Friday, April 19, 2013

Contra Costa Community Colleges need some Class

My daughter is attending a four year university. She would like to take a class at our local community college over the summer to reduce the load on her next semester. She wants to take Calculus 2. Maybe “wants” is too strong a word. However she is trying to take it.

However, the community college system here seems to be populated by people who need to take some classes on how to operate a school. They will not allow you to sign up for Calculus 2 unless you have completed Calculus 1 at another school or – and get this – are currently in Calculus 1 at their school. So – if you want to come home and take it over the summer and are in the prerequisite now, you need not bother to apply. They won’t take you. You have to have finished the earlier class. A letter from your teacher showing that you currently have a high score and are about to complete the class within the month – not good enough. Instead, you have to wait until the class is full. Which is the same thing as saying you have to wait until you can supply a transcript. That happens at about the time the summer class starts – at which time it will be full anyway. Why the students currently at the community college get a pass and can sign up for the next class without the level of proof that university students must provide is a mystery for the ages. It just doesn’t add up. It is an irrational number.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stardock ModernMix fixes Windows 8

If you’ve used Windows 8 on a standard non-touch desktop or notebook (especially with a large monitor) you’ve probably come to the same conclusion I have: Whoever made the decision that this “Modern UI” (Metro) should require apps to be full screen on a non-tablet device is a complete moron. I actually had to connect a second monitor to my home system just so that I could perform a very normal use case – watching a web cast while playing Microsoft Free Cell. Yes, it is true. You can’t do that with just one monitor because Free Cell is Metro and the 80 – 20 Metro snap doesn’t fit well with either app having the 80%.

At work, it is worse. I have a 27” 2560 x 1440 monitor. I don’t want anything to ever be full screen.

Well, Stardock to the rescue. They have a new product in beta called ModernMix that does exactly what Microsoft should have done. It allows you to run Metro apps in a Window on the desktop. Beautiful! I installed the beta today and it is working great so far. I’ll absolutely buy it when it ships.


Way to go Stardock. Taking a simple concept that Microsoft completely missed and making it work.