Archive for May, 2005

Sense of place

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

David Kolb has produced a hypertext essay on the nature of modern spaces in cities called Sprawling Places
This hypertext has 100,000 words, 600 pages and 1,000 images
The work is multiply linked and threaded by a number of outlines or themes
It is possible for two (or more) people to ‘read’ the work in quite unconnected ways [...]

Stats on driving risks

Monday, May 30th, 2005

A BBC News article reports a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists into perceived driving risks based on a sample of 700 drivers. The survey finds differences based on gender and age regarding the risks.

60% of women drivers in the sample cited ‘tailgating’ as a major risk compared with 47% of male drivers in [...]

Online manuscripts

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

The Schoenberg Centre for Electronic Text and Image has online images of manuscripts – some of which have blank pages (texture layers in GIMP)

Trike Boy

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Nice bank holiday and good luck with the exams!

emacs on Mac OS X

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Danger: anorak zone

GCSE Maths study skills

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

The list below is a first bash at a study skills handout for GCSE Maths students…

Some quick hints for studying Maths again…You are not alone – get to know other members of the class – you will realise that we are all up the same creek in the same kyak paddling in the same direction.Work [...]

Spicy lentils

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

Recipe for spicy lentils collected by Ismail Merchant from his sister Sherbanu

Map the Web

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

The OPTE project provides views of the distribution of Internet connections and routes

Fierce blogging

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

Performance arts event sets up a public blog to get audience feedback.

Floppy discs in Open Access centres

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

Download a handout for students on organising folders in My Computer. Saves all that stress with failing floppies.


Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

“Alternatives to the ‘monolithic’ VLE, including public domain and open source VLEs, are emerging strongly. Some, such as ‘blogs’ and ‘wikis’, are completely different avenues to electronic publishing and collaboration and can be relatively inexpensive. Although UK universities seem to be surprisingly reluctant to spend less rather than more money on technology solutions, one can [...]

Special graph papers

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

Thanks to Jeremy for this Web site…

Print Free Graph Paper

Seems to have a good range of patterns including polar and log-lin. The metric rulings are on the right, and seem short of smaller divisions (i.e. 20mm/2mm isn’t there). The isometric papers could come in handy for 3-d drawing!

GIMP on Windows ME

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

Use an older version of the GTK+ libraries to run the Gimp 2 on an ancient laptop under Windows ME

Decimal point kills baby?

Friday, May 20th, 2005

“The mistake made by the nurses was a mathematical miscalculation which in other working environments might not have been quite so catastrophic”

The quote is from the coroner in a case of a 15 day old baby given 10 times the prescribed dose of Digoxin to slow a fast heart rate and appears on the BBC [...]

Open Source Software in Schools

Friday, May 20th, 2005

The Becta report based on an ‘oportunity’ sample of schools using Open Source software to varying extents compared to schools using commercial software (i.e. Windows servers, desktops and Office) has now been published (publication was delayed during the General Election).

The BECTa press release has a good summary
The full BECTa report Open Source Software in Schools [...]

How Google works

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

A couple of sites with information on the Mother of all Search Engines

Ubuntu Linux

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

The Ubuntu live cd runs fine on my iBook and lets me demonstrate an alternative operating system

Piles of paper

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

Paper has a function and the paperless office isn’t going to happen. Looking at how people use paper might lead us to understand where IT solutions might work well.

A4 paper ratio

Monday, May 16th, 2005

Why A4 paper is the shape it is?

SQR3 reading method

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Survey! Question! Read! Recite! Review! is a reading framework that is suggested for University students.

As I find myself teaching a reading / writing based subject (Forensic ICT) to a group of sixth formers and some adults in the evening, I come up against problems with reading, summarising and writing. I have been ‘scaffolding’ complex readings [...]


Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Olympus digicam on ‘macro’.

Tinderbox explodes

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Explode command on the Note menu can split notes containing lists into one note per line all children of the original note

Just Breathe (Zen of hacking?)

