Lately, we’ve been busy sorting out prices, photos, flyers, and production of a whole slew of new products. It’s kept us fairly busy, and you’ve seen some of the results of that. This week and for the near future, we’re also busy with some rearrangements. Paul, who has experience with school suppliers, has joined up, and we will hopefully have a graphic design artist joining us soon. What that means is new desks, new computers, and a new living arrangement, if you will. As it stands, Cari, Meg, Karen, Kathy, and Natasha share an office space, with Jim and Jack in offices, all attached to a central meeting space. Soon, however, we will be rearranging. While Jim, Jack, and possibly Karen will be moving around in the two connected offices and a larger office upstairs, we will be juggling desks in here for a bit. Please refer to this artfully drawn diagram.
"The Chester Shuffle"
Update: More shuffling! After less than an hour of life, my beautiful diagram is already obsolete.
Happy Valentine’s Day, all! Do we all recognize the stunning cartoon to the left? No? But it’s Carl Sagan! Amazing astronomer of great renown. He was a huge part of the space program, made great discoveries about the universe and solar system, and starred in the awesome mashup music video below. Carl Sagan also has the dubious honor of being featured in my new favorite Valentine, as you may have noticed.
In other space-related news, spacecraft Stardust
is making a historical second fly by of a comet. Twelve years ago it was the first spacecraft to collect dust particles from a comet. Now, it will be flying past a second comet, with only a cup of fuel left, to take pictures of a man-made crater. This is the first time one comet has ever been studied by two different spacecraft.
Other items of interest:
- Since 1986, more than 295 billion gigabytes of data have been stored. In case you were wondering, thats a whole lot.
- Playstation hops on the mobile tech bandwagon with a new smartphone that will feature 50 games, including the popular Splinter Cell, Guitar Hero, Assassin’s Creed, and more.
- A new human-aware computer is taking on Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, both champions, on a special episode of Jeopardy airing tonight. Jennings commented at a press conference, “One of the first things I thought was, ‘This time, I’m not just playing to pay my mortgage or something, or to feed my kid’s college fund, I’m actually sort of representing 7 billion human beings against our new machine tyrants.’”
- Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry smart phone, are releasing a new tablet, the Playbook, which will function on three different 4G networks. This can be contrasted to the super-popular iPad, which is not yet available for the faster 4G.
- Our new software bundles are in! Each bundle contains five titles, which in turn contain fun and educational games or programs.Look for these up on the website soon!
I know, I know. We’ve been telling you all about new products that we’re coming out with, but actual introduction of the items for sale has been slow.
TextSpeak is up. This is a great, ultra-portable little Augmentative Communication keyboard device that allows people to talk through their keyboard, no computer required.
Braille Stickers are up. These are the only Braille stickers for large-key keyboards, and are clear so that the large-print legend remains visible.
Headphones and the LittleMouse are new. Chester Headphones are sturdy and adjustable enough for everyone, plus comfy and with convenient inline volume control. The LittleMouse is perfect for kids still learning (color-coded!), or anyone who doesn’t want to worry about a scroll wheel.
Large-key numeric pad is up coming soon. This keypad is intended as a companion to any of our large-key keyboards for those who prefer the grid layout of numbers, but is also useful paired with any keyboard for those who like or need larger keys. The keypad should be available by the end of the month.
The Wireless VisionBoard should be in by the end of the month, as well. This keyboard is very similar to our VisionBoard, but includes f-keys, and will be available in black and white to start with.
We also have some great educational software bundles coming in soon. We will be offering a pre-K bundle and an early elementary bundle, both of which will feature five titles.
The pre-K bundle will feature:
Baileys Book House
Millie’s Math House
Trudys Time and Place House
Sammy Science House
Thinking Things Toony the Loons Lagoon
Our early elementary bundle will include:
Mighty Math Carnival Countdown
Reader Rabbit 1st Grade
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum
Reader Rabbit 2nd grade
Zoombinis Island Odyssey
Well, February has rolled around again, and you know what that means. My birthday! And a whole bunch of other stuff.
Groundhog’s day was today, and groundhogs around the world are ready for Spring. As am I. However, some wonder whether we’ve been doing it wrong. Despite good forecasts by the mammalia, a huge winter storm is pounding the Midwest and Northeast.
Other fabulous February events include Black History Month, remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora, and encouraging today’s youth.
Also this month is the Mobile World Congress, an annual show being held in Spain featuring new technologies, as well as Valentine’s Day, a much lower-tech event on the same day.
In the astronomical field, February marks a large discorvery of exoplanets — some of which are pretty weird — by the Kepler Space Telescope, as well as the mock arrival of a mock space mission to a mock Mars.
Completely unrelated, a new Harvard report says that college shouldn’t be pushed quite so hard for students, the TSA is working on a less invasive body scan, and Google is accusing Microsoft search engine Bing of cheating – copying results from Google’s search engine.
What’s new for you in February?