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!

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.
More bad news in chemistry,
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.
The other kids had proof.
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!

Daily Reflections – Jan 04 2010

I haven’t decided how often I will do this, but I thought to myself: “Myself, why don’t you blog a bit about what you do as an I.T. & Microsoft MVP professional here in Tampa, Florida”. Yeh, it sounds a lot like Julie-Julia. I will try to stear clear of politics, taxes, religion and recommended movies (although the Julie-Julia movie was REALLY good!). And, as the song goes … “Promises, promies, I’m all through with  promises…”.

So, after the ball dropped to welcome in 2010, I was anxiously awaiting the email from Microsoft to indicate whether or not I was approved to be an MVP for this coming year. That email arrived at 8:51AM (Florida time). This is my 7th consecutive year as an MVP, but nothing is ever a given. As Microsoft writes: “This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Small Business Server technical communities during the past year.

As I reflected on privileged I have been to be selected as a Microsoft MVP for seven years, I had several thoughts. One was: what was I going to do to raise the bar and be a better MVP this year? The second was: how can I grow my business this year? These two thoughts do not specifically overlap each other. Being MVP may help get some business, but customer relationship is key. And having a successful I.T. business in no way guarantees that I will be an MVP next year.

Ok, that;s all the time I have … back to cleaning up viruses from a new customer’s computer! Until next time, here’s to a happy and successful 2010 to everyone!

 

 

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.

Windows 7 Upgrade Paths

If you are interested in upgrading your Vista computer to Windows 7, here are the supported upgrade scenarios:

From Windows Vista (SP1, SP2)

Upgrade to Windows 7

Business

Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate

Enterprise

Enterprise

Home Basic

Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate

Home Premium

Home Premium, Ultimate

Ultimate

Ultimate

Microsoft Latest Antivirus Solution

Amongst all the Windows 7 activity, you may have missed the news that Microsoft released their latest free consumer level anti-virus / anti-crapware solution, named Microsoft Security Essentials. I’ve started installing it on some consumer systems to see how it performs.

But it got me to thinking about prior antivirus offerings that Microsoft has released. So, I put together a short list.  Hmmm .. wonder what was going on in the years between1994 and 2003!

1993: MSAV – Microsoft Anti-Virus for DOS, originally developed by Central Point
1994: MWAV – Microsoft Anti-Virus for Windows, also developed by Central Point
2003: Microsoft purchases antivirus software from GeCad and Pelican
2005: Microsoft AntiSpyware – based on code from Giant Antispyware
2006: Windows Defender – Microsoft renamed Microsoft Antispyware to Windows Defender
2007: Windows Live OneCare
2009: MSE – Microsoft Security Essentials, codename Morrow

Upgrade to Windows 7 in 3 Easy Steps!

I have been testing and doing presentations on Windows 7 for over 6 months. With Windows 7 officially release, it was time for me to step up to the plate, and move my production workstation over to Windows 7. This is the same workstation that I wrote about two years ago when I made the switch from XP to Vista.

So last night I took the plunge and did an in-place upgrade (IPU) of my Vista Ultimate desktop to Windows 7 Ultimate. Yes, I know there are those who will say that a wipe and clean is the only way to do it (see my blog post about it). However, my experience is that there will be lot’s of people who will want (or need) to do an in-place upgrade, and the only way for me to give it a thumbs up or down was to do it myself.

OK, so how did the upgrade go for me? In one word — FANTASTIC! The in-place upgrade went smoothly. And all my favorite and important applications are running flawlessly. So, I can wholeheartedly recommend an IPU if all prerequisites are followed. Is a wipe and clean preferred? You betcha. But an IPU can be very successful.

UPGRADING TO WINDOWS 7 IN THREE EASY STEPS:

System: Dell Optiplex 745 / 2.2Ghz Intel 6400 Core 2 / 4GB memory / 250GB primary C: drive

  1. Run Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, and fix whatever is identified. For me, there were a couple of program and utilities (like iTunes) that needed to be uninstalled ahead of time.
  2. Backup your system. For me, I did a backup to my Windows Home Server, and I did a second backup using StorageCraft ShadowProtect. Why two backups? Because I firmly believe you can’t have enough backups!
  3. Upgrade to Windows 7. Since this was an in-place upgrade, you run the upgrade straight from Vista. Please note: the upgrade process will take several hours to complete.

P.S. You may find your upgrade process hanging up during the “Expanding Windows” phase. Apparently different things may or may not cause this, including a bad DVD. Some people suggest putting the Windows 7 installation DVD onto a thumbdrive, which I may try for my next upgrade,

Windows 7 Rocks!

Windows 7 – In Place Upgrade?

With the official release of Windows 7 just a day away, many will be asking: can or should I do an in-place upgrade (IPU) from Vista to Windows 7? Based on recent comments and feedbacks from many of my fellow MVP’s, I can summarize my answer as follows:

1. Everyone agrees that doing a clean reload of Windows 7 is always preferred over an in-place upgrade.
2. However, there is also a strong concensus that an in-place upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 works very, very well

Some words to the wise:

1. Be sure to do a full image backup of your system beforehand. Those of you with Windoes Home Server, that job is as easy as clicking a button.
2. If you take the first approach (reformat/reload), be sure to utilize the terrific Windows Easy Transfer (WET) utility and backup all your data files and user settings on your Vista computer first. WARNING: Be sure you use the version of WET that comes on the Windows 7 DVD, and not the one that’s already installed on your Vista system.

Windows 7 rocks!