbye Max Mosley, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, because I know you’d like it! (Joke explained: FIA president Max Mosley participating in a bizarre sadomasochistic orgy)

Add Google Calendar To Your iPhone 3.0

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

iPhone 3.0 brings CalDAV to the iPhone/iPod touch family. This could be useful for iPhone OS 3.0 who have Google Calendar account. That is if you are using a corporate Exchange account, .Mac/Mobile Me or are not comfortable sharing your contacts with Google (just your times and locations). These options preclude using Google’s excellent Google Sync service, but for all others Google Sync service is my recommendation.

For those who would like to use CalDAV, read on.

Setting up your own/primary Google Calendar is simple:

  1. Launch the Settings tool
  2. Choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Add CalDAV AccountChoose Add Account…
  4. Other and Add CalDAV Account
  5. Account DetailsThen enter the server as www.google.com, and your respective User Name and Password, the iPhone should add the description for you.
  6. When you’re done press Save and you should see your Google Calendar entries in the Calendar tool and be able to add new entries and receive automatic updates.

You may notice that the previous steps only adds your own, or primary, Calendar. You can add your shared calenders etc. by slightly modifying the steps above:

Before you start, in your web browser (on your Desktop computer or in Safar, just go to the “real” version of Google Calendar) log into your Google Calendar and choose from the fly-out menu beside the title of your calendar on the left and select Calendar Settings. Next locate your Calendar Address.

google-calendar-settings

  1. Launch the Settings tool
  2. Choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Add CalDAV AccountChoose Add Account…
  4. Other and Add CalDAV Account
  5. Account DetailsThen enter the server as www.google.com, and your respective User Name and Password
  6. The iPhone should add the description for you, but you might want to modify it to describe the calendar you’re trying to add.

Upgrade/Downgrade for Fantacura

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

After a 205,000 Km of mostly high kilometres, a snowbank or two and other things my 2001 Acura 1.7 EL lost it’s Acura badge. Today it received an upgrade/downgrade by way of a patchy paint job on the front fascia and a Pacific Mall procured blue Honda H. I had red (racing) Honda badges to choose from, and yellow Acura badges, but both were illuminated and that didn’t seem like a good idea.

So now my Civic dipped in gold even has a Honda H – it’s still the Fantacura to me!

IMG_0181

Leaking Raitt

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

These recent revelations of Lisa Raitt leaving behind sensative documents about AECL at CTV Ottawa are a concerning as far as her fitness for the job, but it’s a relief to learn what the PC government’s intentions are for AECL and MAPLE 1 and MAPLE 2.

If only Lisa Raitt had left some of her Rodchester to Toronto Super Ferry briefing documents somewhere, anyone outside of the Toronto Port Authority office could have told her that was a bad idea.

Signed Matt Clare, Halton Resident