Pi Day! Song

March 14th is ithe official holiday for Pi! I wish I could take credit for the following, but I cannot. It comes from CNN and Elizabeth Landau – http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2009/03/13/pi-day-and-american-pi/

Pi is the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle. Celebrate it on Saturday, March 14!  In honor of Pi Day, March 14 (because it’s 3/14, like 3.14), I came up with the basis for this song, inspired by Don McClean’s 1971 song “American Pie,” when I was in high school. Feel free sing along with that tune.

American Pi
by Elizabeth Landau

A long, long time ago, it was one December when I thought I’d found the end of pi.
And if I’d had some batteries, my efforts would have surely pleased
That math fair judge, and that’s no lie.
But tests and papers made me shiver with every paper they’d deliver.
Just needed that time to study.
I can’t remember if I cried when I realized that I hadn’t tried
Before something clicked off deep inside
And then, my calculator died.

CHORUS:
So why, why can’t I calculate pi
I just want to see the numbers 3.1415
And if that’s all, then let’s keep it alive
‘Cause my calculator seems to have died.
My calculator seems to have died.

Did you write the law of sines, or draw two perfect parallel lines
Without a ruler helping you?
Can you still use a protractor, or find just one imaginary factor
Of a polynomial of order 2?
Well I had a TI-83 when a great misfortune came to me
The screen began to blur – I couldn’t even find my curve!
I was a lonely teenage computer freak,
My pencils were chewed but my glasses were sleek,
And the future was looking pretty bleak
The day my calculator died.

[CHORUS]

Books, eraser, graphing paper, I was just a young number chaser
Searching for the holy grail.
Like Archimedes, Ramanujan, and Gregory, Leibniz, van Ceulen,
I could approximate, but then I’d fail!
My calculator was in a daze,
It just wouldn’t run on new AAAs.
The math fair was in an hour
And I was still out of power.
I knew that I was running out of time
A new formula would have been sublime
But all that I could do was rhyme
The day my calculator died.

[CHORUS]

“We know it’s not the pi you eat, this pie’s a far more delicate treat
And it can be so much fun.
Well, Pi is a movie, Pi’s a perfume,
The digits of pi could fill a room,
But could ever find the very last one?”
And although this poem was nice and sweet
In my heart I knew it couldn’t compete.
I felt like such a goof!
And, as I sat down I felt disgraced,
Like I had just gotten a pie in the face.
I knew that I had really lost the race
The day my calculator died.

[CHORUS]

I met a guy in Period 3 who seemed like he could help me
At least he didn’t turn away.
My calculator looked so sad, but I know this kid of course was glad
To make me feel worse on Pi Day.
He said, “I can’t believe you were so dumb.
All you need is a new lithium.”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
He wouldn’t even come clean
And tell me there’s another set of batteries besides the quartet.
So until I get some, and it resets
I think I’ll eat some pie.

So why, why can’t I calculate pi
I just want to see the numbers 3.1415
And if that’s all, then let’s keep it alive
But my calculator didn’t really die!

2010 Daily Reflections

On Jan 1, 2010 I received my email from Microsoft announcing that I was selected (again) as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for the Small Business Server. This is my 7th year for this award, and every year it is both am honor to be so acknowledged, and at the same time a mystery. A mystery?

People ask me: what do I need to do to become an MVP? I tell them to just be themselves. I’ve never done anything more than that myself. That’s why it’s a mystery to me … that somehow the effort I put into supporting, testing, assisting and promoting the SBS product in the marketplace and in the technical communities makes a difference. I’m not the smartest or the fastest (or youngest) person around. But, once I find something I know to be of value and worth, I’m ready to jump in with both feet.

Many of you know me when I did a “Song of the Week” for the SBS community. I started doing these song parodies because I was getting frustrated by too many people in the SBS newsgroups taking too many little things seriously, and I felt a little humor would help. I still make up songs, almost daily, but I don’t get much of a chance to put them down in writing. Perhaps in 2010 I wil be able to do some more.

