The Hawaiian Punch Board Game

Among the many weekends that I found myself playing with the toys and games in my grandma's house, one of my (and my brother's) favorites was a game called "The Hawaiian Punch" board Game. While this game lacks the cache of more traditional board games, I can assure you that to a nine-year old, this game rocked. I recently found one in a collectibles shop in West-Leb.

Hawaiian Punch Board Game
Sweet Box Art!

The game is a classic (© 1978), and would easily rank in a top five of my favorite childhood board games. (Off hand, and in no particular order, Careers, Life, Mad Magazine, and Outburst also come to mind.)

To play, you need a gamepiece. Enter the first great nuance...your gamepiece is a pineapple molded from clay! (The mold itself is shaped like a can of HP). The movement of the game is straight-forward...spin the wheel and move accordingly...that is, until you land on a space with a color that matches your opponent.
Hawaiian Punch Board Game Pieces
Gamepiece, Mold, and 'Punchy'

Enter the second great nuance...the payback. In Monopoly, when you land on someone else's space, you pay with your money. In HP, you pay with your clay. Every player has a masher shaped like Punchy, the HP mascot. Said opponent gets one free whack at your poor clay pineapple to smash it into as flat and nasty a piece as possible. Pure violence. The catch? You get one shot. Miss, and too bad -- wait till next time. Interestingly enough, that's the only penalty until we reach the third great nuance...size check.

There are spaces scattered on the board called size check. No matter how flat and nasty your gamepiece is, you can use it unless you land on one of these spaces. If your squahed remnants of a pineapple fail to fit wholly within the space, you have to reform and lose a good number of spaces.

Reach the end and win, but this game is not about winning, its about the journey...

Hawaiian Punch Board Game Size Check
'experienced' gamepiece &
Size Check

On one final note, I completely forgot how awesome the box and board art was with this game. Just look at the style used in this large board section.

...old school fun. Thanks, Grandma.

Hawaiian Punch Board Game Art

Hawaiian Punch, Hawaiin Punch board game, board games, games, punchy

Tracking Flights in 3D with Google Earth

I often like to track flights of friends. I'm a map freak, and just think its cool that you can get quasi-realtime flight information. Also being a map freak, I also love Google Earth. Now, with the help of www.fboweb.com you can track your flights in 3D with Google Earth.

There are two things I have noticed as being inconvenient about this service
1) It is very difficult to use this service to find a random active flight. You really should know flight information before you continue to fboweb.
2) The list of flight carriers is large and includes company names that need to be used instead of their parent companies. (For example, Trans World Express and Trans World Air both are listed and you need to know which one to choose even if the carrier mentions the other).

Tracking in 3D

  1. Just install Google Earth on your local computer
  2. Point your browser at www.fboweb.com.
  3. I have found that the flight track form is the way to start, but do not enter anything here...it will not work.
  4. Click the Track button
  5. On the page that follows, click the 'airline' radio button
  6. Complete the form by picking the carrier and typing the flight number (optional, but recommended to save copious time)
  7. When the result hits, click the Track in 3D button. Google Earth opens on its own, but you may need to do some navigation.

WebCT: The 6 day work week

Since our WebCT upgrade to Campus Edition 6, I have been looking for ways to learn more about our campus' usage of the software. Without even diving into the deep end, I have found something quite interesting when observing one of the simplest statistics -- session activity.

Using the new WebCT CE6 feature -- Who's Online -- the administrator can get the number of how many users in the institution are logged into WebCT at any given time. Upon tracking this number, I have come to a couple of conclusions.

  • WebCT works 6 days a week (Sunday - Friday)
  • Sundays are at just just as important as Fridays
To look at the first point, take a look at this first picture. It shows quite easily that the activity during an average Sunday is significant, and comparable to the other weekdays, though still a little lighter than Monday through Thursday. April 06 Session Counts
Click image for better view

But notice how Sundays and Fridays looked in April. The following graphs show the daily activity for each of the Sundays and Fridays in April 2006. The left ends of the graphs represent 12:00AM, and the right ends represent 11:59PM, as each line denotes one day's activity from beginning to end.

April 06 Fridays April 06 Sundays
Click above images to enlarge

Note how Fridays get off to a quick start, but by mid-afternoon, session activity falls off much faster than on other weekdays. By comparison, Sundays get off to a slower start, but by 9:00 PM, WebCT is about as active as any other time of the week -- and just as active (if not more) as any Friday.

Does this mean that Sundays are more important than Fridays? I think you can make a strong case. At the very least it's similar. More may be made of this, but for now, let this serve as 'food for thought' as we begin to investigate the possibility of expanding our WebCT support into the library as part of our new learning commons. Sundays should not be ignored!

Generic Support Questions for WebCT CE 6

Common litany of questions I ask when I find that someone is having a problem that is presented to me with nebulous descriptions...

What is the problem?
What exactly are you clicking when things stop working correctly?
What happens when you make that click? (Please include exact error messages if possible!)
What class(es) are you having this problem?

If you do not know how to fix the problem at this point, ask on...

Are you on campus or off campus?
If off, are you at home? At work?
What Operating System are you using? (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.)
What browser(s) and version(s) are you using?
Browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Mozilla
Does this problem occur when you try with a different browser?
Does this problem occur when you try with a different computer?
Does this problem occur when you try with a different computer in more than one place?
Does this problem occur on campus?