I’ve already mentioned one good tool for research papers, so here’s another that might be helpful.
Most schools have a set format for their dissertations and theses. My school was the same. They provide a manual showing what they expect your formatting to be. Many people have trouble with this. You must make a meeting with a specific faculty member in the graduate school and she will take a ruler and measure your margins, and go over in extreme detail the spacing, numbering, etc. of your document. Many many people get rejected and I’ve even talked to people who pay lots of money for other people to format the documents for them. They don’t provide an exact template for any specific software, but using the google machine can help you find Microsoft Word or LaTeX tempaltes. Personally, I like LibreOffice it is completely cross-platform (works on windows, mac, and linux systems) completely free, open source, has lots of great plugins and it lives in the world between Microsoft Windows and LaTeX. It is GUI-based (WYSIWYG, visual) like Microsoft Word, but also much more powerful like LaTeX. I dislike LaTeX because it is incredibly buggy and you have to program your text documents. I program other stuff all day long, I am sick of that!
Anyway, I made my own template and write up a very detailed explanation on how to use it and my best tips and tricks for modifying the basic template if you want. I also have a chart of suggested plugins to make your papers look amazingly good and professional. Again, I used LibreOffice, so it can be used in OpenOffice as well. This is specific to my school, so be sure you double check your school’s documents to see exactly what kind of margins and page numbering they require. (Note it is in Open document Format and though I haven’t tested it, it *might* work in other programs like Microsoft Word).
This is the last in my five part focus series.
This year I am focusing on:
Of course I have to have share a more generic version for the world to love.
Happy New Year!
This is part three of the focus series.
I wanted something with fun colors and loved the quote I found here. I’m usually quite the optimist, but I have felt that part of my personality weakening. I am working on flexing that muscle.
Adam and I saw this tree while driving down a country road. He is the one that took this picture.
This is number two in the focus series. The original inspiration was here.
It is too easy to get caught up in what other people want, or what you think other people want. As a wife and teacher, I am used to putting other people first. I have good ideas that will remain simply that if I do not focus on making them a reality. That does not make me selfish. Focusing on my ideas will benefit others. (Repeat to self.)
I was feeding this raft of ducks and although they were individually focused, they remained a team.
Checkout my first in the focus series here.
I feel like my life can take a million different directions and I want to be open to every single one. Realistically, I want the journeys I take to be purposeful and the best ones possible. With that, I have my word for 2014.
I loved this quote, so I used it to create my own word art. This is the first in a series of 5.
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.
UPDATE: In Windows, Xournal configurations are hard to find. You must first set it up so you can view hidden folders and files (Go to Start menu–> Control panel –> Appearances and Optimizations –> Folder Options –> Show hidden files and Folders. Look for the radio buttons and select “Show hidden files, folders, or drives”. While I’m in here I usually also uncheck “Hide extensions of known filetypes” which lets me rename files including their filetype and see what types of files they are directly.
Once you do this, you can run Xournal and “Save Preferences” once as Ken mentioned in the comments below. Close Xournal first, then go to the path “C:Users\<username>\.xournal (Notice the dot in “.xournal”!!!) Open the “Config” file in a text editor (like notepad or notepad++ or Sublime text editor) Now you can make the changes above, and save.
A note of caution, edit a PDF with text, export it, then open it in another PDF reader to make sure it does not mess up. Sometimes when editing the config file, the Font doesn’t work correctly and I end up with garbage text and random characters on my exported copy which isn’t useful for students. If this happens to you, simply delete the config file and start over.
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.