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    Hugo Rumens posted a note on 10 November 2008 - 12:00pm.

    Fixing my helicopter

    I spent quite a lot of the weekend fixing my Blade 400 helicopter but I didn't manage to finish it. The lesson here is after you crash, take it apart and work out all the parts you need first! I thought I could tell what was broken and went to the shop and bought the new parts, but it was only after taking it to pieces that I realised I needed other parts as well, so now I have to make yet another trip to the shop.

    And make sure you have all the tools you need beforehand. Obvious of course, but I still learned the hard way..

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    Andy Gibson posted a link on 7 November 2008 - 2:58pm.

    Fred Wilson on hacking education

    Nice piece by respected VC Fred Wilson on how the web is giving 'power to the people' and what this could mean for education.

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    Hugo Rumens posted a link on 7 November 2008 - 11:37am.

    Linux commands

    Slashdot had a great comment thread on helpful/stupid linux commands the other day - "cd" is one of the most basic commands in linux and one of the first you learn, but I never knew that "cd -" would change your directory back to the last one you were on.

    The best comment though was the Russian Roulette method to delete something (the original had rm -rf / of course):

    [ $[ $RANDOM % 6 ] == 0 ] && rm some-file-to-delete || echo "You live"

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    [video]Dougald Hine posted a video on 6 November 2008 - 3:33pm.
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    Home brewing the easy way

    I haven't tried following his method yet, so I can't vouch for the quality of the beer you get! But the video seems to explain things clearly.

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    Dougald Hine posted a link on 6 November 2008 - 3:16pm.

    Try your hand at transcribing 17th century documents

    Try transcribing a document and get it marked.

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    Russell Blakeborough posted a link on 6 November 2008 - 2:20pm.

    Learn Hungarian

    A course to learn Hungarian

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    [video]Russell Blakeborough posted a video on 6 November 2008 - 2:11pm.
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    Magyar 2

    A hungarian cartoon about a goat in a house.

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    [video]Russell Blakeborough posted a video on 6 November 2008 - 1:59pm.
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    Magyar Népmesék

    A little video about a cat in Hungarian.

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    Hugo Rumens posted a note on 4 November 2008 - 4:41pm.

    US elections

    Today I've been trying to get my head around how the US election tonight works.

    Wikipedia is quite helpful:

    and I thought this slideshow was very good at explaining things:

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    Kim Fallen Bailey posted a note on 4 November 2008 - 12:59am.

    Learning Leaving Cert Music

    A good website for those studying music and looking for help on extra notes etc (post primary music teachers association) and exam papers and marking schemes available at the (state exams commission)

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    Peter Brownell posted a note on 3 November 2008 - 1:18pm.

    Bash variable scope, pipe and cat

    Here is a nice little bit of bash snagging for you. You need to grab lines from a file, process each in turn, and then at the very end report whether or not there was a problem for any of them. Simple ? Not quite.

    The following scripts are mangled to show how this works, so don't expect them to operate as-is.



    cat $CONF | grep backup | grep @ |
    while IFS=$TAB read var1 var2 var3 var4

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    Peter Brownell posted a note on 3 November 2008 - 1:16pm.

    The difference between $page and $teaser for node theming

    I have always been a bit confused by this one. Why does theme_node have both $page and $teaser as parameters ? Surely, if it's not a page then it is a teaser ? Not quite.

    function theme_node($node, $teaser = 0, $page = 0) {

    The docs don't quite spell it out clearly, but once you know the difference, you can see what they are saying. However, if you have not quite understood the difference, the docs don't help one bit. Here is my attempt to clarify.

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    Andy Gibson posted a link on 3 November 2008 - 11:38am.

    Too much innovation?

    Whether it’s replacing car keys with complex wireless authentication technologies, or grafting endless functionality onto otherwise perfectly usable software - innovation is becoming synonymous with new things you can do, rather than doing what you want more easily. Can we have too much of a good thing?

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    Mary Harrington posted a Blog entry on 3 November 2008 - 10:04am.

    A guitar teacher's guide to using the Web

    Image from Rick Harris, via Flickr

    The Web can be a great way to promote your teaching - as long as you keep it personal and focused, and remember to spend some time actually teaching, says Jason Priest, founder of guitar studio Little Rock Jams.

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    Paul Miller posted a note on 2 November 2008 - 1:21pm.

    MIT lecture about neuroeconomics

    I love that you can get the lectures from top universities for free online now. Here's a great one about neuroeconomics from MIT:

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    Andy Gibson posted a note on 1 November 2008 - 10:58pm.

    Leadership as service

    In a representative democracy, I think people will cede authority to a leader if they think they won't lose their power. But in social media projects, they will only allow someone to lead them if their power will increase.

    The more active and engaged the population becomes, or needs to become, the more the task of leading them becomes about enabling and serving, and not setting directions or crushing dissent. Those dissenting energies are still valuable energies, and the direction is chosen by the crowd.

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    Simon Devlin posted a note on 1 November 2008 - 12:56pm.


    Please go to for more information.

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    Andy Gibson posted a note on 1 November 2008 - 12:07pm.

    Digital Health

    I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with technology lately, which is a big deal for someone in my line of work. In particular I've really been struggling to keep up with my level of incoming mail. Every day my inboxes are fuller than the day before. I hate being rude to people, and e-mail seems to be the quickest way to stack up uncompleted tasks. (And don't even get me started on Facebook.)

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    [video]Andy Gibson posted a video on 1 November 2008 - 11:42am.
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    Freeschool Tools with Andy Gibson

    David Wilcox's interview with me talking about how post-it notes can transform education, and how we can build online tools to enrich our experience of the offline world.

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    Ben Toth posted a note on 1 November 2008 - 6:58am.

    Essential reading

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