English 3450a: Old English (Fall 2020)

Note: I will be extensively rewriting this course for 2020, with new texts and lesson plans. This page provides you with some general information about the course.


Rotating one or more pages in a PDF in linux

Had to rotate a single page of a PDF. Here’s how to do it using pdftk (from makandra.com):

  • rotate page 1 by 90 degrees clockwise:
pdftk in.pdf cat 1east output out.pdf # new pdftk
  • To rotate all pages clockwise:
pdftk in.pdf cat 1-endeast output out.pdf # new pdftk

The east etc. Read the rest of this entry »


Various remote work guides and tips

Here’s a place where I’m collecting various tips and tricks for remote work in light of the University of Lethbridge moving to “alternate methods of delivery.” I’ll update this as I go.

Some Zoom tips.

The university is encouraging us to use Zoom for meetings, office hours, and classes. Read the rest of this entry »


Zoom in the time of COVID-19: Setting up Zoom for classes and office hours at the U of L

The University of Lethbridge is moving to an ‘alternate delivery model’ for classes as of Wednesday March 18. Mostly, this seems to me subscribing to Zoom, a widely-used teleconferencing system, and encouraging faculty to use it. Since the University of Lethbridge has not previously subscribed to Zoom, this means that a lot of faculty members will be doing two new things starting on Wednesday: using Zoom and teaching on Zoom.

I’ve used Zoom a lot in the last couple of years for my research (in fact my lab has a subscription of its own). The following are some tips and hints for faculty that are using it for the first time to teach. They are based on my experience running workshops and meetings, rather than teaching. I’ll update them as I get tips and experience. They are not meant to replace online guides to using Zoom (such as this one from UC San Diego). Just things you might not think about or see in such guides. Read the rest of this entry »


Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)


If…. (1968)


Fixing “Failure to download extra fonts” error in Ubuntu 19.10

I’ve had an annoying issue with Microsoft’s core fonts installer: no matter which mirror I choose, I get a “failure to download extra data files” error every time I boot.

I found the answer here: https://ranatauqeer.blogspot.com/2019/03/failure-to-download-extra-data-files.html

The second method worked for me:

If it doesn’t work, than opt for manual installation of ttf-mscorefonts-installer as below:

Go to Debian’s Site and download the latest ttf-mscorefonts-installer_3. Read the rest of this entry »


Fixing a Thunderbolt dock/display issue on Dell XPS 1300 in Ubuntu by unlocking Thunderbird

I came into work this morning after taking a week off.

I plugged my notebook into my docking station as usual, but couldn’t get the screens or wired internet to work. When I went to Settings > Display only the built in display was showing rather than the three I have attached to my docking station. I could turn the computer on and off using the button on my docking station.

I did the usual things when the docking station doesn’t work exactly as it should:

  1. Restart the computer
  2. Cold boot the computer (i.e. Read the rest of this entry »

Come work with us! Tenure Track Assistant Professor in post WWI American or British (Starts Jan 1, 2020)

The Department of English at the University of Lethbridge invites applications for a probationary (tenure-track) position at the rank of Assistant Professor in post WWI American and/or British literature, starting January 1, 2020. Scholars with research and teaching interests in Modernism and/or Postmodernism are especially encouraged to apply.

Preference will be given to applicants with a Ph.D. in hand, although applicants who are very near completion of their Ph.D. may also be considered. The University of Lethbridge aspires to hire individuals who, depending upon their career stage, demonstrate considerable potential for excellence in teaching and research, or who have an established record of excellence in these areas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Come work with us! Tenure Track Assistant Professor in post WWI American or British (Starts Jan 1, 2020)

The Department of English at the University of Lethbridge invites applications for a probationary (tenure-track) position at the rank of Assistant Professor in post WWI American and/or British literature, starting January 1, 2020. Scholars with research and teaching interests in Modernism and/or Postmodernism are especially encouraged to apply.

