Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Jewish New Year/A death in the family/My first video clip

The Jewish New Year fell on Wednesday evening, which is very good timing for most Israelis as it means that we have a very long weekend, Wednesday - Saturday; we will have the same in another two weeks time and again in three weeks time.

I have tried to make good use of this time: I worked several hours as a Priority consultant (from home, developing a complicated program) and I worked four hours for the Occupational Psychologist. I worked for one hour on my research proposal, adding a certain amount of material, but I was supposed to add a page or two about grounded theory. I'll try to do this during the coming week.

I also cooked every day - salmon, chicken portions, a whole chicken and meatballs. I managed to burn my mouth with roast potatoes on the first night, which made eating the next day problematic. Fortunately the mouth heals itself.

On Thursday we went to Netanya to visit one of my wife's uncles: he went swimming in the sea two weeks ago and suffered some form of heart attack as he was getting out of the sea. This caused him to collapse, and although the water was less than knee-high, he managed to swallow a fair amount of seawater. The lifeguard pulled him out immediately, and fortunately there was a doctor on the beach who also helped. The ingested seawater caused a lung infection which was treated in the hospital. When we saw him, he was much better, and was laughing and joking with us. The following day another uncle informed us that he had died that morning. The funeral will be tomorrow.

The kibbutz has a tradition of hosting a special evening on Yom Kippur where people read poems or stories, or sing songs which are very meaningful. I don't know exactly what happens as I fast on Yom Kippur and am never in the mood for such an evening. A few years ago, I prepared a disc with my version of an Israeli song which means a great deal to me. Apparently this was well received. I had been intending to prepare another song for this year, but when walking the dog a few nights ago, I thought that it would be even better if I could prepare a video of me 'performing' the song.

I've never done anything like this before and don't really have the necessary tools. I made a rough storyboard of how the video would run, each part corresponding to a different part in the song. Originally I thought that I would have to film the entire song four or five times, each time in a different setting, so that eventually I could take the parts which I wanted, but later I realised that I only needed to film each intended segment and then build the final video from each segment.

This morning I enlisted my wife as camera-person; she wasn't familiar with the song which became problematic as she didn't know when each segment was supposed to start. Nevertheless, after about an hour and twenty three segments (only eleven are required: certain segments had to be filmed several times whereas others were filmed only once), the hard part - or so I thought - was over.

After lunch, I started editing the segments. In the past, I have made movies of our holidays, but in those cases, the music was edited (if at all) to fit the action. This time around, I had to edit the film to fit the music and this was exceedingly difficult. I was able to synchronise the segments in which I am singing, but several of the instrumental parts are unsynchronised - at least to my eyes. There must be a better way of doing this for otherwise I doubt whether I will try again.

The video can be found here.

Tomorrow it's back to work for a full and normal week.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Literature review - I don't believe this!

One of the early problems which I faced in finding papers suitable for review in my doctoral thesis is that ERP has several meanings: Enterprise Resource Planning is the meaning that I use, but the acronym also stands for Event Related (brain) Potential. When searching for material with Google Scholar, it is best to use the full name rather than the acronym, otherwise one gets results which are connected to research about nerves.

Checking one recent paper, I came across this gem in its literature review (Orougi, S. : "Recent advances in enterprise resource planning", Accounting (1), 2015, 37-42): According to Armstrong et al. (2015), the human brain continually creates electrical potentials representing neural communication and they can be computed at the scalp, and constitute the electroencephalogram (EEG). They used different pattern classifiers to ERPs representing the response of individuals to a stream of text designed to be familiar to various individuals. They reported that there were robustly identifiable features of the ERP, which enable labeling of ERPs. Bueno and Salmeron (2008) concentrated on decisive factors affecting on the ERP users’ acceptance and implementation. They developed a technique based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) for examining the effect of the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) on ERP implementation.

From Bueno and Salmeron onwards, the ERP referred to is the type of ERP which interests me, but the first half of the paragraph is about a different meaning of ERP! How come the journal's editors never spotted this?

From the above, it can be inferred that I am working again on my research proposal; at the moment I am looking at definitions of 'success' with regard to ERP programs in general and enhancements in particular (no one seems to have researched this latter topic). This is in response to remarks made by my new mentor; I have to admit that I find it very difficult to understand what he is getting at. This isn't helped by remarks such as "while you again say you do not understand what I am saying to you, you do not specify what it is". It seems that there is mutual incomprehension; I am trying to read between the lines as much as possible but it is very difficult.