Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beach and SECON

It’s been busy. But then again, when haven’t I been busy? I’ve enjoyed a vacation to the beach in Destin, Florida with my family. Praise God for very pleasant weather – the boys had lots of fun.  While there, my laptop died Sunday evening! Ouch – I’d been working on a presentation to give to a research group at Eglin AFB on Tuesday, plus hoping to do a bit of work on a presentation on Friday at SECON. It’s a rather helpless feeling to be not only without Internet, but without a laptop when it’s needed!

However, that served as a good reminder for me that God is good; he provides for all my needs. I found a computer repair guy that actually came by my condo and picked up the laptop, then dropped it back at the main office when he finished without charging me for his time. That was very gracious; he was able to determine that the root cause wasn’t as simply as a corrupted boot sector, but looked more like a hard drive controller failure.

Hmmm. That left me without a laptop! So, based on the very positive feedback from several students who owned netbooks, I decided to purchase one -- $300 from Wal-Mart. Wow. I’ve been very happy with it thus far; it enabled me to give my presentation (after my grad students sent me the necessary files), plus be productive here at SECON.

We drove back from the beach on Wednesday, then I headed out Thursday morning for SECON in Charlotte, NC. The drive went well, but was (of course) long. We arrived, checked in, picked up our registration materials, then had dinner. I was scheduled to give a presentation on microcontroller education the following day at 10:00 AM, but I hadn’t created more than two slides! So, I stayed up and did some work on the presentation, then worked on it the next morning. By God’s grace, it was in decent shape and the presentation went quite well. I got to meet several possible collaborators afterwards, then spoke with Microchip representatives. Both opportunities were very encouraging; again, praise God.

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