My Week Ending January 27, 2019

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


(You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)

  • I hope that I look as good as Popeye when I turn 90. See how he evolved over the years.
  • The Microsoft Phone is toast. Where to now? iPhone or Android? Hey, what about Blackberry?
  • Yes, it was cold in Detroit this week. And, by proximity, it was cold here too.
  • This is a good read for anyone who is considering being a brand ambassador for EdTech products. This includes putting badges on your social media too. I’ve seen so many people who have sold their soul and have missed the goal because of loyalty to a particular product.
  • Seat belts on buses sounds like a good idea. Can you imagine the beeping and red lights when there’s just one unbuckled though?
  • How safe is your school and student data? Does it take a data breach before you get serious and put a serious program in place?
  • This report of a design flaw on the MacBook Pro should give you pause for paying for this pricey product. Have you a budget for repairs?
  • Pretty well, I would guess. For some, it’s the one and only browser that they use.
  • This is a great collection of ideas for makerspaces. Even if you have one, you can never have enough good ideas. If you don’t have one, you just haven’t been paying attention.
  • Another reason to switch to Linux. It’s pretty hard to ignore that badge that indicates something isn’t up to date.
  • In this day and age, you should read any news site guardedly and constantly be on the lookout for a second opinion. Microsoft’s Edge gives a warning about this site. It sounds like a good idea but who or what makes the ultimate decision?
  • Arduino and Science lovers will love this.
  • Canada’s new food guide – guaranteed to make dairy farmers angry. Milk has always been a staple for nutrition around here.
  • A big list of programming paradigms.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

Opening song this week:

The latest #TWIOE show features blog posts from:

Technology Trouble Shooting 

Sometimes, I think the writing is on the wall. This computer, a Sony Vaio I purchased back in 2010, came with Windows 7. At some point, it became just a pig in terms of performance. For yucks, I installed Windows 10 when it became free for the upgrade. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked well – at least for a while.

The computer has always been dual boot. In the early year, Ubuntu was on the other side of the hard drive. (at least how I visualize it). At one point, I thought I’d try Linux Mint and so replace Ubuntu with it. I have two desktops on it – Cinnamon and XFCE. Generally, I can run with Mint or Windows without problem.

Except at times, the hard drive light just comes on solidly and the computer becomes unusable. Force the computer to restart and things work normally again. I suspect that the hard drive is feeling the end of life although the utilities that I run on it say that it’s just fine.

Video of the Week

Doing my research about a new blog post featured in TWIOE.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

The school at the end of the highway in Ontario. Thanks, Tania Sterling.

Thanks for reading.


This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.


Whatever happened to …

… Filemaker Pro?

Thanks to Andy Forgrave for the idea for this post that came across as a comment to a post from earlier this week. I just know that his response will be longer than this post, given his long experience with the product.

There was a time, a long time ago, that my experience with databases involved Microsoft Access. It actually wasn’t a big learning curve since I was pretty proficient with Excel and so I was able to do a lot of things including putting a searchable database on the web in the Webquest Locator.

But, around the time of amalgamation of school boards, there was also a new curriculum release. It involved the concept of Overall and Specific expectations and a new way of reporting – all electronic. The “report card” came out as a Filemaker Pro document. I’d never heard of Filemaker Pro before but my superintendent, a big Macintosh fan, told me that this was standard in the Macintosh world and now the Windows version would let the whole world see the light. Now, this was a huge learning curve for me.

I ended up pairing with our assessment consultant doing two hour workshops introducing lesson design with the new expectations scheme and reporting with the new report card. For a two hour session, he typically went through 90 minutes about curriculum and I had 30 minutes to do report card stuff. Needless to say, it wasn’t terribly successful!

I ended up doing two hour sessions on my own, over and over until I could probably do them in my sleep. The timing was right; many teachers had avoided using computers up until that point and everyone had to get with the program with the electronic report card. To make things actually valuable, around this time, the Ministry of Education released the Ontario Curriculum Unit Planner – this time a Filemaker Pro application and it was spectacular. Imagine having all the curriculum just a click away. Later, the Report Card came out as a Filemaker Pro application itself and I had all kinds of fun supporting that and using the features of both of these applications.

Throughout all this, we had a number of versions of the program available – I recall 2.1, 4.2, and 5.5. Ownership of the program also changed moving from Claris to Filemaker Inc.

Filemaker Pro continues to grow and it’s an application that has evolved from a standalone application to web. I haven’t used it since the 5.5 days

For a Sunday, how about your thoughts?

  • Do you recall using the Electronic Report Card and the Ontario Curriculum Planner? Do you have any success or horror stories?
  • Do you use database programs in any form? Which one(s)?
  • Have you ever developed your own personal database?
  • Did the Filemaker program introduce you to the Helvetica font?
  • Did you then, or do you now, share Report Card comments with others?
  • Do you know what a Troi plugin is?
  • Did your comments on student report cards become better when you started typing them instead of handwriting them? (handwriting? gasp)

Please share your thoughts below. As always, I’d enjoy reading them.

This post is part of an ongoing Sunday series of memory posts. You can read them all here.

This post appears at:

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.

OTR Links 01/27/2019

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.