Sunday, December 21, 2008

How to make Vistas Shutdown button actually shut down the computer

This is a real pain in Vista, when I click the shutdown button it just  makes the computer go to sleep. (From a design point of view the least MS could have done is has a different button for shutdown and sleep!!)


Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Change Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Settings

Now look for Power Buttons and Lid > Start menu Power Button and change the setting for both On attery and Plugged in to Shutdown

 There that wasn't so hard !!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

HP /Compaq - Restore your system without disks

I need to put this somewhere!!


this will completely erase your computer and it will be in the same condition as when you bought it from the shop new. All your programs/photos, etc will be removed. 


Many HP/Compaq computers have a recovery partition installed (most often you will see it as drive D: (e.g. PRESEARIO (D:) )


1. If you need to repair/restore from the hard drive, restart the computer and press f11 when prompted.

2. It may also be possible to run from the start menu

Start > All Programs > Recovery Manager > Recovery Manager
> Advanced options > System Recovery

-- To burn your own set of recovery disks --

Start > All Programs > Recovery Manager > Recovery Manager > Advanced Options > Recovery Disk Creation

** warning - I think this can only be done once - so use good quality CD/DVDs (and make sure you have enough)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Test you color IQ

Something else from JJ

If a map shows, click on the country name at the bottom

(I managed a 4)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

imgBurn - Freeware CD/DVD burning software

Another from JJ

Bonus is that it can fix filters that are installed by some DVD programs (such as quicktime). The filters install Digital Rights management that can prevent other programs from burning when the installed software (like quicktime) is deinstalled.

ImgBurn (2008) The Official imgBurn Web Site/ Retrieved November 27, 2008 from

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Personal google

Due to the number of searches I do, Google has decided to dedicate a page just for me.

Google for virtualMV

(Found by Robyn P)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Checking your internet (broadband?) speed

Another one from JJ

Has a neat graphical interface. 

Ookla (n.d.) The Global Broadband Speed Test. Retrieved November 12, 2008 from

Google Scholar (finding the original paper)

In some cases google scholar may store alternative versions of a paper which can contain a readible version, and these can be found by clicking on the "All n versions" hyperlink.

Purdy, K. (2008) Get Around Academic Paper Restrictions. Retrieved November 11, 2008 from

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mootools - a compact, modular, Object-Oriented JavaScript framework

From JJ. 

MooTools is a compact, modular, Object-Oriented JavaScript framework designed for the intermediate to advanced JavaScript developer. It allows you to write powerful, flexible, and cross-browser code with its elegant, well documented, and coherent API.

  • Home page:

  • Demos:

  • Ajax example downloads:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Video files (offline)

Not sure about the legality, but for students (and you) to use youTube videos (offline) in presentations (especially if your organisation has a firewall that blocks YouTube) you can try which will allow them to download the videos.

Web Design

Joyce pointed me to a web page analysis by Brooke Marshall

Marshall, B. (2008). Obama defeats McCain. Retrieved October 29, 2008, from

Friday, October 24, 2008

Windows XP - adding a folder open icon to task bar

Although I know most of you are probaby using Windows Vista, I thought Id better document this before I forget how.

On my IBM Laptop there is no windows key, so how to I create a quick link equivalent to [Windows]+[E] (open explorer) (in this example I will get it to open Drive D).

  1. Right click on the desktop and New > Shortcut

  2. In the "type the location of the item box type in... 
    %systemroot%\explorer.exe /n,/e,D:

  3. In the "Type a name for this shortcut" enter
    "Explorer D"

Other stuff

  1. Test it by double clicking

  2. To change the icon, right click and click change icon button

  3. To add to your task bar (the one with Start at the bottom of the screen, just drag it (I delete my desktop one)

  4. To open a specific folder (eg. D:\myfolder\GoodStuff ) in properties: 
          Target : %systemroot%\explorer.exe /n,/e,D:\myfolder\GoodStuff
           Start in: D:

.. easy aye...

By the way if you really want to create a shutdown icon in XP, the code for this is
shutdown -s -t 0 (the last character is a zero)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Digital Photo tools: getpaint and Faststone

Photo applications from JJ (and only 1.6 MB)

Paint program (like Photoshop/Paintshop) Retrieved September 22, 2008 from

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for Microsoft Paint.

Image viewer Retrieved September 22, 2008 from

Animage browser, converter and editor that supports all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA. It has a nice array of features such as image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, color adjustments, musical slideshow and much more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A commentary of the relevance of images in a presentation

Although imagine if it was just John McCain in front of a blank screen - would this be better or worse??

Monday, August 25, 2008

How many list members does it take to change a light bulb?

At the risk of doing exactly what the post states... but it is useful to explain the impact of lists...

