Personal Updates/2008


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These are my old Personal Updates from 2008.


12/17/2008 State of ThePlaz (Michael Plasmeier)

12th Grade is almost half over. This year has certainly been less work than previous years. I am enjoying my final year in high school with about half the workload of previous years.

I've been using my tablet to take notes in school. Before the year started, I detailed my experiences in The Quest for the Perfect Notetaking Medium, an essay I wrote for College Applications. It has certainly allowed me to be more organized while spending far less time organizing. Also, being in front of a computer allows me to accomplish tasks when I think of them, not at home. It makes the day feel like it lasts longer. As for notes on, I am now more aware of copyright concerns and I am developing my strategy for posting this years notes.

This also means I am deep into college applications. I have applied at about 5 or 6 schools. I am looking for a large university in an urban environment with an information science program. I would also like a minor in business. My final decision will come down to a decision between a number of alternative paths I am looking into. Financial concerns will also play a large part into choosing a school.

For the holidays, I have asked for a GPS tagger for a digital camera. I hope to look more into geotagging in the future. I have not found an application that can give you an overview of all of your geotagged photos......

Tecker 911 is up to 60 episodes online. I have about 7 which I have edited but are giving me a lot of trouble to render (or finalize). Also, we filmed 7 more last weekend. In the meantime you can enjoy: 60: Cell Phone Internet, 59: Digital Camera Workflow, 58: Firefox 3, and more on our website! We are hoping to make it to 100 episodes by the end of the school year.

With SocialView we are working on 2 new products. I need to dedicate more time for this. After working on the outsourced GridView rearrange feature I need to find the passion for continuing to do interesting projects. I am finding it is hard to do a full day of school and homework and then come home and work.

I am also using Delicious to "micro-blog" sites I find interesting. Subscribe to that RSS feed! or watch the sidebar on every page.

Leave Plaz a (public) message File icon.gif or send me a (private) e-mail.Mail icon.gif--ThePlaz 18:55, 17 December 2008 (EST)

9/14/2008 State of ThePlaz (Michael Plasmeier)

Hey everyone! It's been 2 and a half months since I last wrote and much has happened since then! For one of those months I was at the the Pennsylvania Governor's Schools of Excellence in Information, Society & Technology at Drexel. While I was there I had lots of fun spending time with technical minded people. (Photos on Flickr) I wrote an article on what I learned there I lead a team which created Videre, a proof of concept for how to improve online gradebooks. Check out the demo!

The month after Gov School, I had off. I relaxed at home and more importantly launched the GridView arrange feature! It was very long awaited, unfortunately. This was cool because it was the longest, largest, most expensive project I had ever designed and led. Watch a 3 minute demo on YouTube I am very proud of the design and the integration challenges we overcame.

Tecker 911 is up to 51 episodes online with 9 more coming in a few days (they are uploading as I type). Meanwhile enjoy: 51: Podcasting, 50: Taking a Break, 49: TiVo, 48: OLPC, 47: PayPal Security Key, 46: Bookmooch, and more on our website!

On, I added my work from PreCalc (and there is a lot of it), AP Micro Econ and a few things I did in Biology. For 11th Grade, I only uploaded the notes from structured courses. Less structured courses I did not bother with, and I tried not to upload worksheets and teacher's papers.

I also wrote Laptops for Students and E-Note Taking over the summer which gives some of my experience using laptops in school, and I am branching off The Quest for the Perfect Notetaking Medium as a College Application essay.

In the last 2 weeks, I have started 12th Grade. This quarter, I am taking Entrepreneurship, English 12, Business Law, and Calculus. I have also started applying to colleges. I have look at more than 130 colleges and I have developed 3 "paths" I can follow. What I like best right now is an Information Science program at a school that keeps you in the real world like Drexel and Northeastern. A second choice is a more academically rigorous, less "practical" Computer Science program at a prestigious liberal arts school. A third choice is a school which is more geared for entrepreneurship. I would also like to minor in business.

SeniorQuoter 2.0beta2 was released yesterday. Beta2 fixes almost 95% of the outstanding bugs in version 2.0. Check it out!

At school this year, I am the CTO this year at the publications office. I am also a senior host at H-Vision which is further evolving this year.

I am also using Delicious now and I am tagging and commenting pages I find interesting. Subscribe to that RSS feed! or watch the sidebar on every page.

Leave Plaz a (public) message File icon.gif or send me a (private) e-mail.Mail icon.gif--ThePlaz 22:20, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

6/30/2008 Personal Message

Hey everyone! I am in the Pennsylvania Governor's Schools of Excellence in Information, Society & Technology at Drexel now for 5 weeks. It's great to be around people with the same passion for technology. It's a diverse group - about half have some programming experience. I'm the only PHP expert and the only one who knew about version control systems. Still they have a lot of creative ideas and good input for fleshing out ideas. It looks like our ITP will be a reboot of SeniorQuoter making it modular and building a voting system (favorite song, class couple, prom song, etc).

We are also very close to launching new features for GridView! It's going to be very cool! It's been in the works for many months now!

I finished uploading my notes for American Studies. PreCalc is next. I don't think I will do any others. I know Physics still says "coming soon" even though that class ended 6 months ago.....

Tecker 911 is up to 52 episodes edited and 60 filmed. I just have to release more!

