Archive for October, 2009

Read to Pop

Hop on PopThing 1 just turned five and she is already reading some Dr. Seuss books to me because my wife and I read to her routinely. Her current favorite is Hop on Pop. At her parent-teacher conference her pre-Kindergarten teacher told us that she is reading ahead of her age and that there are students who not only cannot read, they do not even know how to hold a book.

I came across this post on titled 6 Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Child’s Life. I agree with all six of the suggestions, but I think the advice about reading is paramount. There are so many things in life that are much more difficult if you cannot read.

Thing 1 has a very good vocabulary for her age and Thing 2 is more verbal at her age than her older sis was at the same age. Aside from regular reading sessions, I think another factor in my children’s verbal development is that we did not engage in too much baby-talk with them. I am not saying that we only spoke to them as if they were college graduates, but I did try to use regular conversation as much as possible without making up words or creating new sentence structures. I figure it is hard enough to learn a language without teaching them the wrong information.


Netbook: No CD Drive? No Problem.

Recently a brand new Dell Latitude 2100 netbook arrived on my desk. As a cost-saving measure, I opted against buying an external CD drive. Not long after I began using the netbook I found that I wanted to load some software from a CD and set out to find a way to install the software without a drive.

I came across an article titled “How to Create a Virtual CD Drive (With Windows XP)” and I found it definitely fit the bill. I was able to install the ISO software on my laptop and create an image of the CD which I then loaded on my netbook and virtually mounted using the clone drive software.

I tried to make an image of a DVD movie and then play it on the netbook. My first attempt did not work very well but I am going to take another shot at it with different DVD playing software on the netbook to see if that was the issue.

I have enjoyed having the netbook. I am able to use it for most of the tasks that I would usually use my laptop. Now, I usually leave my laptop docked at my office and take my netbook home at night. My office has a virtual private network setup and I have configured my netbook to connect to my work laptop through VPN and Remote Desktop Connection so that I can work at home as though I am sitting at my desk, although the screen is admittedly much smaller.

Least Useful Sign Ever?

Damage Guardrail Sign

Why in the world would a motorist need to know that there is a damaged guardrail ahead? Would this cause someone to alter their driving to ensure that they pick another suitable location to careen into a perfectly suitable guardrail?

If anyone knows the justification for such a sign, please let me know. I feel that litigation or the fear of litigation is a likely explanation for the sign but I am holding out hope that there is another explanation totally unrelated to the legal system.