New CSA Site, Trains, Grad School, Bette, School Projects
If anyone’s interested in what I’ve been upto work-wise, roughly 100% of my duties at CSA are now related to maintaining our slick new website. I can’t take credit for the actual design of the site, but, I am doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes, such as writing the backend for the people section. It’s pretty nifty - I just finished some code that allows you to add a picture to a profile without having to resize it first - very useful for many of the people that will be maintaining it later.
While I was back in the swing of web based relational database system development, I whipped up a little page for my collection of N scale crap. It’s little more than a sortable list at this point, but, it has a lot more potential.
Speaking of potential, I think I have a pretty cool idea for a web site for train geeks. Hopefully I’ll work on it over the summer… maybe it’ll just be another interesting idea that nothing ever happens with. We’ll see…
Speaking of summer projects, are there any good Mac GIS systems that could be used as a base for a radar viewer in OS X? I don’t know if there are, I haven’t really looked, but that would be a prerequesite for doing a knockoff of the awesome Gibson Ridge software that’s so popular among weather weenies nowadays. I bought a copy of Paralles (the software that lets you run Windows on a Mac), but, it turns out it doesn’t yet have support for DirectX 9, which is the software that does the heavy lifting for the Gibson Ridge software… thus preventing me from using it on Emily’s shiny new MacBook.
A friend of mine at work got a yearlong internship at Oak Ridge and went to scope it out over Spring Break. When he got back, he sent me an email saying that there’s a guy there who’s looking for a grad student to study the US rail network. Of all of the things I’d actually be willing to subject myself to grad school for, that’s one of them. We’ll see how that pans out… they’d have to be very flexible and open to the idea of some distance learning… Emily and I need to be spending the vast majority of our time in MN when we finish up here at OU. I’m expecting a phone call to discuss this further pretty soon… more later.
Bette’s still down here visiting for her Spring Break. Unfortunately, Emily and I have both been pretty busy, so we haven’t done too much that would be considered “fun,” but I think Bette’s having a reasonably good time anyways. She’ll be here until Saturday.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but, this semester I’m working on putting together some information on the evolution of the rail infrastructure in Norman. This is being done as a 2 credit hour independent study course, as well as the main project for my GIS Applications class. So far I’ve been looking at old Sanborn, Topographic, and city engineering maps to get a handle on where all of the track has been. At one point (up until the mid 90’s apparently), Norman actually had a small yard (more properly some elaborate sidings I guess), but all that remains today is the mainline and a little single track stub that ocasionally gets used to park some maintaince equipment. In any event, I’m looking at some design and human-computer-interaction books and putting together a web based system for learning about how the track evolved. It should be pretty cool when all is said and done, and, since this is a school related project, it absolutely needs to be done by the end of the school year, 43 days from now. Yikes.
On one last note, kudos to Ben “I’m too good to blog and too lazy to move my own data” Landsteiner on getting accepted into some uber competive graduate programs.