As I was getting dressed this morning, and trying to psych myself up to be ready for this first work day of 2010, I found myself thinking about blogs. Everyone blogs these days … whether to get noticed by others, to share your opinions with others, to pass on information to others, or simply to help one another out. Whatever your purpose, the bottom line is that blogging is one method of Communication with the world around you. It is truly an amazing thing.

As I was preparing for the day, I was thinking of the recent Julie & Julia movie, and how Julie’s life took on a whole new dimension because of an idea to cook all of Julia Child’s recipe in a year and blog about her adventure. Life is a daily adventure, and I hope and pray that 2010 is a successful and happy one for everyone.

2009-08-04 He’s a Real Nowhere Man

Ok, so it’s been a long time between songs. Life does stay busy, doesn’t it? That’s why this song seems very appropriate. It was inspired by a recent post on Virtual PC and Windows 7. With a tip of the hat to Dana!

He’s a real virtual man,

Sitting in his virtual land,

Connecting to his virtual lans

For nobody.

Doesn’t have a physical view,

Knows not where he’s loaded to,

Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

You’re not real, just emulatin’,

Virtual man, the world is at your command.

He’s a guest, as you can see,

He just runs on a host PC,

Virtual man, can you see me at all?

Doesn’t have a master view,

He’s a slave, just passing through,

Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

Virtual man, don’t worry,

Just keep running till somebody else

Lends you a hand.

He’s a real virtual man,

Sitting in his virtual land,

Making all his virtual plans

For nobody.

Microsoft Karaoke Server???

I just stumbled across a new software product from Microsoft called SongSmith. I can see it now: WHS + SongSmith = Microsoft Karaoke Server!!!

Frank McCallister – In Memoriam

Frank McCallister passed away this week. Frank was an SBS MVP. He loved to say he was the oldest MVP. But more importantly he was a real friend. His stories would hold your attention, but the real story was Frank. He called himself “the Old Fart”. But that name does not describe all that he did and would do for people. Frank, we will miss you.

In tribute to Frank, I’ve reworked the lyrics of the song “The Gambler”, made famous by Kenny Rogers (YouTube video).

The Old Fart (aka The Gambler)
Dedicated to Frank McCallister

On a warm summer’s evenin’ on a train bound for ‘Bama,
I met up with the old fart; we were both too tired to sleep.
So we took turns a starin’ out the window at the darkness
‘Til boredom overtook us, and he began to speak.

He said, “Son, I’ve made a life out of readin’ people’s emails,
And knowin’ what their logs showed, by the way they signed their names.
And if you don’t mind my sayin’, I can see you’re out of disk space.

So I handed him my bottle and he drank down my last swallow.
Then he bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light.
And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression.
Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

You got to know when to defrag, know when to format,
Know when to reinstall, ‘cause I’m the old fart.
You never say you’re thirsty when you’re sittin’ at the console.
There’ll be time enough for drinkin’ when the (MVP) party starts

Ev’ry old fart knows that the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ emails to throw away and knowing what to keep.
‘Cause ev’ry email’s a winner and ev’ry email’s a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

And when he’d finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window,
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
And somewhere in the darkness the old fart, he broke even.
But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep.

You got to know when to defrag, know when to format,
Know when to reinstall, ‘cause I’m the old fart.
You never say you’re thirsty when you’re sittin’ at the console.
There’ll be time enough for drinkin’ when the (MVP) party starts

-kw

SBS2008 – Get on the Bandwagon!

I arrived home last night at 9pm after attending a week long in-depth training session on the new Windows SBS 2008 Server platform. My interest level in SBS 2008 might have been described as lukewarm, at best, prior to this week. But now I can’t wait to get some customers on board with this latest version of SBS.

