25 Unknown Facts about Thanksgiving from Mental Floss

If you have never heard of Mental Floss it is an excellent magazine and web site that will enable you to amaze your friends with both useful and useless trivia.  Mental Floss has come up with this video that shatters some facts about Thanksgiving.

Pilgrims didn’t have buckles on their hats.  Damn, now you have your kids redraw those glorious artworks hanging on the refrigerator for historical accuracy.  Subscribe to the Mental Floss magazine and or an iPod app. Sad there is no Android feed just yet.   Keep you mind fed.

Free Protoshare Training Materials

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Protoshare is an excellent web based prototyping and wire framing tool.  However it does have a steep learning curve and can take a few weeks for get a good feel for the tool.  I have taught a number of classes on Protoshare to both business analysts and web developers.  This training material can be used by anyone who wants to learn or tutor others on how to get started with Protoshare. 

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Download PDF Version

There are 2 more segments to this Protoshare training material which will be uploaded in separate posts.   The original material was done in PowerPoint and if you send me a message requesting it,  I will send you a copy.

Create a Web-Based Survey the Easy Way With Google Forms

This is an excellent post from the “How To Geeks” website.  There is usually something new to be learned from this site everyday.  To many, Google is the next Big Evil replacing Microsoft, but you just can’t please everyone.  Using Google tools helps to get more work done and this method of doing a survey is very easy.    You can even extend this to send the results to a database.

Business Objects XI R3.1 InfoView XP & Java exceptions

When you are first running Business Objects XI R3.1 to access InfoView the Web interface , you may have some issues.  When you go to create a new report the default setting for InfoView is set to use Java.  Java is needed in order to get all of the enhanced functionality of the InfoView.  Some users still insist on using XP and that will cause additional issues.  It is possible to install what is currently the most recent version of Java, V8 Update 25 on XP.  When installing just ignore the message that states this version of Java is not officially supported under XP and install it.  You will need to turn you browser off and back on again for the update to take place.

When you login to InfoView on BOXI R3.1 and start a new report you might see this warning message.  If you click OK InfoView will not function.

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Some BOXI administrators may tell you to revert back to an older version of JAVA like Version 6 Update 03.  This is not a good idea.  Java already is a known risk to our PC’s according to Homeland Security and other security consultants.  Recently Java has been updated to close some of those holes but running an old version is very risky.

The key to the Error message above is the “.. be part of the Exception Site List…”.  This really means that you will need to configure your version of Java to allow your BOXI R3.1 site to use Java V8U25.

Start with the following

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This will open up the Java Control console, you need to go to the Security tab.

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We need to add our BOXI R3.1 site to this list.  For example lets assume our site is named HTTPS://BOXIReporting.PWC-BI.COM.  Please don’t try to use this URL, it’s just an example.

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This will open a pop up where you will enter your BOXI R3.1 URL and click on OK.

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Then keeping clicking on OK until the Java Control Panel is closed.  At this point it’s a good idea to close and reopen your browser.  Then connect to InfoView and start to build a new report.  You might get the following Java message.

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You will need to right-Click on the puzzle piece and click on the Run the Plug-In.  OMG! a Security error message is displayed and in red font no less, what shall we do?   If you want to get some work done in BOXI then just check the “I accept..” and click on Run.

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This seems like an awful lot just to just to start a new report but that’s life.  You may be asking why is this tip based on an outdated operating system like XP?  Well some of us run a Virtual Machine based on XP with a VPN to access our BOXI R3.1 server behind a huge firewall.  We do this in order to keep our prime network open and the VPN network open at the same time, it’s called a sandbox.  Some of us also run a VM under Fusion on our Macbook to access the same BOXI R3.1 server.

This same Java exception Server process works for Windows 7 and Windows 8 but the screens may be different.  Search for “Java Control” and that should get you started.

Mice, they are so 90’s

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Everyone uses them.  Mice.  So of us can’t use them because of things like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  If you a Mac user you may be accustomed to the touchpad like on a MacBook Air.  If you’re a Windows user you may have used to a touchpad on a Notebook.  If you use desktops you may be stuck using that mousey contraption.

Logitech makes a large touchpad called the T650 which I have been using at work and in my lab for a few years now.  I suffer from CTS and find this device very useful, powerful and sometimes frustrating.  If it’s too for from the “unifying Receiver” then it loses it mind and forgets it’s job of pointing the cursor around the screen.  Sometimes it forgets that “tap” really means a “click “in Windowspeak.  But generally it is a good device and will go for about 3 weeks before you have plug it in to recharge it. 

More important is the T650 support gestures.  Things like tap, swipe and pinch.  You can give a 3 year old child a tablet and within a few minutes they are gesturing like madmen.  It is the evolution of user interaction with machine.   Web designers have to adjust web site design to acknowledge how people interact with PC’s, tablets and cellphones.  Prototyping tools need to handle how people use their fingers to move about a web site more than just hyperlinks.  Soon we will have ambient displays that seem to hang in the air that humans franticly swipe at to make things happen. 

“Jim, I’m a Doctor not a web designer”

Wolfman Joe and Mega Larb

Paper craft is the art of taking paper and turning into objects that have appeal.  Monsters are objects and deserve some paper craft love.  Papertoy Monsters by Castleforte is a great starter book for making monsters from paper.   There are 50 monsters printed in high color pre-punched heavy paper.  All you need is a little time some glue, I recommend Cyanocrylate Adhesive aka CA or Superglue.  I also recommend you get some needle tips for the CA glue to help glue joints together and make them strong. Each of the punched out parts have printed numbers on them to assist you in gluing them together without going crazy. Prefold the parts on the lines before you glue them and the assembly goes much quicker. 

I love the feel of Superglue on my fingers in the morning… it smells like… success.

Mega Larb

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Is a Giant alien monster from well beyond the Milky Way Galaxy.  No one has any idea of how or why he got to Earth – people only know that he appeared one day outside a small suburb of St. Petersburg (then known as Leningrad).   After seven days of failed airstrikes against the giant monster with virtually no effect at all, the Soviet government finally decided the destroying the creature was unnecessary.

It turns out the Mega Larb is a very mellow fellow.  How show aggression only when provoked, and he is very mindful of his surroundings.  Currently residing off the coast of Florida, where he spends most of his time in the water.  Mega Larg loves to entertain children by doing back flips, wrangling sharks and blowing giant saltwater bubbles.

Wolfman Joe

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Born in Chicago in 1905, Wolfman Joe started working as a brute enforcer the the Chicago North Side mob in his early 20s.  It was during an attempt to “rub out” Al Capone that Wolfman Joe encountered the “dogs” that would forever alter his life.  The moon was full that night. Joe tracked Capone to an abandoned warehouse, where he hopes to surprise the Capone mob.  Instead a pack of huge, vicious dogs attacked him, biting him repeatedly before he was able to escape.  A few days later, the transformation began: His skin started growing fur, his voice became deeper, and his teeth grew long. 

Within a year he went from a human being to being a true wolf.  Unlike other werewolves which only change during the full moons, Wolfman Joe is always a wolf.  He has retained his ability to speak, however, he now lives in retirement in Boca Raton, Florida.