For a while now, I’ve been asking my students to submit their work as PDFs online using moodle (or email). I always use open source tools to annotate and grade these documents. There are several apps out there for this, I happen to use Xournal. The problem was that my preferences in Xournal were never saved. So I figured if I had the problem, maybe others do to. Here’s how to fix it:
First find where the preferences are stored. In Linux, these are found in a text file in my Home folder. I assume it will be similar in Windows. I edited this text file to automatically start with good grading tools already selected: ie. Red text with a Serif font.
$ gedit ~/.xournal/config
Then Ctrl+F and find “startup_tool” set this to “text”
Then Ctrl+F for “pen_color”and change this to “red”
Finally Ctrl+F for “default_font” and set this to “Serif”.
Save the file and you are done. Now every time you open Xournal, these settings will be loaded and you can just start commenting and grading without having to do any additional tool selections.
In about 2006, Atari sold some key chain games that connected to your TV via RCA jacks. I am a huge lover of retro games due to the hardware challenges of the time and what clever people were able to build. For a while now, I’ve wanted to get a tiny CRT screen from an old video camera viewfinder and pair it with these super tiny games. Finally, I decided to do it (check out the video below!!!).
I went on ebay and grabbed a VF-129 display module board. This is the Black and white display from an old Sony Handicam. I looked up the repair manual for that camcorder to see what info I could find out about the module. They have everything described from adjusting the alignment of the screen to the full-on schematic and PCB art.
The B&W displays connect with 4 wires: Power (4.7 volts) Ground, Composite video input (Y) and there’s a line to turn on an LED to show that the board is turned on. I got mine for $20-ish on ebay, but you can find them other places likely cheaper. The color viewfinder screens actually take composite video input (RGB inputs) from what I’ve read so those might be cool for other projects.
I opened up the battery pack and soldered half of a USE cable to the outputs. I used a USB cable because it had 4 wires. I am using 3 (power, ground and composite video) for the screen and one more for the audio. The battery pack looks funny because I had previously added a vacuum-formed topper and added screws and a switch to make it look like a real Atari game console years ago. It was on an old blahrg of mine somewhere, but I’ll never remember which one, even if I can it is likely down. Here are a few pics of the build of that if you are interested.
I ripped a tiny speaker from a greeting card and attached it to the CRT with foam tape and wired it to share the ground of the PCB. I put it on the bottom because those tiny speakers are meant to vibrate some object to help the noise be louder. In a greeting card, the paper works, but I like just sitting it on the table (especially those cheap $7 Ikea tables which are basically hollow paper mache’). Being on the bottom allows for full contact with the surface. Not to mention, this is the best place I could find to put it such that the tiny magnet doesn’t interfere with the CRT image much.
Enough talk, Just watch the video.
I got tired of going to the dropbox website to find the public link for files I put in the Public folder. On Windows you can simply right click–>get Public link, but I’m running LinuxMint with Dropbox version 2.0.22 which doesn’t support this (among many other things like Pausing a sync…)
Anyway I wrote a script that you can just drag your files onto and it’ll pop up a box showing you the public link. In Linux, a script alone can’t do this, but a script and a .desktop file can call a script to do it. Here’s what I got:
Save the following in a text file called “getPublicLink.sh” inside your Dropbox/Public folder. Make sure it has permission to run (right-click the file–> properties –>permission and check the box to allow it to run)
A while back, we released all the manuals for SheekGeek kits like the WASP Original and Black Widow Walker manuals to the public. We have a newer version of the WASP called the WASP 2.0 and we are releasing the Manual and schematic for it. We’d love to see what modifications you can make with the new WASP! Feel free to post in the comments.
I have implemented many “Git r done” routines in my life. Whether online at todoist, or in real life on a post-it note, to do lists are my bread and butter. (I actually really love bread and butter. ) When I get to the root of it, to do lists are my attempt to feel better about my work/life balance.
There are only so many minutes in a day, and I find it easy to beat myself up about how much I get accomplished. The best realization that I ever came to is for short time to do lists. I only put down what I can reasonably accomplish in the given time frame. That way I feel good about marking everything off instead of depressed about only finishing two of my 900 things to do. I feel even better when I have “extra” time to get things finished that I didn’t expect to.
A little bit about me: I started two new jobs this past year! One is my full time gig. The other is a part time thing, but requires Monday-Friday attention. I embrace change. I heart change. I yearn for change. Still, these two changes put me for a loop. New = learning curve = more time needed. I’m still adjusting to these changes, but proud of my successes with all this newness going on.
It is easy for me to compare myself to other people, which usually results in negative feelings about my self image. Most of this arises when I compare myself to people who are not like me. Young House Love is a great example. They post 7-8 posts a week. Gah! It is easy to feel jealous, but then I remind myself that two awesome people are working more than 40 hours a week to accomplish that feat. Comparing yourself to others does not help the work+life=happy equation. Compare yourself to your previous self. How has your life changed and how have you adjusted (for the good and/or the bad)? Be your own yardstick for growth.
I was inspired to write this post from another post, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” from Young House Love. I love that it offers advice from a myriad of different people, so you can soak in what sings to you. I found myself nodding along to some advice, thinking “Hey, I do that!”:
Some of my fav “new” ideas to try include:
What idea is your fav?
Yesterday was a great Saturday for exploring new places. Adam and I watched our first roller derby game. We sat in “suicide seating” which was on the ground right on the rink. Even better, our home team – the Charlotte Roller Girls – won their bout. Next Adam took me to a great burger joint called the Kickstand. It was great food and I surprisingly (or maybe not too surprisingly) loved having avocado on my burger.
In honor of exploring new places, I felt inspired to tackle the skill of changing signs in photos to say what you want. Here is the original photo I took at a North Carolina beach.
Here is version 1.
This time around I don’t have a very strong favorite and I like them all. Take all of them as a “sign”
After yesterday’s photo word art centered around the quote “You can’t plow a field by turning it over in your mind“, I still had remnants of inspiration. Last summer my father came to visit, and I was thinking about our adventures because he is going to be returning again. Last visit, he discovered an amazing privately owned lake that is open to public visitors. I took the following photo at that lake.
I wanted simplicity with my creations. Here are my afters.
Last, my favorite.
I am in love with the above. I really see my self taught Photoshop skills growing in the above transformation. Yay for progress!
I was listless last night when I stumbled across this quote:
You can’t plow a field by turning it over in your mind. It inspired me to use a tree picture I had taken and turn it into inspirational word art.
Here is the before.
Here are the afters.
This is my second favorite of the group.
A friend commented that the text was hard to read, so at the last moment I created the version that became my favorite of the bunch.
Inspiration to get things done is always needed!
How to create your random superhero name courtesy of NiceGirlNote’s post titled “You Villain“. You take the pattern or color of your shirt and creatively combine it with and object to your left.
Adam is Master GreyFace. (He was wearing a grey shirt and was next to a face mask from our last sanding project.)
My villain name is Countess SparrowRock. (My shirt has birds on it and I had a rock paperweight next to me).
What would your super villain name be?
(The featured image for this post is by Sam Lavy.)