Leave Plaz a (public) message File icon.gif or send me a (private) e-mail.Mail icon.gif--ThePlaz 21:37, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

5/18/2008 Personal Message

Hey everyone! I think I just went through the hardest months of my life. I was taking 4 major classes in school (the maximum) and I just took 3 AP exams (US History, Psychology, and Micro Econ)

In the meantime, I've been very busy with GridView. Things are shaping up with 876,340 users, and some cool features in the works.

I also have a month of school left! And I don't think I ever said that I was accepted into Pennsylvania Governor's Schools of Excellence in Information, Society & Technology. It's a 5 week residence program at Drexel University. Since I am looking closely at the iSchool at Drexel (it is at the top of my list) for colleges, this is like a 5-week free trial. According to one graduate of the person I talked to, it was the best thing in her life (above regular college too).

With all of this hectic things, I've neglected Tecker 911, SeniorQuoter and posting stuff to this site. All I managed to put up was my projects, if that. I haven't added any scanned papers in the last 3 months.

I am also active in school events. I was the media manager for Locks of Love which is tomorrow and I ran the TV operations for Mr. Haverford with a crew of 4-5.

Recent Flickr photos include: the 2008 BLAST (after-prom), Mr. Haverford 2008, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination, thousands of photos from my Spring Break trip out West to the natural sights, and the addition on my house is done. See all

Also, I bought a new tablet pc! It's a Fujitsu T4220. It's a perfect blend of performance, portability, and since I bought a refurb at 60% of the list price, a good value too. It's running Microsoft Vista, which has new features for tablets (and is not all that bad!). It's only got 1GB of RAM, but I haven't noticed that at all! I was all ready to buy an upgrade, but I'm waiting now. I really like taking notes in OneNote (and that will make it easier to update this site) Also, since I am using Outlook with the Connector for MSN, I get my email (even sent mail), calender, contacts, and tasks synced online and on my 2 computers. It's very nice! I have an unboxing video I need to find the time to put together.

Plus, my family signed up for the Verizon FiOS triple play. I am waiting for the 15/2MBS internet, but I am not looking forward to getting rid of my HD DirecTivo! (sorry Tivo- it was really great when it came out)

PS Hi Mr. Siegerman!

Leave Plaz a (public) message File icon.gif or send me a (private) e-mail.Mail icon.gif--ThePlaz 23:36, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

2/28/2008 Personal Update

Hey everyone! It has been 2 months since I last wrote an update.

The Dynamic Website Building Instruction and Practical Experience Group Study has been over for a month and we shipped SeniorQuoter 2.0beta1. Visit the SeniorQuoter site for all the details, screenshots, downloads, and ways you can help. Version 2 adds an administration interface. We are only 20 bugs away from releasing version 2.0, so please see how you can help.

Tecker 911 is coming along nicely. We have 44 episodes done and edited with the last 7 in HD (not out yet). The last few that were released are: Episode 33: Portable Apps, Episode 32: Web Hosting, and Episode 31: Flickr

And you can join in the discussion on education reform on Ms. Ward's blog and Arthus Erea's Amateur Learning post.

The second semester started at my school. This brings AP Psychology, AP Micro Econ, and Biology, along with more of American Studies and English 11. Scanned work from PreCalc is being added slowly, and the first half of notes from American Studies is now up.

Also I recently wrote an article for the yearbook Greystones about technology.

Recent Flickr photos include: the Prom Expo at my school, my trip to Drexel University, and the new school near my house. See all

Oh, I am getting an addition put on my house. Check out the photos as they come in

Leave Plaz a (public) message File icon.gif or send me a (private) e-mail.Mail icon.gif--ThePlaz 22:36, 28 February 2008 (EST)

1/6/2008 Personal Message

Happy new year!

GridView, my app for Facebook is at 490,000 users! Growth this month was slow because I did not launch any features during December. GridView lets you add all your friends profile pics to you Facebook profile for you and your profile visitors to see.

I also moved GridView to a dedicated server (for which I am paying $100/month)! This lets it run without running up thousands of dollars of (mt) overage charges! Server utilization seems to peak around 80%!

I also brought on a partner to GridView, by selling him a minority piece of GridView. He works in advertising at a major social network and should help me focus on features and make GridView profitable. Speaking of that, I am currently working on a major change to GridView. Lots of you said it world be nice if you could move your friends around... Plus I found some much better mosaic code and I hope to drastically improve the user experience for Mosaics.

Our Dynamic Website Building Instruction and Practical Experience Group Study has only a few weeks left. We are working on the SeniorQuoter admin site which is coming together nicely. Photos and Screenshots on Flickr

I also finished my Governor's School Application. That was enough writing about me for a few months. Also, an essay on the power of Wikis. However, I will now have a leg up for the college application process. Where do I want to go? I don't know. I do have a few top choices.

Also, Tecker 911 will be filming new episodes in HD. We have 37 episodes done and edited. The last few that were released are: Episode 27: Notebook Cards, Episode 26: Words: The Latin Dictionary, and Episode 25: Behind the Scenes

Oh, I also just posted my research paper I did on the Patriot Act in 8th Grade.

All for now!

Leave Plaz a (public) message File icon.gif or send me a (private) e-mail.Mail icon.gif--ThePlaz 21:04, 6 January 2008 (EST)