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Finger Zoom in Adobe Reader on Surface Pro

For years, my tablet was an Android device. If some text in Adobe reader was too small, all I had to do is zoom over a paragraph using two-finger spread. The focus stayed on the paragraph immediately after the zoom. Does not seem like a huge computational problem: first get the coordinates of touchdown, then zoom, then re-center to keep the original touchdown in place. So, why or why does the same Adobe Reader wants to jump to the center of a page after zooming on Surface Pro? Now, it’s two actions: first two-finger zoom, then one finger slide back to where you were reading. And, if you happened to zoom too much, your original spot is not that easy to find. Perhaps, there is a setting somewhere in the deep preferences corners to solve this, but sure not easy to find, if it is there.

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Updates Utopia

As I am typing this post, my desktop is sluggish. Another update is going on in the background. As a matter of fact, in the last three days I mostly used desktop Windows PC, Windows tablet, and Android phone. My tablet forced an update that slowed me down last morning. My desktop updated a large program, which resulted in about 5-minute slow down. My phone seemed to always be updating something. And, it was just a matter of random chance whether my text app or maps or email on the phone were slightly sluggish because something was also updating in the background. There were random program update offers too. I was in the middle of doing something else at the time, but was sidetracked into getting “the new most advance and secure” version that looked identical to the old one in my naive “user view”.

So, from now on, I am updating my “terms of use” of all software out there that I am using. It would be in the best interest for our continued relationship that software provider is allowed to disturb me with updates only on the last Sunday of a given month at 3 am by my time, wherever I happen to be. This agreement will supersede any our prior agreements. This generous offer on my part will be replaced with a more restrictive terms of only twice a year update allowance, if software providers do not honor this agreement.

Ya right… this is going to work. Back to reality…

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Unity 2018.2 Review

Unity 2018.2 is a game development environment that is a major development  platform in this field. There is a free version that is available for small aspiring game developers.

Installation is fairly straight forward, but like any other big package, takes a while.

An option to do tutorial right at the first start is a wonderful idea and I went ahead and clicked through the first two tutorials.

In all fairness, I so far, only spend an hour on this platform and will probably give it another chance. The points that are a bit confusing are the following.

The tutorial explains that GameObject is the primary point of interaction with this software. This is very understandable as Object Oriented Programming is ubiquitous everywhere. The tutorial also explains that GameObjects have Components. Ok, naming this whole set “Features” or “Attributes” may be a bit more clear, but it seems that each of the components has those as well, so we are at three layers of complexity here. Is each component an object within an object? Well, does not matter.

The really confusing part is “Assets.” Why are those separate? Why another layer of complexity? Unity Asset Store has some free models to download. Well, so far two different downloads did not work. Something happens, but way too quick. One of those deals, where you keep wondering if there was “Exception” type “please do not crash” code in there somewhere. Going back to the store and trying to download again results in “All assets from this package are already in your project.” Manually browsed to the Assets folder in the project, nothing there, except for the generic SampleScene stuff. Manual web pages did not help so far, as they seem to refer to some different 18.2 version from what got downloaded.

By the way, placing a project straight into Documents folder, at least on Windows 10, is not exactly an organized way of doing it. Having a separate working Unity folder would have been better.

So, overall, Unity seems to be functioning and probably worth a second look after some more tutorial viewing/reading. But, it is a good idea to check out the competitors before proceeding.

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Help Kids Stay out of Trouble

I remember my friend struggling with one of her kids. She was so frustrated and did not know what to do. As a parent myself I understand that sometimes is very difficult to point out why our children behave certain ways. I mentioned to her that she needs to pay attention to her kiddo, what I mean by this is: is the child always behaving like this or only at certain places? From then on you as the parent can come out with a plan on how to help improve his or her behavior. And whatever you do, do not pay attention to what others say. Concentrate on how to help him or her. Assumptions are not good.  Children as they grow they want their independence. My little one always wanted to do everything herself. Even now she still insists that she is right in certain situations. This behavior makes me happy because I can see she is getting in and out of situations. But what about when they start disrupting the class or they continue interrupting when I am talking with another adult. Most kids do this, but when you talk to them and explain they usually understand and follow directions. But what if they do not listen? What if the trouble in school keeps repeating? How can you find out when it is really a problem? When to take action?

When I see my kiddos, I see two little angels, how can this cuties misbehave at school, restaurant, grocery store, or anywhere else. Again, because they are growing up they will try their independence…and this is great but as a parent  we need to monitor their behavior because sometimes it changes. If we do not explain to them when they misbehave. Many times, we as parents do not want to see the reality of things. We want to see our kids behaving properly always, but the truth is we always need to encourage a positive and acceptable behavior not just in school but everywhere else. After all, we are their parents. Our job is to guide them for their future and many years from now we would be able see the beautiful, kind, respectful humans that we had guided. We as parents are like their mirror, they will repeat and act how they see us, this includes peers and friends. 

