Welcome to SKHowell.com

This is primarily a personal site.

now on new host...

contact info: nick (at) skhowell.com

One of these days I really will have to get around to completely redoing this site.

Status Update

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.

New Kittens

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

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 here

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).

Miscellaneous Utilities

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:

Turbo Pascal

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

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