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Forensic ICT lesson
Students searched for information about Adrian Lamo, the ‘homeless hacker’
Then we read page 3 and 4 of Marc Roger’s essay A New Hacker Taxonomy
Students were invited to analyse aspects of Lamo’s ‘career’ using Rogers’ roles
Disagreements! Arguments focussing on what the roles meant! Useful!
Lamo’s minimalist home page provides an example of embedded hypertext – [...]

Chenobyl by motorbike

Friday, May 13th, 2005

“On the Friday evening of April 25, 1986, the reactor crew at Chernobyl-4, prepared to run a test the next day to see how long the turbines would keep spinning and producing power if the electrical power supply went off line. This was a dangerous test, but it had been done before. As a part [...]

Web design interview

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Zeldman has this link to a Web designer called Joe Clark. Ten Questions for Joe Clark is a thought provoking piece in the style of a pop mag interview. Should get Web design students at least thinking about the issues. Mr Clark links to Techniques for Accessible HTML Tables

And I definitely need a haircut – [...]

Chemistry Numeracy

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

I’m doing some numeracy sessions for HND Chemistry students. I needed lots of specific examples and exercises within the area of Chemistry.

Basics with an emphasis on converting from everyday to metric units – US origin. Good stuff on density. PDF file, part of a comprehensive set of lecture notes
Stuff on standard form part of a [...]

War photographs

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Dmitri Baltermans was an ‘official’ Soviet photographer. His war photographs are bleak and direct. Mark Bernstein quotes Lilia Efimova about the media coverage of the war memorial on May 9th in Moscow.

Level 3 for adults?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

“And the irony is that level 3 is what employers are looking for,” she says. “If we are seriously trying to support our local community through economic regeneration, then we have to kit them out with the best qualifications – which, in London, is level 3 and upwards.”-Barbara Field, Principal of Harrow College, quoted in [...]

GCSE Maths

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Timetabling (that three dimensional jigsaw puzzle) is occuring and it looks like I’ll be teaching a GCSE Maths course next year. Expect a week by week puzzle page. Hot Potatoes looks like the way to go with quizzes and puzzles delivered through a blog like WordPress with ‘future posting’. Animated formulas (see below) might be [...]


Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Napier’s bones

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Napier’s Bones were a 16th century calculating device based on lattice multiplication, from the inventor of logarithms.

NeoOffice – roundtrip?

Monday, May 9th, 2005

NeoOffice/J for Mac OS X is an Aqua native build of OpenOffice 1.4 with Java widgets (the file windows look different). But, it does not round trip edit with Word files alas…


Sunday, May 8th, 2005

An olive oil can leads to choice of colours

This way

Sunday, May 8th, 2005

Virtual Manipulatives

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

The Natioanl Library of Virtual Manipulatives for Interactive Mathematics is a Web site with a large number of Java applets that invite students to explore Mathematics problems. ‘Manipulatives’ is the US term for things like Cuisenaire rods and Dienes blocks.

The Java applets are mapped to the US curriculum based on ‘grades’. I have used [...]

Estimation Game

Friday, May 6th, 2005

Java game speeds up estimation with three digit whole numbers.


Friday, May 6th, 2005

Got the message?

BBC News election results service provides a timely source of statistics – I’ll try to get the spreadsheet of all the votes as well.

Standard deviation

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

An alternate formula and why it might be easier to just use the standard one!

The Gimp

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

The GIMP is a powerful open source image editing application that works on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms. I can edit images in the same application at work (Win 2000) and at home (Mac OS X).

Formula for mode

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

There is a simple graphical construction that you can add to estimate a more accurate value for the mode of a grouped frequency distribution (see the red lines on the sketch graph below).

Can you write a formula for the value of the mode estimate in terms of the locations of the bar boundaries and the [...]

A Hole in the Wall

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

“Within three months of opening up of the Internet kiosk, it was found that the children, mostly from the slum, had achieved a certain level of computer skills without any planned instructional intervention. They were able to browse the Internet, download songs, go to cartoon sites, work on MS Paint. They even invented their own [...]

Lorenz attractor

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

Edward Lorenz was using a primitive computer (it was 1963) to numerically integrate an apparently simple set of coupled differential equations. The computer worked to 6 decimal places and printed out each line to 3 places. Restarting a run, he noticed that the trace started looking similar but became slowly different to a previous run [...]