(pinched from Nancy White's Blog: August 25, 2008 from


How many list members does it take to change a light bulb?

  • One to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.

  • Fourteen to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

  • Seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

  • Seven more to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.

  • Five to flame the spell checkers.

  • Three to correct spelling/grammar flames.

  • Six to argue over whether it’s “lightbulb” or “light bulb” … another six to condemn those six as stupid.

  • Fifteen to claim experience in the lighting industry and give the correct spelling.

  • Nineteen to post that this group is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb (or light bulb) forum.

  • Eleven to defend the posting to the group saying that we all use light bulbs and there fore the posts are relevant to this group.

  • Thirty six to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.

  • Seven to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

  • Four to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL.

  • Three to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.

  • Thirteen to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add “Me too.”

  • Five to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.

  • Four to say “didn’t we go through this already a short time ago?”

  • Thirteen to say “do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs.”

  • Three to tell a funny story about their show dog and a light bulb.


  • One group lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now with something unrelated they found at and start the thing all over again.

Internet Mimes

The term Internet meme describes a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet.

An interactive view of the all the memes that swept across the internet and burrowed in our zeitgeist. Built from Wikipedia and Memelabs, open for you to add and maintain.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Microsoft Launches Free Photosynth for Combining Shots Into One Picture

From ACM TechNews, Friday, August 22, 2008. ACM TechNews (HTML) td {font-family: verdana, arial, geneva; font-size: 9.5pt; line-height: 1.2;}

Microsoft Launches Free Photosynth for Combining Shots Into One Picture
Seattle Times (08/21/08) Romano, Benjamin J.

Microsoft Live Labs has released Photosynth, a free program that creates three-dimensional virtual environments, or synths, from overlapping photographs. Dozens of synths are available for viewing on the Photosynth Web site, including some from National Geographic, which assigned photographers to document wonders of the world such as Stonehenge using Photosynth. Photosynth group manager David Gedye says if the project is successful, then the researchers have invented a new form of media that is halfway between photos, computer games, and video that offers rich detail, user-controlled navigation, and cinematic qualities. Microsoft suggests that people create synths using from 10 to 300 photos taken specifically for Photosynth. The photos should cover the subject from all sides and from a variety of perspectives. A moderately powerful computer can calculate a synth from about a dozen photographs in about five minutes by matching elements they have in common to reconstruct the subject.
Click Here to View Full Article

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Search using cuil - Google rival

Cuil is a new search engine started by former engineers from Google and several other tech giants.

 2008-Jul-28 : Cuil claims to be able to search across 120 billion Web pages, compared with Google's 40 billion.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Web 2.0 Mosaic

And you wonder why Web 2.0 has sooo much about it....

World Mosaic Created From 1001 Web 2.0 Logos(n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2008 from

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Web 2.0 presentation

I have posted my Web 2.0 panel presentation into slideshare

[slideshare id=505753&doc=2008verhaartnaccqweb20m-1215603509087482-8]

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Can you hear these Mozzie sounds?

Mosquito ringtones - download the original mosquito ringtone from Teen Buzz. Retrieved July 3, 2008 from

You could theoretically design an alarm clock that wakes everyone else (younger than you) up!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Firefox extensions xpi error

Have been toying with developing an extension for firefox and uploaded the file to my brinkster account.

Trying to create a web based install using the Javascript code I created a xpi file and the JavaScript. (The xpi file is just a zip file renamed). Trying to install into my firefox gave a -223 error (I think that was it).

so...trying to isolate the error....

When I upload as a .zip I can download via my web page, but when I either upload as a zip or upload as a zip and rename the file it will not download correctly.

Download the xpi file then rename as zip. Then opening gives a file corrupt error.

One possible suggestion  ( was
You are using Microsoft IIS as your webserver, but the MIME type (also called "Content-type", or "Internet Media type") for XPI files has not been added to your IIS configuration.

To fix this problem, add the following to your IIS MIME types configuration:
Extension:      .xpi
Mime Type:      application/x-xpinstall

Brinkster added this to their IIS server and all is sweet now.

So, now onto adding some JavaScript to my extension :)

Ad aware removal tool

One of my colleagues was recently infected with an adaware virus and found CW shredder did a brilliant job.

CNet (2008) CWShredder - Free software downloads and reviews - CNET Retrieved July 2, 2008, from

Really wish I had my APA reference generator extension ready for Firefox.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Office 2007 interactive guides

Wondering where your favorite Office 2003 commands are located in the new 2007 Office system interface? ...visit ...