I always explain to my kids the importance of school and what to expect from them. I let them know what behaviors are acceptable and what behaviors are not. Sometimes I have to really explain because they need to know that for every decision there is a consequence. For me and my husband  is very important to continue the same rules at home. If my boy shows good behavior at home he will most likely display that behavior in school. My grandma always gave me this quote: ” Remember, the apple does not fall far from the tree.”

I told my friend to talk to her child’s teacher. It is very important to hear what the teacher says about your child’s behavior. I notice many parents say how can their teacher know the child. Guess what? I have always seen the teachers like a second parent to my kids. They spend most of the day with them. For me, is very important to have a good connection with them. I like to hear what teacher has to say about my children. If there is a problem, the teacher will be able to help me correcting my child’s problem. When my kiddo was in kinder garden the teacher called me and said that he had hit another child. At home my kiddo is an angel. At the park, he always shared. So why would he hit? First, I asked him…he only said that the other kid was bad. I decided to go to the teacher and we came out with a plan. She monitored them during class…nothing happened. At lunch time I decided to go and talk to the teacher one more time. As we were walking in, we saw my son’s classmate kicking him under the table. The teacher decided that she needed to know why this boy was kicking my kiddo. It went on for a few days…it turned out that the boy was stealing my kid’s food and my kid had enough of the kicking. After we solved the problem my boy was very happy and I never heard another complain. They even became best friends.  Again parents, good communication with teachers is detrimental.

If their behavior has not change, try to keep records if possible just for a while. This will allow you to find the problem. It has really worked for me. If you find out that there is a pattern, it will be easier to help. Again, I will mention their teacher, they will  notice the child’s behavior at school. Maybe the child gets out of control in certain subjects. It could be that the child is getting nervous about certain things in class or lessons. Maybe they have a difficult time learning new material and do not know how to ask for help. It could be that somebody is saying something that gets them sad or angry and they react. 

The point is that if you want to figure out how to help them pay special attention to the times that they are acting up. If the child is getting in trouble at school, something might be bothering him or her. Maybe your child feels left out. Maybe math or another subject is giving him anxiety. Maybe is not school, and you need to look in other places outside school. Maybe there are changes at home. I asked my friend to pay attention to his sleeping time. I asked her if he was sleeping thru the night or not. I told her to do what I do: ask them what is their favorite time of their day and their worst. And why? Usually once I know what my child is going thru I am able to help more efficiently. You will be able to come out with ideas and solutions to help.

When to Worry

The point is not to worry, unless the child has no patience and gets angry way too often. Another signal is when the child acts against your authority and does not apologize or has any remorse. Ask the teacher if your child is aggressive with peers and how often he disrupts the class lesson or if the child is not participating. You can see this at home too. Is he getting in trouble always.

Most kids will listen and follow what their parents and teachers ask of them. Children need to feel that you as a parent or teacher are there to help and guide specially when they display their independence and their behavior.

*By the way, my friend found out the problem…her kiddo was having trouble when the teacher was asking him to work a multiplication problem on the board. When he was not able to do it, the kids were teasing at recess. Therefore, the child kept on acting up. Once it was solve, the teacher told her that he was listening and he was happy.

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Evolution of MOOCs

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are a relatively new invention. Pioneered by flagship educational institutions worldwide, MOOCs are now offered by many universities, colleges, and other enterprises, big and small. The usual topics that are covered by these courses are computer sciences, math and other basic sciences, marketing, and numerous others. Of course, quality varies, but in general, the courses were started by well established educators who were able to find time and resources to create cutting edge, high quality content.

Many high quality courses were free in the beginning. There was an option to pay for a verified certificate for some. As time progressed, the dynamics have changed. More and more courses are appearing that either put a time limit on free content, or require registration fee upfront. Some platforms always used paid models.  Now, even the platforms that had predominantly “free, open to all” type philosophy are being gradually changed.

This is natural. As users flood free platforms, operating and maintenance cost increases. As demand for content gets shaped by what students are looking for, more content needs to be developed.

It will be interesting to see how MOOCs evolve further. Will they become an advertising tool for colleges and universities to attract students or will they morph into new educational venues, where students will be able to get better knowledge in a subject, not a degree in a subject from a university.

