Wednesday, April 16, 2008

On our way to Atlanta....

We're on our way to Atlanta for the US FIRST Robotics competition. I'll try to blog from there so that you can see some of the fun and excitement. If you're interested in watching the competition live you can check out the NASA Webcast of the competition here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

And Louies Lunch

Louie's Lunch So Friday night I tried to go to the Risley Dining Hogwarts event, but unfortunately the event was so popular that the line went all the way to the Theatre to get in. I didn't have time since I had to attend an event later that evening. Instead I went to Louie's and decided to get my "standard sandwich" from them - 1/2 a Tuna Sub, a bag of dipsy doodles and a soda. Well they had everything but the Dipsy Doodles (or Fritos would have been fine) - instead they had sun chips which are, as Val put it, like asking for Chocolate and getting Carob :) The cool thing was that it was only about a buck more than I remember way back in the late 70's early 80's. The reason I remember is that I would typically eat truck food when I was up late at night playing poker. So if my "chips" crept down to the $5 mark I knew it was time to cash out because I needed enough left to buy the above meal. The same thing costs about $6 now - not bad for 25 years later. Louie's did have a couple new things, though their menu was pretty much the same - including the good old Bo-Burger and others that have probably been around since the 60's. The new things I noticed were: they now had a huge bevy of energy drinks (no surprise) and they sold single condoms for ($1.75). I'm guessing there are some Friday/Saturday nights when they might do brisk business in both those items. :) All in all I enjoyed my visit back to Cornell. It was nice to see the alma mater plugging along, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they've kept up with the times. Their new entrepreneur program and the new master's in Real Estate program are quite impressive. Apparently the West Campus houses are for upper class only now, and are organized by interest much the same as the original Risley experiment that has survived lo these many years. Almost makes me want to go back :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I'm sitting in Risley Dining hall and it's a really interesting thing. I spent 2 years of my life here, and now it still feels like coming home. My wife and I were married on the Cornell Campus over 25 years ago - and had our reception in Risley hall. Not much has changed. It looks like the same menu roughly (maybe a few more salad choices and more alternative menu items), though lunch is $9 (though I was on Campus Dining and didn't pay cash back then). Other than a few different clothing choices you could be here 25 years ago and it would still "feel" the same. People crowded around one table to the point where there's almost no room, some students working, others sitting alone. Of course there's ubiquitous wireless now so I can whip out my laptop and post to this blog - we didn't have laptops back then, and moving my Apple II setup around wasn't really a choice :)
There is a Risley does Hogwarts event on Friday that I'm almost tempted to attend :) It certainly would give me a better feel for the people. I had some nice chats with the professional staff at the lunch counter and check-in. Very nice folks - every bit as nice as I remember the Risley Dining folks from the 80's.
The conference so far has been a success - made at least 2 good networking contacts already. Looking forward to more.
I must say being here brings back a flood of memories and emotions I welcome. Oh to be 20 again. Or to go back and talk to myself when I was 20 to give myself some pointers - like buy Microsoft stock NOW and sell it in 1999 :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cornells Entrepreneur Conference

I'm going to be attending the Cornell's Entrepreneur's Conference in Ithaca the next couple of days. I'm excited and interested in meeting other Cornellians and seeing how they've grown their companies and how we might all work together. I'll blog about the results here if there's anything interesting (I'm sure there will be)...

I love networking with other Cornellians, and I especially love talking to Entrepreneurs - I always learn something or have my abilities or knowledge challenged - a great result for sure.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Zune after a few weeks

I gotta love when I've had a device for this long and most of my complaints are around how I could easily use it more - not about how the device or it's software function. I've been very pleased with my 2nd generation 80gb ZUNE. The software continues to be easy to use, and I've had zero issues with the device itself. I've been able to find all sorts of accessories for it, and it works great with my Zune Altec Lansing speakers at work, as well as my iPOD type Altec Lansing's that are portable (using an AUX in port and a patch cable). Here are a few things I'd like to have as "Extras" though:
  • The ability to just right click a video on or other video sites and say "Copy to zune", or maybe drag and drop on the zune software and have it download and convert. I love having videos on it, but the conversion process is unnecessarily time consuming. This isn't unique to the Zune other portable media players are in the same boat.
  • The ability to easily import playlists from WMP or other players. I hate having to recreate playlists, and I miss my autoplaylists from the WMP.
All in all though I'm still lovin' my Zune. If people could just get over being peeved at Microsoft long enough to just LOOK at and USE the product they might find they too like it. MS rarely comes out with the first of anything (mp3 players included) and you generally like to wait till the 2nd generation comes out - but once they do they tend to get it about right. IMHO the Zune is just that.