Archive for April, 2005


Saturday, April 30th, 2005

MacNoteTaker is a possible work around for not being able to synchronise memo pad files. It is a Palm application that allows long notes and a Mac OS X conduit that allows notes to be synchronised and exported as text files. I’d rather just have a conduit for memo pad documents, but this looks better [...]

Palm Desktop for Mac OS X

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

My little monochrome zire 21 organiser comes in handy for quick notes on the train. The Mac OS X Palm Desktop software is currently at version 4.2.1. If you unstuff and then run the installer, you get a system error message – the installer does not check user rights on the Application folder correctly. The [...]

Apple and sweet papers

Friday, April 29th, 2005

“When researching new processes we often find ourselves working with different industries. It was interesting working with a confectionery manufacturer. Their experience in the science of translucent colour control helped us understand processes to ensure consistency in high volume.”

From Jonathan Ive’s account of the 1998 iMac design (this would be the slot loader judging by [...]

Processing 1.0 β

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Processing is a programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and sound. It is used by students, artists, designers, architects, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional [...]

Probability simulations

Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Planetqhe is a site by David Kay Harris dealing with probability. There are Excel spreadsheets that present problems in probability in a novel way, including two stage tree diagrams.

The presentation is different to the usual one in UK GCSE textbooks – Harris is head of Maths at the International School of Toulouse and the site [...]

Bill Stickers

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

Geometry applet

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

David E Joyce of the Clarke University has provided a set of Java classes that allow complex geometrical constructions too be built using parameters passed to a Java applet.

The Geometry Applet
Euclid’s elements with dynamic diagrams

The geometry applet looks as if it could be used to provide dynamic graphics to help students explore locii and circle [...]

Writing, Briefly

Monday, April 25th, 2005

Paul Graham’s essay on Writing, Briefly took just over an hour to write – and two thirds of that was spent re-writing. I learned about anaphora.

rLogo puzzle

Monday, April 25th, 2005

rLogo is a Java based implementation of the Logo programming language. I used a simple ‘starter’ in a recent Maths lesson where students had to learn about the exterior and interior angles of a polygon and learn to solve problems along the lines of ‘can a regular polygon have an interior angle of 125 degrees?’.

On [...]


Monday, April 25th, 2005

The Constellations

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

If you need to find out about a star constellation then Richard Dibbon-Smith’s Web site about The Constellations is what you need. The table is sorted alphabetically and includes all 88 constellations (personally, I would have grouped them by Northern and Southern hemisphere with a generous overlap but who is arguing?)

Richard sells a couple of [...]


Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

Tinderbox is a note taking application for Mac OS X. A Windows version is in the works – in fact the author Mark Bernstein’s blog includes a link to his development peekhole for Tinderbox.

Tinderbox has a range of powerful features for organising and visualising relationships between notes – such that I am going to try [...]


Friday, April 22nd, 2005

The starting square has side 1. Another side 1 square appears, and then a side 2 square is added across the top of them. Then a square of side 3 appears to the left, and a sqare of side 5 appears underneath.

The sequence of the sides of the squares is like this…
1, 1, 2, 3, [...]

Macintosh religion?

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

“The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counterreformist and has been influenced by the “ratio studiorum” of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, [...]

(simulated) blood stains

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

recipe: 300ml of milk and three tablespoons of treacle – warm milk over electric hotplate in milk pan. Spoon treacle in and stir well.
looks lumpy but dries (in a few days) really convincingly
Students set up a dissection board or similar with some wall paper afixed – set the board at known angles
drop the simulated blood [...]


Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Paul Graham quoted on Daring Fireball in a wonderfully named article Point, Counterpoint: Mac OS X Is Great for Fortysomething Unix Hackers – the title being very close to home.

“In 1994 my friend Koling wanted to talk to his girlfriend in Taiwan, and to save long-distance bills he wrote some software that would convert sound [...]

