Welcome to SKHowell.com
This is primarily a personal site.
now on new host...
nick (at) skhowell.com
One of these days I really will have to get around to completely redoing this site.
I recently retired from the
Federal Bureau of Prisons after 27 or so years, most of them in the Office of Research and Evaluation where
my specialty was primarily information delivery systems, programmer support utilities and LAN operations.
Shortly after our youngest daughter, Nichole, adopted a Pixie-bob kitten, we (Marie and I) fell victim to
the bug and adopted two ourselves (some photos here). We brought our two down to visit at Nichole's over Labor Day weekend. I've
put up a page with a small collection of photos from that visit.
My mother has been without a cat since her adopted Maine Coon passed on a number of months back. She had been following Nichole and our selections and was impressed by the character and appearance of the kittens. As a birthay gift, we made arrangements for her to adopt Buster, Lucille's sibling.
I picke up Buster and drove him down to her place in Charlotte, NC. It was a 7 hour trip and Buster did very well. I took some photos on the trip down and his first couple of days at his new home.
Click here to view some of those photos.
We found these guys at Aristotle's Pride Cattery in Lovettsville, VA which is run by Sigrid Fry-Revere. A great loving environment for raising adorable Pixie-bobs.
Key Indicators is a project with which I have been involved
at the Office of Research and Evaluation of the (US) Federal Bureau of Prisons over the last
thirteen or so years.
It is an information system whose full name is"Key Indicators, a Strategic Support System" and
the common use acronym "KI/SSS".
KI/SSS is a PC based system that has been distributed, monthly, on CD-ROM since 1990.
It was designed and produced completely in-house, and was one of the first PC CD-ROM
applications regularly published by a federal government entity for in-house distribution,
providing data warehouse functions before the term became a catch-phrase. It is like a super detailed annual report,
updated at monthly intervals, and with multi-year coverage.
In 1999, I built a web server "wrapper" around the core components and made the system
available to web browsers on the BOP's secure intranet.
A brief historical overview of the project, from a design and implementation perspective,
is found here: Key Indicators History
Here a copy of the user guide for the CD-ROM version :
Key Indicators User Guide
Multi-media lessons on using the KI/SSS intranet web site are
available as Qarbon Viewlets.
(These are some that I prepared ...)
Introduction to the KI/SSSNetRunner website
Target List Filtering in NetRunner
Target Selection in NetRunner
Prison Social Climate Survey (PSCS)
The Prison Social Climate Survey (PSCS) is an institutional environment scale used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It is administered annually to a stratified, proportional, sample of FBOP employees. My PSCS Viewer application is the standard mechanism for returning results from the survey in a timely fashion. An introductory document for the PSCS Viewer is found
Multi-media lessons on using the Prison Social Climate Survey Viewer are
available as Qarbon Viewlets:
(Jennifer Batchelder, one of my co-workers, authored these viewlets...)
introduction to the PSCS Viewer
introduction to the PSCS Viewer
Within Institution scans with the PSCS Viewer
Across Institution scans with the PSCS Viewer
Another project was a web-based data collection and retrieval system for the Inmate Skills Development branch. The Inmate Skills Assessment (ISA) application was done as a pilot implementation of what was originally a paper format. Eventually, our Office of Information Systems will merge a version of this system into the BOP's on-line information system.
Introduction to the ISA application (Patty Butterfield supplies the narration in this viewlet).
I have a few "quickie" utilities that were done for some specific
needs in our office which might be useful in some other settings.
They were all written in Delphi (the 32bit Windows successor to
Turbo Pascal). They are:
- PRINTME.EXE - Used to print ASCII formatted files in a drag and drop fashion. It permits selection of printer and font, and remembers the user settings for future operation. This was done to make it easier for folks in the office to get printed output from mainframe & PC statistical applications.
- RENAM.EXE- Used to modify file names for groups of files. Function is similar to that of a search and replace edit, to replace a specified substring with a new string (or nothing ...). Also permits moving the file extension to the end of the file name, replacing it with a constant (i.e. change photo.001 and photo.002 to photo001.jpg and photo002.jpg).
- DROPCOPY.EXE- Overcomes a shortcoming associated with using the find file results as a backup mechanism. You
can use the find files dialog to locate all files modified within a particular period,
but if you then do a select, and drag & drop to a removable media, you find that none
of the directory information comes along. All files are dropped into the same directory. DROPCOPY allows a base directory to be selected as a destination for all
dropped files, then clones the directory structure associated with the original file location on top of that starting point. Optionally, directories representing drive letters can be created to facilitate copy of files from multiple source drives. This routine was done to make it easier to use a CD-RW as a backup device on some older W95 configurations that didn't recognize non-tape devices as backup destinations.
There are some items here that may be of interest to folks still working with
Borland's Turbo Pascal package located here:
Turbo Pascal Items