As I write this post, I’m thinking of the scene in The Music Man, where all the town folk are lined up along the side of the street in anticipation of the Wells Fargo Wagon arriving bringing the brand new band instruments. And the anticipation builds and builds!

I see this SBS 2008 release in a similar light to convincing the people in the town of River City, Iowa to invest in the purchase of band instruments for their children. SBS 2008 may look like just another server release without a lost of sizzle and “wow” factors on the outside. But once you touch it, hold it, and start working with it, there are many things that will catch your interest, and perhaps say, “Wow, this is exactly what my customer has been asking for!”.

What are some of those “Wow” factors?

Well, you’re going to have to stay tuned for further posts from me this week to see my list of “Wow” factors. Meanwhile, you can start humming along: “Oh, oh, the Wells Fargo wagon is a-coming down the street…”

O Microsoft!

SBS 2008 Song & Dance?

SBS2008 is quickly rolling through its beta testing and the official release has been set for Nov 12, 2008. So, i thought it would only be appropriate to get people fired up by putting together a small tribute to the past versions of SBS, and a look forward to SBS2008 (with kudo’s to the Canadian national anthem). Enjoy!

First, you will want to display or print out the words and music: O Microsoft Lyrics and Songsheet (PDF file)
Then, click on this link to hear the full recording: SBS 2008’s O Microsoft! (WMV 9Mb)

P.S. It works best if you sing VERY LOUDLY so as to drown out my voice!

SBS Rocks!
-kw

2008-02-06 "You’re No Good"

Wed Feb-6-2008 is known as Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent for most Christian denominations. This is a period of 40 days of fasting and praying, and is symbolic of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert and the 40 years the Israelites spent looking for the Promised Land.

After all the food and desserts I ate over the holidays, I certainly need to do some fasting. And when dealing with computer errors (whether dumb errors or critical show stopping errors), we sometimes say things we shouldn’t – possibly under our breath, possibly not! And when it comes to Vista, I feel like I’ve been in the desert waiting for Service Pack 1 to be released.

So … I’m in one of those holly, jolly depressed moods as I’m working on three systems all down at the same time (different clients). I said to myself, “Myself, let’s find a suitable song for today”. So, here we go — Linda Ronstadt’s version of “You’re No Good, Baby You’re No Good”!

I found a video of Linda singing her hit song.

It’s No Good
(aka You’re No Good)

Feeling better now that I’m through
Feeling better ’cause I’m done with you
I learned my lesson, with Vista so far
Now I see how you really are

It’s no good, it’s no good, it’s no good
Vista, you’re no good

I’m gonna say it again
It’s no good, it’s no good, it’s no good
Vista, you’re no good

I crashed my drive, lost my files, too
Well I crashed my drive thinking Vista would do
I’m telling Microsoft I’ll wait for SP2
I wouldn’t blame them if they said to me

They’re gonna say it again

I’m telling you now Vista and I’m going my way
Forget about you Vista ’cause XP’s here to stay

It’s no good, it’s no good, it’s no good
Vista, you’re no good

I’m gonna say it again
It’s no good, it’s no good, it’s no good
Vista, you’re no good

P.S. These song parodies are done in good humor. In all fairness, my Vista PC has been running great since July 2007.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/kwsupport/archive/2007/07/02/vista-sbs2003-and-the-4th-of-july.aspx

2007-12-25 "Mary, Did You Know?"

First, I wish everyone a very safe, joyous and wonderful Christmas holiday.

Thanks for everyone’s words of encouragement to me this past year as I suffered through several physical problems and illnesses. On my road to recovery, I decided to step away from my full time position I”ve had for the last 4 years and return to working for myself, selling  and installing SBS wherever I can.

I close out my month of Christmas songs with a fairly new Christmas song (1984) written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Green called “Mary, Did You Know”. It’s been recorded by many people, but IMHO Kathy Mattea’s version is the best. I recently found a video of Kathy Mattea performing this song (with the words appearing on the bottom of the screen).

I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas.

-kw