Lunar orbiter images

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

xephem CD-Roms arrived from US today, about a week after I ordered the package.
The second disc makes the entire Lunar Orbiter photograph collection available to xephem
Click on a lunar disc (viewable up to x6 scale) and bring up the feature name
Apple-click to bring up a dialog box with information
Click a button in the information dialog [...]

Enchanted learning

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Enchanted Learning is a Web site with a large number of simple resources produced by a teacher(?). A colleague uses this Web site for quick lesson ideas when covering absence in the SLDD section, and she really appreciated the resources on offer. The site asked for a small donation to cover the costs of running [...]

Google bodmas

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

The first few sites that come up when you google bodmas are

Clearly time for a well thought out information page on the mnemonic acronym with examples, history and a few games. Watch this space…

Children using the Web…

Monday, April 18th, 2005

The NFER has a long term project (started in 2002) tracking students’ experience of citizenship education. The most recent report is referenced as follows….CLEAVER, E., IRELAND, E., KERR, D. and LOPES, J. (2005). Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study: Second Cross-Sectional Survey 2004 Listening to Young People: Citizenship Education in England (DfES Research Report 626). London: DfES

The [...]

Flat world

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

“In his new book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, Thomas Friedman suggests that because of the universal availability of communications and information processing sciences, the entire global community is now spanned by common technological skills and organizational methods.”

– Alan Miller

Translation If we are going to continue [...]

Strayhorn runs bodmas

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

The bodmas site is now being run through WordPress 1.5 with a few additions…

Default Kubrick theme has been munged to remove images and to present post text as right ragged instead of justified
The Kubrick theme uses excerpts to generate archive and category pages – I have changed this to full post content
The Custom Query String [...]


Friday, April 15th, 2005

Xephem is a Unix/Mac OS X based sky chart and ephemeris program. The program costs $80 for a precompiled version on CD-Rs or by download along with a huge set of catalogues and the Lunar Orbiter images. An identical version is available for download only at $60. This is a 1 Gb download spread over [...]

Audacity sound editor

Friday, April 15th, 2005

Free sound editor available for download
Versions for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows
Can edit MP3s and .wav formats
Can record from microphone or other sources supported by the computer
Supports a sound programming language called Nyquist
Possibly the best icon I have seen for an open source program – wouldn’t mind getting the T-shirt!
I have this idea of [...]

Thinking with type

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

Ellen Lupton’s book Thinking With Type is supported by a useful and thought provoking Web site. A table links to short pages of information on various concepts to do with typography and page layout, mainly for printed pages. The table columns move along a logical sequence of scales (Letter – Text – Grid). There is [...]

CIMT GCSE Materials

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

The Centre for Innovation in Maths Teaching based at the University of Exeter provides a range of materials for free download on their Web pages. In particular, there is the Mathematics Enhancement Programme for key stage 4 that provides GCSE maths materials as PDF downloads. There are 20 units available, and the units are provided [...]

Information access?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

The Business School hack has highlighted issues of definition around access to information. The (US based) article in The Register by Mark Rasch reports the facts as follows…

Some US business schools farm out processing of Web based applications to a third party Web company
Someone identified a security hole in the system used to process the [...]

The Teddy

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

“Teddys would be with their user for their entire lives. They would change in shape and form to match the growing sophistication and interests of the person, but each time someone got a new model Teddy, the information from the earlier version would be transferred to the new. As a result, Teddy would always retain [...]

Being Analog(ue)

Monday, April 4th, 2005

Don Norman is the other half of Nielsen and Norman the usability consultants. He has provided Chapter 7 of his book The Invisible Computer as a Web reading. The title of the chapter is Being Analog – which we as humans are… You can also read other chapters on the MIT Press site and [...]

Blog upgraded to Strayhorn

Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

This blog is now running on Wordpress strayhorn using a theme munged from the WordPress classic. Ultimately, I’ll be running the whole site from this blog.

The upgrade was as simple as suggested. Nice one chaps.