Computer Graphics: Solar House

October 29, 2009 at 9:11 am | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

This project is inspired by the recently completed Solar Decathlon competition.   View the contest rankings and links to all competitors here.

The purpose of the contest was to create and build a one story house no larger than 800 square feet.  There were 78 pages of rules for the contest.  Our guidelines will be a bit simpler.

Using Sketchup, create a house that meets the following requirements:

-is no larger than 800 square feet in it’s footprint (the area that it covers)
-uses available surfaces on the house for solar panels
-points the solar panels south for maximum sunshine
-has at least one bedroom and one full size bathroom with walls
-interior doors are at least 8 inches thick
-has a kitchen
-has at least one door and windows on at least two walls

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Programming: Building your first custom Google Map

October 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

Part 1: Follow this link for a great tutorial that gives you control over a Google map.

You will create the page in Dreamweaver.

Here’s the tutorial.

Upload your custom map to your website and email the link to rmilstead@tamdistrict.org.  Type “MAP” in the subject line of your email.

Useful link: longitude/latitude finder – clickable map

Part 2: Now that you have enjoyed the basic functions of a Google Map check out the Google Map Developer resource (you a developer now!) and start with Basics following the link on the left hand menu.

Yuppie 911

October 25, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

Too much.

My letter to Michael’s craft store

October 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

Went shopping for a some DIY gear at the San Rafael Michael’s store this morning.   Here’s what I sent them when I returned home.

“Recently, I had an interesting – not bad- experience in your San Rafael store.  Armed with a 40% off coupon I asked two salespeople “what should I buy” with this great deal.  They didn’t have any ideas.  More interestingly, they didn’t ask “what do you do?”

Which leads me to the conversation that I had with another customer.  Continue Reading My letter to Michael’s craft store…

Friday News Roundup

October 22, 2009 at 11:11 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

Cars of the future from the Tokyo Auto Show

Windows 7 gets some TV time showcasing the dreams of regular folks

…and Apple welcomes Windows 7 in their own special way (nice mullet)
 
Motorola leaks their new Android phone (in desperation?)  Seriously.  After having my dreams dashed by the Pre this may be legit iPhone competition. What do you think?

Barnes and Noble releases eBook – is Kindle scared?

October 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

Watch the video and see for yourself.

15 year old opens robot store

October 18, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

From the Makezine blog: The BW Science Labs Store is an idea I’ve had for a while now, but it has taken a lot of work to get it up and running. There is currently 1 kit available, the Vivus the Robot kit. I’ve seen a lot of those really low-quality $20 robots where you clap your hands and they twitch, and I’ve seen $400 robots with a great deal of functionality. I wanted to make something in between, and that’s exactly what Vivus is. During prototyping I wanted to make a “real robot”, one that was autonomous and could truly act on its own, while trying to keep the cost down as well.

High schools pilot digital textbooks

October 18, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/18/AR2009101802360.html?hpid=topnews

Intro to Computers: Vocab Mid Term

October 14, 2009 at 10:27 am | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

Click here for the vocabulary mid-term exam

Teens value entrepreneurship

October 13, 2009 at 9:59 pm | Posted in tech | Leave a comment

A recent Junior Achievement survey of 1000 teens provides the following info:
-92% think entrepreneurship should be taught in high school
-51% want to start a business one day
-88% think that starting a business would be difficult or extremely difficult

Read the executive survey right here (PDF).

Oh, and teens admire Steve Jobs more than Oprah.  Guess Oprah had better get a name out on a phone.

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