Preference will be given to applicants with a Ph.D. in hand, although applicants who are very near completion of their Ph.D. may also be considered. The University of Lethbridge aspires to hire individuals who, depending upon their career stage, demonstrate considerable potential for excellence in teaching and research, or who have an established record of excellence in these areas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Accessing the Oynx Boox built-in note templates

The Oynx Boox electronic notebook allows you to choose different backgrounds, known as templates, for your notes. Some standard templates that come with the reader are 20 line lined paper, big and small grid graph paper, and so. There are also some “cloud” based templates (To-Do list, SWOT diagram, piano score, and so on) that are stored on a remote server somewhere (Oynx is quite bad at telling you where cloud based material it uses is stored).

These templates are PNG files (though you can also use PDFs, I discovered). If you make your own, then you store them in the /noteTemplate directory to make them accessible to the note app.

I decided I wanted to make my own, based on some of the built-in ones. But I couldn’t for the life of me find where they pre-set ones are stored. I went through the manual, searched every directory on the device, and googled all over. Read the rest of this entry »


Jumpin’ Flash Jack: Fixing a jumpy touchpad on the Dell XPS 13 9370 (Ubuntu OEM) under 19.04

Touchpads are notoriously jumpy things in Linux.

In my case I was having real trouble with the touchpad. Hitting a key would often (at random intervals) cause the cursor to relocate to wherever the pointer was in the screen. It made any kind of work with the touchpad next to impossible. There are controls for this (including a “disable the touchpad while typing” command), but they didn’t seem to affect performance at all.

Dell has an advice page on fixing this that was developed for the 16.04 LTS Ubuntu (I.e. Read the rest of this entry »


Jumpin’ Flash Jack: Fixing a jumpy touchpad on the Dell XPS 13 9370 (Ubuntu OEM) under 19.04

Touchpads are notoriously jumpy things in Linux.

In my case I was having real trouble with the touchpad. Hitting a key would often (at random intervals) cause the cursor to relocate to wherever the pointer was in the screen. It made any kind of work with the touchpad next to impossible. There are controls for this (including a “disable the touchpad while typing” command), but they didn’t seem to affect performance at all.

Dell has an advice page on fixing this that was developed for the 16.04 LTS Ubuntu (I.e. Read the rest of this entry »


“Have you checked it’s plugged in?” Fixing the touchpad after an Ubuntu update (by turning it on)

After the last Ubuntu update (the last before today’s), I suddenly lost my touchpad. It worked during boot, but not after log in.

I did the usual searching around for people with similar problems (and it seems to be something that comes up, going back years—which can be a problem, since Ubuntu has gone through some pretty fundamental changes in how it handles devices over the last few years). I followed the advice at the Ubuntu debugging page. Running cat /proc/bus/input/devices showed that there was a touchpad being detected (though not a synaptics touchpad as all the examples seem to be):

I: Bus=0018 Vendor=06cb Product=76af Version=0100
N: Name="DELL07E6:00 06CB:76AF Touchpad"
P: Phys=i2c-DELL07E6:00
S: Sysfs=/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:15.1/i2c_designware.1/i2c-1/i2c-DELL07E6:00/0018:06CB:76AF.0001/input/input12
U: Uniq=
H: Handlers=mouse0 event9 
B: PROP=5
B: EV=1b
B: KEY=e520 10000 0 0 0 0
B: ABS=260800000000003
B: MSC=20

On that page I read that some ti Read the rest of this entry »


Resetting a Dell TB16 Thunderbolt dock

I have a TB16 Thunderbolt dock to act as a hub for my screens, internet, camera, and so on. This afternoon I came back from a meeting and my computer was hibernating and the doc was dead: no power light, no light on the thunderbolt cable, no response to commands, and no screen, sound, or internet pass through. Looked through the Dell troubleshooting guide and found nothing. In a chat with a tech, they told me how to reset the dock, humblerise.com(I don’t see this anywhere obvious on the Dell site):
    1. Unplug the dock from power and from the computer
    2. Hold the power button on the dock down for 45 seconds
    3. plug everything back in
Read the rest of this entry »
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