Jason McIntyre

Goofy guy who spends too much time looking at screens of various sizes. Once held a Microsoft certification and was unbearable for a while after that. Enjoys sunshine, warm weather and the color orange.

Recent Posts
Birthday, Event

Can You Xscape at the Wharf?

Or… “Ryan’s 16th Birthday”

Well that was fun. Ryan and a few of his friends headed to Morgantown last week to get Taken. Not literally “taken,” but instead, participate in Morgantown’s premier escape room experience.

The four of us had participated in an escape room in Ocean City, Maryland over the summer. It was a fun experience, but it was definitely a work in progress in O.C. I’m sure over time, the O.C. escape room will be terrific. But this one in Morgantown was the full package.

The general idea behind an escape room is to solve a series of logic puzzle, have keen observation and great teamwork. You must use all of these abilities to escape a room or series of rooms within a certain time limit. In the games that we’ve played, we’ve had one hour to escape. In this case, the kids had just 54 seconds to spare… Nothing like cutting it close guys!

Click here to learn more about the Xscape room in Morgantown, or click here to learn more about the Taken adventure that is offered there.

Computing, Internet, Technology

Ignite in the rear-view mirror

One week after Microsoft Ignite 2017, and I think it’s a good time to take a look back. The keynote speech by Satya Nadella was inspiring. I have to admit, the discussion about quantum computing went over my head. The one question I have: If Windows 10 crashes on a quantum computer, does the universe come to an end?

I enjoyed connecting with and meeting several of the speakers and presenters. A few to point out: Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Client & Mobility Team; Michael Niehaus, Microsoft DIrector of Product Marketing; Dona Sarkar, Head of the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft, along with the other #NinjaCats: Blair GlennonJason Howard, and Jen Gentleman, among others.

Listening to some of the Windows deployment speakers, such as Mike Nystrom and Johan Arwidmark was incredibly informative. These guys are well-known for their blogs relating to SCCM deployment and it was great to talk with them in person.

Also, this is cool:

Brad Anderson’s Lunch Break featured Brad riding a golf cart around the bus loop at the Orange County Convention Center. Participants could ask Brad anything… My question for Brad didn’t make it to the video, but my selfie did! The entire video can be seen here:

The most beneficial speakers and sessions I’ve linked to below:

All presentations and slide decks are available at the Microsoft Ignite website for viewing. Nerds of the world, tune and see what you think!

Computing, Technology

Microsoft Ignite 2017

This year I am experiencing my first Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida. I was prepared to be blown away by all the innovations, and it sure is overwhelming!

To follow along this week, just follow #MSIgnite on Twitter.

I will (probably) write up something a bit more comprehensive when this is all over. I don’t want to spend all this week in Orlando typing behind a laptop when I could be experiencing Ignite. So, more coming soon!

Microsoft Ignite 2017: Opening Video

Day One:

Tweets:

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College Hunt, Final Edition: Our SCAD Bee

After a one week delay, classes are underway at SCAD, the Savannah College of Art and Design. We are so proud of Allison for being accepted to this college! Tina and I attended family orientation sessions on Sunday where we were incredibly impressed by the staff and faculty, facilities, and overall planning and coordination of the school.

We were able to keep in contact with representatives at the college during Hurricane Irma by using a variety of online/social media outlets. The parent Facebook page, SCAD’s twitter account, and of course the school website at scad.edu were all valuable resources during the week of uncertainty. Even upon arriving at the school, with all the chaos of registration and getting kids moved in over a shortened weekend — the staff did a fantastic job.

For those not familiar with SCAD (me, a couple of years ago!) here is a video shown during parent orientation that provides a glimpse into the school:

You can see more SCAD videos on their YouTube channel and at SCAD TV.

When we arrived at check in, there was a large presence of SCAD personnel ready to assist and answer any questions we had. There was a party-like atmosphere setting everyone at ease in this new environment. We had some time to explore Savannah and visit the on-campus bookstore, Ex Libris. Shortly after that we arrived at Allison’s new dorm to move her in. There was a long line of vehicles going in and going out, but the security and staff at SCAD had the line moving efficiently. By the time we got to Allison’s building we were the only car unloading at that location. SCAD had organized move-in teams with students volunteering to help move freshmen in. With assistance, we had Allison moved into her new room in no time.

