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Kristen Stoner performs the Martinu First Sonata at FFA convention

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  • Friday, February 04 2011 @ 08:22 AM EST
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Dan Stoner and Family

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Video of my lovely wife (aka Dr. Kristen Stoner, flute professor at the University of Florida), performing the Martinu First Sonata, I. Allegro moderato, with Tim Carey, piano, at the Florida Flute Association Convention. January 29, 2011:



Additional videos of the second and third movements:

The Two-Thirds Method for Estimating Projects - It Works!

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  • Friday, January 28 2011 @ 08:31 PM EST
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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In a previous post about attending the Agile 2010 conference, I included some quotes from Arin Sime who presented a talk on using range estimates rather than single-point estimates:

  "Single point estimates are almost always overly optimistic."

  "There is a limit to how well a project can go, but no limit to how many problems can occur."

There are many examples out there to show that single point estimation is hard and in fact most people are pretty terrible at it.  See the "Further reading..." section at the end of this post if you are in doubt about estimation woes.

I was able to convince our team to use range estimation rather than single point estimates in our most recent team project. The project in question was building a small datamart that will become part of our larger data warehouse efforts. We received a data feed from an external source and processed it through ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), with most of our work in the "transform" portion of the process. The deliverable was a series of reports on our web site and we now have the data loaded for any future ad-hoc queries.

 

In our project plan we recorded three values for each task:

  1. Minimum - this would be most people's initial single point estimate

  2. Maximum - maximum reasonable value if things went really wrong with this task

  3. Two-Thirds method - the calculated point two-thirds of the distance between the minimum and maximum.

 

To calculate the two-thirds point:

New Server Rack UPSes

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  • Friday, January 21 2011 @ 07:25 PM EST
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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Today I replaced the old UPSes that had been powering our server rack... well, I should say that I replaced the dead one as well as its brother who was still hanging on for dear life.

This is the vintage of old UPS I removed:



We replaced the old units with APC Smart-UPS 2200VA SUA2200RM2U. Each unit individually provides enough capacity to power the entire rack. All of our new servers have redundant power supplies, so we will split each server's power feed over two UPSes. Besides making battery maintenance easier, this arrangement reduces the impact of single power supply, UPS, or circuit failure.

Here is a picture of the freshly installed units at the bottom of our server rack:

Good Running Form video

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  • Tuesday, January 18 2011 @ 10:09 AM EST
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Running and Fitness

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A great video on running form / technique:



I first saw this video posted by the Learn to Run initiative: http://www.facebook.com/learntorun

* Update 1.20.2011 *

For me, "neutral hips" is not a sufficient cue... I have always tended to slouch so "neutral" to me would be too far back, even if I pulled my upper body into an upright position. I have to lift my hips up and push them forward (which by the way uses a whole bunch of new muscles if you have been a sloucher for 25 years) in order to get them into the proper position.

My visualization technique for folks who might be sitting back too far behind your center of gravity:

** Lift your hips as if you need to place your private parts up onto a table or counter. **

Then I proceed to straighten the upper torso, bend the knees, and lean at the ankles. This allows me to "fall forward" and run with far less effort.

It has come to this with my VFF

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  • Monday, January 17 2011 @ 07:23 PM EST
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Running and Fitness

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I love and hate my Vibram FiveFingers Bikila running shoes.

I love that I can wear them and have beautiful runs like today, where I had a segment that felt perfect and effortless. I love that they have great traction on wet surfaces (better than my bare feet). I love that I can wear them in the rain and not come home with stanky socks. I love that they protect my feet from sticks and stones and other pointy things.

I hate that I can no longer wear my VFF with only my bare feet inside. There is a seam on the insole along the inside arch area that rubs a raw spot after a few miles of running. Wearing Injinji toe socks eliminates this problem, but I only have a single pair of these socks.

* Update 5.11.2011 * The rubbing eventually went away, perhaps due to subtle change in my form, and I continued to run in my VFF for weeks after this rubbing incident. VFF became my highest mileage shoe until I received my Altra Running Instincts.

Today I used large bandaids and athletic / medical tape wrapped around my foot to prevent the rubbing. Pictured below is my VFF and foot with the quick bandaid / tape job:

Wireless Banana

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  • Monday, January 17 2011 @ 02:29 PM EST
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Silly or Interesting

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The last bunch of bananas we bought came with extra features.

This banana appears to have wireless capability. I have not yet figured out how to activate it, though.


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thatlinuxbox.com is the home of Dan Stoner's Personal Blog, Photos, and More (opinions, rants, techno-babble, and possibly a few useful tidbits of knowledge).

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