Wednesday, January 05, 2011

And the Process (Implementation) Goes On

Coffee in the Chicago skyline mug, "The Beat Goes On" by Sonny and Cher on iTunes in honor of the morning's theme. (Just a side note--wow they were young then!). Yesterday Lee and I spent a very informative and profitable morning with Bob Hogan at Olympic Kilns up in Flowery Branch and the upshot is that they are going to build our new melt furnace for us with a minimum of muss, fuss, cost, and time. Whew! One big problem down. While we were there I also talked to him about doing a small casting kiln for me--18" X 18" with side and bottom elements (maybe top too--any casters out there have opinions on that one?) and three zone (four if top elements too) temperature control. The cost is amazingly reasonable, and I have always loved the solid durability and reliability of my current little Olympic kiln.

Also spent last night installing, configuring and testing an on-line class registration system in Joomla. I purchased DT Register back in June and was a bit disappointed by the limitations placed on it by the integration with JEvents at that time so I didn't rush to install it when our new site went live. Last night when I tried again I was VERY impressed with the improvements to their current release (2.7.1). It looks like I might even be able to move the date night registration over to it and obviate any duplicate requests by having it manage the maximum number of participants who can register. It also sends out customized confirmation letters--with attachments (liability and photo release)--upon submission and allows for integration with a variety of on-line payment systems from to google checkout to paypal. Definitely worth pursuing.

This morning I wrote and posted a quick article on the website about our furnace issues--that's what having a content-management-based website is all about--and now I go back to slab casting for the awards project and to plan the piece list for the BMAC. That's enough, I think. (Thanks, Dee, for the suggestions on how to juggle multiple crucial projects in the same day and get to all of them). I know I'll be back messing around with DT Register tonight. Judy is also back to work today for the first open day since Christmas Eve. I hope it's easier for her today than it was for me yesterday!


Bill said...

Could it be that you'll be posting at least daily again???


Dee said...

you are definitely having a hair on fire week!

and you are more than welcome for the suggestion ;)

Brenda Griffith said...

I believe I shall try to post daily!

Cynthia Morgan said...

Yes, the more elements the better in casting, I always say. Makes heat distribution as uniform as possible. If the kiln's only an 18-inch cube you may still only need 3 zones, tho--top, bottom, sides. 18 inches isn't all THAT deep.

Other suggestions: A door on the top to let you review progress and charge reservoirs if needed. If it's removable, you might even be able to do the BE dual-kiln casting thing.

If you can, do it bell-style on a waist-high bed, saves untold wear and tear on your back.

Even better, get TWO beds, on wheels, with a way to plug and unplug the bottom elements. That way you can have one bed out on the floor for loading and unloading while the other one fires. I'm gonna be figuring out how to do that on my casting kiln at some point.

Are you going to use the Olympic controller? If not, talk with Digitry about configuring one of their controllers for this thing--the advantage is you can add additional casting kilns, track them on the computer, and even alternate power cycles between two kilns to save energy.