Thanks to SCAD for the wonderful experience! And here’s to four successful years at Allison’s new home!

Pics:

 

Internet, Technology

Staying anonymous on the Internet

Part One

So, thanks to our wonderful, outstanding, useful, totally not-bought-and-paid-for United States Congress® combined with our Reality-TV-star president, there is a very good possibility that your online activity soon can and will be collected and sold without your express permission.

Up until now, Internet Service Providers, who can track all of your online activity, had to get your express permission to collect and sell such information. (Of course, how many people read the entire Terms and Conditions before clicking “OK.” But it was at least nice of them to ask. So it’s likely that we’ve already voluntarily signed a lot of rights away in exchange for a service.)

But there are ways to obfuscate quite a bit of your online activity. In this video, former hacker and current author Kevin Mitnick explains some things you can do to protect yourself.

Now, some of these suggestions only help protect your information and not necessarily your browsing habits. If you visit bankofamerica.com, even with secure sockets layer enabled, your ISP will still know you’ve visited the site. They just can’t see what you’ve done there. Using TOR, as also suggested in the video, would help prevent that type of monitoring.

None of these suggestions is a guarantee of safety or anonymity. They just help.

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Music, Sports

QuickPost: Jack Fleming

I was just discussing with Allison the legendary West Virginia University sports broadcaster Jack Fleming and recounting how he could set the scene of any Mountaineer football game. Home games were especially exciting, as his tone would rise and fall with that of the “Pride of West Virginia” performing their pre-game show behind him.

As an example, watch below as Jack sets the scene for a Halloween matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions:

A true West Virginia treasure, the “Voice of the Mountaineers.”

Holidays

Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate

‘Tis the season once again. Of course, it’s not just about the hot chocolate, but that’s a nice part of it. And this year, I’m proud to announce, I haven’t heard of a single person offended by the Official Starbucks Red Cups®! The Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate reminds me of 2010 when we headed south for Christmas. We went to Universal Studios a few days that week and had one of these drinks just about every morning at CityWalk.

Last year we spent Christmas in Florida once again, but this year we are staying home. I just uploaded a classic computing video where I entered a Santa Claus program on a Commodore 64 emulator. The program came from the December 1984 issue of Family Computing magazine.

The background music from this video comes from the old Jingle Disk produced by Thoughtware, Inc. back in 1985. I wonder if Marty McFly ran it on his computer?

Anyway, some more contemporary sounds of the season echoed from the halls of Jewel City Church last week with their annual Christmas production. Watch it here!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Humor, Television, Travel

David S. Pumpkins will make your Halloween.

Any Questions?

This is my favorite skit in ages from SNL. I can’t even begin to describe why…. but I’ll try.

First of all, this skit just happened to be on SNL the same day that we took the NBC Studio Tour in New York City, where we got to see the legendary Studio 8H, the place Saturday Night Live has been produced for over 40 years. So, immediately +5 points, right?

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Travel

October Craziness

So, it’s been just a bit crazy for the past several weeks. I’ve done a lot of traveling, faced a few challenges, and have come out the other side.

I took one very unexpected trip to San Diego, California followed by a regularly scheduled trip to New York City. The NYC trip was primarily a college tour trip, but we did take some time to visit some of the city’s highlights.

Here’s what’s been going on, in picture form. First, a trip to the west coast:

And then, a trip to the east coast:

Children, Education, Music

The 2016 Lincoln High School Marching Band

The Lincoln High School Marching Band performs this past Saturday evening at the Fairmont Senior High School Band Spectacular. The band performs their “Flashback Friday” field show that features songs from the 80s, including Mr. Roboto, Call Me, and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

The band will also be performing at the Liberty High School Band Spectacular in Clarksburg on September 24 and of course various Lincoln High School football games throughout the remainder of the season.

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