 Microsoft (2008). Guides to the 2007 Office system user interface. Retrieved June 12, 2008 from

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Creating a Firefox add-in

I'm playing around creating a Firefox add-in (as well as looking into an IE plug-in). These pages describe how to do it (it shows how you can use Visual Studio to help). Lots of ads which is a bit annoying but shows how it is done.

Mueller, J. (2006) Creating Your Own Firefox Add-in with Visual Studio. Retrieved June 7, 2008 from

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Flash Links

Some Flash links from Olga.

Displaying text

Campbell, C. (2008) Creating a Custom Scroller in Flash . Retrieved June 5, 2008 from


Adobe (n.d.) An example of using styles with XML -- Flash CS3. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from

Kipupa (2008) Displaying XML Data in Flash - Page 2. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from
(simple helps understand XML in flash)

Kipupa (2008) XML to TextField - Page 2. Retrieved June 5, 2008
(Not easy to follow but extensive)


LearnFlash (n.d.) How to use AS instead of motion tweens to animate objects (Tween, Bounce and Elastic Classes). Retrieved June 5, 2008 from


Experst Exchange (2008) How Do I Use a Flash Button to Open an Email Client and Pre-fill Subject and Body? Retrieved June 5, 2008 from

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Downloading the Internet

For those of you who want to view the Internet offline, you can download it from ....


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Virus Removal: AntiVir, AVG, Stinger, AutoRuns

I had a PC with the MSN Messenger virus to fix. The virus program supplied with the PC had expired and not been renewed.  This post describes some of the steps which may be useful to others in removing a virus.

So de-installed the existing virus program and installed Avira AntiVir ( ) a free antivirus program which deletes as opposed to quarantines viruses. If found and destroyed the virus, but on startup 2 dlls were trying to find their code.

Eventually found that they were in the registry so used regedt to remove (be very careful here).  JJ pointed me to a utility that could do this AutoRuns (below).

Then I de-installed AntiVir and downloaded and ran AVG ( )

Another set of viruses were detected and removed. Last I heard the machine was still running (whew!!), have left AVG on.

Another program you can try to remove common viruses is a utility from McAfee called Stinger ( ), which you can try before going through the steps above.

But, as always... don't let your virus software one run out. If you want either renew your subscription, or replace with AVG or AntiVir 



This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them

Monday, May 19, 2008


One issue often confronted when teaching is in providing feedback about the state of marking. Students have a tendency to ask "have you finished yet?" or "when will the results be published?". A simple meter can be created that shows students marking progress as follows and can be included in Moodle (or software that allows the text color and background to be set (unfortunately not wordpress so I can't show the full effect here):

Mark-o-meter: (Assessment x): 3/19 :::................

If you set the background color to the same as the foreground a bar graph will be shown.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Flash examples from HP

Hewlett-Packard (2004) Dreamworks + HP. Retrieved May 16, 2008 from

Some examples of applications written in Flash. Thanks to RochelleA.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Email: Organiser [Xobni ]

Another recommendation from JJ. 

Xobni is the Outlook plug-in that helps you organize your flooded inbox

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Flash presentation of the future of mobile technology

Vodafone (2004) Future Site. Retrieved April 18, 2008 from

A site illustrating how vodafone see the future of wireless communications.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Testing web browsers

From The Web standards project:

An interesting way to see how good your web browser ( it produces a rating out of 100%) is it to open

The page "should" look like...

IE rates around 13% Firefox around 50%

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sketchcast and Common craft

Joyce as usual ferrits out interesting stuff.

Sketch Cast (2008). Retrieved March 11, 2008 from 
- allows you to create flash based sketches online with audio

Common Craft (2007). Retrieved March 11, 2008 from
 - lots of neat flash videos explaining things like blogs, wikis etc.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Little trick to hide answers...

If you are in a blog (or in moodle (eitOnline for some)), you can hide answers to questions on the same page. By making the text colour the same as the background or background color the same as the text.

In moodle (eitOnline) thats easy as its on the toolbar, in WordPress (eduBlog) you need to go into the code, locate the font tag around what you want to hide and make it look like...

*<font color="white">Your answer </font>*

and add some instructions.. for example..

To do that click and drag your mouse from star to star.

* Hello ... *

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Free software (early versions)

Serif (2008). FreeSerifSoftware - free software downloads. Retrieved February 28, 2007 from

Free software downloads for desktop publishing, image editing, graphic design, 3D animation, and web publishing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Flash ActionScript: Convert PPT to SWF

Zheng, S. (2005) How to Convert PowerPoint to Flash Manually. Retrieved February 27, 2008 from

For those who like coding in ActionScript (if you're not into programming you will probably want a converter).. let me know if you can find a good free one.