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Consejos Para Que Los Ninos Puedan Hacer Quehacer Domesticos

El quehacer domestico parece no tener fin. Por eso yo mantengo un sistema con mis hijos para minimizar el trabajo y pasar mas tiempo con ellos. Tener responsabilidades es saludable, ellos aprenden como cuidarse asi mismos sin depender de nadie en sus futuros.Yo empece a darles quehaceres mas o menos a la edad de 5 años. Les empeze a dar un quehacer a la vez, y ha como van creciendo les aumento la lista. Los Viernes es el dia que reportan su lista lograda. Si ellos no han terminado el quehacer durante la semana tienen que hacerlo en sus dias de descanso, que es el fin de semana. No les gusta para nada, poreso usualmente tratan de terminar con el quehacer antes del Viernes. Yo solo doy recompensa si ellos hacen mas trabajo.Por ejemplo, trituran papel, trabajo en el jardin, limpiar la sala, o si se ayudan uno al otro. De esta manera todos tenemos mas tiempo que disfrutar juntos.

Ahora si ellos esperan asta la proxima semana todos sus privilegios seran cortados. Esto significa, no TV, no juegos de videos, amigitos no pueden visitar,no telefonos, no internet, no jugar afuera, y no actividades despues de escuela. Con estas reglas estoy segura que ellos hacen sus quehaceres.

Algunos puntos:

*Graficos y calcamonias- Todos revisamos el grafico los Viernes, si esta lleno con las calcamonias ellos pueden escoger jugar conmigo especialmente (ellos eliguen el juego) y se merecen un postre rico.

*Escribir sus listas en un papel para que ellos las cruzen.

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Down The Steps

Ashley was in her closet with the secret door that had appeared at the back of her closet. She heard things falling and moving within the door. When Ashley reached and touched the door knob all the sounds stopped. Ashley opened the door up slowly and looked inside. Stairs descended down towards a large hallway. She began walking and the only light lighting the the stairs constantly kept flickering on and off. Ashley soon entered the hallway which led into a basement filled with non-human looking relics.

“Cool,” Ashley said quietly pulling out her phone and started taking pictures.

When Ashley looked at the pictures there was a creature in them with long claws, pointy fangs, and no face. It was holding a purple orb relic in the picture. A clang scared Ashley and her smile quickly faded as the purple orb relic that the creature was holding in the picture had fallen on the ground. She took another picture and sure enough the creature was in it a little further away. She moved towards where it was and took another picture, but this time it wasn’t in the picture! Ashley turned around to leave and in front off her was the creature, it’s mouth dripping with blood! She screamed and dashed to the stairs grabbing a large pole laying on the ground. The monster ran after her mighty speed so she hurled the pole at the monster making a break for it! Ashley reached the top off the steps, but the door was gone! She slowly turned back towards the monster and saw its limbs had twisted in ways it shouldn’t be. Suddenly it twitched and zoomed at Ashley lunging at her! Then everything went black.

“Ashley come down for breakfast!” Andres called walking into his sister’s room.

He went into her closet, half expecting her to be in it trying to scare him, but she wasn’t. He heard strange noises coming from a door at the back of her closet and Andres moved towards it. When he touched the door knob the noises stopped.


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Advice for Getting Kids to Help With Chores

 There is a never ending story with house work. I have a system with my kids to minimize all the work for me, it is actually healthy to give them responsibilities. This way, they will know how to take care of themselves later on in life. I started when they were around 5 years old. I gave them one chore per week. As they grow, I increase the list. Fridays are the cut out date. If they do not accomplish the chore during the week they have to do it on their free time which is weekends. They hate that, so they always try to do it before. I only reward them if they go out of their way to do extra chores (for example, shredding papers, yard work, dusting living room, or helping each other). This way we have more free time to enjoy together.

Now if they wait for the next week all their privileges are taken away. This means no TV, no video games, no friends over, no phones, and no internet. With these rules I am certain they do their chores.:)

Some tips:

*Charts and stickers- We check the chart every Friday, if it is full they get special play time with me (anything they want to play with me) and a special treat.

*Tell them what dessert or treat you are planning for the weekend.

*Type the list of their chores so they can cross it after they accomplished their chore.

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Halloween Eve Part 2

Zoey kept on begging her mother to protect her fro the monsters under the bed. Lily just rolled her eyes thinking, “child’s play.”

“Please mommy! The monster is going to eat me!” Zoey cried.

“Settle down you baby, you’re just cranky cause it’s past your bed time,” Lily laughed.

“I hate sharing a bunk bed with my sister!” Zoey thought not daring to say it out loud.

Their mother left and it had been about an hour or two.

“Stop moving you baby!” Lily shouted as Zoey kept on moving around in her bed.

Five more minutes passed.

“Lily, I can’t wait till Halloween tomorrow,” Zoey said peaking her head down to her sister.

“Go back to bed! I thought you were scared!” Lily said yelling.

But when she looked up it wasn’t her sister at all.

“Happy Halloween!” The monster with no face and goo spilling out down said.

Lily screamed as she was pulled under the bed. Nothing stirred, but as the clock struck two A.M. a large hand with enormous claws came from under the bed

By: Mia A.