Is Your College Going Out of Business? | LinkedIn

Is Your College Going Out of Business? | LinkedIn.

I try to keep up with Mark Cuban on a regular basis. His ideas about alot of things are smack, dead on. Rarely does he say anything that does not cause pause. This topic is no different.
I especially enjoy some of the comments posted.
My take? First some perspective. I went to college. It was expected that I would go to college. It was expected that most of my cousins and my brother would go to college. It was expected that most of my peers would go to college. My wife did not go to college, her family did not go to college. It was not expected by her her family that she would go to college. Her dad was successful, professionally without it, his siblings and peers were all successful without it.
My brother went to college, but for a variety of reasons, none of which involved lack of intellectual power or ability, he never finished college. He has built himself into a generally successful professional with a satisfactory career. I completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Pre-Law and a Minor in History. Which, freely translated means a liberal arts degree. My mother regularly told freinds and aquaintences that I majored in Beer, Women, and Soccer, not necissarily in that order. In all honesty, that was pretty close to accurate. For the most part, I learned very little in college that I apply in my day to day life or career, from an academic stance. I rarely apply the copious amounts of economics, accounting, art history, or any of it, per se. I do, however, apply many of the other things I learned in college. Not the least of which were critical thinking, analysis of complex issues and interpersonal relations. The value of these things learned through several years of being given just enough rope to hang myself, and working under some artificial pressures preparred me for a variety of careers and opportunities, none of which I could have ever imagined before college or even during that period of my life.
Am I better off than my brother? maybe. We have reached the point in our professional lives that I feel, without the completion of a bachelors and masters degree, he has maxed out his earning potential. I am hoping I am wrong about that. I, on the other hand feel like I am still growing professionally. That opportunity is availed to me because of my degree, opportunity that is not there for my brother, right now.
Back to the question? Is your college going out of business? Mine did. What I got out of it was 15 years of debt. But I also got a ton of skills that I am able to apply. I also got a degree; something that says to anyone asking, that I completed a degree program from an accredited institution. What that tells people is that I can set a goal, work to it and complete it. There is a whole lot that goes with that degree, that others recognize, not for the name of the school, or for the degree plan, but for the accomplishment.
My kids are expected to go to college. Do I expect them to study accounting and become a CPA one day, no, do I expect them to be pre-med or biology and go on to become doctors, no. I will encourage them to study a liberal arts program. Learn about themselves and develop skills that they will apply everyday for the rest of their lives. Hopefully while incurring the least amount of debt possible. For me and my wife this is an imminent issue. Wish us luck!


Microsoft on{x}

I really enjoy using this.  It’s a web service that essentially allows a person create macros, with Javascript, for his/her Android Phone.  I gather it may also work with other Mobile OSes, but I really don’t care about that, yet.


So far, I have stayed pretty close to the default ‘recipes’ by creating simple rules that follow very simple logic.  But I am starting to get more adventurous.  With mobile connectivity and the ability to tweet, post status to facebook, send SMS, send email, and more, really the opportunities are endless to interact with a wide variety of services and people, in an automated maner.

One thing I may build is a simple ‘App’ that records my time at various activities, and builds a log for me, all via SMS or email, then I could essentially take that, series of entries, and do my billable time.  I could do my expenses really easily, by having it send an email when I leave the house, and then send another when I arrive along with the mileage.  Heck, I can have it look up the traffic conditions en route, and weather feed, and let me know what’s up.  It can look at my calendar, and read me my appointments for the next 12 hours, my tasks for the next 12 hours, etc…

The hardest part is going to be setting the core features I want and limiting an initial build to that…then add functionality as I go…I am SUPER Psyched about it!

Think about this, I could set a document library in SharePoint to accept incoming email from me, send it the details of my day, then use work flow and/or content management to build that data out into a daily blog and capture my day.  It could take a picture, capture the weather, my geo location and more!

wow, I am geeked up!!!

SSRS Lagniappe

Giving SSRS that lagniappe, takes some skill, knowledge, and a whole lot of patience.
What am I on about? Let’s start with Lagniappe…what is it? Look it up on the interwebs, but basically it’s that little something extra. It might be extra debris on your roast beef po-boy, it might be a little extra shot of whiskey in your drink, it might be that stuff that makes Emeril go Bam!
In this case it’s that thing that makes the report pop…


now the fun part is that I challenge anyone to make those loverly gradient rounded corned boxes in SSRS, natively…go ahead, take a few minutes, I will wait…

So, you’re back?  It’s not as easy as it oughta be.  I mean, afterall Excel does it with the flick of a mouse.  Makes you mad, right?  Made me spit fire for a while trying to replicate those loverly gradient rounded boxes.  Finally, I figured out a workaround.  With a little southern engineering and will-power, here’s what I came up with.

1) go to excel or word for that matter or powerpoint, make some boxes in the desired colors etc…


repeat as necissary…

now copy it and take it to paint and crop, until you are left with your desired shape in the color you want…

I have a couple that I used…

Blue Box GoldBox LightBlueBox RedBox

As you can see they are not uniform in size…SSRS can control the size, what wew are most concerned about is the gradient and edges.

Now you are going to make a table in SSRS and place these as background images in the required cells. Go ahead, try that out…

What’s that?  The image is just repeating and I cannot get it sized exactly right, and this effing thing sucks!!!  Don’t fear, don’t fret.  So one thing I did was play around with the shapes and I worked very hard at closly matching my size of the object with the text box I was filling.  Don’t worry, Paint does a very good job of allowing you to size the object and generally maintining a very good gradient, etc int he object…

One final piece, I have multiple data elements within each cell…the number of buildings is 1 number and the number of residential units is another…and they are attained with similar groupings in SSRS from my stored proceedure and how did I get them centered vertically and horizontally within each of those.  I used a combination of visibility expressions to decide when to show and when to not show, but I also set a matrix table within each of the cells and hid some of the grouping rows and columns and set thier backgrounds to no color, and finally I set the top cell to top center aligned, and the bottom cell to bottom center aligned…

All in all this demo piece is far from perfect, in that there may be a little off aligned if you look closely, and there’s some elements that are visible that maybe ought not be, but I think you get the point…that with some southern engineering, you to can give your SSRS Reports a little lagniappe with actually a little elbow greese and a little know how…

Good luck!