Adobe magazine & ActionScript 3.0

Adobe (2008) Magazine for creative professionals. Retrieved February 27, 2008 from 

Adobe (2008) ActionScript 3.0 from the ground up. Retrieved February 27, 2008 from

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Apostrophes in Names

Apostrophes in Names Stir Lot o' Trouble
Associated Press (02/21/08) Odriscoll, Sean

Despite their sophistication, computers are still often confused when an apostrophe appears in a name, which can cause problems for users when they to vote, schedule appointments, rent a car, book a flight, or take a college exam. In addition to names with apostrophes, names with hyphens and names with surnames such as "van" can also cause problems.

EIT 4:05 /1.30pm

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

vmvGeek's software: Inkscape - Vector editor

vGeekAn Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.). allows you to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

vmvGeek's software: Inkscape - Vector editor

vGeekAn Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.). allows you to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Floptical shrinks powerpoint

Floptical bunnyInserting images into PowerPoint can increase the size of your file heaps. So if you want to shrink the file get PowerPoint to compress the image.

  1. Click on the image (Well thats pretty obvious :)  and resize by dragging corner handles - dragging on the top and side ones will usually give you short fat bunnies or long thin ones).

  2. Click on the Format tab (Office 2007). On the top left you will see Compress Pictures.. click it and if you click [Ok] all your images will be shrunk.

  •  Notes:

    • You may like to check the file sizes before and after using windows explorer.

    • Thanks to Joyce for pointing this out...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Floptical shows how to wrap text round an image

Floptical BunnyFloptical bunnyBy default the text starts at the bottom right of an image (like this), so how do you make text wrap.

The simplest way is to

  1. insert the image using the upload below the editor, then

  2. insert into the Post 

  3. change the tab from visual to code

  4. find the img tag with the picture and inside the tag add align="left"

Floptical bunnyAnother way (a little tricky) is to use the picture icon on the Post editor (there is a wee bug!).

  1. Insert the picture into the editor.

  2. Click on the image then click on the picture icon, this will bring up a dialog box

  3. Change the alignment to what you want, but.. before you save
    Note that the dimensions are blank **this is the bug** if you save at this point the image will vanish (actually it becomes an image 1 pixel wide by 1 pixel high!)

  4. So here's a trick..

    1. highlight the Image URL (click in the Image URL text box and go Ctrl+A).

    2. Cut it out (Ctrl+X)

    3. Click in another of the text boxes (like image description)

    4. Then click in the inage URL one and paste the URL back! then..

    5. Click in the Image description one and the dimensions will magically appear!

    6. .. so you click Update and the image will appear as you wanted it to.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Floptical Bunnies – “How to add Google Analytics to your eduBlog site !”

What is Google Analytics?

Allows you to track how busy your blog really is. And its free!

How do I do it?

  1. Surf to

  2. Sign in (if you are already have a gmail account this is real easy!)

  3. Analytics: New Account Signup
    Enter the URL (in my case this was, and the account name was automatically created). Fill in the other stuff.

  4. Analytics: Tracking instructions
    Read if you want to but take note of the number that starts with “UA-######-#” that’s the number you need to type in later.

And that’s all for google … now eduBlog

  1. Login to your EduBlog account as administrator (duh!)

  2. On the dashboard choose Plugins and scroll down (unless you have a large screen), and click Activate on Google Analytics

  3. A new tab appears next to Plugins (near the top of the screen) called Google Analytics, so click on it!

  4. In the Analytics User Account box type in the number you wrote down in set 4. (UA-######-#) and click Update UA String

.. and that’s it… Go to and login to get the statistics…(There is a checker here to make sure it is actually working)

Floptical Bunny

Floptical bunnyMany years ago I used to have a cartoon character that taught basic computing stuff called Floptical bunny.

So, I've decided to bring him back to life again, and use him to indicate when some basic stuff is described.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Adobe CS3 problem

Adobe CS3 ErrorProblem: Doesn't install! (click on image to enlarge)

Solution: Un-install Flash Player 8 and plugins

This is a quick (well depends if you have 40 minutes) fix that worked on my WinXP machine.
1. First the problem (for me) were installed Flash 8 player and plugins. Trying to de-install did not work as apparently they needed a network deinstaller.
2. Microsoft to the rescue (it does happen!). Went to and downloaded the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility.
3. Ran the utility and deinstalled the Flash 8 players!
4. re inserted the CS3 DVD and asked it to repair my existing installation.
... amazing ... it worked!! Really slack programming from Adobe though and I know it will cause a lot of unnecessary work for lots of people.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Hi everyone, welcome to my Blog. On this blog I want to keep some resources that I have found helpful and play around with a blog to see how they can be used in teaching.

Let me know what you think!

On the right you will see a list of pages, click on the topics to read what I've put in there! Add a reply if you think you can add something we can all share.